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Carrying heavier lens / Camera mount stress

Hi everyone,

First of all, it’s nice to meet you :) 

My name’s Thiago, from Brazil. I have started studying photography couple of years ago and it’s something I have really enjoyed. Well, and since I do own a lot of what I have learned to Neil and his blog/videos, might as well join this community :D 

So, this is something that’s been on my mind and I would really like to get some different perspectives on in.

Got a D810 and recently a 70-200 2.8 Nikkor lens. Until today, I always carried this combo with a SB-700 on-camera using the Blackrapid strap attached to the camera body with no issues at all, just had to pass the strap over my shoulder and point the lens downward under my arm so it does not dangle around.  

I then later saw a post somewhere stating the 70-200 might be too heavy to be carried like this and I should be attaching the strap to the tripod foot on the lens as to avoid unnecessary stress in the D810 mount. Which kinda makes it a lot more difficult to change lenses as I would have to come up with all kinds of arca swiss plates to change the attach point for the strap. 

So you guys have probably way more experience than me regarding this, so is this really an issue? Internet is so full of FUD that’s sometimes is hard to get some real knowledge. 

Thank you. 

All best


  • Hello Thiago,
    I'll chime in. I was planning on buying a black rapid for my d4 and probably would have, however many reviews stated that when the smaller lens is  attached, its fine but the 70-200 lens seems to swing like a pendulum quite a bit when you are moving quickly. I could see a situation where the lens crashing into an door opening and not only might you damage the lens but I would assume you could damage the camera as well from the stress of the lens being deflected.  I shoot my 70-200 for sports almost always on a monopod from the tripod foot, handheld for portraits. I shoot my 400 2.8 100% of the time on a really right stuff mono.

    Hope this helps a bit.
  • I love my Spider holster, just saying.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I have no direct experience of this ... but it is one of those things which appear to make sense - that's a heavy lens to swing around on a camera mount. 

    That said, just before the D4 was released, I had two Nikon D3 bodies in simultaneously for problems with image softness to the edges ... caused my lens mount problems. 

    So it just makes sense to be careful about this - there's sure to be a fair amount of torque on that lens mount. 
  • Thanks for the input, everyone :) 

    With a little bit of care, I wouldn't say the lens swings that much if you tuck it the way I mentioned or behind you pointing downwards. Walking is fine I'd say, running is a bit more problematic...But in any case, I tend to always have a hand in the lens anyway. 

    I thought about the Spider holster, but I am not sure I would adapt, maybe afraid to drop the whole gig on the floor? I don't know.. 

    I've seen in one of your articles you usually carry your cameras hanged on your shoulders with straps attached to the tether points.. but when using the 70-200, do you attach anything to help supporting its weight? 

    I am trying to have some idea here..because even tough the point in which the strap is attached is different, in theory problem would be the same. 

  • SkipperlangeSkipperlange Member
    edited September 2015
    Hi Thiago, 

    Buy the Spider Holster! I love it. I can't imagine not having it now. It's the best $135 I ever spent. I went to the big photo expo in NYC last year and went to a lecture by Lindsay Adler. She was wearing one and recommended it. After the lecture I went to B&H and bought one. So happy.

    I shoot with a 70-200 more than any other lens, probably 90 percent of the time. The holster takes all the weight off my neck. Plus it's just easier having my arms and hands free. It stays secure and doesn't dangle all over the place. NO...... It will not fall off and fall to the floor. When I tried it on in the store the salesman said OK, take it off now. So I squeezed the two sides of the clasp and pulled hard on the other end to unbuckle it. But it would not unbuckle. So the guy was smiling. He did that to show me that it would not fall off. There's an extra button you have to push in (in addition to squeezing the two sides) to get it off. Also, camera will not fall out of the well-designed holster. You can use it interchangeably with or without the safety lock, either way it won't come out. 

    I don't know to what extent this addresses the mount stress issue. It may not address it at all although I would think that without all that pulling and dangling it gets from hanging from a strap that the stress would be less.

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