Photography News Issue 31

Photography News | Issue 31 | absolutephoto.com

46 First tests

Third-party straps

Of all the accessories that you can buy for your camera, the strap is very possibly the one most likely to be taken for granted, especially as you got a nice branded free one when you bought your camera. Yet it is such a vital piece of kit that it merits serious consideration and it is certainlyworth looking beyond what came in the box. A good camera strap needs to be comfortable, secure and practical in an unobtrusive, behind-the-scenes way. Ideally, it should look the part too but the three big considerations

are that a strap should be comfortable, keep the camera safe and be great to use so let’s take those points in turn. If you’re going to have a camera hanging from your shoulder/neck all day long you want a strap that isn’t going to dig into your skin or feel scratchy or itchy after a short while. When it’s cold you’re going to have a jacket or thick top and that helps avoid any discomfort but on T-shirt days when it’s humid and hot, there is nothing worse than an irritating strap. On areas of contact with the

skin, look for quality padding and stitch-free areas. Some straps use stretchy material like neoprene that can cushion the weight of your DSLR as you’re carrying it around. A shoulder pad with good grip means the camera is less likely to slip. A secure strap means that your camera stays put, safe from the effects of gravity as well as from stray hands. The anchor mechanism is important so check this point carefully and make sure when you attach the strap that you follow any guidelines for

maximum security. Some straps have extra plastic clips or fittings to enable fast fitting/removal and these clips need to be high quality and firm in their operation to ensure there is no chance of accidental release. Usability is very much a personal thing. Indeed, many photographers don’t like conventional shoulder straps at all and prefer wrist straps or pap-type straps. To be honest, it is often a fewweeks into a relationship with a strap that handling issues manifest themselves

and they’re rarely immediately apparent when you’re in the shop. Comfort aside, you might find the strap fouls the shutter release when you lift the camera to the eye, or its shoulder pad might not grip very well so the camera is regularly sliding off your shoulder. In the longer term, you might find the strap’s fittings can scratch around the lugs impacting on the camera’s resale value. Here we take a look at three straps new to the UK market and check out what they have to offer. WC

EDDYCAM35mm €189

4VDesign Lusso £79

Miggö Two-Way Speed Strap £23

If you want a versatile strap the Miggö Two-Way Speed Strap could be the one for you. At £23 it is also very attractively priced. In the box come all the bits you need to use the strap in round the neck/off the shoulder ‘classic’ mode, but seconds later you can switch it to ‘sling’ or pap-strap mode with the strap running across your body. A few seconds more and you can attach the camera to the straps of a backpack. The two attachment bands take seconds to fit to the camera body and then you’re ready to go into either mode. Very usefully, once the strap is clicked in place there is a simple locking mechanism to ensure the two stay together. Just slide the blue tab to lock the sections together. The shoulder section of the strap is nylon and there is a 37cm section of padding stitched into the strap. The padding is quite thin and does a reasonableratherthanoutstandingjob of spreading the load and providing comfort. The pad material is stretchy but the strap itself isn’t so it doesn’t offer much in the way of cushioning. For sling use, the fitting is screwed into the camera base and a coin slot enables secure tightening. The camera does not glide up and down the strap and the whole thing moves when you bring the camera up to the eye. As an additional measure, a thin safety cord is provided. My favourite sling strap is the Black Rapid and the Miggö is not a patch on that, but then it is a fraction of the price – and the Black Rapid does not transform into a classic neck strap. I think the Miggö is a decent shoulder strap first and a useable sling strap second. At the price though, value rates very highly, so definitely worth a look.

EDDYCAM straps are handmade in Germany from Scandinavian elk-skin leather and not only are the straps functional, they also feel luxurious to the touch and are very skin friendly. Various widths, styles and colour combinations are on offer so whether you want a strap for your pro DSLR or for your binos on your next trip to Ascot races, there is a strap for you. The EDDYCAM 35mm is designed for CSCs such as Leica, Olympus OM-D/PEN and Fujifilm X-series and has a load bearing of up to 1.2kg and each strap measures 155cm in length. The version I had is brown with natural-contrast seams so looks lovely but it is €10 more than the basic strap. There is no shoulder pad as such but it is slightly fatter where it fits on the shoulder. Nor is there any extra grip or raised surface on the underside but there’s no problem with the strap fitting on the shoulder. While it is not as stretchy as amaterial like neoprene, there is give in the elk leather so that helps to cushion the camera’s weight. If you grab the strap at each end and pull hard you get an extra 4cm which gives you an idea of the stretchiness. Four beautifully machined metal fittings allow plenty of length adjustment and the clip design lets you attach the strap to the camera quickly but very securely too. Pads to protect the camera from any risk of scratching are also supplied. I tried the EDDYCAM on the Olympus PEN-F and various Fujifilm X-series cameras, most of the time with the cameras around my neck, and I enjoyed the experience very much. The important thing from my perspective was that I didn’t think about the strap at all. In other words, it did its job without making itself a nuisance and that is only a good thing.

Handmade in Italy, the Lusso Large is designed to replace the strap that came with your DSLR and there is much to like about it. For me top of the list is the shoulder pad. The top side is leather and embossed with the company’s logo but it’s the underside that really impresses. It has what the company calls Ultra-Grip Technology and it does offer a very high level of grip. If your current strap is constantly sliding from your shoulder, you have really got to try this strap. It stays put brilliantly whether you’re wearing a shirt/blouse, T-shirt or outdoor jacket. The shoulder pad uses memory foam on the underside and that gives a cushioning effect during use and even with a full-frame DSLR the load is spread out for greater comfort. This pad surrounds the main part of the strap which is 20mm wide cotton ribbon, so it’s soft to the touch, very flexible and the length can be adjusted within a 100-132cm range. At each end of the strap are a couple of stitched leather fittings that join it to the attachment bands made from 100%polyamide and designed to offer high resistance to wear and tear – and to cutting. These bands are 10mm wide and are stitched and folded to stop the band slipping. The bands loop through the supplied metal spring rings with anti-scratch leather camera body protectors. I did find these attachment bands couldbebetter. The stitchedand folded endings did prevent the attachment bands slipping free so there was no risk to the camera, but the band could slip until that safety measure kicked in. To prevent any movement I threaded the end over and under the clip an extra time and then there was no slippage at all.

Verdict

Verdict

Verdict

This Miggö strap performed well in the test with a variety of DSLRs including the Nikon D5. Security is very good, length adjustment fast and there are the options of sling or backpack use as well as around the neck, so versatile. Pros Great value Cons Shoulder pad thin, not a great sling strap mymiggo.com

There is much to like about the Lusso Large strap and it is very useable, especially the extremely grippy shoulder pad that is excellent. The attachment band issue needs looking at and I’d suggest doubling it over for extra security. Pros Shoulder pad very grippy Cons Needs a better attachment band 4vdesign.i

The EDDYCAM strap is the most expensive of the three here but it is a luxurious strap with a very tactile feel and it’s the most comfortable on the skin too. It makes a great partner for your CSC and comes recommended.

Pros Very soft material, security,

great looks Cons Price

eddycam.com

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