Carrying Systems Review

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March 29, 2012 | Matt Grayson | Accessory Reviews |

Introduction

The strap that comes with your new camera is almost never the best way to carry it. So we've reviewed four of the newest camera carrying systems - the Peak Design Capture, Spider Black Widow Holster, Lensloop and Split Strap.

Carrying your camera correctly is more important than you probably give it credit for. Making sure that you can get to the camera easily, keep it secure and be comfortable when it's not in use are three major points that manufacturers consider when designing a carrying system. In this article we look at four innovative carrying systems - the Peak Design Capture, Spider Black Widow Holster, Lensloop and Split Strap - and explore their advantages and disadvantages, if any.

Peak Design Capture

Peak Design started as a small company raising funds on the Kickstarter website, where entrepreneurs can raise funds for their projects via multiple donations. Peak Design Capture is available at http://peakdesignltd.com/ and costs $79.99.

Capture is a small belt accessory that essentially allows you to hang your camera from your belt. It works by sliding a back plate under the belt while the front plate sits on top. The tow plates then clasp together using screws which can be tightened and untightened by hand. The Capture system boasts a quick release plate which is Arca-Swiss compatible. The plate is low profile so it won't get in the way although the screw isn't easily tightened by hand. A small, red button releases the quick release plate from the system when you're ready to take pictures.

Peak Design Capture Attaching the Peak Design Capture

The beauty of the Capture system is that it's small so it doesn't get in the way. It can also fit to any strap - not just a belt. So you can have your camera dangling from your rucksack, messenger bag or manbag/handbag (if the straps are heavy duty enough to withstand the weight). Having it fitted to your belt does have its problems. We found that while we walked, the camera would swing and bang against our legs. In time this started to hurt.

Peak Design Capture Clipping the Peak Design Capture

Ideally the camera needs to have a small lens attached when fitted to the clip. There's also the possibility of the camera slipping out of your hands while undoing the fiddly red button. Peak Design do have a new product in development for such an instance but it's not ready for commercial sale just yet.

Peak Design Capture A camera attached to the Peak Design Capture

Spider Black Widow Holster Kit

The Black Widow Holster kit from Spider is a velcro fastening belt system that uses a ball and joint style clip to hold the camera to your hip. The Spider Black Widow Holster Kit is available at http://www.spiderholster.com/ and costs $65.99.

A small ball bearing that has a standard sized tripod bush screw on it goes into the camera. The ball end then slides into a thin slot on the holster which is positioned on the hip giving it the impression of a wild west holster.

Black Widow Holster The Spider Black Widow Holster attachment bearing

The Velcro is thick and easily held the weight of a Canon EOS 350D DSLR camera, battery grip and Canon EF 75-300mm USM lens. The ball doesn't click and stick, it falls under a latch that prevents it from rising back up but other than that it moves around in the slot quite freely.

Black Widow Holster The Spider Black Widow Holster attached to a camera

When you want to take it from the holster, a small red clip is moved to open the latch. It's not the easiest system and you're pretty much one handed because the camera is at the side. We managed to get it nailed after a while using it. The holster can be removed from the belt if you want to fasten it to an existing belt such as a waist support on a rucksack or a trouser belt.

Black Widow Holster Detaching the Spider Black Widow Holster

It's comfortable enough to use and we liked the feeling of being in a town not big enough for more than two people while wandering around with a comedy John Wayne walk. On a serious note, if shooting from the hip is your thing, you can't get closer to it than this.

Entry Tags

review, test, camera, Lensloop, carry, Spider Black Widow Holster, strap, Peak Design Capture, straps, camera carrying systems, Split Strap, carrying

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Your Comments

16 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Andrea Martinez

Thanks a lot for the review, but links in the article are wrong, as they all point to Peak Design website. You might want to correct it.
Cheers.

12:42 pm - Thursday, March 29, 2012

#2 Colin Fenwick

The Carry Speed and Quick Strap are both variations of the Black Rapid approach and all three are great ways of carrying a camera, without the discomfort of a regular strap.

12:54 pm - Thursday, March 29, 2012

#3 Gary W

I’m using the BosStrap one piece sling strap and so far I’m very happy with it.

http://www.bosstrap.com/

2:09 pm - Thursday, March 29, 2012

#4 Andrew Lowery

I enjoyed the article but would like to see it improved. For example, there are two nice photos of the Lensloop rings but no photo of a camera hanging in the carrying position. May we have a photo of each system with the camera hanging in the carrying position? Likewise, do not block the view with your arms.  Thanks.

3:12 pm - Thursday, March 29, 2012

#5 Vik

By clicking on customslr.com link it redirects u to pickdesign.com lol Error buddy!

4:35 pm - Thursday, March 29, 2012

#6 Dave - Nature stock photos

I use a strap like the Lens loop, but connected to the strap eyelets on either side of the camera. Easy to use, disconnect, plus means I can keep an arca QR plate on the camera all the time. I can’t understand why these products are so expensive for just a strap?

7:48 pm - Thursday, March 29, 2012

#7 steven guy

some carry speed strap can be agreat way to carry your camera but i just stick mine around me neck

11:16 pm - Thursday, March 29, 2012

#8 DaveAB

Thanks for the article! I don’t see too many carrying attachment comparison tests out there.

I have a Tamrac 514 bag. It’s large enough for a superzoom or a small DSLR. It feels a little awkward at first when attached to your belt, pressed against your leg, but is actually quite comfortable for long hikes or outdoor events. Plus it is padded and protects your camera. It is rigid enough that you can leave the top zipper open and be able to grab your camera and shoot in seconds.

11:54 am - Friday, March 30, 2012

#9 Adjuster

I second Gary W’s recommendation. I tried several variations of the Black Rapid strap, but could never keep the shoulder pad in place. Now I use the Boss strap, which works extremely well. Very comfortable after using it for a few hours. It is similar to the Lensloop except that it attached to the camera’s lug slot. This frees up the tripod socket.

1:26 pm - Friday, March 30, 2012

#10 Andy Chamberlayne

No review of the cottoncarrier ,, you kind missed the boat there mate

4:53 pm - Friday, March 30, 2012

#11 Boon Goh

A good review of the variety of systems in the market. Because of video shoots, I try to avoid systems with metal hardware with potential for noise. I’m trying out a CarrySpeed strap for my DSLR now. It connects to the tripod socket like other designs, but uses a ball-and-socket connector which doesn’t flop around to scrape/scratch camera body/lens, or jiggle to make noise when shooting video. Quite a comfy broad strap and great for fast cross-body use/adjustments too.
(I have no ties whatsoever with CarrySpeed, financial or otherwise)

5:09 pm - Friday, March 30, 2012

#12 DaveAB

Thanks for the article! I don’t see too many carrying attachment comparison tests out there.

I have a Tamrac model 514 bag. It’s large enough for a superzoom or a small DSLR. It feels a little awkward at first when attached to your belt, but is actually quite comfortable for long hikes or outdoor events. Plus it is padded and protects your camera. It is rigid enough that you can leave the top zipper open and be able to grab your camera and shoot in seconds.

10:01 am - Saturday, March 31, 2012

#13 Andreas

Anyone knows where to find Lens Loop in Europe? Thanks

10:04 pm - Monday, April 2, 2012

#14 ChrisU

Another fantastic strap is the Luma Cinch (luma-labs.com). Brilliant industrial design work, much more attention to detail and higher quality materials than other brands. Overall fit and finish is head and shoujlders above all other straps I’ve used.

Luma previously produced a strap called the Luma Loop (which I also own and absolutely love), but they were served a cease and desist order from Black Rapid who claimed that Luma was guilty of patent infringement. Frankly, I think they were just nervous about how much business they were losing to Luma; certainly there are any number of other companies producing very similar yet less successful products without Black Rapid threatening suit.

10:17 pm - Wednesday, April 4, 2012

#15 Adam

Adam from the Peak Design team here - thank you for reviewing the Capture Camera Clip System! I’d like to point out a few things about Capture that aren’t apparent in this article…

1. Capture was designed to be attached to more than just waist belts - it works superbly on backpack straps, messenger bags, camera backpacks, climbing harnesses, you name it.

2. When worn on the belt it will be most comfortable when worn close to the center of the body, not on the side of the hip as pictured. Check out the videos on our Usage Tips page: http://peakdesignltd.com/usage-tips.htm

3. If your camera has a battery grip (as pictured), we recommend using Capture with a Think Tank Belt for maximum comfort. We have images how how this killer combo works together on our Usage Tips page: http://peakdesignltd.com/usage-tips.htm

Thanks!
Adam

5:41 am - Tuesday, April 10, 2012

#16 dslr_man

The absolute best system I know of is the “Cotton Carrier System, http://www.cottoncarrier.com. It is super durable and I have used it and have TRIED to abuse it.

The hubs are hard anodized aluminum that are machined not dye cast

It uses 1680 Denier nylon, same stuff bullet proof vests are made from.

The buckles are all Nifco, they are the best buckle manufacturer, and clips are all fiberglass reinforced.

If anyone is looking for a great system that feels great on any kind of shoot then check out these guys. They’ve been amazing for me, I hope they are for you.

11:32 pm - Wednesday, July 11, 2012