If there is an industry full of gadgets useful and not-so-useful (witness the $300 gloves recently annouced by Manfrotto), photography ranks near the top. Being and Enthusiast Photographer means almost by definition that you’re on a budget. Balancing what looks cool and useful against what you need to successfully improve your images can be a mysterious process at times.
I’ve made several purchases recently, but the first I’ll write about is the Black Rapid RS-7 Curve. This is one of those things that makes you wonder why someone didn’t invent it long ago.
Is the standard camera strap something you find a useful part of your kit? Do you actually hang it around your neck like the classic tourist in the movies? Do you hang the camera from your shoulder and find it secure and comfortable?
I’m guessing the answer to all of those questions is “No.”
Enter Black Rapid. It is a sling that goes over your shoulder bandolier-style, with your camera hanging at the bottom. It is secured by a screw mounted in the tripod mount of your camera (or lens if you have big glass with a built-in foot). The screw has a rubber gasket that prevents damage as well as the screw coming loose. A couple clips limit the range of swing by the camera.
The result is that the camera hangs perfectly and very comfortably on your hip, and is very naturally ready for action when it is time to take a picture. Your hands quickly find the grip and you swing smoothly up to a shooting position. The strap also gives you a little tension to use to steady your hands for a sharp shot.
They have several versions. The higher-end models have modules you can add for storage, etc. I can’t speak to any of the accessories, but the strap itself is just plain terrific, and they start a little over $50. The camera is inconspicuous, comfortable and ready. Highly recommended. You can buy it at B&H or Amazon. I’ll add a few pictures of the Black Rapid on my camera in the next few days – I’ll spare you the pictures of me ;).
Upcoming are blogs on the Ona Union Street bag and the new (used) tripod and head that is on the way to me (that will be a big one, or maybe several).
What gear are you thinking about? You know, Santa is coming to town…