Anyone using Photography vests/jackets

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by snkenai, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    Something to carry an extra lens, filters, flash, batteries, etc., so as to have hands free, and no bag swinging around. I want to combine a little creek/river fishing and photography this summer (when it gets here :smile:), and intend going light. I use to do something like this years ago, when out in the Alaskan bush. There are many variations. Share yours.
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  2. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    I have a think tank speed belt. Love the modular nature of it. packing really light? Just the belt with a holster. Real heavy with lenses, a light or two, plus some gaff, pins, clamps, batteries and filters? Add the double wide (I call it the junk bag) with the harness to take the weight off. Packing somewhere in between? The speed belt cross strap. You can add to the belt from nothing but a clip to hold your camera to it ready to shoot, to all the packs and holsters you can fit around your waist, and harness. great for hiking.
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  3. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Real Name:
    I've never understood why, but photo vests used to be incredibly heavy and hot. They still were the last I checked (perhaps last 2-3 years). As my memory suggests they weigh more than my MFT gear. Instead I wear a military issue BDU Woodland Camo Camouflage or DCU Tricolor Desert Shirt / Jacket with patches removed. Their side cargo pockets are roomy enough to "hold" my GH2 w/ 14-140 lens mounted. The BDU cargo pockets have gussets at front and back. The DCU only a gusset at back of pocket, so it is smaller. You could investigate tactical or hunting vests but again, I believe they are heavy too.

    Additionally, when shooting I wear semi-dress/casual 5.11 Tactical Flex-Tac STRYKE pants with 12 pockets and hidden knee pads. Inside the ample cargo pockets are two, narrow + deep, magazine pockets. I occasionally shoot in abandoned building, so utilize the magazine pockets for numerous LED flashlights. I've never use back pockets in pants, so conveniently there are pockets flanking the pant's front panel which facilitate an iPhone and a slim wallet. Here is a insightful review of the pants, since 5.11 fails to talk up the points points. Below reader comments is a fairly complete diagram of the pants' features.#3 actually points to traditional front panel pocks on dressier pants. below the numeral are slits. Those are the phone/ slim wallet pockets.

    I prefer not having a bag so I carry one or two additional lenses on my belt in Martin pouches. The are cheap and hold up for perhaps 2 years before requiring replacement. I've tried heavier, brand name ones, but went back to Martin for durability and better fitting sizes. The medium size accommodates 7-14 or 14-140 lenses. The belt loop on the small is materially adequate, but stitched too narrow to use. I remove some stitching to accommodate a wider belt.

    Good luck finding what is right for you.

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  4. ThomD

    ThomD Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    I'll have to admint, I've thought about using some sort of tactical gear because I love lots of pockets.

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  5. Whtrbt7

    Whtrbt7 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 7, 2014
    I'm a harness user and I also use ScottEVest gear too. Since it's all modular ill map out what I use when. For the harness, I use a ThinkTank Steroid belt with the speed harness with 2 spider pro holsters which can hold 2 pro DSLR bodies, 3 full size flashes with wireless triggers in a ThinkTank Skin body bag, 5 large lenses in 2 more skin body bags all separated and padded, 2 extra batteries, business cards, about 8 extra compact flash cards, and an ID badge. That's a LOT of gear but sometimes that's what the job calls for. Now that I've switched to m43, I can carry all of the equivalent gear in 1 less body bag and it pretty much has less than half the weight of the FF DSLR kit. For lightweight, I use a ThinkTank Mirrorless mover 30i on a ThinkTank skin belt (less back support) with a spider pro holster to bring 1 E-M1 body, about 4 lenses, iPad Air, a flash, 2 extra batteries, 8 SD cards, business cards, iPhone, and ID badge. Keep in mind that if it rains all of these have rain covers built into the bags/pouches so everything stays dry.
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  6. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Real Name:
    I used one... in 1983.
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  7. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I'm sure these things are uber practical, but I can't get over the geek image they present.
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  8. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Ditto. I also use MFT because it's such a compact system and fits I a small bag. The one 'on the body' accessory I have and use when hiking is the peak design capture. Works great it settings where I want to keep hands free, not have dangling things but have rapid access to the camera. Otherwise it goes in a bag. Partly because I want to stand out less, not more.
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  9. Ares

    Ares Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 13, 2013
    X2 I usually chuck a prime in my pocket with camera+zoom on wrist or neck and I'm good to go. Best thing about m43 is how compact it is.
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  10. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Real Name:
    For bag-less shooting, I often use a Spider or TT Holster on the Spider belt. I also have a Columbia fishing vest, which is much smaller than a photog's vest, but can hold smaller m43 lenses (not the 12-40 or 35-100) and accessories.
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  11. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Real Name:
    I have a Domke Photogs jacket that zips to a vest. Ver nice, but to In warm weather. I do wish there was a light weight option for warmer weather.
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  12. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I own a vest, but used it for travel to Guatemala. The pockets gave me lots of storage and made it difficult for pickpockets to get to my cash, etc. I don't use it much for photography, largely because my daughters think it looks "weird". :biggrin: :rolleyes:
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  13. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Totally geeky, I know, but I picked this up at an antique shop (it's not an antique BTW) for $36, it looks practically new and never used for fishing anyway. I will feel stupid wearing probably, but it will come in handy for shooting at track days, hill climbs and other motorsports or automotive events. The cool thing is that I wont need a bag at all even carrying 2 bodies and several lenses plus my lunch, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, etc. In reality, convenience trumps elegance and at my age, it matters very little what I wear to events like that LOL!

    I just tried it and the EP5/17f1.8 fits in one of the bottom front pockets, and the GX7 in the other pocket (probably with a lens). The PL25 f1.4 fits it the left front breast pocket and I bet the rear pockets can handle the telephoto lenses... There are still a ton of storage pockets leftover as well LOL!


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  14. Trinurse

    Trinurse Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    Since I retired in July, I've been using my old Tac vest and I love it. I can carry all of lenses, my E-Pl2 and E-M5, camelback with water, a couple of protein bars, my poncho and a small survival kit very comfortably. It takes the place of a backpack very nicely as it is far faster and more efficient and faster than a backpack and a good bit more comfortable even when it it very hot and humid. All I have to do is throw my tripod over my shoulder and I can hit the trail for hours in comfort.
    Interestingly, alot of my military gear lends itself to (outdoor) photography very nicely: my boots, BDU tops or bottoms (not both at the same time - I'm not THAT geeky), headlamp, poncho, survival kit, my rucks, etc.
    If it ever got to the point that I was worried about what people thought of me (which I don't - I couldn't care less) or if I were to start to try to make money at photography I would switch everything to black so the gear would be more nondescript.


    Attached Files:

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  15. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Real Name:

    Oh my, the medic vest with all those lowepro danglers hanging off it has to be the geekiest thing I've ever seen.
    Do you ever find that other people around you with cameras watch you intently to see what you're heading towards in case it might be a photo opportunity? That happens often at our Zoo. There's always one or two guys with this sort of outfit (one walks with a 4x5 Wista Field camera on a tripod too) and It's really funny to see all the mommies and daddies dragging their kids behind him as if he's the photographer equivalent of the pied piper.

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  16. Trinurse

    Trinurse Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    I normally only shoot landscapes so I'm usually on the trail when I'm wearing this rig. When I do bump into other people in the woods they normally give me a funny look and a wide berth which actually works out quite well with me.
    If I wore this out in a public place somewhere I would expect to have the police called out on me - which is fine as I have nothing to hide.
  17. ThomD

    ThomD Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    I like that tac vest rig better then the one I posted a picture of. Looks like a more open design, so it should be cool. Who makes it?
  18. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Unless one is working in cool/cold climates, the Tac or mesh gear looks like the way to go. On any given outing, I rarely take more than two lenses in addition to the one already on the camera. That along with an extra battery or two, an extra memory card or two, and a lens cloth is all I need for almost anything. Any of the solutions pictured so far can hadle all that and more quite easily. This is a great string.
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  19. Trinurse

    Trinurse Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 26, 2011
    The tag is worn off but I believe it is Tactical tailor. If you google tac vest or Tac rig you'll get literally hundreds of vendors. For our (photography) purposes any company will be fine especially the cheaper Chinese knockoffs. They are strong enough for photography use and not in the hundreds or dollars that an operator needs in durability.The harder part is actually selecting the pouches as most are not lined and can scratch the plastic coatings of lenses. That is the reason I went with the Lowepro cases and the fact that they open out - away from the wearer so the inside is easier to see.
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