For many who knows me, they have seen me try lots of camera straps, and I have researched many more straps in addition to the ones that I bought. To ease your pocketbook, here is what I have found from my experience. (Spoiler: one tool does not fit all tasks.)
Black Rapid Classic (RS-4)
- This was my first sling strap, and I put lot of miles into it.
- I even bicycled all around Mackinac Island with a DSLR on this strap.
- It worked much better than standard neck straps, but it always dug into my neck.
- I, personally, don’t like the Black Rapid ConnectR. It monopolizes the tripod mount. I prefer using a Peak Design plate with Pro Drive Screw (more below).
- The thick pad also tended to get very sweaty and to wander off my shoulder (usually to the back)
- There are a ton of knock-offs on eBay which I would avoid and get something different.
Black Rapid Sport Thin
- Black Rapid makes this in right and left-handed. I chose right since I am right-handed, but it turns out that I like it on my right shoulder which is the opposite of how the right-handed strap is set up (it goes on the left shoulder).
- It works fine on my right shoulder, but if I could buy it again, I would get it the left-handed version to avoid the extra adjustment strap hanging in the way in front of me (instead of behind you).
- Although the pad is narrower than the Classic or the (standard) Sport, it still tends to get sweaty, but it doesn’t wander with the strap under my arm holding it in place.
- It is a little overkill for many events, so I continued to search for a better strap.
- But when we go bicycling and I want to have my Canon G15 handy, this strap is perfect with the back limiter holding the camera at my chest.
Black Rapid Curve
- This is probably my favorite Black Rapid strap.
- The pad is angled so it better fits my sloping shoulders without digging into my shoulders or neck.
- The pad is also designed to avoid flattening out (it wants to stay a C shape) and sliding off your shoulder, but it does wander on a rare occasion.
- And it does this without the strap that goes under your arm like the Sport straps.
This is the strap that I use if I am also wearing a backpack.
- However, it still gets sweaty.
- And, unfortunately, the strap is designed to be worn over the left shoulder. If you wear it on your right shoulder like I do, then the extra adjustment strap hangs in the way in front of you, and they don’t make a left-handed Curve.
Peak Design Slide
- I was part of Peak Design’s Kickstarter campaign to get this product made. I got one of the first that had defective clips that didn’t stay in place, but the fix worked perfectly, and I assume the new ones are perfect like mine.
If I am just carrying one DSLR body (and no backpack), this is the strap that I use.
- It is the most comfortable way to carry a Canon 7D, battery grip and 70-200mm f/4L IS.
- That’s about 5.4 pounds in weight!!!
- That’s heavier than a half gallon of milk (try carrying that around with a strap).
- The strap is made of car seatbelt material so it is soft, slick and stays pretty sweat free.
- It adjusts in a snap from back and forth between being tight to the body to being loose for shooting (without having any extra material in the way anywhere. 🙂 )
- Although you can connect to any combination of attachment points on the camera or plate, my favorite is to connect both anchor points on Peak Design’s ARCA plate and let the camera hang lens down.
- I far prefer this over connecting to any camera’s attachment points with the lens sticking out waiting to bump into someone or some thing.
- Plus, it is a more natural position for me to grab and shoot. Pointed out requires me to twist my hand unusually or take extra steps just to get to the grip.
- The anchor points are made from very durable material, but they do fray and might get worn out depending on how hard you are on them. (But even the super material in Spider-Man’s web gets worn out. 🙂 ) And a set of replacement anchors aren’t too expensive.
- (I, personally, don’t need the padding they included or the anti-ship strips.)
- 😦 The drawback for the design is that it can’t be easily used while wearing a backpack.
- 😦 And unlike a Black Rapid strap, it isn’t as quick to disconnect the camera in order to show off photos on the camera.
- And I prefer not to use it with my Fuji X-T1 (the strap is too wide), but see below.
Peak Design SlideLITE
- This is a narrower version of the Slide aimed for mirrorless cameras. The clip appears simplified, too.
- See Peak Design SlideLITE Review for the scoop.
Peak Design Leash
- Although this strap can be used a bunch of different ways, I dremeled off the extra plastic piece (not included in the company’s picture above) so it would slide without rubbing against me.
- It is also made of soft, seat belt material so slides wonderfully and because it is so thin, it doesn’t get sweaty.
- I also like that I can use it as a sling and very quickly turn it into a neck strap in case I’m at a location where “Pro” photography is frowned upon, but tourists are tolerated. I can quickly look more like a tourist. 🙂
This is my favorite strap with my Canon G15 and it does work with my Fuji X-T1 and 18-55mm lens.
- However, like the Slide, it doesn’t work with a backpack too well.
- And the adjuster tends to be exactly at my shoulder which is uncomfortable when carrying the heavier camera (can’t wait for SlideLITE to arrive)
(Coming soon: A quick word about Peak Design plates and how to modify the ARCA Plate for less anchor fraying.)
- To be honest, I don’t use this strap, but I bought it because I should have liked it in theory.
- Cameras slid along the strap like on a Black Rapid and even attached to my Black Rapid connectors,
- Except the pad was larger, rubberized to keep in place, and made of neoprene to better distribute the weight — the same as the strap that I used for years with my 35mm.
- It was comfortable and worked well, but it was HUGE — I felt like Chewbacca wearing the thing.
Other straps I considered
- Joby Ultrafit — in theory, this self-adjusting strap sounds great, but my experience with the Peak Design straps is that pads are sweaty and like to move.
- OP/TECH strap — same problem with pads
- (Many more that I can’t recall now.)
- All those beautiful, hand-crafted leather camera straps that have come out lately? — probably fine. Some seem too narrow to be comfortable at the shoulder.
- If I shot professionally, I would probably use a Moneymaker dual camera strap by Holdfast or a Black Rapid Double Slim.