As we’ve all have noticed, there is a lot of different camera straps available in the shops. Most of them are just a variation of the strap that comes in the box with your camera, others are quite different. So why just stick with the strap that your camera manufacturer gives you?
There are several reasons for not doing that. They are not any ergonomically made, they are relatively hard and narrow so it is unpleasant to carry a heavy camera over time, they are not flexible so they don’t stretch and evens out the weight while walking, carried over the shoulder they have a tendency to fall off while bending forward, carried diagonally over your chest it may get stuck or pull up your clothes as you raise the camera to your eye, when you raise the camera to your eye the straps get in the way for the buttons or screen and even gets over the eyepiece when taking photos in portrait orientation, the strap takes forever to put on and take off, they advertise your camera manufacturer name to potential thieves and with higher end cameras even the model name. So why do you still use the strap that comes in the box? Most likely because you haven’t tried any other or you may think that the reasons above actually are not a problem, witch again could be because you haven’t tried any other straps or maybe you’ve only tried those that are just more or less like the ones the camera manufacturer provided.
Several years ago I bought a different strap from Black Rapid and I think the model is RS-7, a sliding strap. Unfortunately I doesn’t look like they have that exact model any more, and not replaced it with something quite like it. There is also another manufacturer, Sun Sniper, that are basically a copy of Black Rapid with one nice addition, and it’s that they have a steel wire woven into the strap so thieves can’t cut it and run off with your camera. We even have Indigo Marble that makes a similar sliding strap, but the padding on the shoulder is much wider and elastic, witch also are divided into two parallel pieces makes it prefect for distributing the weight of a heavy camera and a big lens. More manufacturers with sliding straps are already on the market too.
So, why are these better than the camera factory straps and their likes? Short version, they just work and are never in the way! To explain better, the strap attaches to the bottom of the camera at the tripod mount. It attaches to the fastener with a carabiner and the camera just slides up and down along the strap, leaving the strap itself in place. When not in use, the camera hangs from the tripod mount (or the tripod mount on the lens) and is in perfect position to grab fast and rise to the eye without any distractions or delays. As the strap attaches to the bottom of the camera, it will never be in the way while using the camera, and if you want to take it off, it’s done much quicker than with the camera strap. There are even some smart solutions for those who like to have a quick release plate for a tripod attached too.
The only drawback I’ve noticed with sliding straps is that if you carry your camera with the lens pointing backwards, it may happen that some of the switches on the lens flip to another position while walking around. That has happened with some Nikkor and Tamron lenses for me. In those cases I turn the camera around so that the lens points towards left. I’m pretty sure it depends in the clothes you’re wearing at the time, so for others it may not be a problem at all.
The point of this post is not to recommend either of the mentioned brands, although I own a Black Rapid and a Indigo Marble. The point is to encourage you to try out a sliding strap to see if it changes your life too.
What is your favorite strap and why? Tell me in the comments below.