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Am I too fat for the vest?

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#1 Donnie Reynolds

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 09:48 AM

Hi, I'm in an unusual spot.

I am about to go on a shoot in June and I have a limited window to buy equipment. It's been a very long time and about 50 pounds since I tried on a vest. I am 6'2" and 265 lbs.

I have the Sony PMWF3 with three prime lenses.

I have about 5 weeks from TODAY to get the rest of my gear and put myself back thru boot camp. My waist is a hefty 44. I know the vest is one-size-fits most, but will I be able to get into it properly? My height was never an issue.

Because I have the budget for it now, I was going to go with the Zephyr because... why not?

But going with that or saving money with an older model is still all wasted if I'm too fat. I'm losing weight, but not fast enough!

You guys are the masters, and because I can't find anyone with a vest to try on, I'm going to have to trust you or sacrifice a lot of shots that I won't be able to get with a shoulder mount. I just don't want to throw the money away if I'm not even close.

Thanks for any advice.

<now slide those pancakes back over here>

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#2 Janice Arthur

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 12:34 PM


Call Tiffen they know about what their vests will fit.

Don't know that you can get a rig by June, etc. they can help and with a quicky workshop too.

Good luck.

Its a mine field to start answering these questions; sure can you fit in a vest etc. but then all the other stuff starts geting more detailed and Tiffen can shortcut lots of those.

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#3 Russell McElhatton

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:13 PM

Your dimensions are remarkably similar to mine and I fly the Sacthler Act2 Vest. I can get into my backup 3A vest but not much room to spare although you can always lengthen strapping. That will not necessarily make for proper fit however. I bought the Sacthler because of the huge range of adjustability as I will pass it on to my daughter(thanks for the workshop Janice!) when I no longer fly cameras. Also the most comfortable vest I have worn.
The problem with that as a solution is that it takes you out of your Zephyr package. I don't know if Tiffen sells the rig without the vest. You could go with a Sacthler rig (I like them very much) but as described here many times service is most important with our gear and I would not like to get into dealing with overseas service. Not sure you could get one delivered in your time frame either.
PRO makes their vests to your measurements, but the price of the PRO vest is nearly as much as a Zephyr package! I have just been in conversation with a fellow named Dan over at Tiffen Burbank (800-593-3331) on a different subject. Try extension #7912. he is very helpful and knowledgeable. I think he could answer any Zephyr questions you have.
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#4 Tom Wills

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 02:43 PM

Hey Donnie,

Your dimensions are similar to mine too. I'm about 6'3", and am a rather big guy. I've fit into the Zephyr vest fine, as well as all of the current Steadicam vests (except for the LX vest - the one that comes with the Archer, and I think the Clipper). Also, as Russ said, a Model 3 vest (or a Model 2 - like I have) just fits, with only a little wiggle room on me.

As I said though, the Zephyr vest fits great, and you should have plenty of adjustment room in it. I've even attached a picture of me in the Zephyr. It's the best little vest I've ever gotten into. (Unlike the previous Flyer vest, which absolutely did not fit me without strap extensions)

Attached Files

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#5 Norbert von der Heidt

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 09:26 PM

That's a fair question .... when getting a new vest, the first question I always ask is "Will this make my ass look big?" At 6'2" and 250lbs, nobodies ever said "Yes" to me :o)
Good luck with it.

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#6 Peter Hoare

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 06:43 PM

Im pretty flabby and tall, and I got a strange shaped back, and I can fly all the tiffen vests without too many issues. The flyer and Pilot vests are a bit too small, but they fit fine. They looked like a small animal grabbing a huge tree or something, always made ma laugh.

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#7 Donnie Reynolds

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 06:24 PM

Thanks all,

And Thanks for the pic, Tom.

You've all given me the confidence to make the plunge!

I'm seeing my local reseller tomorrow. I'll let you know if they wave me off.

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#8 Donnie Reynolds

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 03:25 PM

Ok, I got the Steadicam Zephyr today (thanks B&H Photo).

The first surprise was the Thermodyne case it came in. For some reason I thought it had a soft case, so that was nice.

I tried the vest on my fat body and... it fit! Pretty easily in fact. My guess is that it would start to reach capacity around a US men's 48 or 50. I wear a 50L suit jacket, but my waist is a svelte 44" (big shoulders).

Thanks again for all the input. I'm so pleased that I got it so fast and that it fit without issue.

Tomorrow I kit up and see how out of shape I really am.

new Steadicam owner!
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