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Thread: ThinkTank Steroid Speedbelt with Capture Pro vs Blackrapid strap review

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    ThinkTank Steroid Speedbelt with Capture Pro vs Blackrapid strap review

    First and foremost, you have to excuse the photography on this. It's a review, not a photo competition so I was lazy. I didn't take the dust off, I didn't do much post processing and I didn't even do noise reduction for photos taken at ISO3200.

    The Capture clip started on Kickstarter and they recently released the Capture Pro version. I recently purchased a Capture Pro Clip (x2) along with a Thinktank Steroid Speedbelt and I was going to do a comparative review with my Blackrapid sling, but unfortunately I have somehow misplaced it in the last two weeks (or my kids have taken it for their doll collection). Thus, I have had to find a suitable replacement to do the comparative review so please excuse the last minute change. Today we will be looking at the ThinkTank Steroid with Capture Pro Clip compared to my set of Kenko Extension Tubes, which fortunately I still have in the box making it seem like I'm reviewing two new things. I was too lazy to take too many pictures of the Kenko stuff but there are plenty online. I started taking photos of the Capture Pro setup at the time and went looking for the Blackrapid sling and couldnt find it. Then I forgot about it and eventually remembered an hour later when I realised I was still walking around naked with a Thinktank belt and a two cameras on my side.



    Anyway, yes, they may be very different, but I'm a capable photographer and comparing the two seems like the only logical step in this case. I put myself in a different class sometimes because of my photographic level. Would you see DPreview or Thom Hogan comparing the Capture Pro with a set of Kenko Rings? I doubt it and that should tell you how lucky you are to be reading this review. It's not just a review, it's art, like a photo.

    I came from the Blackrapid which was comfortable but a little annoying for me because it would swing around while moving and you need to be careful not to hit kids in the face with the camera as their parents get really annoyed about it. Sometimes you get lucky and it doesn't make a mark on them, but often they cry and that draws the attention to you with the massive DSLR on your side before you can run away. Worse yet, as one of the male species, you turn quickly and you have to contend with a pro size DSLR and lens that swings with you and then comes back at perfect crotch height leaving your with your eyes watering and not being able to rub if there are families and children around.



    To me, the ideal solution would be if one of the manufacturers came up with a belt sling combo which you could run as a sling and clip to your side when you needed to keep it from swinging around but I haven't found anything like that yet so for now it's on to the belt option (or the Macro rings). Cotton Carrier have one but it's more of a harness. In short, if Blackrapid, ThinkTank and these clip guys could get together and come up with one solution, that would be great.



    Let's start by comparing the packaging. Both come in boxes. I guess that's where the similarities end but the Capture Pro Clip has a nicer box. I prefer red and black and it comes in a box with both colours. The Kenko rings come in a blue and green box with a little red and it's really not enough red to appeal to me. The ThinkTank doesn't come in a box but it comes with a little paper tag attached, which can be removed by pulling hard. The packaging is likely to be the primary decision point for uneducated photographers, so if this is the most important part for you, go for the Capture Pro Clip. The packaging looks brighter and nicer and it comes with a cool flap that allows you to see inside without opening the box. It's the kind of thing you could stick up as an ornament on the shelf if boxes appeal to you and you collect them. Unfortunately I broke the box opening mine so you can't have it.



    Inside the box, the Capture Pro comes with a nice little bag to put the clip inside along with an arca swiss mount (apparently it's compatible with Manfrotto as well but I don't have that) so you can put it on a tripod without changing the baseplate. Unlike the SpiderPro, this comes with the Arca Plate. On the SpiderPro, the Arca Clamp solution they offer adds about a $100 per clip so this is more than just a little cost effective. It also comes with an instruction booklet explaining how it works if you are one of those people that doesn't live dangerously like me. Just call me Mr dangerous, I put my glass on the table without a coaster. The Kenko comes with an instruction manual but no arca swiss compatible footplate so I'm going to give the win to the Capture Pro clip in this case.



    Construction on both seems to be good. Aside from the bag on the Capture Pro clip, which looks like the kind that comes with a $2 pair of sunglasses, it's fairly robust and can be mounted on a tripod as well. The bag could be mounted as well if you put a hole through it. The Kenko again fails in this regard because there is no way to mount it to a tripod. it doesn't come with a bag (unless you class the plastic bag as one). Aside from the lag of bag, the Kenko does come with electronics so it allows your lens to autofocus when you attach it between the lens and the body. If this is a big selling point for your carry strap, the Kenko wins hands down. Right now, because of the bag, I'm giving the Capture Pro Clip the upper hand.



    The basic concept behind the Capture Pro is that you can unscrew it and attach it to a belt, bag straps on a backpack, or anything long and thin (no, not that, get your mind out of the gutter). The Kenko could be attached to something long and thin but it would have to be looped on like a bangle. With the Arca plate attached to the bottom, you can simply lock the camera into the baseplate when you're too lazy to carry it (or if you are carrying two or more cameras). If you're a GI joe kind of photographer, you could probably carry 5 cameras, but you'd look weird (or you'd probably fit in on the Melbourne Photo Walks we do). I am really too lazy to explain how this works and what the different options are like but it does work well. Check out their website Capture PRO Camera Clip | Peak Design for videos because they show you all the options. I also bought the pro pad but I wouldn't waste my time with it. I found it annoying as it lifts when you try to get your camera out so it's like mine will stay at the bottom of a drawer along with all the other useless photography items I bought that I don't want to sell or give away but thought were cool at the time.



    The ThinkTank Steroid belt is exactly what it says. It's a thick foamy belt that looks like the kind weight lifted use, not ideal for a family day out but good for events. It makes you feel like you should go out, buy a bunch of steroids and work out because it's big, comfy and feels like it could hang the entire free population of North Korea on it. I tested it with a D700 and D750 (both with battery grips) and it's pretty damn comfy and doesn't seem like it will fall down at all. It's the perfect companion for the Capture Pro camera clip although I would still love and L shaped clip that would allow the camera to hang on it's side like SpiderPro.



    Anyway, the belt combo seems to work well. I haven't tested it for a whole day but I will have a chance to give feedback in Feb when I do my next event. I won't be carrying anything more than two bodies because I'll have a backpack for my other gear. I think it could comfortably carry my d700 with 24-70 (with battery grip) and D750 (with battery grip) with 70-200 without a problem but if you are planning on carry more gear than that, I'm not sure how it would go. I'll may forgo the battery grip on the D700 for weight reduction but keep it on the D750 as my primary camera.

    If I had to change anything on it I would want something that works more as an l bracket (probably asking too much)



    So finally, in closing, I'll try to give a final set of pros and cons.

    ThinkTank Steroid with Capture Clips

    Pros

    Comfy - could carry two pro bodies without a problem if you have the right belt. ThinkTank Steroid Belt is my recommendation
    Works well for carrying gear
    May require shoulder straps if you start really loading on gear
    The clip system works well and seems to hold the camera securely
    The baseplate is easy to get on and off with the loop.

    Cons

    Not for good for Macro
    Would be better if they combined it with a strap system to give both options
    Don't waste your time on the pro pads
    I prefer the way the spider pro's hang but they have ugly baseplates and I look ugly enough without extra ugly.



    Kenko Extension Tubes

    Pros

    Helps with Macro work

    Cons

    Bad box colour
    No bag
    Terrible for carrying a pro body as a sling or belt despite what anyone may tell you
    Low cost compared to the ThinkTank Steroid/Capture Pro setup

    In short, if you want something to carry a camera, avoid the Kenko, but if you want something to help with Macro, the Capture Pro and Speedbelt aren't going to help unless it's to carry a Macro lens.



    - - - Updated - - -

    Post finally worked with changes to apostrophe's
    Last edited by MissionMan; 04-01-2015 at 1:50pm.
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  2. #2
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    Awesome review there mm. Love your writing style!

    You've given me some great food for thought (tasty Kenko), as I've been struggling to find the optimal camera carrying solution over the last few years. The TT/CC combo doesn't look too bad at all. Time for some more digging around on the interwebz...

    Cheers!
    Andrew.

    ps. I'm pretty sure having a rub with either families or children around is always going to cause issues for the aspiring photographer...
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  3. #3
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    Yup. The only place you get away with rubbing is on a cricket pitch.

    Apologies for the grammatical errors. You re-read something later and it's only then you realise how many mistakes you made.

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