I have gone through quite a number of camera straps over the years – but recently a trip to DisneyWorld (where your camera is on you at all times trying to get every amazing detail before you have to leave) showed just how poor my current one was for long term use and how much I needed an upgrade.
After lots of research and comparison I came across the Black Rapid line of camera straps. This was different….
The major change over conventional straps is the mounting point – it attaches using the bottom threaded tripod mount like a mini eyebolt. At first, I had concerns about this coming loose – but they thought of that and there is a very good rubber stop between the screw and the camera body and I have not had it work loose once in the months of heavy shooting I’ve had it.
To this you have a heavy duty carabiner style hook that securely locks via a barrel screw piece which prevents the hinged piece from moving. The other end of the carabiner is a swivel mount, allowing the camera to move freely on its connection point as it slides along the actual strap that goes across your body (rather than around your neck).
At first the positioning seems awkward to anyone who has kept their camera “on their stomach” with an around the neck strap. Folks who keep theirs hanging from one shoulder may be more familiar with the position of the camera on the hip, but should appreciate the messenger style is much more secure.
Regardless it only took a day of shooting for me to really settle in and fall in love. A great new option that Black Rapid introduced based on feedback from female photographers is a comfort curve to the strap where it falls across your upper chest. For the ladies – it now nestles between instead of squishing across. You know what I mean!
I also was a little upset to see the women’s strap is shorter than the men’s. Exceptionally tall or busty women might want to check out the other models if you have trouble with where this lies. At full extension, this hits me in a comfortable spot though so in the end I stuck with the women’s version.
You can see the slight curve the strap has to it – this makes a huge difference in comfort. The strap is not popping up over my chest and strangling me halfway through the day.
When you grip the camera and raise it to your face, the attachment simply slides along the strap. In addition there are locking “bumpers” on the strap so you can keep your camera locked at it’s down position (even have it pushed a bit behind you) when you’re not actively needing to shoot. This keeps it from swinging freely as you make your way through crowds for example.
The images above are from BlackRapid (as I don’t have a second body to shoot with to show you my own strap) but rest assured I am in no way being compensated for this review. My strap was purchased through B&H online, but there are a wide variety of places that carry it.
I did end up switching to a different strap. I finally found having the strap at maximum extension wasn’t enough. Luckily, BR had put out a new model: RS2SW-1AS
The Kick doesn’t come down as low, and has just a bit more length to it. I find it even more comfortable than my first.