Review: BlackRapid Sport
by Johnathan Aulabaugh
Keeping my cameras close to hand and ready for use is always important to me. The DR1 dual camera sling has been my go to since I bought it allowing me to keep a long lens and a wide lens at hand during any trek I am on. Sometimes though, I just don't need to haul around 2 cameras all day and for that I am turning to the BlackRapid Sport . Portrait projects certainly do not require me to lug around 2 cameras all day and my family and I have made Sunday our family outing day so 1 camera is plenty there as well.
- Length: 167.5cm
- Width: 9.5cm at widest
- Topside Material: Ballistic Nylon
- Underside Material: 1cm thick Foam Pad with Knitted Mesh
- Hand/machine washable, air dry.
- Price: $73.95
Recently I attended the 2013 Worldwide Photo Walk here in Melbourne Florida. Hosting the event was none other than Robert Vanelli of Vanelli and Friends (http://vanelliandfriends.com/) . I noticed that he was sporting the BR Sport himself. Being in the middle of writing the review I figured I would get his opinion of the strap as well. Now for those of you who do not know Vanelli, Scott Kelby has dubbed him the "Ambassador of Love" simply because I do not think Vanelli knows a stranger. A great photographer, instructor, and all around good guy, if you have not checked him out by all means. So I asked him about his experience with the BlackRapid Sport and here is what he had to say "It's very comfortable and allows your hands to be free to do other things, when I am ready I just reach down grab the camera and I am ready to shoot". Now I also asked what he didn't like and he more redirected to a practice that we should all do and that is to double check the contact points to be sure they are fastened properly. It could result in damaging your equipment. That little check to be sure that the ConnectR and FastenR are tightened and working as designed could mean the difference in a long partnership between camera and strap and a busted one. Of course we sat around and discussed how we use the straps and how they have been useful in our day to day work. He cited the ability of the camera to dangle at hand level, always at the ready while being able to pose models and even in use for his sports photography knowing that during all the hustle that the camera is secure and available.
So what do I like about the BlackRapid Sport? Well it is light, It is comfortable, and it is durable. The polyester and Ballistic Nylon make it tough while the foam mesh underside allows it to breath, which in Florida is nearly priceless. The BlackRapid Sport also has another cool feature and that is the Brad. The Brad keeps the sling in place even when you are in constant motion moving the camera this way and that and the ergonomic shape makes it comfortable and helps to maintain its location on your shoulder. In my personal opinion one of the best things about the Sport is the continuous construction. there are no plastic buckles to fail and once the ConnectR and FastenR are linked to your camera and it is on your shoulders, it's there, at your side, ready for use, safe and sound.
Now you have read me ramble on about how great the BlackRapid Sport is. If I had to complain about any one thing it would be directed more at who this strap is not designed for. Because of the solid continuous construction it does not extend with the use of the Bert like their RS7 or the Dual Camera systems DR1 and DR2, where you could add the Bert and use it as a single sling. That said, if a person was to much larger than I am, it might be hard or uncomfortable to use the Brad strap. Some may also wish that the Sport was a touch longer but I think those people will be far and few between. Let's face it, the team at BlackRapid have thought this gear out pretty well and they have a solution to just about any issue you might have. I do wish they sent the quiet FastenR Stealth with all of their straps as I really like the quiet nylon coating that it has.
Blackrapid is launching several new pieces that either enhance their already robust line from their tether system that gives a little piece of mind that the camera stays secure to the strap as well as a new strap for the ladies and even adding color to the line starting with the ever popular Curve! The addition of color is one I have been waiting for from BlackRapid myself and their launch of the moss green and gray is right up my alley.
I have been using BlackRapid slings now for quite some time, so I had high hopes for the Sport. A well thought out product with comfort and durability in mind with add-ons that make life in the field that much easier. The crew at BlackRapid seem to be paying attention to their customers and in this day, that is huge. Their attention to detail along with new innovation is just one more reason that I continue to turn to BlackRapid.
My daughter also wants to know when they will make one in her size...
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Sport sling for free from Black Rapid