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- Which Camera Strap Is Right for You?
Quick! Tell me what was the last photographic accessory that you bought. Was it a bag? Lens? Filter? Tripod? What about a good camera strap?
Good camera straps are worth their weight in gold. Finding one we really like, we’re probably going to tell other photographers about it. Knowing what to look for in a camera strap is a simple exercise, though we could all use a friendly hand pointing us to something nice.
Types of Camera Straps
There are several types of camera straps sold as replacement straps for the thin little things that came with most of our cameras. I see a few main categories for good camera straps that are both more comfortable and more secure than what came in the box.
Many camera straps attach via the lugs or slots on the camera body. Some of these will be quick-release straps. Most of the aftermarket straps like this are padded.
Other camera straps attach by means of the tripod screw on the baseplate. This type of strap is often preferred by shooters of active situations and also makes it easier to have two or more cameras readily accessible.
The materials straps are made of also varies. Some are simple nylon, others may have neoprene for part of it, and leather camera straps have always been popular, too.
Camera Strap Features
You can’t discuss the different types of camera straps without getting in to the different camera strap features and benefits.
How the camera straps hangs on you can make a difference in your comfort level as well as your readiness to be able to use the camera. You also want the camera to be secure. You don’t want the camera to be about to slide off with any movement you make and you also want to keep it from swinging around and bumping into things.
Many of the straps I’ve tried that attach to the tripod screw hole are harness style straps which take care of both of those issues.
A good camera strap will be heavy duty enough to carry your camera with large heavy lenses and yet still be comfortable. I like to say that if I’m constantly noticing my camera strap, then maybe it’s not the right one for me.
Harness style straps are more comfortable to use with heavier gear since they distribute the weight of our rig across a wider area, plus a harness keeps the strap off of our neck, a source of discomfort during long photoshoots.
Harnesses are also very secure and most can be adjusted to fit your size and your equipment so that your cameras aren’t swinging around which can damage the camera or lens and is uncomfortable for long photoshoots.
Holdfast Money Maker
You can probably tell by now that I lean towards harness style straps when I’m considering what makes a good camera strap for my own needs and wants. Holdfast Leather Pro Goods makes one of the best straps I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.
Their primary strap is the Holdfast Money Maker, a harness style, heavy duty, leather strap capable of holding 1, 2, or 3 cameras comfortably and securely.
As you look at their website and all the views and features of the Money Maker, you’ll probably notice rather quickly that it seems a bit pricey. I thought so, too, at first. Then I realised that a lot of photographic gear I use as a professional can be considered high priced.
Quality equipment is not cheap by any means. As photographers and videographers, we spend a lot of money on our gear besides the cameras and lenses. While I always look for a deal and will often choose something reasonably priced for my own stuff, I firmly believe that price should be one of the factors governing our choices, but not always the primary one.
Once you see all the benefits of this high quality camera strap, you’ll realize as I did that it’s actually a pretty decent price for all that quality. Besides, I spend more than this periodically just on memory cards, as many of my readers also do.
Features and Benefits
A good camera strap for a pro or other very serious shooters should be able to do the job comfortably and securely. The Money Maker definitely checks the YES box for those two main criteria.
Comfort. The leather straps for the money maker are full grain thick leather, smooth on top for a beautiful appearance and buffed where it meets our shoulders for extra comfort. Like a great pair of leather boots, it gets even better with use.
Comfort is also provided by the harness style that spreads out the weight of our gear. A prosumer or pro level camera with a fast zoom lens can get rather heavy, and if you need two or more cameras ready to shoot, that weight really adds up.
Security. The harness style is also a very method for carrying cameras at the ready. It won’t slip off of your shoulder as you are moving around shooting whatever you’re working on. A wedding, hiking around a waterfall, or a day at the park with the kids can have us moving around a lot, so that security is a welcome feature.
Security involves more than keeping our gear from falling off of us, it also means not letting our cameras bump into each other as we’re doing our moving around. A harness style strap, properly adjusted, will keep that from happening. The Money Maker is fully adjustable in several key areas, allowing for a customised fit.
Readiness. These comfort and security features also have the benefit of ensuring that our camera is right there, ready to be used without any fumbling around. The attachment spot for the Money Maker is the camera tripod screw, so that the camera can be quickly grabbed by its grip for instant use.
The readiness benefit is also evident with our being to hold two or three cameras with lenses attached instead of reaching into our gear bag. All of this adds up to what makes a good camera strap for serious photographers.
There are several options from Holdfast for high quality leather camera straps. The Money Maker has a Skinny version with thinner straps and wide leather pads only where it meets our body.
Photographers not needing to have 2 or 3 cameras at the ready may like the Money Maker Solo, a single camera alternative that also provides an exceptional level of comfort and security while looking marvelous since it is made of full grain leather as well.
What you decide on for your own needs and desires will end up being a great choice with any of these very good camera straps from Holdfast Leather Pro Goods.