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Black Rapid vs OP/Tech

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    jamminshots
    19 Mar 2013 - 6:40 PM

    Good evening.
    With my birthday approaching friends and family have started asking for gift ideas. I have always liked the idea of a sling strap but never really got round to actually buying one.
    I was looking at the black rapid but for 35-40 it seems quite pricey for what it is. I have seen a similar looking one http://www.amazon.co.uk/OP-TECH-Utility-Strap-Sling/dp/B003T0EYVE/ref=cm_cr_pr_p... which for 15 seems very reasonable. Is there a big enough difference between the two to justify the price difference?

    any input will be most welcome

    Jamie

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    saltireblue
    saltireblue Site Moderator 43821 forum postssaltireblue vcard Norway23 Constructive Critique Points
    19 Mar 2013 - 6:46 PM

    I cannot compare, but can only say I have had the BR for over a year now and cannot fault it. I regularly have a 70-200 2.8 attached to my 5Diii for 2-3 hours without noticing the weight.
    Quality is excellent, strong and not the slightest sign of wear.
    Others will be able to tell you about the OP-Tech version.

    Malc

    adamduckworth
    19 Mar 2013 - 6:59 PM

    I've used OpTech straps for years to carry heavy pro kit (Nikon D4s, 300mm f2.8 and 500mm lenses) without a problem. Not used the sling style one though.

    I also use a California Sunbounce cross-body strap which is great. I know lots of pros who use the Black Rapids and they are well recommended and safe, too.

    I was shooting yesterday at a sports event and a fellow photographer was fixing his camera to his fake, eBay Black Rapid strap with a cable tie.

    The fastener had broken and his camera fallen to the ground. Luckily it landed in dirt so not too much damage.

    I wouldn't risk thousands of pounds of kit on a cheapo strap.

    Ewanneil
    Ewanneil  41118 forum posts Scotland2 Constructive Critique Points
    19 Mar 2013 - 7:49 PM

    I've got 2 OpTech sling straps. On one I keep the padded shoulder section in place and use it for my D300S + lens + battery grip. On the other I have removed the padded section and extended the strap to nearer its maximum length. I use this strap for both of my Fujifilms (X-10 and X-E1). By removing the padded bit I can wear the strap under a jacket if I want and so hide the camera and protect it from bumps/rain etc. With the padded bit removed the strap rolls up into a very small ball and can be easily stowed in a pocket or bag. Quite often I use both straps at once with them over different shoulders. Its a configuration that works for me.

    Experience has given me great confidence in the durability of the straps and connectors. They distribute the weight well and make it easy to lug around quite heavy gear (my D300S) all day long with no pain or strain. The strap can get in the way a bit when trying to take shots in portrait orientation but other than that they are great.

    HTH

    Ewan

    gary_d
    gary_d e2 Member 6520 forum postsgary_d vcard Wales12 Constructive Critique Points
    19 Mar 2013 - 7:56 PM

    I use the Black rapid and love it, I walk for hours with my 5D3 and a Sigma 150-500 ( which is a bit of a beast ) attached and the weight is distributed perfectly around my body.

    LesJD
    LesJD  2145 forum posts Wales
    19 Mar 2013 - 7:57 PM

    I can't make a comparison but chose the OP TECH sling over the Black Rapid as I didn't fancy the idea of taking off every time I used a tripod.Having used a sling for just a few weeks I don't think I'll ever go back to the normal shoulder strap.

    Les

    chrisheathcote
    chrisheathcote e2 Member 8240 forum postschrisheathcote vcard United Kingdom
    19 Mar 2013 - 9:31 PM

    I also use a Black Rapid, it regularly carries a gripped 60d with 150-500mm. It does fit to the tripod thread which lets it hang ready for use. I use it with manfrotto RC2 plates. There is a replacement bolt available that means the strap clips directly to the plate

    studioline
    19 Mar 2013 - 10:25 PM

    I use the Sunbounce and love it. Really transforms the camera.

    hollkj
    hollkj e2 Member 9186 forum postshollkj vcard United Kingdom
    20 Mar 2013 - 1:48 PM

    I have sling straps from sunbounce, black rapid, optech and Custom SLR and normal straps from Canon and Ephotozine (which is great).

    I found the best shoulder pad for distributing weight and comfort was on the Custom SLR strap. Unfortunately their camera/strap mount (C-loop) when attached to the strap doesn't slide smoothly. I also found that if I had a bit of a pace on the camera would start to bounce.

    Although Optech was comfy its best used as a normal around the neck strap because the sling strap mount / slide mecanism is poor. Quality also not as high as Black Rapid.

    I found the sunbounce shoulderpad uncomfortable and the sliding mechanism to occasionally catch. This is my least favourite of the 4 although is of a high quality.

    Black Rapid has by far the best mount / slide mecahnism. The shoulder pad is effective and all round quality of strap excellent. Les mentioned the problem of taking off the connector when fitting to a tripod. I use ReallyRightStuff L-plates so connect the strap to a clamp which connects to the L-plate. See here for example.

    Kevin.

    mikehit
    mikehit  56298 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
    20 Mar 2013 - 3:56 PM

    I have the Optech strap and my only concern with it is that the way the camera is attached by a cord loop that connects to the strap using to a fastex connector. Not a problem in itself, but IMO security is low: in a busy street someone only need squeeze the buckle for the camera to disconnect. You can buy little velcro strips that wrap around the two halves of the buckle but that seems to be an additional faff.
    I don't know how other designs work in this regard.

    LesJD
    LesJD  2145 forum posts Wales
    20 Mar 2013 - 4:17 PM


    Quote: I have sling straps from sunbounce, black rapid, optech and Custom SLR and normal straps from Canon and Ephotozine (which is great).

    I found the best shoulder pad for distributing weight and comfort was on the Custom SLR strap. Unfortunately their camera/strap mount (C-loop) when attached to the strap doesn't slide smoothly. I also found that if I had a bit of a pace on the camera would start to bounce.

    Although Optech was comfy its best used as a normal around the neck strap because the sling strap mount / slide mecanism is poor. Quality also not as high as Black Rapid.

    I found the sunbounce shoulderpad uncomfortable and the sliding mechanism to occasionally catch. This is my least favourite of the 4 although is of a high quality.

    Black Rapid has by far the best mount / slide mecahnism. The shoulder pad is effective and all round quality of strap excellent. Les mentioned the problem of taking off the connector when fitting to a tripod. I use ReallyRightStuff L-plates so connect the strap to a clamp which connects to the L-plate. See here for example.

    Kevin.

    Thanks for the link Kevin I've seen something similar to that but decided against it because it adds additional cost to to the BR.Not sure what you find wrong with the slide mechanism of the OP Tech but I'm guessing it's related to the vertical shooting position which I admit is a bit of a pain.

    Les

    LesJD
    LesJD  2145 forum posts Wales
    20 Mar 2013 - 4:19 PM


    Quote: I have the Optech strap and my only concern with it is that the way the camera is attached by a cord loop that connects to the strap using to a fastex connector. Not a problem in itself, but IMO security is low: in a busy street someone only need squeeze the buckle for the camera to disconnect. You can buy little velcro strips that wrap around the two halves of the buckle but that seems to be an additional faff.
    I don't know how other designs work in this regard.

    Hi Mike, when on holiday recently I had similar concerns and just wrapped insulating tape around the buckle.

    Les

    NeilS
    NeilS e2 Member 7837 forum postsNeilS vcard United Kingdom
    20 Mar 2013 - 6:17 PM

    I got a black rapid many years ago when the first appeared, and liked it a lot, however I always had a second carbiner on it to give two connections, one to the camera body Arca plate , and one to the lens tripod foot arca plate, if I wanted additional attachments on either the lens or body, I would use Optech Pro loops for this

    When I wore the Black Rapid out, I bought a sunsniper strap with steel wire in it, and I now have two Sunsniper straps because I have found these better because the strap is stiffer and less likely to twist as much

    However I still use the Black Rapid Connecter R2 and FastnerR FRT and keep these on my camera bodies and all lens tripod feet, I find the Black rapid connecters superior for my needs

    Anyone thinking of doing the same will need to note that the arca plates will need to be drilled out with a 3/8" hole in order to get a flush fit with the FastneR FRT

    Paul_Anthony
    20 Mar 2013 - 6:39 PM

    I can only comment on the Black Rapid as it is the one I have, recently purchased and used for the first time yesterday at a wedding, cannot fault it. I have the Duo, it makes carrying two bodies and lenses so much easier, didn't even notice the weight of two gripped bodies, one with a 24 - 120 f/4 and the other with a 70 - 200 f/2.8...

    One of the best accessories I have purchased in a long while...

    jamminshots
    20 Mar 2013 - 9:26 PM

    Many thanks everyone for taking the time to comment, it is much appreciated.
    Now I have some thinking to do Smile

    Jamie

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