I have a D80 with a fairly large lens which weighs the camera down and whenever i am hiking/walking long distances it gets annoying because it isn't parallel to my body. Are there any solutions? Like special holsters/belts to keep the camera parallel to my body? Or at least more secure in some fashion? I don't like it bouncing on my chest gives me a rash and the camera gets worn out form constant friction.


Check out the Cotton Carrier vest, which holds the camera vertically tight against your chest. I haven't used it myself, but do know others who are happy with it.

  • these are pretty expensive – K'' May 4 '12 at 3:25
  • It's a niche product and they're made well, so... yeah. – Dan Wolfgang May 4 '12 at 12:10

You can check BlackRapid R-Strap. As @jrista mentioned in his comment, you can Do It Yourself if you want.

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    This is pretty much the solution. You might want to look into making your own, though. I looked into BlackRapid straps, and researched them a lot...seems their clips and other parts are pretty cheap and made out of weak metals. Quite a few people have had the main clip that hooks the strap to the camera break, bend, or otherwise behave incorrectly, either causing a camera to drop and get scraped up, or actually break. You can build your own strap pretty easily, and use far more durable parts. You can buy replacement fasteners from BlackRapid to actually connect to the camera. – jrista May 3 '12 at 19:36
  • Yup, I did a DIY one and LOVE IT. I can't imagine going back to a neck strap now. It's a few bucks of stuff from strapworks.com and then just a replacement fastener from Amazon. – rfusca May 4 '12 at 0:04
  • Love the R-Strap, I have the one for dual cameras (since I have two) and it's great. The only thing to be aware of is that it fits in the tripod socket, so best bet is quick release plates with the R-Strap screw for it. – John Cavan May 4 '12 at 0:40
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    @antonpug - I can appreciate it may not be what you're looking for, thats cool - but its definitely comfortable. I nearly forget I've got the camera sometimes. – rfusca May 4 '12 at 2:51
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    @antonpug - I think you're mistaken, trying is believing. I've dual carried with lenses as long as 400mm on wilderness trails, so I doubt you'll find better. – John Cavan May 5 '12 at 1:14

This is an easy one! Once I figured this out I've never carried an SLR around my neck since. Simply put, wear the strap around your shoulder, but put your arm through the other way, so that with the lens hanging down the pentaprism is against your body. I tend to tuck the lens behind my waist, and hold the camera against my body with my arm/elbow, which keeps it from bouncing around all over the place. If you're right-handed like I am, then there's an added benefit: the camera's grip is in a perfect position to grasp with your right hand and bring it to your eye with one swift motion, and the strap remains behind your shoulder; if it's the right length you can maintain static tension and use it to steady your camera, much like a rifle shooter would with a sling. Once you get the hang of this, it's as fast if not faster than having the camera around your neck. Plus you don't look like a tourist, and your camera's less conspicuous. If you're wearing a jacket, the camera remains hidden; great for security and street shooting. Practice this a bit before trying other solutions, and even if you do go with different straps or harnesses, you'll likely work off a variation of this. Hope this helps!


I like straps that plug into the tripod mount, so I tried the Black Rapid strap and it worked okay. The whole strap felt a little cheap, but the sliding connecter worked well, although it did have a tendency to bounce around a bit unless I deliberately locked it back into place.

I tried the Cinch which worked very well. No sliding connection (two mount points) meant it's a bit harder to pull up and use because because you have to tug the strap, but it stabilizes the camera much more when walking. The only downside was if you added a vertical grip, it became difficult to hold the camera vertically because you had this nub sticking out of the camera. Then they released this flat rubbery connector which works perfectly.


  • I'm using the Cinch (luma-labs.com) too, but instead of using the membrane adapter or the tripod lug - I'm using a Camdapter plate (camdapter.com). I have a hand strap on the grip side, and the Cinch attaches to the second lug on the plate - and the plate still allows me to just pop it onto my ballhead without removing either strap. – camflan Aug 23 '12 at 19:54

I gather that the question assumes "not in a case or bag", but for the benefit of others who may not have that restriction: Tamrac, Case Logic, Lowepro, and other bag-makers have some easy/fast-access bag designs that allow the camera (and lenses, etc.) to be carried more or less like a backback, but easily slung around to quickly access the camera.


Beside my other answer, I've found another way to use the shoulder strap to hold the camera with its lens in a fairly nice way that prevents the camera from moving in an annoyingly.

Try to spin the shoulder strap couple of times till you make a node as shown in the next photo, then put it on your shoulder. Make the lens face the ground, the weight of the camera and lens weight will hold the camera steady.

enter image description here

You can also move it to your back

enter image description here

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    Have you really done any serious hiking with that? It looks to me like it would swing like a pendulum and dangle annoyingly. – Olin Lathrop May 11 '12 at 23:42
  • serious hiking, no ofcourse, but it's a good way for everyday use, walking in streets, ... etc – K'' May 12 '12 at 4:58

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