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Old Saturday 13th August 2016, 14:10   #1
mikenott
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Black Rapid (or similar?) strap for Canon 1DxII and 100-400 isII - recommendations?

Having had a second failure of the lanyard/belt guide on a home made "BlackRapid" type shoulder strap for my Canon 1DxII and the 100-400 isII, I thought I would ask for other users opinion on the model they use and its physical integrity.

In my two failures, it was in the metal (alloy?) fitting that slides up and down the shoulder strap with a lanyard type fitting that failed.. I have shown where they typically fail in an attached image (BUT NOTE THAT THE IMAGE SHOWS A BLACKRAPID RS-7 WHICH i HAVE NEVER USED - just using it for illustrative purposes).

I tend to use an Arca Swiss female plate (as all my lenses/scopes have Arca Swiss male plates) so will also need a BlackRapid FastenR-3 or similar to allow the RS-7 or similar to attach.

So, any recommendations on a strap for this combination and any experience of failures (or successes) with BlackRapid gear?

Many Thanks

Michael.
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Old Saturday 13th August 2016, 15:32   #2
Barred Wobbler
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My Black Rapid RS7 never had time to develop that fault. I bought it at the end of April 2015 and at the beginning of September I noticed that the side of the strap buckle had snapped. If the other side had gone too it would have been curtains, even though I had cable ties attached to reinforce the buckle.

While I had the strap off photographing the damage I spotted another problem. The loop on the camera screw connector is of harder metal then the carabiner and it had worn almost halfway through the carabiner. (first & second photos)

I sent it back to Black Rapid and they gave me a full refund.

I replaced it with a Sun Sniper sling, which is still in one piece after almost a year. Beware the screw that connects the sling to the camera. It has a habit of working itself loose. If I'd not made a back-up connector using a fishing swivel, a 30mm split ring and a spare black rapid screw connector my camera would have hit the ground while I was out last Saturday (3rd photo).

The main load for the slings was my 7DII and a Sigma 150-600 Sport, combined weight 4kg.
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Old Saturday 13th August 2016, 20:28   #3
mikenott
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barred Wobbler View Post
The loop on the camera screw connector is of harder metal then the carabiner and it had worn almost halfway through the carabiner. (first & second photos)
Interesting as I had read somewhere some time ago of similar problem with dissimilar wear and BlackRapid had introduced a neoprene collar to address?

Michael
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Old Saturday 13th August 2016, 22:05   #4
johnf3f
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Shoulder Strap

Attached is an image of a setup that I cobbled together from bits and bobs.

The strap itself is from an old Think Tank backpack - there are very similar straps included with a number of LowePro products. This is attached to a 1/4 inch Eye Bolt (pennies on E Bay) which is attached to a spare Arca type clamp I had lying around. Originally I used a larger clamp and two Eye Bolts as it was intended for my 800mm lens - this was overkill for the 300 F2.8 or 100-400 hence the smaller clamp.

Note you will need to put an Arca style plate on your lens foot for this strap to work.

I put the strap over my left shoulder and the camera is then at my right hip, I find it very comfortable and just long enough to allow shooting without removing the strap from my shoulder. For walking around the camera and lens can be swung to the rear for clambering through brush etc.

A while back I won a Black Rapid strap as a prize at a camera show but never tried it out as I was not happy with the security/strength.

Hope this gives you some ideas.
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Old Tuesday 16th August 2016, 10:43   #5
StokeOwl
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I used a Black Rapid for a couple of years. No issues with durability. Gave it up because carrying all that weight on one shoulder used to leave me in pain on long days.

Now use one of those Cotton Carrier chest harness things. You look an idiot (but who cares) and they aren't cheap, but I can walk all day without any back pain. Had that for 2 years now and it's still as good as new
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Old Sunday 21st August 2016, 10:23   #6
Paul Jarvis
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I heard of issues with these straps. You need need to consider the amount of weight with your combo. Maybe a monopod would be better
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Old Sunday 21st August 2016, 23:12   #7
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Originally Posted by Paul Jarvis View Post
I heard of issues with these straps. You need need to consider the amount of weight with your combo. Maybe a monopod would be better
That's why I made mine the way I did.

It was intended for 7+ kilo loads, so with a 100-400 and a pro body it is far from tested and the much wider (and padded) shoulder strap is far superior to the commercial offerings.
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Old Thursday 25th August 2016, 18:03   #8
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Well, I ended up buying a second-hand RX-7 which also came with the retaining clip system so I have some protection in case the main "hook" fails. Have used it several times and really like it for my !DxII and 100-400isII set up.

John - like your system which is very similar to what i was using, but I think your "hooks" are stronger than the ones I was using. But if either of the hooks does fail, won't the camera body still fall due to the weight of the camera and the fact that the strap "loop" is broken? Unless there is a retainer between the strap end of the two hooks? But if you have 100% confidence in your hooks, then you may consider it unecessary. I just like redundancy!!
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Old Thursday 25th August 2016, 23:07   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikenott View Post
Well, I ended up buying a second-hand RX-7 which also came with the retaining clip system so I have some protection in case the main "hook" fails. Have used it several times and really like it for my !DxII and 100-400isII set up.

John - like your system which is very similar to what i was using, but I think your "hooks" are stronger than the ones I was using. But if either of the hooks does fail, won't the camera body still fall due to the weight of the camera and the fact that the strap "loop" is broken? Unless there is a retainer between the strap end of the two hooks? But if you have 100% confidence in your hooks, then you may consider it unecessary. I just like redundancy!!
As you correctly observe there is no "Safety Net" - if it fails then IT FALLS! However the Eye bolt is designed for several hundred pounds, so that should be OK and the strap is designed to hold a full backpack (with SuperTele lenses etc inside so it is well over engineered, especially the clips. I do also have a couple of Manfrotto backpack straps which are not as well padded but use identical clips. You got me thinking! so I had a quick look at the QR clamp and I can attach two 20mm straps and one 25mm strap to the QR clamp and these could be easily secured to the clip mounts or directly to the shoulder strap - that should satisfy even my paranoia!

Like anything else you need to check these things periodically for wear and tear and my strap will wear out, however I suspect that it will well after I have gone to the great camera shop in the sky!
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Old Sunday 28th August 2016, 17:23   #10
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I have had my BR strap for more than 6 years now with no problem whatsoever. Carried a 500/4 with it for a while and a 300/2.8 + converter hundreds of times. These days I use it with the relatively lightweight 150-600 C. I use the Joby Camera Tether as a fail safe.
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Old Sunday 11th September 2016, 16:18   #11
Steve Gantlett
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I've had a Black Rapid Curve strap on each of my two rigs (a 7Dii & 100-400 and a 7Dii & 400DO + 1.4x) for just over a year. One has failed already and the other is just about to fail. See attached photos. Black Rapid have replaced them both free of charge even though they were just over the 1 year warranty. But this really isn't good enough. I do not expect to have to replace expensive straps on an annual basis. I'll see what the wear on the new ones is like next September and, if they are both badly worn again, see if they will replace them again for free....
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Old Sunday 11th September 2016, 22:12   #12
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I've also have two Black Rapid failures. Both could have resulted in serious damage, luckily I have quick reactions. I bought one of these:

It seems just as good and was a lot cheaper. I also tend to keep one hand on my camera when not using binoculars these days.
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Old Monday 12th September 2016, 20:58   #13
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Expensive equipment failures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Gantlett View Post
I've had a Black Rapid Curve strap on each of my two rigs (a 7Dii & 100-400 and a 7Dii & 400DO + 1.4x) for just over a year. One has failed already and the other is just about to fail. See attached photos. Black Rapid have replaced them both free of charge even though they were just over the 1 year warranty. But this really isn't good enough. I do not expect to have to replace expensive straps on an annual basis. I'll see what the wear on the new ones is like next September and, if they are both badly worn again, see if they will replace them again for free....

While agreeing that having paid your money you are entitled to a free replacement for failed equipment, is it really worth the inconvenience to carry on doing so ad infinitum.

I have no experience of any custom-made straps, expensive or otherwise but have seen a home-made item using a heavy-weight binocular neck strap fitted with a metal, swivel-trigger dog lead clip which also slides along the strap as in the Black Rapid product.

Having seen on endless occasions, dog owners being dragged along by their animal on a lead fitted with one of these clips, I see no reason to suspect they fail on a regular basis. If these clips are not available locally, there is a wide choice on line. As an afterthought, this type of clip is also used to lead a horse so I guess there are no problems with it not being strong enough to deal with even the heaviest rig.

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Old Tuesday 13th September 2016, 08:20   #14
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I use the optech utility strap to carry my 600 F4, there are no carabiners or screws - been using for over a year with no problems.

http://optechusa.com/utility-strap-sling.html
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Old Friday 16th September 2016, 16:51   #15
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Originally Posted by NSNO View Post
I use the optech utility strap to carry my 600 F4, there are no carabiners or screws - been using for over a year with no problems.

http://optechusa.com/utility-strap-sling.html
This looks potentially nicer, thank you. Do you use it with a connection to each of your two camera body lugs, so that if one fails the other will prevent a crash? And, if so, does it still 'run' nicely and easily when you raise your rig to your eye with two such attachments?
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Old Friday 16th September 2016, 22:12   #16
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This looks potentially nicer, thank you. Do you use it with a connection to each of your two camera body lugs, so that if one fails the other will prevent a crash? And, if so, does it still 'run' nicely and easily when you raise your rig to your eye with two such attachments?
It's connected to both lugs on the lens and I've added an extra one that goes through the eyelet at the end of the tripod foot so that it hangs horizontally when it's upside down, rather the tilting forward (I also hold the tripod foot like a handle). I think I bought some extender straps to give me a bit more room to move when I lift the camera to eye level. I also bought some little straps that fit around the plastic connectors, so if one fails the strap stops it coming apart.
I got it all off Amazon so I'll check my order history and link the items I bought
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Old Saturday 17th September 2016, 18:38   #18
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Very many thanks, NSNO
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Old Sunday 18th September 2016, 07:38   #19
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Thumbs up

I have been using the Black Rapid 'Sport' model for a couple of years now. I use it to carry a Nikon D7100 and Tamron 150-600, all up weight ~2.7kg (6lb) via the standard tripod foot. It's great - very handy. A bit alarmed to see some of the wear and failures here, but mine shows just very minor deformation of the inner surface of the carabiner loop. I am very careful not to use it to tighten the screw-in attachment. I check this, the carabiner closing screw, and tripod collar tightening screw every time I go out.


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Old Sunday 11th December 2016, 08:40   #20
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I have used a BlackRapid (Sport, I think) for about 3 years and always attach via an Arca-Swiss profile plate (one on each lens collar foot). I am able to do this because I have an Acratech 'Swift Clamp' quick-release Arca-Swiss profile clamp attached to my BlackRapid. it's an expensive setup but Canon L lenses and D-SLR bodies are expensive and worth safeguarding.

Also, quick release can save vital seconds when shooting wildlife and in fact I mostly walkaround just carrying a Canon 100-400mm L II on a 7D Mark II plus Canon Battery Grip in my right hand - Have never dropped it yet!

The attached photo is before I fitted a battery grip.
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Old Sunday 11th December 2016, 10:03   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NSNO View Post
I use the optech utility strap to carry my 600 F4, there are no carabiners or screws - been using for over a year with no problems.

http://optechusa.com/utility-strap-sling.html
I agree, Optech straps are fantastic. I use the standard utility strap on my 400 f4 DO and 300 2.8, and have done for several years without a single issue, just a bit of wear-and-tear, but considering I'm using it, in the tropics, for probably 250 days a year I think is very impressive. I'm still to fathom why people use expensive, flash straps when this is the best I've come across over the years.

James
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Old Monday 12th December 2016, 22:30   #22
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Interesting read on the BR straps! I have just bought the new Black Rapid Cross Shot Breathe and was told it has a new design fastener so will be keeping a very close eye on it as its carrying a 1dx2 with 24-105mm lens. Anything with a bigger lens will be on tripod or canon strap direct onto lens so wont be using the BR.

Gary
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