This is a review of the Quick Strap camera sling that I picked up on Ebay for less than $20 US. It appears to be a pretty blatant copy of the Black Rapids R-strap. But that didn’t stopped me from buying it.
After taking pictures with my new Sony Alpha 550, I was seeing reviews of a strap (sling) that allowed the camera to hang out of the way at your side when not in use. This was opposed to flopping around on your chest the way normal camera strap does. The brand I had been hearing a lot about was the R-Strap, manufactured by BlackRapid.
The main problem I had was that after buying the camera I didn’t have the $40-100 that the R-straps were
going for. So I did the only natural thing, I did a Google search for “R-strap Alternatives”. I didn’t come up with a lot to be honest. I just found a few other manufacturers that were in the same price ranges as the R-strap. One other manufacturer was Sun-Sniper. My next step was a search on Ebay, which did turn up several results. While browsing the links I stumbled across what I thought was the R-Strap, with its definitive Square yellow R logo on it, but it was priced at $17.95, Buy it now. I thought maybe it was a discontinued model, and gave it a click. It turns out that it is actually a Chinese knock off of the the R-strap called the Quick Strap. It is very apparent that they were trying to emulate the R-Strap logo and make some people believe it was the real thing. I do find this rather disconcerting as far as morality goes, but for the price I thought it was worth a shot. So I ordered one and had it shipped out. It was also free shipping at that price, which was a another bonus.
|Pocket with R-strap look alike logo .|
While I waited for it to arrive I made a trip to a camera shop and thought I’d see just what the R-strap was really all about. I had to admit, it was well made, sturdy and comfortable on your shoulder with a camera and a decent size lens on it. I still wasn’t sure it was $60 comfortable, but I was impressed. I looked over the build quality of it and it was very good. No complaints about shoddy workmanship.I knew at this point that if the Q-strap I had ordered wasn’t up to snuff I would definitely get the original at a later date.
I had read several reviews about the R-strap and the majority of them eventually got around to a problem with the mount coming loose and the camera falling to the ground. This is not a proposition one takes lightly. Most people have a good deal of money invested in their cameras and lenses and the thought of camera bounce brings shivers down your spine. Apparently Black Rapids has redesigned this mount several times, and added a rubber washer under their latest mounts to “fix” the problem. I can’t attest to this but I can see the reasoning behind it. From the pictures I saw of the strap I ordered, I could tell right away it used a completely different mount than the R-strap. More of a plate with a couple of attachment points, rather than the nice looking aluminum stud the other brand used. Not any less functional, but maybe a bit less attractive. In both cases I have read where people have suggested using “blue Locktite” on the screw to prevent it from backing out. this sounds like cheap insurance to me.
|Adjustable screw camera mount|
The strap arrived in about 4 days, which surprised me. It was in a plain clear heat sealed bag. No frills to speak of. My first impression of it was that it was significantly more sturdy and substantial than the neck strap that I received from Sony with my camera. I inspected the strap from top to bottom, looking at stitching and connections to see if I even wanted to put my camera on it. So far so good. It has a small zippered pocket on the bottom of the shoulder pad that allows you to put smaller items in it, such as a memory card, or small lens caps and filters. I was able to fit my 52mm lens cap in it but not my 58mm. The Shoulder pad is S-shaped to allow it to lay across your shoulder and not rub your neck. It took me a second to figure out how to rotate it to use on the other shoulder so that the pocket is still oriented to the front and down. It does work equally well on either shoulder.
|Rubber friction pad.|
The swivel connector on the end has a locking carabiner with a screw down latch cover that prevents it from accidentally opening. This was a nice feature that I had read was absent on most knockoff straps.
The mounting plate that the carabiner snaps into is much stronger feeling than it looks in the pictures. It is made of 3/16″ plate steel, bent and finish nicely. The thumb screw is secured into a slot with an e-clip ,this allows it to adjust back and forth for different camera mount locations. The Thumbscrews spins very nicely into the tripod mount hole on the bottom of your camera body.
The camera side of the plate is covered in a textured rubber surface that lets it grip the camera very nice once you snug it down. I have had mine mounted for a couple of weeks and it has not moved even a tiny bit. The main thing I like about this mount over the R-strap is that it hangs your camera from the side which makes your lens hang down and not stick out to the side. Another nice feature I like about the Quick Strap mount versus the R-strap is the addition of second slot on the other end of the mount. You can run a peace of webbing or string from this slot to another slot on your camera to act as a backup in case the screw does happen to come loose.
All in all after using the strap for a few weeks now, I can honestly say I am more than impressed. It is doing everything the R-strap claims to do for a 1/4 the money. It has the ability to add a backup tie device which the R-strap does not. The mounting point to me seem more substantial and more versatile as well.
My recommendation is to buy the Q-strap and use the left over money for other toys to fit in your camera bag. Because we all know that there is no such things as too many toys.
Links to the products discussed here.
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