Enhancing the Fujifilm X-E1

X-E1 + Gordy + thumbs up

X-E1 + Gordy + thumbs up

I’ve bought a couple of accessories for my X-E1, which add to the usability, and make the tactile experience even better.

Firstly, I bought a Gordy camera strap. Made by hand by Gordy Coale, the workmanship is excellent, and is comfortable around the wrist while providing reassurance that if my grip should slip, my X-E1 will be safe. When I toted a DSLR around, it would hang from my neck, but the size and weight of the X-E1 means that I prefer to hold it one-handed by the grip. Much better on my neck.

Secondly, I’ve added a Thumbs Up “Bop” Concave soft release. This screws into the shutter release, and allows me to gently trigger the shutter, with a much more positive action than the standard button. Because it’s concave, my finger rests nicely on it. One tip, though – put a dab of super glue on the thread, or you will find it has unscrewed and got lost, at some point.

Do any of you have favourite accessories? Let me know!

Black Rapid RS-5 Camera Strap Review

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest difference.

Have you ever wondered why the humble camera strap is the way it is?

After I hurt my back a few years ago, I found carrying a DSLR and a hefty lens around increasingly tiring.

Landscape photography was not so bad. I’d put my kit in a photographer’s rucksack, the weight was evenly distributed, and those hills stayed still long enough for me to get my gear out and set up without missing the shot.

But photography while sightseeing, or walking about an urban environment didn’t work so well. My manufacturer-supplied camera strap would pull on my neck and back if used in the traditional position (which also left the view screen banging onto coat fasteners – and led to a scratched screen), or if I slung it ‘bandolier-style’ across my body, that left the lens sticking out from my hip for passers-by to jostle.

Presumably Ron Henry, the founder of Black Rapid and an experienced music and wedding photographer had the same problems, because he invented a range of camera straps to make carrying cameras more comfortable and easier and quicker to handle.

Pay money for a camera strap? My camera came with one included!

Yep. Strange isn’t it? Despite spending a small fortune on camera bodies and lenses, I was quite resistant to the idea of spending more on something as basic as a strap. So what did I think?

The Black Rapid RS-5 is well made, with strong stitching, a padded area and a breathable mesh underside where the weight rests on your shoulder. It attaches to your camera using the tripod mount, using Rapid’s FastenR (a connector made from solid stainless steel, with a D-ring and a high-grade rubber compression washer that ensures a good, tight fit). One advantage of this is that if you have a large lens with a tripod mount, you can attach the strap to that, helping the balance when you carry it. The length of the strap is adjustable, so you can get your camera hanging in a convenient position so that your hand falls on the camera grip. When you grip your camera and move it up to eye level, the connector slides up the strap, ensuring it doesn’t ride up. The strap also has useful pockets big enough for a battery, memory card and mobile ‘phone.

I’ve taken my Black Rapid RS-5 strap on a few trips, where I knew that I didn’t want to carry a hefty camera bag around, and wanted quick access to my camera for street photography. Five days in Paris was great, and I got plenty of shots that I’d have missed if my camera was in a bag, and had no difficulties with the weight of the camera. I also felt more comfortable with the way the camera rests by your side, with the lens perpendicular to your body – no more jostling against passers-by or worries about banging the lens.

Conclusion

It seems ridiculous that I spent a small fortune on camera bodies and lenses, yet all this time a $65 camera strap could have made using them much more comfortable and convenient. My Canon strap is now at the back of a drawer, never to see the light of day again. Highly recommended.

Here’s a video that shows the ergonomics of the strap.

Here’s a link to the Black Rapid RS-5 product page.

I am not affiliated with Black Rapid, and don’t receive any commission from them. I just like the product.