March 3, 2015

Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch Set Review

Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch Set of 4
Neoprene is a quite durable synthetic material that besides thermal insulation provides also great protection and shock absorption.

The Matin lens pouches are made of 3mm thin neoprene fabric, the same material that in thicker versions is used for scuba diving suits.

These neoprene lens pouches are very soft and elastic, but still durable enough to hold and protect your lenses and not only as we shall see further down.

The Pouches

Manufacturer Specification:
Model:Neoprene Lens Pouch Set ( S M L XL )
Material:Water Resistant Neoprene
Thickness:3 mm
Draw String:Yes
Belt Loop:Yes
Made in:South Korea

The set comes in four sizes as described below in detail:

Diameter:  8 cm (3.15")  9 cm (3.54")10 cm (3.94")10 cm (3.94")
Height:10 cm (3.94")14 cm (5.51")18 cm (7.08")25 cm (9.85")
Weight:42 gr ( 1.48 oz)68 gr ( 2.40 oz)89 gr ( 3.14 oz)92 gr ( 3.24 oz)

Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch Set with rlevant size lenses
In the above photo the Matin Neoprene Lens Pouches are illustrated serving their original use as intended by the manufacturer.  As an example the Small size is paired with a Canon 18-55mm kit lens, the Medium size with a Samyang 8mm Fisheye, the Large size with a Canon 17-85 mm lens and finally the XLarge size is able to accommodate the Canon 70-200mm 2.8 zoom lens, but without the collar foot.

The Pouch Features
My choice for illustration was the largest Matin Neoprene Pouch XL since the details are more visible due to size. Nevertheless all features are inherent on all sizes.

Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch drawstring hook and belt loop
Overview of the Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch XL displaying its drawstring with clasp, its plastic hook and belt loop.
Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch drawstring clasp detail
The drawstring is equipped with a plastic clasp which sports a spring loaded knob. The clasp blocks the string automatically depriving it from opening. By pushing the knob the clasp may be moved back and forth, thus tightening or loosening the pouch.
Please note that the usable height of the pouches is 2-3cm lower than the overall height because of the overhead required by the drawstring closure.

Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch belt loop detail
The belt loop is made of a double nylon band one stitched on the pouch and one free. The loop size is smaller as the pouch size gets smaller but still there is a means of attaching the pouches on a belt or backpack strap for carrying. 
Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch hook detail
The top end of the same double nylon band is holding a plastic hook with safety pin. This may be used to attach the pouch to ring or D-ring on a camera bag or backpack.

Alternative Uses of the Pouches
Although by name the Matin Neoprene Lens Pouches are designed to protect lenses, the soft texture and durable nature of Neoprene suggest their use in numerous other situations making them a valuable but inexpensive asset.
As indicated by the following illustrations, I have also used the pouches to house and protect panorama and tripod heads since they are flexible and can easily fit in a larger camera bag or back-pack avoiding any scratches between gear.

SCV Multirow head packed in Matin Neoprene Lens Pouches XL & M
Shown above is the Matin neoprene pouch XL, which fits nicely the whole rail structure of the SCV Multi Row Panorama Head Ver.II, while a Matin neoprene pouch S holds the Benro PC-1 Panorama clamp, back in 2011
SCV Mini Multirow head packed in Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch L
The same solution came in handy in 2013 with the SCV Mini Multi-Row Panorama Head for Mirrorless Cameras components which after being stacked and clamped on top one another it was very easy to insert the whole head structure in the Matin Neoprene pouch L and close it via the draw string.
Novoflex VR-System Slim head packed in Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch XL
And still the idea was carried on in 2015 when dealing with the packaging and transport of the very versatile Novoflex VR-System Slim Panorama Head (Review).
Benro B-2 ball head protected in Matin Neoprene Lens Pouch M
On the other hand when carrying a tripod carrying strap i.e. without a carrying bag it is most advisable to protect the ball head with a small bag, like the Matin Neoprene Pouch M pictured above.
This will protect the ball head from any accidental banging onto trees or bushes during a hike. Or Even from an accidental drop. More in the Benro A-298 EX (A2980F) Versatile Transformer Tripod Review
Matin Neoprene Pouch XL with a thermos Alu bottle
Furthermore, the Matin Neoprene Pouch XL may be used to protect and insulate from heat an Alu thermos bottle containing water or other beverages as a companion for long hikes. The pouch may be hooked on you sling-bag or backpack as shown above, especially when your bag does not have relevant pocket like mine.

Soft and durable fabric.
Weather resistant, water resistant.
Protects from light bumps and scratches against other gear.
Very low price for the set with excellent value for money ratio.

Drawstring does not fully insulate contents from dust.

Matin Neoprene pouches especially when purchased as a set of 4 is the most inexpensive way of storing and protecting photographic equipment, being either lenses or other gear.
They are not heavily padded as other lens bags which would protect from a free fall on the floor but they are sturdy enough to withstand bumps and avoid scratches. These pouches are ideal for dividing individual items within a camera gear bag, or long storage in a closet.
In this aspect the pouches hold a great value for money and are highly recommended.

I hope you found the article and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2011-2015 S.C.Vlachos

Price & Availability:
Matin Neoprene Pouches are available from Amazon, or from eBay internationally.

Referenced Articles:

Create a Multi Row Panorama Head Ver.II

Create a Mini Multi-Row Panorama Head for Mirrorless Cameras

Novoflex VR-System Slim Panorama Head Review

Benro A-298 EX (A2980F) Versatile Transformer Tripod Review

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