Today I’m going to review a pair of camera neck straps supplied to me from 595strapco.
But before I get into that, I’d like to talk about aftermarket camera straps in general.
Where I live we get a lot of tourists, and many of them have cameras, and it seems that swapping out the strap that’s supplied with the camera isn’t that popular.
At the other end of the scale, some people own many different straps for their camera(s), even adding quick release fittings so that can swap them around easily and quickly.
For many people it seems that the OEM supplied strap is plenty good enough (and it is to be fair) at the extreme end of the scale, some folks buy hand made straps made from exotic materials at eye watering (think well into three figures) prices
For me, I like to change the OEM strap. For one thing, there’s a reasonable chance that it’ll be somewhat over branded with your camera makers logo and info (I’m looking at you Canikon) and for another I personally dislike the vast majority of OEM straps propensity to twist
Twist and shout. Then untangle and repeat.
Another thing I don’t really like about OEM straps is that they’re generally speaking a tough as old boots – just a bit of leather stitched onto a ribbon of nylon, which I don’t find particularly comfortable or visually appealing.
So for a while now I’ve favoured swapping out the OEM supplied strap for an aftermarket one that’s the length I desire and the thickness I want.
Now so far I haven’t mentioned aesthetics. Why?
Because I’ve only purchased aftermarket straps from one place, they’ve been on sale and price has been my deciding factor and having a tan brown strap on my all black cameras hasn’t bothered me a bit.
So when 595strapco offered to let me chose a strap of my pleasing I had finally the chance to make a style choice.
I was sent two straps, the one I selected and a model that 595strapco wanted feedback on.
We’ll start off by looking at the strap they wanted feedback on as I was curious to try it myself.
I’m not sure that this material is available in their store yet, based on their incumbent Vantage strap however this version is created from a waxy pull up leather that offers a distressed look.
I really need to go all in here and say that my first thoughts (before getting the strap) weren’t resoundingly positive… I personally think that things which are artificially aged tend to look a bit contrite… think pre-aged shoes, the leather strap on a Tudor Black Bay watch or even ripped jeans, not too mention (dare I say it) brassing up your camera with sandpaper
But I needn’t have worried as it turns out I didn’t pay enough attention to what I was being told (that happens a lot) in actual fact this strap develops an accelerated patina with use over time, so the resultant wear pattern (at least in the three months I’ve had it) has a natural look of aged leather. It seems to get a little ‘wabi’ (for want of a better word) very quickly, but then stays at that point making it look very natural and not contrived
My other little concern with this strap was the rivets holding the looped ends together. I was dubious about the rivets scratching the camera, but this hasn’t happened, I’ve been using it exclusively on a Leica M9 (and the paint on the M is very easy to rub off) and I keep the strap coiled around the lens when the camera is in its bag which wraps the strap tight against the body, so that’s a pass! This strap came equipped with leather ‘bumpers’ that stop the attachment (to the camera) split ring from rubbing on the camera body
The gripped X-Pro2 with 56 (and M9 with the 7Artisans) are pretty hefty for mirrorless cameras but the strap handled the weight very well, didn’t chafe my neck or feel uncomfortable on my skin.
Overall I was impressed with the Vantage strap, it exceeded my expectations in regards to the distressed look and just how good that looked in real life.
Far be it for me to offer anyone style tips (seriously I have to stop my partner throwing my clothes away on a regular basis) but if the aesthetics of your camera strap are an important thing to you, and if you own a silver camera or something that’s a little beat up already then this could just be the strap you’re looking for.
Because I was keen to use the strap that required feedback, I didn’t get as much time with the strap I chose… and you know what? I didn’t need to – I (usually) know if I’m going to like something when I see and feel it!
The Granada Black is a quality item.
Made from Horween Chromexcel leather and held together with tiger waxed polyester thread 595strapco’s Granada strap feels lovely, soft and ready to wear straight out of the box.
The leather is very supple and the stitching is nicely done. The strap is comfortable on my neck and the provided leather protection discs (‘bumpers’) prevent the split rings from rubbing on the camera body.
The Horween leather doesn’t transfer colour by rubbing on clothes, and generically speaking Horween leather is used not only in clothing manufacture, but also in products where longevity is paramount such as belts, wallets, bags, suit and brief cases along with other hardwearing applications such as, wrist watch straps, baseball gloves and footballs
595strapco describe their Horween strap as a premium product and having used it I can only agree.
Fujifilm have lent me various things over the years for me to experience, and when 595strapco contacted me about doing a review of their straps I was unsure if it really fitted in with what I usually write… But I was pleasantly surprised about the Vantage strap and positively smitten with the Granada. I know many photographers like to change their strap so I decided it was worth my (and hopefully your) time to take a look and write up my thoughts.
595strapco did not specifically say “hey Adam write nice things and you can keep the straps” they said “take ’em, test ’em, review ’em and be honest”.
But full disclosure I’ve zero intention of sending the Granada back 🙂 (@595strapco: I hope that’s all cool and the gang guys?)
Handmade in the UK and shipped worldwide, if you wish to peruse 595strapco’s product range and avail yourself to a better camera strap than the one your camera shipped with, then you can do so via their website 595strapco
Please Note: That the lighting used for these photos wasn’t single source, therefore actual strap colours may vary in real life.
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