A well-balanced accessory for professional-grade DSLRs.
About six months ago, I upgraded my main camera to a Canon 5D Mark IV. I have gone through a natural evolution in my DSLR use — I started with a Canon Rebel EOS T3i, then I moved along to the Canon 70D, and now I have the 5D Mark IV, which is a full frame DSLR. I’ve been incredibly happy with its performance and the quality of photos and video it captures.
Since I’ve had it, I’ve noticed that some of my previous accessories don’t quite work anymore for this larger camera. So, I started collecting updated options that will work with my camera. One of these accessories is the SpiderPro Single Camera System with Lens Collar Plate. I first used the SpiderPro with the 70D and loved the flexibility it afforded me when I was out and about. Therefore, it was one of the first pieces I wanted to acquire for my new camera.
The SpiderPro is a carrying system for DSLRs that makes it easy to wear your camera on your hip with the use of a secure locking waist belt. The system consists of the Pro Holster, Pro2 Belt, and the Pro2 Plate. All of these pieces work together in a seamless fashion.
This system is used to carry up to two cameras at one time. The Pro2 Plate attaches to the bottom of the DSLR in the using the camera mount. The Pro2 Plate locks into place using a hex screw (the wrench stows in the plate). Once the plate is attached to the camera, you can then slide the pin into the Holster. The Pro2 Plate has been redesigned to provide a more secure pin and has anti-slip grips so that the plate stays in place. The SpiderPro2 Belt has also been updated to optimize comfort and flexibility.
One of the most valuable add-on accessories that a photographer could invest in along with the SpiderPro System is the Lens Collar Plate. This accessory is specifically designed for photographers who shoot with a longer lens (i.e. 70-200mm). The lens collar will help to balance your camera/lens for a more comfortable fit and as a result, there is less stress on the camera’s lens mount, too. The Lens Collar Plate is sort of an ‘add-on’ accessory because you use it with either the SpiderPro Single Camera System or Dual Camera System. The Lens Collar Plate features an Arca-Swiss style tripod profile and the pin can be moved to either the left or right side. The plate weighs approximately 68g and is made of stainless steel and aluminum.
You can order the SpidePro System as a single camera or dual camera set-up. The Lens Collar Plate is included as a part of the Dual Camera system, or it’s sold separately for $35 from Spider.
Installation of the Pro2 Plate onto your camera is pretty simple. As I mentioned, I’m working with the Canon 5D Mark IV, but I would imagine that most professional-grade DSLRs would have similar installation experiences. The wrench unlocks from the plate with a simple push latch. Next, you will line up the screw on the bottom of the plate with the camera mount on the bottom of the camera. Once the plate is tightened down, you can size the belt to your waist and then latch the camera into the holster. It’s really that simple. You can still attach your camera to any tripod as Spider has designed the plate to be compatible with all tripods. I personally added an Arca Swiss plate to the Spider Pro2 Plate so that I could use the Spider gear freely, but still be able to attach to one of my Arca Swiss tripods quickly and easily. The tripod plate I added is quite small, but I don’t think that the bulk of any added tripod plate would affect the way the camera wears on the belt/holster.
The added weight of the Spider Pro2 Plate didn’t seem to have any effect on how I was taking pictures. I did notice it at first, but after a while, it just felt natural to have the plate attached. The belt wears very easily and adjustable with Velcro. The only complaint I have is the triple locking mechanism on the closure. The first time I wore the belt, I had a lot of trouble getting all three pieces of the locking mechanism to push in at the same time. I eventually got the hang of it, but when you are in a hurry, that can be bothersome. I ended up loosening the belt until I could slide it off my hips and legs and walk out of it. I like the added security for the belt but the lock did take some getting used to.
The Lens Collar Plate connects in much the same way as the Pro2 Plate. Because it’s designed to work with the longer lenses, it actually attaches to the lens collar of those lenses. Unfortunately, the wrench does not stow away inside the Lens Collar Plate, but it is the same size as the Pro2 Plate wrench so you can always use that one if you are in a situation where you have to adjust the plate. The reason this plate is included with the dual camera system is that you can hang the lens from your belt in place of a second camera in addition to hanging the entire camera from your holster if the Lens Collar Plate is attached.
In my opinion, all professional photographers should have this flexible system at the ready. It’s versatile and ready to work with many different brands of accessories including ThinkTank and Lowepro. The thing I like about Spider’s accessories so much is that they are not intrusive into your workflow. SpiderPro is all about agility, speeding up workflow, and reducing stress on you, the photographer. In Spider’s own words they are seeking to provide an easy way to use your gear and not over complicate things. That is what I like about the company and their products. The SpiderPro Camera System V2 is a must-have and well worth the investment.