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Thread: Travelling with gear: Blackrapid R-Strap RS5

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    Thumbs up Travelling with gear: Blackrapid R-Strap RS5

    Following on from my review of my bag I must review the Blackrapid R-Strap RS5.

    I've just returned from 5 weeks of traveling with all my gear. We traveled from Melbourne to Thailand, then England where I spent 5 days walking around London, and a further 3 weeks driving all over England and Scotland. Then returned the car, went by the Eurostar train and spent a few days in Paris and back to London to fly to Thailand where we spent a few days and finally home. So the strap got a good test in a variety of situations. Many places I went had warnings of pickpockets and the like so security was also important.

    The R-Strap was on my camera for the entire time. It screws into the tripod socket on the bottom of the camera and provides a very secure connection. I wear the strap over my left shoulder across my body with the camera at right side. I used it the entire time was using my camera which many days was up to 10 hours in the day. I have previously used neck straps and found them to be a pain in the neck (boom tish!) always irritating my skin, or getting caught up in clothes and being a weight pulling me forwards all the time. Also with a neck strap the camera sits half way up your middle and sits un-naturally with the lens either poking out and/or the camera body digging into your chest.

    I used this strap with my 7D and various lenses attached but the biggest rig I used was when I had the 70-200 F2.8L IS attached. All up this setup weighs 2.8kgs. I found the strap to sit very comfortably over my shoulder and I felt no fatigue at all carrying it around for hours. The camera sits very nicely at your side and you can move it to in front of you, at your side or behind you as you wish.

    I found walking through crowds etc the camera as suitably close to my body and wasn't banging into anything. It is also at a great position for your right arm to naturally reach the camera and keep a hand on it if you wish to have it more secure. Walking through the busy streets where bag or gear snatchers can be an issue it was reassuring to know that I could keep one hand on the camera and have it secure without giving my arm a hard time! I also often wore a jacket over the entire thing so the camera was concealed under the jacket (only with a smaller lens though as the big 70-200 would have poked out the bottom!). I could also just hold the lens barrel and have the camera lie across my waist and have it very secure. At no stage did I think my camera was in danger with this set up.

    Another benefit of having it at your side is that it frees up two hands. You can easily let it hang there and you have two hands free to do things, eat, write, read a map whatever. You can also bend or lean forward with it at your side and not bash the lens into things. This is a big plus for me.

    Storage wise the R-Strap has two zippered pockets. I only used one and put 2 CF cards in it. There is ample room for more things though. I also used the phone pouch for a spare battery. So in the one package I had everything I needed for a walk-around session. I found this great, as it was easy to access and fast. The pockets are held in place with small magnets which worries me having memory cards around, but I haven't had an issue at all. They are very easy to access and very quiet (ie no velcro to be seen) and are also very secure.

    The strap itself sits over your shoulder pretty well and you can very quickly pull the camera up to your eye and start shooting. It sits nicely over the shoulder generally but I did find that when I had a slipperly rain coat on the strap did slide around a bit. The adjustment is good for length and the excess strap is safely tucked away in the shoulder padding. The strap itself is reasonably thin and can twist around a bit which annoys me a little. I would prefer it to be a little more rigid, which might also make it less able to be cut if someone wanted to steel you camera.

    The latch is very secure with a double acting clip making sure it won't come off the camera. Unfortuately though the size of the clip has meant that it has rubbed on the body of my camera and worn off the back coating along about 15mm of the edge at the bottom. No big deal but a little annoying.

    Overall for comfort, ease of use, security and I'll stress again comfort over a long day, I would highly recommend this strap. A few minor revisions might make it better so I rate it 9/10.

    Again, if you find this useful or wish to comment or ask questions please don't hesitate to post a reply.
    Last edited by I @ M; 15-04-2010 at 5:01pm. Reason: Edited at member's request.
    Mic

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    thanks for the review Mic. I love mine to bits too.
    I don't know how i did with out it really.
    Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm f/4L, 24-105mm f/4L, 17mm TS-E f/4L, 24mm f/1.4L II, 50mm f/1.2L, 85mm f/1.2L
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    I gotta get me one of these, but which one ??
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    Looks like a great strap ... much more comfortable than the round your neck thingo & bucket loads cheaper than the cotton carrier harness I was looking at. My only query is ... I have a quick release gizzmo attached to my camera & it doesn't look like I can attach the straps' fastener to it without removing it first. Just a little fiddly. Any work around?

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    I guess depends on the attachments. The R-Strap has a basic snap hook, so I have seen it attached to some tripod mounting plates where the D-ring underneath that is used for screwing it onto the camera is big enough to attach the snap hook.

    I guess the other thing is the strap can be unscrewed reasonably easily as the snaphook is on a swivel so you can unscrew it while all attached if you want.

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    Thanks Mic, have looked at several reviews all good reports & easy enough to unscrew to use the tripod ... have you used the double one? If you don't mind revealing ... where did you get yours?

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    No I haven't used the double one, I only have the RS5. I bought mine direct from Blackrapid website, from memory it only took a few days to arrive.

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    Great review - Any thoughts on the RS5 vs the RS7?
    Check out my new site - www.wattsgallery.com - feedback welcome

    Gear - Canon 5D, 40D, 10-22, 24-70 2.8L, 200 2.8L, 50 1.8, 430EXII

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    Quote Originally Posted by etherial View Post
    I guess depends on the attachments. The R-Strap has a basic snap hook, so I have seen it attached to some tripod mounting plates where the D-ring underneath that is used for screwing it onto the camera is big enough to attach the snap hook.

    I guess the other thing is the strap can be unscrewed reasonably easily as the snaphook is on a swivel so you can unscrew it while all attached if you want.

    The other thing I do is attach the R-strap clip to a manfrotto quick release plate rather than screw it directly to the body. Its far quicker then to remove alltogether.

    I like mine too
    Darren
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    The other thing I do is attach the R-strap clip to a manfrotto quick release plate rather than screw it directly to the body. Its far quicker then to remove alltogether.

    I like mine too
    I thought that looked like a good solution for quick release but worried it might work loose easier - not the case from your experience?

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    Hi there

    Thanks for the review. It is very useful from a user's perspective.

    Did you also have a shoulder bag? From your review you were wearing the strap the same way I normally carry my shoulder bag (stealth reporter). Do you think the bag and the Rstrap would get in each other's way?

    Thanks.
    Criticism & Suggestions welcome
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattsgallery View Post
    I thought that looked like a good solution for quick release but worried it might work loose easier - not the case from your experience?
    Blackrapid are about to release this

    They have also released the Fasten R3 but are not currently bundling it with the strap - its an extra $14USD
    Alan
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    Quote Originally Posted by arubaato View Post
    Hi there

    Thanks for the review. It is very useful from a user's perspective.

    Did you also have a shoulder bag? From your review you were wearing the strap the same way I normally carry my shoulder bag (stealth reporter). Do you think the bag and the Rstrap would get in each other's way?

    Thanks.
    I actually used mine with a backpack on. They occasional got in the way of each other, but I found it quite workable. I think you will be fine with a shoulder bag.

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    I saw etherial's R-Strap in action a couple of weeks ago. I nearly stole his when he wasn't looking.

    I have just placed an order for my own.
    Cheers,
    Chris.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ploddy View Post
    I saw etherial's R-Strap in action a couple of weeks ago. I nearly stole his when he wasn't looking.

    I have just placed an order for my own.
    I'm interested to know where from?
    Peter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peterking View Post
    I'm interested to know where from?
    I think the best place is from BlackRapids website. They ship it out very quickly.

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    I bought mine from cameras direct, but, their website seems blank of them at the moment anyhow

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    I had mine sent from b&h, took 3 days I think. I had a few more things sent with it so it was a little more economical.

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    Yeah, I just ordered from Blackrapid. I'll advise when I receive it so you know delivery time. If I had to guess I would say around Tuesday / Wednesday of next week.

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    Yep i ordered and paid for mine yesterday - i have had advice that it has shipped already so will be interesting to see how long it takes to arrive

    I have also ordered a new bag and a few other things from hong kong

    Just received in 2 days my new "L" lens from DWI and also my mint condition 40D from Sydney so all set to go!!!

    Cheers
    Kellie

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