Fstoppers Reviews the RL Handcrafts Clydesdale Pro-DLX Dual Camera Strap

Fstoppers Reviews the RL Handcrafts Clydesdale Pro-DLX Dual Camera Strap

A good camera strap is something that a lot of people don't find important until they actually try a good camera strap. I have found that getting the camera off of my neck and onto my shoulders to make a world of difference while shooting and especially the day after shooting. This becomes even more important when you are dealing with the added weight of carrying dual cameras. Enter the Clydesdale Pro-DLX from RL Handcrafts.

The Clydesdale Pro-DLX is a camera strap that is designed to carry two to three camera bodies at the same time. Similar to other dual camera straps, it features a shoulder harness type design that allows the weight of the cameras to sit squarely onto your shoulders. From here, two of the three cameras attached to either side of the harness by a sliding strap. This sliding strap allows the cameras to move freely from a resting position to a shooting position without the main harness needing to move.     

I love that they offer belts that match each color option

If you decide that you want to add a third camera to your setup, this is done by attaching two small straps to the d-rings on the shoulders. This allows the third camera to hang in front of you in the middle of your chest similar to a normal neck strap, but the weight is still being supported by your shoulders.

The overall build of the strap is fantastic. Everything is made up of high end leather and nickel plated brass hardware. It has a nice stitching along all of the edges and the leather was very soft coming right out of the box.

Where this strap differs from others on the market is in the six point pivot system. On the back of the harness there is a type of back plate where the main straps attach. These four attachment points are designed to allow the strap to rotate about the rivet that is holding them in place. What this does is allows the entire harness to lay flat against your body no matter how thin or wide you may be.

The other two pivot points can be found on the front of the harness where the shoulder section meets the bottom section of the strap. This point of rotation allows you to have the camera outstretched to one side while the shoulder section remains comfortably in place.  

Overall I found that the rotation points did help with the strap staying in the correct position but it did take a small break in period to get things moving. I found that it helped to force each section to rotate a few times in order to loosen things up.

Aside from the rotation points, the harness also offers a way to adjust the length of each strap to make the fit as perfect as possible. I do like that this adjustment is done with two button studs, making adjustment super quick and easy.    

Another great feature of the strap is that the shoulder section has a soft section of padding. I like that this padding is not very thick, allowing the overall build to remain sleek and non bulky, but thick enough to give some added comfort. I did notice that the padding didn't do much when using my lighter Fuji Xpro2 system, but was more noticeable when using my Nikon D750 and a heavy lens. The padding didn't take anything away when using the lighter system, I just think that there wasn't enough weight to make the benefits of the padding apparent.

My only complaint with the entire setup can be found where the camera is attached to the slide strap. The attachment is done by attaching a supplied tripod d-ring to your camera's tripod mount and then clipping the swivel lever snap to the d-ring. The connection feels solid enough and the swivel snap has a good amount of tension in the lever, but I would have liked to see something with some type of locking mechanism. They do supply a set of safety straps so that there are two connection points to your camera, but I like to be able to quickly remove my camera from the strap in certain situations. I would much rather deal with one locking clasp over two non-locking snaps.

What I liked

  • Leather quality
  • Pivot system
  • Stitching
  • Overall look

 

What i didn't like

  • Non locking clasp
  • I wish there were solid colors instead of just the two toned configurations

Conclusion


Overall I think this is a fantastic strap. It has a nice polished look and functions exactly like it should. The pivot system helps the strap stay in the correct position and the padding is a nice feature if you are using a heavier set of gear. I would have liked to have seen a locking clasp for some added peace of mind, but the current snap did the job well the entire time I used it.

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23 Comments

George Pahountis's picture

Quite beautiful but at a price :(

Jay Jay's picture

MUCH better designed in every way than the Holdfast Moneymaker series, their direct competitor. (Except for the camera latch, where the Holdfast has a locking latch) The stitching and especially consideration to make this ergonomically designed and with padding on some of the models makes me want to sell my Moneymaker and get this one instead. I've always hated the way the leather is cut on mine, making it not very form fitting.

ALEXANDER TARDIF's picture

Now that appears to be a nice and well thought through design! Some time ago I decided to make myself a replica of that Moneymaker dual strap. Not so much because I wanted that strap but because I always wanted to make something out of leather... I ended up actually buying a bunch of proper tools and leather supplies. Easy stuff. Made a couple of straps. Never actually liked using them because of the inherent shortcomings of the HF design (which is nothing more than two belts and some extension straps). Gave two away to friends as gifts.

Since then I've been thinking about getting another one done with a design vey similar to this one, although I admit that then pivot system shown here is even better than I've drawn up and envisioned myself. I'm inspired... going to carve out a few hours to make one now, woo hoo!
Here's my test-run version of that "moneymaker" that I've held on to:

I have the same concerns about mounting the camera to the strap via the tripod socket. My preference is mounting the camera using the strap slots on the camera. But using a shoulder harness is ideal for carrying two cameras. I used the OP/Tech shoulder harness to carry a Canon 5D III with a EF 100-400 f4.5-5.6L II lens and a New Canon F-1 with a FD 28mm f2,8 lens for a golf tournament practice round. I was exhausted after the day, but I didn't feel the need to visit a chiropractor the next day. The shoulder harness took the weight off my neck.

Scott Mosley's picture

I'm still a spider holster user through and through, sure it doesn't get me as many hipster points but it has proven much more effective for my style of shooting. When I used the moneymaker for a couple weddings, i found myself disconnecting the camera to get far reaching or quick low-angle shots where the straps got in the way. The biggest advantage to the spider holster over these types of harness straps is the fact that i can easily pop a camera onto a tripod or monopod (for crane-overhead type shots). When i am also shooting video the spider pro is a no brainer, all three cameras have 1/2 size manfrotto video plates with are only as long as the body depth and the spider plates are fitted with a matching mocroQR base. All three cameras can be used for spider or tripod, slider, monopod as needed with QR plates. BONUS: the viewfinder i use for handheld video magnetically clips in to the short plate so i don't need a frame or anything that impedes the flip screen on my d750s. I'm told by the owner of Spider that he is finishing up plate the will will just be a manfrotto 501pl plate with a folding pin. but the extra weight is almost nothing if it never gets made, i'm still happy with my setup. Here's a terrible photo to illustrate my spider hybrid shooter system on the bottom of the camera:

Fritz John Asuro's picture

Does look good, perfect for wedding photographers that wants to blend in with style compared to "army" or "special ops" looking straps.
Though, I still love my BlackRapid straps.

Spy Black's picture

Looks like fashionable S&M wear...

Mark Niebauer's picture

Way over-priced for my tastes. I know of Horse saddles that are very beautiful for less than this.

barry cash's picture

Is it available in all black

Very beautiful, but far too expensive. I purchased a Black Rapid single camera strap second hand (but in new condition) for $50AUD, and a two camera Black Rapid strap for only $110AUD. Excellent quality, for significantly less money.

Jozef Povazan's picture

OK, I am Moneymaker user, which I find pretty simple design and usable for a full day wedding day up to 16 hours, but at the end of a long one and if you have D4s-70-200 and D4s-35 on it you wake up next morning and you do not want to go and shoot another 16 hour anymore :)... still so far there was nothing better for the long days that Moneymaker, which is IMO overpriced for what it does and how it is made. This pro dlx you are showing here, has a but better padding and back piece but I am not sure if it will make a huge difference between moneymaker, plus the price is ridiculous :( to be honest. If I am working with one camera only then Black Rapid is my choice above all, or simply carry camera in hand and that it is. And btw for prime lens DSLR shooters, or Fuji guys do you really need harness for those weights? unless you are 2 bodies guys with fast pace work I do not know honestly to carry X100T on this monster harness looks like a joke to me since even simple strap would work just fine :) Happy season guys just my 50 cents.

There is a reason there are no professional grade backpacks, for people who are actually using them to hike, camp or mountaineer, with straps made out of leather. Black Rapid all the way! Nowhere near as fancy looking but I can't imagine have leather digging into me for a wedding.

Sky Simone's picture

I don't see why people have a problem with using the straps the cameras came with. I carry one camera around my neck, and the 2nd camera over my shoulder. I also shoot video so putting my tripod plate on and off this device would be a big hassle. I'll keep using the straps the camera bodies come with.

Jacques Cornell's picture

With a harness, your camera cant' slip off your shoulder and crash to the ground. I don't have to scrunch up my shoulder to keep the strap from slipping off. And, the harness spreads the weight. On 12-14 hour event days, the harness makes a huge difference.

Jacques Cornell's picture

OptechUSA's Dual Sling, Double Harness, and Triple Carrier cost only $50, $56 and $60 respectively, their neoprene spreads the load, they're inconspicuous, have a modular design, and don't have any metal bits that can scratch your camera or lens.
http://optechusa.com/straps.html?carry_style=476
I keep seeing reviews of pricey boutique camera straps, but none of them appear to me to be better than OptechUSA's, and they cost a lot more. Seems like straps are becoming the latest gentrified fashion accessory in the camera world.

Subhankar Barai's picture

Couldn't agree more with Jacques!
I use the OptechUSA double harness since the last 4 years. I have searched many straps but all have one of the following issues.
1. Single point of failure
2. No locking mechanism
3. Blocking the tripod mount completely so moving my camera to a tripod will mean a LOT of time wasted

None of these issues are faced with the OptechUSA product. I am confident while using it knowing that even if one point fails, there's another one that will hold my camera. It is extremely light weight and I can keep my quick release plates always attached to my camera. It takes 5 seconds to put it on the tripod.

Despite all these benefits, I can't find any review on it 😀

Jason Vinson's picture

There a ton of ways to mount a tripod plate and still use these straps. i have a tripod plate on my camera that has been attached since i got the camera and i use these straps for every shoot. Every strap I have used has an optional safety strap and the Holdfast versions of these double straps do have a locking clasp. the issue with the OptechUSA straps is that (IMO) they look cheap.

I did my own strap because the commercially available ones were not really designed for my needs. Not tried the one in the article though. Link found here: http://www.jonaskarlssonfoto.se/diy-dual-camera-strap-holster

Mr Hogwallop's picture

I think this would be a good photo to use in the ads for the new "Lethal Weapon" show....

Travis Alex's picture

I always think these are great, but I just can't justify that price for something that's more fashionable then practical.

Jason Vinson's picture

i used to think the same thing until i got one. now I never shoot without it.

I was about to pull the trigger on a holdfast, mostly because of the clasp. Im glad I found this... Overpriced? I'm not sure what you guys are used to spending on here but handmade leather straps after years of designs and redesigns for $220??? I will have almost $10,000 in gear hanging from his harness. what is the strap cost compared to that?? (.02% of my rig.) I have a couple of backpack systems. I also have a think tank over the shoulder bag. and my last purchase, about $220-ish, a spider belt system with three Think tank lens pouches attached to it. I'm all about function over form, however form matters. At least that most of the stuff I do. If you don't think so you should do some more market research.

The days of one strap or one bag for everything are far gone. (If you photograph multiple kinds of events as well as videography.) Multiple lenses, multiple cameras and of course multiple strap and handbags. I actually thought this strap would be more expensive after seeing the photos. (one wedding engagement easily pays or this!) I'm going to order one tonight.

Thanks for the write up! Especially the personal opinions, Hopefully the clasp will come off and on quickly... Looks safe enough as long as I'm not doing somersaults.

M-

I was about to pull the trigger on a holdfast, mostly because of the clasp. Im glad I found this... Overpriced? I'm not sure what you guys are used to spending on here but handmade leather straps after years of designs and redesigns for $220??? I will have almost $10,000 in gear hanging from his harness. what is the strap cost compared to that?? (.02% of my rig.) I have a couple of backpack systems. I also have a think tank over the shoulder bag. and my last purchase, about $220-ish, a spider belt system with three Think tank lens pouches attached to it. I'm all about function over form, however form matters. At least that most of the stuff I do. If you don't think so you should do some more market research.

The days of one strap or one bag for everything are far gone. (If you photograph multiple kinds of events as well as videography.) Multiple lenses, multiple cameras and of course multiple strap and handbags. I actually thought this strap would be more expensive after seeing the photos. (one wedding engagement easily pays or this!) I'm going to order one tonight.

Thanks for the write up! Especially the personal opinions, Hopefully the clasp will come off and on quickly... Looks safe enough as long as I'm not doing somersaults.

M-