Quick review: CarrySpeed DS-2 sling strap

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Full disclosure upfront: I was recently sent a couple of interesting camera straps by the folks at CarrySpeed/ Kroxmedia – the DS-2 is of the sling variety and has a fixed portion that goes diagonally around your shoulders as shown in the image above, and a sliding loop that holds your camera and allows it to rest around waist level, or be easily brought up to shooting position. There are quite a lot of similar products, which I’ve not really been too enamoured with for a couple of reasons: firstly, the camera connection point doesn’t have a quick release, which means that if you need to take it off or stow it, it’s not easy to do so; secondly, the hardware just doesn’t inspire confidence.

The DS-2 doesn’t have the second problem. It’s a very well made strap; perhaps over engineered in some ways – I feel there are just too many plastic loops and buckles through the webbing portion – but the thick neoprene padding with non-slip backing is certainly appreciated and spreads out the load nicely. There’s also a quick release buckle to allow you to detach the strap completely, which has a safety interlock to prevent accidental release and expensive crunching noises.

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The first problem is partially solved on all models through the use of a ball and locking threaded socket connector; the former screws into the tripod socket of your camera, and the latter is fixed to the strap with a metal loop. It’s easy to attach and detach when needed, but not easy to accidentally detach – and the locking screw has to be fully undone before the ball releases, which is a good half a dozen turns. If you’re a tripod user, there’s an optional Arca-compatible quick release plate whose ball swings out of the way when mounting; unfortunately, no joy to those of us who are stuck with the enormous 410PL plates Manfrotto uses on its geared heads.

Try as I might, I couldn’t find a way to get comfortable with this strap on my (mostly) tripod-based Nikons; it simply isn’t designed for that. However, I did find that it seemed to work best used on the Hasselblad 501C – where it now lives – because most of the time I shoot this handheld, and it simply isn’t comfortable around the neck or easy to swing into position when worn over one shoulder. The heavier weight of the camera helps to anchor it in place and stop it from moving around too much, too. I admit I was a bit nervous putting this much weight on the connection at first, and held a hand under the camera to cradle it in case it fell; I’ve since become much more comfortable and it now pretty much swings around freely. There’s one other little bonus I’ve discovered: the plain little knob-shaped quick release is useful for two things: firstly, on the Hasselblad, it helps me stabilize the camera because I’ve got somewhere to hook a finger around; secondly, it’s useful as a mini-monopod cum-ballhead when resting the camera on a table – just take it off the strap and use a hand to support it.

There are some cameras I probably wouldn’t use it on though – the smaller mirrorless cameras might swing around a bit because they’re not big enough or have lenses long enough to stay in place against your body; and be a bit careful with the digital Leica Ms, because their baseplates are not known to be the strongest – especially the small metal lip that hooks over the opposite end to the locking nut…

In short: if you’re looking for a sling-type strap, the CarrySpeed DS-2 does the job nicely. It’s a good product for street photographers and people who want to have the option of using both hands but at the same time have a camera in a comfortable quick-draw position. MT

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Comments

  1. Ming,

    http://www.hejnarphotostore.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=16_17

    Check out this site. It has an adapter so you can make your manfrotto geared head arca swiss compatible. I have the adapter for my 410 and it is wonderful.

  2. Dear Ming, Re: people buying cameras in the belief they will make them better photographers. If that were so, after 50 years of shooting, learning , and improvements in technology, I would be Ansel Adams or Ernst Haas (my favorite) by now!!

  3. I’ve put up a few photos of my DIY strap for anyone who is interested. https://jasonyoungers.com/?page_id=1942

  4. I’m not so worry about dropping my RB if I were to use this, my concern would be I might actually killed some kids running or anything comes in contact at my waist level. With the weight of my camera comes close to 3kg do you think it will hold?

    Kelvin

    • Good question – I’m not sure, it depends on the strength of your tripod mount…the ‘blad and larger lenses are upwards of 2kg, but I do cradle them with one hand when I walk.

  5. In case anyone is interested in making their own strap… not being happy with any of the commercial straps that I saw, I put one together for my own DSLR with some climbing webbing and a couple tri-glides, which you can pick up at any camping store. The camera hangs down to the side like this one, but it stays hugging against my side with the lens down and not swinging around. It can be slid around in front or behind me and still hugs in close. It can also be cinched up quickly in a crowd or if I need to climb (or run). My main criteria were that there could be no single points of failure. Other than the webbing itself getting cut, any part of it can break or come undone and the camera won’t fall. It also doesn’t interfere with using my RRS tripod bracket. If there’s interest in seeing it I could get some photos up online somewhere. The only tricky part is that you’ll have to tie two water knots in series, and it takes a little time to get the length just right.

  6. I have the 1st version of their CS Slim strap, which doesn’t come with the plate like the mark II version does, and it’s not terrible, but not great for my Sony NEX-5N. I have the Really Right Stuff Arca Swiss plate on the NEX, and have the strap attached to one of the RRS mini clamps so I can quickly attach and detach the strap, but it does bulk up the setup a bit. It works fine for street photography and walking about, though it can be a little fiddly to set up, and can bounce around if you’re running. I think I worry more about damaging the EVF attachment on the Sony when it bounces around more than anything else. The ball stem thing is a handy thing to hook your fingers around, which can help with stability too.

  7. Optech makes a very cheap similar strap: http://optechusa.com/straps/utility-strap-sling.html
    I use it regularly. It’s actually pretty decent. It attaches to the camera’s strap hooks, which feels more secure to me than the tripod mount, which isn’t made for that The nice thing about this strap is that it has a clip to detach the strap quickly from the camera. This clip is compatible with other optech straps, so it’s easy to switch from this sling to a hand strap, for example, or to switch the strap from one camera to another. I have one clip on my Canon 6D and one on my Olympus E-P3, so I can switch between strap type between both of those pretty quickly without having duplicates.

  8. Peter Kunzemann says:

    Dear Ming,
    the picture is mirror – reversed; is there a reason for that?
    By the way: I discovered your blog some weeks ago and read it regularly now – very informative and interesting!
    I really like your style of writing (and that of your pictures, too…) – congratulations!
    Thanks Peter

  9. Like you said, keeping camera in hand and strap as secondary support. As for the Speedmaster, bought myself a birthday present in 1968/9. Speedmaster Mark II for $195. I’ve worn virtually everyday since. INDESTRUCTABLE! The finest product I’ve ever owned.

  10. Michael Watkins says:

    In the past month I’ve seen one report of D800/E’s suffering from the bottom plate bending out of shape when used with tripod mount based sling carriers. Nikon refused to repair this damage under warranty, which is likely the right response although they should adjust their documentation accordingly and not recommend these types of carriers. In the one report I read the photographer related that Nikon originally had quoted a few hundred for the repair but later came back to state that the camera was not repairable at any price.

    Isolated event? Indicative of a build/design issue specific to the D800? Bad luck? Dunno… but I’m glad I don’t find the D800 and a heavy lens comfortable on a sling strap so I’m not going to find out.

    • Hmm, good to know. I can’t use it on my D800 anyway because of tripod plate requirements. The Hasselblad has its own proprietary base plate mounted to which normal 1/4 and 3/8 slots are drilled, and this looks pretty sturdy (and replaceable).

  11. Nice Speedmaster. ;-)

  12. Apparently, lens and body designers expect the tripod screw attachment to be used in compression, and do not design for strength in tension as these straps require. Also with most designs there is no way to lock the screw that would prevent detachment. As a result, I’ve seen some scary reports of destroyed cameras and lenses both by being dropped on the ground and by deformation. For example, a new Nikon digital body with the bottom base plate bent away from the camera creating a “totaled” camera with an unrepairable light leak covered up with black tape. Another example is that the foot attachment on the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lens is too weak and becomes deformed, although Really Right Stuff makes a stronger LCF-10P replacement. (Nikon lens foot plate is too thin and can bend and fail. Also foot plate quick release can fail allowing foot to unexpectedly detach.) Some recommend using a secondary safety strap from the shoulder strap to an eye lug to try to stop the fall when the tripod screw attachment unscrews or fails. Camera/lens manufacturer may regard this use as customer damage voiding the warranty. Not sure if insurance would cover the loss. Aren’t most of these sort of straps unlawful copies of a patented design? Are people really going to trust their expensive equipment to someone who is so flakey that they may even be basing their business on stollen intellectual property? Caveat emptor!

    • I don’t know exactly who patented what, but I believe the designs are not the same from what I’ve seen (I have friends who use the Black Rapid). As for security – the same applies to lug attachments and straps slipping out of plastic clips etc – the only really safe way is to have the camera in your hand at all times and treat the strap as a backup, which is pretty much what I do while shooting. If not, I’ll still have a hand cradling the camera even when not shooting/ over my shoulder, regardless of strap.

      • ITA they seem like different designs & progress is usually made by building from the last- I do like they they tried to reinforce the security & while this one was too cumbersome for me would try a lighter version if they made one in the future. I definitely would not call this stollen intellectual property as Black rapid was not the first to come up with a messenger strap style – they just marketed it well IMO & got their product placed in the marketplace so it is now used by many-there is always room for another good strap!

        • I don’t think people generally check on patents before they use a product. I’m not defending any party here – and if legal infringement has happened, then in the interests of defending intellectual property of creative parties, I’m going to condemn it – but it seems as though you have a bone to pick yet wish to hide behind an anonymous name. I suggest you either use your real name or take it up directly with them rather than using my site as a forum for your complaints. I will be moderating all subsequent replies to this.

      • Sorry if I have offended, but in reply to your concerns, I need make it clear that my only personal involvement is that I have purchased two Blackrapid straps for personal use. But, I was rather shocked and offended to see subsequently the rapid appearance of many different cheap rip-offs of their patented design. Find it surprising that photographers who are themselves so vulnerable to having their images stolen and reused without permission would mostly not care if they are doing essentially the same thing to an innovative small company by buying infringing knock offs.

        • I can certainly appreciate your concerns, but a) you wouldn’t walk into polite company to air them with a balaclava on, which is the digital equivalent of what you’re doing; b) it is not really clear who or what came first – chalk that up as much to marketing hubris as the end buyer. Whilst it’s easy to check if an image belongs to somebody else, it isn’t so straightforward to do the same on every patent held on everything you buy. I certainly don’t have the time to do this. I was sent a couple of straps, I reviewed them as a free service to my reader base because I thought somebody might find it interesting – reviews seem to be more popular than photography. I’m not defending either or any party or manufacturer, I’m just making it clear that you should take up the issue with the company, NOT ON MY SITE.

  13. I like the t-shirt in the photo. Do you have an Amazon link? :)

  14. I have the F-series for my 70-200. It comes with a small strap that connects to the camera body while the main connector attaches to the tripod mount on the 70-200. It’s not the most comfortable thing to be honest because the mounting plate digs into your thighs as you walk around (maybe the designed could round it out in the future). But I chose this strap for this feature: having two points supporting the camera as opposed to BR or customdslr. For the most part, I’m quite content with the product. It solves more problems than introduces. One thing you forgot to mention is their price. They’re plenty cheap compared to the competition.

    ps: the foldable plate may not work on some gripped cameras. It didn’t sit flush on my D600.

  15. I have two of these just sitting in my drawer. I do not like them at all. You should review the Custom SLR. I like that a lot better, even though it also has some flaws.

  16. I use the CustomSLR split glide strap with the M-Plate Pro as per here: http://www.customslr.com/products/glide-strap and here: http://www.customslr.com/products/m-plate-pro and this is a pretty fantastic combo for DSLR kit. The offset plate anchor point means that lenses don’t hang pointing down when worn on the hip and it is both Arca and Manfrotto compatible so can be thrown at virtually any quick release tripod. Seems to be much better suited to my style of half walkaround, half tripod based photography (also between different heads). The quick release buckles also make it easy to leave the camera on a tripod for instance and walk away.

    The only lens where that plate has become an issue is the TS-E 17mm I have where it can either get in the way of the movements or the adjustment knobs.

  17. I purchased this strap to looking for a replacement to the Black Rapid Strap I currently use but found it bulky & heavy so it sits in a drawer-Nice idea though!

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