This is a continuation of my initial review of the B-Grip Uno Camera Holster. I have used it over the past few weeks either out scouting locations, macros but also on a few landscaping photography trips as well.
I have to say I don’t use belt holsters for my work. I don’t wear a belt for my landscape photography so the belt attachment I did not get fully tested. I feel if you have a heavy enough camera like the A7R with a wide-angle lens on you would need a decent sturdy belt as clipping it your pocket and clambering around would probably end in tears. I think the additional usage you get out of this unit it is a good idea but as a primary hip holder not so much.
The build quality is not bad with the high-strength plastics used (glass impregnated) and I don’t feel it is flimsy. The bracket screw on mechanism also is fairly easy to fit and certainly, once tightened, did not slip. I had to vary the position and angle to get it sitting it the right place depending which backpack I was using (i.e. chest strap position). I did feel the security feature is a good idea but perhaps a little bit flimsy and over time I may end up breaking it with my clumsy fingers perhaps.
The quick release mechanism is very easy to engage and the plate sliges snugly into the holster. The clamping mechanism of the holder and the long back-plate made it very comfortable when the camera is mounted. It didn’t swing forward and back when walking or bending over for that matter or swing from side to side. Considering I was using it with both a Sony A6000 and Sony A7R with a Metabones IV and canon lenses on (16-35 f/4 and 100mm f/2.8 macro for example), which is probably at the top of the expected usage weight, I was quite impressed. I didn’t once feel the camera or holster from digging in nor did the lenses strike or hit my torso.
My only minor niggle is the size and construction of the QR plate. Being a landscape photographer, tripod mounting is very important to me to keep the camera steady in low light and also to stop the camera from falling off over a steep drop or into the water. The QR plate is plastic which isn’t really a big issue but the footprint is quite small. This in conjunction with the soft rubber grip used and the rear hand tightening nut mean’t I have had to re-tighten it after a while (by hand). I think on a smaller lighter weight CSC much less of an issue. I could have taken my L-bracket off of course which would have made the camera lighter but it did foul the pivoting of the rear LCD on the A6000 and A7R.
I think for occasional use on a tripod for me it’s not really a big issue but to walk around with it in low-light then attach it to the tripod is not really for me. That said it’s not really what it is really designed for I think. For me this holster was great for walking around with for hand-held shots. I took my A6000 and my macro out one day on a walk with my wife and I have to say it was perfect. Saved me having to put it away, carry it or put a strap on it (which I find irritating) and had 2 hands free for clambering and getting up with dodgy knees.
In the end, using it with the A7R, I had to tighten the QR plate screw with a screwdriver which, on an aluminium bolt head, may deform it over time. The rubber strips didn’t really prevent the screw from unscrewing as it was the swing action of the camera that did that. So for me a metal QR place with a grip surface like most other Arca-Swiss mounts would be better with a stronger screw and maybe an inset hex head would be better in the long run? But as I say for a lighter weight CSC much less of an issue.
I spoke to Andrea, the President of CP tech srl Italy about this and he said
The rubber matt is soft in order to avoid the untightening, it absobs the vibrations. We tried to make it harder but our test showed that the camera tends to move the screw a bit. We try to offer a flexible system but with the physics with a lever motion we decided to go for the best compromise.
I found this and I guess I can sympathise as it’s not really pushed as a DSRL/heavy camera holster system unlike others in their range. With A6000 and A7R with native compact / kit lenses It was not a problem.
After a few weeks of testing I can say this holster is well designed, comfortable and seems fairly sturdy. For me I will use it for recceing locations and also for nature walks, macros etc. I think the small QR plate would prevent me from using it all the time for low-light landscape photography esp. in high winds as the platform area is a bit too small and the rubber interface too flexible to hang a longish lens off. If the plate were bigger and metal and less flexible I think it would be perfect for a landscaper esp. if you are walking a lot and shooting in different locations. As I say prob an unfair test being it is designed for a lighter weight system and lighter/shorter lens/body combos. For the latter I could not fault it apart from possibly improving the screw tightening system.