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One of the best purchases I ever made for my camera is also the cheapest.
Camera straps are funny little things. You get this ugly camera strap when you purchase your camera that’s either bright red and black (Canon) or bright yellow and black (Nikon). It’s uncomfortable (especially on hot days when it sticks to your neck) and gets in the way. I’ve hated neck straps ever since I started shooting with DSLRs. So after having enough of it, I decided to go strapless. This was okay for portrait shoots and just general every day shooting, but on wedding days, it really took a toll on my hand. After shooting for 10+ hours and gripping my camera nearly every second of that day, my hand would be TINGLY. Not good.
And then I found the best thing that ever happened to me. The Opteka Hand Strap!
Let me tell you, friends, this thing is amazing! It’s kinda hard to believe that something this simple would really help ease the pain of holding a camera all day, but it’s incredible. And the best part? IT’S $8!
Yes. $8. Am I starting to sound like an infomercial? ILOVETHISTHING.
It’s super easy to use. The top strap just goes through the camera strap deal on the top of your camera, and then there’s a bottom part that screws into the tripod mount on the bottom of your camera. BUT, and I didn’t realize this until like a year of owning it (duhh), the camera strap deal has its OWN tripod mount gizmo on the bottom so you can still attach your quick release plate. Amazing!
As for an alternative to a neck strap, if I’m in a situation where I’ll likely need both of my hands free (like during getting ready shots on a wedding day or when we’re say, at the zoo walking around), I’ll attach my BlackRapid for Women cross-body strap (here’s the unisex version) to the bottom of my hand strap. On a wedding day, the BlackRapid is pretty much just on for the first part of the day, because after that my camera is in my hands all the time anyway, so there’s no use and it just gets in the way.
Anyway, for eight bucks, you can’t beat the Opteka. It’s pretty much perfect in every way. After about two years, I’ve noticed some wear on it, but hey. It was $8. And it still works fine.