Black Rapid Strap RS Sport Review – Part One

After using the ‘stock’ Canon strap for nearly a year, I’ve begun to loath it. A photo heavy holiday, a few hiking trips and enough hours wandering with the camera has cemented my need for a more friendly strap. As per any purchase I make, I hopped straight onto the web and scouted around for options. Quite a few popped up, all with the usual fan boy followings and inter-brand rivalry. Carry Speed Pro, Sun Sniper and Black Rapid seemed to top the list quickly. Both the Sun Sniper and BR were at a higher price point, and the Carry Speed had some good design innovations but some worrying user feedback about its build quality (albeit aggressive pricing). The curved padding, underarm strap of the BR and it’s good industry standing  (unfortunately resulting in its inflated pricing) then began to look more favorable.

So I pulled the trigger on one of these bad boys last weekend. I was over near my ‘local’ photography supplies store and thought I would pop in and have a feel/play with one of these straps. I discussed at length with the salesman about his experiences with the strap, then tried it out for myself. I’ll split this brief review into two parts; one, my first opinions and expected results, secondly actual results (after a wedding on this weekend).

I went to a store to buy this, unlike most of the stuff I get online, as I really wanted to have a feel and play… That said, my local is very aggressive with their pricing and were only $10 above the online price. I suggest you all do this for this kind of purchase as we’ve all got different body types (I’ll cover this later).

Unboxing:” Comes in a nice box for those of you who care about that kind of thing. You get a basic ”user guide”, a sticker and the strap nicely bundled with a elastic strap (that could be used for storage).

Build: I can’t fault the build quality, stitching looks strong and well done, the metal parts are nicely formed, fit together well and have a nice durable feeling finish.

Fitting: It took no time at all to adjust it to fit me. I have a long torso (6’1 tall) and with the straps at the fullest extension allows the camera to sit just below any buckles or buttons on the side of jeans etc. For anyone taller who would like similar positioning, this might not be that suitable (although the site shows the user having sitting higher above their hip… not for me). There are other models in the BR range that allows the addition of strap extensions so that you can have it hang lower. The ‘FastenR-3′  connected to the tripod mount of the camera smoothly, and felt very secure once done up. I can’t believe that there will be any chance of it undoing, and as with the stock strap, it’s something that I would keep track of normally anyway. The clasp, ‘ConnectR-2′ then clips onto the ‘FastenR-3′ with a double action to maximise the security of the strap. Finally, the underarm strap. This helps keep the padding part of the strap positioned on your shoulder and to assist in the quick slide and shoot action of the strap.

In Part Two I’ll discuss some of the accessories that can be used to customise the strap. I’ll also cover my first opinions on its operation at an ‘event’ style shoot. I’ll also include a $10 alternative!

Stay tuned!

AiM

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