BlackRapid RS-4 camera strap

I won a £50 voucher from Warehouse Express and was looking for something to buy at around that price. A friend uses a BlackRapid strap and swears by it, so I thought I would use the voucher to get one. It seems well made, you get a string bag to keep it in when not in use and on the shoulder-pad of the strap there is a zip pocket for memory cards. However I think it is over-priced.

 The strap hangs diagonally across the body and a free-sliding carabiner clamps over a metal ring which screws into the tripod socket of the camera.

The ring attaches to the tripod screw on the bottom of the camera.

 The camera hangs by your side at your hip or just behind your back from where you can quickly lift it to your eye via the sliding carabiner and take your photographs.
The company have even got over the problem of those users who normally leave their tripod quick release plates on their cameras, with a ring which takes the place of the screw on Manfrotto RC2 tripod plates.

I have a Calumet tripod which uses a Manfrotto-style quick release plate but the BlackRapid ring does not quite fit into the recess hole on the rear of the plate resulting in the unit not being locked properly on to the tripod. A potential camera crashing off the tripod on to the ground scenario. An investigation will be required to see if a Manfrotto RC2 plate will fit onto the Calumet tripod, so that I can use the release-plate ring.
It seems to work very well, but for me as I normally carry my camera in my hand with a wrist strap, it is a huge leap of faith to have my camera free-hanging at my hip. It certainly does spread the weight of my Olympus E-30 and battery-pack though, so it something I will persevere with, to see if I can get on with it.

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