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Camera Strap System

What is a Camera Strap "System"? It's when you have a collection of different straps that are interchangeable with the various cameras you have. I typically buy aftermarket straps as they are more comfortable than the straps that you get with your camera. And with my camera, I can use different straps with different cameras.

I like to disconnect my straps from my cameras when I put them into the camera bag as they store easier, and you can carry a minimum of straps - as little as a single strap, yet use them with multiple cameras.

 

 

The heart of the system is the camera connectors. For compact cameras, I use Optech's Mini QD connectors, and for the DSLRs, I use OpTech's UniLoops.

 


OpTech Mini QD Loops

OpTech Uni Loops

 

Note that the Mini QD Loops come with 2 pair, enough for two cameras. However, the UniLoops come as 1 pair, with 1 Male and 1 Female. You will not use the Male ends, so you have to buy two sets for each DSLR. This kind of gets expensive after awhile. OpTech's UniLoop strap system is kind of hokey, which is why they supply one Male and one Female.

 

News Flash

The UniLoop Female ends are compatible with Tamrac's camera straps - other than needing 2 Females, as the Tamrac straps have 2 Male connectors.

 

You will also need a minimum of 1 Tamrac camera strap, such as a Tamrac N45 Brown Leather Padded Quick Release Camera Strap. Tamrac makes many straps; so ensure it has the quick release buckles as you will need them.

Step 1: Loop a set of UniLoops on your DSLR's strap eyelet. As mentioned, you will have to buy 2 sets of UniLoops to get 2 Female ends. The Tamrac strap can now be connected to the DSLR without having to use the adapter pieces.

Step 2: Likewise, loop a set of Mini QD Loops on your Compact Camera's strap eyelet. The female ends of the Mini QD Loops will be used in the next step.

Step 3: Thread the Tamrac strap adapters that are left over with the female ends of the Mini QD Loops. These adapters are used to connect the Tamrac strap to the compact camera.

At this point, you should have the connectors and adapters as shown. The adapters are only used for connecting a compact camera to a standard Tamrac strap.

You can connect additional Mini QD Loops to a camera bag if you wish. Here I have connected a set of Mini QD Loops to a Think Tank Modular Pouch. I store my Nikon P7000 in this pouch, but the pouch is too small to fit a strap and a camera inside. So I can connect the strap to the outside of the bag when I carry the camera.

       

This not only converts the bag into a shoulder or sling pouch, but when I take the camera out of the bag, I can reconnect the strap to the camera, and since the bag is thin enough, I can fold the bag up and put it in my pocket.

I have also purchased several different types of small straps - some of which already come with OpTech Mini QD Loops, and have outfitted my other cameras as well. Even my Olympus waterproof camera participates in the strap system. I had to modify the floating wrist strap with a Mini QD Loop but that was easy enough to do as we have access to an industrial canvas work sewing machine.


 

Sling Strap
 

I really like the Black Rapid style sling straps for my DSLR. Although I bought a cheaper version, it behaves just like the Black Rapid version. With the UniLoops attached to the camera, I can just leave them dangling from the strap eyelet when I wish to use the sling strap.

You can buy sling style straps here for a lot less than the Black Rapid brand: Sling Straps. I bought mine for less than $20.

However, one criticism with the sling straps is that they tend to slide down your shoulder. This was prevented by a visit to a good canvas shop where I bought the necessary Nylon hardware to add an auxiliary strap to the sling strap as shown.

It is a tremendous improvement. And since I had an extra set of UniLoops, I attached one to the sling strap mounting plate, this time using the Male/Female connector pair. And with a clip on the end, I can simply clip it to my belt loop, which prevents the camera from banging around when I use the sling strap.

The detail of the mounting plate reveals a really nice, beefy plate. I actually prefer it to the Black Rapid buttons as you can use a tripod on this plate without having to remove it.

That is my strap system. Hopefully you can figure out a few uses for the UniLoop and Mini QD Loop connectors and devise your own strap system.