For the last two weekends – that included over +13,000 shots – I’ve only had the Blackrapid RS-4 strap on my camera.
In that time, there were 4 days of rodeo, a Worldwide Photo Walk in Corvallis, kinetic sculptures mired in mud, small electric cars zooming in circles, and 5 bands on the main stage at the daVinci Days festival.
The strap was comfortable and it was easier-than-advertised to go from camera-at-my-side to shooting – in one motion. And to be honest – I was partly less-than-impressed with the “quick draw” feature of the strap before I bought it. But after wearing it for a few days – I dig it.
And I really like the fact that between shoots – the camera is either pointing down my side or even behind me. It’s very comfortable.
The strap’s zippered compartment has held up to 4 compact flash cards in the protective cases (it’s only advertised to hold 2) – but it’s not going to hold an extra battery or filter.
The locking mechanism is solid (Connect R-2) – as is the rubber interface on the quarter-twenty connection (Fasten R-2).
Quibbles? OK – but their pretty minor.
First – I think I’d like a rubber sort of no-slip something-or-another on the under-side of the shoulder pad. It did occasionally slip down my shoulder onto my chest. Maybe with more use it will mold to my shoulder.
Second – I added a little hook-and-loop strap around the loose webbing at the end (like the ones to bundle cables) – just to keep it from flapping around – and one around the shoulder strap’s plastic clasp – not because it opened up on me – but mostly because I had an extra one on hand.
And even with these quibbles – there’s a reason photographers are scooping these up – the Blackrapid RS-4 is a great product . I highly recommend it.
Update 27 July 2009: As it goes – what seems like just hours after I posted this review – Blackrapid announced their brand new RS-5. This looks to have all of the DNA of the RS-4 – but with the ability to carry a lot more on your strap (cell phone, etc.).
I think I’m glad I already have the RS-4 – as it would have been very difficult to choose between the two straps.