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07-22-2012, 07:26 PM   #76
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ONA Union Street bag

I have recently changed jobs and have found myself in the fortunate position of being able to walk to work. I have taken the general advice of always having my camera with me and had been looking for a bag that would work as both a simple shoulder bag for getting back and forth to work and be a home for my K-x and the DA*16-50, a laptop, various papers and space for other bits and pieces. Finding something that fit this bill wasn’t hard actually. For a couple months I used a simple messenger bag and a Crumpler Haven insert for the K-x.

What became challenging was finding such a bag that was kitted out as a DSLR bag and also had a premium look and feel. I had considered a variety of the canvas bags (Domke, Billingham really), but never found anything that suited my taste. At the end of April this year, I landed on the ONA website and their Union Street DSLR bag and was simply smitten.

As bags go it’s a straight forward design: messenger bag style, the interior is finished with a soft fabric with 2 large and 2 small inserts as well as a large insert to create a space for a laptop. There is plenty of space for a DSLR with largish zoom lens attached. I have frequently stored the K-x with the DA*50-135 mounted with no issues, although typically the K-x is in the bag with the DA*16-50. In addition, there is space for 2 more large lenses and a speedlite. In addition to the kit, there is space for a thin 15” laptop and a front pouch with a variety of small pockets for business cards, SD cards, pen holders, etc. A nice, generally well thought out medium sized DSLR bag.

The bag is designed to be primarily worn over the shoulder or across the chest (my preferred way to carry the bag). The strap is made of a heavy duty nylon with leather trim and brass fittings. The shoulder pad is also leather lined with the waxwear fabric, its very comfortable and has the right balance of friction to keep the pad in place but also allow for adjustment. When wearing across the chest, access to the DSLR is generally OK, the front flap is held in place with two brass quick release buttons and adjustable with leather straps and brass buckles. The speed of access is certainly not as good as some of the more dedicated DSLR bags with the zippered or Velcro flaps, but it holds its own.

I typically use it as an all-round bag. The photo kit includes a K-x with a lens mounted, typically a DA*16-50, but often some form of prime or the DA*50-135. In addition a mini tripod, my photo notebook, a Cokin filter holder and 2 filters, a number of SD cards, batteries and a lens pen. Non-photography stuff include various papers I’m reading placed in the laptop compartment, a light jacket and a variety of bits and bobs. You can see below in one of the pictures how much space is available once all the photo kit I list above is in the bag, it’s quite substantial. With this load-out, the bag is quite comfortable to carry on my 20 minute walk to work. When I’ve used it solely for photo kit, it is definitely heavier and a backpack may become the better choice, although I spent the afternoon with it on and while it was definitely noticeable, it wasn’t unbearable.

When not worn over the shoulder, the bag easily sits upright regardless of load thanks to a wide, square leather base and a leather handle allows for moving it about and not having to use the shoulder strap. The handle is not the preferred means to carry the bag as it’s not centered on the bag and so when you lift the bag by the handle the bag hangs at an angle.

What makes the bag stand apart from others is the construction materials. The exterior is in a “wax-wear” canvas with leather accents. All of the rivets, strap connections, buckles and zippers are of a high grade brass. The bottom of the bag is of solid leather. The bag oozes quality. The wax wear canvas has a real sense of substance, it’s almost structural. It easily takes scuffs and scratches and you can see how it will develop a nice patina over time.

It’s priced as a premium bag. The online price is $289.00, and I’m almost embarrassed to say it ended up costing me some $350 dollars to get it shipped to St. John’s (Free Trade my ass!). I tend to buy quality products and then hold onto them for a long time, so I’m hoping that’s how this bag will pan out. So far, I have been very happy with the bag. If you are looking for a premium feel bag and shelling out the $279 is not a real hardship, its highly recommended. If you’d rather spend your hard earned money on sensible things, like limited lenses or groceries, you can get this functionality and more out of a much cheaper bag.

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Last edited by Gareth.Ig; 07-22-2012 at 07:32 PM.
10-03-2012, 09:05 PM   #77
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Brenthaven BX2 bags

I have always been a big fan of my Lowepro bag for years now, and I am not here to advertise for any specific manufacturers, but my work recently did a commercial for Brenthaven's new BX2 camera bags. The commercial doesn't really show it, but we really pummeled the crap out of these bags full with camera's and lenses, and they really kept the gear safe and clean. We have since used them for flight traveling for our RED Epic and PL mount lenses as carry on's and feel completely comfortable doing so. I'll occasionally borrow them for my ME Super bodies and lenses when I need a different set up from my more massive Lowepro. I honestly cannot recommend Brenthaven more, especially when their quality meets or exceeds other leading brands at a fraction of the cost. Check them out! Here's the commercial if you're interested:


Here's their site:
BX2 Camera Cases | Brenthaven.com

P.S.
Sorry for the excessive Canon's in the video, they were all photog's who brought their own gear, but they drooled over my ME Super when I was photographing behind the scenes.
10-04-2012, 04:47 AM   #78
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Like many, I have many camerabags. But I will now just list the ones I really use regurarly.

And old leather shoulder bag:
got this one together with an old Pentax SLR that I bought on eBay. It doesn’t even have a brand name on it. But I like the bag, it fits my K-7 with attached lens and one extra lens. Or one of my film SLR’s with attached lens and 2 extra lenses. It is a very nice bag for when I do not need a lot of gear.

Lowepro Nova 5:
This one I have for years, if I would guess, I would say around 12 years. It isn’t made anymore, but has been replaced by the Nova200AW.It is relatively large, and it does fit a lot of gear. It is a very comfortable bag, even when it is fully loaded. I can easily fit my K7+ lens and battery grip, a 400mm lens, 2 more zoom lenses, 2 prime lenses and a flash. And still have room left. Also you can easily stow away memory cards, filters, cables charchers etc. It just lacks a laptop compartment (never needed one, so never missed it) Your gear is very protected, and with the AW cover you get now ,even in heavy rain (mine is still a none AW version). I use this bag when I need a bit more gear and a backpack isn’t handy.

Lowepro orion trekker:
This is basicly my day to day backpack. (also about 10 years old, and actually in need of replacement0It is one the dual compartment bags. Lower part for camera gear, upperpart for personal gear. The lower part fits my K-7 with batterygrip and lens attached, + 2 more lenses. Top part always has something to read and my lunch for the day. But it will also easily fit a jacket. You just cannot take many small items, as there is not that much nice room for it. I do always have a spare battery and spare SD card, but that’s a bout it. It does hold more, but it will just be a bit loose in one bigger pocket.

Naneupro Alpha-L:
I was looking for a replacement for my Orion trekker, and found this one on sale in a shop a year ago. It did not replace the Orion trekker , as it is way bigger. But it does complement it very well. As said, it is a big bag, lot of room for personal stuff, and I mean lot of room. And the camera bay at the bottom is roomy too. It usually holds my K-7 with lens and grip, two more zooms, macro lens and extension tubes. Or instead of macro and tubes, my 400mm lens. Top part has either food for me, or drinks, food and change of clothes for the kids. It does have a laptop compartment, but as I do not take a laptop with me, it usually has some magazines in it or the portable dvd player for the kids. It also has a place on the side for a tripod, and it does hold my heavy manfrotto pretty easy. It is still very comfy to carry then, as the harness is fully adjustable.. It is one of the back opening bags, so you have to take it off to be able to get to your gear. You can leave your waistbelt on and swing the bag to your front and open it then, but I do not find this comfy.
I just found 1 con (for me) for the bag. It does hold the K-7 with the 400mm attached, but just. It doesn’t sit comfortable in the camera bay. And I do need sometimes the 400mm attached (surf photography on windy beaches, rather not change lenses).
The other con of the bag is it’s size. In volume it does fit the carry on luggage. As the height and width of it are lot less than stated. It’s depth is just more. I haven’t had any problems with that yet, but then again I do not fly with Ryan air or Easyjet. And from what I have heard, they are extremely strict. (why don’t they just start working with volume instead of just size to certain limits). It does fit very easy in the overhead or under the seat, so there is no problem with taking it as a carry on.

Naneupro Urbangear U120N:
I was in search of a backpack that can take my K-7 with the 400mm atached. The ones I was eyeing were all out of my league for now (click elite and F-stop gear). But because I had very good experience with the Alpha-L from Naneu, I looked again into their bags. They are very hard to find in Holland, but again I found a camera shop that had them on sale. I did want the U60N, as it is smaller, but it does not have a padded waistband. And when carrying more gear than usual, I do need one to take the stress off my shoulders (they are not what they used to be). Therefore I choose the U120N. I have just had it for a few weeks now, and haven’t used it that much yet (didn’t need the 400mm). But I have tried it. I am not even going to list what it all can fit, because it is a lot, really a lot. I did load it almost fully and tried it when going to work on the bike (with a tripod attached). It is a very comfy bag (bit less comfy than the Alpha-L), a nice adjustable harness, with a removable padded waistbelt. One of the nicest things for me on this big is (apart that it fits the K-7 with 400mm lens easy) that the padded insert can be removed. I have the outershell tuck away in the closet. The padded innershell I use to keep my lenses when not in use. The outershell has enough pockets fo mermorycards, cables etc. Also a 15inch notebook should fit in the laptop compartment.
Also this bag is bulky, so flying with certain airliners could be a no no, even though it is a bit smaller than the Alpha-L, it looks bigger.

Overall I am happy with all the bags I use. Lowepro has the reputation and quality 9especially on the earlier series, I have heard complaints that the quality of the new products isn’t that good). But I have been pleasantly surprised with the quality of the Naneu bags. Good build quality, and very comfy to carry. The only thing with their bags is, the zippers could be a bit bigger. But that is just minor. They seem strong enough anyway.
12-20-2012, 03:08 PM   #79
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Camera Sling Bag from National Geographic at Costco

I just found a great deal at Costco on a DSLR Sling bag for my new Pentax K-30. I had just returned a Golla camera bag that was just too soft for my use, to the Source store. I then went to Costco for the Swiss bag advertised on the Costco website for $49. I walked in and right at the door was a $33.99 bag from National Geographic. Fits the new K-30 perfect with the 18-135mm lens with hood attached. Room to grow for a flash and another lens, and the usual items that you pac around. Here is a quick review I did on this bag if you are interested in seeing it. Just click on the link.
Canada North - Life On and Off The Grid

Deb

12-20-2012, 05:03 PM   #80
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I've got a nice old vintage suitcase I keep my lenses in at home. It's small, has a strap, and looks pretty slick. The one thing it doesn't have is dividers. Is there a way to CHEAPLY add padded dividers to this thing?

Charles.
12-20-2012, 06:21 PM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChopperCharles Quote
I've got a nice old vintage suitcase I keep my lenses in at home. It's small, has a strap, and looks pretty slick. The one thing it doesn't have is dividers. Is there a way to CHEAPLY add padded dividers to this thing?

Charles.
Not sure if you are into DIY but something like this might work.

How to Create Custom Foam Case Inserts | Flightcase.com

Regards
04-11-2013, 09:17 AM   #82
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I have used a LowePro 55AW Toploader for a couple years and its been very versatile with the ability to use sliplock attachments but it has some serious shortcomings too. Recently there was a good LowePro sale at BestBuy and I bought the LowePro 75AW PRO Toploader - man, what an improvement!

My review of it is here in the Accessories section:
LowePro Toploader Pro 75 AW reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
04-11-2013, 03:20 PM   #83
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Just got the Clik Elite Trekker waist/shoulder bag, and I have to say I am very pleased with it. I got it for my K-01, and it is perfect for it. Even though it is small bag, I can fit my K-01 with M50/1.4 and 4 more lenses (K135/2.5, M200/4, M20/4 and M100/4). But then it get's a bit heavy to wear as a waistbag. But as it doubles as a shoulder bag, you can use the shoulderstrap as extra support, and then the weight no issue at all anymore.. With just the camera and 2 extra lenses, it is very comfy as a waistbag. It has 2 side meshpockets for waterbottles, or some chocolat bars for energy. A small front pocket will fit a few filters, extra battery and memory cards. You can even attatch a monopod to it 9maybe a small table top tripod too, but haven't tried it it.

But i am very happy with it, and for me it is the perfect companion fr my K01

08-23-2013, 12:51 AM   #84
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I have the Crumpler 6MDH, a Billingham Hadley Pro and a Kata Bumble Bee 210 DL for different needs. I used to have a Lowepro Mini Trekker AW but sold it away as I found it too big. The Kata is my main bag as I can use it like a normal day pack too.

I normally use the Billingham if I just want to carry the K30+DA*16-50 + DA*50-135. The Kata is used when I want to carry more lenses.

The 6MDH is now used by my so with the K30+DA18-135.
11-13-2013, 02:12 PM   #85
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Purse-style camera bag

When I go out primarily to photograph, I usually use a sling bag or backpack. But when I go to work, or have plans that combine social activities with photography, I often want something that suits dressier clothes (and dressed up environments, like weddings). For those situations, I have a couple of Tamrac Aria bags, which are characterized by Tamrac as "handbag-style" but aren't too girly-looking. (Well, maybe the berry-coloured one is ...)

Tamrac 5426 Aria 6 Camera Bag (Black) 542601 B&H Photo Video

Tamrac 5423 Aria 3 Shoulder Bag (Black) 542301 B&H Photo Video

The bags are available in black (essential for this New Yorker), but also come in Berry, Olive Green and Brown.

I originally got these bags to use with my Sony NEX, which is of course a lot smaller than my K-3. But with a bit of reconfiguring, my K-3 will fit into either bag. With the smaller of the two bags (Aria 3), I removed one divider and repositioned the other to create one large compartment and one fairly small one about 1.5" wide (and the neight and depth of the bag). I can carry the K-3 with the 18-135 lens attached and have a little room left over for a small wallet. There is also a fairly roomy, zip outside compartment for a brush, cloth, extra cards, small rocket blower, etc. There is also an inside zip pocket running the length of the bag - it's narrow but I can carry my passport or a narrow billfold in there if I'm travelling somewhere where I'm concerned about security. Two outside pockets on either side of the bag on the hold my work Blackberry and Android phone (the pockets are very deep but are fairly wide and tall so they should hold many larger phones). There is an open pocket at the back for maps, guidebooks or manuals - I sometimes carry my Nexus 7" tablet in there (although it's not the most secure arrangement). The bag is very light, the fabric is sleek and water-resistant, and there is a nicely padded shoulder strap. Obviously, I have to pare down my kit to essentials, but for work or evenings out this bag works quite well. I also like the fact that the fabric and shoulder strap are smooth enough that they don't damage my clothes - I've only had to be careful with really delicate fabrics like lace and silk.

For a couple of trips recently, I used a larger backpack or sling to carry my camera gear on the plane and packed the Aria 3 in my suitcase (stuffed with tshirts and socks), and then used the Aria 3 on sightseeing days and evenings out when I just wanted to carry a single lens with me.

The Aria-6 fits more gear. The basic bag structure is similar (outside zip pocket in the front, inside zip pocket, two side pockets for cameras, open back pocket for maps etc), except that it also has an internal, padded tablet pocket that is large enough to hold a 10" tablet. This bag looks a bit more like a sleek briefcase-type bag and the back pocket will fit an 11" notebook or skinny file folder with papers. With this bag, I left the two dividers in the bag as-is. It will hold my K-3 with 18-135 lens attached, as well as a second medium-sized lens (the 55-300 fits). In the third section, I can fit my wallet and rocket blower with room to spare. I think the flash will fit in there (when I get one). Alternatively, that third compartment could hold another medium-sized lens.

The only thing that bugs me about these bags is that it's a bit of a fiddly exercise to switch the strap from cross-over to a regular shoulder bag - it takes a few minutes to fiddle the buckle through the loop to which the shoulder padding is attached. And it would be nice if there was a tab closing on the back pocket to make that pocket a bit more secure.

Last edited by frogoutofwater; 11-15-2013 at 07:49 AM.
11-19-2013, 08:19 PM   #86
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Tenba Discovery: Mini Photo/Laptop Messenger (637-341)

I've been really pleased with this bag so far. High quality materials. Very functional. Lots of storage room in a compact bag. Can hold a 13" tablet or ultrabook. Comfortable to carry.
I have a lengthy review with lots of pics and commentary HERE.

01-23-2014, 03:34 PM   #87
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Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW

Copy/pasting my review from Amazon last year:

Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW
I bought this pack because, for most dayhikes, I don't need a huge 30L pack like my Dakine Blade ski pack. Instead, I wanted something smaller, lighter yet still versatile.

In the past I've used primarily a Lowerpro Rover AW II and Dakine Blade ski pack + MountainSmith insert. They're both good packs. The Rover is similar in concept to the Photo Sport, but it's old, huge, lacks any rigidity, rather uncomfortable and bottom access sucks. The Dakine is great and scads more versatile being a regular pack. It's still my go to pack for longer weekends when I need more gear. Wish it had a rigid frame/structure though, and I'm not as big a fan of using inserts since mixed gear may shift in movement, even when tightened in with compression straps.

Positives:

* The Photo Sport 200 AW is smaller, lighter, generally more comfortable and "smarter". When I'm hiking, I'm not hauling all my gear. A small prime, zoom, tripod, flash (sometimes).
* I love the rigid back to the pack, which helps to properly support whatever weight you've loaded up.
* The dedicated side access pocket is convenient and big enough for my gear (Pentax K7, 35mm prime, 18-135 WR, Metz 50 AF-1 Flash).
* The hydration pocket can double as a tablet pocket for travel.
* There's enough space between the main compartment and rear external pocket for a jacket, snacks, wallet, keys, phone, tools, and other malarky like sunscreen. There are also a number of attachment points for...whatever you might need to attach.
* The all-weather rain hood works well. I've used it multiple times now in utter downpours. My gear stayed dry.
* Relatively "generic backpack" appearance, which doesn't scream "camera gear inside!"

* This pack is definitely well built. For the hell of it, I WAY overloaded it for a camping weekend. It managed to do surprisingly well. Between the pockets, compartments and attachments, I loaded it up with hydration, clothes, food, tent, pad, sleeping bag, towel, tools, etc, etc... See linked picture at the bottom. Now, I wouldn't do this normally. I imagine the stress and weight would eventually spell the demise of the pack, especially at the attachment/stress points. Instead I'd probably strap it to an external frame, or choose a larger pack for the purpose. Regardless, I was happily surprised.

Negatives:

* The shoulder straps could have been a smidge wider or more padded
* Same with the waist straps and pads

Conclusion:

It's still not the "perfect" pack for everything. No such thing exists. It's a great daypack and I have no regrets.

http://i.imgur.com/cH0gkui.jpg

update:
Got the k-3 with free grip and lens from B&H. I have been able to stow the K-3 + battery grip, and the lens. It's a bit of a tight squeeze, but it works and all is secure.
So inside the padded camera compartment:
- K-3 + grip + 18-135WR
- DA 35mm 2.4
- DA 50mm 1.8
- Metz 50 AF-1 Flash
Then I have the DA 55-300 WR HD in it's padded case inside the main compartment.

When I use the Capture Clip with the grip on the k-3, I need to also use Peak Design's PROpad and move the sternum strap to just higher than the clip to aid with stabilization.

Besides, when doing any serious hiking, I'd probably leave the grip, flash and primes at home.

Last edited by gooberlx; 01-28-2014 at 12:39 PM.
01-23-2014, 06:56 PM   #88
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Received a new with tags Tenba Black Label small satchel today and appears to be perfect for an SLR without a grip and 2-3 lenses. My only other bag (other than a holster type) could fit way more gear than I usually like to carry, but I always found myself filling it. I'll write something up on it after I use it a bit, but the initial impression is the craftsmanship is out of this world.
02-24-2014, 08:23 AM   #89
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A while ago there was a sale in one of the camera-stores inthe Netherlandsto clear the old stock.

There I did purchase a Camera Armor Seattle sling for 20€,which was a huge discount from it’s original price (somewhere around 100€). Eventhough I am not a fan of sling bags, I couldn’t let this offer goes as the bagis totally waterproof (well almost, but I’ll explain that).



Last Saturday there was a demonstration in Amsterdam that I was going too to take photo’s.And as the weather forecast was rain, I thought this will be a good time totest the bag. So did I test it? Yes and no, as for carrying and easy of access,yes. As for waterproofing, no. The forecast was totally off (was Sunny thewhole day).



About the bag itself. It is a sling bag that is made out ofthree parts. You have the slingbag, the camera insert and the dry bag. Youinsert the dry bag in the sling bag and then the camera insert in the dry bag. Theidea behind this is that you can take the drybag out of the slingbag and letthe slingbag dry without anything in it.



About the carrying, it is pretty comfortable to carry. Didn’treally notice it. When getting something out of the bag, it slings very easy toyour front.



Easy of access. Well, accessing your gear is not that easy,but that is the trade off being waterproof. The drybag is closed by magnets androlling. First the opening closes with magnets. Then you roll it three times toensure the waterproofing, which you then also close with standard bugles. Andthere you go, it is waterproof. But this does make it not quick to access, asit is the procedure in reverse to open the bag.

There is a way to make access much easier though. Just putthe camera insert in the sling without the drybag. You just loose thewaterproofing, but access is much then very quick.



Amount of gear. Well, not that much. It will hold apro-sized camera and a 70-200 f2.8 lens. And two more lenses. But as theslingbag itself does not have any extra pockets. All the accessories need to beput in the camera insert. So you do already loose space for extra batteries, memorycards etc. But as the bag is designed to keep all your stuff dry, there is noway around it. Well, maybe there is. If you do not have lenses that stick outtoo much, you could get small travel bags for accessories and put batteries etcin them and put that on top of the space above your lenses.

You can hang a tripod on it, as long it isn’t too heavy.



So overall it is a nice bag



Pro’s: It is waterproof for your gear and very comfy tocarry.

Very quick access without drybag.

Tripod attachment

Very well padded (not just the camera insert, but also thesling itself is padded)



Cons: Slow access (but this is a known trade off for beingwaterproof, and thieves can’t access it quickly).

Not much room for accessories (also trade off for keepingall you gear and accessories dry).

It says Camera Armor pretty big (so everybody will know youhave camera gear with you). But it is very easily removed.

But biggest con is, the slingbag closes with Velcro. So itis not stealthy, it can be very noisy when opening.





Only one problem now with this bag, it isn’t availableanymore. Lowepro acquired the company, and now sells their new waterproof bagswith the same folding principle 9more expensive of course)
02-24-2014, 06:04 PM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
Received a new with tags Tenba Black Label small satchel today and appears to be perfect for an SLR without a grip and 2-3 lenses. My only other bag (other than a holster type) could fit way more gear than I usually like to carry, but I always found myself filling it. I'll write something up on it after I use it a bit, but the initial impression is the craftsmanship is out of this world.

This little bag is awesome. It's perfect for a DSLR like the K-5 family without a grip or a film body from the ME Super, LX, or KM size and up to three lenses. I've had an LX, A50/1.4, K28/3.5, and AF280T in it and I've had the K-5, 31, 77, and 18-55 or F50/1.7 in it.


Construction is awesome, love the seatbelt strap and the materials. This bag is meant for a small, light kit and not much more. You're not going to get a bunch of filters and spare batteries in it. Camera and a couple of lenses, go.
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