This time around it's the Holdfast Moneymaker!
There's just something about the style of a classic leather holster dual strap. Maybe it's a nostalgic trip back to the shoulder holsters worn by my favourite actor Steve McQueen in Bullitt, or a classic Dick Tracy-esque style childhood fascination, but whatever it is, I love the look of the Holdfast Moneymaker. Looks however aren't everything, so let's take a closer look at this dual-camera harness.
SINGLE SENTENCE SUMMARY
If you're so consumed with image that you're willing to sacrifice your own body for it, then fear not: Holdfast has the harness for you!
WHY I BOUGHT IT
Straight to the point, I bought it for the image. I'd like to say it was more than that, but I previously owned a Blackrapid RS DR-1 before and it functioned absolutely fine. The tacky nylon DR-1 however didn't look nearly as stylish as the Moneymaker, and when you're shooting high-end weddings, presentation is a very important element.
WHAT I LIKE
How about feeling like you're about to own this wedding? Yeah, that pretty much comes with the package when you strap this bad boy on in a pressed shirt and tie. It's strong, slick, and functional, and more than that, it's built to last. The straps slide easily and can be quickly adjusted to be where your hand instinctively swings to your hip. The travel bag helps easily store it so that the straps don't tangle with the rest of your gear when you stow it in a bag, and the metal elements sit very snugly when adjusted properly, so it doesn't click and rattle as much as I thought it would from looking at it. I've used this not just in weddings, but in military events, and I can personally attest to its durability and function in awkward and rough situations. Heck, with the leather options it even smells great. What's not to like?
WHAT I DON'T
Here's what not to like. Weddings can be very long days, and comfort is critical. Unfortunately after 10+ hours with a pair of D810's loaded with battery grips, EN-EL18 batteries, and a couple heavy-hitter lenses (24-70 F/2.8, 70-200 F/2.8) this thing wears you down HARD. It's akin to wearing a heavy rucksack that hasn't been adjusted to distribute the weight properly. My neck was getting so knotted from the harness bearing down on it that after my second 8 hour+ useI had to change my approach. Now I only use it during the ceremony and reception periods when I really need to move and adapt on the fly. During the getting ready portions and the posed photos I remove the cameras from the harness and freehand them.
Also, the safety catch straps are poorly designed. Though I'll admit they gave me a measure of psychological reassurance that my cameras would never drop, they also frequently tangle up over the buttons of the cameras during use. You can imagine how that doesn't really work well at times. Another thing that's super annoying is that the rubber gaskets on the screws fall off super easy. I've already lost one, and I don't see much point in replacing it when it's just likely to fall off again. Ugh.
The only reason I still have it is because of the market I serve. If you aren't as concerned with tailoring your personal image to appeal to higher-end clientele then I'd say don't even look at this strap. If however you're so hipster it hurts, and you need this to go with your bow-tie, bruises and blisters be damned, then this is possibly the harness for you. Otherwise I'd say 100% go for the Blackrapid. Granted, I have come to learn that Holdfast Gear has released shoulder pad options for their newest line of Moneymakers, I honestly have little faith that they'll make adequate difference.
In case you didn't pick up on it, I'm clearly not sponsored by Holdfast, nor am I sponsored by any other company. This means I have no vested interest in swaying you either way. To that end I would strongly recommend you try before you buy if given the opportunity on this one.