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Gear Reviews

Spider Holster’s Black Widow | Your Shoulders Will Thank You For This

By Anthony Thurston on November 23rd 2014

Let’s face it, carrying your camera gear on your shoulders (via a strap) can be – quite literally – a pain, even with smaller lightweight gear. One of the best alternatives to carrying your gear on your shoulders is moving it to your hips, and one product for doing this is the Spider Holster Black Widow Holster system.

The Black Widow is a smaller, budget alternative to the full-sized Spider Holster that is designed specifically to be of benefit to people with mirrorless or small SLR cameras. I met with the Spider Holster team at PhotoPlus and they were kind enough to send me a unit to review with my EOS-M bodies. Here are my thoughts.

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[RELATED: The EOS-M: Canon’s Loss Is Your Gain]

04-performance-5-stars

The point of a Black Widow is to get your gear off of your shoulders and securely on your hip without an added discomfort or worry about your gear hitting the deck. The Spider Holster Black Widow passes that test with flying colors.

Not only is the unit easy to get in place, but it is just as easy to pull your camera up from your hip as with your strap, only without the strap getting in your way once you are trying to shoot. As I mentioned above, I used this in combination with my EOS-M cameras, and it was perfect.

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08-features-4-stars

The Black Widow Holster is pretty basic as far as features, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. In the box, you will get the belt holster (belt not included), which should fit on most any standard sized belt, and the camera plate (with mounting supplies). That is it.

If I had to be picky, I would love for there to be some sort of “safety” lock that prevents the nob from accidentally being pushed up (and therefore allowing your camera to come out). I’ve never had an issue with this happening, but with camera gear, you can never be too safe.

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14-design-5-stars

I love the design of the Black Widow – it is sleek and inconspicuous. I have seen many other Holster systems out there that stick out like a sore thumb on your hip; the black widow is the opposite. I hardly even noticed it on my hip along with my belt.

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17-quality-3-stars

If I was able to rate things with half-stars in these sections I would have given the Spider Holster Black Widow a 3 1/2, but I can’t and so I had to round down. Let me first say that despite the 3 stars, the Black Widow is very well built and does what it is supposed to do. My issue, however, comes with its almost all plastic build (the belt holster is plastic, while the camera plate and connectors are metal).

This is both a benefit, because it is what keeps the weight down, and a curse because let’s face it, plastic just doesn’t carry with it the same confidence in lasting as long as other materials. The most important piece of the holster is the red ‘stopper’ which is what keeps your camera in place when ‘locked in’. It is plastic and you physically bend it to get your camera out. I can see this wearing out over time and eventually, could possibly cause problems.

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That said, these are hypothetical issues. I have been nothing but happy with the Spider Holster Black Widow and trust my mirrorless cameras on it completely. I just wish there was maybe a model with a slightly more robust build, and a metal locking mechanism.

24-value-5-stars

The Spider Holster Black Widow is an incredible value, really it is. If you look at quality shoulder straps, you are looking at spending over $100, and even the nicest of them still puts the weight of your gear on your shoulders/neck. The Spider Holster Black Widow is only $48.99!

I am planning on buying a second one so I can have each of my EOS-M bodies on my left and right hip when going out. It will not only be convenient, but a bargain compared to what I paid for my strap (and more comfortable too).

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Final Verdict On The Spyder Holster Black Widow

32-overall-score-4-stars

Despite the small concern about certain plastic pieces of the Black Widow, I highly recommend this product for anyone with small mirrorless or SLR bodies. Your neck and shoulders will thank you for carrying the weight on your hips, and you will see that you don’t mind carrying your gear around as much.

Increased comfort while shooting aside, the Black Widow is an incredible value and in my mind, is really a no brainer. The price makes these amazing Christmas gifts for your photographer friends with mirrorless or small SLR kits as well. I loved using the Black Widow and I know that you will too.

If you would like to get your hands on Black Widow, you can find them over on B&H for just $48.99.

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Bill Veik

    I would be concerned about the majority being plastic. I don’t like camera weight around the neck either, but I have found a shoulder strap from Op Tech that uses the strap slots, and reduces the feel of the camera weight quite nicely.

    It is better than a previous strap, a model that attached to the camera mount. With that one, the camera strap constantly rotated out of position, and there was no pass-thru on the attachment, so you had to remove it to use a tripod.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Bill, this version of their holster is simply designed for lightweight cameras that don’t even come close to stressing the plastic design of the Black Widow. If you want to lug around a full-frame camera with a vertical grip and a pro 2.8 zoom, then that’s what the all-metal pro Spider Holster is for.

      I personally loved backpacking with the Black Widow and my ultra-light beginner DSLR + kit lens, and I had zero worries about its strength.

      For the record, mine did eventually break, but that’s probably because I took it apart to try and improve the smooth operation of the plastic locking tab. Don’t try this at home, kids… ;-)

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  2. Michael Moe

    How does this holster compare to peak designs capture?

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    • Matthew Saville

      Michael, I like the Black Widow because it puts a camera down at your hips, making it easier to do certain things like hiking and climbing, and just as easy to access. However depending on what you do, having the Capture Clip and mounting the device on a backpack shoulder strap might be a better decision. As far as the locking mechanism is concerned, I prefer the Spider Holster concept because it is easier to lock and unlock, but again that can be personal preference.

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  3. Fernando Lachica

    Love to know this Black Widow. I am a Filipino and maybe or item’s available in the Philippines.

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