ZEP Pre/Review | Peak Design Slide, Clutch and Anchor Links
Folks around these parts may or may not know that I'm a sucker for a good method of securing my gear to my body. Both in fashionality and functionality, photography gear holds a special place in my heart, and it takes a lot to impress me. A few months ago, I raved about the Peak Design Ltd. Capture Clip V2 and how great of an addition it was to my current lineup of gear. I jumped on their Kickstarter and never looked back, and despite one tiny snafu, the capture clip has been firmly attached to my ThinkTank Photo Pro Speed Belt.
Recently, Peak Design Ltd. started up a new Kickstarter, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on some pre-production versions of the items they're selling. Peak Design Ltd. are currently attempting to pre-sale kickstart (at this point in time, it's been fully funded) a new type of strap (slide), hand strap (clutch) and strap accesory (anchor links), and I've had the chance to put these items through the ringer, and put a few words on screen to tell you what I think about them!
The first item for review is the Anchor Links camera strap quick-connectors. The long and short of these are that they're attachments that allow you to adapt your current standard strap to Peak Design Ltd.'s patent-pending Anchor connection system. This item is pretty straight-forward. If you have a strap you really like, but find that there are times were you wish you could remove it in a quick manner, you may find that it's a huge pain to do so. With Peak Design Ltd.'s Anchor system, removing the strap from the camera is as simple as pushing a button. These are going to be a mainstay for my "Second Shooter in Life" (my wife) because she's a big fan of an attractive neck strap that has a ton of padding. If she needs to switch the strap to another camera, or just take the strap off of the camera body, all she has to do is push the Anchor Link button, and she's in business.
The plastic that these links are made out of is solid and gives the user a great sense of security and safety. I've been a victim of a dropped camera, and it's nothing to scoff at. With these links on your favorite strap, you near-instantly adapt your camera to the Peak Design Ltd. anchor system.
But let's say you're not a huge strap person. Maybe you're a hiker, or action-oriented person who needs quick access to their camera and cannot be bothered to pull it forward from a strap.
This is where the Peak Design Ltd. Clutch comes in. You've more than likely seen hand straps before, but if you're anything like me, you've quickly tossed them to the side. They're surprisingly cumbersome and a pain to adjust. They usually connect to the tripod point of your camera (usually with some big piece of flimsy plastic) which means you have to remove them if you need to switch to your tripod.
The Clutch addresses many of these problems with just three key features. To start, much like everything else Peak Design Ltd. does, the linchpin of the Clutch is the Anchor system. With the ability to attach to the included tripod plate (or the ARCA plate you bought, much like I did, from your Capture Clip), you no longer have to remove the attached grip to insert your camera into a tripod. Using the Anchors also eliminates the bulk from the bottom of your camera, and also allows you to use the grip both with and without a battery grip.
The real standout in the Clutch, however, is the quick adjuster the drives both the top connection and the adjustment of the strap. Adjustable using just one hand, the grip is quick and, more importantly, comfortable to use and wear and frees up your body from using a strap. I've never been the biggest grip user, mostly because I shoot with two cameras, but I can see this becoming a permanent addition to my travel kit. As I already have my kit setup for back button focus, and have started shooting almost exclusively with prime lenses, using my camera one-handed is no issue at all. The Clutch would definitely be useful on hikes, walking around town doing some street photography, or nearly any other situation you can think of where you need quick access to your camera!
I'm a sucker for a good strap. In review past, I've praised the Black Rapid line of straps, but have, in recent months, dissuaded myself from using any straps at all. Let me be the first to tell you, then, that I may be changing my tune again.
The slide might, at first glance, look like just about every other slide on the market. Opening the box, though, will quickly reveal that Peak Design Ltd. is attempting to change how we look at photography gear yet again.
From the very first glance into the packaging in which the Slide is packed, you see an amalgam of plastic, metal and seatbelt webbing that combines together to make a strap that has the potential to redefine how people use straps to carry their cameras.
At the base of operations lies, if you haven't guessed by now, the Peak Design Ltd. Anchor, attached to the Peak Design Ltd. plate. Much like the Clutch, you're going to connect this strap to various parts of your camera via the Anchor system. The straps versatility allows it to be worn around the neck, around the shoulder, or across the chest, and is capable of connecting to the top portion of your camera (where a standard strap connects) or to the bottom or battery grip. Removing the strap is as simple as pushing a button and the seatbelt webbing-style of the actual strap provides durability and comfort that can be worn confidently and comfortably.
The real beauty of the Slide, however, is in the adjusting mechanism of the strap. Much like the Clutch, the Slide can be adjusted single-handedly, and can be pulled tight against the body, or left to dangle like a standard strap. All adjustments are done by that mechanism, which makes it super easy to use.
The slide also has padding in the strap, for comfort, and contains both a smooth side, and a "grippy" side, to either allow the strap to slide freely, or grip tightly to a surface.
I'm giving all three of these items the ZEP Seal of Approval. I've already funded the Kickstarter and have a lot of faith in both the company and the products that they're developing. It's great to see a company change things up a bit, and I really can't recommend these products enough. If you're looking for a new type of strap, want to switch things up to a grip-style holder, or just want to integrate your existing strap into Peak Design Ltd.'s existing Anchor system, hop on over to the Kickstarter and fund a level or two. And if you want to see a few more photos of all three items, just look below!
Disclosure: This post was, in no way, sponsored by Peak Design Ltd. The Slide, Clutch and Anchor Links were provided to ZEP in a pre-production state, and do not necessarily reflect the final product delivered by Peak Design Ltd.
They will, however, be just as awesome, if not awesomer.
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