I’ve had the Carry Speed FS-Pro Prime sling style strap now for a couple of months and have been waiting to really put it through it’s paces before writing any sort of review for it. This is the second iteration of the FS-Pro strap and they’ve made some improvements along the way.
In the past I’ve used Crumpler Industry Disgrace straps and Optech neoprene straps as well. Both of these are regular neck straps and for short sessions they were fine but for longer days they would become a pain in the neck literally. After a 10 hour day at Disneyland, with my family, carrying a Canon 6D with a 24-70 f/2.8 lens I realized that I needed a sling style strap for longer days as my neck was killing me! I called up a friend of mine who’s the rep for Carry Speed straps in Canada and got one old and one new style FS-Pro Prime straps to try.
I used the FS-Pro Prime and the older FS-Pro for three 8 hour days recently while photographing the Canadian Special Olympics at the University of British Columbia. I had a either the Canon 60D with a 70-200 2.8 lens or a 6D with a 24-70 2.8 lens on the strap at all times with the other camera on a monopod. I have to say they worked pretty much as well as advertised. Very comfortable and quick to get into shooting position like most sling straps. The wide neoprene strap was actually quick cool as well. I thought it was going to be a sweat magnet but the venting helped quite a bit in that regard despite the 30+ degree Celsius weather.
The biggest improvement from the older FS-Pro to the newer Prime series is the hardware that holds the camera to the sling. Like the older series, the Prime uses a ball that is connected to the tripod mount of a camera and a socket that is attached to this is on the modular carry strap. The older connector was a screw locking mount with a rubber O-ring to help keep everything safe. There were random reports on the internet about the metal wearing through and cameras falling off the ball because although the ball was stainless steel, the socket isn’t. The new connector is quite a bit thicker and now made of stainless steel that is chrome hardened. It gone is the screw threads and it now is a push and twist to lock mechanism. It’s actually much quicker to use once you get used to it and cannot back off like the screw mount. I can’t see this new connector wearing out anytime soon. The new connecter is on the left below.
What really cool is they’ve redesigned the bottom plate as well. The original plate was only Arca Swiss compatible but had many 1/4″ tripod mounts to mount install various plates. The new plate is still Arca compatible but now is also Manfrotto RC2 quick release plate compatible which is great for those of us with both systems. Some of these dual compatible plates are compromises and don’t always fit that great but I’m happy to report that it fits nice and tight on the 234RC and 498RC heads on my monopod and tripods. The plate also works very well on my Mefoto Roadtripper tripod. Below is a photo of the new (left) and old (right) plates. Notice the slightly smaller size. My one complaint about these plates is the tripod screw is not the best quality and are a bit soft so are damaged easily but then again I tend to change configurations of my equipment quick frequently since I shoot such varied subjects from day to day.
Overall, I have no reservations recommending these Carryspeed straps to anyone looking for a sling style strap. The straps themselves are much more comfortable than BlackRapid straps. It’s just too bad they are not available in the U.S. due to Black Rapid’s heavy handed (and a bit sketchy) patent enforcement. In Canada they are available from Henry’s and London Drugs among other places. Check them out!