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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Think Tank Belt Systems
Matthew OHaren, Photographer
Harrisburg | PA | USA | Posted: 12:07 AM on 09.11.08
->> I've been reading through some of the older posts on this topic, but wanted to take it a step further and get some input on two particular Think Tank products that I'm having a hard time picking from. I am liking the Think Tank Speed Demon pack that has the capability of adding on lens pouches, etc., and I'm also liking the Think Tank Modular Set. Again, any feedback on these products is much appreciated. Thank you.
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Bryen Ford, Photographer
Spring City | PA | | Posted: 12:29 AM on 09.11.08
->> I have the set and I love it. I can set it up to meet the task at hand and change it as need. I wouldn't be without mine.
Bryen
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Steven Ickes, Photographer
Mechanicsburg | PA | USA | Posted: 1:12 AM on 09.11.08
->> The Think Tank Modular belt system is awesome. Never leave home without it. As Bryen has said, highly configurable to meet any specific task and the build quality is excellent.
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Mike Doran, Photographer
Petaluma | CA | U.S.A. | Posted: 1:50 AM on 09.11.08
->> Matthew;
I have been using the Think Tank system for over three years and it just flat works. Many of my colleagues swear by the system.

Mike
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 1:54 AM on 09.11.08
->> One word:

SKINS.
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Michael Schwarz, Photographer
Decatur | GA | USA | Posted: 6:24 AM on 09.11.08
->> Three words:

Skins + Belly Dancer

Now my pants don't fall down anymore :-)
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Kevin Leas, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 7:48 AM on 09.11.08
->> Matthew,
I bought the modular belt system a little over a year ago, and I've never gone to work without it since. I tried out the speed demon first, but I actually had a hard time getting it to stay up on my scrawny little self - not so with the belt system. It's got my full endorsement (now, if they'd just send me my check...)
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Paul Jordan, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 8:01 AM on 09.11.08
->> Matthew, I tried the TT belt system and to be honest I don't use it that much, so I think it depends on how you work (this is not a knock on the TT belt system). For sports, I've tried just about all "carry gear to the game and during the game" systems.

I have settled on taking two Kinesis large lens bags with body pouches. One for the 400 setup and one for the 300. I then carry the camera/small lens setup (either 70-200 or smaller prime) around my neck.

The Kinesis bags hold the camera body attached to the lens and in the bottom I store the Aquatechs. The body pouches carry all spares, extra lenses and misc junk. These bags provide solid protection, are extremely well balanced and can be grabbed and thrown over a shoulder (and stay there) or grabbed by the hand handle while you sprint down a sideline. This also allows me to dress for the weather and not worry about what will work well with a belt system or if I have to fuss around with layers. I can also leave the bags on the sideline with gear in a light drizzle and not worry about the contents. And when you forget where in the heck you left your stuff, a quick re-con of the sidelines and you can spot the big black bags. If I am running late it is great to jump out of the car, grab the bags and go.

So, as with most things in life, I guess it all depends on who you are and what you are up to!
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Live HVN : Work SFO-NYC | | | Posted: 8:02 AM on 09.11.08
->> I have been using the Skins + Belly Dancer and I love it.

I wrote up using this system here:
http://flyingwithfish.blogspot.com/2008/06/think-tank-skin-pouch-belt-syste...


I also wrote up combining this set up with a backpack to travel more effectively and get around carry-on bag restrictions here:
http://flyingwithfish.blogspot.com/2008/06/combing-two-bags-to-create-singl...
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Scott Lukaitis, Photographer
Brick | NJ | USA | Posted: 8:36 AM on 09.11.08
->> I think the system is fantastic. I don't know how I carried my gear before hand.
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Jack Gruber, Photographer
Fall Church | VA | USA | Posted: 11:45 AM on 09.11.08
->> My favorite think tank item so far is the entire skin system line of pouches. Love it. I was a long time Domke pouch fan and user. I hated being limited to just that one design. Think Tank hit a huge home run with the skins. I use both a set on the speed pro belt and on the BellyDancer harness. If I am carrying some heavy long glass or video camera, I will stick stuff in large skins and use the BellyDancer harness. Most of the time under normal loads, I do fine with the pro speed belt and skin pouches. Sidelines, general assignments or travel, the skins are easy and quick to change depending on your needs. I pack multiple Skin 75 Pop Down, Skin 50, and Skin Strobe pouches in my luggage. Compact and light, I have many options later on. When I am overseas in Iraq or Afghanistan, I use a belt and the skins everyday. When I was in Beijing for the Olympics, I used the skins everyday. Sidelines of a football game, I will use the skins.

The ThinkTankphoto skins pouches were exactly what I had been wanting/waiting for years to find.
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Michael Schwarz, Photographer
Decatur | GA | USA | Posted: 1:24 PM on 09.11.08
->> While we're on the topic, can anyone comment on whether the Skins on a Belly Dancer would be considered as a bag by the airlines? Or might it be more equivalent to a piece of clothing, like a vest?

-ms
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 4:10 PM on 09.11.08
->> Michael:

I don't know the answer, but I do think we look like bombers when wearing them.

I do have the belt system and like others have said, the ability to change things out and carry just what you need is really great.
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Ron Erdrich, Photographer
Abilene | TX | USA | Posted: 10:36 AM on 09.12.08
->> That modular system saved my back. I use the harness on it if I'm going to be doing a lot of moving around and won't be able to set the bag down.

The only downside about going with a belt system like this is protecting your camera(s) from rain. A traditional bag will let you wrap everything up but this system doesn't quite lend itself to protecting a camera body or two without having extra (empty) bags on it. This could be a problem if you live someplace like Seattle, not so much here in West Texas.

-Ron-
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Allan Campbell, Photographer, Photo Editor
Portland | OR | USA | Posted: 2:44 PM on 09.12.08
->> As far as the RAIN goes..... Each bag has an attached rain cover that slips over the opening..... In Portland we see our fair share of rain and I swear by the Modular bag system. I wear the belt with the old shoulder harness thing..... Looks like I need to check out the belly dancer....

Also Think Tank is also a big sponsor of the SS Academies... in fact the belt system I use was a prize at one of the academies and many of the pouches were given away at the seminar.

So a BIG THANK YOU to Doug and the folks at Think Tank.
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Larry Strumwasser, Photographer, Photo Editor
Hicksville | NY | USA | Posted: 3:50 PM on 09.12.08
->> I too love my belt system ....must use harness for total comfort (with it loaded & no harness, your pants feels like it is going to fall down) Another great alternative is the Chestvest by Newswear....only 2 problems I have found ....first you get strange looks like you have a sucide bomb. but really the vest is soooo warm ...not a good warm weather item.
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Matthew Cavanah, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | US | Posted: 5:12 PM on 09.12.08
->> I use the Modulus system and its great, especially since most of the time, I'm shooting with one body, two lenses, and a flash so I've got plenty of place to put things when not in use, plus extra pockets for extra batteries, card wallets, notebooks, etc. I even fit an old AE-1 into one of the big Speed Changer pouches.
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Frank Angileri, Photographer
Downers Grove | IL | USA | Posted: 8:45 PM on 09.12.08
->> I have the padded belt and a bag for my 28-70mm, my 70-200mm, my flash and a general purpose bag. The quality of these products is awesome and the convenience of having just what I need within reach is very convenient.
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Chris Preovolos, Photographer
Stamford | CT | United States | Posted: 10:14 PM on 09.12.08
->> Admittedly, I've only given the product pages a cursory glace, but what are the advantages of the Skins products versus the older TT belt system products outside of packability?

I'm a big fan of ThinkTank and own a bunch of their products, but lately, for non-sports work, I don't even carry a camera bag these days. For general assignments, I took a hard look at what I was carrying around and couldn't figure out what I was doing lugging around anything but a couple cameras and a flash.

–CP
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James Madelin, Photographer
AKL | Auckland | New Zealand | Posted: 4:02 AM on 09.14.08
->> i began with the speed demon that i used with the excellent "whip-it-out" on the side, but found it became a bit of an issue to run with it; it would bounce up and down which was really uncomfortable. also, when cinched up tight enough, it would limit me if i wanted to lie down.

it's an excellent product, but didn't work for me.

so i upgraded to the modulus system which is perfect; i keep a couple of units fixed and the rest floating so that i can move them really quickly if i need to run or get down on the ground. (i reviewed the modulus kit here:
http://manbagaholic.blogspot.com/2008/01/intro.html )

i really don't think you'll be able to solve this on the message board as it's a personal choice based on the kinda work you do, your body shape and frankly what time of day it is... find a store near you that stocks them (preferably an ss.com sponsor if you can get to one) and try them on. that way you'll really know you've made the right choice !

good luck !

jm
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Thread Title: Think Tank Belt Systems
Thread Started By: Matthew OHaren
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