Review – The SpiderPro Camera Holster System

Photo by Mike Palmer

This past weekend the folks on my photowalk saw me sporting a new piece of gear but it wasn’t a camera or a lens, or even a new bag. Nope, what I had resting on my hip was a SpiderPro Camera Holster and let me tell you, it’s pretty slick.  The holster system is actually comprised of several components that, when combined, make for a camera carrying system that feels natural and keeps your camera handy when you need your hands free.

Here’s how it works, the key to the system is the Spider Holster. It’s all stainless steel and hardened aluminum and provides the resting place for the camera on your hip. There is a two position lock system on the side of the holster that requires you to lift slightly to remove the camera from the holster when it’s in the down position. When you move it to the top position you can freely slide the camera in and out of the holster without having to touch the holster.

The other key components to the system are the Spider Plate and Spider Pin. The plate mounts to the bottom of your camera using the tripod socket and a hex screw. One of the things I really liked about the plate was the thought that the engineers put into it. There are a lot of camera accessories that use hex screws and include the appropriate allen wrench but the folks at Spider went the extra step of creating a storage compartment for the wrench so it’s hidden right inside the plate and always handy. As someone who has lost more than my fair share of wrenches in the bottom of my camera bags, this is one feature I can really appreciate. There are also additional 1/4-20 holes in the bottom of the plate if you want to mount it to a tripod without having to take it off the camera. The only problem with the plate is that it might need to be removed to pull out the camera battery depending on what type of camera you are using. But having the wrench handy makes this a pretty quick operation.

The second component that pull it all together is the Spider Pin. This little piece of stainless steel is made with a small ball on one end and a 1/4-20 screw on the other. The pin screws into one of the threaded holes on the plate and serves as the mounting point between camera plate and holster. The ball portion of the pin slides easily into the groove of the holster and gravity and the locking system do the rest. The pin can also be screwed into a tripod mount on a lens foot if you are using a longer lens.

Those are the basic pieces to the system but if you want to go all out with the Pro system you will also get the Spider holster Belt. The belt has one feature that makes it different from most other belts in that it has a camera pad on one side to keep your camera from banging and rubbing your leg/hip. It also has a small elastic cord that slips over the bottom of the holster and holds it securely in place on the belt and keeps it from shifting. The thing I liked about this belt was the safety button on the clasp. Like many belts with plastic buckles, you need to squeeze in the sides to release the buckle but this one requires you to press a small button on the front before the sides can be squeezed in. Just another one of those little finishing touches that make this system so secure.

My Thoughts –

I wasn’t sure how I would like the system since I had never worn a belt system before, but after wearing it for a day I have to say that it felt completely natural. The belt fit securely around my hip and the velcro size adjustment made sure that it wasn’t too loose or too tight. The camera plate mounted securely to the bottom of my camera (I was shooting with a Canon T2i with a 15-85mm lens) and didn’t interfere at all with the way I held the camera. Fitting the camera into the holster was as easy as placing the pin in the groove of the holster and letting the camera drop down to my side. When I let go, it lay comfortably against the pad with the lens facing rearward. Removing the camera was almost as easy, just grab the camera and lift up slightly on the locking mechanism while sliding the pin back out of the holster slot. While it did take two hands to remove it, it was a fairly natural motion to grab the camera and release the lock.

As someone who doesn’t like using a camera strap that much, I really liked having the freedom of hanging the camera in the holster while I rummaged around in my bag for a filter or a bottle of water. When I was ready to shoot again, it was right there where I needed it. I also spent a little time just walking around with my camera hanging in the holster to see how it felt. The truth is that I hardly even noticed it was there. Everything was extremely well balanced and the belt and camera pad did an excellent job of keeping things where they belonged.

The Bottom Line –

I don’t know if this system would work in all shooting situations but if you find yourself constantly needing to use your hands between shooting, I think you will find that this is an excellent system for keeping your gear close at hand and ready to use at a moments notice. I can really see this being handy in a studio where you are constantly having to put your camera down to adjust lights. If you are a sport shooter who uses two cameras, this system will rock your world. Unlike a shoulder strap like the Rapid-R, the camera will not shift or slide as you bend down or kneel over.

The Price –

The Spider Pro Camera Holster system runs $109 US and includes the belt, holster, plate, and one pin. You can also purchase the components separately. This means that, If you already own a belt system like the LowePro Street & Field Belt, ThinkTank Pro-Speed Belt, or even the ThinkTank Steroid Belt, you can buy an adapter for the holster for about $19.99 and then just but the plate, pin and holster.

You can find out more information about the SpiderPro Camera Holster system including instructional videos at the Spider Holster website.

Comments

  1. Looks wonderful. Great reading your post as well.

    Thanks.

  2. This has to be a guy thing, right?

  3. Lionel Leiter says:

    I’m 80 years old and still an active photo amateur. I still remember my father telling me to NEVER handle an expensive camera without a strap around my neck. A lesson he learned when he dropped his camera in a canal on a trip to Holland and was forced to buy a Hasselblad to replace it. We always wondered about that drop but I still follow his advice. Anyway this holster sounds very good but aren’t you worried about dropping your camera? is there a saftey strap that would make me feel at ease with it?

    • They also sell an adapter for attaching a hand-stap. I wouldn’t recommend using the holster in every situation, and working around water or from a high altitude would definitely demand more secure efforts to safeguard equipment. For general shooting though I do like to forgo the strap.

  4. Wow, great review. I own a Think Tank system but sometimes is little bit tricky.
    I’m wondering with strobes on hot shoes it’s not possible to wear it when you are on your knee?
    I’m an editorial photographer and a photo teacher, while I’m earning my bread as a wedding photographer.
    Here my stuff:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Milano-Italy/Vittore-Buzzi-Fotografo/146792108433
    http://www.wedding-photographer.it/
    http://photographer.photoshelter.com/
    I believe that spider pro could help me with my 2 cameras set up.
    It’s not cheap I have to pay more or less 200 dollars fro a complete sytem for my needs.

  5. Thank you for the review! I just saw this holster in action at a wedding I recently attended. I’m very tempted, but that price definitely gives me pause. Thanks again.

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