Camera straps are often the forgotten aspect of the camera world. Everyone is concerned about having the best lenses, the best filters and the best camera that they can afford. In saying this however, no one really thinks about how they are going to look after that sizable investment. That is where Vulture Equipment Works comes into play, designing, creating and manufacturing camera straps.
I don’t know about you, but after having one Canon strap break on a 5D MkII that I was borrowing, I have never felt overly secure relying on the manufacture’s strap. Thankfully nothing was seriously damaged in that particular incident. Since coming to the US and Overland International, Scott Brady has introduced me to the Vulture Equipment Works and I have to say that I couldn’t feel safer now running around the bush. Using the Vulture A2 strap on the 5D MkIII makes everything that much more secure. Scott himself ran the A4 strap on his 1D-X when he was in Antarctica, and he has nothing but praises to sing for it.
“There are still places on the planet where equipment must not fail, as the cost of malfunction is often measured in human lives or irrecoverable losses. While crossing Antarctica this past December, those considerations all came to bear when the Expeditions 7 team rumbled out of the Russian Novo Airfield and headed south to the Pole. Any equipment failure was a problem, and camera gear was no exception. I purchased a Canon 1DX and used all L glass for durability and weather sealing. My backup body was a 5D MKIII and we had numerous extra lenses. For each camera, I secured them around my neck using Vulture Equipment A4 and A2 adventure straps. They could be clipped easily to my harness (due to crevasse danger) or slung around my neck and under one arm. The smooth strapping allows the camera to be brought to position quickly and reduces snags and resistance against technical clothing. Overall, the strap was flawless and helped protect our irreplaceable images and equipment.
To ensure the strap lives up to its name, Vulture Equipment uses military grade webbing, stitching that is twice that of US military spec, and mountaineering grade carabiners. All this combined creates a rigging system that you never need to worry about breaking. Both straps are very versatile and are adjustable up to 70” long.
These straps provide a wide range of options as to how you set up your camera strap. Personally, it would depend on the type of shoot I was doing. If I was looking at a fast action shoot then having the strap set up to a single connecting point was great as I would be able to keep it close at hand by tightening the strap around my shoulder. For more beauty shots, I am a fan of having more movement to play with so having it set up like a standard strap made it very useable. Further to this I also do a fair amount of video work which having a strap when the camera is mounted to a slide or a tripod is very inconvenient, so I would simply remove it.
The only thing that I was not a fan of was the metallic carabiners. While these are essential to retain the security of the strap system, they make a great deal of noise and have the potential to rub against the camera. We swapped ours out for some plastic MOLLE clips. Another option that has been recommended is to dip the carabiners into plasti dip, giving them a rubbery coating. Apart from this minor issue nothing else has struck me as annoying, unfinished, or has need for improvement. It is a fair dinkum rigging set.
To further enhance the usefulness of these straps you are also able to purchase a Permit Pouch, which makes for great storage of media passes or filming permits.
For ease of shooting on the run Vulture Equipment has also created an alternative to carrying around a bulky tripod or monopod. The A2T uses tension that you place on the strap to reduce the vibrations through your camera. The best part about this is that it rolls up to about the size of your fist, so it comfortably fits in a small camera bag or day pack.
Overall I have nothing but positives to say for Vulture Equipment Works gear. It is strong, reliable, and versatile; something I would want to carry with me at all times. I can see that some people may bawk at the $150 price tag but that is most likely 5% of the overall cost of your gear. Now I am just waiting to try out some of their new knives and see what they come up with next.