Spider Camera Holsters - Black Widow Holster System

Have you ever been in a situation where you've been carrying your heavy dSLR, EVIL or Super-zoom camera around all day, and either your hands or neck are tired and sore from toting it around? If you answered yes, you're not alone. While manufactures are continuing to make cameras smaller and lighter, when you add accessories like heavy lenses, flash units, and vertical grips, the weight adds up quick. I personally get very aggravated when carrying my EOS 50D setup around hanging from the next strap, especially after an event like a wedding, graduation, etc.

Enter the Spider Black Widow holster system. While the Black Widow has been around for a while, they've been continually adding new accessories to come up with a secure, yet comfortable method of carrying around your gear. With four different options to choose from, you can get just what you want or need.

The system starts with the Black Widow holster itself. This unit was designed for lightweight dSLRs, EVIL, and point-n-shoot cameras, with comfort and accessibility in mind. If you are a Pro with a bit heavier setup, Spider also offers their SpiderPro system to handle the additional weight.

The Black Widow uses a patented quick release system, in the form of a "holster" that attaches to most belts, and a small ball type "Black Widow Pin" that mounts to your camera's tripod socket. Once installed, you can quickly and easily secure a camera to your hip, giving you full use of your hands; and eliminating neck pain from a strap.

They go on to offer a Black Widow belt accessory, which is padded to make it very comfortable. This setup does no need to be looped through your pants, it simply goes around your waist and uses strong Velcro to securely hold everything in place. If that wasn't enough, Spider has recently added their Black Widow Pad, which helps provide maximum comfort when you're carrying your camera around for an extended period of time.

Lastly, for those of you who use a tripod/monopod often, Spider has created a Thin Plate adapter system which allows you to attach your tripod's quick connect plate to the bottom of the camera, while still having a Pin for the Spider holster system. When combined, this is an amazing setup for anyone who enjoys long days of shooting, allowing you to adapt the Black Widow Holster to your specific needs.

Physical Views and Features:

SBW_standing.jpgHere we can see the Black Widow holster by itself, attached to my normal rigger belt. I was surprised to see that it fit my belt with no problem, as I wear mostly 1.75-inch wide belts; where the norm seems to be 1.5-inch.


SBW_sitting.jpgEven when sitting, you can still have your camera comfortably at your side. Even with just this simple setup, it's already quite comfortable.


SBW_Pin-T3.jpgNext is the standard Pin attached to a Canon EOS Rebel T3. Spider also includes a washer, however it's not shown in the photo above.


SBW_complete-2.jpgTo further demonstrate, here we have the complete Black Widow system (minus the Thin Plate adapter), with the Canon EOS Rebel T3 on my hip. While I personally prefer just using the Black Widow holster with my belt, the above is very comfortable. On top of that, it's very easy to remove; just disconnect the camera from the holster, and undo the Velcro on the belt.


SBW_Thin-Plate-unmounted.jpgLastly, you can see the Thin Plate adapter. It has two "channels" that allow you to fit the mount to just about any camera/tripod mount setup.


SBW_Thin-Plate-mounted.jpgI had no problems fitting the Thin Plate to the T3 with using a Manfrotto quick-release plate from my tripod. Even with this setup, the camera hangs comfortably from the Black Widow holster; thanks to the off center pin.


SBW_weight-chart.gifIf you're wondering just how much weight Spider recommends with their Black Widow, above is a handy chart they have posted on their website to help you determine the best setup for your gear; Click to enlarge. I personally believe that the holster by itself, with a strong rigger's belt will be able to hold just as much weight as the BW Belt/Pad combo; however I'm not making any guarantees, and recommend you follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Steve's Conclusion:

The Spider Black Widow holster system does exactly what they claim - it offers a secure and comfortable way for you to carry your point-n-shoot, EVIL, or entry-level dSLR with you at all times. Having a camera hang from your neck can get old fast, especially if you're toting around an Olympus or Panasonic Micro Four-Thirds camera, Sony NEX-C3 or an entry-level dSLR like the Canon EOS Rebel T3i or T3; which are still a bit heavy compared to point-n-shoots.

With a very reasonable price tag of just $49.99 US for the holster by itself, and another $26.99 US for the optional Black Widow belt and Pad, you can have the complete setup for under a $100; even if you add in the Thin Plate adapter for your tripod or monopod's quick-release system. That said, we truly enjoyed using the rig while carrying around a Canon EOS Rebel T3. Quickly "drawing" the camera to grab a spontaneous shot is no problem with the handy release switch, as long as you have two hands available (one to grab the camera and one to manipulate the release). Whether I was standing or sitting, the Black Widow allowed me to comfortably carry the T3 around one morning/afternoon, without any fatigue like you'd find with a standard camera strap.

Bottom line - the Spider Black Widow camera holster system will make a great addition to your current gear. I personally like the holster unit by itself, that way I can just attach it to the rigger's belt that I normally wear. I would also add the Thin Plate adapter, so I can use the setup with my Manfrotto monopod or tripod, both of which have a quick-release setup installed. That said, the Black Widow camera holster system comes highly recommended from the staff here at Steve's Digicams.

If you're one who carries around a bit more gear, Spider has you covered there as well with their SpiderPro system, which is designed to handle the load of heavier components.Visit the Spider Camera Holster website for more details on all of their current offerings.

CLICK HERE to pick up your Black Widow holster from Amazon.com today!