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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Viper South African Assault Vest..."What the hell has this got to with photography?" I hear you ask. For some time I have been looking ...
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Old 15-07-2007, 16:19   #1 (permalink)
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Viper South African Assault Vest

"What the hell has this got to with photography?" I hear you ask. For some time I have been looking at various options for when I am out on shoots, particularly at equestrian shows where I am often in a field or arena for hours on end. In the past I have used a rucksack type bag which is a pain to get on and off all the time and I have also used a more traditional type of bag but quite often I am moving around and it gets a bit awkward.

Apart from the usual camera equipment I have mobile, car keys, notebook, fags & lighter and a large bottle of water so pockets start to get weighed down with all the extras. I was looking at photographer type vests which are similar to fishing vests but they were either quite flimsy, too expensive, the pockets weren't big enough or just plain uncomfortable.

Somebody suggested I look at military webbing as they are usually well made and have various pockets of differing sizes, sometimes you can get modular systems whereby you just add on what you want. After searching through a few surplus sites I came across the Viper South African Assault Vest which looked as if it might suit my needs and luckily my nearest shop had one in. An hour later and having parted with 29.95, which incidentally is a hell of a lot cheaper than some vests on offer, I was the proud owner of one of these in black.



I have now used it a couple of times and I can fit in everything I need for a day out, be it at an equine competition or an airshow. The pockets are big enough for lenses, Epson P-2000 storage device, filters plus all the other bits and pieces required including my personal effects. What you can't see from this photo is that on the back there is a long pocket which runs down the spine and easily takes a large bottle of water, apparently you can get a Camelback Bladder in there as well. To the side of this are some straps which I reckon you could fit a monopod to if need be.

In use the vest is comfortable and the load is spread evenly across the shoulders making it much easier to wear than a rucksack for prolonged periods, obviously everything is to hand immediately which is a huge bonus.

If you're looking for something to carry your gear, be comfortable and not restrictive I can highly recommend this, particularly at the price I paid.
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Old 15-07-2007, 22:25   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Viper South African Assault Vest

a couple of handgrenades and an ak47 would fit nicely! just for those subjects who wont smile etc!!! really good idea hacker would consider one of these myself a lot less cumbersome than backpacks and for those long hikes ideal! the british army version is similar probably easy to get in most surplus stores and they also do a chest rig that goes over the top! ebay is another great place to get them!
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Old 26-10-2007, 09:40   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Viper South African Assault Vest

I've been meaning to do a quick update on this for a while now. I used it in anger for the first time at Blenheim International Horse Trials which was an earlyish start and a long day traipsing the cross country course. I was carrying two bodies and everything else I needed fitted easily in the pockets. After a while I gave up on the monopod and strapped it to the back where I had a 2L bottle of water in the pouch. By the time it was loaded up there was quite a bit of weight and I was apprehensive about how it would be after a few hours but the the load bearing is superb. I went the whole day without any discomfort and found it much easier than lugging a bag around.

The pockets are arranged so that they are not in front but more to the sides although they do not impede arm movement, the good thing about this is that I was able to lie prone to get some shots without the pouches getting in the way or worrying about breaking or crushing kit.

If you are looking to carry kit at at sports events, airshows or even hiking around and do not want the embuggerance of carrying a bag or the hassle of having to keep taking a rucksack off and on again, this is the rig you need.

Hope this helps.
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Old 26-10-2007, 10:19   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Viper South African Assault Vest

Thanks for the update, it sounds perfect for the job

While I am here, there are two things about your signature I would like/need to bring to your attention - one good and one not so good.

First of all it is currently too large and breaks our rules. If you could please reduce it in size that would be great. Now the not so good is out of the way, I notice its just an image, why not also change it to be a link to your site so that you may get some traffic of Pixalo

In case you don't know how (forgive me if I am trying to teach you to suck eggs) but it's quite simple to do....just wrap your signature img with url tags like so...

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[url=www.your-website-link-here][img]link-to-your-signature-img[/img][/url]
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Old 26-10-2007, 12:24   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Viper South African Assault Vest

Done!
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Old 27-10-2007, 12:40   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Viper South African Assault Vest

Thanks Hacker for the heads up on this vest, it looks very comfy, Ive just ordered one due to the fact I have just come back from Paris and I took my rucksack & gear with me but after a good day with it on, my shoulders were shattered and not only that I found it restrictive especially when using the camera in portrait position, with that and the on off scenario for changing kit, so hence why Ive been looking for an alternative, and this looks to be the solution, thanks again
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