Forums > Photography Talk > Your comments about my camera "strrap"

Photographer

realistgva

Posts: 440

Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland

I just posted a topic in the sales section for those interested to buy.

I would be very interested to get your feedback about my "strap". It was designed for event photographers carrying 2 body's and some extra gear.
If you are shooting in a studio it is definitely not for you.

Description on my web site: http://wp.me/p1NCG1-h6

here a video I posted on youtube
http://youtu.be/_zdcAe9QYCc

Looking forward what you have to say

Apr 21 13 11:06 pm Link

Photographer

Keith Allen Phillips

Posts: 3512

Sacramento, California, US

You wouldn't ever catch me strapping myself into something like that. I don't do it much anymore but I used to shoot mostly street stuff. Days when I shot huge events like Mardi Gras, Bike Week or something like that I'd walk from morning to night with a couple of cameras and maybe a hip pack for a flash, batteries, film/cards, etc. Regular old camera straps did all I needed them to and were plenty comfortable enough for me. You're conspicuous enough carrying around giant cameras but you go and add in some tactical vest looking thing and it's just a little much IMHO.

Your video link isn't currently working BTW.

Apr 21 13 11:35 pm Link

Photographer

realistgva

Posts: 440

Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland

Kieth,

Thanks for your feedback. I did fix the link. Regarding the look for a weeding I did actually wear it under my suit jacket and it worked fine. Down to the hip I looked like any guest. There where obviously 2 cameras hanging there. It is really all about comfort when wearing this for sporting events where I run around for 2-4 hours.
With the media Jackets we have to wear I look just like any other photographer.

Apr 21 13 11:57 pm Link

Photographer

Bearz Images

Posts: 816

Asheville, North Carolina, US

Nothing wrong with experimenting, good luck with it.

Apr 22 13 12:17 am Link

Photographer

Keith Allen Phillips

Posts: 3512

Sacramento, California, US

After watching the video it looks even less appealing. I think I'd literally feel claustrophobic in that thing. I'm sure there are plenty of people who will be into it so don't take anything I say with a grain of salt:)

Apr 22 13 12:21 am Link

Photographer

SuperWink

Posts: 167

Carlsbad, California, US

Post hidden on Apr 22, 2013 12:37 am
Reason: not helpful

Apr 22 13 12:30 am Link

Photographer

MC Photo

Posts: 4144

New York, New York, US

realistgva wrote:
I just posted a topic in the sales section for those interested to buy.

I would be very interested to get your feedback about my "strap". It was designed for event photographers carrying 2 body's and some extra gear.
If you are shooting in a studio it is definitely not for you.

Description on my web site: http://wp.me/p1NCG1-h6

here a video I posted on youtube
http://youtu.be/_zdcAe9QYCc

Looking forward what you have to say

I'd be embarrassed to wear something like that. I use a think tank strap with the adjustable part removed. I have something between the metal loop and the camera. I hold the camera I'm using, the other one goes over one shoulder and because the strap is as short as possible hangs tight and doesn't flop around,

While carrying one camera, I've had conversations with photographers who didn't realize I had a camera on my shoulder. It's that small.

Apr 22 13 01:31 am Link

Photographer

realistgva

Posts: 440

Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland

Thanks for your comments. It is definitely not designed for everybody.

Here is a link where you see me wearing it.
https://plus.google.com/104945048045602 … Bdjjaegakh
This was the first prototype not the new one which is even smaller.

As a sport shooter it is definitely kinder on the back than any other strap we have ever tried.

Apr 22 13 02:04 am Link

Photographer

Digitoxin

Posts: 13345

Houston, Texas, US

I would feel like a dweeb wearing that getup to an event.  Maybe it would be fine if I was a war correspondent or something but, I would personally not wear it to cover a black tie function at the local museum.  My personal belief (many others will disagree) is that photographers get their best images when they blend into the environment as much as possible.  This rig absolutely prohibits that unless you are in a war zone with soldiers or covering an event about photographers.

Apr 22 13 03:45 am Link

Photographer

PhillipM

Posts: 6545

Martin, Tennessee, US

Good luck, and nice job for trying to think out of the box.

Apr 22 13 04:20 am Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7239

New York, New York, US

I think it's pretty cool~ It is kind of military/tactical looking but so what. If it gives you comfort and you can get the gear you need on there that's the point. The appearance would not be very welcome at some black tie events but who goes to those anyway?.. haha  I like it, I hate hanging the camera from my fat neck it's very uncomfortable after an hour.

Send me one so I can try it out for you...haha

Apr 22 13 04:34 am Link

Photographer

realistgva

Posts: 440

Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland

PhillipM wrote:
Good luck, and nice job for trying to think out of the box.

Thanks. MM photographers audience is not the main target for this product. Reading the comments is definitely interesting keep them coming.

I made my self and another photographer very happy and that is the important part.

Talking about  being visible I am not sure this is more discrete http://www.cottoncarrier.com/
or this http://www.blackrapid.com/products/double-slim

Apr 22 13 04:38 am Link

Photographer

MC Seoul Photography

Posts: 449

Seoul, Seoul, Korea (South)

I've seen people wearing..well similar things at events. I've walked by birthday parties and such that had a pro there shooting the event(1st birthday, big in Korea) and some of them have had fairly involved waste deals with pouches and pockets and things all over it.
But they were wandering all over trying to get moving shots of the kid and parents, etc and needed immediate access to things.

If you're more concerned with how you look than having the right gear stored easily at the right minute..well you're doing it wrong.

Apr 22 13 08:46 am Link

Photographer

Image Works Photography

Posts: 2890

Orlando, Florida, US

It looks more of an impairement to me than an additional help. I have seen in the past all kinds of straps with even vests. I find it amusing. I still haven't seen any photographers use them.

Apr 22 13 08:55 am Link

Photographer

fullmetalphotographer

Posts: 2784

Fresno, California, US

To me it looks like the LowProw Harness system which I have use. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8261/8671527637_62d198ee09_m.jpg
$(KGrHqEOKi8E35f3Pk6NBOCNyE5k!!~~_1 by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/fullmetalphotographer/]http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1024889
http://www.surfbirds.com/community-blog … shoulders/

I never was never a fan of the black rapid system. Maybe because in the early days it was famous dropping cameras and in general I don't like using a tripod mount in that fashion.

I prefer the upstrap.
http://www.upstrap-pro.com/category/LPS.html

What I do not like about the system you have so far it seems like cameras will hangup on other equipment on the harness. Also it looks like you dependent on black rapid and other camera carrying gear from other companies.

Having done a lot of sports shooting and photojournalism there have been times I need to quickly hand off a camera being tied to me seems a pain.

Apr 22 13 08:58 am Link

Photographer

realistgva

Posts: 440

Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland

MC Seoul Photography wrote:
I've seen people wearing..well similar things at events. I've walked by birthday parties and such that had a pro there shooting the event(1st birthday, big in Korea) and some of them have had fairly involved waste deals with pouches and pockets and things all over it.
But they were wandering all over trying to get moving shots of the kid and parents, etc and needed immediate access to things.

If you're more concerned with how you look than having the right gear stored easily at the right minute..well you're doing it wrong.

I shoot pro sports for 2 team and run around everywhere: Please take pictures of the VIP, run down to the filed for the kick off, greet a birthday party, follow the mascot around, take pictures of what ever happens at the break in the concourse and on the field, ... make sure you get some action shots as well

This means we run around for usually 3-4hours with literately no break. We need all our equipment ready and available at hand right there.
Forgetting something in the football stadium can easily be a 500m run to grab what you did forget.

When you have done that a few times how you look is rather irrelevant. How practical and how pain free you feel at the end of the game are key. And it does deliver on both of these objectives.

Again when I wear it under a suit jacket (without all the extra pouches for gear) it does not look more intrusive than a black rapid or other camera strap. Only the waist belt shows that I am wearing something strange.

Apr 22 13 09:00 am Link

Photographer

Warren Leimbach

Posts: 2676

Tampa, Florida, US

Intriguing.  I am always in favor of guys trying to make something better.

Best thing is the straps look cushy and comfortable.   But they seem overbuilt for my needs and the back piece looks like it would be a bit hot which is a deal breaker in Florida.  I use waist pouches which do tend to pull my pants down so I think you may have identified a real need there and a suspender strap or two could be a good idea, but these look kind of bulky and oversized.  It's not a 60 pound backpack.  I might walk around with 15 pounds at the most.

Might work well for daily journalists.

Apr 22 13 09:24 am Link

Photographer

realistgva

Posts: 440

Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland

fullmetalphotographer wrote:
To me it looks like the LowProw Harness system which I have use. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8261/8671527637_62d198ee09_m.jpg
$(KGrHqEOKi8E35f3Pk6NBOCNyE5k!!~~_1 by [url=http://www.flickr.com/people/fullmetalphotographer/]http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1024889
http://www.surfbirds.com/community-blog … shoulders/

I never was never a fan of the black rapid system. Maybe because in the early days it was famous dropping cameras and in general I don't like using a tripod mount in that fashion.

I prefer the upstrap.
http://www.upstrap-pro.com/category/LPS.html

What I do not like about the system you have so far it seems like cameras will hangup on other equipment on the harness. Also it looks like you dependent on black rapid and other camera carrying gear from other companies.

Having done a lot of sports shooting and photojournalism there have been times I need to quickly hand off a camera being tied to me seems a pain.

Yes the lowepro was also one of the systems I tried. I never felt really happy with it. There are many things that did not feel right with it. The main issue is that it will put most of the weight om the shoulders and very little on the back.

The only BR stuff I depend on is the screw to attach to the camera body. I use that for now since it is the most commonly available. It can be replaced by any other camera screw you are happy with. If you have one that you recommend please let me know. I would like to evaluate it.

To take a camera off takes 5 seconds if I remove it from the strap and 15 if I turn the strap into a regular camera strap by unhooking the 2 sides of the strap.

In the pre-production model there are 2 attachments which are in the way and they have already been moved out of the way like on the original model where they never get in the way.

For pouches the system is compatible with Lowe and Think Tank or any system with attachments which open up. After more testing the open buckles are more pain than gain. we are right now evaluating another option for people who really want to attach their camera pouches on there. It is not a plan to compete with these vendors their systems are good enough and hard to improve on.

Interesting one of the users who tested it was using 2 up-straps and he has pre-ordered one of these (again being around the same sport field we tend to have the same issue)

Warren Leimbach wrote:
Intriguing.  I am always in favor of guys trying to make something better.

Best thing is the straps look cushy and comfortable.   But they seem overbuilt for my needs and the back piece looks like it would be a bit hot which is a deal breaker in Florida.  I use waist pouches which do tend to pull my pants down so I think you may have identified a real need there and a suspender strap or two could be a good idea, but these look kind of bulky and oversized.  It's not a 60 pound backpack.  I might walk around with 15 pounds at the most.

Might work well for daily journalists.

Thanks we have taken down your comment and will plan some testing in FL or Asia in extreme heat and humidity we will also add death valley to the list of test locations.

Interesting because your comment about bulk and heat is something we do get from many of the people who see it. Interestingly once they try it on these concerns are replaced by just the overall comfort. The I live in Switzerland where heat it is not an issue most of the year. That being said I had recently a photo shoot with a model in the park and I was wearing it under my backpack and did actually sweat less than usual.

And yes we know the feeling of the dropping pants. The first prototype had actually 2 velcro straps on the back which you could fit around your regular belt to keep the pants up. In our case to avoid showing too much of our but and getting cold down there.


Thank you all for taking the time to review the page and video and your comments they have been very helpful and will help us to make it even better. We will also take more pictures of the gear in use and post some videos to try to address some of your concerns. I am fully aware that most of the people here will never be interested in what we created. It is for a very specific audience so please keep on trowing comments suggestions our way

Apr 22 13 11:12 am Link

Photographer

fullmetalphotographer

Posts: 2784

Fresno, California, US

realistgva wrote:
Having done a lot of sports shooting and photojournalism there have been times I need to quickly hand off a camera being tied to me seems a pain.
Yes the lowepro was also one of the systems I tried. I never felt really happy with it. There are many things that did not feel right with it. The main issue is that it will put most of the weight om the shoulders and very little on the back.

The only BR stuff I depend on is the screw to attach to the camera body. I use that for now since it is the most commonly available. It can be replaced by any other camera screw you are happy with. If you have one that you recommend please let me know. I would like to evaluate it.

To take a camera off takes 5 seconds if I remove it from the strap and 15 if I turn the strap into a regular camera strap by unhooking the 2 sides of the strap.

In the pre-production model there are 2 attachments which are in the way and they have already been moved out of the way like on the original model where they never get in the way.

For pouches the system is compatible with Lowe and Think Tank or any system with attachments which open up. After more testing the open buckles are more pain than gain. we are right now evaluating another option for people who really want to attach their camera pouches on there. It is not a plan to compete with these vendors their systems are good enough and hard to improve on.

Interesting one of the users who tested it was using 2 up-straps and he has pre-ordered one of these (again being around the same sport field we tend to have the same issue)

I think you have an interesting product, but I would not market it as a camera strap but as photo harness. The other thing to beware of because this product is similar to lowpro and thinktank you may have patten issues. I have shot a lot of pro sports like PBA, NFL, NHL, soccer, motor sports and baseball, also lots of journalism. So I suggest speeding up the camera switching process. I think have an interesting concept but it still needs a lot of refining.

Apr 22 13 11:56 am Link

Photographer

realistgva

Posts: 440

Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland

fullmetalphotographer wrote:
I think you have an interesting product, but I would not market it as a camera strap but as photo harness. The other thing to beware of because this product is similar to lowpro and thinktank you may have patten issues. I have shot a lot of pro sports like PBA, NFL, NHL, soccer, motor sports and baseball, also lots of journalism. So I suggest speeding up the camera switching process. I think have an interesting concept but it still needs a lot of refining.

Yes we will definitely label it as a harness or carrier not a strap. I don't believe we are infringing on an pattens as part of the design.

What do you mean by speeding up the camera switching process ? I can go from 1 camera to the other in 3 seconds or less depending on the lens. "dropping" the camera with the 400mm lens is a bad idea because it gain some momentum and feel really heavy.

You are referring exactly to the type of environment we did build this system for.

Having used it for 4 month and 20+ games I am hard pressed to find any major things to refine. The version 2 has some minor things that we have addressed. It is hard to see how we can make it better.

Please feel free to add your thoughts

Apr 22 13 12:11 pm Link

Photographer

Will Snizek Photography

Posts: 1387

Beckley, West Virginia, US

I definitely think you are onto something.  I've seen quite a few harness systems and they all seem to have more flaws than yours.

Apr 22 13 01:19 pm Link

Photographer

Yingwah Productions

Posts: 1341

New York, New York, US

I shoot sports as well and do alot of camping/hiking. The system looks nicely built with high quality material.


One thing I'd like is if the waist part was detachable for when you don't have to carry alot, and maybe some small pockets on upper part of shoulder straps to stick extra memory card. On the smaller strap at the waist where you're attaching packs, I'd want it to be one long loop so i can slide the pack to the back out of the way, and slide it around to the front for access.


One question I have is what do you do outside of the event you're shooting? all your camera gear is packed in a case or bag but you have to carry this harness and empty hip pouches.

Apr 22 13 03:27 pm Link

Photographer

A-M-P

Posts: 18211

Orlando, Florida, US

I'm sorry that thing looks atrocious  I have seen straps to carry two bodies and don't look like bulletproof vests. I would never wear such a thing definitely not for shooting events.

Apr 22 13 04:31 pm Link

Photographer

realistgva

Posts: 440

Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland

Yingwah Productions wrote:
I shoot sports as well and do alot of camping/hiking. The system looks nicely built with high quality material.


One thing I'd like is if the waist part was detachable for when you don't have to carry alot, and maybe some small pockets on upper part of shoulder straps to stick extra memory card. On the smaller strap at the waist where you're attaching packs, I'd want it to be one long loop so i can slide the pack to the back out of the way, and slide it around to the front for access.


One question I have is what do you do outside of the event you're shooting? all your camera gear is packed in a case or bag but you have to carry this harness and empty hip pouches.

Thanks for the compliments it. You really got us thinking there with your feedback.
Making it detachable is intriguing we are checking if this is technically possible. The Belt on its own I think personally is too big (as a belt only we could make it smaller and be like all the vendors out there).


This really only works because of the rigid back and the big belt to diffuse the pressure.

Loop around the waist. Yes it is a brilliant Idea. Think tank make it like that. It only works on a belt system ours is too wide for that. not attaching our loop would work but only for light gear one you have a 70-200f2.8 or 100-400 f4 it just pulls it down in a nasty way.

We are looking at all your  suggestions and see if we can enhance our product. We don't want to compromise the overall comfort. This means that you may have to use/buy another belt and strap when you go for a "light" assignment.

As far a travel to the location all my gear fits inside my Think Tank Airport Take-off. Except for the 400mm. The harness is held tight together and held together by the waist belt. I just slip it over my handle. If I don't have to walk too far I hand hold my 70-400 and pull my bag behind me. If there is a long walk, shuttle bus, .. I attach the pouch with the 70-400 to the harness and wear it over 1 shoulder.

For "light assignments or where I need to be mobile everything fits inside my Lowepro fastpack 350 and I wear this under the backpack.

Apr 23 13 01:46 am Link

Photographer

SayCheeZ!

Posts: 18019

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

The good:

It appears that you really thought this out. The flexible metal support is the item that should be highlighted in all advertising and marketing.  It's one of the things that makes this particular product stand out from the competitors.

It does hold a lot of stuff, even cases from other companies.

It does fill a need for a certain niche of photographers.



The bad:

It probably is as comfortable as you claim, but it LOOKS uncomfortable.  Only 'educated' customers would even try it.  The average customer doesn't want to take the time to be 'educated' about the product, therefore would would try (and may end up purchasing) a competing product that LOOKS more comfortable but really isn't, without even considering yours.

Ease of use wasn't apparent on the video... there was a moment where even you had a problem getting the camera.

Not an 'all in one' solution.  The harness was your products, the cases (and some of the straps?) were products by other companies.  This may or may not be a selling point.

Although padding was mentioned, there didn't seem to be allot of it.  Stretchable neoprene may even necessary for key areas of the harness.



Some changes that probably need to be made for marketing and production:

You joked about the product being a scuba device.  that comment is more of a deterrent and should have been left out, BUT, you could actually change that statement around by highlighting how the harness is based on SCUBA technology and really make the product stand out and maybe even make it the primary focus of your marketing!

You can do this by showing how SCUBA divers have to have a harness (BCD) that can carry heavy and bulky objects (a tank or two, along with breathing apparatus, gauges, knives, flashlights, cameras... etc) while still being comfortable and allowing extreme freedom of movement, and then relating how your device will do the same for photographers.


The next prototype needs to be made of different colors.  One color to show the straps, another color to show the harness, maybe even another color to show where the padding is.  This will make it much easier for the viewer to see how it's made.

Similar to making the prototype in different colors, production items should come in different colors or designs.  I can see a camouflage design being popular (I think field photographers would be a primary target demographic).

Have a version where the word "PRESS PHOTOGRAPHER" is printed on the back piece and you'll sell a bunch of 'em just for that reason alone.

As previously mentioned, it's great that it holds cases and accessories by other manufacturers, but the general public probably wants an 'all in one' solution. They'll probably want a unit with the extra cases or accessories included or available by you.
This would be a great reason for licensing a deal with another case manufacturer to either sell your product under their name and/or vice versa.

Apr 23 13 07:43 am Link

Photographer

Yingwah Productions

Posts: 1341

New York, New York, US

realistgva wrote:
Thanks for the compliments it. You really got us thinking there with your feedback.
Making it detachable is intriguing we are checking if this is technically possible. The Belt on its own I think personally is too big (as a belt only we could make it smaller and be like all the vendors out there).

mainly you just need a wider lumbar pad at the back, and the belt can attach to it.

You should look at military packs, you can detach the pack and keep the harness if suddenly need to shed weight for fighting


realistgva wrote:
Loop around the waist. Yes it is a brilliant Idea. Think tank make it like that. It only works on a belt system ours is too wide for that. not attaching our loop would work but only for light gear one you have a 70-200f2.8 or 100-400 f4 it just pulls it down in a nasty way.

You need to offset a stitch. If front is 12 o'clock, put a stitch at 7-7:30 shouldn't have a sagging problem

Apr 23 13 09:00 am Link

Photographer

Trisha Bowyer

Posts: 1311

Martinsburg, West Virginia, US

Those will probably sell but good luck marketing that to women (or anyone with boobs who doesn't want to make that kind of fashion statement. I suppose that's not limited to gender per say.) I can see that look working for things like sports where in my experience the more you can scream "i'm being paid to photograph this, get out the way" with you're look, the better. For black tie events type work....mmmm...it doesn't work IMO.

Apr 23 13 11:08 am Link

Photographer

MFS Modelphilia

Posts: 402

Hilo, Hawaii, US

I never went further than the image with two long-lensed cameras hanging on the sides of the belt. That's enough to tell me i wouldn't want to use it and run such a great risk of damage to the equipment. I'd want the cameras closer to hand in any case, and protected by my body in a crowded situation.

Apr 23 13 12:49 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

Robb Mann

Posts: 10650

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Have you thought about going yo Kickstarter to get start-up funds and see how much interest there might be out there? Looks like a marketable product.

Apr 23 13 04:54 pm Link

Photographer

realistgva

Posts: 440

Plan-les-Ouates, Geneva, Switzerland

Robb Mann wrote:
Have you thought about going yo Kickstarter to get start-up funds and see how much interest there might be out there? Looks like a marketable product.

Yes we did consider Kickstarter, we have worked with the manufacturer and we get a decent prices of production lots of 12 units only.
The first 12 orders are almost filled. We are still refining some details and will then decide if we order 12 or 24.
Interesting enough we intended it for sport shooter but we go a few photographers who shoot work like yours on location who are also interested.

Yingwah Productions wrote:
You should look at military packs, you can detach the pack and keep the harness if suddenly need to shed weight for fighting

You need to offset a stitch. If front is 12 o'clock, put a stitch at 7-7:30 shouldn't have a sagging problem

We are looking at both options not sure that we will have a definitive answer for the first order. This may require another prototype and more testing. Thanks again for the great suggestions

Trisha Bowyer wrote:
Those will probably sell but good luck marketing that to women (or anyone with boobs who doesn't want to make that kind of fashion statement. I suppose that's not limited to gender per say.) I can see that look working for things like sports where in my experience the more you can scream "i'm being paid to photograph this, get out the way" with you're look, the better. For black tie events type work....mmmm...it doesn't work IMO.

I hear you on that M-oobs are not the most elegant thing Since it really acts like a backpack you don't see it except if you lead the straps across your chest (not sure why you would do that anyway)

Following your comments we will try to post a gallery of before after and more in situation to show that it is actually a lot less visible than it looks.

You have all been providing great feedback. some was tough love but as they say "If you have nobody against you there won't be anybody with you".
We made it to solve our problem and are very happy to share it with others

Apr 24 13 02:34 am Link

Photographer

Steven Bodo

Posts: 453

Seattle, Washington, US

so you custom made a vest for yourself because what's already available on the market didn't fit you. cool.

I also sometimes customize certain items that i don't like straight out of the box. I guess a lot of people do.

Apr 24 13 10:36 am Link