BlackRapid R Strap RS 1 Review

by Enche Tjin on March 19, 2009

I heard about BlackRapid R Strap a while ago when I browsed a video from vimeo. The wedding photographer in the video is very enthusiastic about this strap. He said the strap is very good for fast retrieval and also if you use two cameras.

blackrapid-r-strap-rs-1-2-3-4

After several months, I decided to buy one. I bought the RS-1 type, which is the original and the thinner version. Here are my experience using this strap:

Assembly Instruction
There is no printed instruction manual for this strap and it is a little disappointing. The only instruction is a video from BlackRapid website. Fortunately, the instruction video is quite helpful. but I have to struggle around 15 minutes to figure out how to work this out.

User Experience
I find using this strap is a joy. Mainly because the shift on weight now is to your shoulder, not in your neck. If you often use heavy camera with heavy telephoto lens mounted in it, you will likely benefit with this strap.

The second benefit is the camera is more stable especially when you are walking. With regular camera ‘neck’ strap, the camera is likely to bounce around side to side when you are walking.

Disadvantages
There is a little bit trade off tho, for user that use vertical battery grip, you will find quite challenging to use the second shutter, because the strap fastener blocking the way (look at the picture). Also, because it uses camera tripod socket as a point of connector, you can not use flash bracket.

The other one is when you attach a telephoto zoom lens, it is hard to change the lens. why? Because you connect the fastener to the tripod socket, so when you un-mount the telephoto zoom lens, you need to unscrew the fastener and screw it to the tripod socket in the bottom of your camera. So it is not so practical if you need to change from telephoto zoom lens to wide angle lens.

Fast retrieval
Because the camera is hanging upside down, it is faster and more natural to retrieve the camera and start shooting.

Safety concern
Some people might concern about hanging the camera upside down with only 1 fastener. But in my experience, if you lock the fastener correctly and tightly, it won’t be a problem. The other safety concern I might have is the camera is now in your side/back, because of that, you can’t really see it all the time. In the crowded environment, it could be stolen by professional thief by cutting the strap with you never know it.

This camera strap is ideal especially for

  • For photographers who use two cameras
  • For photographers who don’t want to look like tourists
  • For wedding photographers or photojournalists
  • For street photographers
  • For anybody :)

Built quality: 5/5
Practicality: 4/5
Value: 3/5

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

stve September 15, 2009 at 4:24 pm

“In the crowded environment, it could be stolen by professional thief by cutting the strap with you never know it.”
The Nikon D700 with MB10 grip & a 24-70 lens weighs a ton believe me I’m sure I’d notice besides i tend to walk around with a hand resting on the camera. The way I’ve got my camera strap set up i don’t have any problems using the vertical shutter on the MB10 grip
i love the R strap idea it’s so comfortable & if it’s raining the camera gets protected by my coat.
I made my own version i have the Nikon D700 with MB10 grip i used the Nikon strap that comes with the camera and a Gitzo D1372.43 fixation screw which i got from http://www.warehouseexpress.com cost £3 plus postage.The gitzo screw is stainless steel with a D ring when i screw it tightly into the tripod socket the D ring is at the right angle you then feed the strap through the D ring and connect the strap with the connectors that come with the strap. The Nikon strap is just the right length for me and because its narrow it slides very easily through the D ring the wider part that sits on your shoulder is very grippy & doesn’t move at all.
The only thing i don’t like is the huge D700 logo on the strap guess i’ll have to make a cover phone holder type bag to go over that part of the strap.

just had a quick look on warehouse express & i couldna find the screw i googled gitzo D1372.43 & got lots of hits heres a link to one with a photo of the screw http://www.comparestoreprices.co.uk/by-make/g/gitzo/christmas-gifts

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