Camera straps have a significant purpose – they are designed to protect your investment in case of accidents, clumsiness, etc. while also freeing up your hands while not shooting. For many, however, the traditional neck/shoulder strap is not their thing, and for these individuals Joby introduces UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate designed for comfort, convenience and security.
If you have been a photographer in the past decade you should be familiar with the name Joby, as they have developed some of the most unique camera mount and support accessories on the market today. The UltraFit expands on that philosophy by bringing a strap that not only allows for handheld security of your D-SLR camera but includes a baseplate allowing for quick tripod mounting during your photo shoot.
Years ago I tried my first hand strap on a 35mm camera, and it did not remain on the body for very long. It was itchy, it was sweaty and because it hijacks one of the camera’s strap brackets I could no longer use the neck/shoulder strap. I usually work with more than one camera body/lens configuration and utilize these straps to place the non-shooting camera on my shoulder or around my neck out of the way. Since I shot a lot of sporting events the use of a tripod was out of the question.
Given that, I see an accessory like UltraFit as an ideal tool to have in your gear arsenal especially with all the HD-SLR cameras being used today. This strap greatly improves the steadiness of your handheld video shot while also offering the quick connect function to place the camera on a tripod, rail or other mount for steadier or fixed shots, not to mention eliminating the chance of the neck strap flying into the shot calling for another take. And if the wind grabs your neck strap you can kiss your image quality goodbye.
The Joby UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate is made of nylon and EVA foam in the hand strap portion and machined aluminum in the universal base plate mount. The mount features a ¼-inch screw to attach the plate to the bottom of the camera and the system is designed to work with D-SLR cameras, anything smaller might have compartment doors blocked by parts of the strap system.
A nice feature to the base plate (which is Arca Swiss system compatible, by the way) is there are two ¼-inch mounting holes so that another tripod quick release plate can be attached (such as my Bogen/Manfrotto system). The plate attaches with a stainless steel screw that requires an allen wrench to tighten/loosen (included).
Personally, I like the universal slot design used by other manufacturers as I do not want to have to keep up with the allen wrench on shoots when a coin can be used on my other mounting plates. (Dear Joby – I would alter the screw head design to include a slot so a coin or flat blade screwdriver can be used as well.)
One more thing about using a device such as the UltraFit Hand Strap – I see it as saving many shooters from unnecessary wrist pain over the long haul from repeated lifting of the camera with lens attached. The strap will help distribute some of the weight and thus cause less stress on the hand and wrist.
The UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate is available from Joby and Joby suppliers and carries an MSRP of $49.95. It weighs just 2.5 oz and can be used on any camera with tripod mount and shoulder lug and the straps are adjustable to fit your hand comfortably and snugly.
UltraFit Hand Strap with UltraPlate by Joby: Available at Joby.com
MSRP: $49.95, available in black only
What I Like: Provides handheld support for camera and quick tripod mounting
What Needs Improvement: Cannot be used with camera’s neck/shoulder strap, requires allen wrench (included)
Source: Review sample provided by Manufacturer