One thing I really have never done is a product review, but 2 days ago I bought a new camera strap after seeing a fellow photographer using one at the basketball tournament last week. I’d heard about the company, BlackRapid, for the first time a few months ago, but I didn’t order the strap at the time. I’m one of those people that like to touch a product before I buy it and when I went to Glazers in Seattle they were out. That was the end of it until last week.
What is so great about the BlackRapid Strap? It’s the closest thing I’ve ever found to the perfect camera strap. Most straps are designed to wear on your shoulder and they tend to slip off any time you do just about anything. You spend a 14 hour day shooting basketball games, run around shooting a wedding or go hiking with your camera and it’s a constant fight to keep it from falling off your shoulder. “why don’t you wear it across your body, like a messenger bag?” you might ask. Well, I’m kind of a big guy, 6’5″ and let’s just say I’m not skinny, so most camera straps will not comfortably fit across my body like that, then pulling at the strap to get the camera up to your eye becomes a lot more difficult. The BlackRapid Strap fixes all of that. First of all, the length adjusts to be plenty long for a guy like me to wear and the strap attaches to a swiveling attachment that screws into the tripod socket either on your lens or camera body. This attaches to a moving clip on the strap that allows you to pull the camera up the strap to shooting position, then just drop the camera when you’re done shooting and it rests comfortably at your side.
Check out the video below, or go to their WEBSITE for more information. I love this thing and while it’s a fair bit more expensive than other straps, if you spend a lot of time with your camera you can’t go wrong. I’ve only had it for 3 days now and the first day I spent 8 hours following a corporate group around Naval Base Kitsap and on a tour of an aircraft carrier and it made all the difference. I never once had to worry about dropping my camera while climbing up and down steep ladders and my camera was always ready to go. The BlackRapid Strap leaves your hands totally free when not shooting, leaving you free to haul other stuff around, move your tripod, or just about anything else you might need to do.
There are 3 versions of the single strap, 2 offering different levels of storage for CF cards or batteries in the strap and one that you can attach different sized pouches to. The RS-5 has a large storage compartment with a magnetic closure, so if you need to grab new batteries or a fresh CF card in the middle of a wedding it won’t make a bunch of noise. There is also a version that you wear over your shoulders that supports 2 cameras, one on each side. This is great if you regularly use 2 cameras!
Not only do these straps work incredibly well, they are very well made and they are MADE IN THE USA!