To be honest, I’d heard alot of hype about BlackRapid straps and really thought it was just some kind of cool piece of gear that had an amazing marketing campaign behind it, where it made people think they needed one. I thought my Canon already with a strap, really how much more different, short from not advertising the type of camera you have, could another strap be.
Anyway BlackRapid sent me out a RS-7 which has been specifically designed to work with their MODS system. Which means you can add attachments on like little bags and other gear. There’s a whole heap of attachments you can use, depending on how you want to customise it.
So the RS-7 arrived just in time for our Rottnest shoot for Elinchrom. Perfect opportunity to test it out and see what all the fuss is about. I reluctantly removed my trusty Canon strap and screwed the BlackRapid screw into my tripod hole. I positioned the little locking tabs so my camera wouldn’t swing too far back and I was ready to go.
Usually after walking up and down the beach with a larger size lens on you start to feel your neck muscles, you know the ones you didn’t know were there. However with the RS-7’s sling strap you don’t feel a thing. I didn’t once have to carry the camera buy it’s grip to give my neck some relief.
My camera never hung too low or swung in the way while I was positioning lights, models and everything else. In fact by using the second locking tab I was able to lock the camera into position so I didn’t have to worry about it at all.
Build quality, I suppose I should write something about that, maybe your interested in it, i’m not sure. What I can tell you with out getting into it too technically, is it feels very safe and secure. I always have a feeling in the back of my head that the standard strap will come loose at the eyes on the body. Since this is screwed in you don’t have that problem. Everything seems to attach using kind of rock climbing clips which is nice and secure.
Here’s a little tip for you, if you wet or lick the rubber washer around the screw then attach it to your camera, when the washer dry’s out it will expand and be even tighter. Thats for those of you who are paranoid.
If your like me you are probably thinking surely when you bring the camera up to your eye the strap would move, and it does. Sometimes it gets in the way but very rarely. However the great thing about it is when you put your camera back down to your hip the strap fixes itself and your hands are free again.
It’s safe to say that I won’t be bothering to re-attach my trusty Canon strap. It’s really not the most comfortable and the BlackRapid RS-7 is absolutely amazing. I recommend heading out and picking one up as soon as possible. You can find a dealer near you here or head over to our friends at Camera Electronic who stock the complete range.