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View Full Version : Accessories Duck Coat as a Photo Jacket/Vest



BHamm
02-07-2008, 07:29 AM
Without a doubt, my favorite subjects to photograph are raptors. I'm fortunate that the winter months bring just about every boreal owl species to my neck of the woods as well as various hawks, falcons and eagles. I find that the best way to locate these birds is usually by car, cruising along rural roads. In a day's shoot, I tend to be in-and-out of the car a lot. Often I will mix up this routine a bit by hiking along nature trails if I know that something is in the vicinity. For a number of reasons, I find that for this particular type of shooting conventional camera bags are lacking. I went looking for a type of photo vest, but thanks to a gift card that I received for a local clothing store I ended up with something called a Duck Coat.

I have always been impressed by the photo vests from Vested Interest and on a few occasions I've come close to buying a Lowepro Street & Field harness vest to use with their lens cases. However it seems to me that one of these vests overtop of a winter jacket would be bulky and uncomfortable in a car. They also have a certain SWAT look to them. Enter the Duck Coat. Duck Coats are basically jackets designed for construction workers. They are made from a thick cotton canvas and when filled they do a fine job of concealing the fact that one is carrying photography gear.

http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/attachment.php?attachmentid=7677&stc=1&d=1202413982

On the outside, the coat has ten pockets. At the top there is a large single breast pocket flanked by two half breast pockets on the other side. At the bottom there are two large flapped pockets, two hand pockets, two additional pockets that are located behind the flapped pockets and one small zippered pocket. Unfortunately, stuffing any of the pockets reduces the room in the others. The coat has removeable sleeves, thereby converting it into a vest.

http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/attachment.php?attachmentid=7678&stc=1&d=1202414062

Each of the half breast pockets will hold either two BLM-1 batteries or 1 BLL-1 battery, or a lenspen, small flashlight, pen etc.

http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/attachment.php?attachmentid=7679&stc=1&d=1202414062

Each of the flapped pockets can easily hold a lens up to the size of the 70-300mm. However, as mentioned previously, if these pockets are filled the capacity of the pockets behind are reduced.

http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/attachment.php?attachmentid=7680&stc=1&d=1202414062

The rear pocket is large enough to hold a flash, but without a flap its contents may be exposed to the elements.

http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/attachment.php?attachmentid=7681&stc=1&d=1202414062

The small zippered pocket is ideal for carrying a pile of memory cards.

http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/attachment.php?attachmentid=7682&stc=1&d=1202414062

On the inside, the coat has right and left breast pockets, deep enough to carry a flash extender and two large pouches. These pouches are large enough to carry an E-1 body with grip (no lens). In addition, there is a large zippered lumbar pocket where one could store the sleeves when removed or a very large lens / lens & body combination. I've never felt the need to carry a lens in the lumbar pocket, and I doubt that it would be very comfortable, but it's there should the need arise. The bottom of the coat has a number of sturdy D-rings, perfect for connecting a top loading holster bag.

Overall I'm quite pleased with the Duck Coat. Fully loaded with all of my gear it is quite heavy. However it distributes the weight nicely while being worn, is quite comfortable and is also quite warm. It doesn't draw attention to the fact that I'm carrying expensive equipment, unlike most photo vests. Ideally, the front pockets could be a little larger on my coat, but as-is they function perfectly well.

Retail for this particular coat was about $90, which is considerably less than the Vested Interest products yet more expensive than most generic vests. Build quality is superior to most inexpensive vests that I've seen. Similar products are available from a variety of retail outlets so I'm sure that there are deals to be had.

Of course, the pockets themselves have no padding, but the material is quite thick so it does offer equipment a small amount of protection. It's important to note that should you decide to try something like this for yourself, make sure that you buy a coat a couple of sizes larger than normally so that you have comfortable room for your gear.



Cheers,

Bruce

Petephoto1
02-07-2008, 07:38 AM
Bruce like these?

http://www.gemplers.com/product/20260/Carhartt-C26-Arctic-Traditional-Sandstone-Duck-Coat

additional link


http://www.gemplers.com/product/G29090/Carhartt-C01-Blanket-lined-Cotton-Duck-Chore-Coat

BHamm
02-07-2008, 10:05 AM
Hi Pete,

Duck Coats are available in many different styles from numerous sources. Quickly checking the links you provided, these don't seem to be as well suited for carrying photo equipment as mine.

I'm not sure where you're located, but if it's in the United States I'd recommend Lowes, Home Depot, and Walmart. I live in Canada and I purchased my coat at Mark's Work Warehouse.

Cheers,

Bruce

TomServoCA
02-07-2008, 10:59 AM
Like this one:

http://www2.marks.com/products.asp?categoryID=387

BHamm
02-07-2008, 01:02 PM
Sorry...I seemed to be having some problems with the images. I *think* that I've fixed them now.

Bruce

arteacher
02-07-2008, 01:54 PM
Ilooked on thier website and couldn't find it. can you be more specific?

Petephoto1
02-07-2008, 02:08 PM
Bruce , Lowes does not sell any think like that, will check Cabelas next and other places? So where did you buy yours and what year? Link please? cheers . pete

I remenber this very fine line of coats called Barbour they were waxed exterior of english design with plaid interior, seemed very well made .Pete

found them >>>


http://www.orvis.com/store/product_directory_showcase3.asp?dir%5Fid=885&group%5Fid=920&cat%5Fid=11236&subcat%5Fid=11237

Like Bruces Duck coat above, look at ranger Jacket ^^^^^

http://www.bestgear.com/mens

http://www.orvis.com/store/product_directory_showcase3.asp?dir_id=885&group_id=920&cat_id=11227&subcat_id=11296&bhcp=1


http://www.riversedgetrading.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=RET&Category_Code=WCO

BHamm
02-07-2008, 04:36 PM
Bruce , Lowes does not sell any think like that, will check Cabelas next and other places? So where did you buy yours and what year? Link please? cheers . pete

I remenber this very fine line of coats called Barbour they were waxed exterior of english design with plaid interior, seemed very well made , but hard to find here now. Pic's wiork now,TY . Cheers Pete


Cabelas may work. I know that our Home Depot stores stock similar coats as well. Walmart used to...but I haven't noticed any lately.

I found that this style of coat was available from so many places that I just kept looking until I found one that had the right combination of pockets. I bought it at Mark's (link provided by Tom above), which I believe is a Canadian chain, however the website doesn't seem to list much of what they actually stock in the store.

Cheers,

Bruce

BHamm
02-07-2008, 04:38 PM
Ilooked on thier website and couldn't find it. can you be more specific?

Their website doesn't seem to list this particular coat. They may as spring approaches. If you have a local Mark's then I'd suggest that you stop in and see their complete inventory.

Cheers,

Bruce

Petephoto1
02-07-2008, 05:19 PM
Bruce, see first link Barbour !! :-) above ^^^^

BHamm
02-08-2008, 10:48 AM
Hi Pete,

I quite like the Ranger Jacket by Barbour. The pocket layout seems similar to mine. You have to make sure that the pockets are large enough for equipment, which makes online shopping a bit tricky.

Cheers,

Bruce

Petephoto1
02-08-2008, 06:39 PM
Bruce , I like,them both to tell you the truth, but I have photo vest that I wear with a henley that works good for spring, layered look so to speak. Well I maybe the other members may like someting in a Duck coat like this, great post and suggestion Zuikoguy. Cheers Pete