I’m a 2-camera shooter, and I’ve been using the manufacturer straps for years. I got used to angling one shoulder to keep a strap from slipping while I shot with the other camera, but it still had problems because my shooting hand would often get tangled in the strap or get in the way because of where the straps attach to the camera.
The solution to these problems: The BlackRapid double strap! All their straps attach at the bottom of the camera with a solid stainless steel connector. This means the strap is never in the way because it will always be below your camera when you are shooting! Just this past month, BlackRapid added the DR-2 to their line of products. The DR-2 is a slimmer version of their original double strap, the DR-1.
Here is what I wanted to know:
* Is the Slim Double Strap DR-2 comfortable to wear after hours of shooting?
* How do the double camera straps fit on a woman’s body?
* Is the slimmer DR-2 just as padded and durable as the DR-1?
* Are there any constraints or downfalls to having a double strap?
Please note: I do not work for BlackRapid, so I’m not going to talk about the technical specs, like measurements and materials or how to adjust the straps. This review is for photographers who shoot with 2 camera bodies and would like to hear another photographer’s opinion of the DR-2.
[ DR-1 vs DR-2 COMPARISON ]
It’s clear as day: the DR-2 (bottom left) is much smaller than the original DR-1 (bottom right).
But here’s the thing! I don’t consider myself petite by any definition, as I am 5′8″ with broad shoulders — and let’s not even get into the added Baby Weight — so, I assumed the one with wider straps would be more comfortable for my body. Not necessarily!
“Baby’s Got Back!”
Though there is a lofty difference in size, the Slim DR-2 was just as comfortable as the original DR-1.
In fact, I noticed the biggest difference in comfort in the back because the shape of the DR-2 fit better across my shoulder blades, which made it easier to move around than the DR-1.
This was the biggest shock because I thought the wider the padding, the more comfort! This was not the case.
“Grandma! What Wide Straps You Have!”
For the majority of photographers who fall into the “average” body size range, choosing between the DR-1 and DR-2 is more a matter of taste.
I found that both straps fit my frame, and I was only able to detect a noticeable difference in comfort when I tried them on with cameras and lenses attached, one strap after the other. This is definitely worth the extra research time when you’re wearing these bad boys for several tireless hours, and they’re holding up heavy (not to mention, expensive) equipment!
[ THE DETAILS ]
The Underside and Thickness
The underside of the straps are really soft, so it’s comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The outer material is durable and lightweight.
The thickness of the straps are about the same. See the below right photo. I bet you can’t even tell which strap is which!
Screwed to the bottom of your camera or long zoom lens, these weighty little guys are made of material even superheros couldn’t break! Your cameras will stay safely secured upside-down. Comfort and durability are important features to look for in camera straps, but how securely they hold your gear is numero uno!
There is a rubber piece under each hardware that keep the connectors sealed tight to your camera. If you give it a little moisture (aka, water or spit ), it will create a tighter seal.
As part of my pre-photoshoot preparation, I will still check that all screws and connectors are tight. But so far, it has never loosened on me during a photoshoot or surprised me during my pre-shoot prep.
[ CONCLUSION ]
* The DR2 was surprisingly more comfortable than the DR1 for me. (I thought the DR1 would fit my frame better since I don’t consider myself “petite”, so this was a surprise!) This means, if you fall within the “average” body size range (whether you are a man or a woman), I suggest you try them both out before you stick to one. It’ll be worth your time!
* Shooting with my camera bodies hanging upside-down was a natural way to shoot. Since the straps are adjustable, I put my cameras at the length of my arm, so I could easily grab one and shoot at a moment’s notice. For the first time, I didn’t have an instance where my straps were in the way!
* I also preferred the DR-2 when it came to fitting better for a woman’s body. Because of the narrower padded straps above the chest, the straps sat more out-of-the-way.
* Shooting with the DR-2 meant that I no longer needed to tilt one of my shoulders. It was so nice to not have to worry about my straps slipping off my shoulders!
* Everything was sooooo secure that there was no easy way to detach my camera from the straps when I needed to hold it far from my body, which I often do when I am shooting babies and children who are running with me or crawling on the ground. I need a Quick Release feature! (This probably doesn’t impact most photographers, but I wanted to mention it because it’s something that effects the way I shoot.)
* With the hardware screwed tightly on the bottom of my camera bodies and 70-200mm lens, my cameras can no longer sit flat, which I like to do for stabilization when I shoot near a flat surface.
All in all, these are small prices to pay for added security, comfort to my neck and back, and ease of shooting with the straps out of the way! And there are ways to work around these issues. I highly recommend the BlackRapid DR-2!
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