Camera Straps. They are a big thing nowadays but have not really interested me I must confess. Most of them are either insanely expensive so I can’t afford them, or so over engineered they look like a prop from a war movie in which case I don’t want them. I have only ever bought and used one strap (that did not come with the camera) in my entire career as a photographer. I just didn’t care about the strap when I used ugly DSLRs, I just used what came with the camera. When I bought the original Fujifilm X100 in April 2011, the strap it came with was crap and I felt a camera that insanely beautiful (and it turned out, life-changing) needed something much nicer. I also wanted to be able to walk with this camera over my shoulder and be ready to shoot, photojournalist/documentary/Leica style (fake it till ya make it). I looked for a long strap that was super simple in design, light weight and flexible and bought an Artisan & Artists ACAM-102. I have used this strap ever since on all the Fujifilm cameras I have owned and did not really plan on replacing it.
Enter the Simplr Strap.
Charlene received a couple of prototype Simplr Straps last year in September and she asked if I wanted to try one of them to see if I liked it. Later on in November, Jason from Simplr Straps was so kind as to send us a whole bunch of new stuff so now both my X-T2 and X-T1 are equipped with the M1a strap. Initially I was a a bit annoyed with the Simplr strap, simply because I was using it with the old round rings from the old strap still in place and that caused me a lot of entanglement and problems grabbing the camera and strap at the same time. Jason recommended that I mounted the Simplr strap directly to the camera strap lugs. This makes a huge difference, for me at least. In order to do this, you have to punch out these small strap lug inserts in the strap lugs on the camera, here is the how-to blog post from Simplr – to do this on my cameras, I had to apply a lot of force, but they do come off eventually.
Mounted directly in the camera strap lugs as recommended works a lot better, for me. I have now used the strap for a while and for several long nights of shooting music gigs. I really like this strap, it definitely is not as good looking as my old strap but has functionality that means it actually managed to knock my Artisan & Artists strap into retirement. It has changed to the better how I carry the camera while shooting, simply because of how long the strap can be.
What I like about the Simplr M1a strap
- This strap is long! Fully extended, it is 142cm. This is really nice, it is the longest camera strap I have used. I am a tall Scandinavian techno viking with long arms (sorry, this is like an intro to an online dating profile). Not only can I comfortably wear my camera across my body with this strap, the strap is long enough I can just pick up the camera and shoot without taking the strap off my body first. The nylon is smooth to slide easily around my body, so nothing gets entangled. No strap I have used could do this, it is an awesome way to work. Only when I have to shoot overhead, arms raised over my head (watch Dual Vision and you shall see it in action) do I still have to un-attach the strap from my body.
(This may be the weirdest paragraph I have ever written, it is hard to describe this stuff!)
- It is simple, non flashy, flexible and light weight. It is just a strap. Simple as that. Minimal and very light weight. Never gets in the way. Very supple too. Not pretty but heck, it’s a strap.
- The quick-release connectors. I don’t shoot a lot of video, but it is still nice when I need to that I can unclick the strap in 2 seconds. The quick-release connectors used to get in my way until I attached the strap directly to the camera strap loops.
- Easily adjustable length. From 91cm to 142cm. I now pretty much shoot with the strap going across my body all the time, but sometimes I am shooting action packed gigs where I know I will constantly swap between camera to my eye and camera over my head. Then I just shorten the strap completely and wrap it once around my right hand and the camera is securely attached now to carry all the time, and the strap is not in the way.
Two camera setup
I am lucky enough to have two of these straps and usually shoot with two cameras at the big festivals, and usually always get the two straps majorly entangled with my bag and body parts (not always mine!). It will be great to use the Simplr straps, I think I might have one across the body, and one shortened just hanging off a shoulder. Or both going across the body, or both shortened and hanging off a shoulder each! It’s easy to experiment. It can only prove to be an improvement to last year where I dropped my X-T2 nose first onto concrete because of me swapping cameras and being clumsy.
Many thanks to Jason from Simplr Straps.