14 Aug 2018 Peak Design Slide Camera Sling Straps (Podcast 629)
I recently bought two Slide straps from Peak Design and thought I’d provide a quick review of these straps today having now used them extensively for the last couple of months.
More and more of my workshop participants have been turning up using the Peak Design Slide camera strap system, so I’d had my eyes on this for a while, and then met a listener earlier this year at Canon’s headquarters, to see my exhibition there, and he had one of these straps on his camera, so I took a good look at it. I was impressed with the flexibility of use and the quality of the product, so I decided to change my camera straps for the first time in around eight years.
In the Slide package, you get the strap, obviously, and a total of four Anchor Links, and a small Anchor Mount, that you can attach to a tripod mount screw on the bottom of the camera, and there’s a hex key to help with that. There is also a nice pouch to put the strap in, which I thought was unnecessary at first, but because there are metal parts on the strap, I actually used these to store the straps in my bag, to stop the metal from rubbing against my camera and lenses, so I decided this was a nice addition.
I didn’t include it in this photo, but when you remove that piece of white card with Find Your Peak written on it from the packaging, there is more helpful information on the various configurations of the strap etc. so I felt that the packaging is very well thought out. By the way, this is my black strap, but I bought a grey on at the same time, as you can see in this next image (below). I sometimes use two straps at the same time, and I figured it would be nice to have a choice of color.
As we proceed, I’m going to talk about the points that have made this my new strap of choice in the order of importance to me. This might not be the same order that you’d chose, but bear with me, as we will cover everything that I believe is important to talk about.
Anchor Link System
The most impressive thing about this system is the Anchor Links. These work incredibly well, enabling us to quickly attach or remove the camera strap by simply pushing down on the button shaped disk on the Anchor, and then slide it out of the connector housing. Of course, attaching a strap is even easier; you just have to drop the disk into the housing and pull on the strap until it snaps into place.
I’m a firm believer in using gear that works with us, not against us. Everything I use in my photography helps me to work smoothly, rather than get in the way. I take my camera straps off a lot while shooting. For example, if I’m working on a tripod with a bit of a breeze, with the strap attached to the camera it can move around in the wind and introduce camera shake, especially if it starts to bang against the tripod legs. Because of this I generally remove the strap when using a tripod, but then I put it back on again as I move to another location, so literally, for me, a camera strap might be attached and detached some twenty or thirty times a day, so it needs to be a quick and easy operation.
As you can see from this next image (below) I have attached an Anchor to both the top left and right side strap loops on my camera, as well as to the loop on the bottom right side of my battery grip. Attaching one end of the strap to the battery grip like this allows the camera to swing down at a such an angle that my hand goes straight to the right side grip, with my finger falling naturally on the shutter button as I raise the camera to my eye.
If I attach the strap to the top left and right loops, I can of course simply use the Slide as a regular camera strap. To make this strap work as a sling and to stop it from sliding around when in use as a regular camera strap, the Peak Design team have ingeniously added two strips of silicon on just one side of the strap, so you use the smooth side when you are using the strap as a sling, and when you want it to stay put, just flip the strap over so that the silicone grip is in contact with your clothing. This works really well!
I don’t always use my camera with the battery grip, sometimes preferring to just take it off and shoot with a lower profile camera, so the addition of the Anchor Mount is really useful too. As you can see in this photo (below) it screws into the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera, giving you an optional position to attach the strap if you want to use it in a sling configuration, but you don’t have the battery grip with the third loop. Of course, when I’m working like this, I am not using a tripod, so the Mount generally stays on like this until I put my battery grip with the Really Right Stuff L-Bracket back on to the camera.
Replacing my Old Sling System
In addition to my old camera straps, I sometimes used a camera sling system for my long lenses, but that requires that I take along both straps when I travel, and I find it a bit annoying to have to attach the special ring that they provide to the lens foot, especially as I have to then detach it again to use the lens on a tripod. That slows me down, and I always like to find ways to maintain my flow rather than interrupting it. With the Peak Design Slide strap, I was able to simply attach one of the Anchor Loops to the front of my lens foot from Really Right Stuff, and attach one end of that strap to that, while leaving the other end attached to the camera body. The camera then hung down by my side as a sling strap, and I could easily swing it up to eye-level to shoot whenever necessary.
Another thing that I like about this method of using the Slide strap as a sling, is that I have the strap connected to both the lens and the camera. My old sling only attached to one ring, usually on the lens, and that allows the camera to rotate and come away from the lens in certain situations. To prevent the camera from dropping to the floor I used to feed the shorter straps left after taking my main strap off the camera back through the sling strap. With the Slide though, because the camera and lens are both being supported, it’s much less likely that the lens would work loose, so I don’t feel as though I need a safety leash now, and that is once again less weight to travel with.
Talking about weight, if you are wondering out much weight this system can carry, apparently, the Anchor Link System is rated up to 200 pounds or 90 kilograms. On the packaging, it says that if the red core starts to show through on the line anchor thread, it’s time to change them. For their thickness, it’s surprising, but so far I have felt very safe and had no issues with my large DSLR and battery grip, as well as when using with my 100-400mm, which is a relatively hefty setup.
[UPDATE: It seems that due to a very small number of failures in the in v3 Anchors Peak Design are now replacing these with v4 Anchors. Check this page for details. Well done Peak Design for identifying and attending to this issue! And thanks to Barry Schleicher for pointing this out to me.]
Quick Adjusters Both Good and Bad
The last thing that I want to talk about, has both good and bad aspects. To easily adjust the length there is a Quick Adjuster on either end of the strap. You pull the metal clasp out and can then easily shorten or lengthen the strap. As long as there is some tension or downward pull on the strap, these adjusters are rock solid and work great.
However, if for example, you have the camera on your lap, as mine often was as we traveled around Namibia in June, if you even slightly nudge the adjusters, they slide down very easily, even when the clasp is in the locked position. This meant that a number of times I found the camera hanging down much lower than I had originally set it, and I’d found that the Quick Adjusters had worked their way almost to the full extent of the strap. Of course, because they are Quick Adjusters, it only takes a second to shorten them again, but I can’t help thinking that once they are locked, they should do a better job of maintaining the user’s chosen length for the strap. That is the only gripe, and it’s a very small gripe rather than a problem.
All-in-all I’ve been very happy with my decision to switch to the Peak Design Slide strap and can fully recommend them if you are looking for a new or better way to carry your camera. I love it when a piece of gear helps me to overcome issues or makes my shooting workflow smoother, and these straps definitely do that. This review has not been sponsored in any way. I’m just sharing information on a product that works for me, in the hope that it might help you with your photography too. You can find the Slide strap and all of their other great products over on the Peak Design website at peakdesign.com, and if you want to help support the Podcast and blog, you can also use our B&H affiliate link which is mbp.ac/pdslide.
Support the Podcast by using our B&H affiliate link: https://mbp.ac/pdslide
Find Peak Design here: https://www.peakdesign.com
The Slide Strap is here: https://www.peakdesign.com/product/straps/slide
Music by Martin Bailey
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