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Thread: Carry Speed CS-Pro Camera Sling System review by Anon

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    Carry Speed CS-Pro Camera Sling System review by Anon

    
    The following is my review of the Carry Speed CS-Pro Camera Sling System,

    I decided to review it for a couple of reasons, mainly interest by another member of the forum, because of my initial reactions to the product, and comments on the net regarding issues with the plate...

    Please note, the parts of this review relate to how the system attaches to my camera, which is a Pentax K5 with a Pentax battery grip, if you use a different camera some off this review may not be applicable.

    On more than a few occasions I initially thought why did they do it that way, but after giving it a bit of thought I could see reasons why...

    I bought the CS-Pro for 4 reasons...
    1) I wanted a way of carrying my camera that was easy to access, and did not like the neck strap that came with the camera.
    2) The Pentax battery grip design prevents the tripod from being centered under the lens, and I'm hoping the plate will help.
    3) I need to improve my stability when shooting hand held, and I'm hoping a strap might help with this.
    4) I like toys

    WHATS IN THE BOX

    Pic1.jpg

    There is the padded shoulder section, the strap that joins with the shoulder section to form the sling, a speed connector, a base-plate, a ball head, a clip and hook, a clip and wrist strap, a bolt with D and lanyard, Allan key, user guide and a sticker.


    THE SHOULDER PAD

    It's big, nice and comfy, it also does not have webbing running along the length of it, which means that it can stretch, which initially concerned me considering that I'd be hanging about 2 grand off it... Now why didn't they run webbing along the length? well a quick think about this and I suspect the reason is that it would create a narrow band where the weight of the camera would rest, rather than spreading it out as the current design does. I'd be surprised it this would fail, and the only criticism of the shoulder pad section is the slightly tacky (in my opinion) company logo, and the faint wetsuit smell, all in all no great issue here.


    THE STRAP

    Pic4.jpg

    Pic5.jpg

    Pic6.jpg

    The strap receives some criticism on the net, there is a stop (in the first strap picture) intended to limit the travel of the speed connector on the sling, rather than design a part specifically for the job, they seem to have used a buckle originally intended to function in a similar way to a belt buckle, it serves the purpose of the stop quite well, but as there is no mention of it on the user guide, first inspection suggests that the strap has not been assembled correctly, as nothing else is connected to the buckle.

    The three tab clips that connect the shoulder pad and strap are nice, and with a little practice can be opened one handed, (though why you'd want to I'm not sure), I do think that they would reduce the chance of someone unfamiliar with the clips un-clipping them and running away with your camera, but I'm not convinced that having clips there is necessary, a little loop of prussic cord through the loops the clips pass through would prevent clip shenanigans from being an issue, and Edelrid do a nice one in black...

    The strap length is adjustable, and if it were a great issue the strap webbing could be easily replaced with webbing of another length as long as you sewed some loops in the ends...

    My main criticism for the strap comes at the end that connects on your chest to the shoulder pad, there is a D-ring with bar, which I guess is the new version of the quick front adjustment pictured (but not explained) on the User Guide, the end of the strap can pass through the D and in-fact the clip as well, which while it is unlikely to do while the strap is under load could result in your camera dropping to the ground. Do I think it would actually happen, no, do I think it's impossible, also no. I think I'll be using a bit more prussic cord to ensure that it can't happen, it's sad really as had the loop been sewn around the D rather than sewn and then passed through the D this would not be an issue at all...
    Last edited by anon; 05-08-2012 at 1:49am.

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    THE QUICK CONNECTOR

    Pic7.jpg

    Pic8.jpg

    What cheek, quick connector indeed, it takes 8.5 full turns to open or close the connector, and then you are supposed to push a O ring in place to prevent it from coming undone, my gut reaction, why didn't they use a coarser thread, or a 2 action twist lock system like on carabiners? Well I can understand that fewer turns to undo increases the chance of theft or an accidental drop, but I still thing a spring loaded twist lock system might be possible, and possibly safer than relying on an O ring as a backup. All that being said, you probably won't need to remove the camera from the strap during the day's shooting...


    THE PLATE

    Pic2.jpg

    Pic3.jpg

    The plate is nicely made, with a few thoughtful touches, such as bevelled edges, and a point where you can secure a hand strap, a nice finish, but on the down side the plate is designed for the tripod/quick release plate to be mounted on one side of the plate, instead of providing an option for both. I definitely think that there is room for improvement on this plate, or for Carry Speed to market a more feature rich plate.

    One of the issues raised on the net is which plate the CS-Pro comes with, due to people reporting troubles mounting the plate on the camera. As far as I can tell this is due to the extended thread where you are likely to mount the pin.

    This was one of those things that made me wonder why they had done things like that, (particularly when it meant I could not rotate the plate 180 degrees on the grip top position the thread for the quick release near the center of the grip.)

    After a bit of fiddling with the plate I think I know why those protrusions are there, without them the plate is far more likely to twist, particularly when you consider how far from the mounting point the pin that connects to the strap is, combined that with the sort of forces the camera is likely to experience hanging from the strap as you walk...

    If you loosely mount the plate, and then slide it so both protrusions are resting against the camera (or grip), and then tighten it, the chances of the plate twisting should be greatly reduced, mentioning it on the user guide would probably have reduced some confusion and criticism.


    THE BALL HEAD

    Pic9.jpg

    The ball head from the CS-Pro is on the left, and a Black Rapid Pro Pin is on the right, and they seem functionally identically to me, good news if you want to mix and match between the two brands.
    Last edited by anon; 05-08-2012 at 1:49am.

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    THE EXTRAS

    Also included are a clip and hook, a clip and wrist strap, a bolt with D and lanyard, Allan key, user guide and a sticker.

    The bolt with D and lanyard can connect to another camera or a long lens for extra support and stability, and clips into the clip with hook (so it can attach to the sling, or the wrist strap, in-case you want to move from the sling to a wrist strap, nice little extras, and given the price of the system make it even better value, even though I'm not convinced they will get much use.

    The Allan key is for fitting and removing the ball head (insert through the hole for leverage)

    The User Guide can be used as a bookmark, sadly most of the little information on it is common sense, and as stated above a bit more information would have been useful.

    And the sticker ... well err, um ... it's sticky.


    MOUNTING THE PLATE

    When I first unpacked the plate and looked at mounting it on the bottom of my Pentax grip I began to worry, the Pentax grip's thread is in a different location to the thread on the camera itself (due to where the battery sits in the grip), in the past this meant that the tripod did not sit directly under the lens, but rather to one side (one of the annoyances I'd hoped to resolve with the plate from the CS-Pro)

    Pic10.jpg

    Mounting the plate normally would further exaggerate the issue...

    Pic11.jpg

    And due to the protrusions on the top of the plate I could not simply rotate it clockwise 180 degrees...

    I tried to work out the simplest solution, grinding off the protrusions, tapping new threads, ditching the grip and connecting it directly to the camera, getting a plate scratch built etc etc, and was seriously thinking I should have spent the extra for the Black Rapid solution, now I will say while I was disappointed with the design of the CS plate, I did feel that the issue was because of how the Pentax grip was designed, the plate would have worked fine on the K5 without the grip, but with a more flexible design (ie a slightly wider plate with thread for plates on both sides) this wouldn't have been an issue.

    So I mounted the plate to the camera without the grip to take some photos, then mounted it to the grip for more photos and had a bit of a brainwave for a solution that might do the trick...

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    MOUNTING TO THE K5 BODY

    Pic12.jpg

    The thread on the K5 is positioned quite nicely under the lens. And you can see there is quite a bit of travel available back and forth should your thread be located further forward, or further back. I would expect this plate should fit most bodies provided the thread is located in roughly the same area.

    Pic13.jpg

    And the plate bolts on quite nicely in this position. and indeed can even be rotated 180 degrees clockwise and bolted on in that position if so desired.

    Pic14.jpg

    My quick release plate in turn bolts happily to the CS plate slightly off axis to the lens but not by enough to bother me.
    If I didn't have a batter grip I'd have been quite happy with this, and I hope that if you have a thread in a similar position on your camera or grip, you'll be able to mount the plate with similar results.

    Pic15.jpg

    Here is a view from the side showing the protrusion resting against the front of the body.

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    MOUNTING TO THE BATTERY GRIP

    Pic16.jpg

    So now mounting the plate to the grip, with it's wider base, and inconveniently positioned thread...

    Pic17.jpg

    The plate can be bolted on, but if the thread had been any further back I would not have been able to, and I cannot mount it if I rotate it 180 degrees clockwise, or any other position, due to the size of the base of the grip, and the position of the thread.

    So, what to do, well there is one thread in a position near the lens, unfortunately for some reason I cannot fathom they have recessed it slightly so if I use it to mount a quick release plate the plate will tilt, not ideal, if only I could find something to fill the recess...

    Pic18.jpg

    A copper tag, a drill and a little while later...

    Pic19.jpg

    My little copper shim seems to be just the right size...

    Pic20.jpg

    And the plate is roughly where I want it to be, I'm yet to decide if the forward position of the quick mount plate is a plus or a minus...


    PROS

    Plate - Even with the issues fitting the plate, I'm still going to call this a pro, as the other sling systems I've looked at did not come with a plate.

    Cost - Good value for money, particularly if the plate fits.


    CONS

    A couple of minor design issues that might not be present on more expensive sling systems. Also a list of cameras and Grips it does fit, as well as a more detailed User Guide would also improve things.


    Q AND A

    Had I my time over, would I buy this product again?
    Yes.

    Would I recommend this product to a friend?
    Only after checking how the plate would sit on their camera, and pointing out the small flaws.


    CONCLUSION

    I think the Carry Speed CS-Pro Sling System is a great value for money sling system, particularly in light of the plate which is a feature I have not seen amongst it's competitors, it has some minor flaws that can be overcome without much difficulty, but a slightly revised design could eliminate most of these.

    All in all I'd give it 8/10

    Hopefully you've found this review useful, feedback is appreciated, and if anyone has any specific questions please send me a PM.

    Regards,
    Anon

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    wow Anon, pretty in depth review there.....lots of interesting info.

    Clearly you have had a lot more issues with yours than I was faced with when I purchased mine however most of them seem based more around the Pentax brand of Camera and its Battery Grip.....I have a Canon DSLR and do not have the grip so cannot comment on that issue.

    On the Canon 7D with no grip I am able to place the mounting plate in all 4 positions (facing forward, back and both sides) with no restriction issues and given there are two mounting holes for the small ball head that gives me 8 different positions to attach the strap.....however 2 of these do leave the tripod quick release plate slightly off centre (I dont have an issue with this however).....I was also able to mount both my small Manfrotto quick release plate as well as a larger video pan head quick release plate without any restrictions.


    It's big, nice and comfy, it also does not have webbing running along the length of it, which means that it can stretch, which initially concerned me considering that I'd be hanging about 2 grand off it... Now why didn't they run webbing along the length? well a quick think about this and I suspect the reason is that it would create a narrow band where the weight of the camera would rest, rather than spreading it out as the current design does. I'd be surprised it this would fail, and the only criticism of the shoulder pad section is the slightly tacky (in my opinion) company logo, and the faint wetsuit smell, all in all no great issue here.
    I had also read that on another forum somewhere, however I do have some fishing equipment (bags ect) that are constructed the same way and after years of abuse have never looked like perishing or failing so I have every confidence it will stand up.


    What cheek, quick connector indeed, it takes 8.5 full turns to open or close the connector, and then you are supposed to push a O ring in place to prevent it from coming undone, my gut reaction, why didn't they use a coarser thread, or a 2 action twist lock system like on carabiners? Well I can understand that fewer turns to undo increases the chance of theft or an accidental drop, but I still thing a spring loaded twist lock system might be possible, and possibly safer than relying on an O ring as a backup. All that being said, you probably won't need to remove the camera from the strap during the day's shooting...
    There is no doubt that other systems are quicker, and the first time I saw the carry speed demonstrated I thought how annoying, however after doing it a few times and timing it I can attach it in less than 5 seconds and unattach it in under 10.....I dont trust the quicker spring loaded clips on other systems and think that a few seconds here and there is of little consequence.......anything spring loaded has the potential for a spring to break and/or fail rendering it next to useless, I just cant put my trust of thousands of dollars worth of camera and lens on a tiny spring to never fail.


    The bolt with D and lanyard can connect to another camera or a long lens for extra support and stability, and clips into the clip with hook (so it can attach to the sling, or the wrist strap, in-case you want to move from the sling to a wrist strap, nice little extras, and given the price of the system make it even better value, even though I'm not convinced they will get much use.
    I thought the exact same thing in the beginning, even to the point where I left the hand strap in the box for the first few weeks and never gave it a second thought but after a while I started giving it a try as often I am using my tripod then pulling the camera off for a few quick snaps them placing back on the tripod.....I am not always just wandering around.....I have found now I am using the hand strap as much as I use the full shoulder strap so I was glad it came with the kit.....I don't have any big heavy tele lenses yet so I haven't had a need to use the uni strap for extra carry load yet though.....mind you its a good excuse to make another lens purchase hey


    The User Guide can be used as a bookmark, sadly most of the little information on it is common sense
    I have found that any instructions on a product from the US always are basic common sense......it seems that Americans need that explained to them though


    Great detailed review Anon, appreciate your efforts.

    cheers
    Jamie
    Canon 7D, Canon EF 24-105mm f4L, Canon 16-35mm f2.8L, Canon EF 50mm f1.4, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8
    Manfrotto 190XPROB + Vanguard Ball Head + Kenova fluid pan head
    Kirk Enterprises Low Pod + Manfrotto 410 Geared Head + Velbon Super Mag Slider
    GoPro Hero2
    Bags, Cases and lots of other bibs and bobs

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    Thanks fishographer,

    I really appreciate the feedback and information.

    Yes, I definitely feel the issue with the plate is more due to the design of the Pentax grip than that of the plate, however I also feel that there is definitely the possibility for a plate design that would be more flexible. Interestingly it seems earlier versions of the plate were not so one sided in their distribution of threaded holes... (google image search for carry speed and you'll see some older designs...)

    The feedback on how flexible the plate is on the 7D is great, hopefully others using the plate also post such information, it could help potential owners get an idea of how well the plate would work with their body or grip.

    Also confirmation that the shoulder section of the system is durable is nice to have.

    As for the spring issue, while I can see where you are coming from, and would be reluctant to trust a basic spring loaded clip, I'm a bit concerned that the instructions suggest that you slide the o-ring up after winding the threaded collar into position, which suggests to me a concern that the collar may work it's way down... however, something based on a 3 action twist-lock carabiner (which I would trust my life on when it comes to climbing) would be quick to operate, and unlikely to fail...

    The reason I don't think the hand strap will get much use is normally I don't use a strap at all...

    Thanks again,
    It's great to have your input.

    Regards,
    Anon

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    WOW!

    thanks for the great review anon!

    job well done!
    Still learning the craft...

    Canon 60D (gripped), 18-200mm f3.5-5.6, 50mm f1.8, 24-105mm f4L, 70-200mm f2.8L IS II, 430ex II

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