I don’t use neck straps, and I generally advise everyone against them. I think they’re a poor design and dangerous to your body–with as much shooting as I do, carrying a camera was damaging my neck. You may have read my review of the Joby wrist strap when I said it’s the only strap I’ll use. Well, I’ve got to take those words back: the new Spider Pro Hand Strap is now with me all the time and it’s truly the only strap I’ll ever use. It’s perfect because it’s secure, and well designed.
Neck straps let you keep a camera handy, but they are hard on your neck, and if you bend over the camera swings away from your body and bangs into things (like newborn babies on a table if you’re not carful); the only thing they do well is keep the camera from hitting the ground. Sling straps are better, but I can’t wear those anymore without a crick in my neck, and they still swing around. I’ve used the Spider Holster for four years to keep my camera ready and my hands free while I work with people and walk, and it’s excellent, but it doesn’t offer any safety from dropping the camera.
The hand strap is terrific because it gives that safety. It keeps the camera from falling from my fingers in any situation. I’m often climbing in trees or leaning over railings to get my camera in the right place to make a picture, and this strap really helps me feel safe about holding my camera over empty space. It even has a removable wrist strap that makes it impossible to drop the camera, even if you let go.
In this picture, I’m standing on a railing and leaning over a 20 foot deep pit with a cement floor–no camera would survive that drop well.
I was sure glad to have the security of the hand strap while shooting this concert with thousands of university students waving their hands and dancing all around me. Anywhere there’s a danger of being bumped or having the camera taken from your hand, this strap is a lifesaver.
Unlike other hand straps I’ve used, this one has structure and form, not just a limp piece of padded cord. It’s made of supple genuine leather and has a lining of memory foam which combine to create a custom fit to your hand and style over time. Is got a stiff nylon base that helps it stand proud of the camera and be open and ready to accept your hand all the time.
You’ll find that this strap reduces the fatigue of holding a camera. By gently securing the back of your hand to the camera, your fingers get a break from holding tightly. It’s just so comfortable to use. I love it for photowalking because my camera is ready to use but my hands aren’t tired.
This structured design is also good for use on a tripod–the strap doesn’t dangle over the buttons getting in the way, and it doesn’t blow around in a breeze adding wiggle to my pictures. It mounts to the camera right under your tripod plate without extra hardware (though it includes a bolt if you don’t use a tripod plate).
There are no buckles or tightening straps or anything extra. You just set the size once when you mount it to the bottom of the camera and it stays there. Once of the most important things is that it leaves the battery and card doors unobstructed. I recently used a camera with a really cool leather case, but you had to use a screwdriver to get it off to change batteries or remove the memory card. Spider Holster products are clearly designed by people who actually use cameras.
Oh, and did you notice in the picture above that it comes in red (to match my fedora ;) ). It also comes is a really nice brown (Kodiak) as well as cream and black. It’s got style! It looks good not only with your camera, but with your wardrobe as well.
I love using the Spider Pro Hand Strap. It provides safety and security while relieving my hand of the stress of holding a camera and is just works well without thinking about it. I’ve been using it daily for two months and it still appears brand new. I think it’s well made, and I anticipate a long life. It starts at $65 (depending on color) and I think it’s worth at least that much. It fills an important niche and it’s made to last. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: I’m a Spider Holster Ambassador (which means I bought their tools, raved about them, and now they send me stuff to try and talk about). They gave me the Hand Strap to test and write about. These are my own impressions of a good product.