Steven NY

What's Hanging on Your Neck?

13 posts in this topic

I'm around 5 weeks from my Tanzania adventure.  I am fairly certain I will always be in a vehicle with a pop-top.  I will be actively shooting with a Canon 70D & 80D, a Sigma 150-600 & a Sigma 18-300.  I have a bean bag.  I will also have a pair of binoculars around my neck.

 

I generally keep my camera slung over my shoulder and only put it around my neck when shooting.  I do not want my camera sliding off my shoulder.  I may have a shirt with epaulets. I doubt the larger lens will ever be hung from my neck, as it would be too heavy.  It will be supported on a bean bag and still slung over my neck.  I'd hate to accidentally send it over the side of the car.

 

Here's the question:  It seems that I will have a lot on my neck and it may become uncomfortable over time.  However, I think it is a necessity.  Does anyone use a different type of camera harness or holster or strap, which may be  useful.  What do all of you do with that much equipment?

Thanks

 

Steven

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I use a black rapid shoulder strap.  The camera then hangs off to the side and is never around my neck.

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I also use a Black Rapid strap---but only when walking. It really isn't practical in the vehicle for a few reasons. One reason is that given the way it attaches---with a clip to a little connector on the tripod foot--it is not possible to then lay the camera flat on a beanbag. And it you try to rotate the lens collar to get it out of the way, you'll have straps hanging all over. So in a vehicle I just have a usual camera strap on.

 

In a pop-top vehicle I generally do as you say---have binocs around my neck at all times, and keep the camera strap for the big lens (mine is the Nikon 200-400 or the Nikon 200-500VR) around my neck when standing. Or sometimes just wrapped around my arm. But you won't be standing all the time and when sitting I generally just hold the camera in my lap. The 2nd body usually sits on the seat in my Gura Gear camera bag, which opens with a butterfly flap so that I can easily grab it when needed, and its more or less covered when I don't.

 

By the way, don't forget to bring some sort of wrap for the dust. When the camera is in my lap I try to keep it covered as much as possible, at least when going through a dusty area. But I don't like a pillowcase (as some suggest) because it takes too long to get it out; better just a cloth you can throw over or wrap the camera when necessary.

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I have largely stopped using my binoculars.

 

I find that with a 500mm lens, if I take a snap and zoom in on the screen, I can see pretty much as well as with the binoculars (and that's not because my binoculars are rubbish, as they are Leica 10x50's), and if I grab for the binos first, I often miss the shot, and if I have a shot, it is easier to identify with the help of field guides later, and I have a record, even if not suitable for showing.

 

So they stay under my seat, to be used mostly when searching an area for something, rather than trying to identify something already seen.

 

I also very seldom use a camera strap, as I find they often snag and thus cause more mishaps than they prevent. Typically, I will only use my strap when clambering, and thus I have a Peak Design strap that clips on an off very quickly.

 

The same company make a wrist-strap (I think it is called the "Leash", which may help in the situation you describe?

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Posted (edited)

Same as Peter I rarely use binoculars and camrea together - too much like multi-tasking for me. And I only use straps for transportation (and even then only with the smaller lenses ususally as bigger ones go in the bag) and when walking. Put the cameras and lenses in separate bags when I'm not using them rather than around my neck or on shoulder. Feel same as Peter that straps just get in the way. So for vehicle use if buying a new strap consider getting one that clips on and off.

 

Having said that, I sit when traveling and rarely stand even when stopped. If you want to stand a lot then a strap  would be useful. Not binos and two cameras all at once though, even when stationary - may as well slip some leg irons on too!.

 

Janet's tip re covers is a good one.

 

Black Rapid straps are good for walking (camera and lens can hang at side or over your butt - our of the way)  although I think there are even better designs available now. I personally would not recommend them or similar  for in-vehicle use, especially if sharing with strangers. They allow a lot of movement and I like to keep stuff tight to mein confined spaces. .However, if you are a very coordinated person who absolutely will noit forget it is there and will not tangle the strap in something, I can see how one would work (just not for me).

 

So I just agree with everyone. What a nice guy!!! :D

Edited by pault
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I always use a camera and binoculars together. - would not dream of doing without one.    I wear a Blackrapid strap and then a binocular harness on top of it.

 

I don't believe in neck straps - they are non-ergonomic and cause strain and fatigue.  

 

* Be careful of Blackrapid straps and heavy lenses!     I had one drop a Canon 7D and 300mm f/4 lens when the strap was a couple of years old.  The locking carabiner-like attachment fell off the mount that's attached to the strap!   The little head pulled through the ring.   And I heard of a birder on a pelagic trip who lost his camera and big lens overboard due to a BlackRapid strap giving way.  Plus other tales of caution.  

 

You can always lengthen the Canon-provided strap and wear it around your neck, resting on the opposite shoulder from where the camera will dangle.

 

To solve @janzin's issue with the beanbag, on small and medium sized lenses you can screw the connector into the bottom of the camera rather than the lens.

 

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I only have bins/camera aroung my neck when walking, otherwise everything is on the seat next to me, ready to grab. Some vehicles have seat back pouches and I tend to store the bins there, as they are not used much. You do spend a fair amount of time on Safari actually driving and therefore you camera will not be in use at those times.

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On 8/9/2017 at 11:32 PM, janzin said:

By the way, don't forget to bring some sort of wrap for the dust. When the camera is in my lap I try to keep it covered as much as possible, at least when going through a dusty area. But I don't like a pillowcase (as some suggest) because it takes too long to get it out; better just a cloth you can throw over or wrap the camera when necessary.

 

I bought a plastic covering which is designed to go over the camera and you put your hand up through the back.  They come 2 for $5.  It is flimsy and I originally bought them for using in a light rain.  I assume it would serve the same purpose as a dust barrier.

 

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On 8/9/2017 at 11:59 PM, Peter Connan said:

I have largely stopped using my binoculars.

 

I find that with a 500mm lens, if I take a snap and zoom in on the screen, I can see pretty much as well as with the binoculars (and that's not because my binoculars are rubbish, as they are Leica 10x50's), and if I grab for the binos first, I often miss the shot, and if I have a shot, it is easier to identify with the help of field guides later, and I have a record, even if not suitable for showing.

 

So they stay under my seat, to be used mostly when searching an area for something, rather than trying to identify something already seen.

 

I also very seldom use a camera strap, as I find they often snag and thus cause more mishaps than they prevent. Typically, I will only use my strap when clambering, and thus I have a Peak Design strap that clips on an off very quickly.

 

The same company make a wrist-strap (I think it is called the "Leash", which may help in the situation you describe?

I took a look at the Peak Design strap.  It looks great.  It is similar to the Black rapid, but doesn't attach at the bottom.

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15 minutes ago, Steven NY said:

I bought a plastic covering which is designed to go over the camera and you put your hand up through the back.  They come 2 for $5.  It is flimsy and I originally bought them for using in a light rain.  I assume it would serve the same purpose as a dust barrier.

 

Technically it would serve the same purpose, but I think it will be awkward. I had bought that for rain use awhile ago (its the Op-tech Rain Shield) so I know exactly what you're talking about. I think it will just frustrate you and you'll end up taking it off--its hard to get to the controls, etc. Besides once it gets dusty you won't be able to see through it clearly! I do think you'd be better off with a cloth. You could take an old pillowcase and cut it open, or just buy a couple of yards of cheap thin cotton.

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18 hours ago, janzin said:

I do think you'd be better off with a cloth. You could take an old pillowcase and cut it open, or just buy a couple of yards of cheap thin cotton.

Are you suggesting that I use the cloth to drape over the camera, or just to wipe it off ?  

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To drape over it, or, depending how bad the dust is, completely wrap it. It should be large enough to completely cover the camera and lens. In India it was so dusty that we had our guide stop at a local market to buy us the cheapest cloth he could find--it cost us $3 for enough to cover two cameras with big lenses. And I still had to send my lens out for cleaning when we got home :o

 

It probably won't be quite as bad in Tanzania, but it really helps.

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23 hours ago, Steven NY said:

I have a Peak Design strap that clips on an off very quickly.

I just bought the Peak Design Sling.  It seems really good.  Eventually, there will be a problem as neither my tripod or monopod use an Area connector.  I'm not taking either, so it doesn't matter.

 

I'll be able to keep one of the camera at my side like a sling.  It will be definite improvement over the straps which come with the camera.

 

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