I can think of precious few reasons to separate these two products into separate reviews, actually I lied, I can’t think of any. Taken alone ThinkTANK Photo’s camera straps are rather unremarkable photojournalist style, i.e. narrow, camera straps and their Camera Support Straps are virtually useless on their own. Taken together, and in conjunction with one of ThinkTank’s bags or should harnesses, they form what is quite possibly the best way to carry a camera for any length of time, short of having someone else do it for you.
ThinkTANK Photo’s camera straps are well just that; unsurprisingly solid camera straps. The design is what some would call “photojournalist”; in more descriptive terms, they are narrow, plain, and grippy.
These aren’t the wide heavily padded, camera straps that seem to be so much the rage these days. Though narrow, they aren’t uncomfortable, when used for moderate periods, even with a heavy camera and lens setup like a Canon EOS 1D and a 24-70 f/2.8. However, if carrying a heavy camera on a strap for long periods is your goal, no photojournalist style strap is going to be as comfortable as the wider padded ones are.
Likewise, ThinkTANK has designed these straps to have rubberized grip material on both sides. There’s no need to worry about having your strap flip over with these straps, they’ll stay put just the same. Additionally, the grip material does hold very well on the shirts I’ve tried it with (mostly cotton and nylon blends).
One other thing, the ThinkTANK Photo camera straps are very long. So long in fact, that you can just barely make out where I have gaffer taped the “tails” to the straps in the above photo. ThinkTANK lists them at 55 inches end to end.
On their own, the ThinkTANK Photo Camera Strap V2 is quite adequate if somewhat unremarkable; they do the job and don’t get in the way any more than any other narrow camera strap. If there was one complaint, I kind of wish they had more than just blue and gray trim colors.
Alone, the Camera support straps are largely useless; it’s when combined with a ThinkTANK Photo backpack or shoulder harness, and their camera straps that system really shines.
With the Camera Support straps, you can clip your ThinkTANK camera strap directly to your backpack or shoulder harness, thus transferring the weight from your neck to your shoulders and to a considerably more padded strap than would be reasonable to put on a camera.
It goes together something like this.
On one end, the camera support straps have a locking connector that is attached the webbing loops on ThinkTANK’s shoulder straps, or sufficiently small metal rings on anther backpack. On the other end of the Camera Support straps is a snap hook, that clips into the metal rings on ThinkTANK’s camera straps.
When properly adjusted, it becomes quick and easy to get your cameras on and off the Camera Support straps.
So the question then is, how well do they work?
In my experience, they work phenomenally well when it comes to carrying a heavy camera all day. In many cases, I had a Canon EOS-1D and a 24-70mm f/2.8 (all together weighing something like 5 pounds) on all day without any noticeable discomfort, and more often than not my camera is hung from one side, not both.
In my experience, camera straps are one of those things that is different for everyone. For that matter I’ve gone through my fair share of different straps, from the ones that came with my camera to no strap at all, back to the OEM ones, and finally to these.
The straps themselves are thin enough to get out of the way when shooting from a tripod, or in the studio, and yet enough of a strap to be useful when a strap is needed. Couple that with the ability to hook them up to your backpack or shoulder harness, and you have a very very comfortable setup for carrying 1-2 cameras around all day without killing your neck.