One of the biggest annoyances among photographers who have to carry cameras over both shoulders during their working day is the need to constantly do the Les Dawson-esque bra-adjusting manoeuvre as they recover the camera straps back onto their shoulder. As a news photographer, trying to run while laden with cameras involves a unique position with the arms pressed by the side, clutching at your straps as you pray your gear won’t bounce off and clatter along the ground.

Last week however, I saw the light. After seeing the UPstrap on fellow photographer Carl Court‘s cameras, I ordered a couple from their website and have now been using them for a week. While looking a lot thinner than my previous Lowepro and Domke straps, the “UPstrap SLR Large” is made from 600-pound rated Kevlar with a non-slip moulded rubber pad that sticks to shoulder like a pirate’s parrot with separation anxiety issues. The strap adjustments are made from metal rather than the usual plastic for an added element of build quality.

So far this week, I’ve been in bun-fights, chased after cars and jumped over walls with no sign of the infamous “photographer’s shrug” as I grab for my cameras before they hit the floor. With the import tax that I was hit with on arrival, they do work out to be pretty damned expensive at $43 each plus shipping from the US, PLUS an import tax of £18. Despite this, I’m hoping that they should keep me happy for quite a while as they seem to be built to last. Time will tell but for now, I can only advise on breaking out the credit card. Bravo, UPstrap people..


3 Responses to “UPstrapped for cash”

  1. The ‘shrug’ and ‘is my bra strap showing’ annoyances are my single biggest gripe. However, after 8 years of doing it, I am also finally taking steps.

    But I am thinking more along the black rapid route of the two straps joined in yoke style harness. Have tried a few incantations of this approach over the years, but the BR option looks good, but I can’t bring myself to pay £130+ for them, even though they are now available in the UK.

    In the next few weeks I am taking a crash course on the Mrs’ sewing maching and having a go myself :). If it all fails I may have to try these out. Keep us posted.

    Posted by Jools
  2. Hi Leon.
    How are you finding them ?
    I have gone for the Black Rapid double strap and must say that the main advantage is being able to use glasses with a restraining strap around my head and not get strangled when going for either camera.
    I have a belt for my slingback camera bag to place it behind me on my hips rather than use the shoulder strap . The shoulder strap unclips and goes into the bag . Only once have I tried a third camera with a normal strap and no entanglement ensued but the weight pulling down although evenly distributed was awful .
    The worst thing is trying to sit down or get up again .

    Posted by Ray Fothergill
  3. I still use them and still love them. When you first get them, they are SO sticky, it’s almost problematic but after they’ve calmed down a bit, they’re great. I’m reasonably sure that Spiderman uses the same rubberised formula to climb the outside of tall buildings.

    Posted by tabascokid

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