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What's on your harness?
Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 6:42 PM on 01.21.13
->> I finally decided to retire the old waist bag for shooting football. It's been a good run, lasted for years, cheap, and it held all the stuff I needed. But the weight distribution is killing my back after a long game, and there are just too many times when the belt gets loose and starts drooping and falling down around knees. It's always hard to kneel, sit or run (in a Fred Sanford sort of way) when I want to without some kind of major adjustment and/or minor embarrassment. It's finally getting too worn out, as is my aging back, and I'm really sick of the thing. I may burn it in some kind of bizarre ceremony when I'm sure I'm finally done with it.

So I ordered a Think Tank Pixel Racing Harness and the speed belt and one changer. But I don't know yet how I'm going to stash all my other usual sideline stuff, extra lenses, a body, CF cards, flip cards, 5-hour energy bottles, toothpicks, cookies from the press box, Extra Strength Advil, extra Superman socks, unexpected swag, and all that jazz. I'm researching what attachments are necessary to fulfill my needs. Are there any non-Think Tank gizmos that work well with this rig as well?

What's on your harness?

I'm already afraid I will feel too geeky with the thing on and will never use it and go back to the stinking belt, but at least it's not quite as creepy as a photo vest.

One of my worries is how I'm going to carry this stuff around when I'm not wearing it, and I surely don't want to wear it when I'm not on the sidelines. One of the good things about a waist bag is that you can just sling it over your shoulder. Might be a bit awkward with a harness thingy.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 8:28 PM on 01.21.13
->> "What's on your harness?"

Crippling emotional baggage.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 8:36 PM on 01.21.13
->> I bought the Modular Set and the Belly Dancer harness a few years back ... I find that for almost every need the kit works great for distributing weight, form and function. I add or remove the pouches as needed ... the pouches can serve multiple uses ... i.e. - a lens pouch can serve as a water bottle holder when you don't really need that extra lens ... the flash pouch can hold a set of PWs when you don't need a flash, etc.

In fact, if I load up all the pouches, have one body and lens on a monopod ... another body and lens on my free shoulder ... my TT Airport International is quite empty when the harness kit is fully loaded ...

Very mobile and serviceable ... I'm just disappointed TT didn't offer their wares a couple of decades sooner ... my back would be in much better shape today if they had ... ;-)
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 8:38 PM on 01.21.13
->> In all seriousness, lighten your load, brother. That's what I wish I'd say whenever I'm at a game or whatever and see a photog wander by schlepping more gear than a mountain-bound Sherpa.

I guarantee you that the less gear you carry on you, the better. I get by with two to three bodies, a lens on each, and odds and ends such as cards, etc. in the pocket of my pants ... or shorts, depending on the season.

While your mileage may vary, of course, I cannot for the life of me recall an instance where at some point in the gig I wasn't able to head back to home base (i.e., wherever my laptop, backpack and other items were stationed at) to retrieve all the goodies I keep in there. I suppose on a hot day I might attach a small pouch to my belt or whatever with a bottle of water, but suffice to say I've been shoulder or waist bag free for a couple of years now and have been all the happier for it.

Just a suggestion. I know this isn't what you were asking for -- and if the silly "Instant Feedback" Nazis want to give me an "Off Topic" or whatever, have at it -- so consider this unbidden but very well-intentioned advice from a dude who's been there, done that, and learned a couple two-three things along the way.


- gerry -
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 9:18 PM on 01.21.13
->> While it may not come as a shocker, I agree with G.J.

Here's the deal with pouches: The more pouches you have, the more you feel compelled to fill them up. It's human nature (or maybe just guy nature) but nobody likes to leave the workroom with half-filled pouches

Like Gerry said (Gerry = G.J. for those that are confused), this is off topic, but it is well-intentioned advice. If you pick ONE small pouch and limit yourself to just that pouch you'll find that you tend to put only the stuff you NEED into it.

Back during the days of the Nikon D1 and Canon 1D we NEEDED 6 batteries to make it to halftime and our cards were 128mb, so we NEEDED all those pouches. Today, you can stick a battery and a 32gig card in each body and shoot for a week.

Less stuff = better images.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 9:57 PM on 01.21.13
->> Brian,

It's a universal constant: Your stuff will expand to fill a given space. It works with equipment storage, hard drives and closets.

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Michael Prengler, Photographer
Dallas / Ft. Worth | TX | USA | Posted: 10:05 PM on 01.21.13
->> @Mark and belts... :)

If you can't run the 100 yard gasser during a college football overtime you are carrying too much gear.
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Kent Nishimura, Student/Intern, Photographer
Honolulu | HI | USA | Posted: 11:02 PM on 01.21.13
->> Doug, my kit for football is a 400 or 600 and a 70-200 with a wide in a belt pouch. not much else to carry. Keep it simple!

Cheers // K
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Gabe Souza, Photographer
Portland | ME | USA | Posted: 8:44 AM on 01.22.13
->> I'll chime in and agree with G.J., Brian, and Kent here.

The less stuff I have to worry about bouncing around, the happier I am, the more I can focus (get it! bad...I know) on the images I'm making.

Again, that's personal preference. I find the more I go with the "Keep It Simple Stupid" approach, the happier I am.

That said, you have to figure out what works for you, and if that's carrying a good amount of gear, that's cool too. I would say maybe shoot a game or two that you're not assigned to so there's no pressure, and maybe shoot one game with your harness or beltpack and shoot one with the less is better method... see what works...
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Will Vragovic, Photographer
Clearwater | FL | United States | Posted: 1:13 PM on 01.22.13
->> Totally agree with what's been said - carry less stuff - you'll be happier and healthier for it. I'm bad at following that advice myself, but I'm working on it.

I just gotta know though, how many 5-hr. energy bottles are you carrying for a football game?

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Al Diaz, Photographer
Miami | Fl | USA | Posted: 2:18 PM on 01.22.13
->> Lighten the load. You can leave most of the items on your list in the workroom. Nishimura must have a good mentor in Hawaii. I'm with him on what to carry. If you use three bodies and higher capacity flash cards you won't need any pouches unless it rains.
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Al Diaz, Photographer
Miami | Fl | USA | Posted: 2:26 PM on 01.22.13
->> By the way Doug, you need a Think Tank Photo Airport Security roller to carry your gear, harness, belt and pouches when you are done. It should all fit in there fine. It's amazing all the stuff you can get into those bags.
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 2:36 PM on 01.22.13
->> I already have a pretty minimal setup, probably less than most. I have the 300mm with a TC, a second camera with a shorter zoom, and maybe one or two small lenses in the bag, a 20mm or an extra TC, depending on day or night or what my plan is for the day. I even ditched the 80-200 all of last year because I hated having it on my shoulder all day for how little I actually used it. Now I just carry a 24-70 on the shoulder, but it's still pretty bulky with the hood on it.

That's not much stuff to carry, but still a trickier problem than just having the bag right there in front of me that could hold all of that stuff. Where am I going to keep my extra CF cards so that they are easily accessible to change in an instant? Where to I stash the TC when I'm not using it, so I can grab it when I need it? I'm just trying to figure out the most efficient setup and what options are out there.

I don't have the luxury of a nearby camera shop where I can actually go through all the different pouches and stuff, and looking at them online doesn't really give me a good perspective.

I always liked to keep my second camera in the bag, protected, until I hit the field to keep it from banging into things like steel rails and concrete pillars. I knocked a bigass hole in a D200 that way once and I don't want that to happen again.
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Ed Chan, Photographer
San Diego | CA | US | Posted: 3:28 PM on 01.22.13
->> The pouches I use most:

Chimp cage: miscellaneous carry-all, for business cards, pens, mini-tools, CF cards, white balance target, larabars, cel phone and wallet.

Lens Changer 75 pop-down: really versatile, for 70-200 or 300 f4, water bottles, walkstool, travel tripod.

Digital Holster 40: for extra body w/wide angle.

Other frequently used pouches:

Strobe stuff: handles flash and battery pack/accessories, significantly more useful than the Lightning Fast.

Lens Changer 50 for 24-70 or ultrawide.

Your mileage will vary depending on your shooting style and gear...
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James Durbin, Photographer
Midland | Texas | USA | Posted: 11:26 PM on 01.22.13
->> Just to chime in on a simple way to downsize. It has been mentioned a couple times that the CF/SD cards and miscellaneous extras like pens or business cards need to be stashed somewhere or need a dedicated pouch. And its very true that putting all those things in your pocket will get bulky and uncomfortable. Well, something I have been doing for a few years is wearing one of those generic Office Max ID holders (link to picture below) to carry my press badge, business cards, SD cards and two pens. That means you have your pockets free for other items. (In before the 'is that a lens in your pocket or are you just happy to see me' comment).
Add a simple velcro belt pouch to the belt you are already wearing and you can carry another lens or flash in that. Odds are if I'm doing things with pocketwizards or flashes then I'm using a bag because I'd rather not have all those things dangling off of me, but for 90% of what I do I don't need a bag.

By the way, the bag I'm currently using is a North Face waist pack that has two water bottle holders (i.e. lens holders) and 100% of the time I have it slung over my shoulder or nearby, not actually on me.

Office Max ID holder pulled off of google image search.
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Todd Spoth, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 1:16 AM on 01.23.13
->> trick question. only dorks wear that shit.
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 12:39 PM on 01.23.13
->> I'm a dork then. Thanks Spoth...

Also, carry less stuff:
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 12:43 PM on 01.23.13
->> I'm with Kent and Al. I have a TT harness but found I really didn't need it with the way I cover sporting events. I wheel the gear into the venue in a case....carrying the stuff around in various pouches ends up poorly for me...I never open the one I need....the harness usually just stays in my car now...but your mileage may vary. this is one of those things that has no wrong answer. it's all personal preference.
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 9:07 PM on 01.24.13
->> Got my pixel truss today and got it sized up. I must say I pull off this look much better than expected, except for the way it sort of lifts and accentuates my ample gut. But what am I supposed to do about this longass extra back strap hanging down below my ass? That dog ain't gonna hunt.
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 9:10 PM on 01.24.13
->> Also, my Tamrac lens pouch seems tailor made for this thing. That'll save me about $50.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 9:25 AM on 01.25.13
->> I don't think you're allowed to put Tamrac accessories on Think Tank products. They send someone to confiscate it while you're working and fine you the price of the gear.
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 12:16 PM on 01.25.13
->> Bring 'em on! That's how I roll. I may tape over all the logos until I'm payed for my official endorsement and they give me some free stuff.

I need some kind of small utility bag to add to this rig. Maybe I'll look at some Lowe Pro stuff.
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Paul DiSalvo, Photographer
Highlands Ranch | CO | United States of America | Posted: 12:51 PM on 01.25.13
->> Another good option is the Think Tank Change up. It's a small waist pack that comes with extra shoulder straps. You can wear it like the Pixel Racing Harness or switch around and use it like the Belly Dancer so you can have your gear fanny pack or chest vest style. There's room for a few add-ons so I go with Skin big enough for a 70-200 and a water bottle holder. Makes a stylish man-purse too!
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Thread Title: What's on your harness?
Thread Started By: Doug Holleman
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