It is an oversight of mine that I have not talked about one of my most frequently-used camera gear – my camera shoulder strap. It is really a credit to the Custom SLR Glide One strap system that it is so un-obstructive that I have forgotten that it is there. This is as good a real-world user endorsement as any – it does what it does, gets out of your way so you can do what you do while being barely aware that it is there. A worthy rival to the Black Rapid series of quick-draw shoulder straps. Bravo!
To really describe how the system works, we first have to look at the C-Loop, which forms the main pillar of all of Custom SLR’s products.
Having understood what it is, we can now proceed to take a look at how the Glide One system works.
Easy to understand. For more information about how the C-Loop can work with base plates and other solutions based on it, visit the Custom SLR website. I will not speak about those other products here, as I have not used them.
Most important question everyone wants to know the answer to – is the camera really secure with only one point of contact?
In a word – yes.
Let the following video illustrate the security of the C-Loop system.
No I did not bother trying out similar tests of my own. Also note the strap used in this video is a different strap and not the Glide One. So you are advised not to try this yourself. But hey I have been using the C-Loop for close to two years now. No complaints and my gear feels absolutely secure.
The best part is that the C-Loop can be adapted to your own strap system! Prefer to use it in a different way? Go right ahead!
OK we are confident the C-Loop works! Next important question – does the Glide One strap system work? How comfortable does using it feel?
It works exactly as the introductory video demonstrates. I wear the strap on my shoulder cross-style. The camera hangs along my side, tucked close to me as I move around, leaving my hands free when I need it. When I need to take a picture it is really convenient and easy to bring it up to my eyes. When I walk the camera will lightly bounce against my side. If I run I will have to lift the camera slightly to avoid the bounce from getting too intense.
Bounce? That does not sound comfortable.
For a system that holds your camera so tightly against you that bounce is minimized, you will have to look at something offered by Spider Holster or Cotton Carrier. However note that those solutions require you to wear additional apparel around yourself – not something that would appeal to everyone in their practical day-to-day dress code. I do recommend solutions by SH or CC if you are on a job – you are paid to take pictures, not to make a fashion statement. So go on and wrap the additional belts and other stuff around yourself that will help you work more efficiently. However do remember to test these out at a retail store yourself before committing to a purchase, as personal preferences will vary.
How does it compare to Black Rapid or Sun Sniper?
I have not used products from either Black Rapid or Sun Sniper for one good reason. BR and SS products feature an obvious shoulder pad for comfort and support. The problem is that these shoulder pads do not work with backpack straps. You can’t wear a backpack and a BR/SS shoulder strap at the same time. I have tested this by wearing a backpack and testing out those straps at a camera gear retailer. They just do not work. If the shoulder pad rests above your backpack strap it becomes too bulky and cannot hold its position. If it rests under your backpack strap it is bulky and uncomfortable to the point of being painful.
The advantage of the Glide One system is that the strap is actually flat, elastic and breathable. It rests happily under your backpack’s shoulder strap. So I get a shoulder strap across my body to provide both quick-draw capability and an easy way to let it hang securely when I need to free my hands. Plus I can carry a backpack at the same time. A perfect configuration for travel! I have been doing this for close to two years now and is very satisfied with the real-world results.
I’ll end this review with an example (and a preface to the next blog entry). Travelling in Seoul. Backpack with camera gear, drinks, maps, brochures plus my wife’s stuff 🙂 . Camera strapped beside me with the Glide One. Descending into the subway. Photographic opportunity? No problem – just pull up the camera from my side, click, let it slide back down, carry on to the next destination with all the stuff on my back and wife beside me. 😀
More about Seoul 2016 soon – WY