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Author Topic: Photo Vest Advise  (Read 8289 times)
dwdallam
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« on: November 29, 2007, 03:24:54 AM »
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I have a photo backpack that I hardly use. It's a Lowpro model and very nice, but it's not big enough for me. The waist belt never hits me on the waist where it should be, but up in the lower stomach area ,making it hard to breath and carry equipment. So it just sits in the closet.

I've pretty much given up on a photo backpack that will fit my frame: 6'3" and about 230 lbs exacerbated by 23 years in the gym lifting weights. Everything these days seems targeted to one size fits all 40 regular.

So I'm thinking about getting a vest to carry a light assortment of equipment shorter distances.

Does anyone have any ideas on something that actually is bigger than a ballet dancer's chest, torso, and arms? I don't care how much is costs as long as it does it's job for a long time and damn well fits me in the chest and arm area! LOL

Thanks!
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Per Ofverbeck
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2007, 04:48:53 AM »
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I have a photo backpack that I hardly use. It's a Lowpro model and very nice, but it's not big enough for me. The waist belt never hits me on the waist where it should be, but up in the lower stomach area ,making it hard to breath and carry equipment. So it just sits in the closet.

I've pretty much given up on a photo backpack that will fit my frame: 6'3" and about 230 lbs exacerbated by 23 years in the gym lifting weights. Everything these days seems targeted to one size fits all 40 regular.

So I'm thinking about getting a vest to carry a light assortment of equipment shorter distances.

Does anyone have any ideas on something that actually is bigger than a ballet dancer's chest, torso, and arms? I don't care how much is costs as long as it does it's job for a long time and damn well fits me in the chest and arm area! LOL

Thanks!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=156896\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, Domke has one thatīs really spacious; I use one, and Iīm about the same size (in my case acquired by lifting fork and spoon, not weights....   ).  Also, it is pure cotton with a mesh back; nylon will KILL you in summer...

That said, carrying much gear in a vest isnīt an unmitigated joy, either.  I got mine for my Hassy gear (long gone now), and soon found out that dangling heavy and expensive glass around oneīs hips isnīt safe when scrambling over rough terrain or negociating crowded sidewalks.  Also, while you can set down a backpack or case when taking a rest, a packed vest isnīt as easy.  Hang it on the back of a chair, and the lenses will rest on the floor, wrapped in only some thin cotton.  Hang it on a coat hanger, and disaster will strike if it slips off.

My present "solution" is to use a good, framed backpack for general outdoor use.  It fits my back, it isnīt hot and tight like frameless packs, and it doesnīt scream "easy money here".  The gear is wrapped in padded bags inside; takes a little organization to know what is where.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2007, 05:40:12 AM »
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You know what you aid about wrapping items in padded bags and slipping them into a framed pack is something I too have thought about, plus you get a backpack on top of it. I could load my gear into the Lowpro, and then dump that thing into a  good framed pack. I think I have one solution. I would like to ahve a good fitting and comfortable vest for things like batteries, filters, batteries, and the like, even if I don't use it for lenses and other heavy equipment.

What size Domke did you purchase? Thanks for tehi hint on nylon too, as I was thinking about going with teh rugged and waterproof nylon types. I think you have convinced me otherwise.

Quote
Well, Domke has one thatīs really spacious; I use one, and Iīm about the same size (in my case acquired by lifting fork and spoon, not weights....   ).  Also, it is pure cotton with a mesh back; nylon will KILL you in summer...

That said, carrying much gear in a vest isnīt an unmitigated joy, either.  I got mine for my Hassy gear (long gone now), and soon found out that dangling heavy and expensive glass around oneīs hips isnīt safe when scrambling over rough terrain or negociating crowded sidewalks.  Also, while you can set down a backpack or case when taking a rest, a packed vest isnīt as easy.  Hang it on the back of a chair, and the lenses will rest on the floor, wrapped in only some thin cotton.  Hang it on a coat hanger, and disaster will strike if it slips off.

My present "solution" is to use a good, framed backpack for general outdoor use.  It fits my back, it isnīt hot and tight like frameless packs, and it doesnīt scream "easy money here".  The gear is wrapped in padded bags inside; takes a little organization to know what is where.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=156907\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2007, 10:05:44 AM »
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I have a Domke in size XL (I am 6' 2", about 260 lb.), and it is just great for "a light assortment of equipment shorter distances", with the emphasis on "light" and "short". I find it quite comfortable for a few miles with not more than two or three lenses plus various other gadgets (batteries, CF cards, snacks, etc.)

I wrap things and stow them in a pack frame only for serious, substantial hikes.

The Domke is also great for stuffing extra weight into at airports (check other threads on this site about that.)
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Per Ofverbeck
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2007, 10:11:37 AM »
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.... I would like to ahve a good fitting and comfortable vest for things like batteries, filters, batteries, and the like, even if I don't use it for lenses and other heavy equipment.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=156911\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Well, thatīs how I mostly use my vest nowadays, so I would probably get away with something with fewer/smaller pockets.

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What size Domke did you purchase? Thanks for tehi hint on nylon too, as I was thinking about going with teh rugged and waterproof nylon types. I think you have convinced me otherwise.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=156911\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Just looked, and to my surprise, it is only L; thought it must be XL or XXL.  If they make XXL size, it must be suitable for a horse....   (edit: written before I saw Ericīs response.  Sorry; certainly meant no offense to anybody....)

I also own a Domke jacket (fewer and smaller pockets, no mesh, detachable arms, all cotton), and that one is marked XL, however.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2007, 10:13:39 AM by Per Ofverbeck » Logged

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Marlyn
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2007, 10:40:30 AM »
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Domke

-or-

Domke

and of course there is Domke !.


I am also 6'3", although the girth is far more sugar generated than exersize !. And I find the Domke just brilliant.  Its fine either over a t-shirt, or over 3 layers and my outdoor Jaket.  I also never fly without it these days.

Where it falls down, is carrying things heavy. I've made the mistake int he past of going for short hikes with just the Vest, and it drags at the shoulders horribly.  My solution for this is I now wear a lightweight belt system WITH suspenders for the heavier items under the vest. Works a treat.  I find the suspenders are mandatory else the belt is either too tight, or just keeps falling down.

I went with Kinesis origionally, but I now prefer the system from Think-Tank photo for the belt with a few pouches, and the camera hanging off the suspender straps, and vest over the top for all the odds and ends.

Not so good for real hikes, but works fine for 'wandering around' and short 1/2 day hikes.

Carrying the tripod I've found to be the main bugbear. Currently trialing just slinging my new Induro on its integral strap over the shoulder.


Regards

Mark.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2007, 12:44:17 PM »
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I have a photo backpack that I hardly use.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Get a military webbing [a href=\"http://www.thearmystore.co.uk/acatalog/WEB-TEX_PLCE_Yoke.html]yoke[/url] (not in camo but 'gulf' brown) attach it to a thin lowe pro belt this takes some self tayloring

(Lowe pro harnesses have belts too bulky)

Add two 80-200 size lens pouches to the side of the belt

These pouches are big enough for flashguns, or 80-200s or any lenses smaller; having one pouch per lense is dumb because there is a lens on the camera most of the time

dont rely on the lowe pro cases velcro flaps - attach the cases to the belt with nylon cable ties (more tayloring - holes)

Wear a (musto) fleece 'gillet' with a some pockets (for notebook flashcards and maybe a 50/14 or 20 2.8 etc) over the top of this

the gilet covers up the commando looking yoke bit

And have a light rucksack (in the car) to chuck the whole rig in and a donke wrap for the camera body

keep some bin bags in the rucksack or one of the pouches for sudden downpours

Those sleveless photo jackets dont hold lenses tight enough  (and look moronic)

Or get a billingham bag

S
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2007, 01:32:31 PM »
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Just looked, and to my surprise, it is only L; thought it must be XL or XXL.  If they make XXL size, it must be suitable for a horse....   (edit: written before I saw Ericīs response.  Sorry; certainly meant no offense to anybody....)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=156966\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
No offense at all, Per. I am more or less of a horse, but I'm trying to lose a bit of the excess weight. I checked the label in my Domke before I made my post and was quite surprised to see that it was indeed XL instead of XXL. It's plenty big enough for me (so far).  
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Hank
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2007, 05:24:01 PM »
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I agree on the quality and fit of the Domke, but in fact I own two.  I'm 6'4" and 220.  For warm weather use I can usually get away fine with the L.  But add layers for cold weather shooting and put the vest over it, and I need that vest to be XXL.  XL might sound like a reasonable compromise, but I find it too lose in hot weather and too tight with extra layers in cold.  This is mostly location shooting rather than outdoor shooting, however.

I've gotta say though, that for active outdoor shooting and hiking, I've given up on vests as well as packs.  Vests are often too hot and cumbersome, while the packs stow everything out of reach, requiring you to dismount the pack any time you make any change in your gear.

We've come to depend on gear belts with pouches for outdoor shooting, and it's even creeping into our commercial use.  You can hang the pouches on the intended belt, or on your pants belt, or on the waist belt of your regular pack or daypack, or even on your camera strap.  And if you want to stow an extra piece of gear or two in your regular pack, the pouches are padded, so there's no worry and no extra hassle.  Handiest darned things in the world.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2007, 05:25:37 PM by Hank » Logged
mikeseb
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2007, 08:37:20 PM »
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I wonder what percentage worldwide of photo-forum threads concern where to store/how to carry all the crap we buy in pursuit of our shared obsession? I've been trying for 35 years and still haven't found "the" one. At last count, I own some nine or ten photo-gear bags or cases. What the hell is wrong with all of us?

I'm 6' and 270, very thick thru the torso (diligent work at both gym and table has left me full figured and well marbled) and I wear an XXL Domke vest. It's a bit too large over just a t-shirt in the summer, but quite right over multiple layers in winter. I echo the opinion that it is really not good for carrying anything heavier than maybe an 80mm Contax lens. Great for batteries, film, cards, filters, WhiBal's, etc. Plus I think in certain circumstances it's helpful to look like a PHOTOGRAPHER, and the Domke vest screams it loudly.

Sam, I like that commando rig. I can just see punching the awl right thru my hand during the modification process, though....
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michael sebastian
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2007, 01:51:20 AM »
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Sam, I like that commando rig. I can just see punching the awl right thru my hand during the modification process, though....
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well that was a very serious post

I have spent a long time doing this and been floored with a bad back which is both painful and loses income

Spending time and getting it right is well worth it  

There isnt actually a lot of tailoring but to attach the belt to the yoke you need some extra straps and bits and bobs

they can all be donored from the full militaty [a href=\"http://www.thearmystore.co.uk/acatalog/WEB-TEX_Full_PLCE_95_Webbing.html]chest harness[/url]

Incedentally I NEVER hang a camera off my neck - with the yoke you attach it to a loop near ones collar bone - you need one of those unclippable straps (optimax? or sopmething)

Nowadays I have suffered kit creep and use TWO billinghams lightly loaded

one on each shoulder

Incedetally for hiking heres a thought.

Use a body and a 50

Use either whole frames or (hand) stitch for wide - very liberating

S
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dwdallam
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2007, 04:05:54 AM »
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I'd really like to see a picture of what you have rigged up here.

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Get a military webbing yoke (not in camo but 'gulf' brown) attach it to a thin lowe pro belt this takes some self tayloring

(Lowe pro harnesses have belts too bulky)

Add two 80-200 size lens pouches to the side of the belt

These pouches are big enough for flashguns, or 80-200s or any lenses smaller; having one pouch per lense is dumb because there is a lens on the camera most of the time

dont rely on the lowe pro cases velcro flaps - attach the cases to the belt with nylon cable ties (more tayloring - holes)

Wear a (musto) fleece 'gillet' with a some pockets (for notebook flashcards and maybe a 50/14 or 20 2.8 etc) over the top of this

the gilet covers up the commando looking yoke bit

And have a light rucksack (in the car) to chuck the whole rig in and a donke wrap for the camera body

keep some bin bags in the rucksack or one of the pouches for sudden downpours

Those sleveless photo jackets dont hold lenses tight enough  (and look moronic)

Or get a billingham bag

S
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=157020\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Hank
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2007, 10:39:07 AM »
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As an alternative, you can simply add wide clip-on suspenders to a gear belt as needed.  I find it handy to be able to remove the suspenders when loads are lighter.  I suffer from nobutt syndrome, and more than a couple of lenses and an accessory pouch on a gear belt requires me to either hold it up with one hand while shooting or bruise my feet when it hits the ground.  Tightening the belt enough to support heavier loads is really confining to movement.  A sewed-on shoulder rig would be cumbersome when not really needed, while the removable suspenders are quite compact while rolled and stowed between uses.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2007, 12:27:57 PM »
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I'd really like to see a picture of what you have rigged up here.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
very similar to [a href=\"http://www.thearmystore.co.uk/acatalog/WEB-TEX_Full_PLCE_95_Webbing.html]this[/url]

But with the mil belt (too heavy and comando looking) repaced for the thin lowepro belt

and the ammo pouches replaced for a couple of lense pouches

the last look I want is 'photo commando'

Not a lot different from the low pro system here

I dont like the lowe pro harness because the belt is too fat round the back IMO esp if you want to drive a car with it on

I cant show my own rig because is it now no longer in used - I have too much gear and use billingham bags (one on each shoulder)

I rekon the lite lowe pro harness is a good start - its just you can customise/play with the ex-mil stuff because used it is really cheap

======

For your amusement here are couple of images.

One I am 'two bagging it' for even weight, the other show a billingham modded with an external lowe pro lense case

and to give a sense of scale that is a 600/4

real geeks will notice a qflash on the blad triggered by the PW over a couple of inches- my lenses are in the second crumpler bag - the reson - I can hand a person the billingham with the quantum pack, reciver and quflash a for instant off camera flash

to split flash from camera is why I dont do body armour any more

S
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 12:44:33 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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macgyver
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2007, 01:03:55 PM »
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Get a chestvest.

www.newswear.com
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dwdallam
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« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2007, 04:25:11 AM »
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NICE!  It looks like a new movie: Full Metal Photojacket WAR!

Quote
very similar to this

But with the mil belt (too heavy and comando looking) repaced for the thin lowepro belt

and the ammo pouches replaced for a couple of lense pouches

the last look I want is 'photo commando'

Not a lot different from the low pro system here

I dont like the lowe pro harness because the belt is too fat round the back IMO esp if you want to drive a car with it on

I cant show my own rig because is it now no longer in used - I have too much gear and use billingham bags (one on each shoulder)

I rekon the lite lowe pro harness is a good start - its just you can customise/play with the ex-mil stuff because used it is really cheap

======

For your amusement here are couple of images.

One I am 'two bagging it' for even weight, the other show a billingham modded with an external lowe pro lense case

and to give a sense of scale that is a 600/4

real geeks will notice a qflash on the blad triggered by the PW over a couple of inches- my lenses are in the second crumpler bag - the reson - I can hand a person the billingham with the quantum pack, reciver and quflash a for instant off camera flash

to split flash from camera is why I dont do body armour any more

S
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=157304\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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dwdallam
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« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2007, 04:35:58 AM »
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I'm wondering how those Chest Vests ride on you? It looks almost like they hit you int eh stomach.


Has anyone used or known anyone who has used this?:
http://www.lowepro.com/Products/Belts_and_...st_Harness.aspx

It looks nice, but it's still "vesty" in a way.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2007, 07:42:12 AM »
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NICE!  It looks like a new movie: Full Metal Photojacket WAR!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=157434\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No

 that mil rig stripped down and worn under a gillet is invisible.

same as newswear under a gillet (with less pouches)

(The news wear site made me think suicide bomber but it looks good with less pouches)

the that lowe pro rig you couldnt wear under a 'gillet'

IMO the lowwe pro harnesses all the belts are too chunky round the back

A gillet or body warmer or whatever your local name for it is hiding the shoulder straps is essential to toning down all of these devices to make you look like a balanced member of society !

S
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John Camp
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« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2007, 11:58:57 PM »
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A couple of serious nature shooters on this forum have mentioned pulling the guts out of a conventional bag and putting them into a serious backpack, and that is probably the best solution for actually hiking around with a big system. Traveling, however, is another problem, because most of the best packs are too big to put in overheads and to insecure (from thieves) to check.

I was in a police equipment store yesterday for non-photo reasons, and found a very interesting selection of gear bags intended for weapons, or for use by medical (trauma) personnel, and some of them would be great for photo gear. I'm thinking about getting one for my next trip -- an inoffensive khaki color, with an internal padded laptop sleeve and a semi-rigid lower box body meant to protect medical equipment. I think it would probably carry two bodies and four lenses. There's also a large top compartment, which would be good for jackets, fleeces, etc., and lots of small pockets for bits and pieces, cells phones and so on. The pack straps were well padded and set up, and it wasn't too big to carry aboard a plane. Not cheap at $240. But I think those stores are resources that should be looked at carefully...

JC
« Last Edit: December 01, 2007, 11:59:58 PM by John Camp » Logged
matt4626
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2007, 11:06:56 AM »
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Another vote for Domke.
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