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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gadget Bag: Save Your Back

Think beyond the shoulder bag

Labels: Gadget BagGear

This Article Features Photo Zoom
SpiderPro Dual Holster
The SpiderPro Single Camera System allows you to carry a pro-sized DSLR with a long zoom on your hip where it's always ready for action—instead of around your neck where it's crushing vertebrae C4-C5. It's a unique system that consists of a well-designed belt and a baseplate that attaches to the bottom of your camera. Once secured, simply snap the baseplate into the groove on the holster and, presto—the camera is riding your belt instead of your neck. Spider Holster also offers a two-camera system. For a modest price, existing Spider Holster owners can purchase the modular pad along with a second holster to convert a single-camera system to a dual-holster rig. Also offered are adapter kits for attaching the SpiderPro to Lowepro S&F belts as well as Think Tank Photo belts. Spider Holster has created a complete system that's worth a second look. Estimated Street Price: $135 (single); $235 (dual).

Lowepro S&F Modular Carrying System
The Lowepro S&F Modular Carrying System is living proof that those who design their bags and carry solutions are photographers who know what we go through on a daily basis. The system consists of 17 components, and there's no doubt that you can assemble the right combination to tackle any field job. Of particular interest is the Lens Exchange Case, a unique contraption that temporarily holds and separates two lenses while you switch from one to the other. It's so intuitive that you'll wonder why no one has ever thought of this before. Once you've made the switch, the pouch switches back to a normal-sized single-lens carrier. And there's even a spot to temporarily stow lens caps. Estimated Street Price: Varies.

Cotton Carrier
As I've written before, the Cotton Carrier is clearly in a class by itself. It's a complete camera carrying solution, as well as a completely new approach to the age-old problem of carrying a lot of camera equipment on one single human body. The basic system accommodates one or two regular DSLR cameras and comes with a unique one-size-fits-all adjustable vest. The system can handle virtually any size of camera and lens combination comfortably without the pain and aggravation associated with traditional neck straps. Best of all, the equipment is literally at your fingertips, ready for action. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $99.

Tenba Shootout
The Tenba Shootout Waistpack is two bags in one. Designed to be a hip-hugging waistpack, it comes complete with a handgrip and shoulder strap for instant conversion to a conventional shoulder bag. The top flap opens away from your body for accessibility—and security. Best of all, you can access the interior compartment through either end without opening the top flap. The end flaps are easily identified by the red zipper pulls. When it's raining or snowing heavily, you can swap lenses out through the side-access zippers instead of using the main opening at the top. This helps keep the interior dry while you continue to switch out gear. There's also a dropdown front panel with compartments for a phone, GPS and other small accessories. Estimated Street Price: $86.

Black Rapid RS DR-2
The Black Rapid RS DR-2 Slim Double Strap consists of two straps that are connected in the front and back to create a harness. Each strap is attached to the tripod socket of a DSLR. The user wears the pair of cameras gunslinger-style, with both hands free. Because the load is evenly distributed, the whole rig is comfortable. The double strap also can be configured as a single R-Strap. In that case, it's worn diagonally from left shoulder to right hip. Either way, the camera is readily accessible and can be swung into action easily. Estimated Street Price: $129.

Black Rapid
Clik Elite
(888) 532-2545
Cotton Carrier
(877) 852-9423
(800) 800-LOWE
(866) 909-8378
Spider Holster
Sun Sniper
(800) 662-0717
(914) 347-3300
Think Tank Photo
(866) 558-4465


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