Shortly after I bought my Nikon V1 with the 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 last November, I decided to get a nice, small bag for my Nikon 1 kit. My previous “bag” of choice was a worn out Nike sports rucksack, which I used to carry around my old, analogue Nikon SLRs, Contax G1 and Bronica ETRS. The rucksack was way oversized for a small N1 kit. Since I wanted a small bag, large enough to carry around a medium-sized kit (at that time I only had the V1 and 10-30mm, but was planning to expand my lens collection), I made a decision to get Lowepro Rezo 110 AW.
Before I continue with deliberations on build quality, features and value for money, let me tell you this: I’m not a person who puts much emphasis on esthetics. I prioritize function over form, and I’m a big fan of good bang for the buck. Therefore, if you are someone who considers “coolness”, nifty design and expensive materials (e.g. leather) as being important, it’s best that you consider another bag, you won’t be happy with this one.
I must confess, when I bought the Rezo 110 AW, the price was only €19.95, which in my mind was a bargain. At the time of writing it costs €28 on AmazonDE, which is still a good price, but hardly a steal. For this reason, consider everything I’m about to say and decide for yourself whether this bag is worth the current price.
As I’ve said before, you won’t find leather, steal or any other expensive materials here. Rezo 110 AW is made entirely of light-weight, synthetic, low-cost materials. That being said, it is still a well-made bag, which withstood the abuse I was putting it through in the last 11 months excellently. Even more importantly, it protected my gear superbly although, as you can imagine, being used to sturdy analogue equipment, I’m not exactly someone who threats his gear with kid gloves.
So how about some details? Things that come to mind when I think about the Rezo is the broad neck-strap, which combined with the low weight of the bag and the kit inside enables you to carry your gear for an entire day, without any sign of neck-pain. Since many cheap bags have narrow, pain inducing neck-straps, this feature is a huge plus in my book. Sadly, the parts (hooks?) with which the neck-strap is attached to the bag, are made of plastic. While they don’t look exactly delicate and haven’t given me reason for concern, this is still a fact worth noting. On the outside, the Rezo 110 AW is made of a combination of synthetic cloths, none of them glossy or shiny, which could be exactly what you are looking for. I for one don’t like fancy bags, which pull attention to my photo gear, I prefer understatement. Beneath the surface is a shell, I’m guessing, made of hardened foam, which can absorb quite a bit of kinetic energy from falls and hits, thus protecting the gear inside rather nicely. The insides are covered with a cloth resembling microfiber cleaning cloth. While it can’t take the dust of off parts made of rubber (EVF eyecup on the V1, 10-30’s zoom ring, etc), it keeps the parts made of plastic and alloy nice and clean. But even for these rubber parts you won’t be needing a cleaning cloth, because there is one already built in to the inner side of the bag. Pretty cool, if you ask me.
Space & Compartments
As already mentioned, I was looking for a small bag, for a medium-size N1 kit, and the Rezo is exactly that. This means that you won’t be able to carry 2 N1 cameras and 5 lenses with this bag with you, should you have such a large kit. What this bag is large enough for, is one camera with up to 3 or 4 lenses. Here is what is inside mine: C-Mount to N1 adapter, lens and mount cover, Nikon V1 with the Nikon 18.5mm f/1.8, 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6, Marumi DHG200 (+5) with its micro case, USB cable, power cable, charger, ML-L3 remote and a spare battery, B+W 1000x ND filter with micro case, grey/white/black card, and two 40.5mm to 52mm step-up rings.
This is what it looks like, when everything is inside the bag. I’m thinking of buying a pouch for the 10-30mm…
With the padded and adjustable divider, you can rearrange the main compartment any way you see fit. On the upper inner side is the memory compartment, where I store my remote and additional battery for it. There is a pocket on the front, where my B+W 1000x ND filter, C-Mount to N1 adapter, grey card and step-up rings are. On both sides there are stretch pockets, but I wouldn’t store anything of value there.
Value for money
At a price of €19 I’ve payed last November at AmazonDE, Rezo 110 AW is a no-brainer. Since it costs €8 more now, I have to urge German/Austrian/Swiss readers to check out other vendors or other bags first, before they decide on which to get. Maybe there are other vendors or other bags out there, with superior value for money. Same goes for English readers, who would have to fork out £25.81 at AmazonUK.
At the moment Rezo 110 AW costs $19.5 at AmazonUS, which is a better price than I have payed, making me comfortable recommending it to American readers.
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