After trying the default neck strap from Nikon in different ways (as a neck strap, a shoulder strap, a wrist strap or as no strap at all…) and a dedicated handstrap. I noticed two things:
- Camera’s can get very heavy after a couple of hours, either holding them in hand, or hanging around your neck.
- Mounting the camera on a tripod took a lot of time (especially with the hand strap where I needed to remove the hand strap before fastening the quick release plate)
Than I came across the Black Rapid Sport. The last 6 to 9 months I used this strap in several different places and in different situations. I used it in cities, in buildings, in a zoo and outside in the nature. I used it with and without bags, while wearing thick clothes and while wearing only a T-Shirt, with Nordic walking sticks, on a bicycle and on a segway.
The Black Rapid Sport
The Black Rapid Sport is a shoulder strap designed to go from your shoulder, across the chest to the opposite hip. So the weight of the camera is on your shoulder instead of your neck, and you don’t have the feeling the camera can glide off your shoulder like when you use the default neck strap as a shoulder strap (from your shoulder downwards).
The part of the strap that goes around your shoulder is completely made of padded material. This helps distribute the weight of the camera across the whole of your shoulder. I had no problem wearing my camera for a couple of hours. But still, after that I had the need to get the weight off my shoulder by holding the camera in hand for a while.
The camera is attached to the strap using a ring in the tripod mount. To be able to still use the quick release plate of the tripod, Black Rapid offers a special fastener. Now I can have the quick release plate on the camera while using the strap, so I only need to detach my camera from the strap to put it on the tripod. Although this special fastener is not really necessary (the strap can be attached to the Manfrotto release plate directly), it looks to me that the fastener of Black Rapid is better build and can handle larger weights.
On the downside
Since I used the Black Rapid Sport I also noticed a couple of annoying things.
First of all it is difficult to use a shoulder strap and a bag (shoulder bag or backpack) together, it is not impossible, but it is less comfortable.
A few times I noticed that the screwed parts (the fastener and the sleeve that locks the connector) will start loosen up after a couple of weeks. So every time I use the strap, I have to think about double checking that every thing is screwed tightly.
The bumpers on the strap, which are used to keep the camera in place don’t work very well. The camera keeps bumping, but this can be easily solved by attaching a carabiner to a belt or backpack and the straps connector.
I really like this camera strap and I can really recommend this strap to other dSLR users. It is a joy to have your camera in hands reach without pain in the neck or arms and without the feeling you will drop the camera.