Check the clip before releasing the lens from your grip!

I had a shocking thing happen to me today when I returned from my truck from a photo shoot attempt.

I had binoculars, a lens/camera combo and a camera bag, each suspended from their own, individual straps, that were around my neck.

It was January 16, 2017 in Maine. It was very cold and I had much winter gear on. As I sorted through the 3 straps, I decided to first remove the binoculars from my neck. That worked fine.

Now all this time, I still had my hand wrapped around the barrel of the 200-500 and had it cradled in my right arm. Since buying the Black Rapid strap, I have still always been very timid about releasing the expensive lens/camera combo from my grip, without first assuring that everything is firmly attached to the strap that is around my neck. I do not have to check to ascertain that the strap is around my neck. I know that beyond a doubt. But I do doubt the connection to the lens foot.

And as always, the instant prior to my decision to let go of the lens and fully trust its security, I made myself take one last look at the attachment. This is about 6-7 pounds of gear, valued at about $4000 and suspended about 4 feet above nothing but solid tar pavement. As I looked at the clip I expected the usual affirmation that it was securely attached.

I was shocked to see that the clip had somehow gotten detached from the foot. What are the chances of this happening? Close to zero. But with all the winter clothing and the other two straps entangled, I somehow detached the clip from the foot. If I had released the lens barrel from my grip without first checking that it was secured to the strap, the equipment would have smashed into the tar.

There is a reason for that screw-locking sleeve on the Black Rapid clip. Up to this day, I had never used it. I will now!

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