As you may already know, I’ve been using the Spider Holster for about 2 years now. it is a very well made product that gives you peace of mind when using it. You can read my first impressions here.
So there are people who do not like the spider holster. I think this one blog sums up the major complaints pretty well. in case you don’t want to read it, it was basically:
– volume added to the base of the camera due to the spider plate
– the positioning of the holster on the belt
– the weight of the holster on the belt dragging down his pants
I don’t agree entirely with these complaints as I feel the first is merely a cosmetic difference. the plate mounts to the base of the camera and does add volume (as any mounting system would), but the spider pin or plate should not get in the way either of your hands while shooting. if you have a battery grip, hopefully you have large hands and can position your hand like this to continue shooting:
it does add weight, about 86 gms or 3 oz (without the provided allen wrench), but let’s see how that compares to my primary rig:
5D Mark III + Battery = 957 gms
24-70mm f/2.8 L + B+H lens filter = 975 gms
EW-83F lens hood = 68 gms
EX 580 II (empty) = 418 gms
4x AA batteries = 100 gms
Total = 2518 gms
So if you’re considering adding a spider plate + pin to your professional rig, you may need to be aware that it does add about 3% weight to your setup – or you can swap out the lens hood for the spider plate + pin to help balance out the weight.
The second complaint was about the positioning. yes, it took a while to get the holster (especially since I have two spider holsters) positioned just how I wanted them, but eventually I was able to get them in a position where I could walk, bend, crouch, and even run with two cameras mounted. I can definitely see how if you can’t find a good position, this holster may not work for you.
The third complaint is kind of a funny problem to have, and although I’ve had to hike up my pants during a gig, I don’t think it is a big fault, it’s just something you have to plan for. I was looking for a setup that would take the weight off my shoulders and put it on my hips, so I knew this going in. my solution to the sag problem is you have to (1) balance the weight around the belt so it doesn’t concentrate on the front and (2) wear the spider holster below the belt of the pants you’re wearing so it doesn’t create this uncomfortable merged-sagging-belt situation.
So currently, here is my setup:
I have the stock spider belt holster with the 2nd spider holster add-on. I added a Think Tank Skin Chimp Cage and a Lightning Fast and a Lowepro S&F Bottle Pouch. I did not use the Think Tank locking tab to put the bags in a fixed position on the belt, but that’s certainly an option if you like. my alternate setup is using a Think Tank Skin Double Wide instead of the two Think Tank pouches. I use this setup when I’m going to be carrying an additional longer secondary lens or I have a lot of flash/flash accessories I have to carry around.
I love this setup and the Spider Holster hasn’t failed me yet. The spider holster isn’t for everyone but it might be for you if you’re looking for the following in a carrying system:
– all metal construction gives you peace of mind in knowing nothing will just snap off or break. the holster pictured in this thread makes me really nervous to use by itself as it’s all plastic.
– no straps means you can shoot over your head or in uncommon positions without having to worry about getting tangled up in the straps
– the universal spider pin can be separated from the spider plate so you can attach the pin directly to the lens mount of longer lenses (like the 70-200mm f/2.8 L) for a more balanced setup
– no neckstraps attached to the camera means you don’t get it caught on chairs, doorknobs, or anything while moving through venues and shooting locations.
– the cameras don’t swing around a lot, you know exactly where they are on your hip so you don’t have to worry about inadvertently damaging your equipment
For me, going strap-free is the biggest benefit of the spider holster system, but if you can’t quite put all your faith into this setup, you may have to stick to your sun snipers, R-straps, and cotton carriers. if you think you want to get yourself a Spider holster, visit their website and see which system is right for you. they even have lower-profile, lighter models for point-and-shoot cameras or mirrorless DSLR models.