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Black rapids, or even their clones are alot better than stock straps or the "round the neck" types. They give you more freedom of movement and the ability to lock it in place at your side when you're not using it. I would say a BR or a clone would be just as good as each other, but obviously you are paying for the quality with BR.
I use a Black Rapid DR Double. Yes the camera does hang upside down, but it is perfect. Because all you do is grab the camera and bring it up, you do not have to twisty your wrist to grab the camera. They are very strong, and I have not lost a camera off of one to this day.. I use them for weddings or theme parks because I can carry two cameras at one time. The double can also be converted into a single strap if you like. But the double feature on it balances the weight perfect.
When I shoot a wedding with the double on, I can actually DROP one camera and reach for the other (Like a Navy SEAL droping one firearm and reaching for another). I have even thrown one camera down and grabbed the other. The screw is VERY strong and secure. The clip has a screw on safety to make sure that it will not open. I would only use a Black Rapid and not an ripoff version. A bit expensive, but great safety and comfort. Here is the DR double.
It is very comfortable, very fast because the camera is in a natural position for you free hands, the weight is perfect on your shoulders and you can go all day without any strain. I highly recommend them. I was going to get the single, but I am glad I went for the double becuase this way I have TWO singles if I need.
I like to have the tripod mount free. I use an Optitech strap instead of attaching at the tripod mount it uses one of the camera strap eyelets and if you have a grip it also attaches there. Shooting a lot of Charity events it seems more secure
I have a light weight version of it for my little Canon G12 -- it's part of the Snapr bag by Blackrapid and I love it! However I must agree with Gallery Three, I would prefer to keep the tripod mount free. Fortunately the Snapr bag system can also connect to the camera strap loop.
Gallery Three...were you saying you use the OpTech straps with the BR or that you don't use BR but like the Optech?
Thanks for that link Lynn. It seems like the one made for women is really thin...isn't it? It seems too thin, like not enough with to be good padding.
Or maybe not, I just looked at the first one. =) I see how it's made for women now, that's a great idea, made to curve to our bodies and be more comfortable. I'm busty so I will appreciate that feature....lol.
I used to use the stretchy Optech and similar but I now have the black rapid double, I run a wide lens on camera on one and usually a 70-200 2.8 lens and camera on the other for news work, the black rapid double is amazing, no sore necks or shoulders anymore and so easy to use, best thing I have ever bought.
While that looks fast and flexible (in the two camera model) for those who don't use tripod, it looks dangerous for those who scramble a lot. If you ever use your hands for balance on steep hills, in the rocks, you're going to constantly have to guard against your lenses bashing together, or them bashing it rocks as you scramble up a steep hill. What makes better sense to me is the second body and a couple of lenses in a backpack, and perhaps a double strap camera harness to safely support a single camera on my well padded pot-belly camera shelf. The camera and lens are more protected in that configuration, but the camera is accessible. I use my tripod as a walking stick.
What I like about them is that you do not need to unscrew the metal loop off of the camera if you use a Manfrotto tripod. They sell a special screw that replaces your Manfrotto tripod mount screw that has a loop that lays flat inside the mount and can flip up for you to attach the Black Rapid to.. Example:
Angel, I just ordered the black one for women and will let you know what I think of it when it arrives. Honestly, I don't want too much hanging around my neck since in Florida it will just get too hot and scratchy (and sweaty). I'm thinking the women's is customized to be shorter so the camera doesn't hang too low and curved for the obvious reason you mentioned. They also have one for left-handed people although I debate it's value since the cameras are all specifically right-handed.
The FastenR will work with any tripod mount (that I have tested) that has a screw you can remove. As long as the D ring part of it lays below the surface and the tripod head does not go up into the mount. But you will have to check with the tripod mount and head.
I'm happy with the camera strap I just purchased. I'll have to remove it to use a tripod but I used it for a couple hours Saturday without any discomfort. I hangs a bit differently on me than on the model in the photo but I'm able to access the camera very quickly and easily.
Angelina - I use a couple of Op-Tech USA straps, one single camera and another dual camera strap when I need two DSLRs. I chose Op-Tech because I use a tripod a lot and didn't want to use the Black Rapids connector. I've been very happy with the Op-Tech straps.