While a camera harness looks somewhat like a lunchbox, it is one of the most comfortable ways to wear a camera. The harness not only takes the weight of your neck (and places it like a backpack on your shoulders and back), it also prevents the camera’s from swinging into each other or other things in front of you. The really nice stuff comes from Lowepro, but if you are willing to get your hands dirty you can make a simple one yourself.
Chiara Sciarone explains just how to make one:
First here is the list of stuff you need, it is a lot of buckles, carabiners, straps and d-rings. The best thing you probably be to take this to a bag store and ask them for the stuff in the picture.
- That leather thing is made from the strongest leather the shoo-store has and has a rough backside. (the usual inside of leather). This also keeps it better in place on your back. (the brown one is cannibalized from a binocular-carry-system) Just take the picture to the shoo-store. They made the black one for me for €5,-.
- The first two black ‘things’ are cannibalized from the shoulder-straps from an old backpack. (Yes, it’s plastic, but it won’t carry weight, it will just hold the belt in place.)
- The velcro-strap: I mine is from an old watch, but you can use any Velcro. (it’s just optional, if you wanna keep the neck-strap from dangling.)
- At the top of the picture, you have three options to choose from. If you have a light cam and you dare, you can try the plastic ones (from a backpack), but I don’t recommend them. Then the cheapest solution is to take the metal ones. You can cannibalize them from old dog collar or you can simply buy them at the sails-maker, sails-store (assuming you live near an ocean) or almost any store that carries hiking gear. Maybe even a hardware store… If you don’t want the strap to ware of (I don’t see it yet with mine four-year-old) you can choose the one with that rolling thing around it.
- And the strap hook. The first one is too light. The second opened itself. The third wasn’t only difficult to open and close, but I lost one on a holiday, because I didn’t close it all the way. That *&%$#!@!!! So I bought these for €2,- each.
- Than the straps, also in the hardware/sailor-store or Jo-Ann. 1,5 meter.
- The rings are key-chain-ring-like. Use the smallest and strongest ones you can get. they go about €0,35 a piece.
Making the Strap
The first step is cutting the strap in half. That can be done by cutting the strap with a pair of scissors or a knife and then melting and bonding the edge over a candle or with a lighter. You can also use the soldering bolt or use a hot paperclip (the stronger type) Be careful – don’t hold it in your hand while putting it in the fire!
Take the plastic fasteners that you “borrowed” from the backpack. Put the straps around the middle-rods and sew the strap upon itself. If you want a neat one, make sure the double-parts are equally-long on both straps. 2 cm should be just fine.
Put the other ends from the straps upwards, through the holes that are the far-rest apart. Make sure you have the ‘dead ends’ facing upwards too, you can pull the strap so that the dead ends touch the side of the leather. Now you don’t get an extra thick part. (If you need it in its widest position.)
Then put the ‘working-ends’ through the plastic things again.
Now place the metal things on the straps. Don’t skip this step now, It takes quite some time to get everything apart and back together again. OOPS! :-D
Then take the straps downwards through the last two holes. Make sure the strap doesn’t turn! And sew them upon themselves. Again take equally-long parts. (2 cm)
Place the strap hooks on the metal things and place the two key-chain-rings on the ‘rods’ where the neck-strap hangs on. Yep, that looks easy. :-P
Now it’s ready to use. Clip the strap hooks on the key-chain-rings and lock the hooks. It carry’s better when you make sure the smallest side from the hooks are on the camera-side…
If you’re already going crazy from your neckstrap, get it through the strap hook, flip it over and get the velcro-band. get it through the loop and around the two ends. This way it (for me) keeps it all best in place.
Last but not least, adjust the plastic things to a comfortable length.