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Thread started 25 Sep 2011 (Sunday) 01:53
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Carrying gear on shoots, inc weddings

 
Steve ­ of ­ Cornubia
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Sep 25, 2011 01:53 |  #1

I have a massive Lowepro bag that (just) takes all my gear. It's way too big for many shoots though. I can manage with it when I'm doing sports, though moving from location to location can be a pain (repacking) and it can get bloody heavy by the end of the day.

I now want to shoot weddings however, and the bag will be useless. I simply won't have time to dig around in the bag when changing lenses etc. So I'm looking at systems like the Lowepro S&F Belt & Harness set-up, which seems to allow safe and secure carry of two SLRs (one off each shoulder but retained by lapel straps so they don't bash together), plus customisable belt pouches for everything else.

I'd like to hear from other wedding photogs - what do you use? I want to be able to sling two bodies, one with short zoom and one with 70-200mm, but be able to snatch either up quickly.

Advice?


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Jumpcut
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Sep 25, 2011 05:27 |  #2

I am certainly no wedding photographer, but if youre considering belt setups, I strongly recommend the Thinktank line. I have their Skin set on a Bellydance belt/harness and it's awesome. In my opinion Thinktank quality is all over Lowepro.

Thinktank gear is a little hard to come by in Australia. The importer is L&P Photographic at Artarmon. Their prices are very reasonable.

As for carrying bodies, I am a fan of the Blackrapid straps. I dont have two bodies (although I plan to very soon) but I would think their double straps would be good.


Darren

5D III, 7D, 40D, EF-S 18-55 IS, EF-S 55-250 IS, EF 50 II, Tokina 11-16 f2.8, EF-S 17-55 f2.8 IS, EF 24-70 F2.8L II, EF 70-200L f2.8 IS, EF 24-105L f4 IS, 580EXII, Elinchrom Skyports, 2xVivitar 285HV Flashes

  
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Headshotzx
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Sep 25, 2011 06:12 |  #3

I only photographed a few weddings, and I used a Think Tank Skin Belt + 2 x Skin 50 + Whip It Out + Lightning fast without the cushion. If that's still too large for you, you should think about something like a Shootsac, or a Think Tank Retrospective Lens Carrier series option.


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Joris
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Sep 25, 2011 06:44 as a reply to  @ Headshotzx's post |  #4

I've used the latest version of Lowepro's Street & Field system quite extensively (including two 10 + hour days) and I can highly recommend it :).

I have the Technical Vest, the Deluxe Technical Belt, the Utility Bag 100 AW, the Audio Utility Bag 100, the Transport Duffle Backpack, the Bottle Pouch, the Memory Wallet and the Phone Case 20.

http://www.lowepro.com​/sfseries (external link)




  
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bohdank
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Sep 25, 2011 10:19 |  #5

I don't shoot weddings but when I need both cameras (events/concerts) I use the Thinktank harness/belt system. One camera cross shouldered on an Optech strap, the other clipped to the harness. Works great.


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ben_r_
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Sep 25, 2011 10:37 |  #6

Huh, Ive shot a few over the years and never really needed anything but the two camera bodies both hanging off my neck/shoulder on opposite sides, one with a wide zoom and one with telephoto zoom and a flash bracket and flash for the wide zoom setup. I usually leave the flash and flash bracket along with batteries memory cards, water bottle, etc in my backpack in one of the audience seats where I can keep an eye on it and then I go. I carry in my pockets batteries and memory cards too.


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ben_r_
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Sep 25, 2011 10:40 |  #7

Joris wrote in post #13159287 (external link)
I've used the latest version of Lowepro's Street & Field system quite extensively (including two 10 + hour days) and I can highly recommend it :).

I have the Technical Vest, the Deluxe Technical Belt, the Utility Bag 100 AW, the Audio Utility Bag 100, the Transport Duffle Backpack, the Bottle Pouch, the Memory Wallet and the Phone Case 20.

http://www.lowepro.com​/sfseries (external link)

Oh man! That video kills me! I love how they dont bother putting the rear lens cap on after they jam their lens into that case to make it look like their system is even faster. I love the idea of the system, hate the vest, but I would never leave my lenses hanging around like that uncovered.


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bohdank
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Sep 25, 2011 10:41 |  #8

It really depends on the individual. I select 4 lenses, based on the shoot. I need a way to store 4 lenses, hence the harness/belt.

If you only bring 2 lenses with you, then, yes, you don't need anything as involved, nor even, a bag.


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Joris
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Sep 25, 2011 10:42 as a reply to  @ ben_r_'s post |  #9

Ben, just out of curiosity, what makes you hate the vest :) ? I really like the press credentials/ID holder, the stuff where you could run cables through (i.e. cable management), the internal pockets, the small space at the back, the heavy duty zipper,...:)




  
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ben_r_
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Sep 25, 2011 10:51 |  #10

Joris wrote in post #13159892 (external link)
Ben, just out of curiosity, what makes you hate the vest :) ? I really the press credentials/ID holder, the stuff where you could run cables through (i.e. cable management), the internal pockets, the small space at the back, the heavy duty zipper,...:)

Mostly the same issue I have with systems like the Cotton Carrier and believe me Im not alone, I know several local photographers who have gone these routes and felt the same. I have two issues with them, one being that as I stated in my previous post I have never need that much stuff hanging on me to shoot any event. I try to go as compact and light as possible, which is hard enough as it is with the camera/lens setups weighing so much to begin with. Not only that the more stuff you have on you the slower you move and sometimes it also becomes more difficult to move through crowds if you have to. The other reason I dont like them, more so in the case of the Cotton Carrier, is because I think they look ridiculously nerdy and funny to wear. I have been around wedding photographers most of my life. Ive seen MANY weddings shot and a majority never needed a crazy looking vest system. The other issue I have as far as looks goes is that I feel the more nerdy the photographers get up is, especially at weddings, the more attention he/she grabs from the crowd. You just look weird! People wanna look. When I photograph pretty much anything I like to blend in and have no one notice Im there at all. I want people looking and enjoying the day Im trying to capture and record, not staring at my silly outfit. Now, maybe Im being too harsh, but as I said Im not alone in this feeling about vest systems for event photography.


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bohdank
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Sep 25, 2011 10:55 |  #11

Valid reasons, imo.

If you shoot with 2 lenses, no need for a vest. If you need more (can't be guaranteed as far as lighting or vantage point) then a solution is in order. The harness/belt is the most logical one, imo. Nerdiness.... the price you sometimes have to pay to get the best shots.


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ben_r_
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Sep 25, 2011 10:58 |  #12

bohdank wrote in post #13159950 (external link)
Valid reasons, imo.

If you shoot with 2 lenses, no need for a vest. If you need more (can't be guaranteed as far as lighting or vantage point) then a solution is in order. The harness/belt is the most logical one, imo. Nerdiness.... the price you sometimes have to pay to get the best shots.

Yes. First of all NO ONE should be shooting weddings without two bodies and two different focal length lenses AT THE LEAST IMO. So thats a given. That being said, I dont feel that a belt system by itself would be nearly as bad. Though I still have never felt I needed anything more than what I already carry and therefore dont know what Id put in it, I still think that option is much better than a vest setup.


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bohdank
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Sep 25, 2011 11:04 |  #13

I quickly eliminated a vest in my decision. What if I needed to store my 70-200 which has happened more than once.


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ben_r_
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Sep 25, 2011 11:10 |  #14

bohdank wrote in post #13159986 (external link)
I quickly eliminated a vest in my decision. What if I needed to store my 70-200 which has happened more than once.

Store? How do you mean? They way I shoot a wedding is with two bodies, (over the years it has been a crop body with a 17-55 and a full frame with a 70-200 2.8 IS, or two full frames one with the 70-200 2.8 IS and the other with a 24-70) both hung over one arm and neck on either side using Op/Tech neoprene neck straps and longer than normal connector ends. I never put away either of the cameras or lenses until maybe the reception at which time I sometimes switch to the body with the wide angle zoom and a flash bracket with flash if and only if the venue is dimly lit. If its not, I stick to the same two body setup I shot the rest of the wedding with.


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Wilt
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Sep 25, 2011 11:35 |  #15

My own approach for weddings (with a medium format film camera) was to put all of my excess gear into a semi-rigid sided, divided hard case, and take only the equipment which I needed to have immediately at hand in a much smaller shoulder bag. If I needed something out of the hardcase, it was not too far away, locked and 'chained' to something fixed, located at the DJ station for some increased degree of loss prevention.


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Carrying gear on shoots, inc weddings
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