Gary Fong (http://www.garyfongestore.com/) has designed a variety of products that are meant to help keep your lens, cameras and bags secure. These simple to use devices help provide a nice deterrent to people with very sticky fingers.
The GearGuard Pro Kit (for either Canon or Nikon includes a lock for a camera body, two locks for camera bags and a lock for lens. It includes two 36-inch braided-steel security cable and combination lock (TSA approved).
For lenses, the company offers the GearGuard Lens Lock, which is designed to attach to your lens as a rear-lens cap. A secondary outer ring surrounds the inner ring, which serves as the lens cap. Both of things possess an eyelet, which when aligned lock the cap onto the lens. A braided steel cable with a security lock can be passed through the eyelets allow it to be secured to an object such as a post or rail. It can also be daisy chained to other lenses or a camera body using another GearGuard component.
The GearGuard bag locks works by tacking its two plastic components and enveloping the quick-release mechanism of most standard camera bags. Then steel cable can then passed through the eyelets and secure to an anchor point, making it difficult for someone to simply pick up the bag and walk away with it.
The camera is secured using it's tripod socket built into a baseplate, which slides into an outer shell. Like the other security items, when the two eyelets are aligned, the security cable is passed through and secured.
I had the opportunity to use the system during some recent travels and found that it worked best for me was while commuting. Though the bag locks work well with over the shoulder bags, I tend to favor backpacks and sling bags, which offer a variety of ways to get into the bag. So, the best solution for me was to daisy chain the GearGuards for the lenses and the camera bag together. So, if anyone attempted to grab a single item from the bag, it would make his or her efforts very obvious.
The steel cable attached to my bag through its existing loupes provides me a sense of security while seated at the boarding area of an airport or while seated at a restaurant. I normally wrap my bag around my leg or chair, but the cable provided me the ability to avoid the awkwardness of that.
Most thieves will try to abscond with an unattended bag. It's a simple thing to simply pick it up and walk away while the mark is distracted, especially in a busy environment such as an airport or restaurant. So, having a system, which helps prevent the loss of expensive camera equipment, is a big plus.
I think this is a good system to use while traveling and especially when commuting on public transportation such as a crowded bus or train, where the likelihood of someone sticking his or her hand into a bag is more likely. If you don't require quick access to the equipment, I think this provides a very solid and reliable deterrent.
I was pick pocketed once and after the fact I realized the person had also rifled through bag. It was the fact that my camera and lens were in my hand that prevented their loss. However, I can see how this security system would have prevented the loss had they actually been in my bag.
For the casual shooter, this level of security might seem a little overkill, but I think it's a good choice for anyone who is traveling and taking a good amount of equipment with him or her. I see it as a reliable system, which if nothing else, will provide its users a little bit of piece of mind.
The GearGuard Pro Kit is available for $49.95 and the GearGuard Lens lock is just $29.95
© Ibarionex Perello
Ibarionex Perello is a photographer, writer, educator and the host of The Candid Frame photography podcast (www.thecandidframe.com). He is also the author of Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography Using Available Light.