I did a mini-review of the Optech Dual Harness for Amazon.com and thought I would share it with the Cambridge in Colour members. I have been using the Dual Harness for several months now and really like it.
I almost always shoot with a pair of cameras because I can have a very wide focal range at my instant disposal with a fast f/stop in my mid-range zoom (17-55mm f/2.8 IS), excellent IQ throughout the range (from 17-55mm f/2.8 IS to 70-200mm f/4L IS) and very fast and accurate autofocus. IMO, the two camera system is far superior to using a wide focal range lens such as 18-200mm with its inherrent slower aperture, slower and less accurate auto-focus and lower image quality.
The only problem with using two cameras is how to efficiently carry these two rigs and, of course, the extra weight this system involves.
I made the transition from using a pair of Canon OEM straps (which tangled too much) to the OPTECH Reporter Strap. The Reporter Strap kept the two cameras when used without flashes from tangling but, had two issues about which I am not fond:
1. The weight of the two cameras was around my neck and when working with relatively heavy lenses caused my neck to ache after a long day of shooting. This was the primary downside of the Reporter Strap.
2. I had problems when using a flash on each camera (especially when using bounce mode with a Joe Demb Flash Diffuser Pro attached). The problem was that the lower camera's reflector would frequently tangle with the upper camera.
The Dual Harness solves both of these problems. ( http://optechusa.com/product/detail/...&CATEGORY_ID=4 )
1. It distributes the weight of the two camera/lens/flash packages across my shoulders which relieves the pressure on my neck. I am no longer sore at the end of a long day carrying two cameras. This is probably the greatest benefit to using the Dual harness! The straps are also wide enough that they do not cut into my shoulders when carrying a relatively heavy rig.
2. I can carry each camera equipped with a flash and the reflector / diffuser will not tangle. The way the straps are arranged, it is easy to shoot with either camera. I tend to use the straps slightly shorter than the way they are illustrated on the Optech site. It is still quite easy to shoot with the cameras when the rig is a bit shorter and I feel more secure carrying them this way.
I am about 6'2" (188 cm) tall and weigh in excess of 220 pounds (100 kg) and I opted for the X-long version of the Dual Harness. Since there is plenty of extra length available in the X-long size and since I carry the cameras shorter than is illustrated on the OPTECH website; I might have been able to use the regular size. However, if you are a large person, I would suggest choosing the X-long size. You can always cut the attaching straps shorter but, cannot make them any longer than they are.
The quick releases on the attaching straps of the Dual Harness allow me to disconnect a camera for use on a tripod and to quickly reattach the camera when I take it off the tripod. The attaching straps do not get in the way when the camera is tripod mounted. Additionally, one side of the attching straps is male and the other femals. I can clamp these together to have a short hand hold strap. This could be an additional security facet.
I can use the dual harness with a single camera if I desire. The Dual harness still distributes the weight across my shoulders and I don't feel out of balance with a camera on only one side. When carrying a single camera, I tend to carry it on my right side which is easier for me since I am right handed.
Since I already had an OPTECH Reporter Strap, I can occasionally carry a third camera/lens on that strap. These three cameras do not tangle. The quick release clamps for the Dual Harness are compatible with the quick release clamps of the Reporter Strap which allows me to switch around the cameras in any way I wish to carry them.
I own four DSLR cameras (40D and 30D which are my standard cameras, 10D as a back up or when I use three cameras and D60 modified for full time infra red) but, seldom, if ever, use all of them at one time. Three cameras are normally the maximum I will use. However, I have a set of attaching straps on each body. The Reporter strap came with a pair of attaching straps and so did the Dual Harness.
The Dual harness is a lightweight and relatively inexpensive solution to carrying two or more cameras in the field.
I have added a inexpensive carabiner clamp (not an expensive mountain climbing model) to the adjustment straps on each side of my photo vest. Securing each camera strap with a clamp, I prevent the cameras from swinging from side to side when I run or climb.
When I am in a crowd, I can walk with a hand on each camera for security purposes. I can also place the dual harness beneath my photo vest which provides additional security from theft and a bit of protection from rain or blowing dust.