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I'm going on a walking safari in Zambia in the autumn, guided (I need someone to make sure I don't get eaten) but we're looking at between 3 and 6 hours walking per day.

 

I really don't like neck straps, and the Black Rapid means you need one hand on the camera to stop it bouncing against your thigh as you walk.

 

I've found the Cotton Carriers systems - particularly the G3 and the Skout. Do any of you have experience of them? Is the Skout capable of carrying a 7DII and a 100-400 lens? Are they comfortable to wear? Do you know of a better alternative?

 

Any feedback will be much appreciated

 

Thank you

Russell

 

 

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I have one of these type of straps:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Focus-F-1-Black-Shoulder-Belt-Camera-Strap-Quick-Rapid-Neck-Sling-for-SLR-DSLR/332597583588?epid=10017157828&hash=item4d705c5ee4:g:YiIAAOSw8BRat4Ct:rk:27:pf:0

(which I guess is the same idea as the Black Rapid)

 

It has locking sliders which alter the position of where the camera hangs.. so you can have it at your hip or more to your front.

 

I hate neck straps too.. kills my neck within about an hour.

 

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Russell

After a lot of research, I've just taken delivery of a Sun-Sniper Pro to dangle the same kit from my shoulder, it takes a great leap of faith!!! 

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/SUN-SNIPER-Professional-Camera-ROTABALL-SSN-RB-PRO-x/dp/B01DUK91OM

 

Expensive but there's a lot at risk.

 

Steven

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I have a sort of waistcoat thing that the camera attaches to. Looks totally naff, but works very well with the Canon equivalent of your kit.

Unfortunately, neither the site I bought it from nor the manufacturer seem to stock it now, but if you can find something like that, it might work for you.

(From what I've heard from people who have done walking safaris, they enjoyed the experience far more than a vehicle safari, but all said you seldom get as near to the wildlife)

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Your talking about this made me hurt in remembrance. I didn’t make it past an hour at the San Diego zoo,  Nikon and 80-400 in a sling bag or in my hands.

Betty

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I use the Op/Tech shoulder strap version of the similar design to those mentioned such as the Black Rapid, with a Nikon D750 and heavy Sigma 150-600 and must have walked hundreds of miles with it with no problem. It becomes second nature just to hang an arm down with the slightest of contact to stop it bouncing. No need to hold it or make any physical effort to take any of the weight.

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Posted (edited)

I have a Lowepro Toploader. They come in different lengths; mine is a 65 AW and is adequate for my needs but a longish telephoto would require a longer one. They have several options for carrying: belt loop, shoulder strap, backpack. The internal vertical dimension of the 75 AW is 29.2cm.

https://www.lowepro.com/global/toploader-pro-75-aw-ii-lp36774-pww/

Edited by DDoug
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Thanks for your feedback everyone. The consensus seems to be some variant of a shoulder strap with the camera hanging on the hip.

 

As I mentioned in the original post I have a Black Rapid, and it's fine in some situations, and as Avpics says its not hard to steady the camera with one hand, but I still find that a long lens bangs against my hip/upper thigh and is quite uncomfortable after a couple of hours.

 

Hence my interest in the Cotton Carrier systems, which as Cryptoprocta says probably make you look completely naff, but out in the bush who cares? I'm just wondering if the work before splashing out £100+ on one.

 

Thanks again for your replies

Russell

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Possibly you may need to conjure up something to suit your needs like a bungee cord round the waist and lens?

  

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I've had a Black Rapid for years, but just got a newer one. Not only is the shoulder strap more comfortable, if I'm doing a lot of walking, but it also has an extra strap that comes under your off arm. It doesn't stop the bouncing but keeps it from sliding around so much. I have gotten so used to keeping my right hand on the camera while I walk - ready to shoot mode, that I don't really notice it anymore. 

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I spend a lot of time hiking with backpacks and cameras,  this is what I use with a canon 100-400 . It can be adjusted to get the camera off your hip and onto your chest if that's what you want . Now!!!! here's the cute little trick I use . When you want to take the backpack on or off unclip the lower clip and clip it onto the same top  D ring this puts  both clips on the same side so you can remove the backpack without removing the camera . I don't think you will find a better system if you are going to carry cameras long distances .  Cheers and Gone Shergar 

 

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FWIW, I use a normal neck strap but hang the camera on my (right) shoulder, not around the neck, with the camera "turned in", i.e. the lens pointing towards my lower back/bum rather than pointing away from my body. It minimises the camera swinging about (for me - might be my big bum, mind).

 

Perhaps give that a go before shelling out for another solution?

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Posted (edited)

I've never seen the attraction of camera straps that attach to the tripod bush on the bottom of the camera. I imagine the camera must bounce around much more. I see nothing wrong with the strap that came with the camera, fixed to the two lugs provided for the purpose, over the shoulder as Russell describes above. 

Can anyone enlighten me?

Edited by Phil Robinson

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34 minutes ago, Phil Robinson said:

I've never seen the attraction of camera straps that attach to the tripod bush on the bottom of the camera. I imagine the camera must bounce around much more. I see nothing wrong with the strap that came with the camera, fixed to the two lugs provided for the purpose, over the shoulder as Russell describes above. 

Can anyone enlighten me?

 I shoulder carry as well

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Interesting, there are clearly many ways to skin this particular cat. I guess it all comes down to personal preference.

 

The setup that I plan to take weighs 2.6Kg (5.75 lbs). My neck could not take carrying that weight around all day in the bush.

 

I quite like the idea of the Black Rapid/Rucksack combination, but as the video shows, you still need to keep one hand on the camera to steady it.

 

I also like the idea of the Cotton Carrier G3, but I think I'd feel such a prat I'd never use it.

 

So I'm looking at the Toploader, which offers a variety of carrying positions and has the additional advantage of keeping the dust off when travelling in the open jeep on dirt/sand road.

 

Unless of course someone comes up with an even better idea!

 

I'll let you know what I decide.

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40 minutes ago, Phil Robinson said:

I've never seen the attraction of camera straps that attach to the tripod bush on the bottom of the camera. I imagine the camera must bounce around much more. I see nothing wrong with the strap that came with the camera, fixed to the two lugs provided for the purpose, over the shoulder as Russell describes above. 

Can anyone enlighten me?

That hasn't worked quite so well for me since I broke my collar bone on my strap carrying shoulder!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Phil Robinson said:

I've never seen the attraction of camera straps that attach to the tripod bush on the bottom of the camera. I imagine the camera must bounce around much more. I see nothing wrong with the strap that came with the camera, fixed to the two lugs provided for the purpose, over the shoulder as Russell describes above. 

Can anyone enlighten me?

How do you get on shooting that way, or do you unhitch it from your shoulder? My usual set-up is two cameras, each on a strap crossed over each shoulder and a backpack. The benefit of these various systems is that they slide up the strap to your shooting position with the minimum of friction, and there is never any risk of them leaving your shoulder. Regarding the lugs, my system does use the lugs on the body as opposed to the thread but there is the issue with the weight of the lens (nearly 3kg for the 150-600) hanging on the body mount which has me thinking of changing.

Edited by Avpics

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50 minutes ago, Phil Robinson said:

I've never seen the attraction of camera straps that attach to the tripod bush on the bottom of the camera. I imagine the camera must bounce around much more. I see nothing wrong with the strap that came with the camera, fixed to the two lugs provided for the purpose, over the shoulder as Russell describes above. 

Can anyone enlighten me?

 

Those types of straps are really only any good when attached to the tripod collar of big heavy lenses like the Canon 100-400, so the weight of the lens does not damage the camera's lens mount.

I tend to just cradle my canon 100-400 on my left forearm with the camera body sat in the palm of my left hand, my  right hand on the camera grip. that way I'm ready to quickly put the lens to use, and no camera/lens strap fatigue.

Parm

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Posted (edited)

With a very long lens esp like a 150-600, the OP's 100-400 is maybe more marginal, I would be using a monopod in the lens tripod bush anyway (essential in the days before IS). In that case I would carry it over my shoulder like a brickie's mate's hod; lens pointing down my back. Easy to swap shoulders to share the load or to bring it into use if you keep the monopod extended; just make sure it is well padded. You can also carry it by one's side, in the hand with straight arm with the lens pointing down (as soldiers do with heavy guns), monopod is probably better unextended in that case. I don't think my neck and shoulder would cope with it on a strap these days!

 

I used to shoot sport, and you will often see sports photographers carrying them that way at events. At a motor-racing, rowing or cross-country equestrian event for example I would cover many miles. Perhaps not as many as a day walking on safari, but with a major course being several miles round I would cover it at least once, often more, during a day. Bear in mind I would also go back to the media centre to upload between the main races. I reckon I would do at least 8-10 miles a day.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Phil Robinson said:

I've never seen the attraction of camera straps that attach to the tripod bush on the bottom of the camera. I imagine the camera must bounce around much more. I see nothing wrong with the strap that came with the camera, fixed to the two lugs provided for the purpose, over the shoulder as Russell describes above. 

Can anyone enlighten me?

Can anyone enlighten me?

 

Hope so!!!

 

The OP said that he was going on a walking Safari. If I was him I would be using hiking poles (you really need them for balance crossing streams, rocky ground, up and down hills etc)  You need your hands free for the poles and not to be worrying about your camera slipping off your shoulder in the middle of a stream full of slippery rocks. The problem with a shoulder strap and a backpack is you have 2 shoulder straps on the same shoulder and that doesn't really work. Back to the Black Rabid system, as I have said you can adjust it so it is high up off your hip and against your torso it doesn't move around much like that . The OP will thank me when he's being chased by a lion and he's flying into the back of a jeep. Last week I was out walking  and using hiking poles as the pole went down I heard a rattlesnake, the pole was where my foot was going to go. Happy ending!!!!!!

Edited by Shergar
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Hi Russell,

Can only add experiences with the original Cotton Carrier looks almost exactly, like the G3 you mention.  Have used it maybe 5 times max.   It worked well on a cooler day with more clothes on, fleecy, jacket (extra padding) made for a comfortable snug fit.  Also had a backpack on,  Found it uncomfortable  especially the straps on the shoulders wearing it on a thin shirt or any thin fabric. On a hot day, very,very uncomfortable, ready to faint after a couple of hours walking, almost did in California.   If backpack does not have enough heavy stuff in it the weight at the front starts to pull you forward (with one camera) you might be okay though and, if you have strong shoulders and back.  The camera on the hip seems to get in the way at times especially if you kneel or squat to shoot something and it did for me at least hit the ground or swing and knock against the hood of the 70-200 attached to the carrier at the chest while walking.  I'm sure a lot has to do with body size, your weight, height etc. could make a huge difference of how comfortable it might feel on you.  I am 5'5", 113lbs, at the same time I wouldn't say that I am a total wimp I have walked around with two cameras around the neck from morning til evening with a few stops and lunch break and I did it exactly this:

11 hours ago, Bhandol said:

I tend to just cradle my canon 100-400 on my left forearm with the camera body sat in the palm of my left hand, my  right hand on the camera grip. that way I'm ready to quickly put the lens to use, and no camera/lens strap fatigue.

Parm

and the second smaller camera hangs also from the neck but sort of to the right side of the hip.  But the cotton carrier I don't use at all anymore and don't like remembering what it was like on a hot day.  If that helps at all.

Helen

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Thanks again everyone, and especially Helen, that's exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for. It will be hot in Zambia, for fair-skinned northerners like me, so the Cotton Carrier is off the list.

 

I shall have a pole/monopod & will beware of snakes Shergar, I guess I need to get some sprinting practice in too!

 

As Martin suggested, I do sometimes carry the camera on a tripod or monopod over my shoulder (with a secondary tether to the camera in case of accidents) but for this trip I'd prefer hands free.

 

 

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I think what we could really all do with is a shop selling a variety of carrying methods that can all be tried out before buying lol.  Enjoy your safari and make sure you share the pics - especially the one of crazily tilted blurred ground taken accidentally while running from a lion.

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22 minutes ago, Starsphinx said:

 make sure you share the pics - especially the one of crazily tilted blurred ground taken accidentally while running from a lion. 

😃😃

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If you can, why not visit the Photography Show at the NEC next week, that way you can try before you buy😉 I feel the need for another shoulder type bag 😉

 

Carol

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