Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hands On: BlackRapid RS-W1 (Its Not Pink) review

It's about time. Really. This is it. It's perfect. Almost (I'm sure little things will pop up later as I use it more). All the little annoyances with straps designed with men in mind have been fixed. The padded shoulder bit is narrower and curved to work better with our smaller shoulders and body shape, the strap is a bit shorter, yet still greatly adjustable. The length adjustment is up on the shoulder pad, with the strap part running through a sleeve in the pad itself (which I'll admit was problematic for a brief moment while sorting out shortening vs lengthening, and getting the lower plastic bits stuck up in the pad's sleeve, but I got it worked out). This allows for the slack, for those that need the strap shortened, to be taken up in the pad, rather than dangling and getting in the way (as I have found with the strap designed more with taller men in mind. The redesigned shoulder pad also allows the strap to stay in place on the shoulder better when the weight of the camera is not holding it down. I have often found the RS-7 slipping off my shoulder, or forward or back, while the camera was in my hands and not weighting down the strap.

At first I wasn't sure if I liked the use of the FastenR-3 rather than the FastenR-2. My thinking was, although it's lower profile, the one-piece design would give the connection apparatus just slightly less flexibility. Now, for general carrying and shooting that would be fine, but I thought that the lack of hinged ring that the carbiner hooks to would be annoying while packing, unpacking, and general arranging of cameras and straps. Actually I have found the opposite to be true. With the lower profile and single piece, I find that I do less fiddling with it to get things straightened around. Plus it all fits better in my camera bag.

On the downside, the strap is designed to be used only left shoulder to right side. With the unique shaping of the shoulder pad it really does have to be one-sided. I can't think of a way around that. It CAN be worn right shoulder to left side but you lose a lot of the fit and comfort that the shaped shoulder pad provides. Flipping the pad over is not a viable option either as the length adjustment buckle would be against the shoulder. However, this is such a well-fitting strap it's an adjustment I'm willing to make. To make the shoulder pad mirror-imaged on either side to allow for both a left-sided and right-sided carry, the through-the-strap length adjustment would have to be sacrificed.

After a day-long shoot using the RS-W1, I found that it did not shift much at all. While using the RS-7 at the same time, and on separate occasions, I would find that the shoulder pad would need adjusting on a regular basis to keep it up on the shoulder where is belonged. The RW-W1 does a much better job staying in place on smaller shoulders as it is intended. When both the RS-7 and the RS-W1 were used at the same time, crossing over (alternating which overlapped which), the RS-W1 consistantly required less adjusting and re-adjusting as the day went on.

The black on black paisly designs on the shoulder pad of the RS-W1 is a nice touch. Just a little bit of style without being overbearing. For comfort and a convenient carry, I would definitely recommend this strap to my female shooter friends.

(photos from the BlackRapid website)

No comments:

Amazon Deals

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...