By Ellis Vener
Recently I had a chance to try out two new camera straps from Lowepro, the venerable maker of camera carrying equipment. The Speedster is a relatively narrow woven nylon strap designed for use by “active photographers or photojournalists.” The Voyager S, “ideal for adventure photographers” is somewhat wider, padded, and made from softer stretchy neoprene. Both do a fine job of holding a large Canon DSLR and heavy 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.
The bits that actually connect to your camera body detach via a double-sided buckle mechanism. The buckle design is identical in both, so you could, if inclined, remove the strap to get it out of the way while your camera is on a tripod, easily swap straps for different types of use, or use the same strap on more than one camera. The Voyager strap is a fixed 41.3 inches long while the Speedster adjusts from 38.5 to 45.25 inches.
Caption: The Voyager S (left) and the Speedster (right).
The inner surface of the Speedster strap has low-profile, rubber thread pattern woven in to reduce camera slippage problems. The Voyager S has a shorter length of a silicon applique for the same purpose. I assume this is to reduce wear and tear on weather proofed garments but it doesn’t feel nearly as secure. The S designation stands for straight; there is also a Voyager C (contoured) model. Voyager S was designed for photographers who prefer to sling the camera across their chest, while the C model should be more comfortable for on-the-shoulder or around the neck wear.
Yet another model, the Transporter, is designed for use with multiple cameras or other equipment.
The Voyager S comes with a detachable media holder with two pockets built in. This media wallet seals with three Velcro patches for extra security and likewise Velcros into place on the strap.
One area of concern I had when initially looking at the straps were the buckles. They sure seemed easy to unlock. But once I started using them I realized that gravity working its magic on the weight of a camera makes the latches more secure. They will only open when no stress is being put on them.
Stylewise the straps are elegantly low key and come in basic black (the Speedster is trimmed in a dark gray). Despite the limitation of fixed length, I think that wedding and event photographers will generally find the Voyager S a better choice. The wider neoprene (the same stuff a skin diver’s wet-suit is made from) seems to carry the weight a little easier and it looks less photo-geeky when worn with a navy blue sport coat or black tuxedo jacket.
Voyager S: $29.99
Voyager C: $29.99