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Discussion in 'Other Cool Gear, Camera Bags, Camera Straps' started by Gilles, Nov 5, 2005.
I was wondering if that combination would be better than a backpack to hike on long trails?
I doubt it would be as effective as a pack on LONG walks. I believe it is intended for quick change in fast action such as sports. There is another brand that is very good too. Thinktankphoto.com has a speedbelt with a shoulder harness system.
Thank you Dave for your advice, i was thinking of getting one of those when i want to go light with minimum of equipment (2 lenses) and specially to use in hot weather.
"and specially to use in hot weather."
In that case something tells me you got plenty of time to think about it :^)
I have had the Lowepro Vest and Belt combo, and I found that the belt was not tremendously comfortable. So, I went to Kinesis Gear, bought their belt and added a couple of connectors so it would hook up with the LowePro vest. I really like this combo, much better than any of the backpacks I have tried. For things that I need, or want, quick access to, they go on the belt or vest near the front, I can then hang everything else as needed. This combo really distributes the weight very well across the shoulders and hips. I have looked at the Think Tank Photo stuff and it looks great as well.
Bill, what was it that you did not like with the Lowepro belt compare to the Kinesis?
Sorry, I should have noted that up front. I found the LowePro belt to be a bit stiffer, the Kinesis belt molds better for me. This is one of the things they pointed out as well when I spoke with them. One of the very nice things about Kinesis is that you can call and get a lot of info prior to purchase. Now, to be fair, I don't think there is anything "wrong" with the LowePro belt, it just did not feel as comfortable on me as did the Kinesis, and this could simply be a "body build" issue as much as the belt. I do think, however, that there is a "build" difference within the belt itself as I find the Kinesis to be, as noted above, more flexible. The good thing about Lowe is that you can usually find it at a store somewhere to look.
Hope this helps.
LowePro S&F Modular Belt System
I've been using the LowePro belt system now for a couple of years and I am very pleased. IMHO it is far superior to a vest or backpack unless you are simply moving your kit from point A to point B. (EX: parking lot to camp site.) A modular belt system allows you to walk and change lenses, swap CF cards, try fill flash or a different filter, all without stopping. With a backback you must stop, take it off, set it down on potentially wet or muddy ground, un-zip it, get what you want, re-zip it, pick it up, (wipe it off?) and put it back on again.
A belt system balances your load more evenly around your body, provides access to everything and keeps it at your finger tips. Because they are modular you buy exactly the pieces you need to house your kit.
I can carry comfortably for long periods a D2X and; 70-200, 28-70, 17-35, (all with hoods) SB-800, water bottle or two, cell phone, CF cards, and 2 pouches with various accessories like filters, batteries, etc.
I really like the selection of pouches and cases available from LowePro in their S&F system. The quality is excellent and customer service is outstanding. They offer several different sizes of belts and shoulder harnesses. They also have light weight belts that don't need the shoulder harness if you don't carry all the big glass.
Another benefit, you can remove the lens cases and pouches from the belt and use them to pack your kit in a backpack when this -is- the better option. Simply leave the lens in their cases and put them in a generic backpack. Now you have the best of both worlds - and you are stealth - no one knows your pack is full of camera gear (except the TSA agent at the x-ray machince).
I hope my enthusiasm is coming through, I can't recommend it highly enough. I concidered a few other brands of modular belts and settled on LowePro for a few reasons; selection/variety of accessories, quality, and availability/lower price. And after buying it I found it to be very comfortable and durable. You may pick another brand but believe me, the modular belt systems are much better for a photog on the move than any backpack or vest.
I wholeheartedly agree with everything that JB has said, including selection. What is really nice is that if you are just a little bit careful, other manufacturers gear works on the system as well. For example, my belt is Kinesis, my vest is Lowe-Pro, I have pouches and such from both Lowe and Tamrac.
I really have to give credit to Ron Resnick, who I saw using such a system a couple of years ago on a workshop I attended. What was most impressive was that on his frame, for those of you who have not met him he is not an NBA monster :smile: , I swear he had about 300lbs of "stuff" hanging off of him. OK, not that much, but I believe there was a 300 f2.8 and a 500 f4 hanging around, plus smaller bits.
Thank you for all your informative replies. I already bought some Lowepro lens cases to tie to the outside of the backpack not to open it all the time. Also got the D-res PDA case which permit to carry spare memory cards, an extra battery and the remote cord. I also removed the Nikon camera strap and would like to replace it with a strap that could be removed easily (made in two parts that can be hooked when i need it). What small Lowepro bag would you recommend to carry the camera (D2X) between places so it's protected from dust and bump?
I use the LowePro neck strap on my bodies. Solid black, no "steal me" logos on it. A soft, padded, somewhat stretchy material so it is comfortable to wear for long periods. It has hooks so you can quickly and easily remove it from your camera, and the hooks swivel so it never gets twisted. A step up from the Nikon strap in many ways.
Regarding the D2~ case, again I'm using LowePro. For the body only they have a S&F pouch with flap that is perfectly sized for D2~ bodies, lightly padded, inside its about 7" by 7".
BTW - I'm just a satisfied customer. I don't work for LowePro. :smile:
Oh, yeah, what a shill, I hope you get stuff for free, just send them THESE bits, binkie....:biggrin: :biggrin:
I, like many, choose not to use the Nikon strap. I figure a pristine strap will add at least .35 to the value when I sell the camera, plus I don't find them to be all that comfortable. I use the Optech Pro straps, which have quick release buckles on them. There are only two things that I would change on these, I would like the buckle to be closer to the camera, more of the adjustment on the "shoulder" part, and I would also like a more positive locking mechanism on the buckles. Never had one come apart unexpectedly, but I am just paranoid by nature.
In truth, I think that the Lowe is much like the Optech in the cushioning on the shoulder, which I find not only more comfy than the Nikon but more secure as well.
ok now you guys got me wanting one of these systems :^) It is confusing to me tho looking thru all that they have trying to figure it out. I will wait till more is posted here to see what works for the type of equipment I carry. I dont always carry everything but sometimes I do and any system is taxed at that. They have a harness system then the vest harness for heavier loads. Sure wish I had a dealer nearby that I could carry my gear to and play for a while.
Dave your're right, you have to try it to see if it fit your need and your style of taking pictures.
I got the Vest Harness and the Deluxe Belt last friday and try it saturday and I find that the load is perfectly balance. One thing i always do is carry my camera on tripod and put it on the shoulder when i walk and find that the shoulder pad did'nt slip, the pad of the vest are a little wider that the one on my Photo Trekker backpack. I orderer a Specialist 85 AW to put on the belt but I have not received it to try it out.
Thanks for the update. I am strongly considering this stuff too. Just wish I could find a local dealer with good inventory so I could take my gear there and try it.
I carry the camera this way too, in fact it's my preferred way of carrying it. Tip: go to Lowe's and in the plumbing section you can buy a piece of foam-rubber pipe insulation for $5 that can be used to create padded leg-wraps for your tripod. Makes carrying a heavy load over the shoulder much more comfortable.
I have a question about these harness systems for you guys that are using them. Right now, I just use the Kinesis Heavy Duty belt, with the multi-lens pouch + large lens pouch attached in back. The nice thing about this setup is not only is the weight distibuted on my hips, but the gear is out of the way until I need it. When I need to get into the pouches I can just spin the belt around so that the pouches are in front; and then spin them back around when I'm through so they're out of the way.
With a harness, the belt is now in a fixed position correct? So I wouldn't be able to spin the belt around to access the pouches? That seems like a disadvantage to me because now I've lost the quick access that to me is the whole advantage of a belt system over a backpack. Are you guys just wearing the belt with the puouches in front full-time? I tried that briefly but didn't think it was as comfortable when hiking as with the pouches in back.
Gilles & All,
I have been struggling with this same issue for many months, and my problem only got worse when I got a 2nd D2H. I shoot in two basic situations. The first is not really a problem, and that is when you drive around from point-to-point (such as at Viera Wetlands or the Sanibel NWR), and shoot from just outside your vehicle. That is no real problem whatever your belt / backpack configuration may be. I have found though, that even in this situation, you can 'drift' away from your vehicle by several hundred feet, and when you run out of space on a memory card, want to change TC's, or want something to drink, it's nice to have a belt (the heavy-duty Lowepro for me) with these accessories. I also carry a Leatherman compact tool, chapstick, spare flash batteries, and a small spray bottle of Off insect repellent in small pouches on the belt.
My other, much more typical situation is that I park the truck, and walk a few hundred feet, or maybe a half-mile, to where you are going to shoot. In those cases, I still wear my Lowepro belt, but I also wear a Lowepro CompuTrekker backpack, with my SB-800, 2nd D2H (with 70-200VR + 1.7 TC mounted), spare cam battery, snacks, and other odds and ends. Yes, you do have to take the backpack off, but I don't usually find that to be much of a problem.
I have tried a number of other combinations, and have a total of 8 camera bags / backpacks, but this is what I've found works best for me. :smile:
this is all of interest Frank. I find that if I carry ALL my stuff in my Airport addicted bag then i have all my stuff. I am a pretty big guy so this is not really a chore. Where I wonder is if I went on an explorititory hike, not knowing when I may need equipment, what would be the best and most comfotible arrangement. I have 3 backpacks so far. Thinktankphoto airport adicted, loweprowe trecker AW and loweprowe mini trecker.