The big camera strap review

posted in Best Camera Straps

The big camera strap review

Introduction

Who would have thought that only after about 6 weeks I will be sitting at home and looking at the best handmade camera straps from all over the world. What started as a simple “Why not try and see if I can get a few straps for a review” thought turned out into possibly the largest major strap review there is. Today I have 16 fantastic straps in this review and all of it was possible thanks to the people who made these great products. The best thing about trying to reach small companies is that someone will actually get back to you. In this case it’s the owner and the person who feels the pride for making every single strap by hand and often for the custom orders. The price tags run pretty high, but after seeing all of the straps in person and looking at the stitching and designs it just becomes so clear that maybe the price tags don’t even begin to cover the real price of the straps. It’s months of development, leather testing, tool adjustments, supplier research, marketing, actually making the straps. In short, you get to feel all that care and love when you put one of these straps on your camera.

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Strap giveaway rules and information are at the end of the review.

I was in NYC and I just decided to buy Sony A7R. That camera is just screaming for something custom and I started doing my research. I knew a few companies because I love browsing camera stuff on Instagram. That’s where I found everyone. To my really big surprise I ended up getting the straps from every person I reached out to. This just shows you the level of responsiveness of these ladies and gentlemen. At some point I realized that this will be a massive review an not just about the straps, but about the things you need to consider when making your buying choices. I have to point out one major thing before we move on.

I MIGHT LIKE ONE CAMERA/STRAP COMBO, BUT YOU MIGHT LIKE ANOTHER ONE.

So take me seriously when I talk about the features of the straps, but as I go into each one it’s all just personal preferences and tastes. I’m not going to tell you what you should like. This is an honest review. I got a lot of the straps for free, so I don’t want to be ungrateful, but I’ll call things as they are. Another important factor is that each brand actually makes a variety of products and I might not necessarily have the combo that you want. Please go to the websites and see the full ranges of straps available. Everyone has more than one option. This review includes straps by Tap & Dye, Gordy, Cecilia, Holdfast, Cub & Co., Figosa, Barton 1972, Yb Putro, RSVP, Viveo, Hard Graft, Ona Bags, Trillo & Son Leather Co., and I’m expecting a few more straps to come in. I will talk about each strap and then cover some important features that you need to consider.

Straps by brand

Let’s talk at least a little bit about each strap. You can see the photos of each one below and also how the straps look on the camera. The strap/camera combos are my personal preferences. The straps are in the order of how I got them.

Tap & Dye  

Origin: New York, US
Price: $85 (Porter strap)
Website: www.tapanddye.com

I was very pumped to receive the first strap. It was just around the time when I got back from NYC and the feeling the city left didn’t wear off yet. The strap and the packaging are very well thought out. Not every strap comes in like that and unwrapping it is an experience in itself. I can say that this might be one of my favorite leather combos. It’s very vintage looking and the feel of it is great. The strap takes your shape after about a week of using it. The logos are in all the right places and the strap gives the feel of something high quality without screaming about it. It sounds like I’m talking about a person. The attachment rings are very well made and the width of the shoulder pad is just perfect for the strap size. You can pick your desired length when you order your strap. There also are other great combos, especially the limited edition JCH strap. I used my strap on A7R with my Canon 70-300L glass, which is huge, and it did look funny, but the strap held all this weight with no issues. So go the website and look at other options available.

Gordy

Origin: Washington, USA
Price: $35+ depending on setup
Website: www.gordyscamerastraps.com

I didn’t know much about Gordy straps before the review. I found out that they are super popular for rangefinder cameras and have a bit of a indie/Wild West look. I can totally see these straps at Coachella, which is a big music festival in California. People wear vintage clothes, fedora hats, and some very nice handmade accessories. The strap I got is pretty much the full package. It’s got length adjustment, ring bumpers, and the perfect length for me. Gordy is probably one of the few strap makers who can create any custom combo you want. You just pick what you need and add that to the price. I found his straps in a YouTube video of a guy who did a review of the Voighlander lens that I was looking to buy. Gordy straps are perfect for the portable film and digital cameras that have the old school look. The strap has a very good support system to keep the loose pieces in place. In other straps you can have something hanging on the side, but not on Gordy. I think this strap as a very specific camera combo in mind and that’s what sets it apart aside from great quality.

Cub & Co.

Origin: New York, USA
Price: $110 (Russet Shooter strap)
Website: www.cubandcompany.com

First of all, what a beautiful looking strap! This is one of my favorites! From stitching to the color combo this strap is made to draw attention. It feels great on the shoulder and since I put it on my AE-1 I cannot take it off. The strap has ring bumpers, which are very functional and also good looking. The leather is stiffer than on some other straps, but it’s just the way it’s crafted. The strap will stay the same even after expensive use. It can carry more weight because of the shoulder pad and it also looks good on heavier and bigger cameras. Joel, the man behind these straps, also works on some custom editions, which you can find in NYC stores. I’d say that if you’re even in NYC and want to bring home something special, this might be just it. You’ll have a great strap that will always remind you of the trip and always take you back to the city that always keeps moving and inspiring to try new things.

Cecilia

Origin: New York, USA
Price: $90 (walnut baby alpaca wool / brown leather)
Website: www.ceciliagallery.com (use asilda15 at checkout to get 15% off your order)

I knew Mac a bit before I decided to put this review together. His straps are unique in the way they combine leather and wool. I was a bit resistant at first because in my mind this strap is not for Sony A7R. But as soon as I put the strap on AE-1 and Zorki 4 it became evident that this is a great strap for DSRLs and also vintage cameras. This strap can handle more weight than others. It has a very easy length adjustment that we are so used to on the straps that come in with every camera, and the leather is unbelievably soft. You can see all the wool options on Cecilia website. I really like mine. This will be my go-to strap for winter. I think this is a great strap for Nikon D800 and for Canon 6D or Mark III. It’s a huge upgrade in design to the included straps. This would be the way to go for me if I still had a larger camera. We have a Canon 6D at home and this strap makes shooting a blast with 6D.

Yb Putro

Origin: Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Price: $45 fixed strap & $60 adjustable strap
Website: www.instagram.com/ybputro

I found Yb on Instagram. I liked the strap photos he was posting and I reached out to see if I could include the straps in the review. These straps are the softest out of everything I have. They also stretch a bit. The small one is ideal for Sony NEX cameras. I put it on NEX 3 and I don’t want to take it off. The large one was the length adjustment and the leather is fantastic. I like the bumpers and the way the strap feels when I pick up the camera. The larger brown strap was made for my Zorki I think. They look happy together. Yb is probably one of the strap makers who didn’t get much attention yet. They straps are also more affordable than the ones made in the US. These straps easily fold and are very portable. So sometimes even when I already have a strap on my camera, I’ll bring Yb with me just in case I want to switch it up. For anything bigger than NEX I’d recommend the wider straps.

Holdfast

Origin: Oklakhoma, USA
Price: $145
Website: www.holdfastgear.com

Holdfast is mostly famous for its Money Maker system. I bought one as a gift and it’s as good as everyone says. If you need a comfortable and stylish two-camera setup, this is the way to go. But for my review I needed something different. Matt, the owner and founder of Holdfast, also the person making everything for Holdfast, actually has much more than just Money Maker. There are two types of straps, one more for wrists, a few bags, and apparel. If you have the money, definitely get something from Holdfast. The two straps I got have the similar name, but are very different. The bigger green strap (Ruck Strap), also available in other colors, was created for medium format cameras. Smaller one (MiniRuck) is pretty much for everything else. Of course you can pick however you want to use either strap. I was a bit resistant to the canvas at first right until I got the shipment from Matt and opened the box. The two materials used in the shoulder section are unbelievably comfy!

What sets these straps apart are the additional pockets and a a little attachment for glasses. The MiniRuck is also the only strap I got with the quick release system that I found helpful many times over. These straps also look like a million bucks. Holdfast is very popular among wedding photographers, especially very expensive ones and the straps add to the look and match the style of the shots that couples pay for. Often you can see Contax 645 or other expensive cameras and the design of the straps needs to match the price tag of the photographer. So the same goes for the Ruck straps. They are designed to set you apart, to draw attention, and to make you look very expensive. They are also very functional, so for the price you pay, it’s an equal investment into your brand as it is into your comfort.

RSVP

Origin: Virginia, USA
Price: $40
Website: www.etsy.com/shop/RSVPhandcrafted

RSVP straps are available on Etsy and they are so popular that there is a wait time of about 3 weeks at the moment. As with some many things on Etsy, you have some customization options, such as initials, graphic on the strap, and color combo. I would say this is the stiffest strap of the ones I am reviewing. It is also pretty thin, so it doesn’t feel as good on the skin and takes longer to break in. The best part is that you can customize it in many ways and it can be a great personal gift. The strap is designed for larger camera and doesn’t come with rings. I’m sure if you ask Daniel to include some, he will. What I like about this strap is the design of the adjustments. The strap will stay in place and is very solid.

Viveo

Origin: Odessa, Ukraine
Price: $30
Website: www.etsy.com/shop/viveo

With everything that’s happening in the Ukraine right now, I really didn’t think this strap will eve each my home. This is another strap from Etsy and I also customized this one with my nickname. What really surprised me is how good this leather feels. It’s got a bit of a different finish and makes me play with leather between the shots. It’s also the only skinny strap that has small indents in the ring section, which hold the rings in place and work around the small width of the strap. The guys in Ukraine have some other cool stuff, such as custom bags, but I’d recommend messaging them first to see if they can fulfill new orders right now.

Barton 1972

Origin: Central Hong Kong
Price: $48 (Sensuality strap)
Website: www.barton1972.com

When you go to Barton website, you pretty much want to buy everything. In the same way as we have our American brands, this is one of the super popular straps in Asia. To all the Leica and Fuji lovers, this is one of the top choices. I got one of the smaller straps with a very creative attachment system. I was worried about it a little, but it just looks so good that I had to try it. Now I can say that this is one of the most secure ways to attach a strap to the camera. The end of the strap loops through the holes and it’s easier to take the strap off the ring than to untie the end of the strap itself. This is also the only shiny strap I have. The stitching is well done and the leather is pretty stiff, so it won’t curl up much. For this strap I prefer the olive version and there are many other color and design options.

Figosa

Origin: Genova, Italy
Price: $70
Website: www.figosa.it

What review can be complete without some quality leather from Italy? Figosa strap is just perfect if you want to add some elegance and class to your camera setup. On the black A-1 Figosa looks like it was designed together and withstood all the changes of times. The strap is a bit too long for me, even with the adjustment. Maybe a shorter version will be a great addition. What sets Figosa apart, aside form being from Italy and proudly carrying the flag on the inside stitching, is the amount of cool color options, especially for women. Since Figosa straps has a female input (Laura is one of the owners), the straps reflect the desires of women. The strap comes with pretty small rings that are a bit hard to put on, but with the help of a knife or scissors it quickly goes in place. I have a feeling that this strap will look great with a business suite, if need be. Overall, if you want something Italian, this is the brand.

Hard Graft

Origin: London, UK
Price: $140 (£85)
Website: www.hardgraft.com

My Second part of the review started in fall of 2014 and I was very impressed with the responsiveness of the Austrian turned British brand Hard Graft. By this time I was already spending a lot of time on various blogs featuring leather goods and mens accessories. So with just a a few quick emails I got a shipment heading my way for review. First of all, the website of this company is brilliant. You look at their products and each page, including the straps, is filled with fantastic images that make it so easy to push “Add to Cart” button. The leather is soft with a fantastic color that will patina into a nice deep blue. The wool from Germany completes the strap with nice details and makes it nice to the touch. The adjustments are easy to do and the length is definitely geared towards men because it was a bit too long for me even with the shortest adjustments possible. This is probably one of the most expensive looking straps I’ve reviewed so far and the strap definitely holds this claim pretty easily. In my few days of using the strap it broke in a bit and started to fit like a glove on my shoulders (I used it across my body). The closest comparison to this strap would be Cecilia, but the two are very different. Cecilia is softer and the wool is fully integrated along the whole strap. The wool also feels a little softer. Cecilia wool is from Argentina and Hard Graft uses a German felt producer. What I also liked about this strap is the perfect blend of use for small 3/4 or mirrorless cameras and DSLR beasts. The strap comes with little rings and you can just as easily put it on your favorite D800 or 5D Mark III. If you want a classy, comfy, and very well made European strap, this is the way to go.

Ona Bags

Origin: New York City, USA
Price: $79 (Presidio strap)
Website: www.onabags.com

For the American photographers, Ona Bags is basically a household name by now. At first I thought that they spend insane amount of money on PR, but it became very evident that they are actually very community-driven. You comments get responded to, emails are answered quickly, and just in general I feel that Ona is part of our photo conversation whichever way I look on social media. For that alone a huge congrats to their team! Now let’s get to the strap. This is a very interesting combination of very soft and responsive leather with a rugged canvas in the style of Filson. The canvas didn’t soften yet as you can see, but it densely has a good grip on the shoulders, especially if you just wear it on one shoulder. The adjustments are easy to do, but the strap doesn’t come with the rings for let’s say my Sony A7R. I picked a pair I had and the problem was solved. What you will see right away is the attention to details. This strap will last for ages and even if the canvas picks up some wear over time, it will only look better. With a pretty strong focus on the DSLR market, this strap and the other sister versions did very good with my film cameras and my A7R. What you will find with Ona is the perfect sync of all their products. The backpacks will have similar features, the size of the stitching will have similar intervals, etc. So I can see how easily it is to become a raving fan for Ona Bags. I haven’t used any of their bags yet, but the more I look at them online, the more it makes sense to have a line of bags like theirs on the market. They are stylish, stealth-looking, functional, and you’re not afraid to do the dirty work with them. So if you’re a fan of Ona, stick with Ona straps, they’ll definitely make you happy. There are no close comparisons to this strap among others. So far Ona is a stand alone master of high-end canvas/leather straps. At least that’s my take from spending 8 months with straps and looking for new ones on the web every week.

Trillo & Son Leather Co.

Origin: Fort Worth, Texas
Price: $90 (Capa strap)
Website: trilloandson.com

I am always on the lookout for straps I haven’t seen before and I came across Hiram and his products and decided to shoot him a message about being in the review. Funny enough, it was just one day after he launched his website. To his credit, he’s in the family with generations of leather craftsmen and he knows like no other how to make the leather work for him. The selection of straps is very straightforward and you can pick up a strap from one of the three designs. In this review I’m featuring two of his straps: Capa, with adjustments and shoulder pad, and Warhol, with the minimal look. Capa features a much softer leather with a long and comfortable shoulder pad. The leather has a very rugged look that reminded me of the YB Putro straps I reviewed before. The Capa straps has some interesting adjustments as you can see on the photos at the top and has red detailed stitches close to the rings. The leather was cut off and this is probably the only brand that displays it this boldly. Capa is also a pretty big strap in terms of length and widest point on the strap. I feel that it needs a bigger camera than just Fuji X20 or my Zorki 4.

Warhol, the strap at the bottom, is a complete opposite when it comes to the leather softness. You can see how easy it was for me to roll the leather and have it stay in place. This strap will take longer to break in, but it also compliments well all the vintage 35mm cameras. Depending on what leather you pick, the softness will vary. There are four color choices and many size preferences available. The metal sections on both Trillo & Son straps are quite big, maybe the biggest of everything I’ve seen. At first that got me worried a little, but I didn’t run into any issues. Overall, I think these are the straps that have the most of the “rough” look and I really like it. There is another strap model, but I’ll review it separately when I do a detailed look at the sling straps in the upcoming months. This is also the only brand from Texas and for so much rich leather work history in this state I just had to have a strong representative in this strap review.

Nerb Handcraft

Origin: Thailand
Price: $69 (with lens cap)
Website: www.facebook.com/nerb.handcraft

There is a very big difference between American and Asian straps. The more straps I review, the bigger the difference I feel. While American straps are bold and raw for the most part, the straps from Asia are much more meticulously made with more elegance, have more of the little things that set each strap apart, and just in general they look and feel completely different. Nerb Handcraft straps were an absolute surprise when they arrived. I haven’t seen the straps this light and slim. They are also very airy if I can call them that. I mean they don’t add any visual weight to the cameras and truly are there as support. They sit very well on the shoulder and the colors are very vivid and pleasant to the eye. I personally like the lighter strap more, but this is merely a personal choice. The stamped logo is in the middle and will most likely will always be on your shoulder.

I received two straps and one had a lens cap on it. This was the only difference between the two. The cap holder has a uniform size, but I think you can ask for a custom one. My sony 62mm lens cap didn’t fit in, while AE-1 was perfectly fine. The lens cap holder sits very nicely on the strap and doesn’t move much on its own, which is fantastic. I didn’t fit the lens cap really necessary, even though it’s a very nice stylistic addition to the whole set.  The length adjustment is quite long, so you can definitely play around with it. I didn’t have to because the length was perfect for me from the start. I already know that I need 38″ of length. The bumpers on the rings have quite small holes and I was not able to put the straps on my Canon AE-1. The rings are pretty stiff as well and I had to use something like a knife to help me out. The back side of the straps is neither too stiff nor too soft. I think the straps will break in nicely and will take shape as time goes by.

I wish the bumpers had a bit bigger holes, but other than that these straps are worth every dollar. These straps come packed with everything from length adjustments to bumpers to additional accessories and are probably the lightest on the market. So what you get is maximum functionality with minimal distractions.  I had the lighter strap on my Sony A7R for a few days and I absolutely loved it. I love the colors and how well the straps are made. You’ll also be surprised with packaging, so I’m not going to spoil it for you when you strap arrives from Nerb Handcraft.

Tanner Goods

Origin: Portland, USA
Price: $125
Website: http://www.tannergoods.com

 

As a huge fan of Oregon based brands, I had to test out the leather camera strap by Tanner Goods. This strap is unique in its design and functionality. All the key elements are seamlessly integrated into the strap allowing for versatility and comfort. You don’t have to deal with rings, bumpers, or bulky parts of the strap. The shoulder pad is there for extra support. The nylon cords are sturdy but I heard mixed reviews about having cords as main attachments to $2-3K cameras. I personally prefer it now because I can avoid getting scratches on my camera. I’ve used the strap for about a month and I am excited about the look and comfort of this strap. There are five color combos and the straps are hand-made in Portland. I think this is a good option for larger mirrorless cameras like Sony A7RII. The leather is quite stiff at first, but softens with use. I’ve seen photos of these straps after 1-2 years of use and they get this rustic cool look that can only happen over time.

 

What about the rest?

There is no way I could possibly review every single strap available worldwide. I did my best and got a great collection of straps for the review. I know I’ll get questions about other straps, and I already started getting those. As we move both into the future with mirrorless cameras and into the past with film lovers, more straps will be designed by more creative and talented people. We will see updated designs from existing brands and new companies with their take on the look and functionality of the camera strap. I hope I didn’t offend anyone by not including them, but in the time I had I did my best.

Important features

Because all of these straps are handmade and maybe half of them are made to order, the level of customization will blow you away. I think the most fun I had was when I emailed Gordon from Gordy Straps with all my preferences. I must have sounded like the most demanding person in the world. But that’s just because you can do that! Everyone is quick to respond, so any of your questions will be answered within a day. I got straps from USA, Ukraine, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Italy. I am sure you can get the strap delivered to you wherever you are. There are seven key factors you need to look at when you buy a strap. And again, a lot of it is personal preference. There are six important features that you need to consider when you choose the strap.

1. Leather softness

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I don’t know about you, but I’m the touchy type. When I get something new I always like to see how it feels. Camera straps just by their nature are always close to the skin, so having something scratchy or uncomfortable is not going to be pleasant. Each strap company has its own process of how they deal with the leather. Sometimes it’s pretty much unfinished and it will weather, fade, and scratch. Other times it’s stiff and solid.

Personally, I prefer the softer leather. I like how the strap becomes my own and get distinct features of my own as I use it. Tap & Dye is a great example of that. That strap is just 100% me at this point. Yb Putro also has raw straps that are even softer and easily fold. That’s a great feature for when I need to be really portable and don’t have much space for the strap. Leather softness also determines is the strap is going to be stretchy. I think only a few straps that I have are stretchy and that’s just because of the leather type.

On the other side there are straps like Cub & Co., Figosa, Viveo, Gordy, and Barton are stiffer. I love their feel as well, but it’s different. With these straps I know there won’t be anything on my way and they keep the shape a bit better over time. Most of these are also smaller in width.

The bigger straps (the ones I personally consider to be for DSLRs), Cecilia and Holdfast are softer while RSVP is very stiff. Here for me there is no question that I like the softer straps. When there is something heavy like Canon 5D Mark III with 24-105mm L lens on your shoulder, you want as much comfort as possible and I didn’t find that with RSVP strap.

2. Length adjustments and width

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I have a pretty strong opinion on this feature in the straps. I find that adjustments make the camera less pleasant to use and often are on the way when you need it the least. Each adjustable strap I have has different mechanisms. personally, I am hands down for the fixed length on any of the straps. I am 5’7″ (174cm) and for me 38″ (97cm) strap is the ideal length. I emailed one of the strap manufacturers asking about the recommended length and this is what he suggested. It turned out to be just perfect and I asked for the same length on other straps as well.

The strap becomes much more portable, comfy, and easy to use when it was a fixed length. I cannot really imagine the case when you need to modify the length all the time, so most likely the adjustments are just in case the original length doesn’t work for you for some reason. I was lucky to find my length right away and I think 38″ is actually the most popular size. The longest strap I have is Figosa and it’s way too long for me. The allowed adjustment on it is only 20cm, which is not enough.

The two best adjustment options are on Holdfast and Barton straps. Barton was a bit tricky because it has no locks and you just wind the end through the holes. So that’s not big of an adjustment, but it can make some small difference. This structure actually turned out to be much more secure than I thought. Holdfast has its adjustments in a classy way with the small holes and everything facing the front. I noticed that sometimes the little leather piece that fixes the adjustment tends to move around, but mostly that’s because the leather is still pretty new and I haven’t used the strap enough for everything to find its place.

Each strap was designed to be functional and good looking at the same time. I’m sure that each strap brand had a few cameras in mind during the R&D process. I think the wider straps work better on the bigger and heavier setups. The small and skinny straps are better on small Fuji, NEX, and 35mm cameras. For my own use on Sony A7R I prefer the width of less than one inch (2.54cm). Really skinny straps are way too small and just keep rotating. They also feel less secure and the lens keeps the balance off so the camera always is facing the ground. Ideally you want the camera to be parallel to the ground.

3. Rings and leather bumpers

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Each camera has different strap connectors. The most difficult ones are the on medium format film cameras that have specific attachments. I am still trying to figure out a way to put the last Holdfast Ruck strap on my Mamiya RZ67 without buying anything else. But for the most part it’s easy to put in the straps on 35mm cameras as well as the digital ones we use today. One more thing I’d like to mention on this is that some straps don’t come with the rings. They are by design made for the larger DSLRs and all you need is the strap itself. You just put it through the metal attachment on the camera and you’re good to go.

I prefer the straps without the bumpers and the quality of the rings is pretty broad. The smallest ones and the hardest to put on were on Figosa strap. The best ones are on Tap & Dye. They feel more like quality and are easy to mount on the camera. Again, this is just my opinion. Bumpers are a great advantage if you are worried about scratching your camera. I got the paint coming off on my Sony A7R (I guess it’s a minus for the camera), but I have no idea what strap did it because I have so many and I switched them so often. But I noticed that most of the time the bumpers tend to get in the way and you need to figure out how to put your fingers around them. Again, this is the personal preference. I like the ease of use without the bumpers, but like the security and protectiveness of the bumpers. For many straps the bumpers also add to the design.

What you might want to check is the kind of attachments you need for your camera. The bigger straps didn’t come in with rings so I had to hustle and switch things around on some straps. If you want a wider strap, ask for the rings to be included with your purchase. I wouldn’t want to get a strap that I cannot attach right away. Right now I have enough rings that I can use, but if you only get one strap, this might be an unpleasant surprise. Maybe the strap makers can also take that into consideration for all future orders.

4. Shoulder pad

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I think shoulder pads are essential if your camera weights like Canon AE-1. I would say anything that’s bigger than Fuji x100 needs a shoulder support. Not only it adds more comfort, but it also adds more grip. On the smaller cameras like Sony NEX the pads get in the way most of the time. At least that’s my opinion. On all straps that I have with the pads, you can move them around and they are very comfy. They also add an additional touchpoint when you need to pick up your camera from the bag or from the ground. The wider straps don’t need that additional support, so don’t expect anything there. The pads also add a lot to the design of the strap. Cub & Co. strap looks fantastic with the shoulder pad. I think it might be the central design element of that strap. Barton has a very elegant solution that it also very comfy. Tap & Dye has a great shoulder pad and in part because of it that’s my most used strap on Sony A7R. The MiniRuck from Holdfast incorporates the shoulder support right into the strap and because that section is not made of leather, the cushion is very soft and it pretty much takes the shape of your body. Cecilia also is wide enough to be very comfortable. The key thing here is the size and weight of your camera. So let’s move to that.

5. Your camera size and weight

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It’s always great to have something good looking, but it also has to be functional. I made a few mistakes with some of my gear and bought things just because of the look. I ended up using those things a few times and that was it. So when it comes to straps and their critical role (I’m sure someone who doesn’t take the straps seriously won’t be reading this review), it’s very important to find the perfect match of your specific camera and the look and functionality of the strap. I have a few of my favorite combos and some of them actually happened on accident as I was shooting the photos for this review. Yb Putro strap and Zorki 4 work great together. Same goes for Cub & Co. and my silver Canon AE-1. Figosa is great for black A-1. Holdfast’s MiniRuck is great on Sony A7R. So as you can see with all the possible strap options available, you have many choices and you can really think through the perfect combo. I also think that having more than one strap might be a good idea. You will start with one of course, but maybe you’d like to have something for winter (I’m keeping my Cecilia strap for those winter months when I’m always wearing my wool sweaters), or maybe you get another camera and will want something different for it. I’m assuming that most of us like film photography and maybe have a 35mm camera, a large DSLR for work, and possibly another small mirrorless for fun. With so many strap options from each brand you can definitely find what will work for you. The best part is that you can always email the manufacturers and they will be able to recommend good options for you. They do every strap by hand and with so much demand for the handmade leather straps right now they have done straps for a huge variety of cameras.

6. Personal taste and preference

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I think I saved the best for last. No matter how much we want to make buying decisions based on logic, sometimes you just have to go with the heart. My personal preferences might be very different from yours and I hope that the things I write here will help you figure out what you’re looking for. I have a biased opinion towards larger and wider straps. I just think that they are made for large DSLRs and I don’t own one anymore, so in a way they remind me of the things I moved away from. There is nothing against the straps, it’s just all in my head. You might have a specific interest in leather type or design and that’s great. The pickier you are, the happier you will be with the purchase. After using all these straps for the last 6 weeks I can tell you that if you think through the purchase, you’ll be absolutely happy with it. Not one strap has any major flaws. These are high quality products with months of research and design decisions behind them. So no matter where your strap will be coming from, Italy, Hong Kong, or USA, each one it made to last.

Pricing. Worth it?

Most likely you have already been to the websites of the different strap brands. You have seen the price tags, some of which are pretty high. A I was using the straps, I kept asking myself if I’d spend that much money on each strap. Even with the most expensive ones the answer is yes. I like spending money on my gear. It makes the process more fun for me and it adds to my experience behind the scenes. Most of the places where I shoot are not glamorous right now I’m sitting in the middle of the beach waiting for the Lufthansa Frankfurt flight to take off. Sometimes I’m just sitting in the parking lot, or walking in places where it might not be that safe. Having something that puts a smile on my face is great. These straps are for life. They are made to last. This is the investment into you first and then in your camera setup. Some may see it as a weird way to spend money and that’s fine. I do this for myself and I don’t get offended when people laugh at me because I have film cases, shutter buttons, cool straps, cleaning supplies, and other small fun stuff. You are not buying a machine made product here. It was hand made from start to finish. That should say something.

Conclusion

This is it, friends! Now it’s time to look at your camera and pick the strap you like. Here is the fun part: every strap brand is participating in a big giveaway. The winners will be randomly chosen and the straps will be shipped to them. To enter, you need to repost the photo about the review on my Instagram to your own feed and also put up a photo of your camera that needs an awesome strap with the hashtag #camerastraplove. The winners will be notified on June 30. Good luck!

Contest Rules

Here are the rules for the CAMERA STRAP GIVEAWAY:

  1. Post the photo below or a photo of your camera that needs a new strap to your Instagram
  2. Include hashtag #asildalovesstraps
  3. Each Friday the winner will be randomly drawn and can pick from any available strap choices
  4. You can enter as many times as you want
  5. The giveaway ends on December 26, 2014

Participating brands and strap: 

  • Ona Bags (Presidio strap)- winner @hannyclaree
  • Hard Graft (Hang Camera Strap in Ocean) – winner @corruptergentleman
  • Trillo & Son Leather Co. Capa – winner @beardedspoooon
  • Trillo & Son Leather Co. Warhol – winner @redskiesphotography
  • Gordy Strap (custom from the review)
  • Figosa (Adjustable strap) – winner @manne14
  • Barton 1972 (Sensuality strap in natural brown)
  • Nerb Handcraft (both straps in the review)

I hope you enjoyed this review and good luck!

 

Follow me on Instagram for the bits of daily inspiration.

 

31 comments

  1. Hi,

    Don’t have an instagram account right now because my crappy phone does not support it. I shared this in my FB account. Will that qualify??? I’ll cry if that will not be counted :-(

    • I messaged you on FB:) I’ll track giveaway submissions on Instagram, so it will be best if you figure that out in the next few week. Good luck!

    • Hi Mark, thanks for the message. I don’t think I can take any more straps at the moment. I’ll take a bit of a break from the straps and maybe come back to review more later. Congrats on the launch!

  2. How do you wear your strap? Just oc the neck? Just over the shoulder or over both? I wear min of both so nee one which slides as I bring the camera up and thus don’t like shoulder pads.

    I also use a fairly heavy om2. As well as many lighter cameras, so could do with a quick-ish release.

    What would your recommendation be?

    • Hi Darren, for what you like MiniRuck from Holdfast might work really well. Tap & Dye has a strap with a quick release and no should pad, so maybe take a look at that one too.

      I wear my cameras on one shoulder most of the time. If I wear on two, it’s mostly the Custom SLR strap for heavy work.

  3. Like your review , helpful as I shop for a couple new straps. Wish you would have included shots of how they look and feel on heavier Canon and Nikon DSLRs, eg – 5D, D4 etc.

  4. These are all beautiful, yes. But for an SLR, nothing beats a neoprene strap with a little give in it. It really takes the strain off your neck, and makes the camera feel lighter than it is.

    • I agree. These are not really for heavy duty stuff. Maybe only Holdfast and Cecilia are. I use Custom SLR strap when I need to be 100% secure. Check the out. They are great!

  5. Pingback:Figosa in the top 10 of worlwide leather straps manufacturers! | Figosa

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  7. Great test of sooo many straps.
    Kata has also really good straps with a smooth material and some of them have a small pocket for CF-card or something like that.

    Great work! :)

  8. Hi there, incredibly detailed article, thanks for all the great info!
    There’s also Tanner Goods straps, very high quality leather straps, and of course Artisan & Artist from Japan with their quite large selection of straps, which are very popular with the hipster crowd. :)
    Thanks again for a great blog!

    • Thanks for the message!!

      Yeah I spoke with both of these companies, but they didn’t want to send me samples and I had no budget left to buy more straps out of my own pocket. Definitely love Tanner Goods straps, but the communication is pretty bad with them.

  9. A beautifully comprehensive review…but no mention of, Italy’s own strap king, Luigi Crescenzi?

    I have many many leather straps but find myself going back to his time and time again!

  10. This review is FANTASTIC. Just what I was looking for. I’m headed to a wedding in July and am bringing my four-thirds. I needed something a little more formal than my ballistic nylon number. Thank you!

    • They look nice! Just ordered them, hope its as good as the pictures ;-) their camera bags look really good, ah well maybe next year. Im done with my camera quota for this yr!

  11. Give these straps a try. They are made in Japan. Soft and supple and yet not stretchy at all
    I just got an A7ii and was looking for a longer strap. I had Ulysses Classico before for me Nex’s
    I still like the looks of it best with no metal parts like rivets, etc.

    Anyhow great review, thanks

    http://www.ulysses-photo.com

  12. Amazing review! I’ve never seen all these straps reviewed in one place before. Thanks! Tap and Dye straps look great! Have you seen Hawkesmill straps? Found them on Instagram. Guess they are about to launch. I’d be eager to read a review on them!

  13. A very interesting post! Thank you very much for the effort to write all of this information. I hope that for the next review of leather camera straps we can also be in the post! We are a small studio based in Barcelona (Spain) and we started this adventure last year. Please check our store at http://www.bronkey.com .

    Hope to be there next time ;-)
    Thank you very much.

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