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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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03.05.13         photography  

Carry Speed vs Black Rapid R-Strap Comparison


I occasionally do gear reviews for various companies and when I do, I have a few rules:

1. I need to actually try the gear/product out and will test it when my schedule permits.
2. I will speak honestly about the gear. This means both good and bad. Ive learned to realize how important it is to offer suggestions to the company on how to improve what they are selling. This includes telling them things they may not want to hear.
3. I usually ask that if the gear or product is to my liking, that they agree to sponsor a contest or two by donating prizes.


Ive been using an R-Strap since they first came out. Compared to the strap that comes with the camera, it is so much more comfortable and easy to use, not pulling on my neck. Very strong and comfortable.

Carry Speed Strap ( I have many friends who swear by them) recently asked me to give their camera strap a test and I wanted to give them, as well as you guys some feedback and recommendations, as well as some notes on how it compares to an Black Rapid R-Strap.
I like the feel of the FS-Slim Carry Strap, it is made out of a different material, more like neoprene with grip material on the inside. This prevents the strap from sliding around to the front like often happens with my single R-Strap, which is thicker and sturdier, but not necessarily more comfortable.

Because the main shoulder portion is made of neoprene, there is a little bouncy give with each step, which also added to comfort. In my opinion, the Carry Strap is much more comfortable to wear than an R-Strap. I put a 100-400mm lens on it and went walking for an hour, yes definitely more comfortable.
The release buckles, webbing and stoppers on both systems are pretty much identical.
However, Carry Strap has a metal adjustment clip that was functionally sturdy & awesome, while the R-Strap does not have this quick way to tighten their system. This is a welcome improvement.
Another key difference between the 2 systems was how the strap connects with the camera. R Strap features a screw in metal tab, which then clips to a light carabiner with a screw-down lock. Carry Speed features a extremely sturdy ball joint that needs to be screwed into your camera or lens mount.
You then slide a joint onto this ball and thumb screw it down.
This connection looks like it could support several hundred pounds of weight. Very sturdy and strong.
Another note, is that when shooting outdoors, you might need to go from carrying your camera on a strap to mounting it on a tripod. Carry Speed makes a number of tripod mounts with built in ball joints. This is a very different approach which many shooters will appreciate.

In fact, side to side the Carry Strap seems to be a better system in all things but one: My style of shooting is not compatible with their ball attachments, and this is the reason:
I often shoot with a Canon 24-70 2.8L Lens, in this case, I usually have a manfrotto tripod shoe on my camera, so I just clip the R-Strap onto the shoe. If I need to put it on a tripod, I can quickly unclip it, and load it on the tripod. I also like to switch lenses, such as the Canon 100-400 f4.5-5.6 L IS , which is very big and heavy. In those cases, I usually just have an extra shoe on the lens and clip it there. The main advantage the R-Strap still has, is how quick & easy it is to connect and disconnect from the camera.

When I switched lenses with the Carry Speed, I had to unscrew the lock, unscrew the ball head, re-screw the ball head, rescrew the lock. Too many steps and took too much time. Another note is I didn't like how far the ball joint stuck out from the bottom of the camera. As much as I really liked so many features on the Carry Strap, I like the connection on the R Strap better. This quick changing of connections is the only reason I cannot give up the R Strap when compared to the Carry Speed.

I should also point out that many users will not have the issues I did with it. They may only have one lens, or no tripod and just want a great, comfortable strap to use. In those cases, I would say the Carry Strap is better.

I remember a few years ago when Go Pro was just coming out, they had a competitor called "Contour". The contour camera was actually a little better because of it's shape and video quality, but what Go Pro did was focus on "accessories" and they eventually won, because the company gave users many different ways to use their product.

My strong recommendation to Carry Strap would be to develop a "hook" type fastener system similar to R-Strap's. It is just too dang easy to use, which makes it hard to give up.

Overall, I like Carry Strap, they make a fine system and with a faster connection system that doesn't sacrifice on strength, they will have a champion of a product.

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