Tag Archives: R

My DIY Alex Strap

So now that I have two 5ds, I needed another strap for my second body since I cant stand using the default Canon straps. For my first body, I have the Black Rapid R Strap version RS-3. I love the Black Rapid straps but I feel that it is a little pricey for a strap especially when you can easily make it yourself for a lot less money. The version of the R-Strap that I have uses the older fastener that is not as nice as what the new ones use. So I could buy another new R-strap for about $60 or I can try making it myself for less than $20 in parts. I actually used this http://www.rphotographers.com/showthread.php?t=246 as a reference and it was very helpful. I basically used parts that I currently already had and purchased parts from http://www.strapworks.com.

This is the finished product.
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I already had a shoulder strap that came with my Case Logic Lens Case but you can easily buy the 1 inch belt straps from Michael’s, JoAnn’s, online or any fabric store. For the shoulder pad, Strapworks.com only had one choice for a shoulder pad and I didn’t like it since it was just a generic pad. You can probably find nicer ones that are replacement shoulder pads. I had a free Smug Mug camera strap that had a nice shoulder pad so I cut off the ends, and cut a couple lines in the leather end so that I could run the shoulder strap through the pad. To keep the fabric strap in place on top of the Smug mug strap, I used a hot glue gun and it worked nicely. The image above was before I did the hot glue.

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From Strapworks.com, I ordered the Metal one inch Beefy Snap and the Plastic one inch Acetyl Plastic Cam Buckle.

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For the actual fastener that connects the camera to the hook, you can buy the Fastenr from Black Rapid or even buy a cheap Eye Ring hook from Home Depot. The fastener from Black Rapid is nice, but I did not want to pay $12 for it. I had an extra camera connector that is used to connect the camera to my Sunpak tripod. So what I did was remove the screw from the part pictured below. I took out the black plastic part, which left a hole through the top piece in the picture above. I used a D ring and crimped it into the hole. I then took a nut and washer and screwed it into the screw part so that there is no extra room after screwing it into the camera.

*Update*

I have now updated the fastener with the Induro replacement camera screw pictured below and a 3cm locking carabiner from Sports Chalet to give it more support instead of the fastener above .

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Here is an updated image of my alex strap. I have the redundant carabiner because it feels more secure. The carabiner has a locking screw to avoid accidentally falling off. The buckle unfortunately does not have any locking but I like the fact that it can swivel or else I would just hook the carabiner to the strap.

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This isn’t as pretty as the Black Rapid R-Strap but considering I basically replicated it for a lot less money, it was well worth the effort since it works just as good.

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R Strap Review

I purchased the R Strap by Blackrapid about six months ago and have enjoyed using it so far. I didnt really like the default strap too much and was looking for an alternative.  I saw that one of my friends was using it and he liked it and receommended it. At first, I was hesitant to spend $50 on a camera strap. There are also plenty of DIY tutorials online and you can easily buy parts to make it yourself for less than $15 but I figure spending $50 on something that will be holding $1000+ of equipment isnt too bad.
So far I have used it for general shooting, hikes, parties, and weddings and it seems to work well. I have been using it on my Canon 40D and now it is on my 5D. The ease of use when you need the camera is great because you can easily grab the camera and take a shot. I like how you can just let the camera dangle when you are not using it as it can actually take some load off from your hand because I had the tendency to always hold it with one hand. When you have the 70-200 mounted on the camera, however, the load can be a little heavy but havent had any issues with it.
The little pocket on the strap is also nice to store two extra compact flash memory cards. The only complaint I have is that the version that I purchased was an older one so the attachment to the camera was a little bigger so that you cant put the camera down as before when there was nothing mounted onto the bottom of the camera. Before, you can easily put down the camera with the bottom down, but now since there is a fastener on the bottom of the camera, I have to set it down on the side. It isnt a huge deal but it could have been better. Fortunately, I guess they realized this and came up with the FastenR-2, which is now included when you buy the R Strap, and with this new fastener, I think it solves that issue and might allow you to be able to set it down on the bottom. They sell the fastener separately, but I dont think I am willing to pay $12 to get it.
Overall, I would highly recommend the R Strap if anyone is looking for a better way of carrying their camera. It is great not having the camera dangle in front of me. It is quite convenient when you need it while also allowing the camera to be out of the way on the side when you dont need it. They also came out with a Double Strap for two bodies but I think I am fine with just one and might consider getting another one as opposed to getting the Double Strap. The Double Strap does look pretty cool though.