Spiderlight Hand Strap Goes to the Zoo (updated review)

After many impatient weeks after Spiderlight’s successful Kickstarter campaign finished, I finally received the Spiderlight Hand Strap a few days ago. Yay! And, lucky enough, our family was planning to go to the zoo the next day which made a perfect test.

Below are my first impressions, but first, I must disclose that I supported this Kickstarter campaign and I really wanted a usable hand strap on my Fuji X-T1.

In my hand

The fit is good and doesn’t appear perfect — front edge presses on my hand more than the back edge — but, in practice, I don’t notice this. It feels very good. My hand slips right in and it feels very natural.


The hand strap did not get in the way when the camera was mounted to the backpack strap via Peak Design Capture Clip.

20160813 111015 iphone5s spiderlight hand strap_Crop_DCE

Using it at the zoo was pretty natural except that it fought my natural position a little, loosening it up helped.

One important thing to note: when I did a drop test, I heard and felt a snap and was afraid that I had broken it, but it was actually a little clip that had snapped out of place.


The clip appears designed to hold the strap neatly in place, but makes a startling snapping sound when pulled out of place.

In the bag

I normally use my Adaptor backpacks with the camera handle side out for fast camera removal…

20160814 105554 DSCF1035 X100T spiderlight hand strap_DCE

But with the hand strap in place, you either need to squeeze it into place or turn the camera.

However, for this trip, I wanted to carry a little more equipment and a water bottle, so I pulled out my big Lowepro Flipside Sport (20L) (but it turned out the morning was cool and I never ended up using my water bottle and extra equipment).


In this case, I could either flatten the hand strap or twist it to fit behind the camera.


How it mounts

You definitely get a lot of parts to make it fit your usage.

20160814 115043 DSCF1053 X100T spiderlight hand strap_DCE

Once in place, the adapter gets the strap out of the way of your index finger.


And the shape rests against my index finger very well.


But it had a little difficulty with the Fuji MHG-XT Large hand grip that I like.


It works, but there is continuous pressure on the adapter. Plus, the bottom of the strap seems to make it hard to rest the palm of my hand on the bottom of the camera.


However, loosening the strap help this immensely.

If you use a battery grip on your X-T1, it seems to work well with it, too.


But if you mount it directly to the bottom of the X-T1, you can’t open the battery door without (mostly?) removing the attachment.

20160814 115257 DSCF1054 X100T spiderlight hand strap anon_DCE

That’s because the tripod mount is offset (not directly under the lens) and closer to the battery door. The screw that comes with the strap is not the common 5/32″ hex that is on the Fuji hand grips and Peak Design clips, so all those handy 5/32″ hex wrenches (or other handy wrenches like the Thinguma tool) aren’t going to help me in the field to get the strap off to change batteries.

Luckily, in my case, this is not a problem for me as I prefer to have Fuji’s MHG-XT Large hand grip mounted.



The PD Arca plate that I like wiggles a little with the strap between it and the hand grip, and is tilted when the strap is only on one side of the plate.


Here is the bottom of the strap



Initial conclusion:

Sorry. NI’ve only had the strap for a few days and used it on one outing. That’s far too little experience to give an initial impression or conclusion. I’ll post a more through review later.

And as for the zoo? I think that I got some nice shots (and a nice morning with my family).


**Update 2/2018**

A year-and-a-half later, the strap is holding well. When you are shooting quickly, it gives nice tactile feedback for knowing your hand is in place and ready and that your camera is secure.

After, dozens of events and outings and hundreds of times of going in-and-out of and getting squashed in various bags, there is a little fraying…

And the grippy padding that WASN’T pressed up against the bottom of the body is finally detached…

But the strap has not shown any signs of cracking.

It is still a big pain to get around to change out batteries, but this is my biggest gripe. That and the ridiculousness of having to use an ARCA plate on a hand grip with a built in ARCA plate. There’s no avoiding this since your hand rules out any possibility of this attaching between the body and hand grip (you would be solving the wrong problem).


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