Always (always always) check your camera’s anchor points when you have your gear attached to a strap. As photographer Tamara Zawada recently learned the hard way, even the best gear can fail without you even noticing there’s a problem.
Zawada’s Sony a7R III and Sigma 85mm ART lens were attached to one of the latest PeakDesign straps using the latest V4 anchors when, without warning, one of the anchors snapped. She posted about her experience on Reddit, warning other photographers to be careful.
“This is a word of warning for you guys, please check your PeakDesign anchors fairly regularly, look for some signs of wear, and if you see them, replace the anchor with a new one,” writes Zawada. “It was a very recent purchase, maybe a month or so, which makes it very strange it broke. I do use a very heavy lens and I carry the camera with me everyday everywhere I go. I’m not sure why it broke. It must have been rubbing on something, but I don’t know what or for how long.”
The photos below show the frayed V4 anchor, which is rated for 90kg:
Luckily, she caught the camera when the anchor failed. Otherwise, as she put it, “I would be one very sad panda…”
Zawada absolutely does not hold this against PeakDesign. By all accounts, PD’s products are top-notch, and these kinds of issues are rare; however, they have recalled some of their thinner anchors, and even the best gear will fray when it’s rubbing against the sharp end of a tripod plate or some other surface.
That’s what Zawada believes happened to hers.
“I had the anchors mounted on the older type Arca plate from PD (photo above). It has pretty sharp angles, which makes me wonder if that is maybe one of the reasons for which it happened,” she tells PetaPixel. “After the accident I changed the mounting plate to one that was provided with the strap (photo below).”
Lesson learned: if you own PeakDesign strap, or really any kind of strap, it’s wise counsel to get in the habit of checking your anchors and attachment points before every shoot to ensure they’re solid. Replacing a fraying anchor or even a whole strap is not a huge deal; replacing your camera body and an expensive lens… that would make anyone a very sad panda.
Credits: All photos by Tamara Zawada and used with permission.