Like a lot of people, we start with the camera strap that is shipped with the camera - seems reasonable, it is free and has that nice logo on it so everyone knows what camera you use. However, after a few hours out trekking with your expensive camera slung around your neck you begin to feel some pain in your upper back - surprise! You just discovered why neck straps are not the best way to carry your camera.
Experience teaches us that center of mass carry helps stabilize and spread the weight out and makes it less tiresome to load up that gear. I have adapted myself to three ways I carry my gear - each having its own benefits. I will explain each and the manufacturers who supply them. in no particular order here are my three favorites ways. I provide links at the end of this Spider Review.
1. ThinkTank Speed Belt system for my lenses and accessories. Their belts come in both padded and non-padded with attachment points, high-quality nylon with a very sturdy open close click locking system. ThinkTank knows what they are doing when it comes to their belts and lens pouches. Each pouch has a waterproof cover you can deploy if needed. For the heaviest of loads, Thinktank padded belt system and straps are a perfect match for your heavy gear and comfort.
2. Blackrapid camera straps. These folks know how to make ergonomic straps, even for that 600mm lens and camera. I personally have three of their straps. I use Blackrapid Double Breathe for my large lens and camera. With this strap, all the weight is on both my shoulders, and I can secure both the lens and camera both to either end of the straps - distributing the carry across the lens and camera - this method gives me options to keep the lens pointing across and down right at my arms reach across the front of my body. This strap can be used individually as well just by unlocking them.
3. Spider. Spider Holsters are a smart way to carry your camera, this system is great for small to medium camera systems when you need quick access to be hands-free from straps. The holster I use is adapted to facilitate my Arca Swiss plates, which is perfect because I do not need to remove the plates and fiddle with other adapters. I can go from Tripod to the Spider without tools - everything should be this easy. If you use Arca Swiss - you already know the benefits of that solution. So, let us get to the review of the Spider.
What I like: Heavy duty and secure. The Spider Holster feels solid and has a metal release knob that you can opt to leave open, or have set it closed and require you to release your camera each time it is removed from the holster. The locking mechanism is all metal as well as the attachment to the belt. This is not coming off or would break even under normal-heavy use.
- I also like the fact it has padding that removes the hardness of your camera rubbing against your leg - nicely padded and long-lasting material.
- The Spider is for anyone who likes to be strap free when shooting, you can have your camera up and shooting as fast as you reflexes allow.
- The Spider is light and adds minimal weight to your carry.
Anything I did not like? No, not really. It does require tools to attach to your ThinkTank Speed Belt System, and once attached - it is on, meaning if you need the space for other things you have to go through the procedure of removing the holster using the supplied allen tools. A simple way around this is to have two speed belts, and who does not like more gear.
Who is it suited for: As stated above, anyone who needs quick rapid access to their camera without the restriction of camera straps and who uses smaller to medium sized lenses.
Do I recommend it: Yes! You do need a ThinkTank Speed Belt sold separately.