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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Accessories 
Thread started 11 Feb 2013 (Monday) 23:18
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Going Strapless - Review of the Spider Camera Holster

 
Curtis ­ N
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Feb 11, 2013 23:18 |  #1

More than a year ago, I decided I was done with camera straps.

  • They always fall in front of the viewfinder when I rotate the camera to vertical.
  • They don't let me hold the camera far enough from my old eyes to focus on the LCD screen or control panels.
  • They chafe my neck, and a heavy rig would make me downright sore after a long day.
  • When working with two cameras, the second rig always gets in the way.
  • They let the camera fall wherever gravity takes them when you bend over.
So I took the straps off and started working without. But I needed some way to carry a second camera and a place to put one if my hands were otherwise occupied.

Then I found the Spider Camera Holster (external link) by Shai Gear LLC.
This is a well-engineered, well-built system consisting of a padded heavy-duty belt, industrial strength holster, and a plate that screws onto the camera's tripod mount with a ball-head pin that engages the holster.

The camera hangs with the lens pointed to the rear. The system is strong enough to keep even a heavy lens pointed back and out of the way. This shot shows a 1D Mk III, 70-200 f/2.8 IS, and 580EX II.

IMAGE: http://performancephoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-hMZCbCk/0/L/i-hMZCbCk-L.jpg


A lighter rig like this 20D w/ Tamron 17-50 hangs the same way.

IMAGE: http://performancephoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-5pQJQQX/0/L/i-5pQJQQX-L.jpg


The front view shows how it keeps the camera in easy reach. Retrieve the camera one-handed (if you lock the safety catch open), and return it to the holster with one hand on the grip, blindfolded.

IMAGE: http://performancephoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-3vc2MdJ/0/L/i-3vc2MdJ-L.jpg


Here's the holster by itself. It seems to be made of a tough plastic under the fabric that won't twist or buckle with a heavy lens.

IMAGE: http://performancephoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-qKRxQ7k/0/L/i-qKRxQ7k-L.jpg


The holster has a safety catch that can be locked open if desired for one-handed retrieval. This part is made of cast aluminum and stainless steel, screwed to the plastic/fabric part through the back. You couldn't bend it if you tried.

IMAGE: http://performancephoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-7H5dqVZ/0/L/i-7H5dqVZ-L.jpg


Bottom view of the plate on the 1D Mk III. It comes with an allen wrench to tighten the mounting screw, which sits in a groove so the head doesn't protrude. It has two 1/4-20 threaded holes for a QR plate. The wrench stores in the plate if you want to keep it handy (it tends to bite into my hand when shooting vertical so it normally stays in my bag).

IMAGE: http://performancephoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-hFS4z8X/0/L/i-hFS4z8X-L.jpg


The plate on the 20D. No interference with the battery door. You can move the pin to the other side for a left hip holster.

IMAGE: http://performancephoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-PmPMzhg/0/L/i-PmPMzhg-L.jpg


In the shots above you can see that the edges of the plate are rounded off. This makes it comfortable to shoot with a vertical grip.

IMAGE: http://performancephoto.smugmug.com/photos/i-53Djs6M/0/L/i-53Djs6M-L.jpg

Other features:
  • The belt is made with velcro to keep the loose end from flopping around. And it works great for belt-mounted accessories like a lens case or filter case.
  • The maker also sells a two-camera version, or you can add a second pad/holster to the one-camera version. However, a camera on your left side would not be quite as easy to retrieve, in my opinion.
Drawbacks:
  • You need to have a waist. If you're the kind of guy whose pants won't stay up without suspenders, this isn't for you. I think it should work well on most women.
  • The ball-head pin protruding from the plate prevents the camera from sitting flat on a table. You can still set it down though.
  • The extra hole on the plate for alternate (left side) pin location gets in the way somewhat when shooting vertical. I have a mind to grind it off.
  • It isn't what you'd call cheap. They sell the one-camera kit for $135 on their web site (external link), and you'll want an extra plate for each extra camera at $25 each. When you see how well it's built, you'll understand the price. I bought mine at a local camera shop.
More pictures, video, accessories & such on the Spider Holster web site (external link).

"If you're not having fun, your pictures will reflect that." - Joe McNally
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cdifoto
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Feb 11, 2013 23:35 |  #2

This looks weird but awesome. Can you explain or show how the ball engages and disengages? Is it a quick access system or is it clunky?


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cdifoto
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Feb 11, 2013 23:39 |  #3

Nevermind, found their video. Apparently you don't have to use the plate; you can use a simple pin. That's really cool.


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Echo63
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Feb 12, 2013 03:23 as a reply to  @ cdifoto's post |  #4

I have been using these for about a year

I love it, but i hated the goofy looking belt that it came with (i got mine from a colleague, who was mercilessly teased about his funny looking system) so i just run the holders on my everyday belt (a heavy webbing belt, strong enough to support my body weight) and have no issues with comfort, even after long days carrying a pair of 1Dmk4 bodies one with a 70-200 and the other with a 16-35

one of the best things about the system is the cameras dont flop around, great if you are bending over frequently


there is one issue though - i have had my speedlites unlock themselves from the hotshoe and fall off, im not 100% sure how it happens, but i dont normally carry my cameras with a flash mounted, so its not really an issue with me

when i need to rapidly switch cameras, or i am working at heights (like shooting from a helicopter) i will use a blackrapid double strap system in conjunction with the spider holster


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Curtis ­ N
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Feb 12, 2013 07:13 |  #5

cdifoto wrote in post #15600688 (external link)
Apparently you don't have to use the plate; you can use a simple pin. That's really cool.

You can use the pin without the plate, but then the camera will hang with the lens pointed down, or out. Maybe ok for a smaller body with a short lens. They sell a more affordable Black Widow Kit (external link) for lightweight rigs.


"If you're not having fun, your pictures will reflect that." - Joe McNally
Chicago area POTN events (external link)
Flash Photography 101 | The EOS Flash Bible  (external link)| Techniques for Better On-Camera Flash (external link) | How to Use Flash Outdoors| Excel-based DOF Calculator (external link)

  
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Curtis ­ N
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Feb 12, 2013 11:20 |  #6

Echo63 wrote in post #15600976 (external link)
there is one issue though - i have had my speedlites unlock themselves from the hotshoe and fall off, im not 100% sure how it happens,

This has happened to me, too. Now I know I'm not crazy. Must be something about the impact of the camera bouncing against the holster.


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BTNorris
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Feb 12, 2013 13:02 as a reply to  @ Curtis N's post |  #7

I've used one since version 1 of the belt. When the redesigned version 2 came out, they iniated contact and sent the new belt, free of charge. Makes me feel good to do business with a company like that.

I've spent quite a bit of time up-and-down ladders and crawling hillsides and attics with a 1d3+flash. Never had a problem and I can't imagine going back to a neck strap. Paired with a handstrap, I feel the gear is pretty safe.


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frs
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Feb 13, 2013 04:55 |  #8

Curtis N wrote in post #15601259 (external link)
You can use the pin without the plate, but then the camera will hang with the lens pointed down, or out. Maybe ok for a smaller body with a short lens. They sell a more affordable Black Widow Kit (external link) for lightweight rigs.

I use the smaller Black Widow version, suitable for up to 2kgs. The Spider Holster is recommended for heavier gear




  
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Echo63
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Feb 13, 2013 07:56 |  #9

Curtis N wrote in post #15602024 (external link)
This has happened to me, too. Now I know I'm not crazy. Must be something about the impact of the camera bouncing against the holster.

It's happened a few times, it typically happens when I'm running.


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MDJAK
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Feb 14, 2013 19:36 |  #10

I've had the cotton carrier originally and sold it in favor of the Spyder. The Spyder is superior and safer.

It looks to me, Curtis, that you don't have the plate on your camera body correctly.

Also, I lost the wrench. It's held in with a small piece of rubber that once it comes out is very difficult to get back in. Shai sent me free of charge a new wrench. I got it in like a day. Great service.




  
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MDJAK
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Feb 14, 2013 19:41 |  #11

Nope, just put mine on. You are correct.




  
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iazybandit
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Feb 15, 2013 11:10 |  #12

FYI, I'm using the holster with a Think Tank Pro Belt. I bought the attachment. Also, this works with Carry Speed sling straps. No more do I have constantly swap pin or mounts.


Canon :: R6 | RP | 5D Mark IV
Glass :: RF 24-70L f/2.8 IS | RF 35mm f/1.8 IS STM | EF 16-35L f2.8 | EF 70-200 f2.8L III | EF 24-70L f2.8 II | EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
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hania
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Feb 17, 2013 10:12 as a reply to  @ iazybandit's post |  #13

Have had the spider holster (for 2 cameras) over a year now.
carrying : 5D2 + 24-105 or 16-35, 7D + 100-400

Two problems:

1. tripod mount on long lens rubbed a hole in back pad before I noticed.

2. unable to access any pockets while wearing holster- maybe I have the cameras more round to the front than I should?


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Dmab
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Feb 18, 2013 21:50 |  #14

One thing to try is mount the plate onto the lens collar rather than on the body.
It depends on how you like to orient the the collar, but for larger lenses it distributes the weight better, not putting added stress at the attachment point of the lens/camera and frees up the vertical grip of the camera.


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hania
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Feb 19, 2013 11:31 |  #15

Dmab wrote in post #15625832 (external link)
One thing to try is mount the plate onto the lens collar rather than on the body.
It depends on how you like to orient the the collar, but for larger lenses it distributes the weight better, not putting added stress at the attachment point of the lens/camera and frees up the vertical grip of the camera.

Not a bad idea, but of course, means getting an extra plate for each long lens - so as I have 3 long lenses, may not bother. Will see how much they are before I decide.

Thanks for the advice


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Going Strapless - Review of the Spider Camera Holster
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