- Part 1: Intro, proof of concept, rough draft
- Part 2: Refinement
- Part 3: Peak Design slider
- Part 4: Adjustments, storage/transport, real world results
- Part 5: Questions and material options
So what is it like actually using it?
It smells awesome every time I put it on (if you like the smell of leather).
If the cameras or the harness doesn’t rest or sit the way you would like, see if it help to adjust the belt lengths or the slide lengths (if possible).
The back also tends to start lower than is comfortable.
The bag that came with a very cheap tripod that I bought years ago was the perfect size to store the harness when I’m transporting it. To keep the integrity of the bag, I left the embroidered company name and blacked it out with a sharpie.
This strapped to the tripod harness on my tiny Vanguard Adaptor 41 backpack perfectly.
How do I look?
Being “the photographer” at events, there are very few photos of me shooting (you know how it is). I’ll add photos if I can find someone to shoot photos of me that don’t make me cringe.
But I think that I pretty much look like every other photo of someone using a HoldFast MoneyMaker harness which is much better than the ballistic looking alternatives.
Real world results: Lessons learned (from using it)
- Bend at the knees (instead of bending at the waist)
- Wearing fitted clothes works better with the D-rings
- Keep hands lightly on the cameras to keep them from twisting around
- Be careful when leaning up against walls
- When moving around, keep in mind that you are very wide
- Grab onto the cameras when moving through tight quarters
- Moderate sweat did not appear to be a problem, but keep in mind you have metal buckles and d-rings (and cameras) than can damage things you bump into.
- (FYI when shooting for long periods, don’t blame the harness for back pain if you are also standing or wearing a backpack for long periods.)
Coffee House Talent Show
It worked wonderfully and my only complaints that I have were:
- the D-rings wanted to get bound up in my loose fitting dress shirt from work, so it might be a good idea to test your clothes before going to an event and to stick to more fitted clothes.
- the Peak Design-inspired sliders tend to get twisted as the camera turns freely.
- Since this isn’t connected at a single point like other systems with a rotating clip of some sort, it can’t untwist itself,
- but now that I’m aware that the cameras want to do this when I’m moving around, I think that I can mitigate this by keeping my fingers on the cameras when they are down.
- I would prefer this over trying to create a rotating part of some sort since I am not a fan of those connections (complications and points of failure).
Girl Scout Cookie Box Construction
This was a 3 hour work meeting, and it again worked wonderfully.
- My shoulders felt better than when I use a sling strap. This is probably due to more even distribution of weight.
- The twisting issue was also not an issue now that I’m aware of it (and I had to move around a lot more during this event than the previous event).
- I shot horizontal and vertical without thinking about it or getting hindered by the Peak Design-inspired slider.
- Along with shooting, I was also able to help out the girls when I could (I was also a parent volunteer).
My only complaints were:
- It was harder to use in tight quarters when I had to be up against something to get the shot
- at least one camera was down and wanting to naturally fall behind me,
- but I think this is unavoidable unless you are willing to deal with the repercussions of some mods I can imagine off the top of my head that would also hinder easy usage.
- I was also very wide (unavoidable)
- and it was more difficult to slip between people even while holding one camera in each hand
- I don’t know why since this isn’t much different than slipping between people with one camera
- Maybe it has to do with not having one hand free. Hmmm…
Skate Birthday Party
I took my daughter to a 2 hour birthday party at a skating rink. I wasn’t planning on skating so decided to try the harness under a backpack. It worked great. My back was killing me from just standing, but the harness worked great. However, sweat was building up under the backpack strap which is fine with synthetic material used in most sling straps, but might be a problem with new, tanned leather. It wasn’t a problem at this event, but something sweatier might have been a problem.
Anyway, I wasn’t expecting to be able to capture much action in such low light, but here are some samples of what I got for those interested.
Girl Scout Cookie Construction Build Day
6 hours mostly standing with backpack on (no secure place to leave extra equipment). Back was killing me due to the standing with the backpack, but the harness worked great. Harness scraps were over the backpack straps this time and they didn’t slow me down one bit. The only times that I detached the cameras were for lunch and to shoot over my head.
So far, hours of sliding have not resulted in significant wear. I’ll post an update after hundreds of hours of use.
I’ll also post here if I find any additional issues with the materials, design or wear-and-tear come up.
Since I also wear dark clothes to shoot, I bought two $12 black work belts from Walmart to have more color options to hide the strap more on black/dark clothes. Since I probably wouldn’t be using this black harness as often, the cheap belts should be good enough. And since changing out the sliders takes less than a minute, I’m not planning on making additional sliders (for now), but it would be nice not to have to do this. Hmmm…