DIY – Rapid Strap!

Apparently there are people out there keeping track of how often I post. I didn’t think that anybody really read this thing, but I guess that isn’t the case. So, to appease my multitude of readers here goes it.

For the longest time I’ve preferred to carry my camera either with the strap wrapped around my wrist, or slung across my shoulder like a messenger bag. With the strap wrapped around my wrist I am always ready to take a picture, but if I need both hands for a moment I actually have to put the camera down. Sometimes this isn’t a problem, other times… it’s just not possible. Whenever I’m cruising around a city or in a situation when I don’t feel the need to be ready in an instance I will sling the camera over my shoulder like a messenger bag. I feel the camera carries well this way and if I really need it quickly I can slide it around and get an image, but it is a little awkward.

Up until today I’ve been happy to use both of these methods as I didn’t really think I had much of a choice. Enter the R-Strap from Black Rapid. A little while ago I saw this nifty little strap and thought that it was pretty cool and that maybe I would have to look into getting one. Well, I started reading some reviews and it appeared that everyone really loved them, so I started to really look into things… aka, how much does something like this cost? Well, when I found out that these things are pushing the $50 mark I pretty much wrote them off. I’m a poor college kid and that 50 bucks is better spent on things like food, shelter, or heat.

Anyway, I was in the shop where I work and noticed we had gotten in some swivel snaphooks. So I decided that I would try and make my own R-strap. So I grabbed a snaphook ($2.00), some 2 inch flat webbing ($1.20 for 6 feet) and a triglide ($0.20), the thing that keeps the webbing from slipping. Then I ran down to the hardware store and while browsing came across these eyebolts that had 1/4-20 thread. I grabbed one of these and a locknut ($2.00) and headed home to do some experimentation.

When I got home it didn’t take long to throw this thing together and I just have to say that this thing is sweet! So sweet in fact that I ran back down to the shop and bought enough goodies to make another. Once I had both of them up and running I found that they will work in tandem. This will be great for weddings and bike races. I have a cross race to shoot tomorrow and I’m going to give them a try. Right now I don’t expect anything short of awesome.

Now, don’t get me wrong these aren’t perfect. You have to remove the standard strap so that it’s not just flapping around in the breeze, and now it’s not really possible to wrap the strap around my wrist if I wanted to. Also, when used in tandem you tend to start to look like Rambo. If only I had dual D3’s firing at 12fps.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to let you know that these things really do seem pretty sweet and if you are hard up for the green stuff and have a spare 5 minutes to put one of these things together you can build your own for about $5.00. Check out your hardware store and your local specialty outdoor retailer (think bikes, kayaks, climbing equipment).


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