R-Strap by BlackRapid - Camera Strap Review

R-Strap by BlackRapid – Camera Strap Review

r-strap-1.jpgSince starting photography first as a hobby and now professionally, I’ve upgraded lenses, filters, bags and even my computer all to aid in my pursuit of the art. For some reason, one thing I had never thought of upgrading was the most basic camera accessory of all, the camera strap.

Having a larger build, I have always disliked the straps that come with various camera bodies. I find them too short, too uncomfortable and just cheap feeling. I also dislike the having the camera model number largely displayed making me a walking billboard for Nikon. People often approached me at weddings I was shooting to discuss this feature or that and even talk about how they’ve upgraded beyond what I was using. I always smiled but wished I could focus on what I was there to document.

When I came across the R-Strap, I thought this might be the very thing I needed but didn’t know I was missing. Well, it has arrived and here is my review.

The R-Strap by BlackRapid, a Seattle based company. Being very simple and elegant in design you have to wonder why straps weren’t made this way from the beginning. Essentially, it allows you to sling your camera down to the hip level instead of having it hung around the front of your neck. My initial reaction was that it was very well built. Upon opening the package, I was impressed by the RS-4’s design. It had comfortable shoulder padding and even a small zipper to store my extra memory card or flash gels.


The stainless steel connect screw called the R2 also looked solid.


One of the reasons I was looking forward to the R-Strap was for comfort. When I photograph weddings, having the strap around my neck gets old very fast. I usually end up not even using it, only to have it get in my way as I switch from landscape to portrait shots. Not having it around my neck, I’ve also had a few close calls with guests bumping into me and almost losing my grip of the camera. All of these issues I think have been solved with my new strap. (Can you tell I’m excited about it?)

I didn’t have a wedding scheduled so I decided to walk around Old Town Alexandria in Northern Virginia and see how I felt at the end of the day. It was no problem all day. I shot a quick demo with my point and shoot while I was there which can be found below. Go easy on the video, remember I’m a photographer not an actor or cinematographer.

In the end, I was very impressed with this new system and will not be using my old strap any longer. In fact, after seeing on the Black Rapid website that two straps can now be coupled together for double camera slinging power, another R-Strap is on my long list of future purchases. The video below shows the double strap in action. 4.5 out of 5 stars. (The minus .5 is simply because with the strap connected, it’s not as easy to set my camera on a flat surface for a quick shot. I first have to unclip the strap. I know it’s a small issue.) It can be purchased at Adorama here. The older RS1 Strap is available at Amazon.

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Chas Elliott is a freelance photographer in the Northern Virginia and DC area. See more of his work at www.chaselliott.com.

Some Older Comments

  • Tim Xu December 16, 2010 01:21 am

    I highly recommend a Carry Speed brand name sling strap, they really fix a lot existing problem on other sling strap, which is the best value in market for $35 only.

    1. their mounting plate offer an extra tripod mount which you install almost whatever without remove the mounting plate
    2. they build pretty tough, as I measured, their strap thickness is 50% thicker than black rapid R strap, I feel much safer
    3. it comes with a Uni Strap, which is very helpful to hold your camera to your hip or you may use it as security strap.
    4. the price is very resonable, i go it for $35 Only.
    5.they have tons of video show how tough it is, they even hang a 160lb guy on that strap to test it.

  • Arno December 10, 2010 03:25 am

    Update on "my ideal sling strap"
    After trying three different designs, I finally found my ideal strap:
    The Op/Tech Sling with a modified attachment system.

    The Op/Tech is (for my shoulders) by far the most comfortable strap. Its pad is of stretch neoprene, which provides soft pressure and a shock absorber.

    The fastening system is not what I want, though. So I am using the Sun Sniper's BEAR fastener to attach to the camera's tripod socket. Actually, I am attaching to the L-plate's socket, which I always have mounted on my camera, and I am attaching via a screw clamp, so I can quickly remove it to clamp the camera to a tripod, or attach the strap to the tripod collar of a longer lens.

    The BEAR fastener has a built-in swivel and therefore is built very 'short', allowing for a longer strap loop and therefore more movement to handle the camera for the varying positions.

    The Op/Tech clip connectors remain on the strap for extra utility when needed, using their very flexible connecting system for the task at hand.

  • Arno December 10, 2010 03:18 am

    I like cameras with battle scars. It shows that they are being used and not just sit in the cabinet ;)

    That said, I would find it highly annoying if the fastener would have to be undone every time you want to put the camera into your bag.

  • eric epie December 10, 2010 02:38 am

    The only problem about Black Rapid's metal screw or the R2 is if you forgot to unscrew it and put it on your camera bag, the R2 gouges the lower corner bottom of your camera just under your the lcd screen about a quarter of an inch depending if the R2 swings from side to side. It has already scraped and ruined my 7D and could not do anything unless you want to repaint it black. Better to unscrew it before putting your camera inside your bag other than that this strap is a good shutterbug accessory.

  • Vic December 2, 2010 04:03 pm

    George, your detailed explanation predicting what may go wrong with the strap is right on. The D ring of mine failed, sending my D700 and wide angle lens to the floor. Still awaiting to hear how much the damages will be... Black Rapid won't return phone calls. Now you're warned...

  • Arno November 20, 2010 01:51 pm

    It is clear to me that I will have one of these straps. I built a test rig to compare different attachment points on the camera and found the bottom (tripod mount) position the best. In contrast to some of the accounts above, the camera would hang upside down, the lens pointing _back_ and down, which has the grip pointing out and just right for the right hand to grab it. This goes for the heavy wide and mid range zooms. The 70-200 will remain level.

    I always have an RRS L-plate attached, to which I will clamp a smaller RRS clamp (B2-FAB B). The strap's fastener will screw into that small clamp. If I need the camera to go on the tripod, the clamp will be removed quickly without wearing out the CR-2 gasket (which I might swap against a steel spring washer).

    The only open question is as to which strap: Rapid or Sun Sniper. I might just order both and return the one I don't like. The design of the shoulder pad will be key for me as I'm skinny and don't have a lot of natural cushion there. Too soft a pad will allow the actual strap to cut into my shoulder, so I'm looking for the wider, stiffer pad.

    What I really liked (with my test rig) was to hang the A850 with the 70-200/2.8, fastener on the tripod collar. The lens will be level, pointing back. What a sweet solution!

  • robert steere October 8, 2010 02:54 am

    My pro camera & lens fell to the ground due to the Rstrap. Unknown to me, the end of the strap through use had gotten close to the plastic strap length adjustment part which is on the strap and very close to the shoulder pad. The strap gave way when it finally passed through. This happened very quickly without warning. To solve this, I folded the very end of the strap over itself twice and sewed it. Now the strap end will catch on the plastic piece. Problem solved and I've been happy with the Rstrap.

  • Terry Watson October 7, 2010 02:43 pm

    I have been using Black Rapid slings for over a year now. There are a couple of ways I use them: first, as designed, with one camera body (Canon 7d) over one shoulder and often a Canon 40d with a long lens over the other shoulder. I keep the lens hoods on the lenses which tends to protect the lens a bit. This is often the setup I use when doing portraits at various outdoor locations. I find I prefer a simple strap with plastic snap catches to the more elaborate Black Rapid straps.

    The other way that I use them is slightly at odds to the design idea. I do a lot of hiking in the mountains, almost always wearing a backpack. I create a 'chain' of cheap aluminum carbiners off of each backpack shoulder strap. At the end of the chain, I clip one of the Black Rapid tripod-mount screw-in adaptors, which is of course screwed into the tripod mount of the camera or the lens. This way I am not using their straps at all - just the high quality hardware.It works really well, and with the carbiners it's easy to unclip a camera if I want for any reason, such as when I take off the backpack. It's easy to get the length just right so the cameras hang comfortably under my arms and yet have enough length to easily pull them up to my eye for photos.

    The hardware is very high quality.


  • robert steere June 14, 2010 03:16 am

    A major problem with the Rstrap RS-4. My DSLR dropped to the pavement when the strap came out of the quick release adjustment. If you tap the quick release to give yourself another inch, it could be the end of the strap and your camera comes crashing to the ground. There should be something on the end of the strap to prevent it from going completely through the quick release.

  • David June 10, 2010 06:51 pm

    Useful review, thanks.

    Has anyone compared the R-Strap to a Cameraslinger? I prefer the idea of not having the strap at the front across your chest.

  • Jeff June 2, 2010 12:29 pm

    I love the double straps idea, the cameras feel wieghtless.

    I encountered a problem using the strap with Canon 70-200 F2.8 with the "D"ring attached on the trip mount of the lense. Two different bodies detached from the same lense and fell from waist height. Luckily without damage but a few scratch for one of them.

    I still don’t know if it’s my particular lenses (seem a bit loose when twisting it in the mount) or it’s because the release button is rubbing against the leg while the shaking untie them. Unlike what George said, the camera is leaning sideway attached this way not LCD rubbing on the legs. You can see how it lies on the second video with the camera on his right side (our left) that has a longer lense.

    Sure thing, I’ll have a homemade fail safe soon. Just have to figure it out !

  • Richard April 19, 2010 05:54 pm


    All very good points, George. The R-Strap is nice in principle but I wish it were constructed with better safety measures in mind. Also, the use of the R-Strap with a bag and/or flash isn't going to work. I think I'll stick with a traditional strap that has a better neck pad and longer in length. The UpStrap looks like a winner so far.

  • george slusher April 14, 2010 10:00 pm


    Any strap will have serious problems if you have a flash on the hot shoe. The flash sticks out and is a huge lever arm, attached to a rather flimsy bit of the camera. The flash shoe is NOT designed to stand up to the flash being bumped hard--nor is the flash, itself. Plastic feet on the flash can be broken off. A moderate whack on the flash could distort the flash shoe. On the R Strap, the flash would hang down, right where it can be whacked, HARD.

    The R-Strap lets your camera bounce around & swing out of control (it's only attached at one point, which acts like a pivot). It's probably the least-controlled way to carry a camera. (The "holsters" that work by attaching a ball-like swivel to the bottom of the camera and hanging it on a socket are ALMOST as bad.) The lens can swing around and bang into something, for example.

    The reviewer in the video says that it doesn't move, but watch when he turns slightly--the lens swings around. If he were to move more rapidly, it would swing faster and wider. Also, the lens is sticking OUT from your body, in the most vulnerable position possible. Try this with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens with the hood on, for example. It will stick out at least 12-14".

    The LCD screen is rubbing right against your clothes, where it can easily be scratched, depending upon what you're wearing.

    One serious warning: the reviewer attaches the R-Strap's clip to the ring on the screw on a quick release plate. Thw ring is NOT designed for that use! Most of them are simply a bent piece of heavy wire or small diameter rod with the ends stuck into the screw head. The ends are not very far into the screwhead. If you put a tensile (pulling) load on the ring, over a period of time, the ring may deform and the ends pop out of the screwhead, dumping the camera on the ground. The higher the load, the more likely this will happen--and the more quickly, as well. (This is in addition to the tensile load being put on the tripod socket, which also was not intended for that use and could be deformed or the threads be damaged.)

    This is not "hypothetical." I've had a similar ring pop out of the device it was attached to under a repeated load.

    Is the questionable convenience of the R-Strap worth a smashed camera and lens? Suppose you have a 7D ($1700) and 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens ($1900). That's $3600 on the strap. (It would weigh more than 5 lbs.) I wouldn't even trust my "antique" 30D to such a strap, especially attached as the reviewer did.

    There is a simpler, safer way to do much the same thing. You can attach the end of a camera strap to the left strap lug and the other end to a lug on the bottom of the camera *. If you use a battery grip, there is probably a lug there already for a hand strap. If you don't have a battery grip, you can get a Really Right Stuff or Kirk camera plate that does have a handstrap lug. Put the strap over your shoulder like the R Strap. The camera will hang so that the lens points down, or you can put it behind your back, where it will point to the left, next to your body. It will NOT point away from your body.

    * I like to be able to easily remove the strap, so I attached Op/Tech Utility Loop connectors to the lugs and attach a strap with snaps () to the Utility Loops.

  • Richard April 14, 2010 04:41 pm

    Thanks for the review. I've had my eye on the R-Strap for a while now but hesitate to purchase one because of the strap's security vulnerbilities, mainly with how the ConnectR-2 connects to the FastenR-2. For those who own one, do you find it difficult, or even impossible, to use the R-Strap with a backpack on? How about using the R-Strap with a speedlight attached?

  • Nat April 12, 2010 09:30 am

    I'm so glad I found this page! I just purchased an Rstrap RS-2 model and got the brilliant suggestion from here to use a ring on the left lug and then attach the carabiner to that. Excellent! Now I can have my QR tripod plate on my camera at all times. Thank you ingenious people who are much much more clever than me. :-)

  • Rammo March 16, 2010 01:16 pm

    I want this strap but like others think it's big selling point is also is down point - the tripod mount.

    If it somehow locked using maybe a double screw and also (again somehow) accepted a tripod into the bolt then I'd buy it.

    I found this product which works similarly and has a string mount...


  • tws January 29, 2010 06:23 am

    Here is my Do It Yourself 'No Worries Strap'




  • sam November 21, 2009 10:20 am

    I bough the UK version the Pap Strap. No problems so far. Everything is strong. I always check the mount screw, I think that is just common sense. It hasn't loosened and I have to say I am very happy with it. Overall I am thrilled with the design. I would totally recommend them.

    I don't really understand why you are dropping the camera on the thread. I get the testing it but surely that's like swingin it around your head, it's asking for trouble.

  • Bridget Casas July 11, 2009 01:00 pm

    Well, I have not had any more trouble with the actual strap. I am disappointed with Black Rapid because they said they would reimburse me for my cracked filter. I sent them a copy of the receipt that they requested, but still nothing. They also ignore my emails. I am just letting you all know what has happened. I am just disappointed that a company like this with a new product, trying to reach a big audience, would treat a customer like this who lets people know what is going on with the product. I guess they do not care!

  • Bridget Casas June 18, 2009 03:42 am

    When I first saw the strap in use on a friend, I thought the camera hanging looked rather precarious. But, I assumed it was designed to be used like that. I was thinking about it yesterday and about how some watches and bracelets have little "security chains" on them so it doesn't come off the wrist if it becomes unhooked. It needs to have a small strap that hooks into the camera strap hooks and onto the strap. Of course being able to slide so it doesn't get in the way. Well, I am starting to ramble on. I am going to the PhotoWalk in Laguna Beach next month so hopefully something will be resolved by then!

  • George Slusher June 17, 2009 03:32 pm

    Looking at the photo of the connector, I would be loathe to use it. The carabiner is a nice touch to solve the latch-gate problem, but another problem might come with the FastenR-2, or, rather, the D-ring. It seems to be essentially a beefed-up version of the D-ring screws used with quick-release plates by Bogen, etc. The D-ring cannot be continuous. It's a wire or rod bent into shape, with the ends stuck into the holes in the screw. The way it must be assembled is to either bend the wire/rod into shape, then spring it open and insert the ends in the holes, or perhaps making the last bend (at the top/apex) so that the previously-bend end goes into the hole.

    Depending upon the load, the wire/rod may gradually bend, especially if the camera drops, rather than just hangs. That can increase the force on the ring by a factor of 2-5, easily. (It's about "g-forces.") As the wire/rod bends, the angle at which it contacts the edge of the hole may change so that there is a component of force along the length of the wire/rod, as well as across it. That force will tend to cause the wire/rod to slide and it may gradually open, just as the lighter-duty D-rings have done for several. At some point, it could open up and drop the camera. I wonder if the R-Strap manufacturer has done any repeated drop tests (say, 15 lbs dropped from 3-4 ft at least 1,000 times)? It might work if everything is heavy enough, but the design has basic problems. A continuous ring (e.g., a welded circle) might be better. (That's how heavy-duty chains are made.)

    There are two other problems I can see. One minor one is the rubber washer/cushion. Putting something compliant--rubber, cork, etc--between the screw and the camera can easily lead to over-tightening the screw and possibly damage to the tripod mount on the camera. A direct, non-yielding contact will prevent that. (We have the same problem in horseback riding with girths with elastic ends--it's easy to over-tighten them.) That's why top-quality quick-release plates (e.g., Kirk, Really Right Stuff, Wimberley) usually do not have cork or rubber between the plate and the body.

    More serious, though, is a concern about the design of the tripod mount. I don't know if the camera manufacturers factored in the camera hanging from the tripod mount and being subjected to impact forces as it will be if the camera is dropped. (Small cameras often have plastic tripod mounts.) The tripod mount normally has the load applied the other way--toward the camera body. Jerking on the tripod mount might damage the tripod mount or even circuitry that's nearby. The method that I mentioned a bit above uses the camera strap lugs, which were designed to take tension loads and impacts. (Plus, each lug normally takes only about half the load.)

    This may be hooey, of course.

  • Chas June 17, 2009 12:19 pm

    Alan, Bridget, others:
    This is making me really nervous now. How exactly did the strap malfunction? Did the connector on the bottom of your camera come loose or did the d-ring actually break? Were you using the supplied connector or a quick-release plate? Any details you could provide so we don't have similar mishaps. I haven't had any problems yet.


  • Bridget Casas June 17, 2009 09:24 am

    I had a camera fall too. It just ended up cracking the filter which they did say they would reimburse for me, but as of yet, I have not received a check and they do not answer my emails. I am beginning to have my doubts on this device and if I should really be using it. They sent me a new CR-2 hook because of a possible problem they brought to my attention in an email (kind of like a recall). I guess I will just need to check all the connections often!

  • Alan June 17, 2009 02:22 am

    I recently purchased two rapid straps, both of them had latch gate failures and dropped my camera twice, 5K dollars in equipment and caused serious damage to my equipment. I have tried to get ahold of black rapid to inform them of the problems I had but they never answer their phone.

  • Bridget Casas June 16, 2009 08:35 am

    Thank you BlackRapid! I finally got my new CR2 Hook today!

  • George Slusher June 16, 2009 05:44 am

    Firebush makes a very valuable point. The D-ring on the bottom of a quick-release plate is NOT designed to take the weight of the camera but to give a convenient way to tighten the screw. It's a simple piece of wire bent into shape. The ends stick into the holes on the screw--the wire does not go all the way through. Continually putting weight on the D-ring will gradually bend it out of shape until it pops open as it did for Firebush.

    I don't use a Bogen QR system--it's too restrictive (one plate is used for everything) and doesn't give good results with lenses nor in preventing rotation of the camera in portrait mode. Instead, I use the universal, standard Arca-Swiss system (Markins and Triopo ballheads, Jobu gimbal head) and plates from Really Right Stuff and Wimberley. Those do not have cork or rubber "cushions," which can lead to over-tightening of the screw and damage to the camera's tripod socket or internal circuitry. The RRS plates are custom-made for various camera bodies and battery grips, so they fit snugly and prevent rotation with ridges on the front and/or back of the plate. My favorites are the RRS L-plates for camera bodies (I have them on my Canon 30D and G9) and the WImberley lens plates for collared lenses.

    Those who use an Arca-Swiss system and the R-strap might consider getting a good quality clamp (Kirk has very nice clamps, as does RRS) that has a 1/4"-20 threaded hole and mounting it on the R-strap's bolt, then using the clamp (TIGHT!) to attach the camera. That way, you can quickly move from the R-strap to a tripod or monopod without compromising the security of the R-strap's bolt. (If you unscrew it and then screw it back in while you're in a hurry, you may not screw it in securely.)

  • Firebush June 16, 2009 02:20 am

    Great strap -- I also have the Cameraslinger for use with 2 bodies (overpriced, but extremely well made). Here is a WORD OF CAUTION to all who use Bogen/Manfrotto RC2 plates: I just returned from shooting a beach wedding in the North Carolina Outer Banks and right before the ceremony started, the D-ring on the bottom of my RC2 connector plate snapped! That's right -- sending my D700 with battery grip and the attached Nikkor 14-24MM 2.8 headlong into the sand! No time to try to fix it, I just dumped the body to an assistant and shot the whole ceremony with my backup D300 and 24-70MM 2.8. I have had a chance to look over the camera now and God was looking out -- no visible damage! Anyway...I am going to use the supplied threaded rings from now on and not my RC2 plate. There...you've all been warned!

  • Bridget Casas June 15, 2009 12:42 pm

    I bought one and really liked it. However, they sent me an email saying there was a potential problem with the CR2 hook. This was a month ago. I did have a problem and they said they would reimburse me for the filter I lost (luckily my lens was ok). I have yet to receive the new hook or the money for the filter. They do not respond to my emails so I do not know what is going on. This is just an FYI notice if you are thinking about purchasing one.

  • Chas June 10, 2009 09:58 am

    @Derek Ya, I just figured that out a few days ago. It doesn't bounce as much now that it's at the proper level :D Thanks!

  • Derek June 9, 2009 11:52 pm

    Thanks for the video review, Chas. One thing that I noticed is that you are wearing the strap WAY too long! Shorten up the strap until it is tight with the camera about 2" in front of your eye. It will hang better against your hip and will be much faster to the eye.

  • Rodrigo June 5, 2009 11:17 pm

    i've made my own r-strap (rod-strap i call it...). it's really easy to make one. and really unexpensive.

  • Juliana Es June 4, 2009 01:32 pm

    Great article, Mr Elliott! I'm still so new in photography - in dire need of solving the neck problem (as a result of the standard strap), and am so grateful that you wrote this article. Also thank God that I actually read it :-)

  • Bridget Casas June 2, 2009 03:15 am

    I recently got the R-strap. It is very comfortable just takes a while to get it adjusted perfectly. I used it last week at a wedding and I had a few mishaps. Number one, the screw came out of the bottom and the camera dropped to the ground. Luckly, the filter did what it is supposed to and protected the lens. Then later at the reception, I was sitting down with my camera on my lap and realized the whole strap was missing. Found it, but what the heck was going on? I contacted the company over a week ago, and they have not replied to me. I did receive an email from them saying they were replacing some of the S hooks because of a possible defect, plus in a rare instance, it can become unscrewed from the camera.That was several weeks ago and I have yet to receive my replacement! So, I now tighten the screw and check the connector periodically.

    Sorry this got so long!

  • George Slusher June 1, 2009 05:38 pm

    @ lyndadi:

    Check my message above that shows an alternative method that doesn't cost very much, works as well as the R-Strap (better, in some regards--the lens points DOWN instead of OUT) and allows you to use a tripod or monopod without changing anything. It's also convertible into a normal neck strap.

  • LyndaDi June 1, 2009 11:47 am

    I purchased one of these straps and basically liked it better than carrying my camera around my neck. A big problem for me is the hook on the end was to big to fit on the D ring of my tripod adapter. This means I would have to take the camera off the strap and refit the tripod adapter to the camera each time I wanted to use the tripod. That wasn't acceptable. I wrote asking if there was some fix for this problem, they said no and accepted my return for a full refund. If they fix this problem in the future, I will consider repurchasing.

  • Fred May 29, 2009 05:35 pm

    The Spider Holster really looks like a false good idea. Like another of the posters, I use the strap to hold the camera around my hand a lot.
    I know I'd be very nervous with no strap at all.
    I use a strap from Hama (Pro II) with two removable pouches (they hold a mini lenspen, a battery, a memory card and a piece of microfibre wiping cloth) where the strap can be unclipped and therefore shortened to turn it into a "round the hand" strap. It's pretty convenient.

    Hama is a French accessory maker, I'm not sure if they sell outside of Europe. Anyway here's the strap :

  • Scott May 29, 2009 03:47 pm

    I used the RS-1 last winter shooting outdoor soccer with a 70-300 zoom and loved it. Having my camera down by my side protected it from the elements and walking amongst a crowd. As far as the mount being secure, I find myself subconsciously checking the tightness but frankly, I have a OP/Tech strap with quick disconnects made out of plastic that scares me more.

  • Humberto Abed May 29, 2009 01:32 pm

    Well, the R strap is maybe my favorite accesory so far. I carry 2 cameras and I really can feel the difference between the ease of use of the one attached to the RStrap and the other one still with it's original strap.

    I want to buy the new double strap. It's really cool. But I have to wait until I save enough for it.

    But..... I agree...... changing from the Rstrap to a tripod is not the best thing. They should come up with something to solve this.

  • Bob G May 29, 2009 10:13 am

    I've been using the Black Rapid duel strap setup for about 5 weeks and love it for shooting with two cameras. For those who want to use the straps with a tripod, if your mounting plate uses a wire bail to tighten the plate to the camera, just attach the strap hook to the bail. Now when you want to attach the camera to your tripod, just detach from the strap, fold the wire bail flat and attach the camera to the tripod.

  • George Slusher May 29, 2009 06:43 am

    Here's the correct link for the Adapt Its.

  • George Slusher May 29, 2009 06:40 am

    I found this very early on and, using the idea, came up with a different method that does much the same effect but allows me to use a tripod or monopod without a problem.

    The key is to have a strap-mounting lug or slot on the BOTTOM of the camera and a strap that does NOT have a sticky/non-slip backing. If you have a battery grip on a Canon DSLR, there may be a lug used to mount a hand strap. If not, you may be able to get a Arca-Swiss-type quick-release plate that does have a slot. Really Right Stuff makes plates for a wide range of cameras. Many of theirs have strap slots.

    Attach your strap to the LEFT lug on the top of the camera and to the bottom lug/slot so that the attachment points are diagonally opposite. Then, put the strap on over your head so that it rests on your left shoulder. The camera will hang down at your right side. Adjust the length of the strap so that the camera is roughly at your hip. The lens will point DOWN, rather than forward as with the R-Strap and it won't flop/swing around as much. That protects the lens from being banged as you move around.The grip will be on the outside, where it's easy to grab.

    You can also put it in the small of your back, to be even more out of the way, or in the front, even turn it 90 deg so that the top of the camera is up--friction between the back of the camera and your body will hold it in place.

    It is important to use a strap that will slide easily--the Op/Tech Pro straps don't work very well for this, for example. I use a PacSafe Carrysafe 100 strap, which has safety snaps and a cable inside that prevents someone from slicing the strap to grab the camera. I used 2 sets of Op/Tech's utility loop connectors--one on each strap lug on top and one on the bottom slot. (You might also use Op/Tec's <a href="http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/542472-REG/Op_Tech_USA_1301322_System_Connectors_Adapt_Its_.html"Adapt-Its, though I didn't like the way they put the snap hooks right against the camera body. They do have the advantage of being smaller and less intrusive. WIth the snaps on the strap, it's easy to switch the strap from my "custom" mode to a standard mode or to remove the strap entirely. However, most fabric or leather straps without non-slip backing should work.

    I have a short video that demonstrates the way I use the strap. It may or may not play in your browser, but should play on most video players. (It's a MPEG-4 file.) (Yes, I'm old and fat. I'm a bit older, now, and a little less fat!)

  • Hagen May 29, 2009 04:56 am

    Rock solid. Took it on a 2 week hiking trip and it never got in the way (I have mine sorter at slightly above the belt) and it never strained my neck: vital to back problems.

    So for the guy above who said: "This strap looks a lot like gadgets for gadgets sake. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!"

    Why don't you try it before providing your uninformed opinion.

    Having used this strap for 6 months, I can recommend it whole heartedly. And the price is right and the company very professional: they voluntarily decided to supply every customer of the R2 connector with a new one when a few people reported problems. How many manufacturers are will into do that let alone volunteer to do it?

  • John May 29, 2009 03:46 am

    BTW The first thing I do with those "free advertising" camera-supplied straps is take a big fat Sharpie marker and black out the yellow lettering.

  • Trish May 29, 2009 02:42 am

    I bought one of these almost a year ago. I love it and would never go back to the manufacturer provided strap. With the strap provided with the camera, you are giving the manufacturer a lot of free advertising and also calling attention to you wearing something very expensive in public.
    The R-strap has been a Godsend. No more back problems, no more neck strain and the camera is always at the ready! I have taken to bringing my camera everywhere with me again, something I was getting away from because it was just too heavy around my neck.
    The R=strap is a bit pricey, but it is worth every penny to me.

  • Scott Forman May 29, 2009 02:00 am

    I've got 2 RS4's, a Couple R, and the new ConnectR2's and FastenR2's in addition to the originals. The straps are great and wearing two cameras is actually more comfortable than one because they counter-balance each other. With two you barely know you are holding anything! The new ConnectR2 and FastenR2 are also built very well and are a lot better than the original versions.

  • kevin May 29, 2009 01:59 am

    i have one of these and love it. i don't use a tripod very frequently but i do a lot of walkaround shooting, and it is perfect for that. there is enough room for me to store a cleaning rag, 2 extra CF cards, and an extra battery all inside the strap. 5/5

  • Aaronth May 29, 2009 01:51 am

    Actually - we should all just go strapless using this: http://spiderholster.com/

    :D haha

  • Aaronth May 29, 2009 01:46 am

    I just built my own from the following:
    ~1" Climbing grade webbing
    ~1" Cam buckles for easy size adjustment
    ~1" Triglide for securing loose webbing ends (no sewing machine)
    ~1" Swivel Hooks - durable plastic equivalent

    All available at REI for under $10

    Depending on whether you want the R-Strap or a Mzungu strap linked above, just add a few little pieces you've probably got lying around the house on a keyring or an old unused bag.

    More info about how I made mine.

    If it's not broken, don't fix it, but if it could work a little better for you - why not give it a try. :D

  • Fin C. May 28, 2009 09:38 am

    Huh. I honestly can't say my strap has ever caused me any problems at all the events I've photographed. I like the way I can wrap the standard Canon strap around my right hand three or four times and then hold the camera with my hand... if I drop it or get knocked, it only falls 4 inches. I can also sling the camera around my neck and have the camera behind my right upper arm, which keeps it out of the way but still obvious so no-one walks into my tele lens. This also means my camera can be swung back round quickly to catch a shot.

    This strap looks a lot like gadgets for gadgets sake. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

  • Michael May 28, 2009 04:54 am

    where do i get one? how much are they? haha

  • Jeremy May 27, 2009 10:57 pm

    i have the RS-1. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT. won't go without it!

  • Chas May 27, 2009 04:42 am

    Paul, that strap gave me an idea! I'm going to put a simple ring on the side of my camera so when I'm shooting heavy tripod style, I'll just switch the RStrap from the bottom to the side of the camera. Simple solution.

  • Paul May 27, 2009 02:34 am

    I decided to go with this strap, I use a hand strap and this also frees up the tripod socket. same principle, just attached differently. Roger is great , if you have any questions he will answer them quickly.
    The R strap looks great, but with my hand strap I was afraid it would not hang correctly?

    Check it out at this sight


  • Will May 27, 2009 01:50 am

    I've been using the R4 strap with manfrotto RC2 QD plates for a bit now and it works surprisingly well. Bit peeved that was forced to shell out another $20 for an updated connectr2 when the original was a bit iffy using that plastic gate stop in the first place. All-in-all, the R-Strap has been a solid purchase for me and is comfortable during long stints.

  • Maurice Prokaziuk May 27, 2009 12:39 am

    I have to agree with Chas. I too have used my tripod plate to connect the R-strap. If it is tightened correctly, there is no chance that it will work it self loose. I doubt that anyone moves around so much, that it work itself loose. Unless you are doing acrobatics all day with your camera.

  • Don Watson May 27, 2009 12:26 am

    I am very happy with the Skooba Design Super Bungee Camera Strap. The camera strap has a bungee/shock cord built in that acts as a shock absorber. This reduces the perceived weight of the camera and makes it much more comfortable for long shoots. You can wear it around your neck or over the shoulder. I use it on my Nikon D200 with accessory battery attachment.

  • Chas May 27, 2009 12:12 am

    Good comments and questions. I haven't had any issue with my tripod plate coming loose. My guess is that because the force is pulling down, opposite of the twisting motion needed to work it loose, it isn't enough to overpower the rubber grip on the tripod plate. I usually crank my plates down pretty good too. The new connector also has a rubber gasket type thing that that keeps it from twisting as well. Remember the clip pivots easily so it never really stresses in one direction or the other.

    Anyone else have different results with this issue?

  • Stevo May 27, 2009 12:00 am

    It looks great, but like another commenter I would be worried about the tripod plate mounting screw coming loose from the twisting around. Yes, it looks good, but I don't want my body and f/2.8 lens dropping from my hip to concrete. Does BlackRapid offer insurance?

  • Maurice Prokaziuk May 26, 2009 11:45 pm

    I bought the R-strap about 2 months ago and it is great. My neck thanks me for getting the weight off it. For those of you that don't like to hook the starp to your tripod mount, another alternative that I have done is put one of those round keychain links through the original strap mounts and hook the R-strap there. Now the camera hangs at your hip sideways rather than upside down. You still have easy access and you can now mount it to your tripod.

  • David May 26, 2009 11:37 pm

    $55 for this is insane. Don't buy it. Make it! A few dollars worth of webbing, some spare parts, and a carabineer will give a better solution. I have a full size ‘beener (which slides easier on the strap) and attached the camera with an old (small) tripod quick release and a short piece of braided paracord. I also looped a piece of gutted paracord through the regular strap attachment on the camera and the ‘beener as a fail-safe if the tripod plate comes loose.

  • Helga Lightspeed May 26, 2009 11:14 pm

    @Reznor- think you're a little confused- look at the category this is in: "Cameras and Equipment". Now re-read the article- you'll see it's a *review*. Go thru this website and you'll see lots more reviews just like this one. Now slowly ease off the caffeine.

    Now, i've been debating for a while about getting this strap but price has been a big factor against it. I know Instructables.com has a guide for making a diy version which i hear is very good but requires getting the right parts.

    The one complaint i have with the strap is that (correct me if i'm wrong) there is no locking connector for screw plug- with the camera being swung back and forth i worry about the swivel slowly unscrewing where one day i reach for my 50d with L lens and i hear a loud thud as it drops to the floor.

  • Todd May 26, 2009 10:52 pm

    I use it and love it also. The original camera straps are made to keep chiropractors in business.

  • msmack May 26, 2009 05:46 pm

    I have one and love it.

    I hated having a heavy camera around my neck. Being a buxom lady with a camera around my neck and a nice sized lens I felt like I was sticking out 5 feet in the front. Also, being around my neck it was cumbersome.

    Again, the only drawback is having to unscrew the strap to attach the camera to the tripod.

  • bee May 26, 2009 05:19 pm

    Now I know why everyone's making such a fuss about this one ;) Well, maybe I'll order it, too...
    Thanks for the vid, it's great to see how you handle it.

  • Cricce May 26, 2009 03:18 pm

    "moto749"; I made a similar strap myself and I use the quick release plate from my Manfrotto ball-head to hook on the strap (it has a metal loop on the underside to screw it to the camera body/lens). This means I don't need to change anything when I want the kamera on my tripod, just unhook the strap and fasten the quick release plate to the tripod.
    I don't know how it is with other tripod manufacturers but this setup works for me.

  • Reznor May 26, 2009 10:23 am

    Ok... let me get this straight... there are people, who need a tutorial on how to use a neck strap...? The video doesn't even show any special features of the strap, just how to put it around your shoulder. WTF?
    Anyone here in need of a video on how to tie your shoes?

  • Eric Côté May 26, 2009 09:51 am

    I have been using the R-Strap since mid-april and I LOVE it. No more neck pain after a day out with the camera. Two things bother me at the moment: 1) the old connector that I have (which has been addressed with the new slimmer one) is bothering when shooting vertically with my battery grip and 2) as mentionned above, you have to unscrew it to put your camera on a tripod. Those two things are minor bugs though compared to the comfort the R-Strap brings me.

    Mon blog: http://ericcote.squarespace.com

  • Huntting B May 26, 2009 06:41 am

    As an alternative. I use LowePro's strap and I absolutely love it. Very comfortable, uses the normal strap loops (so you don't have to worry about the tripod screw) and has quick release buckles. It also comes with a pouch for memory cards that velcros to it. I had removed the pouch for the longest time but ended up putting it back on and I keep a spare memory card in there just in case I forget to put one in the camera when I head out.

  • Teresa May 26, 2009 05:03 am

    That looks excellent! Thank you for the vid - I think you did a great job and covered everything I would have asked about.

    I have a Lowe Pro strap right now - with a double attachment. I may get this one because I do sling my camera in just that manner with the double attachement. This set up looks much easier to deal with when grabbing the camera for a shot while out walking (that's where I take 99.99% of my pics anyway). Since I'm tall, I love the longer length - although to be fair my LP strap will go longer, I then worry about it sliding. I'd have to try it to see if camera sway would bother me while walking - but that would be a personal preference and not knowable beforehand.

  • Alli May 26, 2009 04:23 am

    I love my R-Strap and I have this to add to the review: it works really well for pregnant women. When I had my camera on the default strap, it would lay on my belly dangerously sticking out. But with the R-Strap, it was a lot more comfortable.

  • Aaronth May 26, 2009 04:11 am

    I've seen this before - but just now with your setup started to wonder if there's much of a chance that your tripod quick release plate will get loose with this attached? I have the same plate and that's really my only concern with this - though, it looks like the rotation of the clip would eliminate any torque put on the quick release plate correct?

    Thanks for the great review!

  • Kevin Luu May 26, 2009 03:42 am

    I bought the RS strap a couple months ago. The included mounting hardware is different from the new RS-4. The only thing that has me hesitating to upgrade the caribeener and the mounting screw is how small it looks. I'm worried that it's not as solid as the outgoing model and will eventually break and drop my camera to the ground. Maybe you can make an addendum to your review focusing on the hardware.

  • Peter May 26, 2009 03:12 am

    Very nice product overall. Good point about the price? What is it? I like this product because it doesn't have the big Nikon logo all over it. Peronally, I think that looks cheesy... but i like the strap set up overall...

  • Rich May 26, 2009 02:59 am

    Thanks for the review, I was thinking of straps today as I struggled with my basic canon strap. In future though please remember you missed out one critical aspect, the price! How much was it?

  • Sean May 26, 2009 01:35 am

    Great article there Chas. This is something that I have been battling with myself for a while. I recently saw this strap in use which attending a wedding myself and wondered about where I could purchase it.

    This is seriously something that will be bought in the near future. :)


  • mrsammy7 May 26, 2009 01:13 am

    The issue I have with this strap is when I have to use the camera on a mono or tripod. Have to unscrew from strap and mount on tripod....then there is no strap on camera. Does anyone have a solution to this?

  • Mike May 26, 2009 12:56 am

    Looks pretty cool. I'm going to get one to try. It looks like it works similarly to my single point rifle slings, which attach to the rifle at only one point, right behind the pistol grip, and allow the gun to hang similarly.

  • moto749 May 26, 2009 12:21 am

    this would be perfect if it didnt have to share the tripod screw hole. Ive been wanting a strap like this for a while. Maybe its just me and Im paranoid but I like to keep my camera around my neck until it is securely on the Tripod (had a close call once) Still enticing though. If there were a way to share the mount Id be all over it