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DIY: Using camera sling straps with a tripod L-bracket

I have a tripod L-bracket always attached to my camera (as it allows me to use the tripod at a moments notice, easily attach the camera hand strap, and provides extra protection for the camera against bumps and nicks). Removing it inorder to connect a (Black Rapid type) sling strap was never an option for me and i assume most other L-bracket owners would also feel the same.

On the flip side, i like carrying my camera in the sling position but the regular camera straps are not ideal for this purpose. So naturally i wanted some manufacturer to come with with an ideal solution which would allow me to use the sliding sling straps with an tripod L-bracket without having to remove the strap to use the tripod and viceversa.

Unfortunately the solutions that the manufacturers came up with were all pretty weak and completely unsuitable for me 

Black Rapid : Their FastenR-T1 adaptor allows the adapter to remain attached to the Quick Release plate when mounted on a tripod. This solution just avoids having to un-screw the adaptor while using a tripod, you still have to have detach camera strap though. And this adaptor is designed to work only with the Manfortto QR plates, not sure how compatible it will be with the QR plates of other manufacturers. 

This adapter alone costs 18$, totally not worth it in my opinion.

Carry Speed : The carry speed plate is a better solution as it allows any QR plate to be mounted no it thus allowing the user to use both the tripod and the camera strap to be used at the same time. Unfortunately while this solution works great for the normal QR plates, it will not work with the L-brackets.

Luma Loop : Luma loop had the best solution of them all with a Lanyard attached to the camera's strap connector notch. This freed up the base of the camera to use whatever attachment you like down there. But unfortunately Black Rapid filed a patent suit against them prompting the company to withdraw their product from the market. Its a shame really coz it was the perfect solution for my needs. 

On the down side it was also the most expensive strap of the lot, costing around 70$.

My solution.. L bracket with a few keychain rings !!

So with no satisfactory solution in the market, i decided to conjure up one of my own. I took a few unused keychain rings lying around in my house and attached them to my L-bracket (most L-brackets provide a notch at the base to attach a strap). I then clipped the carabiner of my Carry Speed strap to these rings and voila i had a perfect working setup which allowed me to use both my tripod L bracket and the Carry Speed sling strap at the same time. This setup would definitely work with the Black Rapid and other straps which use a carabiner style connector.

If you decide to use this method, then there are a few safety tips i suggest you follow.

  • Use Multiple Rings : Always be safe and use multiple (atleast 3) rings to connect the carabiner to. This way the load will be evenly distributed on the rings and you'll have backups if one of the ring breaks.
  • Use a failsafe backup carabiner : As a failsafe i used a small carabiner (which was part of the Carry Speed safety strap) and used it to attach the sling strap to my hand strap. This way, if the rings fail (all 3) or if some how the L-bracket comes loose and falls of the camera, the failsafe would prevent the camera from crashing on to the ground.

Here's a final picture of my setup. A Canon 5D mark ii with a L-bracket attached to the Carry Speed sling strap and a Matin hand strap.