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Old 12-18-2007, 02:53 AM
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nowellwisch nowellwisch is offline
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Photo Gear Vest design input needed

I have produced a prototype design for a working photo gear vest. It was modeled on a fishing vest from Cabelas but has some significant differences.

Our current prototype has:

4 large lens pockets that will hold sized lenses like the Nikon 80-200 2.8 with lens hood attached.
1 zippered media card pocket.
2 velcro closing small gear pockets
1 notebook/cell phone/passport pocket
2 large interior zippered pockets shoulder strap velcro holders
tripod straps
cince straps

We are making it from quick dry nylon/poly cloth and full mesh back.

Currently, the lens pockets are double fabric but no additional padding.

From this description, can you suggest anything we should have but don't if you were to use something like this? It is designed to replace a camera bag while working outdoors. It is very well designed to distribute the weight of the gear along the shoulders instead of riding on the neck.

Photos will be available on Wednesday, 12/19/07 at www.nowellwisch.com/photovest/vest.htm



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Old 12-18-2007, 08:58 AM
Tim Smith Tim Smith is offline
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Re: Photo Gear Vest design input needed

I don't wear a photo vest but can see the usefulness of one. However, I do wear a fly fishing vest as much as I can during the summer months so I can comment strictly from the standpoint of carrying lots of gear in a vest. My only suggestion would be about the support of the vest when loaded with heavy equipment.

If there was some way to adjust the load-bearing aspects of the vest to compensate for heavy lenses like the 70-200 that would be very helpful. Maybe something like those adjustable straps you find on backpacks that let you adjust the tightness against your back. Or one that runs around your chest inside to help bear the weight. Just thinking out loud here. Good luck with your product.

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Old 12-18-2007, 12:37 PM
David Hughes David Hughes is offline
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Re: Photo Gear Vest design input needed

Best clothing I've seen for that is the ScottEvest stuff - its built as a set of pockets on a yoke and then covered with fabric. I've had it absolutely laden and the weight is well distributed. It is not a camera vest and whilst I have used it as that, only a few of the pockets are usable for lenses and it's not perfect. If a vest jacket was like theirs but with proper lens pockets, I'd be sold.

I find it great for travelling if I am struggling with hand luggage size / weight as I can get huge amounts in the jacket, just take it off to go through scanning - check in staff don't even notice it.
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Old 12-18-2007, 12:52 PM
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nowellwisch nowellwisch is offline
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Re: Photo Gear Vest design input needed

The designers have done a marvelous job of providing a supportive yoke back that distributes the weight properly. We are doing further testing but the initial reaction has been... "awesome!" on this score.
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Old 12-18-2007, 02:49 PM
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Re: Photo Gear Vest design input needed

I have a Banana Republic photo vest that still smells like tear gas from working in South Africa. Although I don't really wear them that much anymore, the suggestions I'd have would be:
  1. Fishing vests are cut high to keep things out of the water, but this doesn't work so well for photo gear, as you end up with a high centre of gravity. You want to have the heavy equipment near your waist level, not on your chest.
  2. Don't pad the pockets. That padding just traps heat inside, and feels like you're wearing a quilted coat
  3. Make it out of a breathable material. Cotton is good, but it picks up moisture.
  4. The one product I would have liked when I did a lot of ski photography would have been a vest that could be worn over a parka, and with a back pack. Similar to what ski patrolers wear.

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Old 12-18-2007, 08:44 PM
Richard_Coyle Richard_Coyle is offline
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Re: Photo Gear Vest design input needed

Nowell
I agree with David that breathable is important. From my experience with outdoor hiking/backpacking/portaging etc. situations, cotton is good except when it gets wet. The best material I've seen is the all nylon from such suppliers as ExEfficio, etc. If it's the right weave and thread, it breathes well, dries quickly and wears like iron. I'd avoid polyester like the plague! It's hot, doesn't wear as well, and I've never had any good experiences with it, even in combo situations! And please don't get fancy and add any leather items in any way. If you make the vest washable, as I hope you will, any leather tends to stain the interior of the washer tub and cause all kinds of havoc from significant others. Plus it's just not as durable long term as "quality" nylon. From the initial indications you provide, this sounds like a real interesting option for my sports shooting venues, and would replace my tried and true Domke vest in many situations! Thanks for asking for our input!
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Old 12-18-2007, 09:16 PM
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nowellwisch nowellwisch is offline
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Re: Photo Gear Vest design input needed

The pictures of the photo vest are now posted at:

Photo Equipment Gear Vest design

We have had may great ideas and plan to make a really good vest. Thank you for your comments. Please keep them coming. This is turning out to be a really good item for a working photographer.

Thanks for your help!
My personal email is:
nowell@nowellwisch.com if you wish to contact me.
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