Following on from Part One that can be found here, I’d like to share my thoughts and findings after two days of good usage.
Overall, VERY happy with the strap. The first day of usage was a wedding. I had the strap under my jacket and the camera hung just below it, next to my pocket. When needed, the camera would glide up easily and the strap would sit well against my body. The connector showed no signs of movement, and I was very comfortable with the security of it. After watching the swarm of wedding photographers (I say swarm as there were three on stills and two on video) struggle with two full frame cameras with large wide angle and large zooms swinging around, I couldn’t help but think they would benefit greatly from a strap similar to this.
The second day was a family event in the park. I spent some time clambering around play equipment and the forts with my nieces and nephews and didn’t once worry about the camera swinging around to my front and getting damaged, yet it was there and ready to shoot.
The underarm strap: Some might find this part a little too much for casual shooting. It does prevent the padded part of the strap from moving off your shoulder, but I could see how on a relaxed casual day of shooting it would be a little over the top and cumbersome. Solution: You can buy these parts all separately, on the RS sport it doesn’t seem easy to remove, but the accessory bought on it’s own is a different design and can fix on and off the strap with ease.
Camera position at rest: Since the clasp uses the tripod mount this presents two possible issues. One, you have to remove it use a tripod/monopod and two, being that the mount is in the middle of the camera it does mean the lens sits out at an angle from your body. Solution: An accessory that is compatible with Manfrotto quick release tripod plates can be purchased. I’ve not read if it’s compatible with any other brands (dang, may have to upgrade to a Manfrotto Tripod :p). Carryspeed also sell their mount separately. This seems to be a better design as it allows you to still use a tripod and it attaches to the camera at one side so the lens hangs vertically.
Security: As with any strap, the thought of someone coming up behind you, cutting your strap and making away with your camera is major concern for some people. This strap is light weight and has no inbuilt safety wire. Solution: They do sell wire armoured covers for the strap for piece of mind. I think these may take away some of the benefits of the light weight, comfortable strap though.
One big mistake I did make was when I had finished using it for the day I wrapped the strap around the camera… Big mistake, like a seat belt in a car, once I put the strap back on and began to use it, I was in all sorts of tangles! Note to self, don’t tie in a bow when not in use.
Would I recommend this for someone looking for a more comfortable, travel/hiking ready action shooting solution? Absolutely! With a few tweaks and a bit more usage I’ll be 100% happy with it. They’re are lots of combinations on the Black Rapid site, and there may be one more suitable to your style. I’m also interested to see how Carry Speed go in coming months/years as their industry reputation strengthens.
For those of you who like your DIY solutions, here is a ‘$10 hardware store’ version.
Next stop – a nice bush trek!