Shane Baker | A good product and good service - Peak Design
Wind-blown grassesWind-blown grassesDry grass blowing in the wind near Canberra.

A good product and good service - Peak Design

June 19, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

As photographers, we are told often enough that gear isn't everything - and rightly so. I think that almost all of us know that despite "needing" that new lens or body or whatever, its about the art and craft of photography: a great photographer will come back with great images using ordinary gear. (I was about to write "mediocre gear" and then corrected myself. These days, very, very little gear is less than good.)

Anyway ... although we know this, we keep buying stuff and two things most of us buy all too regularly are bags and straps.

To be fair, it's hard to know whether either will work for you without actually living with it - which is why most of us have a cupboard somewhere with a killer bag (or two) that we had to have - which wasn't so killer when used.

I've done this with bags and I've also bought a few straps over the years. You'd reasonably expect Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony et al to provide a useable strap with their multi-thousand dollar cameras, but as we all know, your typical "genuine" camera strap is a billboard for the manufacturer with all the comfort of a length of rope. Walk around for a day with a full frame SLR and a zoom, and you'll be in real pain. Hence the need for straps.

When I bought my Nikon D800 a few years back which as my first full frame camera was also the heaviest I'd owned, I quickly started looking for a strap. The one I bought was a neoprene unit, moderately priced, which seemed on paper to be comfortable. What it turned out to be was quite uncomfortable - not the least because it was elastic and bounced the camera. What I thought would be a positive was not so at all. So when I lashed out and bought my D850, I looked for a better strap and in the end, ordered a Peak Design Slide

A "what's in the box" view of the Peak Design Slide

The Slide seemed to have two things going for it. Firstly, it appeared to be easily adjustable - and it is. For those new to the game, you would expect that a strap would be "set and forget" - but they're not. The Slide can be adjusted in seconds to fit the body/lens you're carrying and the conditions. The other thing going for the Slide, and indeed, Peak Design straps in general is that they can easily be removed using little thingies they call "Anchors".

Peak Design Anchor attached to a camera.Peak Design Anchor attached to a camera.

This may seem unnecessary, but when you're walking around in the bush with a long lens, looking for wildlife, the camera is in your hand - not around your neck, so a strap gets in the way. Ditto for studio work.

These two reasons were valid, but in addition, the Slide is comfortable. It's hard to know why, but it is. It flexes but doesn't bounce, it seems to be just the right width, and one side of the strap grips your shoulder while the other is slippy - so you can move your camera around at will, while it stays put when you want it to. 

So I was a happy camper. Then on June 6, an email arrived from Peak Design. It seemed that some of the Anchors (they've now put out four generations of these apparently simple little things) are wearing rather too quickly, which doesn't bode well for the gear they're carrying, and Peak Design wanted to know if I had some of the faulty version. I did, and so PD advised they would send me replacements. They arrived today (June 19), less than a fortnight after I answered PD's email.

So that's it. Something went wrong, they told me without making excuses and got replacements to me well before the faulty Anchors could fail - if indeed they were going to fail.

The bottom line is that the Slide remains the best strap I've used - and now I have a great deal of confidence in Peak Design as a company. They actually believe in concepts like service and customer support - a rarity these days.

If you're looking for a strap, check out the Slide. They come in two colours (black or grey) and two weights - for SLR and mirrorless.

Shane Baker




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