I don’t often post about gear. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I posted about a piece of a equipment – if you know me at all, you know I really don’t care about this camera or that camera, or one new lens over another, this that and the other thing, blah blah blah… I generally use old cameras, old lenses, and other pieces of old junk, beat them into submission, and replace them when they start to fall apart. I would much rather spend my money on a trip to someplace I’ve never been, or buy a fuzzy sweater, or pay a kid to eat a worm, than spend my money on new junk I don’t really need. Also, one of my hobbies is to make fun of shitty photographers who buy really expensive cameras and lenses and then complain when they still can’t make nice images. Call me crazy.
Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. Today, I’m breaking with convention and posting about gear, mostly because this piece of gear actually helps me get on with my day-to-day job of taking photos.
This brings me to HoldFast. HoldFast makes the best camera strap I’ve ever used – hands down. I’ve used a bunch, but not because I like collecting straps; more because I’ve been trying for a long time to find a strap that doesn’t make my back ache at the end of the day. I’ thought I found a strap that would serve me well in the long run when I picked up a couple of Black Rapid straps in Hong Kong last year… but after a week or two with it flung across my shoulders, I was aching all over again.
Check out the back – see those little tabs there? That’s where you hook your motocycle jacket when you’re not wearing it.
Enter the Money Maker.
This is HoldFast’s flagship harness, perfect for photographers who need to carry two cameras in the field, but just as easy to use with one (they also come with an attachment to strap a third camera to your chest. Insane). After using this thing for a few months I’ve found that my back has ached less and less – even if I end up carrying a small satchel with lenses along. The weight of my gear is distributed evenly across my shoulders and my back, so it doesn’t pull me down to one side like the Black Rapid does. It doesn’t get in the way if I have to wear a backpack either – which is another piece of kit the fine folks at HoldFast tell me they’re developing for this year.
Style is a big part of the package with HoldFast. Each of their pieces is hand-crafted, sleek, and just a little bit funky. Seriously, look at the time that went into boxing this baby up – you don’t get that kind of attention from Adorama or BandH. I felt a little bad cutting the ribbon, but it made me feel better to throw the straw all over the floor.
Anyway, back to style.
I feel as though I need to get dressed up to wear this harness, otherwise I’m doing it a disservice. I can see this being a massive hit with wedding photographers, for whom form is more important than function and presentation/professionalism is everything (don’t pretend like I’ve said something shocking – you know as well as I do that 9 out of 10 self-styled wedding photographers don’t know aperture from the asshole – but that’s a post for another day). Personally, when I’m laid out in a peat bog in Indonesia shooting photos of rice farmers, water buffaloes, and cobras, I’m not so concerned with how I look – but I guess that’s about to change. Maybe I’m going hipster in my old age (kidding – I hate hipsters).
Front view. The cameras don’t swing as much as I thought they might when I’m wearing them – a plus if you’re determined not to destroy your gear. Check my hipster pose.
Check out the ever-expanding line of swag at www.holdfastgear.com
If you’re going to grab the Money Maker or one of the other harnesses, I suggest you pick up the wallet too. That way you can show everyone where you keep your memory cards, shirt buttons (you’ll instantly own four plaid shirts when you buy this harness, and you’ll have no idea where they came from), and tabs from cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
This has been less of a review and more about showing some love to a brilliant piece of equipment – one that in the long run actually might make photography more enjoyable.