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Author Topic: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear  (Read 12819 times)

androiduk

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Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« on: February 04, 2013, 07:17:46 PM »
Anybody else out there suffer any physical ailments from your gear and what did you do about it? I'm a long time street photographer and I typically shoot for 4 or 5 hours or more at a time. My current equipment (T2i/tamron 18-270) isn't overly heavy by itself but I'm a slight individual and the length of time I walk around on hard concrete takes it's toll. Add to that is the fact that the camera tends to stay on one half of the body the whole time because it's easier and faster to shoot like that. I have a long microfibre strap that let's the camera rest on my buttock cheek (sorry). The constant banging on my body doesn't bother me there. Any higher and the camera would bang against one's hip bone which gets very painful after about 1/2 an hour. About a year ago I started waking up in the morning with very painful soles. It would eventually go away but it scared me that it would become permanent. A visit to the local podiatrist resulted in shoe inserts ($600) and all of a sudden I felt very old. I decided I didn't want to live with the inserts especially since it really limited what kind of shoes I could wear. So I adjusted my shooting regimen. I don't go out for as long as I used to and I take regular sit down breaks. My shooting is alot more targeted to smaller areas with a higher chance of getting decent shots rather than walking endlessly through low percentage neighbourhoods with sparse opportunities.
The reason I didn't upgrade to a full frame earlier was the weight but the 6D solved that problem. The 6D with a 24-105 lens is almost equal to the weight I'm carrying now. Something to consider for all you young'uns out there that plan on shooting your whole life. Maybe check in with a podiatrist every couple of years and keep an eye on your neck and hips.

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Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« on: February 04, 2013, 07:17:46 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 07:54:07 PM »
Although I do not blame my camera equipment for my problem, I did sell my 1D MK IV and return a new 70-200mm f/2.8L as well as selling a 600mmL due to the weight.  I've been retired since 1998, and last year my hands were hurting so much that holding the heavy cameras was a big issue.  I had carpal tunnel surgery last fall, but there has not been any huge improvement, it might takw another 8 months before I'll know if the surgery solved my problems.
In the meanwhile, I use a 5D MK III and lighter lenses.  I use my 100-400mmL sparingly.  Holding them for several hours gets very painful.

Don Haines

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 09:28:14 PM »
Have you thought of running shoes? They are made for feet that take a pounding day after day after day... far better than shoes or sneakers. Where I live there is a place for runners called "the running room" with fantastic advice from the staff... but just about any city should have several places like that...

I have also seen some neat harnesses for cameras.... goes over both shoulders... camera hangs in front, doesn't bounce around, and easy access.
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Menace

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 04:59:08 AM »
I'm 5'6" with not much upper body strength but can easily lug around a 5d III with 70-200 IS II for hours using my black rapid 7 strap. Maybe it will work for you - worth trying it out at your local camera dealer.

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Ricku

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 05:24:44 AM »
This is why I'm thinking about switching to full frame mirrorless later this year or the next. Leica and Sony have already proven that FF can be small and light.. Right now, uber expensive Leica is the only choice, but rumor is that Sony and Fuji will release their compact FF systems very soon.  :P

At the moment, I'm carrying my 5D2, 70-200 f/2.8 II, 35L, 24L, Macbook Air, + filters and accessories inside a Thinktank shoulderbag.. It is pure torture for my shoulders, and I don't think it is good for my physical health.

« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 05:29:49 AM by Ricku »

Rat

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 05:36:42 AM »
A good physiotherapist might help. I'm getting treatment to my right shoulder that probably didn't even exist 20 years ago - back then, they only treated muscles and joints, now they start with the nervous system. And it really works wonders for me.

Don't try and find workarounds - you'll be easy on some muscles but twice as stressful on others. A BR or Sunsniper strap might help, as might running shoes, but you want to work on the way you handle your camera (regular workouts really do help), not just change it. That'll only change which body parts are hurting :)

At the moment, I'm carrying my 5D2, 70-200 f/2.8 II, 35L, 24L, Macbook Air, + filters and accessories inside a Thinktank shoulderbag.. It is pure torture for my shoulders, and I don't think it is good for my physical health.
I used slingshots on several longer trips and always regretted that. I now have a Kata (3N1-20, off the top of my head) that transforms from sling into fully fledged backpack - a balanced load is much, much, much easier to carry.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 05:46:00 AM by Rat »
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tron

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 06:51:37 AM »
At the moment, I'm carrying my 5D2, 70-200 f/2.8 II, 35L, 24L, Macbook Air, + filters and accessories inside a Thinktank shoulderbag.. It is pure torture for my shoulders, and I don't think it is good for my physical health.
Now I do not know your needs but is that Macbook really necessary to carry with you? I mean do you edit your photos before returning to home?

Also if you shoot landscapes (and not portraits) a 70-200 f/4L IS would be a joy to use and carry (speaking of personal experience since I have both)

If you are a landscape shooter I believe the above 2 changes will alleviate your burden.

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 06:51:37 AM »

AprilForever

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 09:24:24 AM »
I carry a 7d BG with a 300 2.8 + 2x TC on one side on a Blackrapid, and another 7D with a 70-200 2.8 IS on the other side in a lowepro toploader with another lens or two. Sometimes, I also have my backpack with several more lenses on. Exercise helps...

But to the OP's problem, just wear the inserts. Find good shoes and wear them. Likely, you have an underlying problem exacerbated by the walking on concrete, which still exists whether or not it is flaring up, and could cause you hip, knee, and back problems. The inserts will help correct your gait to help avoid these problems...
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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 09:37:19 AM »
I have found if I am shooting in excess of 4 hours and mainly with the heavier kit like the 70-200, I experience pain and fatigue in my 'trigger' hand between the index and middle fingers - I wonder if there is some kind of long term problem. It goes away after a couple of days. I suspect that the longer lenses further complicate the equation as it not only weight but a combination of weight and the moment forces due to the perpendicular direction of the forces.

rmt3rd

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 09:56:14 AM »
I have found if I am shooting in excess of 4 hours and mainly with the heavier kit like the 70-200, I experience pain and fatigue in my 'trigger' hand between the index and middle fingers - I wonder if there is some kind of long term problem. It goes away after a couple of days. I suspect that the longer lenses further complicate the equation as it not only weight but a combination of weight and the moment forces due to the perpendicular direction of the forces.

I had the same issue, shooting with a 50D after a 5-6 hour wedding.  My right hand would just pure ache.  I determined my problem was that I was using to much grip power with my right hand and not enough support power with the left hand, which caused the aching after several hours.  It was not a conscious thing I was doing, but now that I am more aware of what I was doing, I have consciously made an effort to provide better support with my non-trigger hand.  This has helped.  I also mainly shoot with a larger body (5DM3) now and have had no issues.

TexPhoto

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2013, 02:42:12 PM »
I am getting to the point that gear weight is becoming a problem.  I have made 2 resolutions, and so far they are working.

1.  I don't buy camera bags, or suitcases (really any bag) that does not have wheels.  I do have one smaller bag (2 bodies + 4 lenses) that does not have wheels, but that goes down into my "artist bag"  This is sort of a bigger version of a lawyers bag, a giant briefcase.  It has wheels and a handle. 

2. I use a monopod almost all the time.   Instead of adding weight to my frame, I take some off.  The monopod and camera are a hiking stick, something to lean on.  Occasionally I whack people with it.

Of course pairing down your kit also results in big weight savings. Instead of 6 lenses you might need, take 3 that you will.  Make up the difference with your own skill and creativity (You old fart)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 11:37:16 PM by TexPhoto »

Don Haines

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2013, 09:37:24 PM »
I should also mention that real backpacks beat the heck out of photography backpacks. They are adjustable for different body sizes, have better shoulder straps, and a real waistbelt... the load is carried by your body, not just the shoulders.... it moves with you, not swinging around. Try some out at a decent camping store... in Canada places like Mountain Equipment Co-op.... or REI in the states...
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risc32

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2013, 08:04:47 PM »
My brother used to shoot weddings and commercials with a shoulder mounted video cam has some back and neck problems to this day as a result. my camera gear weighs me down, but no problems yet.  if canon decides to make everything out of carbon fiber, i'll be all in.

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2013, 08:04:47 PM »

Stickman

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2013, 12:27:02 AM »
I'm a long time street photographer and I typically shoot for 4 or 5 hours or more at a time.

Meaning you like to wander around on foot and take pictures, or meaning something different?

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 02:29:09 AM »
I used to visit the osteopath a few times a year to straighten my back out. That was before I got smarter about HOW I carry my gear, and what I choose to take when there is a lot of walking involved. Sometimes it's just smart to hire a very strong, young assistant for the day.

I like the big three L zooms, the 16-35 f/2.8II, the 24-70 f/2.8 and the 70-200 f/2.8isII. Just three lenses that will cover just about any situation. Backpacks are great for the walking jobs, and when you need to lug bags and lighting cases from the carpark to the job location, you can't beat a well designed cart. This is one of the best from Ruxxac.
RuXXac-Cart Range of Folding Hand Truck Trolley by Braucke from Index Direct Ltd

I haven't seen an osteopath this century, and I certainly have more weight on jobs than I used to. Just traveling smarter these days...

-PW

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Re: Physical Ailments From Heavy Gear
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 02:29:09 AM »