BlackRapid Sport Camera Strap Review

 

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I am that kind of photographer, the kind that never leaves home without a camera, always ready to shoot. I have a camera within hand reach all the time. I love photography, it is in my blood, my heart and my soul. Having said all of that, carrying a camera around all the time used to be very difficult and a huge pain in the ass. I hate carrying a camera around my next as so many tourists do. It is so uncomfortable. I used to sling a camera over one on of my shoulders with the manufacture strap on the camera, but the camera would always work itself down my shoulder and I would keep re-adjusting it, which was extremely irritating.

 

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About the only photo, I have of the carry speed strap. I had no website at the time and I seldom took pictures of my gear then.

 

And then one day, while I was browsing Youtube, I saw a review for a camera strap by Jared Polin. I watched the whole review and I thought that it looked like such a perfect solution for me and I tried to get a copy of the strap in China and I could not find one anywhere. I searched for a couple of months, and nothing. Eventually, I found an alternative called Carryspeed and ordered one and I used it for about a year, I really saw the advantage of carrying a camera across your shoulders but I was not very happy with Carryspeed. The ball and socket mechanism that they use to attach to your camera felt clumsy and I could not connect the strap to the tripod mount on my larger lens.

 

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While it might look like a strong solution, the ball and socket mechanism will wear out very quickly and break. The worst part is that you cannot tell how worn it is because it is hidden away with the locking nut.

 

And then the unthinkable happened. I just bought a brand new D4S and while I was shooting my first show with my D4s, the ball and socket mechanism broke, sending my camera crashing to the ground with my Nikon 80-200 lens attached to it. The camera crashed down onto its pentaprism, tearing it open and the body seemed all warped. I had only taken about 300 photos with the camera by that time. To cut a long story short, the D4s was a write-off, it could not be repaired and my confidence to use a Carryspeed strap was forever gone. I searched online again and by now there were many companies selling Blackrapid straps, so I ordered two straps, one sports R model for my work and one metro model to carry my everyday walk around camera with me.

 

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The ConnectR can hold a ton of weight with no problem.

 

The new straps arrived and I loved them. They were super comfortable to wear, the sports strap was a little bit better in my opinion though. The brad strap really helps to keep the strap nice and secure on your shoulder. The FatenR (tripod nut that connects to the camera) makes it so much easier to use than the CarrySpeed camera strap. I usually keep a fastener attached to each one of my cameras, and on my big lens, so that  I can move the camera strap to new equipment very quickly.

 

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My usual work process, a blackrapid nipple on my camera and my big lens, makes it easy to switch lens and cameras.

 

The ConnectR (steal bracket, I hate their personalized vocabulary) feels strong, and I have carried some heavy gear on this strap and it has worked well for me so far. The shoulder strap distributes the weigh nice and evenly even if I have used my Nikon D3S with the Tamron 150-600mm lens on this strap. That combination may be over 6kg or more and it never felt it was going to pull my shoulder off. When I use my a larger lens, I have the strap connect to the tripod collar on the lens and not the camera. This seems to balance the weight fairly evenly and takes the stress off the camera mount.

 

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One thing that I do with my Blackrapid strap is that I attached my photo pass to the brad strap, the pass hands from the opposite of the camera, it is out of my way but still visible to the security.

 

The ballistic nylon that the strap is made out of seems very strong, and on both my straps there is no sign of wear or tear. Good well made products like this are hard to find. But not everything is perfect on the strap. On the urban model, I find that the strap will rotate on your shoulder and after 30 or 40 minutes of walking, the shoulder and has done a 180 and is near your camera and the unprotected strap is on your shoulder. Not a big deal, but it does happen a lot. But this is one major problem that I have encountered with the strap and that is with the buckle. The ConnectR that connects the strap to the camera will slow wear over time when you use it and it could break. Mine did break and it destroyed one of my cameras.

 

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The black rapid Metro failing on me, destroying my camera.

 

Luckily for me, this was a cheap old film camera this time, but I do check my straps very often for wear and tear now, and if I think that the ConnectR is too worn, I will buy a new strap. I still love the strap to be honest, even though it did fail on me once and break one of my cameras. I just put that failure down to excessive use. I used the strap almost every single day for two years. Would I recommend this strap to other people? Absolutely. This is a great piece of photography gear, if you shoot a lot, then you absolutely need to buy this strap, save your neck and enjoy the benefits of having a camera by your side at all time, ready to shoot.

 

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My D3S hanging on my Blackrapid, during a show. The camera hands very comfortably off the strap and I hardly know it is there.

 

Rating

  • Build Quality: 5 out of 5
  • Easy of use: 5 out of 5
  • Durability: 3 out of 5

Shaun

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