Photo vest

retreadretread Posts: 574Member
I have always thought I would like a photographers vest for carrying things. Seldom see one in a shop. I just visited a shop for the first time and found two of them. I am using a belt system (Think Tank) and not room for much more on it with out adding a harness. Not sure I want to do that. I would like to try a vest to carry smaller things and have just the camera bodies with lenses attached on the belt or at times just the belt or the vest alone as needed.

Any thoughts on what to look for in a good vest or who makes them is appreciated.

Comments

  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    I use a Billingham Photovest for travel. An assortment of eight or nine lenses plus all your little stuff will fit in it. Heck, my D800 and MB-D12 even fits in the side pocket. I think that it is one of the best investments that I have ever made.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,481Moderator
    @WestEndFoto: Wow, that must be quite a vest to carry that much gear! I wonder about security - is it not pretty apparent that you have a lot of expensive stuff on you?
    Always learning.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    edited April 2016
    Yes, but it is zippered. And it comes with two important accessories. The first is an RRS tripod with a BH-55 ballhead on one end and crenelated metal feet on the other end and HAS been used for more than taking pictures. The other is the owner, who is fit with 140km of cycling and 30 km of walking each week (but despite all that a little pudgy), a "little" more muscular than average, spent his childhood sparring with his Navy Seal uncle at the cost of two broken noses, a broken finger and a broken arm, has survived a grizzly bear attack by keeping his head, has keen situational awareness, is incredibly paranoid, researches combat zones (any tourist destination) in detail before entering, is not particularly stressed about spending a night in jail and is not reluctant to swing first and ask questions later.

    And my Chubb insurance policy covers all of this with a $10,000 deductible, as I don't consider a smaller amount worth paying for insurance for.

    Get the picture?
    Post edited by WestEndFoto on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    Actually, most people won't fill it up as much as I did. Then it looks like a guy with a camera who happens to be wearing a vest. That is probably better than a camera bag or bags on belts.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,415Member
    I have an old one I bought more than 30 years ago from Leonard Lee Rue. Very durable, very large pockets (larger than the Billingham), padded shoulders for carrying a big telephoto lens mounted on a professional body attached to a heavy tripod resting over your shoulder as you walk through the woods. By far the best real photo vest I have ever seen. Pockets designed to take professional lenses and F4 or D4 size bodies. Also, ugly as sin! More secure and balanced on your body as you jump boulders in a stream than the same gear swing from a bag throwing your balance off. Better than a backpack because you can reach the 4 big pockets on front and don't have to take a backpack off the get to a lens you want to use. The padded shoulders are great for resting your heavy tripod/camera/lens on so you can walk without pain. But you really don't want to be seen in public wearing that thing! The pockets are just too big, you look like a fool. Usability and style just don't go together in a photo vest which can hold a professional body and pro lenses. I have bought a number of photo vests over the years and the pockets are all too small. If you shoot with Nikon 1 system with those tiny telephoto lenses, you could use a "normal" photo vest and wouldn't look so out of place. I am hoping the D500 will allow for great image quality at high ISO with smaller and lighter lenses because it also offers more reach. For example, the great 70-200 f4 becomes a 100-300 and f4 may be ok if you can shoot at one stop higher ISO. We will see.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,481Moderator
    @donaldejose: "For example, the great 70-200 f4 becomes a 100-300 and f4 may be ok if you can shoot at one stop higher ISO. We will see."

    Works for me with the D7100 in fair to good light so the D500 should be great.
    Always learning.
  • retreadretread Posts: 574Member
    The shop I was in had a Tamrac vest but there are non on their website. The second one was a lowel pro I think nut not sure. They had billingham bags but I did not see a vest. I found the LLrue website but no vests I could find. Thanks
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    I bought my vest at B&H and Adorama likely has it. Billingham also has a website.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    I have been looking for the right vest for some time now, but can't find the Billinggam in my size... It looks like they are only making S and M.

    If there was one I could fit on the outside of a normal shell jacket, that would be interesting, as I have a variety of jackets due to our changing weather here in Grl.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    Did you try the Billingham website? You will be XL.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    I did, and even they do not have any L or XL. I did find www.thevestguy.com though, and they look sweet - especially "the Alaska Photo Vest".
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    edited April 2016
    I got a XXL Domke, I used it a lot before I started using a belt from Thinktank. It got me away from using camera shoulder bags. I prefer the larger size because when it loaded with gear smaller vests seem to hang wrong. It's best used for smaller WA lenses to short teli's. I put most of the lens in the inside pockets and filter, flashes and other accessories in the front pockets. Outside back pockets are for water bottles and lunch.

    I'm 6' 1" 200lbs and normally wear a L - XL depending on brand.

    Good luck with your search,

    framer
    Post edited by framer on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    Killerbob said:

    I did, and even they do not have any L or XL. I did find www.thevestguy.com though, and they look sweet - especially "the Alaska Photo Vest".

    That looks like a good vest. Lots of other good things on the site too, even photography stuff items that are not vests.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,415Member
    I think Leonard Lee Rue is dead by now. He was an old man 30 years ago. I don't think the vest he designed ever sold well because it was so ugly: very functional but also very ugly. No one would want to wear it anywhere other than where no one else can see you out in the wild. The Leonard Lee Rue vest is the tan one in front in this photo. http://billfortney.com/?p=3850 It even has a built in camera strap for when you want to take your camera off a tripod. You can leave your big telephoto mounted on the tripod and attach the body with a different lens to your vest. The closest you can get to one like it today is probably this one, if you can still find it. http://www.vestedinterest.com/khumbu.htm
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,415Member
    Leonard Lee Rue is likely dead. He was old 30 years ago. His vest is the first one in this picture. It has an attached camera strap. http://billfortney.com/?p=3850
  • retreadretread Posts: 574Member
    I have been looking at vests from the vest guy. I like that I can get them in camo. Wildlife is my primary reason for wanting one. I need to find out if the MOLLE system will work with my think tank pouches or the holster. Lowepro makes a lens changing bag I would like they call MOLLE compatible so will do some measuring when I get a chance.

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    I have a DOMKE PhoTOGS vest, this holds even a camera body in several of the pockets. I suspect there are others which do the same thing, but I have been very satisfied if I want to carry a couple lenses along with a spare body.
    Msmoto, mod
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    Msmoto said:

    I have a DOMKE PhoTOGS vest, this holds even a camera body in several of the pockets. I suspect there are others which do the same thing, but I have been very satisfied if I want to carry a couple lenses along with a spare body.

    Bottom line is you can load it up and walk all day, access to all your gear and not get tired. Most comfortable of any solution I've used.

    Sitting in a car or bus or train in many cases is not usable without taking it off.

    framer
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    FWIW I just went on Ebay and searched "Domke vest XL and came up with several. I also found a Domke XL jacket that was so cool I bought it.

    There is still an XL vest in nice looking shape for $29.95 buy it now price.

    framer
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,398Moderator
    Mine is at least 10-15 years old I am guessing...and for sure, when loaded, "standing room only"
    Msmoto, mod
  • framerframer Posts: 491Member
    I just got that domke jacket. It was as new B) . $59.00 including shipping. I really like it. Well, thanks to this thread or I would have never found it.

    framer
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