Review of http://www.kirkphoto.com/Kirk_Security_Strap.html
Background, I haven't used the popular BlackRapid strap or other variants. My issue with the BlackRapid is that you have to screw something to the bottom which precludes easy Swiss-Arca plate usage. I know many got around that by using a SA clamp, but the setup seems kludgy to me. Additionally the BlackRapid solution seems over engineered to me. As an engineer I would opt for a simpler design, the swivel buckle, screw in attachment and such looks like too much, never mind adding a Swiss-Arca clamp, which also makes it much more expensive by the way.
Enter the Kirk Security Strap which had the features I wanted on paper.
A built in clamp. A strap which attaches directly to the clamp. Minimal failure points and foo. How does it stack up?
The claim to fame of the BlackRapid is rapid shooting. Important to professional event shooters, less to me, but as it turns out I suspect that is more marketing than reality. As it is the Kirk has zero
issues with rapid deployment. Instead of sliding the camera along the strap, a move that seems error prone, with the Kirk you can simply raise the camera to eye level without readjusting anything
. It just folds more or less in half with the padded part staying in place. When done drop it back down, zero fuss. Frankly it seems like LESS fuss than the BlackRapid, but as I say I haven't used that one.
Second, how does it 'sit' when by your side? It comes from the factory with the clamp knob toward you. This is a neat feature, what it means is that because the clamp naturally lines the camera up in a particular orientation (front-back) the knob is always there giving some standoff distance between the camera and you. Keeps the back of the camera from knocking into you. Cool.
Third it has a rail on the bottom for quick mounting on a SA system.
Fourth I'm not a walking advertisement. No logos blasted over it, the unit is extremely lightweight and low profile.
That's the good. The less good is that the strap isn't a super deluxe item. Fine by me, actually perfect for me, I don't want some overdone solution. Just a simple strap thank you. If you don't like it, it can be easily replaced at any rate.
Also with the default strap it wants to go over one shoulder (at least for me), not across your chest to the other shoulder. Again my preferred approach, I like being able to quickly take it on or off. If you prefer across the chest then replacing the strap with a longer version will do it for you.
That's my take.