I did some bargain hunting for my trip to PhotoshopWorld in Las Vegas this September. The car was cheap, I stayed in a time share, and got seriously lucky for low-price air fare. I even stocked the fridge with cereal, milk, and water to save on breakfast and keeping hydrated. So I felt OK looking around for stuff I normally wouldn’t buy on impulse. That turned out to be an excellent strategy, because I ended with a Spider Pro Holster.
As it turns out, I had been looking for a replacement camera strap. While I’ve really enjoyed my Black Rapid pro, it wasn’t quite doing it for me. I don’t like the motion for everyday wear, especially when walking around crowded areas. In my search, I happened to start an email conversation with the guys at Spider Holster. I was pretty skeptical because I’d never considered a holster before. But I also hesitated to buy a sling, and that was actually a pretty good decision, too.
So let me tell you my Spider Holster story… I bought it after my presentation on Wednesday at the Peachpit booth. I put it on. Inside of ten minutes I knew it was the right choice. For the next three days, I wore it nearly every waking hour on the convention floor. The holster made it effortless to keep my D800 with me all the time, even with the flash attached. And that meant I would keep the camera handy and shoot more.
Three days of wandering Las Vegas for more than 14 hours at a shot, and I never considered leaving it behind.
One of the geekier aspects for me is the build quality and materials. The metal is wonderfully cast in an Aluminum/Magnesium alloy. That makes it very strong and light. This is used both for the nicely designed base plate as well as most of the holster attachment itself. You can attach a mounting adapter for a tripod right to the plate; something you can’t do with the default attachment for most slings. The plate hooks into the holster using a unique ball pin that appears to be made of a high-speed tool steel (that means it ain’t gonna break on you).
Inside the holster is a steel insert to reduce friction and wear. When properly worn, the lens points backwards and the flash body is towards the floor. And it doesn’t move hardly at all. The holster attaches with machine screws to the belt, and has a two-position lock to keep the ball pin trapped securely. Just make certain to check all the fittings regularly!
The belt itself is sturdy nylon webbing with hook-and-loop along the generous adjustment strap so you can fine-tune the fit. As an added bonus, the fastener on the belt means you can put other gadgets and holders (think cell phone case, battery packs, etc) on and they won’t slide around. There is sufficient padding to make it comfortable without adding bulk. It’s nearly perfect. And there is a pad where the camera body rests against you to reduce wear on your clothes and the body. I’m going to ask them about using moleskin there to further reduce wear, but I don’t know that it’s necessary.
I will say I’m nervous about not having at least a hand strap, so I’m now in the market for a good, quick one. And there is a chance that you can get a little hung up if you let your shirt drape over the holster itself (which I did, and you just have to take a little more care). But if you ever get chaffed carrying a sling or strap, or you are worried about leaning over and having your expensive SLR swing like a wrecking ball, do yourself a favor. Buy the Spider Pro (or dual camera version).
Order it, trust it.