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The recently introduced BosStrap Side Slide is a very different camera strap compared to my Sliding Sling straps. The Side Slide was created for photographers who needed features that are not available with diagonal straps.
Here is the story behind the new product.
How it Began – The Needs
BosStrap has been manufacturing and selling Sliding Sling (diagonal) straps since 2011. Sliding sling straps are really great to safely and conveniently carrying a camera. The operative word is “a“.
With any strap that crosses your body, you become limited to carrying only one camera at a time. If you use two diagonal straps, crossing each other, the camera attached to the “under” strap, could be encumbered by the “over” strap when the “under” camera is slid up to take a shot.
However, several users pointed out that you could, in fact, use two diagonal straps. One user even sent a photo wearing two diagonals. Two diagonals can work, but the original Sliding Sling design was intended for use with one camera.
Point 1. Doing camera shows and talking to customers, I was aware that some photographers need to carry two cameras to avoid lens changes. Wedding photographers, Sports photographers and Photojournalists in particular often work with two cameras. Many customers wanted to know when I would be introducing a BosStrap for dual camera use.
Point 2. Nature photographers often carry one camera and binoculars. Again, the diagonal Sliding Sling strap creates an issue: interference with binocular straps. Binoculars, whether worn on neck straps or with a harness, must go on after the diagonal Sliding Sling strap is put on. Using binoculars causes the straps or harness to interfere with the diagonal camera strap.
Point 3. Some photographers do not like the feeling of a diagonal strap across their body. Often this is because of a neck or shoulder weakness or injury, or because the diagonal puts pressure on the upper shoulder/neck area. Also, a small percentage of 50% of us (you know who I mean) find diagonal straps uncomfortable or unflattering.
Point 4. For Most photographers, diagonal Sliding Sling straps work better when the camera is on the right side (see my Blog: Advantages of Connecting a BosStrap Sliding Sling to the Left or Right Camera Strap Lug). However, some photographers prefer the left side. Could a strap be made to work equally effectively when worn on either side?
As a product development engineer, the above points represent a New Product Specification.
I began by considering Point 1 (carrying two cameras) first, paying special attention to loyal customers who already owned a BosStrap Sliding Sling strap. I wanted to engineer a new strap which could simultaneously carry a camera withoutinterference with the camera carried on their BosStrap Sliding Sling strap.
It quickly became apparent that a second camera would have to be hanging vertically from your shoulder to work without interfering with a diagonal Sliding Sling strap.
Vertical hanging shoulder straps create some challenges. Vertical shoulder straps notoriously slide off the shoulder, sometimes suddenly with possible disastrous results, and padded shoulder straps migrate forward and backward frequently requiring annoying adjustment to restore their position.
…And the Bulb Lit Up!
Why not use an adjustable strap which encircles the upper torso and attaches to the vertical strap at the front and at the back side to hold the shoulder strap on the shoulder and in position? This concept would let existing customers continue to use their BosStrap Sliding Sling strap and add a second camera to the new strap when they needed to.
In addition, if I used connectors that could be reversible, the strap could be used on the left or right shoulder. The vertical strap with reversible connectors on the chest strap satisfies Point 4 (use on the left or right side). In fact two Vertical Side Slides could be worn simultaneously; another way to satisfy Point 1!
Point 2 (eliminate camera and binocular strap interference) is satisfied because the new Side Slide design does not obstruct anything carried around your neck. It allows complete independence of the camera when carrying a binocular, a GPS, a light meter, or even a second light weight camera (Point 1 again) that you may carry around your neck.
Point 3 (diagonal strap neck and/or shoulder discomfort or unflattering look) is satisfied because the weight of your camera is directed vertically downward. There are no strong side forces to cause discomfort. And for that small percentage of 50% of us, a Side Slide may feel better that a diagonal strap.
From a product line offering, the BosStrap Side Slide uniquely addresses situations and shooting styles that a diagonal Sliding Sling strap cannot. I hope you try a Side Slide.