Photography is a pain in the neck..

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AstroEd

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I currently have 2 ways of doing my wildlife photograph. Main way is to haul out a tripod and shift it around to various parts of my local lake.
The second is to put the D500 camera strap on my neck and walk around the lake paths and hope I see something close enough to image.

When walking I have been leaving my tripod at home or in the car. (I tried a monopod but it is flimsy or I do not know the proper way to use it) and have the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5 on the camera and the Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 in its container with the strap slung on my right shoulder, I swap them out 1-2 times a walk. There are times I wish I had a wider FOV lens or a Macro type lens for insects and flowers but I do not yet have or know what lens to get for that.

Within an hour my neck is getting stiff and I start back to the car. I am seeking a better way to carry these items without a big bulky backpack that I have to stop take everything off swap lenses repack the rest and hope the subject is still there waiting patiently for my shot.

Another concern is the fact that I am planning to get a MUCH heavier Z9 in the future so if the D500 gets uncomfortable the z( might become unbearable…

Do those long wider straps that let the camera hang off your neck and shoulder for “more comfort” and swing around for shots really work and really more comfortable? What options do you all for walking photography 2-3 lenses and still be quick to shoot, swap lenses etc.. or am I wanting the impossible? I am pretty much now deciding if I want birds in flight take one lens and if I want small stationary song birds take another but only one lens with no chance to swap as the conditions present themselves.
 

Turberticus

Well-known member
Get something like a Black Rapid strap. It screws in to the tripod foot on your lens and goes over your shoulder. That's what I use, otherwise I just carry my camera/lens using the tripod foot as a handle. Carrying a camera with a long lens around your neck is bad for your neck and for your equipment.
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I have a belt similar to this one:
Web Belt
On the belt I have a water bottle pouch, a camera lens case like this one: lens case that I attach to my belt.
I also have a small zippered pouch on the belt to carry cell phone and a few extra batteries.

For a strap I use this one from Black Rapid: camera strap

I find the over the shoulder / cross body type straps much more comfortable than ones that go around my neck.

I usually go pretty light when I'm hiking and on my daily camera "adventures". I carry a D500 and a Nikon 200-500 most days and in the belt I will have either a 105mm Macro or a 24-70 F2.8 depending on what I plan to be shooting that day. I also will bring a bottle of water in the second lens case on the belt. I find having this stuff on a wide belt transfers the weight to my hips/legs not my neck and shoulders. Makes for a much more enjoyable day. I've been doing it this way for at least 10 years. I'm on my 2nd or 3rd belt. One tip, get the ones with the metal Cobra type buckles or get a Cobra buckle. The plastic clip buckles will let you down when you least expect it. I know....

Hope this helps. It may not work for you but it's not that expensive to give it a shot.
 

Snapshot2020

Well-known member
Supporting Member
My walk around set up with a Z9 I use the 100-400S with the 1.4 TC. I’m 70ish and though the Z9 is heavier than the D500 the Black Rapid Sling makes toting that combo tolerable.
 

Calson

Well-known member
I have spent more money on camera straps than I like to remember and many ended up in the trash. The ones that have been keepers all have an elastic neoprene main strap material that acts like a shock absorber for your neck. The first time I used one on a camera with the 80-400mm lens attached I noticed at the end of the day that my neck was not sore. The Op/Tech ones sold on Amazon for less than $20 are great and they have quick release buckles that will not come loose unless both sides are pushed in at the same time - an important safety feature.

I recently bought the iFootage monpod with tripod stand for use when needing support but also mobility. What I like about the iFootage monopod is that I can adjust the height quickly and using only one hand.
 

AstroEd

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
Get something like a Black Rapid strap. It screws in to the tripod foot on your lens and goes over your shoulder. That's what I use, otherwise I just carry my camera/lens using the tripod foot as a handle. Carrying a camera with a long lens around your neck is bad for your neck and for your equipment.
Learning that lesson fast. When the neck tires I carry by the foot till the should tires then put it back on my neck.
 

AstroEd

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I have a belt similar to this one:
Web Belt
On the belt I have a water bottle pouch, a camera lens case like this one: lens case that I attach to my belt.
I also have a small zippered pouch on the belt to carry cell phone and a few extra batteries.

For a strap I use this one from Black Rapid: camera strap

I find the over the shoulder / cross body type straps much more comfortable than ones that go around my neck.

I usually go pretty light when I'm hiking and on my daily camera "adventures". I carry a D500 and a Nikon 200-500 most days and in the belt I will have either a 105mm Macro or a 24-70 F2.8 depending on what I plan to be shooting that day. I also will bring a bottle of water in the second lens case on the belt. I find having this stuff on a wide belt transfers the weight to my hips/legs not my neck and shoulders. Makes for a much more enjoyable day. I've been doing it this way for at least 10 years. I'm on my 2nd or 3rd belt. One tip, get the ones with the metal Cobra type buckles or get a Cobra buckle. The plastic clip buckles will let you down when you least expect it. I know....

Hope this helps. It may not work for you but it's not that expensive to give it a shot.
I keep forgetting water bottles, though I have never been out more than a couple hours so far.
 

Woody Meristem

Well-known member
My Canon SX70 is slung on my neck and left shoulder when walking and my mirrorless with a macro lens is in a waist pack along with a set of extension tubes and flash diffuser. I took the non-skid rubberized backing off the Cannon's neck strap so it quick and easy to bring up to the eye. The weight of the Canon is primarily carried by the clavicle and scapular bones, some by the first rib and a little bit by the large trapezius muscle. I've carried a camera that way for over 50 years and it is also the way the Black Rapid and similar straps that hold the camera against the side/hip distribute the weight.
 

Ivan Rothman

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Peak Design makes a great and very comfortable camera strap that is easily detachable. I use it on all my cameras. But it is still a neck strap and when I'm using a camera with a longer lens, like the 100-400, I will often switch to a Black Rapid strap which will definitely lighten the load on your neck.
 

EricBowles

Moderator
Supporting Member
I currently have 2 ways of doing my wildlife photograph. Main way is to haul out a tripod and shift it around to various parts of my local lake.
The second is to put the D500 camera strap on my neck and walk around the lake paths and hope I see something close enough to image.

When walking I have been leaving my tripod at home or in the car. (I tried a monopod but it is flimsy or I do not know the proper way to use it) and have the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5 on the camera and the Nikkor 500mm f/5.6 in its container with the strap slung on my right shoulder, I swap them out 1-2 times a walk. There are times I wish I had a wider FOV lens or a Macro type lens for insects and flowers but I do not yet have or know what lens to get for that.

Within an hour my neck is getting stiff and I start back to the car. I am seeking a better way to carry these items without a big bulky backpack that I have to stop take everything off swap lenses repack the rest and hope the subject is still there waiting patiently for my shot.

Another concern is the fact that I am planning to get a MUCH heavier Z9 in the future so if the D500 gets uncomfortable the z( might become unbearable…

Do those long wider straps that let the camera hang off your neck and shoulder for “more comfort” and swing around for shots really work and really more comfortable? What options do you all for walking photography 2-3 lenses and still be quick to shoot, swap lenses etc.. or am I wanting the impossible? I am pretty much now deciding if I want birds in flight take one lens and if I want small stationary song birds take another but only one lens with no chance to swap as the conditions present themselves.
In general, for bird photography you can and should just take one lens. Some lenses need a tripod and others are more often used handheld. But keep it simple - 90% of your photos would be with a single lens even if you had multiple options. In your case, the 500 PF is the primary choice for birds and you could add a 1.4 teleconverter if you want another option.

I spent 10 days with Arthur Morris in early April. He had driven and had two long lens options, but only one session out of seven took more than a single lens into the field. He did plan in advance and considered a wide range of photo options based on the opportunities available. Our typical sessions were about 3 hours with a mile of walking each way to the shooting location.

I like using the ThinkTank Turnstyle 2.0 bag for 1-2 lenses. I'll carry the camera outside the bag with a wide Optech strap.

If you are going to be in a single location for an hour or so, a tripod can be a nice option. It let's you concentrate on subject matter and composition. The key is to pick one angle or direction to optimize sun angle. My shooting field of view is about 10-20 degrees with the sun at my back or in my face. I'm not using a tripod to shoot in a lot of different directions.
 

AlexY

Member from Canada
Supporting Member
Peak Design makes a great and very comfortable camera strap that is easily detachable. I use it on all my cameras. But it is still a neck strap and when I'm using a camera with a longer lens, like the 100-400, I will often switch to a Black Rapid strap which will definitely lighten the load on your neck.

I use the Peak Design slide strap https://www.peakdesign.com/collections/straps/products/slide, always in the cross body mode. The heaviest lens that I have used it with is a Tamron 150-600 mm G2 attached to a D500, and I've had no issues walking about for several hours. The Peak Design slide strap is more than just a neck strap - very comfortable.
 

AstroEd

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I use the Peak Design slide strap https://www.peakdesign.com/collections/straps/products/slide, always in the cross body mode. The heaviest lens that I have used it with is a Tamron 150-600 mm G2 attached to a D500, and I've had no issues walking about for several hours. The Peak Design slide strap is more than just a neck strap - very comfortable.
I looked at those long and hard, I have a Sigma 150-600mm, and a 500mm PF, but dream of a Z9 with the new 800mm lens in the future.
 

Stephen Berger

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I use black rapid straps (they're adjustable) which have worked well for me for years but/and after some recent back issues have just gotten a cotton carrier which allows the camera and lens to hang on my chest (with a second body/lens off to the side should I want to carry two bodies). I haven't used it extensively yet and it looks pretty silly with the 600 f4 (who cares) but so far it's the most comfortable thing I've ever used for carrying. One downside his that I imagine it gets hot in the dog days of summer.

Edit They also have one camera models...

 

Strodav

Well-known member
I put up a similar post on another forum when I got a 600mm f/4G to go with my D850/D500 combination. In addition to the two bodies and long prime, I like to take a 1.4x tele, a 200-500mm f/5.6 a 35mm f/1.8 (landscapes), a 105mm f/2.8 macro lens (flowers, bugs, frogs, ...), and a tripod with gimbal head. I put most of it, along with lens cleaning kit, spare battery, filters, bird guide, wild flower guide, park map, water, ..., in a backpack, then carried one camera and the 600mm on a shoulder strap. Like you, I got tired after a couple of hours. and did not go the distances I would have liked to always thinking about the walk back to the car. I got some great ideas from the post but the best for me was a large wheel baby stroller that are used by joggers. I have plenty of room for my gear along with a folding tripod stool and lunch. I can go out for hours. Another really great idea was a baby carrier that is pulled by a bike. Another Idea was a golf club bag cart that could handle a couple of backpacks. In any case, pulling or pushing about 25 to 30lbs of gear is much better than carrying it.
 

AlexY

Member from Canada
Supporting Member
I looked at those long and hard, I have a Sigma 150-600mm, and a 500mm PF, but dream of a Z9 with the new 800mm lens in the future.
Perchance to dream - that's a good dream.....I also thought about the Z9, but it's too heavy for me, so either I'll wait (and hope) for the APS-C Z9 equivalent, or get something like the OM-1, even though that would mean a significant cash outlay. Trouble, trouble........
 

Fishboy1952

Well-known member
I personally use the Peak Design Slide Strap and wear it cross body. I used it on both my D500 and gripped D850 with 500mm PF. Not too uncomfortable across the neck and shoulders.

One of the more interesting setups I have seen recently was an older gentleman I routinely saw photographing eagles had a large Canon DSLR with a Sigma 150-600mm. The camera and lens setup wasn’t much smaller than him. He had the standard Canon neckstrap but wore a carpenter’s type of belt with loops he picked up at Home Depot. He would have the lens foot aligned to the bottom of the lens and when not shooting he’d hook the lens foot into a belt loop, so now almost all the weight was on his hips. He also carried a very lightweight tripod that is used for supporting a rifle. He’d walk quite a ways carrying the tripod with the lens on the belt. The neckstrap was there as a backup. He’d stop to take a shot and set up the tripod and place the lens barrel on the fork of the tripod. I asked him about it. Said he’d tried monopods and gave up on them. Said this tripod and belt setup worked very well for him. I’ve thought about the belt loop idea. Good weight support and would restrain the rig from swinging a great deal.
 

Charles Loy

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I took a chance on a Black Rapid the day they were introduced at B-H. Been using them since and will recommend them 100%.
All I have are adjustable, fyi. I keep a strap in my pickup, in my Harley saddlebag and a couple laying around the house ready for a walk.
 

jeffnles1

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I took a chance on a Black Rapid the day they were introduced at B-H. Been using them since and will recommend them 100%.
All I have are adjustable, fyi. I keep a strap in my pickup, in my Harley saddlebag and a couple laying around the house ready for a walk.
I had a cheap imitation from Amazon. It lasted about 3 years. The shoulder pad finally delaminated. I bought a Black Rapid a couple years back and have been very pleased with it.

Jeff
 

Lance B

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I personally use the Peak Design Slide Strap and wear it cross body. I used it on both my D500 and gripped D850 with 500mm PF. Not too uncomfortable across the neck and shoulders.

One of the more interesting setups I have seen recently was an older gentleman I routinely saw photographing eagles had a large Canon DSLR with a Sigma 150-600mm. The camera and lens setup wasn’t much smaller than him. He had the standard Canon neckstrap but wore a carpenter’s type of belt with loops he picked up at Home Depot. He would have the lens foot aligned to the bottom of the lens and when not shooting he’d hook the lens foot into a belt loop, so now almost all the weight was on his hips. He also carried a very lightweight tripod that is used for supporting a rifle. He’d walk quite a ways carrying the tripod with the lens on the belt. The neckstrap was there as a backup. He’d stop to take a shot and set up the tripod and place the lens barrel on the fork of the tripod. I asked him about it. Said he’d tried monopods and gave up on them. Said this tripod and belt setup worked very well for him. I’ve thought about the belt loop idea. Good weight support and would restrain the rig from swinging a great deal.
I do a similar thing sometimes with my Z9/Z7II with the 500 pf or 100-400, put the lens foot through the loose loop of the waist strap of my Thinktank Backlight back pack. There is a outer webbing that is stitched to the padded waist strap that has enough room to slip the lens foot into it and takes the weight off the shoulder strap. I was looking at finding a better solution and thought that a padded socket, the size of a standard lens foot width and thickness with a bit of room could be made to clip onto a belt or waist strap of and backpack etc so as you could just slip the lens foot into it. The system would work well.
 

AstroEd

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Thread starter
I use black rapid straps (they're adjustable) which have worked well for me for years but/and after some recent back issues have just gotten a cotton carrier which allows the camera and lens to hang on my chest (with a second body/lens off to the side should I want to carry two bodies). I haven't used it extensively yet and it looks pretty silly with the 600 f4 (who cares) but so far it's the most comfortable thing I've ever used for carrying. One downside his that I imagine it gets hot in the dog days of summer.

Edit They also have one camera models...

I just saw one of these today being used by a photography friend of mine that documents Eagles nests for local conservation
 
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