BlackRapid R-Strap

Conventional camera straps have always been a disappointment to me. I use them simply to prevent accidentally dropping my camera. When walking around and taking pictures, the camera hanging from my neck on my chest is just not comfortable and looks out of place. I tried slinging the camera over the shoulder a few times, but I never got the hang of it.

A Great Camera Strap

After reading a series of glowing reviews about the R-Strap, I threw down my plastic and ordered one. It is by far the single best purchase for my camera that I have ever made.  Using the R-Strap has completely changed the way I look at photography. Its no longer a burden to take the camera out of the case and carry it around. Instead I feel comfortable, and the camera is always at hand, ready to take a shot. This strap is practically mandatory for photowalking.

The R-Strap in action

The strap goes over your head like a messenger bag, crossing the body. An included fastener device screws into the tripod socket on the bottom of your camera. The strap itself has a hook that clips onto the fastener, completing the connection.

Once properly adjusted, the camera hangs at your hip, within easy reach of your hand. Grabbing the camera’s grip, you bring the camera up to your eye in a fluid motion, and the strap doesn’t interfere. Take a look at the video to see it in action.

Minor Issues

Modified screw

Modified screw

The only minor problems I do have with the strap is with the FastenR and ConnectR units that come with it. The FastenR unit attaches to the camera, and its just bad on so many levels. It protrudes too much, gets in the way, and is just too bulky. They offer an upgrade, but I have yet to talk myself into buying it.

When I first bought the R-Strap, there was no upgraded FastenR, so I had to come up with my own solution. I ended up using the quick release plate from my tripod. Granted, the D ring on the screw was in no way meant to handle the weight of a camera, and the depth of the holes in the screw reflect this. I decided to  drill two deeper holes into the screw, and compress the D ring to fit in these deeper holes. I’ve been using the result for months, and it works great. It offers a secure connection, as well as the ability to quickly move the camera from my R-Strap to my tripod.

Tripod plate attached

Tripod plate attached

The other problem is with their ConnectR clip that hooks the strap to the camera. It comes with a little plastic tube that’s obnoxious to use, but serves to keep the clip from opening accidentally and allowing your camera to come crashing to the ground. Its just bad design, and apparently BlackRapid agrees, because they designed an upgrade.

Despite these two nagging issues, and the strap being a tad overpriced, I’m very pleased.  If they start including the FastenR-2 and ConnectR-2 with new purchases, I would have nothing to complain about. I’ll never go back to a conventional camera strap again.

Update: My upgraded ConnectR-2 arrived today, and its a night and day improvement over the old one. I highly recommend it.

Update: BlackRapid announced the FastenR-T1 Tripod today. Designed in conjunction with Manfrotto, it looks strikingly similar to my solution.

FastenR-T1 Tripod

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