As a wedding photographer I usually work with 2 camera bodies with various lenses attached. Now when both cameras are around your next for 12+hrs it can get a little… uncomfortable. Before the Money Maker I have used the supplied straps and padded Crumpler efforts but still found that these pulled around my neck and often got caught up with each other as I switched from camera to camera.
Black Rapid supply a dual strap but with black nylon and webbing it can make you look like your set to invade Kuwait and can get grubby with use – just like standard straps. Step forward the Money Maker.
I found at weddings I was often putting one camera down and wrapping the strap around my wrist several times of the other. Not ideal.
I forget how I found out about HoldFast but after several months of deliberating the $250 price tag I took the plunge figuring that I could sell it one and not make much of a lose if I didn’t like it. I shouldn’t have worried! HoldFast is a startup run by Wedding Photographer Matthew Swaggart and personally answered all emails and queries in a friendly and prompt fashion. – what you’re looking for from a company really.
I ordered mine in the Water Buffalo Burgundy but other materials and shades are available from chestnut Bridle to Genuine Python! (hipster overload!) I chose the Water Buffalo as it is a softer leather straight off the bat.
Basically the Money Maker consists of two leather belts that cross over your back in an X position. It helps shift the load of your neck and makes things much more comfortable. The cameras hang upside down just and as your reach down to bring them to eye level it feels very intuitive. If you only want to use one camera you just tighten up the free side a couple of stops and it still keeps everything comfortable and secure. It can even be configured for 3 cameras!
I also included something called the ‘portrait slider’ to my order which basically is an extra long slider attachment intended to be used for the camera on you left hand side (if you bring the camera to your right eye) to make things a bit more comfortable if you use the camera in the portrait position frequently. At a recent 14hr wedding I really felt the benefit of the extra long slider. With my 35mm on my right hand side – mostly used in the landscape position my 135L was on my left with the longer slider as I am more prone to use this lens in a portrait orientation.
Mine was supplied in a slightly different shade of burgundy but its not glaringly obvious. The leather is supple and thick. I really can’t wait till it picks up its battle scars and weathers – It’ll look better with use instead of worse.
The modified sail clips that hold your camera took me a couple of days to get used to but are secure and rated to something insane like 165lbs – no danger there then.
The accessory clip which screws into your tripod mount has a rubber screw that moulds to the female part of the thread and prevents it working lose – a nice attention to detail and security. Another feature are 4 the heavy duty D-rings – used for clipping or attaching other items to your Money Maker.
In use at weddings its works a treat makes shooting much more intuitive with less hassle and lets you concentrate on the job in hand.
The occasional comment about looking like a 70’s detective or an extra from Tomb Raider are good for a laugh too!
The only negatives I can say are:
– I don’t like the nylon tabs on the sail clips I would like them to have been leather too.
– At the price I would like the portrait slider included too, but it is a hand made item so labour is a factor in the price.
– I find I can’t use a sling style bag at the same time (HoldFast supply a belt system that apparently works well)
As with most things you get what you pay for so the nearly £200 for the strap/slider/postage it is worth it for an item that will last for years – Its safe to say I doubt I’ll ever use another strap!