Tuesday, February 15, 2011

DIY Black Rapid camera sling

In my search for a better camera strap, I came across this system - the Black Rapid RS-7.

While it looked promising, I also found a lot of people who were making DIY versions of this. I decided to try making one myself. 

After digging around my closet for a couple of minutes I found the materials needed to do it. All I needed were two things:

a 3-point military sling from my airsoft MP5 submachine gun

and a Bogen 3157N Quick Release Plate


Assembly was simple:

 attach the quick release plate to the bottom of my camera

connect the D-ring on the bottom of the plate to the sliding clip on the sling.  That's pretty much it.

I've used this on a recent wedding shoot and it seems to perform pretty well.
There are a few minor issues with this DIY version - there's no adjustable brake, it's a little difficult to adjust the size of the loop, the clip does not lock like the Black Rapid mini carabiner, and I'm not sure how strong the D-ring on the Bogen plate actually is.  I'm pretty sure Bogen never intended for their camera plate to be used in this manner:

While my DIY strap not as fancy as this Black Rapid is, it does do about 90% of what the actual product does. I figure it will hold me over until I can check out the actual Black Rapid product in person the next time I hit the camera stores in Tokyo.

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