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Straps--neck or shoulder?

John_SD
Whiz

For you guys or gals who do a lot of outdoor photography and are walking a lot, do you prefer your camera around your neck or shoulder? I have a feeling I'll be carrying mine across the shoulder as I'm finding the camera bounces around with the strap around my neck.

 

Received my refurbished Rebel T6 from Canon yestrday and have it set up and ready to go. I really like it. Pretty easy to set up, especially having spent some time with the manual. A handful of initial shots in 'A' mode reveal nothing weird, unexpected or alarming. Looking forwrd to spending a few hours at the local tide pools over the weekend at low tide and a lot more hours in the desert. I've got a 58mm B+W UV filter and can't wait to get outdoors. I've considered a lens hood, but can't think of how it will protect me at the seashore, tidepools or out in the dusty desert. But I'm open to any and all suggestions.

21 REPLIES 21

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

"But I'm open to any and all suggestions."

 

Ok,  Smiley Happy  all you need to know is BlackRapid RS-Sport Extreme Sport Strap.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

diverhank
Authority

Shoulder strap is the way to go.  Black Rapid is most well known but there are quite a few of selections out there.  I use an Optech USA Utility Strap™ - Sling because I need the tripod connection for something else.  It's the best $30 I ever spent.

 

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Diverhank's photos on Flickr

OpTech USA straps all the way. 

 

They are very modular allowing you to convert from a slingstrap to a neck strap or even a wrist strap with the snap of a buckle. 

 

OP Tech USA is made in the USA and is still reasonably priced.

 

I had read that people had problems with cameras falling off Black Rapid straps, that with it being twice the cost of OP Tech USA made me go with OP Tech USA. A coworker of mine went with Black Rapid and sure enough his camera and lens came off and dropped from hip high to the ground. Now he is constantly doing the 'Black Rapid Dance' checking to make sure it hasn't come loose again. Black Rapid makes extra gadgets that prevent cameras from falling to the ground. But, that is an extra cost, and just illustrates there really is a problem with the design. 

 

 

 

 

ScottyP
Authority

I hate neck straps. Who likes a camera dangling in your way in front of you and thudding into your sternum with every step. 

 

I use a shoulder strap, as do most people who shoot at all seriously.   There are many brands. Don't just go black rapid without looking into it. My decision to go with another solution was based on how the black rapid dangles your camera from just a single attachment point, which lets it twirl around. 

 

Among others look look at the Luma Labs shoulder straps. They attach at 2 points so no twirl and their Cinch strap lets you shorten the thing up for snug walking and you lengthen it out for shooting. That's what I use and love. 

 

The Luma Labs straps also solve the problem of having the strap attaching to the camera's tripod mounting hole, making you have to unscrew and remove the strap to use a tripod.  Luma has an Arca Swiss compatible tripod mounting plate with a place to attach the strap, so you can slip the camera into a tripod without removing the strap. 

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?

TCampbell
Elite
Elite

I also use the Black Rapid strap.  It's much more comfortable.  The camera will rest at your side (roughly at your hip).  If you were doing some aggressive hiking (e.g. a bit of climbing, etc. were to be involved rather than just walking casually) then you could easily lash the camera to your belt or a belt-loop to keep it from swinging around.

 

Shooting in "A" (Automatic) mode or even in "P" (Program) mode the camera is going to try to take "safe" shots.  That means that from an exposure settings perspective, it tries to use low ISO if it can, it also tries to keep the shutter speed fast enough for hand-held photography (if there's enough light), and it tries to use middle-apertures (it wants to avoid a shallow depth of field).  That type of photography tends to resemble what you'd get with a point & shoot camera.  

 

"P" (Program) mode does let you override things in that it's initial settings will be for "safe" shots, but you can use program-shift and trade stops of aperture for stops of shutter speed (in full auto mode you cannot override the settings.)

 

But you'll really get the biggest benefit when you learn to control all aspects of the exposure.  I don't actually advocate always shooting in Manual mode, but I definitely DO advocate learning to shoot in that mode because it forces your brain to learn about exposure.  Having learned... go ahead and use the more convenient modes such as Av or Tv.

 

 

 

Your camera isn't weather-sealed.  Also most lenses are not weather sealed (most -- but not all -- of Canon's "L" series lenses offer at least some weather-sealing.)   That means apart from whether there's a filter in front of the glass, you still don't want to let the lens barrel get wet (if a wave comes crashing over a rock when you're trying to shoot the tide-pools, and it drenches the camera... that would be very bad for the camera and it's electronics.)  You can get rain-sleeves (which are anywhere from really cheap for the disposable variety or moderately priced for the high end variety) or even water-tight housings (suitable for scuba-diving -- but those are expensive.)  It's usually not a worry on calm days... but if it's a day with big waves coming in... sometimes they can catch you by suprise and you'd want to be prepared for that.

 

A flat filter in front of the lens can be a source of reflections that result in "ghosting" in the image.  Avoid letting sunlight hit the front to minimize the flare or ghosting issues -- even if that means holding a piece of cardboard up to block the sun from hitting the front of the lens.

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Thanks for the tips, guys. I appreciate it. I'm starting to look around now for a replacement strap of the shoulder variety. There are a million choices! Still looking, but leaning toward the Optech Utility Strap - Sling. I will also look at the others you guys have mentioned.

 

I quickly discovered that the strap that comes with the camera is essentially useless to me, but the style may be OK for taking photos in museums, weddings, cocktail parties and whatnot. But for outdoor photography it's cumbersome  and awkward, at least to me. 

 

As for exposure, I'm already using Av as a "walking around" default, but maybe that isn't the best choice? What do you guys use for a default, if you will. I plan to venture into 'P' and Manual before the week is out. I am planning to use Av for the tidepools, but plan to experiment with 'M' at the pools too. I already wish I had a macro lens. Some very cool stuff in the tidepools at low tide. 


John_SD wrote:

Thanks for the tips, guys. I appreciate it. I'm starting to look around now for a replacement strap of the shoulder variety. There are a million choices! Still looking, but leaning toward the Optech Utility Strap - Sling. I will also look at the others you guys have mentioned.

 

I quickly discovered that the strap that comes with the camera is essentially useless to me, but the style may be OK for taking photos in museums, weddings, cocktail parties and whatnot. But for outdoor photography it's cumbersome  and awkward, at least to me. 

 

As for exposure, I'm already using Av as a "walking around" default, but maybe that isn't the best choice? What do you guys use for a default, if you will. I plan to venture into 'P' and Manual before the week is out. I am planning to use Av for the tidepools, but plan to experiment with 'M' at the pools too. I already wish I had a macro lens. Some very cool stuff in the tidepools at low tide. 


If you do much photography in tidal pools, you'll probably need a polarizing filter. to cut down on reflections off the surface of the pool. Be sure to get a "circular" polarizer; the less expensive non-circular kind can interfere with the camera's autofocus mechanism. And don't buy a filter whose quality is lower than that of your lens.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


@John_SD wrote:

 

 

As for exposure, I'm already using Av as a "walking around" default, but maybe that isn't the best choice? What do you guys use for a default, if you will. I plan to venture into 'P' and Manual before the week is out. I am planning to use Av for the tidepools, but plan to experiment with 'M' at the pools too. I already wish I had a macro lens. Some very cool stuff in the tidepools at low tide. 


Av is a pretty good choice - better than P mode anyways.  For your kind of shooting - outdoors, non moving objects - any non-full auto modes will be suitable.  Just keep in mind what you want to do.  I'd use a fixed ISO.  For good light try using either 100 or 200. Now if you set to Av, you get to specify Av, the camera will set shutter speed.  The danger here is that the camera might set a shutter speed too low for your hand-holding capability.  Your camera should have an option to set minimum shutter speed (say you never want the camera to go below 1/60 because you always hand hold).  By setting Av, you have control over depth of field.  

 

Similarly, if you use Tv, you get to control shutter speed and the camera set Av for you.  In Tv mode you can specify a speed that would help freeze motion or blur motion.  One can easily alternate between Av and Tv.  Canon cameras make it easy because it would remember your last setting for Av and Tv as two separate sets.  These two modes are very effective for 99% of what you need to do, especially when coupled with exposure compensation.

 

In some cases where you need to control both speed and aperture, then you would use M mode...otherwise it's not necessary.   For action, some people use M mode with Auto ISO - it's still auto in a way- with good success.  This is what I use for my BIF shots.  Bottom line: use what works for you...what other people think may  amount to a hill of beans...

 

================================================
Diverhank's photos on Flickr


@John_SD wrote:

Thanks for the tips, guys. I appreciate it. I'm starting to look around now for a replacement strap of the shoulder variety. There are a million choices! Still looking, but leaning toward the Optech Utility Strap - Sling. I will also look at the others you guys have mentioned.

 

I quickly discovered that the strap that comes with the camera is essentially useless to me, but the style may be OK for taking photos in museums, weddings, cocktail parties and whatnot. But for outdoor photography it's cumbersome  and awkward, at least to me. 

 

As for exposure, I'm already using Av as a "walking around" default, but maybe that isn't the best choice? What do you guys use for a default, if you will. I plan to venture into 'P' and Manual before the week is out. I am planning to use Av for the tidepools, but plan to experiment with 'M' at the pools too. I already wish I had a macro lens. Some very cool stuff in the tidepools at low tide. 


If you are not already familiar with the "Exposure Triangle", then I suggest that you do a web search and learn about it.

 

I have found one way to get high contrast, sharp photos is to follow one rule of thumb.  I try to grab as much light [wide aperture] as possible, as quickly [high shutter speed] as possible, with as little effort [low ISO] as possible.  The only way to come close to meeting all three of those goals is shooting with good light conditions.  Anything else, which is most of the time, means compromising on leg of the exposure triangle with the goal of improving another leg of the exposure triangle.

 

As for camera settings, that really depends upon what you are shooting, and what leg of the triangle that you would sacrifice for the benefit of the other legs.  The leg that I choose to sacrifice is the leg that I let the camera choose automatically for me.  I shoot more still life and low action shots, compared to high action sports and wildlife photography.  I mostly shoot manual mode with Auto ISO.

 

Try to keep your ISO at 100.  Your camera will begin to show noise in your images when you get above ISO 400 or ISO 800.  This type of performance is pretty average.  If you want significantly better noise performance, then you will spend several times more money than what you have already spent.

 

Finally,  learn to shoot photos as RAW, instead of JPEG, and how to use the Canon DPP post processing software effectively.

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