Registered: June 2006
Location: Dunstable Bedfordshire UK
Review Date: Tue November 1, 2011
||Would you recommend the product? Yes |
Price you paid?: £12.99
| Rating: 10
Cheap, Effective, comfortable,
Edit added 18th November 2011.
Now having used this strap fo a while, I stand by my review with one additional caveat. If you use a backpack and want to use your camera on the Quick Rapid strap you might have to interlace the camera and backpack straps, or perhaps lengthen the Quick Rapid strap in order for it to go over the backpack. I have not actually tried this - it has occurred to me during use. This might be considered by some to be a disadvantage of using this style of camera strap.
This review is on the Quick Rapid Strap which is very similar to the Black Rapid RS 4. The Black Rapid strap might well be constructed of higher grade materials and have subtle differences in some areas, but it costs around £59.99 - £79 in the UK.
I was mightily impressed with the video demo of the Black Rapid strap that was posted up by -Oy- in a forum discussion, however, now being a pensioner, I thought that the price was a bit steep to just go ahead with buying one as I was a little concerned about trusting my camera to a single attachment point. In the forum, the re-assurance from -Oy- and Mark eased my concerns and following the link that Mark posted, the e-bay version at £12.99 looked like it was worth a punt. In fact, at that price I thought it was worth two punts! So I placed my order. As with most Hong Kong suppliers, they quoted up to 25 days for delivery. Got a message the next day to say it had been posted, and only 7 days after my order was placed, it arrived!
First impressions are good. There is quite a lot of 'spare strap' after changing the length to have the camera resting on my hip, but that is a minor point that will be sorted out by securing the excess to the 'main' strap. As it is on the back, it is no bother. After using it in a real shooting environment rather than just in my lounge, I might find that it needs to be lengthened a bit, so this is not bothering me at all. I have now realised that when I unpacked it I cut a plastic cable tie from the strap. This is probably what keeps the end of the strap from flapping about, so if you do buy one, don't cut it off. I have had to use a couple of cable ties to hold the end of the strap in place, so put the strap on the camera and adjust it first then see if the cable tie has a purpose before removing it!
Like -Oy-, my cameras and my 80-200 have Manfrotto RC2 QR plates permanently attached, but the carabiner on the Quick rapid strap fits on the RC2 screw grip/toggle OK and has a security screw too, so I did not use the supplied mounting plate. One word of warning is that on two of my RC2 plates the toggle/grip that you grip to tighten or loosen the screw fitted into the sides of the screw head OK, but on the third, the toggle was only just in the holes in the side of the screw and needed a pinch with a pair of pliers to make it secure. The carabiner on the strap clips onto this toggle/grip. The supplied mounting plate has a slot at one end for using an alternative strap if required and a hole at the other for the carabiner. The mounting screw does have a tripod socket built-in.
The quality and finish are excellent. The D700 + a Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 does feel lighter and more comfortable than when using the neck strap and the camera moves up and down the strap easily without the shoulder pad moving. The padded shoulder strap has a zipped pocket that will take a couple of memory cards. However, these will be a tight fit if you want to keep them in their cases.
The only downside that I can think of is that if you use a shoulder bag you might find that there is a conflict with the camera. Of course, you can use your other shoulder, but if the bag is heavy this might be a pain (literally!) if you can't share the load between your shoulders. Lengthening the camera strap will probably allow the camera to be positioned more to your back instead of at your hip.
The strap performs in an identical way to the Black Rapid one if you check out the demo video for the Black Rapid RS4. The strap has a couple of adjustable clips one of which limits where the camera rests at the bottom of the 'loop' and should re-seat the shoulder pad onto your shoulder if it does fall off when you are taking a shot. It is called the bumper in the BR video. The other one appears to be superfluous (the BR one does not have this clip) so I've positioned it next to the shoulder pad to keep it out of the way.
There is a large metal loop on the carabiner that runs up and down the strap very easily so when you lift the camera to your eye the shoulder pad stays in place.
If you don't like the idea of using the mounting plate you could buy a screw with a hole/loop/'toggle' attached and clip the carabiner to that, but the cost of the screw is likely to be the same (or more) as the strap!
FastenR-3 Ľ BlackRapid.com
You must be able to get these cheaper on e-bay!
Edit: I'm right!
This one has the wrong picture, but the description is correct
If you look at the Manfrotto RC2 QR plate that I'm using you will see how -Oy- and I are attaching the straps to the screws
Manfrotto Rectangular Plate with 3/8'' screw - Headplates
These straps are easily available on e-bay, but the supplier I used (courtesy of Mark) is here
In the short amount of time that I've had the strap I have found it to be comfortable, secure and very effective. Snags? None at the moment.
Edit - 22nd november 2011 - just seen another thread relating to the Black Rapid strap here