Yesterday's post elicited a large number of comments—the longer, thoughtful kind—and I'm going to have to work on that this morning. Please do check back later to read some of them (I'll feature a few this time, but many people had interesting and insightful things to say).
Meanwhile, just curious—anybody use a binocular harness as a camera strap? How does it work? I think I hurt my neck using it as a post to drape heavy cameras around in my youth, and it just won't stand any weight at all. Even with today's light cameras it starts to hurt in no time. Just wondering how binocular straps work for cameras and whether it's a viable solution in practice.
Incidentally [digression], you know I never write about pool here on TOP, and I've mentioned all this before, but playing pool had a very big surprise in store for me when I started using it for recreation. I originally got a pool table (now sadly departed) because my doctor told me I needed to get away from the desk and move around several times during the day. It actually worked just great for that—I'd get up, migrate to the basement, throw the balls out on the table and knock 'em all down a time or two, then head back upstairs to the computer.
The great surprise was that, after at least 20 years of chronic neck pain that didn't seem to respond to any kind of treatment, my neck pain went away entirely within weeks! Miracle of miracles. I'd been afraid that pool would make my neck pain worse, or that I wouldn't be able to play at all because of it, but instead, to my happy astonishment, it cured me. Now that it's been more than a year since I've had a table, my neck pain is returning. It's not as bad—I'm in better health now because I walk-jog when the weather permits and do my pet NYT 7-minute exercise, the perfect exercise for people who don't like to exercise—but I miss pool. I know it's laughable and entirely preposterous to claim that I played pool for health reasons—makes me chuckle even to write it—but that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Today's cameras are potentially small and light enough that they probably give very few people reason for concern, but my neck is like Incurable Sh**ty Ankle (if you haven't seen that bit, on one aspect of aging, I highly recommend it for anyone over 40, or younger people who want to know what's coming. It's got some profanity in it, and I know some people don't like that, but it's a classic).
Jeez, I just meant to ask one simple question and now it's a post. I guess I just think in six-paragraph chunks any more...anyway, don't miss the comments to the previous post, but please give me a while. I'm a-workin' on it.
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Moose: "There are, to my mind, two distinctions to be made to the concept of the harness shown at your link. First, there is a difference between binocular and camera harnesses. The topology of binocular and camera harnesses is the same; just the materials and connection details are different. It would seem from your link that this distinction has been largely lost in marketing, but I think it's still useful in finding the right tool.
"The harnesses I use on our binoculars use rather lightweight round nylon cord, about 1/4" dia., and simple metal connectors. One may just put it over the neck, like a simple strap, or put one's arms through, to wear it as a harness. Must be perfect for our binocs, as the one I put on our largish B&L Waterproof Elite 8x40s has been there for about 20 years, and when my wife Carol wanted one for some newer, lighter binocs, she wanted the same thing. Too light for a serious camera and lens, as the thin cord would start to cut into skin. On the other hand, the more serious harnesses at the links look like too much for me and binocs.
"Camera straps use wide, flat strap material and connectors to spread the load. Again, there are important distinctions to be made. Some use stretchy straps, which I found I quite dislike, and others use regular nylon straps. Many, as in your link, use a single connection point on the back. When I was finding the right one for me, I found a dual connection system more comfortable and useful. It allows the part on the front where the camera connectors slide up and down to be vertical longer, before it starts wrapping around to the back. The one I ended up really liking even allows adjustment of the length between rear connectors.
"Here is how a good camera harness fits on my body.
"I haven't used the harness since switching to Micro 4/3."
Jim Mooney: "I'm going to have to start wearing a tinfoil hat to protect me from the TOP mind scanner ray. This is probably the fifth time in the past two years that I've been mulling something over and you publish a TOP article on it. Going to try it with my new-to-me G1X. I've been wanting to try this for when I hike so that the camera is readily accessible but not tugging on a shoulder or belt."
Jayson Merryfield: "Speaking as a wedding photographer, harnesses and strapping systems that take the weight off your neck and redistribute it to your shoulder are all the rage these days, and have been for quite some time. The trendy types have preferred the Holdfast Money Maker for a few years now."
Mike replies: I think those only hold Leicas. I might get this one. (Although I do realize wedding photographers have to dress up, so the Money Maker might be appropriate.)
David Miller: "Response from a retired physiotherapist: Yes, Mike, playing pool makes perfect sense as therapy for chronic neck pain associated with too much time at your desk. A good physio might be able to sort out your sitting, keyboard, writing surface and monitor positions to diminish your neck problems. A couple of added postural correction exercises would eliminate the problem completely. But in all honesty a pool table offers a better solution for you—you've already proven that. This is a perfectly serious physiotherapist's directive, Mike: for the sake of your health get a pool table. (In the past I have often prescribed: 'Patient is to get a dog,' and on one occasion of which I am still very proud: 'Patient is to get a horse.' A pool table is small stuff compared to that.) I'm glad you've found a tolerable exercise program. Keep on with it…but first knock a few balls around."
Mike replies: I actually talked my doctor into agreeing with me that a pool table might be a good way for me to get out from in front of the computer on a regular basis, and I almost got him to write me a prescription for it—but then he had second thoughts, thinking it might make him liable to an accusation of insurance fraud. So he told me to go ahead and get a pool table but he didn't give me a prescription for it. I was only going to frame it and put it on the wall in the basement next to the table, that's all.