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Welcome to Kinesis Photo Gear!

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I place an order?

You can place an order over the phone (we are in & out a lot and aren't always available to take phone orders), fax, e-mail or online (the latter is preferred). After reading our order information page, use the “add to cart” button next to each product to start an online order.

If you live outside the US, additional information is required to process your order (which you are NOT prompted to give us during an online order) — please click this link for more information on international orders.

2. What are your shipping charges?

U.S. shipping rates are here.
International shipping rates are here.

3. Do you ship outside the US? or
I live outside the US and want my package shipped to a friend in the US, OK?

Yes we ship outside the US — we normally use the United States Post Office for this service. International shipping information and rates are here.
We can ship to a different address than your billing address (US or International). More Info

4. What is your return, exchange, repair policy?

All products (except for factory-direct specials) are covered by a no-question 30-day return policy. Click for more information (this same link is found in the lower left of all invoices. Our warranty description is on this same page.

5. Why didn’t I get a tracking number e-mailed to me?

Orders shipped via UPS or USPS Priority Mail include an automatic e-mail with the tracking number. Smaller orders (less than $30-40) ship via USPS First Class Mail. Tracking numbers are not available for this service, however you should still get a confirmation e-mail from us.

6. Can I have my package dropped off w/o the UPS or FedEx driver asking for a signature?

With most ground shipments, we cannot specify one way or the other. We can usually offer this on air shipments, however. More Info

7. Who are your dealers & why don’t you have many?

Click for Dealer Listing
(We have only two dealers outside the U.S. [Hong Kong and Germany], but we do ship most anywhere.)

Initially, when we started this business in 1996, we thought that selling to the traditional mail-order house or brick-and-mortar store would be the only way to enlarge the business. The internet has changed all that — we now sell direct to customer, providing the technical customer service required for our product line. Over 90% of our sales are customer-direct.

Although the majority of our sales are online-direct, we do have a few dealers (but no multi-level distributor programs — because of our high U.S. labor cost, we simply don't have the margin for that). Because of the complexity of our product line, especially the variety of belt weights and sizes, our dealers do not carry our complete product line. Most dealers stock just a few select items and then we drop ship specialized items for them. Also, don't forget about our 30-day return policy.

We regularly ship outside the U.S. via the United States Postal Service. Generally most orders shipped via Express Mail get to there destinations in 3 to 7 days, but on rare occasions, due to the customs of the receiving country, they can take 3 to 5 weeks!

8. What is your contact information?

E-mail info@kgear.com This is the best way to correspond with us.
Order Line (or orders with questions) 1-888-716-5550 (USA only)
Customer Service or Technical Questions 435-462-2266
(both voice lines ring to the same place)
Fax 435-462-2292
Mail Kinesis Photo Gear, 11874 E 18500 N, Mt Pleasant UT 84647, USA
Hours
8:30 a.m. til 5:00 p.m. MST, Monday through Friday (Mornings are best. We are sometimes in on Saturdays. As a company with a lean staff, we are frequently out of the office in the afternoons, running to the Post Office, cross-country skiing or on a cycling workout).
Staff Richard Stum is the owner and person to direct technical questions. Julie is the shipping manager and handles all invoicing, shipping and return issues.

9. What are your customer service options?

Visit this link found on our order page.

10. What catalogs or brochures do you have?

We, like most online retailers, do not publish a catalog. Instead, we focus on providing a detailed website with many photos and specifications. We do offer a simple 2-page B&W overview brochure with a summary of all products, but it does not have the detail found in the web site. Click here for a PDF printable file.

11. Where does the word Kinesis come from?

The word kinesis is from the Greek and means motion. Our product line is designed for people in motion and on the move — photographers, photojournalists, photographers, grips, gaffers and cameramen on the run and on location.

12. Who are you?
(A short history lesson)

Our Contact Info is Above

In 1995, I (Richard Stum) was working as a self-employed commercial photographer in Denver. I purchased a heavy, powerful secondhand 200 watt-second Lumedyne flash system. I made this purchase to shoot on-camera flash jobs with both my medium format Hassleblad and 35mm Canon cameras (and to aid in shooting interiors). However, the flash came with a goofy, bright red and white shoulder strap with no provision to wear it on my waist. Using the shoulder strap was hopeless. Every time I leaned over or turned quickly it swung about, smacking whatever was in its path.

In the 70’s, I had worked a summer or two as a framing carpenter. ALL the crew wore utility belts with various pouches attached to them. Today carpenters and others working in the construction trades (concrete, framer, dry wall, finish carpenter etc.) rely on a belt system. The United States military also had its ALICE modular belt and harness system, however, in 1995, there were no modular belt systems for photographers.

Based on this need, I sewed a crude unpadded waist belt from Cordura® nylon and a pouch for my Lumedyne power pack. I added a few additional pouches for film, a lens and a Hassy film magazine. Sewing has been a hobby of mine for years. I had previously designed and made my own backpacks using my Viking home machine. Being a 6'-4" avid mountaineer, many of the internal-frame mountaineering packs available in the 80’s were one-size-fits-all and not suitable for my tall torso.

Although I had never done any commercial sewing, I perceived a need and a market for a modular belt system for photographers. I purchased a commercial sewing machine and began designing and fabricating a belt “system” (not just a single pouch sewn to a belt as everyone else offered). In the spring of 1996, I introduced my first products.

The company has continued to grow and in the autumn of 2000, forced by a need for more business space, we moved the business to a rural area in Utah, fulfilling a dream to move out of the crowded urban craziness, the hassle of a daily commute and the poor air of the city.

13. What is your warranty?

Kinesis warrants its products against defects in materials and workmanship for two years. A complete explanation is on this page. Return or exchange information for defective gear is found on this page.

14. Do you use SPAM?

Occasionally we send out an e-mail newsletter with product updates and sale notifications. To get on our e-mail list please e-mail us with your name and request you be added. The frequency of e-mails will be nominal, averaging less than six per year. We do NOT sell or share this list and will ONLY use it for Kinesis product updates or related news. When you place an order with us you are automatically placed on this list.

15. What products do you make?

Visit this page for a complete introduction to the Kinesis system.

Our core products comprise a complete modular belt-pouch system and long lens cases for photojournalists, nature/outdoor traveling photographers, sports shooters, commercial photogs and wedding/portrait shooters. We offer only a few cases for point and shoot cameras as most of our gear is designed for the pro or advanced amateur. We do not offer a full line of traditional shoulder bags.

We also offer bags for gear for ultra-distance cycling & stand-up paddling and also seel some other manufacturers too.

Also, what do Kinesis product numbers mean?Our product numbers (following the series prefix letter) define the size of the product within each category. Most of these numbers equal the volume in liters. For example, the volume of the M330 is 3.3 liters, compared to the volume of the M550 which is 5.5 liters, about 60% larger. For additional information on design features, sizing and an introduction to each series of gear visit the System Intro page.

16. How do I attach a Kinesis pouch to a belt or other case
or how do I assemble a harness?

Visit our “How To” page for further links and photos.

17. What does “single-wide,” “double-wide,” and “piggy-back” mean?

All Kinesis pouches use the above-mentioned twin-buckle attachment method to attach pouches to a waist belt. The spacing of this pair of buckles is fixed at three different widths (single-wide, double-wide or triple-wide increments), based on the overall width of the pouch. These buckles match up to rectangular Uniloops found on all Kinesis waist belts and larger cases. Click on the photo below below for more information.

Piggy-back is a phrase simply meaning to attach smaller pouch to a larger case or backpack. An example of piggy-backing would be attaching an E190 lens pouch to the side of a C580 case, or attaching a A355 pouch to the outside of a Journeyman pack.

18. How do I determine which size of gear for me or my equipment?
(belts, cameras, lenses, tripods, harnesses or backpacks)

  • Waist Belts Which size or length of belt for me?
  • Waist Belts Which weight of belt is for me?
  • Backpack Sizing Guidelines
  • Holster Case sizing guide, for film SLRs or digital DSLRs with a small to medium lens attached. We have sold many C500s and C580s to those using L-brackets on pro-sized bodies and they seem to work fine. It might be a little slower to pull out as you can't reach your fingers in and around as easily, but the overall fit for the camera will be fine.
  • Harnesses (H-Series)
    > Which Harness for What?
    > Harness Sizing
  • Lens Pouches (E-Series), for wide angles, normals, primes, telephotos & some long lenses (up to 500/4) without a body attached: Click “Learn More” from any product on that page.
  • Long Lens Cases (L-Series), for super telephoto lenses 300/2.8 & larger with a body attached.
    All of our cases are designed to fit the lens with the hood attached (& usually reversed) with the leatherette cap and tripod foot in place. We only attempt to track the sizes of the two mainstream brands...Canon and Nikon. Sometimes specifications are posted for after-market brands, but that is only when we receive reports from customers. Manufacturers do NOT publish the specifications (lengths) for lens hoods mounted in the shooting position, so if you want that configuration, please make your own measurements and compare to the I.D. specs on our site.
    As a general rule, follow these guidelines:
    E660: For 300/2.8s without a body attached
    E870: For 200/1.8s without a body attached
    E976: For 500/4s, 200-400s without a body attached
    L311: For 300/2.8s, 200/2s or 400/4 DOs with a body attached
    L511: For 500/4s or 200-400s with a body attached
    L321: For a 400/2.8 without a body attached
    L522: Designed for 400/2.8s, 800/5.6s & most 600/4s with a body attached.
    L622: For a 600/4 with the hood extended & no body attached or 500/4s with the hood extended and a body attached. Also for
    Sigma 800/5.6 EX or 300-800/5.6 lenses (hood reversed) with body attached. Please note that the L622 is too large as an airline carry-on bag.

    > Also click “Learn More” from any product on the main long lens page.
    > Which case is best for my 300/2.8, 400/4, 200-400/4 or 500/4 lens?
    >
    Which case is best for my 400/2.8 or 600/4 lens?
    > General dimensions: measure from the end of the lens (with the leatherette hood over the end) to the back of the camera body. Check this against the I.D. (inside dimension) “height” of the case as found on our site. There is about 1cm (3/8") of fudge factor in the removable lids of the L321, L521, L526 or L622 cases. Comparing the lens diameter is more tricky. The I.D. diameter is the largest circular (front element) size that will comfortably fit in the case. The problem with some long lenses (esp. Nikkors) is that the tripod mounting foot projects out further than the front element. Viewing the lens directly from above or using a flexible (seamstress style) measuring tape may help provide an estimate on the overall diameter.
    > Lenses not listed (like Sigma, Pentax or brands): We primarily track the sizes for the two mainstream manufacturers — Canon and Nikon. To determine the size for other brands, use the height measurement methods above.
  • Tripod Bags Because of the numerous makes and models of tripods and heads, we don't have a compatibility chart showing which tripod fits in which bag -- simply measure YOUR tripod with the head attached and compare against the our inside dimensions specs. The smallest bag, the T620 is for a tripod with a ballhead atttached. The larger T720 & T730 bags are designed for a tripod with either a ballhead, pan/tilt or Wimberly (or similar) gimball head attached. Click "More Info" from any product on this page for bag specifications.
  • Digicams (small point and shoot digitals), rangefinder 35mm cameras (Leica & Contax), medium format cameras (Hassleblad, Mamiya etc.): Because of the numerous makes and models and dwindling popularity of film and medium format cameras, we don't have a compatibility chart showing everything. Part of the problem is that the manufacturers specifications are w/o lens hoods attached. Nor do they publish specs on lens/body combinations. Visit our Suggested System page for possibilities.

An overview of our products is found on our Home page, System Introduction page, Product Index page or on our PDF brochure. Click on the “Learn More” link for detailed specifications — the specifications provided are inside dimensions.

19. What belt system do you recommend for me?

Our Suggested System page(s) have many possible solutions or belt “kits” for different kinds of shooting like wedding, photojournalism, outdoor/nature, fashion etc. Components are purchased a la carte for maximum versatility.

20. Is your system compatible with other brands?

Our pouches generally do not fit other modular belts, but other pouches will fit our belts, sometimes with the aid of the B590 adapter. Visit this link for photos and more information on compatibility with other brands.

21. Where are your products made?

All our products are designed and manufactured in the USA. We design and make all the prototypes from scratch. Each stitcher makes a complete product, from beginning to end -- no assembly line work here! Each piece of gear has a white label sewn into the inner seam with the product number and the initials of the stitcher on it.

Because of the specialized nature of our products, we inherently make small quantities -- we currently cannot justify “off-shore” manufacturing like some of our competitors. This also enables us to respond quickly to the constantly changing sizes of new camera, lens & digital products. Of course, we pay a labor cost 3 to 5 times that of those using off-shore labor -- the majority of your purchase prices goes to the actual product and not towards advertising or dealer margins or distributor/middle-man markups.

22. Are Kinesis bags waterproof?

We use waterproof fabrics, but the seams can leak if exposed to a multi-hour downpour. Visit this link for more information.

23. What colors are available for your products?

All products (except where noted) are available in one great color -- black. (As one customer commented: “one simple low profile color -- not glitzy or pretty!”) Some photographers that shoot in the desert have requested a lighter camo or sandy color. Regretfully, because of our small production runs and limited storage space, we are unable to offer multiple colors. We do offer light gray dust and rain covers for the belt system however.

24. How do I clean Kinesis products?

Lint & dust can be removed with a light-weight wire or plastic brush. We recommend you immerse the product in a sink or bucket and hand wash with lukewarm water a mild dish soap. Rinse well and drip dry overnight. Do not store pouches or belts with a crease in the foam (i.e. folded or bent) -- the foam has memory and it will become permanent. Do not immerse PolyCore™ long lens cases in water -- use a moist rag with soap and spot clean.

25. How can I carry a tripod or monopod in the field?

The T315 or T515 Tripod Strap will enable you to carry a tripod slung over a shoulder or across your chest. A Kinesis tripod bag can be carried on your shoulder or carried as a backpack with an optional harness or shoulder strap.

A monopod or small tripod can be attached to the side of a long lens case w/o additional straps. Large tripods require additional accessories when attached to a long lens case.

A very small tripod or monopod can be attached directly to the top of the M550 pouch or the bottom of a A634 or A355 pouch with a pair of Y204 straps. Some people have used a pair of Y204 straps attached directly to the back of their belt and carry their short tripod/monopod horizontally (assuming their are no pouches there).

26. Can I carry a Kinesis long lens case as a backpack?
How do I attach a harness or belt to a long lens case or backpack?

Any L-series case can be converted to a backpack by adding an optional shoulder harness (H245 or larger H250 harness & a H130 strap). A waist belt is not required but adds stability — click for more info. An E976 can also be upgraded in a similar fashion.
Directions on how to attach a harness or belt to a long lens case or backpack are linked to our “How To” page.

27. Can I carry my camera equipment on the airlines?

Most domestic airlines limit the size of your largest carry-on bag to 14x22x10". Visit this link for information included links to airline web sites on this topic.

28. Who are your competitors?

Lowepro, Tamrac and Tenba are the three big names. ThinkTank is newcomer too. Information and links about these and others are listed on this page.

29. Do you do custom orders?

We cannot do “one each” custom orders or new products. It is just too time consuming and cost prohibitive. Occasionally we may add a strap or buckle to an existing product, however.
The only exception is when the design of a custom product would later prove to become a “standard, in-stock” item. We can then can amortize the time in making a custom product into future sales.

30. The plastic attachment buckles on my (old) Kinesis pouches have failed. Can it be repaired?

We had problems with that buckle failing over time and stopped using several years ago. We switched to an alternative method of attachment that still worked with existing belts. Please return the product with prepaid traceable postage and insurance to the address below, with a brief explanation of the problem. Ship using the most convenient way for you: UPS, FedEx or USPS. A RA (return authorization) number or preauthorization is not required. We will upgrade the pouch to the new “twin slider” attachment system as outlined on this page. There is no fee for this service. We generally turn it around in a week or two.

 

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