Recently Mike reviewed the Spider Black Widow Holster. Today, I’m going to take a look at their pro model, The SpiderPro Holster System. The SpiderPro was designed for demanding professionals with large DSLR bodies. The first thing I noticed was that virtually all of the issues Mike voiced about the Black Widow are addressed with the SpiderPro, so if you were concerned about them then this might just be the holster for you. Thus rather than repeating things that Mike mentioned I’m going to focus on the differences and improvements on this model.
The first thing that’s apparent is the build quality. The holster itself and the connector plate are both made from stainless steel and hardened aluminum cast. The belt buckle has a double locking system to prevent accidental unlatching. The velcro for adjusting the belt size is industrial grade and runs the length of the belt. Everything about this holster is professional grade. I have no qualm trusting the weight of my entire camera system to it.
Unlike the Black Widow, the SpiderPro has the pad built-in. This means that it comes standard with the system so there are no extras to purchase. The downside of this is that if you don’t like it you can’t remove it. The one problem I had with it is that it’s a bit too long to comfortably sit down while wearing the belt – but it’s just long enough to protect you and your camera from each other so I’m not sure what the solution would be other than removing it – maybe make it a little more flexible?
I have no doubt that my camera was where it needs to be, secure, ready for the shot and that the weight can be handled. For a combination of security and access I’m pretty sure nothing beats the SpiderPro. Even the locking system feels reliable as that is metal too.
The first thing I noticed was that the belt doesn’t adjust below 30″ (an educated guess, but bigger than me). This is likely a non-issue for most people but for me this was a problem and might be for other very skinny people. If the belt doesn’t fit right you lose a bit of the security that this system provides.
Another thing I didn’t like was the weight of my camera at my side. I took off the vertical grip and it was much better, but that’s not how I normally shoot (and if you use a full body like a Nikon D3 or a Canon 1Ds Mark III for example you don’t have a choice. I do think this is something I’ll get used to.
The third thing is a fashion statement. I think this is one of the geekiest things I’ve seen for my camera and felt uncomfortable walking around in public with it on. The counter to that was that it does look very professional and not a piece of equipment an amateur would be sporting.
On the other hand, aside from the quality of this device I love the accessibility. I know right where my camera is and can get it up for a shot faster than any other way to hold a camera.
I took it on a professional shoot last week and it was definitely an asset. I have so many things on my mind on a job that my team knows well that I am guaranteed to lose my camera at least once during every shoot. I’ll put it down somewhere safe which usually means out of the way of traffic to move lights or take a reading and by the time I’m ready to shoot again I can’t remember where I put it. The SpiderPro completely solved this problem, getting it out of my hands quickly and safely while knowing exactly where the camera was. I think on set on a job is my favorite place to use this holster.
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