I’ve got fed up of carrying my camera with the neck strap. It is a strain on the neck, it bounces around, and if I bend forwards to pick something up or to open a gate it swings forward and can hit something. I’ve seen people with a sling strap that goes over one shoulder and hangs down above the hip so I thought I’d investigate.
After looking around at various models I decided to try the Joby Pro Sling Strap. The three features which swung it for me was 1) it has a safety tether (a cord which attaches to the normal strap mount on the camera that at the other end fits to the strap 2) it seemed really easy to adjust the strap 3) the speedcinch system looked to make it really easy to go from camera hung down to up and ready to shoot.
Now I’ve used it for a few months I thought I’d write about how I’m getting on with it.
I bought the L-XXL version as I’m around 6ft and I was worried the smaller one would be too short – it is plenty long enough and in fact I’ve got quite a bit of strap length still rolled up.
The strap secures to the bottom of the camera in the tripod mount (1/4″). Unlike something else I bought recently, the key to screw it in is metal and there is a rubber gromet between the bracket and your camera which squishes up a little when tightened. A safety tether (a cord with a caribiner at one end) attaches at one end to you normal camera strap point and at the other via a caribiner around the strap. It is pretty easy to put the strap over one shoulder and hang over the opposite hip (or under the arm) but you have to make sure the strap is the right way around as the pivot ring needs to be at the front.
In operation, it is easy to adjust the strap to pull the camera up and make it secure; all it takes is pulling the camera down whilst pulling up on the pivot ring. There is a small lock to lock the strap but in practice I’ve not found I’ve needed it. To swing the camera into action you just pull it out and up and the strap adjusts.
In walking around with the camera I’ve found it comfortable and certainly does not swing around like some others I’ve tried. It is easy to swing it into action when required and I guess it would be quite a bit more difficult for someone to steal your camera (the strap itself is far more substantial than a standard Nikon neck strap). However, I have a few observations.
1. Once attached it adds about 1cm in depth to the camera and with the strap being a lot bulkier than the standard Nikon neck strap it makes packing in my camera bag a little more awkward.
2. If you lay the camera down on a flat surface it will drop forward so the front of the lens (or lens hood) is resting on the surface.
3. If you use a tripod or a hide mount (as I do) it would be a pain without the ultra plate accessory (an extra) as you’ll have to keep taking the strap off to mount the camera on the tripod or hide mount. Personally, this doesn’t bother me much as if I’m using a tripod I usually mount the camera on the tripod and carry it around like that. If I’m going to sit in a hide and use my hide mount I’m usually there quite a long time so unscrewing it isn’t much of a problem. However, if you do this, the safety strap is a bit of a pain as you have to unscrew the caribiner from the strap and then as the other end of the safety strap is attached to the camera it is hanging down with a caribiner on the end (as it is a pain to take the camera end of the safety strap off the camera.
4. Not really Joby’s fault, but I really notice the now redundant clip on the camera on the other side but I guess I could remove that.
In the same way as walking about with your camera using the normal neck strap you might want to watch you don’t swing it or knock it on something (.e.g., a gate you walk through) but I think it is less likely with the joby strap as your arm is in front of it.
I’ve walked around with a 16-85mm and even a 55-300mm lens ok.
All in all I quite like this strap and certainly for walking around with the camera it is a lot more comfortable.