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Dual Body Camera Straps, Also using Stroboframe

Melissa Sievers , May 01, 2011; 08:41 a.m.

I finally acquired a second camera body, I had been previously renting. So, I needed to get a strap for it anyway. I snagged an old one off another camera for now. My first camera body I still just used the Canon strap. I don't prefer it, its just what I used.

One camera has a Canon 200 2.8L lens, the other is often on a stroboframe (flash flip version) with a Sigma 17-55mm lens. I would often wear that one around my neck and just sling the long lens over a shoulder. This is a make due situation and works, but I have to be careful not to tangle cameras and choke myself.

I am trying to pick out new straps, but its almost as tricky as buying a new lens! Which one will perform the task that I need it to do the most?

I was going to get a black rapid double harness. But, I'm not sure how well a camera/flash/bracket combo would hang.

So, I thought perhaps a single black rapid strap ( http://www.blackrapid.com/product/camera-strap/rs-5/ ), layered with another around the neck strap (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/53512-REG/Tamrac_N2701_N_27_Boomerang_Quick_Release.html or I'm leaning toward: http://www.adorama.com/OTPLSBLK.html ) to keep the rig more stable and in front of me. I thought it'd be ideal to use the double strap rings instead of the single tripod socket.

Side note about the black rapid system. I have a manfrotto bogen tripod. Does it work well to leave the plate attached to the bottom of the camera and use that hook to connect to the strap? It seems like it'd be seriously inconvienent to unscrew the blackrapid post in order to attach the camera to a tripod.

Thanks for your input,



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John Deerfield , May 01, 2011; 12:35 p.m.

My vote is for the Op Tech straps, but they do make a dual harness system (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/643694-REG/OP_TECH_USA_6501032_Dual_Harness_Regular.htm) which is what I use along with a newer dual sling system, but I am not sure what the difference is. The advantages to the dual harness over the Black Rapid dual strap (which I also used, and is available for sale!) is that the cameras are far better balanced, when I left one the other doesn't drag down. I can also use a strap from each side to carry just one camera. And finally, I am not giving up my tripod socket. I tried using two independent camera straps but in my case, they just crisscross inconveniently all the time and I kept fighting the strap(s). One other nice thing about the Op Tech system is that I can put the connectors on each camera and then my wife, who doesn't like dual straps, can just attach it to a single strap: no fuss.

I personally do not trust the Manfrotto tripod plate's ring to hold my camera (when I used the Black Rapid). Over the years, I have had three of those screws simply come out. I don't know they just wiggled out of the washer over time... but for me, it really doesn't matter: I am NOT putting that kind of load on the plate. In which case, yes, it is more than seriously inconvenient!

Finally, I don't think there is going to be a dual strap that will hold a bracket, especially a Stroboframe. I say especially a Stroboframe because their flip brackets tend to "flip" fairly easily. I don't remember them having a locking flash bracket arm. The only one I can think of that has a locking flash bracket arm is the RRS wedding pro. On occasion, I do use that bracket on the dual harness system, but only if I really need too, it is bulky to say the least. That said, in terms of flash brackets, I haven't found anything better than the RRS Wedding Pro.... and we have used a LOT of different brackets over the years.

Nadine Ohara - SF Bay Area/CA , May 01, 2011; 02:40 p.m.

Straps and camera carrying methods are like flash brackets--there isn't a perfect product and everyone has different preferences. Unfortunately, you just have to try products you think will work for you until you find ones that actually work for you and your particular way of using the cameras. Another important consideration is your body. Being short, I don't have a lot of body real estate to play with, and stuff that hangs from my sides really need to be held right under my arm or they don't work if I need to kneel or bend over slightly. Also, if you have back or shoulder sensitivities, your choices are even more limited.

The dual straps seem like a good idea but they drive me nuts with the cameras swinging. Plus you can't switch easily and use just one camera. Lack of versatility drives me nuts as well. Like John D., above, I would not put the stress on the tripod sockets of my cameras. So of your two scenarios, I'd go with one BR single strap and one regular camera strap. I don't even like the BR type straps that go across my chest because sometimes I like to use a lightweight shoulder bag that has a strap that goes across my chest. Then you begin to feel strangled.

I've used the same system for a long time. I have a home made (actually the base is an OpTech binocular strap) holster type strap that is hidden if you are wearing a jacket. The straps cross in an X across my back. My second camera hangs close under my left arm, and like the BR strap, can be slid up the strap to the eye. The strap can be adjusted to be very tight around my shoulders or looser and can hold the camera on the left, and something else on the right, although I don't usually have the right side populated except when I have my external battery pack there. The straps do not work if you have extremely large and heavy cameras, though. I have a 40D with a tele zoom and flash on the camera and use that with no problems.

My main camera is a 5D with a MicroFlip bracket, mid range zoom and flash. As John D. states above, the flip brackets flip--that's what they are supposed to do, but if you don't have a lock on the arm, when they hang from a strap, the flip arm flips. I have my 5D on a regular strap--an OpTech simple strap (don't remember the name--I don't like the bouncy ones). When I wear it around my neck and am not using it, I flip the arm and shift the camera so the flash arm hangs flash down. I can walk with it this way, not holding the camera, and it balances well. It will not sit upright on the chest otherwise. The thing I like about the regular strap is--I can take the camera off sometimes. I use the strap around my neck basically for safety.

The key thing about my straps is the interchangeable clips. I use the OpTech loop clips. I use two on the strap that goes around my shoulders. Two can fit on the one camera body strap lug. I like the redundancy on the clips. If one fails, I have the other. I also have these on my 5D body, and just about everywhere else--on my belt, bags, etc. They also make clipping and unclipping the second camera body very easy and fast.

If it were me, I'd avoid systems that use the tripod socket if you have a QR there or attach to a tripod. Too much fiddling.

Melissa Sievers , May 01, 2011; 09:30 p.m.

Thanks for your responses, I've been spending some time exploring your set ups.

I'm average height, about 5'8". I also often have a belt pack, just one that I picked up in the outdoor section of Wal-Mart. It has a water bottle pouch on each side of the main compartment. I stash an extra lens in one sometimes and a water bottle in the other. The main compartment holds batteries and a few other misc. items.

I know at minimum I want something more comfortable than the standard canon strap. It's interesting how different a strap set up between photographers can be. I know that statement makes me sound incredibly novice. On a side note, my brother in law was showing off his tool case this weekend. He's a chef. Several knives can do the same thing. He even needs a couple different butcher knives. My husband farms and does mechanical work. The smallest things make a huge difference person to person. Photography is no different. It's fascinating!

Nadine Ohara - SF Bay Area/CA , May 02, 2011; 02:17 p.m.

I also use a Think Tank belt, but with only one small, flat pouch and one small, fatter pouch on it. Basically for my CF card wallet and personal stuff, and my light meter. I found, because I am short, that too much stuff on the belt made it impossible for me to even move. I clip stuff to the belt at times, because I work alone and just need a place to put stuff.

You might also look into Up Straps. They really do stay on your shoulder. While I don't use them for cameras, I just bought one for my shoulder bag. It takes practice to 'shrug' it off when you want to bring the camera to your eye, but many photographers swear by it.

Craig Shearman , May 02, 2011; 03:52 p.m.

I remember seeing a dual camera harness maybe back in the 60s or 70s but it looked extremely awkward, up there with putting a camera in a nevery-ready case. I'm a former newspaper photographer and still work with a number of photographers beside shooting myself. I and most of the people I know simply keep our cameras on the standard-issue Nikon or Canon strap that comes with the camera. When working with two cameras, it's typical to have the one you're using at the moment around your neck (or with the strap wrapped around your wrist) and the other hanging from your left shoulder (I'm right-handed). I would think any system of putting the cameras on the same strap would just get everything tangled up.

John Deerfield , May 02, 2011; 04:12 p.m.

I would think any system of putting the cameras on the same strap would just get everything tangled up.

I had that issue with the first version of the BR dual strap system. The current version is a little better. And of course just simply slinging two camera straps around you, especially if you crisscross them, can be a tangled mess. But I haven't had any of those issues with the Op-Tech.

Pete S. , May 02, 2011; 07:03 p.m.

One problems I have with several cameras on is when you bend over to pick something up from the floor the cameras slide forward. Same thing with a camera bag but the one I use have a waist strap that prevents that from happening.
It doesn't look like a blackrapid or similar strap would prevent that from happening as the camera appears to slide freely on the strap?

The spider holster might be an interesting solution as well.
Here is what one PJ thinks about using it:

BTW, I haven't used blackrapid or any other strap that attaches to the 1/4" tripod socket but I would put thread locker on that screw if possible. That would prevent the screw from unscrewing itself.

Nadine Ohara - SF Bay Area/CA , May 02, 2011; 08:13 p.m.

Spider Holsters have had problems with the catch that holds the camera, too. I've heard of several cases of dropped cameras.

Richard Snow , May 02, 2011; 09:34 p.m.

I haven't used blackrapid or any other strap that attaches to the 1/4" tripod socket but I would put thread locker on that screw if possible. That would prevent the screw from unscrewing itself.

I use the Blackrapid Strap and you don't need threadlocker on it. It has a nice heavy rubber washer that you should wet before attaching to the bottom of the camera. If you do it properly, it takes a very large amount of force to release the clip.

Additionally, the BR straps come with clips on the strap that you can set to limit the amount of movement the camera has.

Just an FYI, I use the BR with a Gripped D700 and (Kirk) L-Bracket. I generally shoot formals from a tripod and then attach the lug to the L-bracket's socket when done with formals...quick and painless.

I don't have the dual camera strap, but I have been thinking about ordering one.


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