October 24, 2014, 09:17:17 AM

Author Topic: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review  (Read 3481 times)

pedant

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Hi CR!

I see a flurry of camera sling discussions going on, so I'd like to share an experience/review/rant.

For my convenience, I'll just paste an email I sent to BR's customer service earlier this year:

Quote from: me
After doing a lot of research on sling-style camera straps, I came to
the conclusion that, for my purposes, you have the best products on
the market.  I purchased a RS-Sport strap, followed the setup
directions, and went for a full-day walk / photo adventure in an urban
environment.  I was very pleased with the comfort, and throughout the
day, I remarked to myself many times on how well thought out the
product was.  However, at the end of the day, I noticed that the
ConnectR had scratched off the paint (exposing the bare metal below)
of my new 5D Mark III just below the LCD screen.  I consider myself to
be a very careful person, and I'm positive that this occurred during
normal/regular usage!  After much searching, I was shocked to find
only a handful of reports across various online forums of others with
the same complaint.  In one or two of the posts, users warned others
to apply a strip of gaffer tape to any area that the ConnectR may
contact to prevent scraping.  I wish I had seen this warning ahead of
time!  My camera got scuffed up very easily and quickly, so what
gives?  Do you hear this from your customers a lot?  I'll most likely
be returning the strap, and I'm not really sure why I'm emailing you
-- I doubt you're going to pay to have the scratched chassis element
of my 5D3 replaced.  I suppose I am, above all else, just interested
in hearing you try to defend your product design.

Their response was essentially:
Quote from: BR Customer Support
...We are sorry for the scratching that has occurred on your camera.  We understand your frustration in this situation.  We have had a few of these comments and have discovered that there are some camera models that tend to have paint that isn't quite as durable as others...

To other BR strap owners: has the ConnectR scratched up your camera as well?
It happened so easily to me and my new 5D3, and I'm surprised that this is such an underreported complaint.
Scratching is kind of normal wear-and-tear, but the camera was like brand new, and that honestly does affect resale value.

I'm currently using the CarrySpeed FS-Pro.
I can give it all the compliments I gave above to the BR strap. Extremely comfortable. Great design.

In addition, the CS system is IMO superior for the following reasons:
  • No chance of scratching the camera.
  • Built-in Arca Swiss compatible.
  • You can actually set the camera down on a flat surface without it wobbling around unlike with BR.
  • A "cinch" feature which allows you to pull on a loop to temporarily shorten the strap and bring your camera closer to / higher up on your body.  When you bring the camera back up to the shooting position, the strap loosens back up as needed without resistance.
    Edit: While I enjoy this feature, and it generally works well for me, there is one hazard to watch out for. You know how I said that if you pull the camera up to shoot, the strap gets long again?  If you bend down / lean forward, the same thing happens.  Imagine leaning forward with a big lens if you're standing next to something.. the strap will loosen up and then CLONK. BR has front/rear bumpers to address this issue (see below).
  • Extra goodies included.  You get a an extra ball mount thing that you can attach to a tele's tripod ring so that you can quickly hook your strap to that instead.  I think it also comes with a hand strap or something (which I don't really care about).

Edit:
Turning this into more of an unbiased review/comparison, I'll add a few points that BR wins on:
  • BR has front/rear bumpers to secure the camera to a particular part of the sling (preventing it from sliding around).  This is good if you want to 'park' it and prevent it from clonking into something if you bend down or lean forward. CS does not have this.
  • There is the option to use the SPORT version or BRAD (stupid name IMO) attachment. This is just an extra strap that goes under your arm to prevent the main strap from sliding back and forth over your shoulder.  This, combined with the front and rear bumpers, makes it easy to keep the camera really secure on your body.
  • Comparatively more of the strap is made of nylon strap material (vs the main shoulder pad), so there is space for me to stick on my lens cap holder
« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 12:53:36 PM by pedant »

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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2013, 01:21:18 PM »
The issue with the Canon paint rubbing off  has been noted several times, it had worn off on new cameras in a few days or weeks.  Canon should fix it for you.

pedant

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2013, 02:16:07 PM »
My camera almost a year old at this point, and the only sign of wear is where the BR scratched up my camera..
Do you honestly think Canon would fix that for free? I don't really feel like it's Canon's fault..

TM

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2013, 03:04:19 PM »
That sucks your paint wore off, and will share a different experience.
I own one BR strap and 3 connectors that always stay on my 5d mk II, 5d mk III, and 70-200 II lens for almost 2 years now. I have yet to experience any scratches or any issues at all. Gaffers tape sounds like a great idea for contact areas in general.
Canon 5DIII, 5DII,  24mm TS-E II L, Sigma 35mm ƒ1.4, 50mm ƒ1.4, 85mm ƒ1.2 L II, 100mm ƒ2.8 micro, 200mm ƒ2.0 L IS, 16-35 ƒ2.8 L II, 24-70 ƒ2.8 L II, 24-105m ƒ4, 70-200 ƒ2.8 L II, 3x 580exII

neuroanatomist

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2013, 05:31:19 PM »
No issues like this after about three years of using Blackrapid straps.  I suspect my method of attaching the strap may prevent scratches to the body from occurring (the BR lug is connected to a 1" Kirk clamp, with Arca Swiss body/lens plates).
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2013, 10:51:40 PM »
It didn't scratch my 20D, it make a little scratch on my 5D2 and larger scratches on the 5D3.  Like Neuro, I'm now attaching the the BR lug to a QR clamp (RRS in my case) clamped to an L-plate.  Most of the scratches occurred when I'm putting the camera with the BR strap attached in the camera bag, not in actual use.  Before I got the QR clamp, I'd take off the BR strap everytime I stored it, but that got tedious very quickly.

chilledXpress

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2013, 01:16:18 AM »
I had the same scratches with a 7D and a 5D3 using BR swivels. Switched to a Carry Speed mount as it was the same as a Spyder ball pin. No more scratches but not digging a more restrictive feel. Aside from the scratching, the BR swivel and pin assembly has failed me. I dumped a 5D3 and 50L onto the cement loading my kid into the car. Only suffered minor cosmetic damage but not fun watching my rig bounce around on the pavement. Talked with BR... they say it can happen and should be inspected often, being replaced with any sign of wear. Mine was about a year half old with heavy use. It appeared that the pin slowly widened the opening enough to get cocked in there sideways, it locked up and then popped out. They did offer a replacement but that did not inspire any confidence in me.

Now using Gordy hand straps but looking for alternatives to all off these options. Anyone use the Joby pro set ups?
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 01:24:10 AM by chilledXpress »

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2013, 01:16:18 AM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2013, 01:28:44 PM »
No issues like this after about three years of using Blackrapid straps.  I suspect my method of attaching the strap may prevent scratches to the body from occurring (the BR lug is connected to a 1" Kirk clamp, with Arca Swiss body/lens plates).
I guess I'm going to try that, it will certainly make it easier to connect and disconnect compared to removing that lug every time, and I can secure it to the clamp very tightly.

neuroanatomist

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2013, 01:48:04 PM »
No issues like this after about three years of using Blackrapid straps.  I suspect my method of attaching the strap may prevent scratches to the body from occurring (the BR lug is connected to a 1" Kirk clamp, with Arca Swiss body/lens plates).
I guess I'm going to try that, it will certainly make it easier to connect and disconnect compared to removing that lug every time, and I can secure it to the clamp very tightly.

I used a couple drops of Loctite Blue on the lug threads for attaching it to the clamp.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
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Eldar

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2013, 04:07:49 PM »
The CarrySpeed FS-Pro and FS-Slim both have an arcs-swiss compatible plate included. They also have a good solution to avoid scratching the camera.
5DIII, 1DX, 8-15/4L, 16-35 f4L IS, 24-70/2.8L II, 70-200/2.8L IS II, 70-300/4-5.6L IS, 200-400/4L IS 1.4x, Zeiss 15/2.8, 17/4L TS-E, Zeiss 21/2.8, 24/3.5L TS-E II, Zeiss Otus 55/1.4, Zeiss Otus 85/1.4, 100/2.8L IS Macro, Zeiss 135/2, 600/4L IS II

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2013, 07:49:44 PM »
No issues like this after about three years of using Blackrapid straps.  I suspect my method of attaching the strap may prevent scratches to the body from occurring (the BR lug is connected to a 1" Kirk clamp, with Arca Swiss body/lens plates).
I guess I'm going to try that, it will certainly make it easier to connect and disconnect compared to removing that lug every time, and I can secure it to the clamp very tightly.

I used a couple drops of Loctite Blue on the lug threads for attaching it to the clamp.

Its on order now from Adorama (Free slowboat Shipping).  I've many tubes of locktite, I'll make sure I use the appropriate kind.

JustMeOregon

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2013, 06:22:58 PM »
No issues like this after about three years of using Blackrapid straps.  I suspect my method of attaching the strap may prevent scratches to the body from occurring (the BR lug is connected to a 1" Kirk clamp, with Arca Swiss body/lens plates).
I guess I'm going to try that, it will certainly make it easier to connect and disconnect compared to removing that lug every time, and I can secure it to the clamp very tightly.

I used a couple drops of Loctite Blue on the lug threads for attaching it to the clamp.

Its on order now from Adorama (Free slowboat Shipping).  I've many tubes of locktite, I'll make sure I use the appropriate kind.

Do you guys, who secure the BR lug with Locktite, still use the rubber washer that's included in the BR lug-assembly? The reason I ask is -- I have always noticed that soon after first attaching a BR lug with the brand-new rubber washer, I would have to periodically tighten-up the lug just a tiny bit while the rubber washer squished-down-&-out ever so slightly. I've had to do this (with all four of my BR rigs) for about a week or so until the rubber washer decided that it was "squished enough" and would not need any more tightening. After this initial "squishing-in period" all my BR straps (with RRS clamps) have been rock-solid for years now without having to use Locktite...

 It would seem to me that you can't use Locktite AND the BR's rubber washer at the same time because you would then not be able to tighten-down on the rubber washer after the Locktite has set... If you did try to use both Locktite AND the rubber washer at the same time, after a while (as the washer compresses & loses a bit of its "back pressure") your rig could literally be hanging by a thread...

This is why I've decided not to use Locktite on my BR rigs... Does this make any sense, or am I missing something here?

All that being said, I have never had a problem with any of my BR straps, squish-able rubber washers, & RRS clamps. I do however still reflexively double-check the tension of the lug & clamp periodically throughout the day... You only get one chance to be paranoid... that's BEFORE all the really scary stuff happens...

Oh BTW, as the saying goes, first time poster but long time lurker... There's a lot of great info I've tapped into over here, thanks to everyone... I've always envisioned my first post to be something along the lines of an in-depth discussion of taming the dynamic range of a sunset with our woefully underpowered Canon gear  ;) or a rigorous defense of tastefully done HDR, but I guess I'll just have to settle for squished washers...

Richard
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 06:51:27 PM by JustMeOregon »

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2013, 06:40:19 PM »
I've got the rubber washer on mine, between lug and clamp.  With the thread-locking compound in place and cured, the lug isn't going to come loose (or get tighter), regardless of whether the washer is there or not.
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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2013, 06:40:19 PM »

pedant

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2013, 09:07:40 AM »
Thanks for the responses!

wickidwombat

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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2013, 04:47:58 AM »
my L brackets protect the camera from any scratching by the BR :)
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Re: BlackRapid straps scratching up camera / CarrySpeed comparison review
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2013, 04:47:58 AM »