Cotton Carrier chest harness for Fujifilm X-series

I think it's about time that I updated my Cotton Carrier review (and a few others, probably) since switching to the Fujifilm X-series of cameras.
In January 2014 I made the 'move to mirrorless' that so many other wedding & portrait photographers have done, and ended my days with Canon DSLRs as I built up an arsenal of Fujifilm X-series bodies & lenses. My reasons were simple: Firstly, the quality of the images the Fuji cameras, and their excellent XF lenses, produced were stunning! Secondly, the reduced amount of weight I had to carry was an added bonus. I began with the X-Pro1 and eventually added a pair of X-T1's and an X100T (watch out - those wee Fuji cameras are addictive!) However, all in the garden wasn't rosy as I discovered one major issue - for me at least.

The location of the tripod thread is far too close to the battery compartment. Users who frequently mount their camera on a tripod, or use a quick-release plate have to remove the tripod, or plate, each time they need to change a memory card or battery. As a Cotton Carrier user, this also meant that my CC hub caused exactly the same issue. Hardly ideal when I'm shooting a wedding and need to make quick changes, so a solution had to be found.
My solution came in the form of an add-on hand-grip from iShoot. This allows me to screw the handgrip onto the camera and off-sets the new tripod screw thread (where my Cotton Carrier hub is permanently attached).

This bracket also has the added bonus of attaching straight onto an Arca-Swiss style tripod head without any additional plate, so I can take my camera off the Cotton Carrier and straight onto a tripod or monopod in no time at all.

Please note, this is one of the original Cotton Carrier hubs. I have a few of these and the new ones all attached to my Fujifilm X-series X-T1's & X-Pro1's, and all attach just as easily to these handgrips.

I've been using this set-up for over two years now and have used it to shoot everything from weddings all across Europe to portraits & events. Using the Cotton Carrier chest harness with a pair of Fujifilm X-series bodies and prime lenses feels almost as though I'm carrying no weight at all. I sometimes shoot with the Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f2.8 & 16-55mm f2.8 lenses and even then the weight is perfectly manageable - especially when compared with my old DSLR kit. When I shoot with these two lenses I attach the body with the 50-140mm to the front of the chest harness with a hub attached to the tripod collar on the lens, as this eases stress on the lens mount. It's also ideal if I need to grab a prime lens as I simply unscrew the body and the 50-140mm stays in place.

2 Fujifilm X-Pro1's with a couple of prime lenses at Marriott Dalmahoy Golf & Country Club. All of my accessories are in a ThinkTank Photo Skin Set belt system ensures that all most of the weight is around my hips with minimal weight on my neck.

Teaching a bride how to pose at the gorgeous Mar Hall. X-T1 with 50-140mm f2.8 lens & X-Pro1 with Samyang 12mm lens.

The next generation. My eldest Daughter recently shot her first wedding alongside me (the bride had seen her work on Facebook and specifically requested her to shoot when she booked me). As soon as she can fit into one, she'll be wearing a Cotton Carrier too.

In recent years I've seen a multitude of different camera carrying systems being introduced and whilst  they all have their fans for whom they work well (while others are more of a fashion accessory, in my opinion) I can honestly say that I have yet to find anything which works as well as my Cotton Carrier chest harness. My cameras remain locked securely until I decide that I need one and my 'move to mirrorless' has meant that I carry even less weight than before - and my back & neck thanks me for it at the end of a 12-14 hour day.

Making a fraction of a second... last a lifetime


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