I'm biased against the big Nikon FX advertisement on the rather cheap strap that ships with the D700. I use a PacSafe strap on my D2H (with 70-200 or 17-55) and thinking of buying a second strap. Any recommendations from the other Nikonians out there? Which strap do you use?
I typically wear the camera strap across my body in order to protect my gear under my right arm. The PacSafe strap has nice length. Not sure about Optech or LowePro straps. Thanks!
- Scott D2Hs/D80/D70(IR)/2 Models who won't pose for me
Based on this thread I ordered a Quick Release version from UPstrap. The test was to hang my D700 on my shoulder at a local county fair with a 2 and 4 year old. It took a little to get used to the pad, but that seemed to disappear after a while. The camera stayed secure to my shoulder regardless of bending or stooping or turning.
I am exchanging the QR for the non-QR version since I don't really use that function and I will like the 3/8" profile of the strap better.
I've used a Domke 1" strap for a long time, but the D700 is just a pit too heavy for it. The Domke does lie flat and is less obtrusive in the bag.
I love the Up Strap's that are mentioned in the previous thread, they work especially well if you are a photographer on the move, and not necessarily stationed in one place.
If you like Nikon straps, you can search ebay for the older camera straps. I still use one that came with my F100. This was before they cheapened out and stopped putting the non-slip material on the back of the strap, and before they narrowed the straps.
The Nikonians strap is really comfortable, but I found it to "bouncy" and as I was moving about.
>I'm biased against the big Nikon FX advertisement on the >rather cheap strap that ships with the D700. I use a PacSafe >strap on my D2H (with 70-200 or 17-55) and thinking of buying >a second strap. Any recommendations from the other Nikonians >out there? Which strap do you use? > >I typically wear the camera strap across my body in order to >protect my gear under my right arm. The PacSafe strap has nice >length. Not sure about Optech or LowePro straps. Thanks!
The Lowepro Voyager S, Lowepro Transporter and the Kata Reflex-C camera straps all work well across the chest. The maximum attached length of the Kata is 55". The Lowepro Voyager S is specifically designed for sling-style carry across the chest and it's a very good strap with somewhat less elasticity than the newer style of neck carry strap designs. The Lowepro Transporter is somewhat heavier duty than the Voyager and the Kata and also works well sling-style. The Lowepro Transporter has a maximum length of 46" and also has Quick Release buckles and can be used as a neck strap or a sling strap.
Personally, I never recommend the elastic neck straps for sling-style use across the chest mainly because they just don't slide easily across a lot of different kinds of clothing materials.
I've used the Voyager S sling-style and I think it works well for extendend walkabouts.
UpStraps are my choice for shoulder carry (which is my normal carry). They absolutely do not work well at all as sling straps mainly because the shoulder pad is just too grippy and snags on everything you're wearing if you try to slide it across your clothing. The UpStrap models are the best shoulder straps on the market as far as I'm concerned.
I confess to using a cheap ($15) Optex consumer strap on & off for a couple of years variously on a D70s and D200 body until I moved to UpStrap. The cheap Optex straps seem identical in size, construction and elasticity to the more expensive OpTech, Lowepro, Kata and Nikonians branded neck straps, but use cheaper split rings and webbing retainers that can allow a bit of adjustment slippage in some circumstances.
When we did some testing two years ago for a consumer advocacy group, and camera neck straps were included among a range of consumer secondary market/after-market accessories we were asked to test. We found few differences between $15-$35 wide, elasticized camera neck straps. The main differences were in edge finishing and the manner in which the wide elastic portion was attached to the 3/8" webbing. Once again, the inexpensive Optex performed essentially identically to the more expensive brands and also boasted strong webbing attachment points.
We also came across some inexpensive neck and sling straps at the $20-$25 price point which weren't really worth much more than 10 cents. A single line of polyester thread attached the elastic neck band to the webbing in some cases, allowing one of our field testers to actually pull it all apart with little effort after only a few days of regular use. Scary, especially when you think about your expensive SLR falling on a cement sidewalk when cheap strap construction gives way so easily. We also found lots of cheap straps with unfinished edges but otherwise acceptable construction and materials. The problems with unfinished (unturned) elastic or web cloth edges is that they fray and start to shed bits all over your clothes, and then start to snag on things. So an otherwise inexpensive and usable strap begins to fall apart and become weak and ugly looking after only a few weeks of daily use, forcing you to replace the thing.
We also discovered that split rings and d-rings are not all created equal. Nickel plated, heat tempered iron is dirt cheap and popular among the cheap strap makers. Unfortunately, the nickel plating is thin and moisture can quickly start rusting these sorts of split rings and d-rings. The major camera accessory name brands (including Lowepro, Kata, Domke, OpTech, etc.) appear to use stainless steel split rings and d-rings. Related to this, we discovered as well that quick release buckles are also not all created equal. Look for nylon or acetal (Delrin) buckles and stay away from polypropylene and the even cheaper (and dangerous) polystyrene buckles and strap retainers. Polycarbonate and Kevlar are also used for mil-spec buckles but we didn't run across any such buckles for this application. In addition, we found that the less expensive straps with quick release buckles often used thinner moldings than the name brands (Lowepro, Kata, OpTech, etc.).
A few brands (Kata notably, and a few Asian brands you've probably never heard of) offered robust looking carabiner-style clips which hooked into pigtail sections attached to the strap rings on the camera body. We don't recommend the design approach mainly because an upper strap portion that gets badly twisted or accidentally looped over itself can cause the spring clip of the carabiner to open up unexpectedly and result in a drop. The plastic carabiner 'spring' clips were especially dangerous. Scary again.
I was just looking at the BlackRapid straps yesterday after coming home from a day of touring Mt. Vernon with an Optech strap. I would love to hear from someone who uses one.
FWIW, The Optech strap is comfortable for a neck strap but not for an an extended time. I found myself putting the strap on my shoulder (which I didn't fully trust) or carrying my camera in my hand. I think I would really like the BlackRapid strap and a ThinkTank belt system.
"Something really clever or profound should go here...I have nothing "
I just got the Black Rapid strap. I haven't had a chance to use it out and about, but just playing around with it in the house, I think I'm going to like it. It works pretty much the way the videos on the BR site show. I'm using it with a D3 and find it quite comfortable. Whether that will still be the case on an all-day shoot remains to be seen.
I'll be using it with my Think Tank belt system at some point. That combination may be just what I need for two-body shooting during football season.
I really can't have anything on the belt on the right side around to the front. But with two bodies, I don't need but one lens pouch and the Speed Changer, so I can make it work. It feels a little unbalanced, but I expect I'll get used to that.
I've got one on my D300 and one on my D40. My wife is a small woman with a bit of arthritis and can't stand the weight of a camera around her neck. She takes a rugged 3 mile walk (woods and hills) most mornings and finds the BlackRapid stap most comfortable.
Most of my shooting is with a Tamron 70-200 F 2.8 and 1.4 TC (nearly 2.5 kg total). I find the BlackRapid to be the single best accessory I own.
I also use the Upstrap, and they do perform very well. One negative though, if you are wearing a light colored shirt and you are sweating at all, the upstrap tends to leave a black mark wherever it was rubbing. I have ruined a few shirts that way.
That being said, I still use them for their performance.
I have an Optech strap, but when you remove the strap (say, for tripod work), the Optech has about 12 inches of remaining strap left still attached and dangling down, and that really gets in my way. I actually prefer a Promaster strap that only has about 3 inches left hanging.
Up Strap - hands down! When I was using the Nikon straps, I would black out the logo with a sharpie - I do a lot of photography in crowded places and don't want to advertise that I'm carrying around expensive gear.
>I have an Optech strap, but when you remove the strap (say, >for tripod work), the Optech has about 12 inches of remaining >strap left still attached and dangling down, and that really >gets in my way.
THe OpTech straps have opposing QR ends, so you can join the two remaining straps together and keep them out of the way
>THe OpTech straps have opposing QR ends, so you can join the >two remaining straps together and keep them out of the way
I love the UpStrap but this is the one feature I miss from my OpTechs - it's so handy to be able to join the ends of the short straps when shooting from a tripod. The UpStraps have female plugs at each end ...
I've been using my OP/Tech strap for a few weeks now and i'm really liking it.
I went for the Super classic strap 'bino' version, which has the 3/8" connectors but no quick release buckles. The reason i went for this strap was that i dont shoot from a tripod that much and i didnt want to be worrying about my strap suddenly releasing by its self. I had to cut the free ends down, as they were too long but thats no problem. I really like the strap, its comfortable and discrete compared to the D700 strap.
Mon 25-Aug-08 04:58 AM | edited Mon 25-Aug-08 05:01 AM by dphotobayer
I have used the 1.5 inch Domke Gripper straps for over 15 years now on every SLR I have ever owned. The main reason is that they detach if you are using the camera on a long lens on a monopod, wrap around shortly on the monopod for remote "Hail-Marys" and unlike the thick rubber Upstrap, the strap rolls up easily out of the way in a tight bag.
When I am shooting more than one body in a helicopter with the door off at 16,000 feet, it is nice to just quickly undo the strap and secure the camera to a seat belt or part of the airframe when that body is not in use.
For $22.50 from B&H, they are a sure bet.
"Digital is like shaved legs on a man - very smooth and clean but there is something acutely disconcerting about it."
>Doorless helicopters at 16,000 ft. cool. I used to be a pilot >(F-18s). Most of the helos that I rode in had problems getting >over 10-12k. Anyway, sounds like a fun way to shoot.
Made just shy of 9K in a Bell 206B3 fully loaded, but it felt like we were in a blender. Made 11K in the same helo a week later with half a load and only 200 liters of fuel. On an investigative research project in southern Germany we made 14K in a Bell 407 for about an hour between Franfurt and Hamburg, but the pilot was complaining about insufficient lift and radioed for permission for a saner altitude. 16K in a helo creeps me out, especialy with the doors open, mask, cold as hell and so on at that altitude. There's a new Euro helo that's supposed to be rated for the top (or near to top) of Everest (29K+). I have no idea what sort of massive main rotor and blade assembly is needed for that kind of lift in such low density air, but it must be absolutely huge.
We only topped out at 16K for a wide perspective for a moment and then came back down to a normal altitude like 12K. Our normal operating scope is take off at 8K to 14K to get level with the surrounding peaks. We all climb and are very well acclimated. And it is not so much the altitude as it as the cold. On that flight to 16K it was in January and -5 without the downdraft windchill. My knees were nuked even with Windstopper fleece pants on.
"Digital is like shaved legs on a man - very smooth and clean but there is something acutely disconcerting about it."
>We all climb and are very well >acclimated. And it is not so much the altitude as it as the >cold. On that flight to 16K it was in January and -5 without >the downdraft windchill. My knees were nuked even with >Windstopper fleece pants on.
My sympathies for sure. We've got our camera gear with us on every project no matter what it is. We've been using more and more helo charters because we're fed up with flaky private turboprops like the last Cheyenne III (a converted former air ambulance we think - at least 20 years old and showing every bit of its age) we were on in Slovenia last winter. We're getting the same hourly rate (or better) for the helo charters as we are for the 6-10 passenger turboprop charters. The helos are a better photography platform and the pilots are often more sympathetic to photographers.
Well a bit more feedback on the op/tech super classic strap(bino version) that I posted about. I've just finished a 2week trip in japan(actually i'm still in the airport waiting to leave!)
I used the strap on my d700 and was very pleased with it. its cushioning on your shoulder and has just the right amount of non stick bits so it'll stay on your shoulder but won't resist being moved too much. its obviously made of quality materials and still looks brand new... unlike my domk f2_x bag where both the attachment buckles snapped! nearly dumping my gear on the floor twice, not happy for something that's supposed to be a quality proffessional product. But the op/tech strap still looks brand new, i'll be continuing to use that for a long time
>Well a bit more feedback on the op/tech super classic >strap (bino version) that I posted about. I've just finished a >2 week trip in japan (actually i'm still in the airport waiting >to leave!) > >I used the strap on my d700 and was very pleased with it. its >cushioning on your shoulder and has just the right amount of >non stick bits so it'll stay on your shoulder but won't resist >being moved too much. its obviously made of quality materials >and still looks brand new... unlike my domk f2_x bag where >both the attachment buckles snapped! nearly dumping my gear on >the floor twice, not happy for something that's supposed to be >a quality proffessional product.
Based on comments from another poster, I purchased a BlackRapid strap online. Very nice design, although the shoulder pad slide limiter or stop buckle or whatever it's called probably won't last long. Not a crucial part, so it's no big deal. The cross chest, sliding carabiner design is brilliant and works quite well for me, so one of my UpStraps is temporarily retired.
I hope you get a chance to write to Domke about the broken attachment buckles on your F2 bag. Both buckles giving out is fairly scary especially given the thinner and less protective padded inserts normally found in F2 bags. If it drops to the ground, something in the bag in going to be damaged.
Almost everywhere in Japan is wonderful at this time of year. Hope your trip was great.
>I've been using a Black Rapid R-Strap for several months now. > It's fantastic! I'll never go back to an around-the-neck >strap.
I just got mine yesterday and have just been playing with it. It works as advertised and is quite comfortable. I wanted something unobtrusive that doesn't hang the camera around my neck or off my shoulder - and something that allows me to bring the camera up to a comfortable shooting level very quickly. The Black Rapid-R1 seems to fit the bill. I really think it will make it possible for me to walk around on the street comfortably with my D700 without screaming "camera". If you are looking for minimalist, this may be it.
Obviously, I need to put it through its paces but concept-wise I like it very much.
Possible negatives include the current clamp/lock for fastening belt to fastener on camera. A SS replacement that looks more sturdy and less likely to open unexpectedly will soon be available as a retrofit according to their site. Also the d-ring fastener that screws into the camera bottom stays in place by simply tightening down - I'm a little concerned it doesn't have some type of lock-in-place mechanism that would prevent it from unscrewing. Time will tell how much of a concern the latter might prove to be.