Just got back from a long trip. Had everything in a TT Airport Commuter bag. That worked pretty well, except there were a couple of days where the pack was definitely not going to work, so I just carried the camera with one lens.
Two of those days, I'd have been much happier if I'd had one more lens with me (a longer one), so was thinking about adding digital holster or something similar on the belt (was already using pro speed belt for the pack anyway).
The question I had was what people would do with their tripod for that sort of situation. Is there a better solution than a dedicated, over-the-shoulder tripod bag (all I've thought of, and it seems a lot less than ideal)?
If you're traveling by car, bus or train, a dedicated backpack plus a holster for lighter carry days, can work well.
All of the advanced photography backpack designs (including your Think Tank Airport Commuter) have two external lash points for attaching a collapsed tripod.
For tripod and camera-only days, a lot of photographers go to their location, mount the camera on the tripod and leave it there. Once I'm at a wilderness or trail area, I attach my camera to my tripod and simply fold the sticks together and rest the rig on my shoulder as I hike or as I shift from location to location in the area. If I need to cover a lot of ground between locations in an area, or if I have to do any climbing, I'll detach the camera and stow it in a holster. I can then collapse the tripod and sling it using either a Manfrotto tripod strap or a Kinesis tripod strap. Both tripod straps work well. Kinesis also makes and sells adapters which can be used to convert a spare camera strap into a tripod strap.
If you're traveling by air, your TT AC bag works real well, but you probably know that already. In that situation, attach an appropriate size camera holster to your belt and use it as your personal carry-on item. Works every time, and it comes off your belt quickly when we all half-strip to get through security.
All of the good holsters are also supplied with good quality shoulder straps that are long enough to be used bandolier-style if you prefer.
Just ran across a site called bigpockets.com that has some nice-looking vests. What's more germaine at the moment, though, is that they have something that looks pretty nice for carrying a tripod, called the tri-pak. Haven't tried it, but it looks like it might be exactly the sort of thing I was thinking about.
Thanks for the long reply, though, it did give me a few things to think about. I tried an op/tech strap similar to the ones you mentioned. It seemed decent, but not the sort of thing I'd want to use all day.
I use the TT modular belt system, and when carrying my tripod while out shooting while walking in cities all day, I use a Gitzo GC5210 shoulder strap. Under those circumstances, tripod use is on and off. Mostly, these days, I only carry the tripod in cities at night for shooting. During the day, the need for a tripod in cities has generally evaporated with today's DSLR high ISO capability with little or no noise. I regularly handhold through 400mm during the day.
Exceptions are dawn and dusk shots.
When hiking and shooting wildlife, my camera/lens is on the tripod the whole time, and when moving in between shots, it's on my shoulder.
I'm in the same dilemna with tripods as you are when using a belt system. Thinking of diy'ng something to attach the tripod to the belt (still looking for ideas). I've seen products/ideas to attach a monopod to a belt but not for tripods (should be the same principle, just bigger, but still looking for better ideas).
I have a tripod leg loop that rides between shoulderblades. This mounte between shoulder straps on my belt system. Had a Think Tank rep shoot product pictures of it but that was a few years ago and nothing in new products like it. Will take some shots of it when I get a chance.
I was able to connect my tripod on a d-link on my tt pixel vest. I was able to carry on a five mile hike with little issues. I will make a secondary mounting point so I can connect to vest and belt for better weight distribution. But it worked perfectly.
The tri-pak I mentioned above is basically a tripod-only backpack (there's also a small pocket, although I haven't tried - and probably wouldn't - putting something in that). I got it, and it seems good, although I haven't yet needed to carry it for a long time to give it a real test. But it stays on the tripod even when not in use without getting in the way, so I'm liking it.
Jim, Nice design. How difficult is it to get the tripod in and out of the carrier? Looks like you have to reach over your shoulder to pull it out but getting it back in the hole looks challenging behind your back. Dave Jolley
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