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Camera strap alternatives?


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#1 guy_incognito

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:02 AM

Just wondering what those of you with bigger lenses do to carry your camera. Do you use the provided strap, or some third party solution like a harness or sling?

I've just been using the strap which hasn't been a big issue, but on some recent longer multiple day long excursions, my neck really starts to get sore. Not to mention that I also get a very attractive strap tan line.

Latest lifers: Blue-winged Warbler, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Chestnut-collared Longspur, McCown's Longspur, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Pine Grosbeak, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Smith's Longspur, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

Trip reports: Colorado 6/2014, Costa Rica 3/2014, Texas 12/2013, Central CA 8/2013, Arizona 6/2013, Midwest 5/2013, Hawaii 2/2013, Florida 9-10/2012, Monterey 8/2012, Salton Sea 7/2012, SE AZ 6/2012, Chicago 5/2012, Arizona 3/12, Arizona 12/11, Chicago 9/2011, Monterey 8/11, Arizona 12/10


#2 SPiercePhotography

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:48 AM

I'd actually be interested in finding out any alternatives too- at the moment, i carry the camera with the strap around my neck, then balance the large lens in my hand, and carry it that way. It's extremely annoying! In the past, i've also carried my camera on the tripod and balance it on my shoulder, but i always worry about it falling off or dumping something!

#3 Joejr14

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:08 AM

Define 'bigger lenses'?

My setup I either hand hold or have on my monopod resting on my shoulder. Entire setup including monopod weighs 12.4lbs, or 13.4ish with SB-600 and Better Beamer attached.

I'll use the lens strap to lug it around if I'm switching lenses for any reason, otherwise it stays in my camera bag or attached to the camera.

Why anyone uses a neck strap is beyond me. It looks goofy, hurts, and is impractical. If you're looking for an improved camera strap get the UPstrap Pro. If you want a sling strap get a Black Rapid, it goes over your shoulder cross body instead of around your neck.

#4 BigSkyKen

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:37 AM

I use a Black Rapid sling strap with my 100-400 L lens, but I have "trust issues" with it dangling out of site, so I typically use a Trekking wrist strap at the same time as a backup.
Ken Bryan
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#5 guy_incognito

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:32 AM

Yeah, guess I should have clarified a bit more. I guess by a "bigger" lens I am talking about the more typical birding lenses, most commonly a 400mm, and upwards. I personally use the Canon 100-400 L, and also usually end up supporting the lens with my arms, but the strap is still around my neck.

Thanks for the suggestions so far.

Latest lifers: Blue-winged Warbler, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Chestnut-collared Longspur, McCown's Longspur, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Pine Grosbeak, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Smith's Longspur, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

Trip reports: Colorado 6/2014, Costa Rica 3/2014, Texas 12/2013, Central CA 8/2013, Arizona 6/2013, Midwest 5/2013, Hawaii 2/2013, Florida 9-10/2012, Monterey 8/2012, Salton Sea 7/2012, SE AZ 6/2012, Chicago 5/2012, Arizona 3/12, Arizona 12/11, Chicago 9/2011, Monterey 8/11, Arizona 12/10


#6 Doug Herr

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 11:03 AM

I'm using a homemade sling made of 1" nylon webbing with the 'prong' end of a quick-release buckle (Fastex or the like) and on the shoulder stock is the 'socket' side of the buckle on a short loop of webbing. No strap on the camera body.

#7 guy_incognito

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 05:27 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. I ended up ordering a Carry Speed Cs-1. It is pretty similar to the Black Rapid, except the main difference is the mounting plate. This one allows a tripod mounting plate to be attached at the same time, so it would be easy to quickly mount on a tripod. It also has an optional strap that can be used as a backup for extra security. The reviews seemed to be fairly compatible with Black Rapid, with some preferring this mount over the Black Rapid. There are plenty of cheaper options available on eBay, but if you've got $2000+ of equipment hanging off it, paying a bit extra for quality is pretty negligible.

Latest lifers: Blue-winged Warbler, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Chestnut-collared Longspur, McCown's Longspur, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Brown-capped Rosy-Finch, White-tailed Ptarmigan, Pine Grosbeak, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Smith's Longspur, Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

Trip reports: Colorado 6/2014, Costa Rica 3/2014, Texas 12/2013, Central CA 8/2013, Arizona 6/2013, Midwest 5/2013, Hawaii 2/2013, Florida 9-10/2012, Monterey 8/2012, Salton Sea 7/2012, SE AZ 6/2012, Chicago 5/2012, Arizona 3/12, Arizona 12/11, Chicago 9/2011, Monterey 8/11, Arizona 12/10


#8 David Case

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 02:43 AM

I use a Canon 100-400f4.5/5/6L and support it by a combination of the neck strap and cradling the lens in one of my arms, but that can get tiring over a long day. I always like to keep the camera stap around my neck when I shoot, just to protect against dropping. However, this fellow makes an interesting support, you hang the camera off a vest-like thing so that the weight is distributed over your entire upper body. I know one fellow who has one but I have not tried it myself.

http://www.cottoncarrier.com/

#9 whiteraven

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 03:53 AM

I bought a sheep skin (fake) doodad from an auto parts store to put on my seat belt to make it more comfortable. I am short and tired of being strangled by the belt. It did not work. However, it is great on my binos and on my camera strap. It is a square that folds over a belt with velcro to keep it in place. I got a package of two for around $6.00. They call them seat belt adjustors I believe. At least I found a way to recycle whatever it is.

#10 slc1856

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 12:52 PM

Coincidentally, I just "invented" something to solve this problem three days ago.
1) First of all, I took the neck strap to a luggage repair shop and had it converted to a wrist strap.
2) Then, I put a larger split ring on the small split ring on the top of my monopod
3) Get a luggage strap off of a cheap duffle bag - I think you can sometimes find the straps sold separately
4) You'll also need to spring loaded quick release snaps, some duct tape and a hose clamp
5) Optional - a stocking cap or neck gator with a draw string - I just happened to have one already and add it as an afterthought.
6) Connect everything as shown.
I can then wear it slung over my shoulder like a quiver, (camera down to get the weight off my shoulder / neck ) and with the quick releases, I can get the monopod disconnected in 2 seconds, or once it's off, I can get the camera off the monopod in an instant (keep your hand through the wrist strap as you do this) AND, and this is important - the way it's rigged up, if it falls off the monopod while you're hiking, the wrist strap connection keeps the camera from falling. The stocking cap is there for dust, etc. and also pulls off in a second.

If between my description and the pictures you still can't quite figure this out, contact me at slc1856@yahoo. com and I'll build you one.


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Steve in Wichita
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#11 slc1856

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 01:15 PM

I took a look at the other suggested products. I pretty sure my set-up puts all the others to shame.
There are a couple of other things I should point out. When carrying a long lens, you should still wear the monopod like a quiver, but make sure the lens is facing backwards. It stays out of the way much, much better that way.
Also, you need two other things - a giant split ring and a leather small tool holder (the kind that your belt slips through, not the clip on type) http://www.wayfair.c...08-SYC1023.html

Put the giant split ring on your belt (or a belt loop) near your hip. When you have to take the camera off the monopod but you still need both hands to do whatever,You can then quickly clip the camera to the ring via the quick connect on the wrist strap.

Put the tool holder on your belt right near the buckle. You can then rest the foot of the monopod in the tool holder. It provides great, ultra-fast stability without having to extend the leg.
Steve in Wichita
Latest Lifer: Interior Least Tern (Sterna antillarum athalassos)

#12 Joejr14

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 10:48 PM

No offense meant, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't hook 14lbs and $7k worth of camera equipment up to what you built there.

Concerns:
  • How is this conversion happening? What are they doing to it other than cutting it? What types of materials are they using and what is it rated to for strength?
  • What's the listed strength of the split ring? Is it going to withstand 14lbs of equipment falling?
  • Why would I hook up expensive equipment (camera, lens, monopod, etc) to a strap off of a 'cheap duffle bag'? Doesn't this imply that the strap is cheap as well?
  • Again, how much do these quick release snaps hold? And duct tape and a hose clamp?
All of the above scares me. Some of those things might not be the quality that is used elsewhere, or it could be. But just picking up any old split rings or snaps is a bad idea waiting to happen, IMO.

All of these other products are thoroughly tested and pro approved. They're not junk.

I took a look at the other suggested products. I pretty sure my set-up puts all the others to shame.
There are a couple of other things I should point out. When carrying a long lens, you should still wear the monopod like a quiver, but make sure the lens is facing backwards. It stays out of the way much, much better that way.
Also, you need two other things - a giant split ring and a leather small tool holder (the kind that your belt slips through, not the clip on type) http://www.wayfair.c...08-SYC1023.html

Put the giant split ring on your belt (or a belt loop) near your hip. When you have to take the camera off the monopod but you still need both hands to do whatever,You can then quickly clip the camera to the ring via the quick connect on the wrist strap.

Put the tool holder on your belt right near the buckle. You can then rest the foot of the monopod in the tool holder. It provides great, ultra-fast stability without having to extend the leg.



#13 slc1856

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 12:46 AM

No offense meant, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't hook 14lbs and $7k worth of camera equipment up to what you built there.

Concerns:

  • How is this conversion happening? What are they doing to it other than cutting it? What types of materials are they using and what is it rated to for strength?
  • What's the listed strength of the split ring? Is it going to withstand 14lbs of equipment falling?
  • Why would I hook up expensive equipment (camera, lens, monopod, etc) to a strap off of a 'cheap duffle bag'? Doesn't this imply that the strap is cheap as well?
  • Again, how much do these quick release snaps hold? And duct tape and a hose clamp?
All of the above scares me. Some of those things might not be the quality that is used elsewhere, or it could be. But just picking up any old split rings or snaps is a bad idea waiting to happen, IMO.

All of these other products are thoroughly tested and pro approved. They're not junk.


No offense taken. My equipment is very low end and doesn't weigh too much. You can get industrial grade just about everything on the list as far as I know. Some of the items I used are really heavy duty because that's what I had laying around. And some of it's junk. All of the metal components are available in stainless steel which would have a very heavy duty rating. (for instance those quick release hooks I used are stainless and I think they're rated to 75#.
The duct tape I used was military grade, again because that's what I had, but the hose clamp (which is backup for the tape) is cheap. If I had expensive equipment, I'd buy a really strong strap and have a loop sewn into each end by a shoe or luggage repair place then slip a SS hose clamp through the loop and around the MP.
I'm almost positive that for not much money, you could build this design with top of the line components that would hold up a car.
I bet the weakest point on mine (given the weight of my stuff) is where the strap attaches to the camera.
Steve in Wichita
Latest Lifer: Interior Least Tern (Sterna antillarum athalassos)

#14 LindyFish

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 06:25 AM

I have a Black Rapid, but I also use a Cotton Carrier (website is www.cottoncarrier.com). Keeps my camera secure, and lets me be hands free when the camera is not being used. The camera stays secure and doesn't swing. I use it for times when I will be doing a lot of walking...I look like part of a SWAT team, but it works!

#15 LindyFish

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 06:27 AM

I am new, so this may be a duplicate. I have the Black Rapid, but for times when I will be walking a lot, I use a Cotton Carrier (website - www.cottoncarrier.com). Keeps my camera secure and makes it very difficult to travel. I look like I belong on a SWAT team, but it works!




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