DIY Dual Camera Harness (pt1)

In my ongoing search for an affordable, comfortable, effective and good looking strap to carry two cameras, I found gorgeous but expensive options, but being a thrifty and crafty* guy, I wanted to see if there were any good do-it-yourself options that I could do, and I’m happy to say that yes, this can be done with as little as 2 belts, 2 D-rings, some material and a clasp.

*In my opinion, DIY is a great way to:

  • Learn about your world
  • Really own the things you use
  • Be able to make repairs
  • Make adjustments to suit your needs
  • And to sometimes save money

Search for “DIY double camera strap” or “DIY double camera harness” and you will find many people have created very good straps for less than $100. (Don’t forget to also do an image search.) Essentially, these are how gun harnesses were made since the 1800’s. Just do a Google image search for “shoulder gun harness.”

With this inspiration, I started my project.

Spoiler: Yes, it can be done for less money, but there is no such thing as a free lunch. Material may seem cheaper, but to get a polished DIY product, you pay in labor to find the right materials, to assemble it yourself, and to correct mistakes.

Stage 1: Proof of concept

One post reported that you could create a double camera harness with just two belts, so I grabbed two of my belts and by gosh, we are about 80% there!

If you are aware of the 80/20 rule, from this point on, it will cost more and more to get to 100%.

(In the photo, my thumbs were testing where the cameras would pull down.)

At this point, I’m feeling a little Road Warrior with two different colored leather belts held together by a string of scrap leather, but that is not the look that I am going for (for now 🙂 ).

Stage 2: Rough Draft

I ran out to buy two belts (took a while to find matching belts that I liked in the same length).

Tied the two belts together with some scrap leather.

For test “slides”, I grabbed:

  • 2 reclaimed D-rings from my old Tamrac bag that died years ago (rest in peace dear old camera bag). These were too large, but worked fine for testing.
  • and two Peak Design Leashes tied to figure out lengths needed for the final product.

And Viola! A genuine working double camera harness!

20160118 103151 DSCF1264 XE2_DCE midtones large_DCE.jpg

The cameras rested just behind my hands at my side. They didn’t hit each other behind me unless I pushed them. I found that the distance they hung also determined how much play they had coming up to my eye. I needed a longer length on the left to do portrait orientation. Portrait orientation was no problem on the right with a shorter length due to the strap being on the same side as the tripod mount.

To see how my would feel after wearing this for hours, I tried doing the dishes, emptying trash cans and preparing a quadruple batch of black bean soup with this harness on for an hour (with my spouse not home to avoid the whole “what the heck are you doing?!?” harassment).

  • The cameras were easy to handle.
  • I found that I was a bit wide. 🙂
  • I avoided bending over to avoid cameras hitting each other, but lowering with my legs worked great.
  • And my shoulders felt fantastic.

Sorry, I don’t have any photos of this, but I imagine they would have been hilarious.


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