Quick-Release for Shoulder Straps
UPDATE March 2014: The B2-FABN mini-clamp has replaced the B2-FAB-F, to have the same function in addition to 3 machined strap bosses for use with neck, wrist, and other strap types.
Anyone using one of many types and styles of shoulder sling strap, such as BlackRapid®, may find that because their L-plate needs to remain in place on the camera for tripod-readiness their strap is no longer convenient to use. Some of our quick-release plates do offer a 1/4″-20 threaded accessory socket, but the time needed to detach or reattach the strap before/after tripod use defeats the “quick-release” purpose of the whole system. Also, repeated threading/unthreading of steel strap screws can wear out and potentially loosen those aluminum threads over time.
The solution that we’ve come up with is to use our B2-FABN mini clamp at the end of that strap, effectively converting the strap connection to the same quick-release system used by our tripod and monopod heads, along with other Arca-Swiss style quick-release gear.
The B2-FABN has a centered ¼-20 threaded socket which directly receives the strap connector screw or stud – we recommend using a drop or two of Loctite 242 on the threads to keep it secure, even in addition to the rubber washers common to that hardware. This way the clamp will never twist off without intending to do so, courtesy of the swiveling hardware of the strap (which most straps of this type have). We’ve used this quick-release attachment comfortably with a pro-sized DSLR and a 70-200mm lens for hours at a time, and even tried it out with the 500mm/f4 telephoto lens we have in the office. With collared lenses we clamp to the lens plate, not the camera body, for the best possible balance.
By centering the B2-FABN on an L-plate where the mounting screw sits, you get the same performance that the strap designers intended, and the camera hangs securely at the hip. Plus, you can slide the B2-FAB-F anywhere along the dovetail surface, meaning with an L-plate it’s possible to clamp to the left side of the camera should you prefer that for clearance or balance reasons. Facing the knob forward under the lens prevents it from hitting the chin when looking through the viewfinder, and keeps things from bushing against the knob, virtually eliminating any remote possibility of accidental loosening. To tripod mount, simply loosen the knob of the B2-FABN 1/4-turn, slide the plate or L-plate out, and drop it onto the clamp on your tripod.
Having been so spoiled by the quick-release function of our L-plate and lens plates, we absolutely love that we can convert our super-comfy shoulder straps to the same system for seamless use. It’s rock solid and quick as anything, allowing for the fastest possible transition from shoulder to tripod.