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FORUMS General Gear Talk Camera Bags, Backpacks & Cases 
Thread started 31 Mar 2017 (Friday) 18:47
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Photography vests suggestions

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Mar 31, 2017 18:47 |  #1

So I was wondering if anyone here makes use of a photography vest and if so what you've found works for you; and what doesn't work. What you'd change or have added or taken away and anything that comes to mind when using one.

I came across "the vest guy"'s website years ago and ever since I've been interested in getting hold of a vest to help carry gear whilst having weight distributed nicely around me and also having fast access without having to fuss with a bag all the time.

I'm aware that they've got a range of various default options as well as a lot of customising, hence why I'm eager to hear peoples thoughts on vests.

I've already had a few thoughts including

1) How practical chest pockets are when shooting as keeping the arms close to the body suggests that bulky chest pockets could get in the way and become an annoyance; even more so if loaded with items which are not flat/smooth.

2) How viable the bladder packs are inside the back of the vests since if one puts any bag or item on ones back that would in turn put pressure on the bladder; or cause it to shift around (or the item on your bag). So how practical is it having a water bladder there compared to, say a bottle in a pocket.

3) I saw this video years back -​m/watch?v=H7LP9UCK8nk (external link)
And the rear pocket for a longer/heavier lens was interesting. I note that I don't see it appearing often (if at all) in latter vests and videos and even in that demo video it seems to flop around a fair bit (and might be a problem with my second point above). However I wonderif such a system could be revisited. To me its a boon to have the option to sling a heavier lens out of the way; incase one shifts to a shorter lens for the rest of a shoot or wants to have both arms free instead of having to always steady a camera at the hip with one on the clips.

4) It's neat seeing the front pockets holding bigger gear including up to 70-200mm/100-400mm lenses but, again, I'm left wondering how practical that is to have such big pockets and weight on the front.

As I said I'd welcome any views and thoughts on this matter; even from regular vests not made by the afore mentioned company.

Tools of the trade: Canon 400D, Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2, Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS, Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro, Tamron 24-70mm f2.4, Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6, Raynox DCR 250, loads of teleconverters and a flashy thingy too
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Apr 01, 2017 00:03 |  #2

I'm not a big fan of having a lot of crap in pockets. I do however have a vest I like from Bass Pro: …for-Men/product/10205656/ (external link)

Cell phone, lens caps and memory cards is about all I need it for. It does have a big zipper pocket in the back but if I'm where I need that I use my backpack.

I'm a big guy, I don't need added bulk.

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Apr 01, 2017 02:53 |  #3

Aye I can appreciate that lots in pockets can be a pain; for me its about having something that allows access whilst remaining mobile and not having to lift a bag on and off all the time. I'm not opposed to that but I've been enough places that sometimes that whole back swapping thing gets a little annoying.

Tools of the trade: Canon 400D, Canon 7D, Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L M2, Sigma 120-300mm f2.8 OS, Canon MPE 65mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro, Tamron 24-70mm f2.4, Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 8-16mm f4.5-5.6, Raynox DCR 250, loads of teleconverters and a flashy thingy too
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Joined Nov 2008
Location: Gainesville, GA
Apr 10, 2017 11:15 |  #4

I have a Domke vest that I use, and I quite like it. I don't think Domke even offers the vest anymore however. There are others available obviously. The pockets do not get in my way, and I use the chest pockets for temporarily holding things like a bulb blower and lens cloths. I use the larger pockets differently depending on what I'm shooting. If I'm at the lake in a situation where I might be using GND's I use one of the larger pockets to hold my pouch of filters just to keep from having to take it in and out of the bag when I'm changing them. I use the other one to temporarily store the filter holder (perhaps with a filter in them) while I'm changing lenses. At a waterfall on the other hand, particularly if I've had to use a backpack and hike a distance into them, I will use the larger pockets to store lenses while I'm shooting (it's hard to deal with a backpack while standing in the middle of a stream.

In short, you could say I use one while shooting, but only for temporary storage. When I'm finished at a location everything goes back in the bag for transport.

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Post edited over 1 year ago by rgs.
Apr 20, 2017 22:06 |  #5

I have long ago given up on vests. Too hot and I don't need to carry nearly as much as I did when using film and primes. Now I use a simple tool belt (a cheap one with no pockets - $10) and hang a few pouches from it. I got mine from Lowes - I don't know what is comparable in the UK. I prefer Zing pouches. It's all pretty inexpensive, comfortable to wear, and customizable as needed. Check your local home repair or hardware store. The Zing pouches are from B&H.

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Apr 20, 2017 23:31 |  #6

Looking for a recommendation on Waist Pack type bag

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Location: PEI, Canada
Apr 21, 2017 11:52 |  #7

A vest alone seems like a poor choice in most cases to me, as lenses and such are just too large and bulky to comfortably carry in pockets much above the hips I find.

A light vest, possibly with D-rings for camera attachment points, and a light belt/pouch attachment system is however a far superior option to a vest-alone setup.

As far as water bladder setups go, I find that they can be hit and miss when carrying a pack over them. I haven't really used my camelbak in ages now, but the valve on it did mostly okay with a light pack over it, or even a fairly heavy day pack if I remembered to take care in how things were carried. Quickly throwing it over your shoulder quickly and letting it slam into your back 'did not go over well', and tended to turn the mouth piece into a sort of weird squirt gun. But I found that if I blew into the tube it would hold the seal fairly well against general pressure put on the pack. (The mouth piece I had was a bite style rather than just a straw like thing on some water bottles. Squeeze it with your lips to open the valve, and then suck. Pressure from inside would tend to push the valve faces tighter together before actually letting water pass.)

Strongly suggest testing a similar weight you are considering carrying over the bladder when you don't have any delicate electronics near by before putting too much faith in it.

Also, blowing the water back out of the tube and into the main pack helps to keep that first sip feeling cool, rather than letting it sit in the tube where it can warm more easily. Assuming you have an insulated bladder carrier at least.

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Apr 21, 2017 11:55 |  #8

I've got one for sale. …showthread.php?​p=18195458

Apparently not a hot seller. -?

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Apr 21, 2017 13:35 |  #9

I like the VestGuy's vest, although the pockets are larger than what I need. But they look big enough to hold lenses and camera bodies, if that's what you need to carry.
Don't know if the large pockets would get in the way of shooting, it's hard to tell without actually wearing it.

For myself I use a combination of the Cotton Carrier and Tamrac 153 World Correspondent's Vest. I wear the CC under the vest and that combo works very well.
The CC holds my camera/300 f2.8 lens. It's also very handy for smaller lenses, too. If you view CC's video, the camera/lens is rotated 90 degrees every time the camera is inserted/removed from the CC. But I mounted the hub 90 degrees off, so the camera can be inserted/removed in a straight up/down motion, like a gun in a holster. Makes it easier to use. For safety I use a tether.

With the Tamrac vest I carry the following: 1.4x and 2x extenders, ND filter, smaller blower/brush, lens caps, lens cloth, smartphone, and G16 pocket camera. It's a great vest and has about 14 pockets...more than I need!

I also wear pants that have cargo pockets, to carry sunscreen lotion and a small water bottle. I'm a big fan of cargo pants.

My CC harness...
https://www.cottoncarr​ …roducts/ccs-camera-vest-1 (external link)

This CC harness carries two cameras...
https://www.cottoncarr​ …roducts/ccs-camera-vest-2 (external link)

My vest that I use over the CC (although the vest is out of production).​m/tr153bm.html?discont​inued=t (external link)

I'm curious as to the gear you plan to carry in your vest?

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Photography vests suggestions
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