Gearing Up: The Adventurer’s Camera Strap

Aaron Sheldon knows the street of Columbus very well.  He has led photo walks for the past five years in Columbus (as well as Boston, New York City and Washington, DC).  In the past year he has launched a successful mentoring and training program based on his experience leading and participating in photo walks. We asked Aaron to take the Vulture Equipment Works A4 strap for a test drive during our last photo walk, and here are his thoughts:

Vulture Equipment Works A4 attached to the Fuji X100S.
Vulture Equipment Works A4 attached to the Fuji X100S.

I like camera straps. I’ve owned a lot of them. With each purchase I thought that I FINALLY had “the one strap that can do it all” and suit all of my camera-carrying needs. Needless to say, I have a drawer full of straps that I found to be lacking in one area or another.  When I first heard about the Vulture A4 and A2, I was hopeful that this would be the strap: the one that would stand up to the hype and really work for me.

Vulture Equipment Works was born out of necessity. The founder needed  a camera strap that would stand up to the rigors of extreme settings and took inspiration from Aviation- and Spec Ops-grade web rigging. Their focus on durability and utility is obvious the second you pick up one of their straps. The strap has heft to it. Not big clunky weight, but purposeful, solid durability. They use a grade of nylon webbing considerably denser than any strap I have ever used. At the same time, though, the weave of the webbing is smooth enough (as are ALL of the edges) to avoid irritating the wearer’s skin or clothes ,even after considerable wear. (Check out Vulture Equipment Works’ Facebook page to see some of the torture tests they have put these straps through to test their durability.)

vulture strap 2

Aside from build quality and good looks, what makes the Vulture Straps stand apart are their amazing utility. The system is based on a strap with lightweight metal alloy biners at each end. At the other end of the biner is the lower riser loop. Each strap comes with two that attach to your camera via the loop mounts built into every SLR. What is great about this set-up is its flexibility. If you prefer a sling-style strap, remove one biner and loop both ends of the strap through the remaining biner, and you now nave a heavy duty sling strap with a single (but stable) attachment point to the camera. I tested the system in the configuration pictured below with the lower riser attached to a BlackRapid FastnR.

vulture strap 3

This allowed the camera to hang comfortably at my hip without twisting around like it does when on certain other straps. It also allowed me to use the second riser and biner with my second camera body (attached similarly with another FastnR) and clipped to the strap of my camera bag which I could then just grab and slide up the bag’s strap into shooting position.

Vulture Equipment Works currently offers two versions of their strap: the A4 and A2. The only difference between the two is the Military-grade quick release built into the A4. While this feature is handy for attaching the strap to the airframe of a C130 airplane or the HS handle in a helicopter during an open door tour of Hawaii or in other situations where you may not have the luxury of time or steady hands to remove the rigging quickly in case of an emergency, it’s not really necessary for most photographers, even though it looks really cool with its military grade wire rigging and “remove before flight” red safety tag.

vulture strap 4

If you are looking for an extremely well-made and flexible camera strap that can also double as a rigging platform, please take a look at the Vulture Equipment Works A4 and A2 straps.  They are durable, comfortable, and they look REALLY cool.

Want to see more of Aaron’s work? Check out his website AND scroll down for photos taken in preparation for this weekend’s Moonlight Market Photo Walk:

Ohio Theatre

Broad and 3rd

Pearl Alley

State House at High Street

Dispatch

State House

Midwest Photo

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