Trent Chau 1:06am, 26 May 2009
Heads Up Story :

So like many other APG members, I've been impressed with the black rapid strap system ( It's a comfortable strap that allows you to quickly access the camera and get ready to shoot with it at a moments notice. It does what it says.

Well time for a horror story.

While shooting a wedding this weekend, I had both my 5d Mark II's on a black rapid strap.

While I was doing a shoot with one, I felt one of the straps give way than a big crash as my 5d hit it's battery grip on hard pavement (not the funnest of noises). Seemingly there's a screw that unscrewed itself over the week I've had the strap, and now it decided to fall.

The good news is I was able to continue using the camera. The bad news is I don't know what long term damage has been done.

I'm currently contacting Black rapid to see what they say, but as of right now I'm 50/50 about the product. It works well for what it says it does, but that drop could of been a lot lot worst.

Seemingly this is an ongoing issue that has affected many people

Heres a link showing others with the same problem.
Wananga 13 years ago
Yeargh! That sucks.
Joonman 13 years ago
Which Model strap is that ?
mister wombat Posted 13 years ago. Edited by mister wombat (moderator) 13 years ago
dude, that stinks
Trent Chau 13 years ago
aye but it's why I have 2/3 cameras.
Joonman 13 years ago
dang i checked mine it is the connector they used before that new ConnectR2. mine doesn't budge. but I'll be keeping an eye on it.
square art [deleted] 13 years ago
wow black rapid fail. bummer man.
Trent Chau Posted 13 years ago. Edited by Trent Chau (member) 13 years ago

Joon did some research on it, and seemingly it's an issue with only some of them. My other black rapid strap seems to be pretty tight on.

Just be careful guys. My camera only fell about 3 1/2 feet onto hard pavement, I wouldn't want to see a story from one of you about it falling off a cliff or into a pool of water.

I'm assuming as a small accessories company BlackRapid will probably not divy out the thousands it will take to replace your gear.
Joonman 13 years ago
yeah that is what i am seeing, it seems that some of the new one are having this problems. and i liked the screw lock too.
I guess I'll stick with the Plastic guard for now.
fuzzy battle [deleted] 13 years ago
That's the new version, isn't it?

I got an off-market copy of the strap that has a dual thumb clasp, and it seems fairly sturdy, the problem is the strap isn't as comfortable and doesn't glide like the black-rapid ... 40 bucks down the drain.
Hope your camera is Ok, Trent . . .
mister wombat Posted 13 years ago. Edited by mister wombat (moderator) 13 years ago
2/3 cameras? is that how canon compares themselves to nikon?
2/3 as good? or did you mean 213? =)

in all seriousness, i'm glad you didn't suffer a catastrophic loss.
mister wombat 13 years ago
julie's got a kick-ass strap IIRC.
The Notorious DKE 13 years ago
Wow, Thanks for the warning, Trent. I was literally getting ready to order the the thing.
sidetracker 13 years ago
Dang Trent, and just think, I was a bit jealous of the new design.

Sorry to hear about the camera, and I hope its all good.
Trent Chau 13 years ago
old design is affected also I believe.
fuzzy battle [deleted] 13 years ago
I don't like the old design, as they rely on a flimsy tube as a safety device ...
sidetracker Posted 13 years ago. Edited by sidetracker (member) 13 years ago
I will have to see, and possibly modify the clamp.

Yes, looking at mine, I see that its pretty much the same. I would check that screw for tightness, and if loose, apply some lok-tite to it.
I would use the strongest available...

Sorry to have to hear about this through a fellow APG photographer, but maybe this might help someone else from this apparent design fail.
OldUncleMe 13 years ago
Try a Pacsafe strap: two braided-stainless steel cables and locking clasps with safety catches. Not as comfortable, probably.

just.julie 13 years ago

meginatl 13 years ago
So Joon- Which ones are safe to order? I was thinking about getting one, but I don't want to get the one Trent has!
quixotic wool [deleted] 13 years ago
That sucks. I have been using an extra manfrotto tripod plate and the tethering a strap of my choice to it and I plan to stop by REI to get a small carabiner so I can create a quick release system out of it.

Tether the strap to the carabiner and then clip in to the plate. The plate is usually on my camera anyway.

Dubtastic 13 years ago
Trent, thanks for posting this.

When I first heard about the strap, it was during a workshop with Dean Zulich. He said that he liked the product but after a camera dropped he could not officially endorse it. The issue he ran into was with the lobster claw connector, not the screw. I thought the new lobster claw connection was great but now I need to go look at the other portions just to check.

I would also be interested in updates about their customer service and how the situation is handled.
jpskydawg ( Justin) 13 years ago
Wonder if you could make a safety tether that went to the original strap spot as a safety check... you know, only like 6" long?
Zlatko Unger 13 years ago
cover your equipment with bubble wrap!

problem solved
square art [deleted] 13 years ago
and duct tape
Trent Chau Posted 13 years ago. Edited by Trent Chau (member) 13 years ago
So I contact customer service, and I'm so so about it.

The first email I got back was

I'm SO sorry to hear about this!
We sent out a newsblast recalling this item because of this very issue. Your replacement CR-2 should be with you this week.

Thank you for sending the photos along. I will send this to the manufacturer of the CR-2.
Melissa Painter
Operations Manager

Since I was in my window of returning the product for a full refund, I asked about that step. They mention it would be okay to get a refund, but DID NOT mention any sort of solution to the fact that their product's malfunction caused damage to my camera.

I asked them concerning any sort of restitution because of damages not to my camera (while also keeping in mind the many others who have been affected) and this is there response:

Please send me the invoices for the $115 of work that you have had done on your camera and we will reimburse you.

($115 being what I paid for the product).

Conclusion. Your call.

Personally I'm not as happy as I can be. The main unit that was damaged was my battery grip, and while it only looks like a small ding on the outside, the camera took a big hit on straight concrete/tile and internally can be worst than externally. So I will probably send the camera to Canon who does not give invoices for less than $115.

Personally I as of right now can't in good faith say buy this product to anyone in the APG.
kim_me_1967 13 years ago
send customer service a link to this thread
jpskydawg ( Justin) 13 years ago

I am amazed that they are willing to pay the $115. It sounds as if the customer service is not bad, but they are aware of the issue. I really think they should have a tethered safety cord with the bracket. You know my business as a metal fabricator, i see stuff like this all the time. THe problem is that is a cast piece, which is the cheapest way to manufacture a part.. This got my wheels turning and I am looking into a bracket that has more safety to it as most people are carrying anywhere from $700 to $6000 in glass and equipment. I think its a great product and idea. I think they are buying cheap made assembly parts that arent QC'd before release.
Trent Chau 13 years ago
Agreed justin. I personally love what the product does and if I get concrete proof they came up with a better option than I'm gonna definatly be happier
UrbanPhotographix 13 years ago
I got the recall email about the piece...but I think I have the latest version strap- which looks a bit different than your's. I'm not sure if the replacement piece they're sending out will work with mine,even.

But I'd have to agree...if their product was/is the cause for damage to your camera...I'd definitely pursue them for reimbursement of damages/repair costs. Hopefully its nothing major :(
The Notorious DKE 13 years ago
According to their website, they aren't liable for equipment damages.
yourfavorite 13 years ago
I don't know what version you have and I don't have my strap in front of me, but IIRC my strap does not have that kind of connector on it. I believe my connector is also black rather than silver?
sidetracker 13 years ago
Picture 3

Well, there is the disclaimer.
Joonman 13 years ago
from all i have read they are the early productions of the new CR2's with the screw lock instead of the plastic to slide of the clasp connected to the camera. I have the CR1 with the plastic. if they have fixed the problems with the new ones I may still order the connector if i ever lose the piece of plastic on mine.
Trent Chau 13 years ago

For individuals, but if it comes to the class action level disclaimers only cover so much...mostly if the amount of damage done is past a certain level.

Oh well, better it happen to someone else is how most people will feel about it.

Pity, it is such a nice product.
The Notorious DKE 13 years ago
What's a good alternative? I really want a new strap in time for my trip next month.
yourfavorite 13 years ago
I would say this is a good strap. just be sure to keep tabs on that screw?
sidetracker 13 years ago
Trent - I just wish companies would stand behind the products they sell, or produce. I know I do, not only for myself, but every staff member employed here. To be "not responsible" for misuse is one thing, but for a faulty design or manufacturing flaw is completely different.
veader 13 years ago
james duncan davidson (professional conference photographer) picked up a black rapid strap, liked it but didn't like the connector. his saga to find a replacement for the connector lead him down the path of making his own. should be interesting...

and then there is always the spider holster:
cMacSutt 13 years ago
Thanks for sharing, I will not be buying one of these until i hear some new updates/ improvements about the build quality.
The Notorious DKE 13 years ago
I'm with U, Craig.
fuzzy battle [deleted] 13 years ago
yourfavorite 13 years ago
So I just got home and checked mine. It doesn't have the screw like trents. Instead that piece with the hook is one solid piece. I'm not sure if I have an older version or newer version than Trent. I bought mine back in October its the RS-1
Trent Chau 13 years ago
It is kinda annoying to pay $40 for a camera strap (when even OEM ones are just $15) only to further modify it.
masqueman 13 years ago
There is a guy selling knock-offs on Ebay. It looks almost the same. A little lower in build quality, but these are just straps and buckles. I might bite.
OldUncleMe 13 years ago
Hmm. An imitator of a faulty product -- did they get the problems right?

I really don't like to have to ask that kind of question, it makes my head hurt....

Mollie Montana 13 years ago
That holster looks sweet!
fuzzy battle [deleted] 13 years ago
masqueman, that's the one I was talking about above ...
It doesn't glide as well as the Black Rapid.
masqueman 13 years ago
Derek... Oh, that is good to know. I decided to hold off until I could research it more. I like the concept of the product.

I think the modifications such as a safety string (or zip tie) and some lock-tite could make make this product more reliable.

I noticed Trent was still using his at the last meeting.
xpsyduck 13 years ago
locktite is your friend
Trent Chau 13 years ago
Heh heh yeah I have one ghetto rigged with a rubber band. It allows it to go up to 180 degrees in a turn, but otherwise will spin back. That way it shouldn't unscrew off.

The other one, well I guess i"m being an idiot and gambling.

You would think they would use a small little bit on it during production.
masqueman 13 years ago
That Spider Holster looks lame. Ever chase a bride? Your camera would be out of the holster in seconds... CRUNCH!!!! Lack of a strap of some sort could equal disaster...
just.julie 13 years ago
chase a bride? interesting... is this like the running of the bulls?
illustrious oven [deleted] Posted 13 years ago. Edited by illustrious oven (member) 13 years ago
I've created a "safety leash" for my sling strap that backs up the ENTIRE system, from the connection to the strap, to the connection to the camera, to the possibility of it unscrewing or unclipping, to even the possibility of the tripod socket itself failing -- my 5D2 and lens are never going to hit the ground, but I still have that joyous sling strap functionality.

It's a bit more bulky, though not much, and it restricts rotation a bit, but I actually like that personally. Anyway, I won't repeat everything I wrote in another forum, instead I'll just direct your there for details, but there are also some other benefits of going this route, like still remaining connected when using a monopod, having the confidence to use my quick release plate (that wasn't designed for direct loads), etc. So, just thought I'd share my approach for those who might like to mimic.

Much more info here:

Here's a quick look at my releasable leash:

masqueman 13 years ago
What about something simple like a fishing tackle safety tether? The closed loop could be attached to the ConnectR-2 so if the connecting screw comes out, you would have a connector capable of holding 30 lbs. I have not gotten my strap in the mail yet, but I am going to try this when I do. Any thoughts on whether this will work?
masqueman 13 years ago
Julie. You are right. I meant to say running from the bridezilla. ha ha.

Still, a few bounces would pop your camera right out of that holster. It is not for me.
masqueman 13 years ago might be onto somehting...
just.julie 13 years ago
oooo thankfully I haven't had any bridezillas yet :)
Trent Chau 12 years ago
Bump....still waiting for my parts from them. Seemingly the person who helped me has left the company.
HamWithCam 12 years ago
The Rocketeer 12 years ago
I hate it when that happens...
sidetracker Posted 12 years ago. Edited by sidetracker (member) 12 years ago
Maybe, just maybe, they found out you were a Admin in the Atlanta Creepy Photographers group, and wanted nothing to do with you...
neilcalvinphoto 12 years ago
"I just wish companies would stand behind the products they sell, or produce"

The problem with this is the potential for consumer abuse. Who's to say that you're not satisfied with your camera, or that your credit card bills are a bit nuts, and you just wanna offload the thing and recoup 1005 of the cost, so you throw the thing on the ground and blame the manufacturer?

For every 9 honest people our there, there's 1 jerk looking to game the system, and paying off that one guy costs more to the company than just distancing yourself from incidentals. It's a crappy system, but considering how litigtation-happy people are in this country, companies really have no viable alternative if they want to be in business.
Trent Chau 12 years ago
Because if you haven't figured out if you don't like your $2699 camera and $1400 lens by your 30 day window policy, you're probably not bright enough to blame the system :)

Saying such I actually contacted them within my window of return. Funny eh? I should of returned it and at least gotten half my money back. They still haven't fixed the problem yet.

I know what you mean though, sad isn't it this current state of affairs our country is in.
just.julie 12 years ago
funny you should have this topic bumped... the other day, my strap came loose from my camera for the very first time.

so now I am watching it like a HAWK.
Trent Chau 11 years ago
So the cool thing is the founder of Black Rapid, Ron, and a really nice service person (whom position I'm not aware of) named Joe personally contacted me last week due to this thread.

Within a few emails Joe quickly resolved the issue by sending me the part required. I got back in from out of town today and the part was waiting for me.

I have to admit that's impressive and reminds me of Paul C Buff support. The bad thing is it's been 11 months (which by no means isn't any fault of the Customer Service at black rapid, actually I'm part to blame for giving up on them) to get resolved.

So here's my final assessment.

The black rapid strap that I got last year that works has been a god send. It's a great product and I use it pretty much every time I pick up the product. Unfortunately the other strap was bad in design and dropped my camera. This was related to a manufacturing problem at Black Rapid which has now been resolved.

Long story short. Good product when it worked. Seemingly they all work now, so probably buy with confidence.

I think the fact that they contacted me so long after shows that Black Rapid is proactive about customer support so thumbs up there.

I'm satisfied.
Joonman 11 years ago
that is cool. Glad it was finally resolved.

I've have had so many people ask me about this Strap. seems like everyone has one now. We should ask them to send us newer models to review them 8)
octagrapher 11 years ago
i've bought one and have been pretty satisfied with it so far. haven't had neck problems since!
jpskydawg ( Justin) 11 years ago
No kidding. This strap was the single best investment i have purchased for a camera accessory outside glass.
Warren Cameron 11 years ago
Hmm, it's my birthday this Friday. Maybe I'll buy one for myself.
jpskydawg ( Justin) 11 years ago
they have them at Showcase now.
Burlesque_Atlanta 11 years ago
just.julie 11 years ago
yea Marc I was about to add that to this conversation but realized he said that it was HIS error (thankfully) bc I was going to get really worried about mine :P
brown legs [deleted] 11 years ago
I have the Black Rapid Strap and it's a very good product. No complaints. I recently purchased a spider holster and love it. Camera is carried on the hip like a handgun instead of dangling around the neck.
chip_atl Posted 11 years ago. Edited by chip_atl (member) 11 years ago
I use the double R-Strap for weddings and other events, so no lense changes. It is awesome, but after reading this thread, I will add checking it out thoroughly to my pre-event checklist. Thanks for the update.
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