I have never been overly fond of camera straps, most of the neck straps included with your camera are not particularly comfortable and I hate having a one to two kilo brick hanging around my neck, its just plain uncomfortable. Nor do I like wrist straps for the same reason.
My preference is for a hand strap often called a hand grip, which it is not. A hand grip is part of the camera body or an additional piece put on the body to make it easier to hold.
However marketers seem to inevitably label these hand straps as hand grips, therefore if you are looking for one online you need to search both types. There are many varieties of straps and harness gear for photography so theres plenty to choose from.
Theres a number to choose from at varying prices, your local camera shop will also have some available as well but I have found these to be generally expensive for what they are and often all you are really paying for is brand name. Shop online for better results.
Click the images above for a larger view. All the current prices are shown at the bottom of the images.
Even the $6.50 version looks reasonably substantial, but at that price it is likely to be made of inferior products compared with the more expensive leather based options. However you have to pay more for the leather versions. Note prices dont include freight if buying online.
For large DSLR’s all of these items would be good to have, however I’m not sure that the bulkiness of some of the hand straps would be something I would enjoy using, and getting it on and off could be problematic, although the surety of keeping the camera in hand with the additional thumb strap could well be worth it.
Make your own straps.
If like me you have a bunch of old camera straps around, now’s the time to make your own. I have half a dozen surplus straps from various cameras, the best of which are the two below.
The Fuji strap is 30 mm in width and the Canon is 40 mm in width. Both are a woven strap laminated to a leatherette backing making for a very durable strap. I decided on the Canon strap which I think gives a better fit and feel.
From the following images you will see that I used the existing eyelet straps for the top connection point while cutting the strap to the required length and punching a hole sufficient to tightly press the D-ring screw through the strap and attaching it to the tripod mount point. I used a flat washer slightly larger in diameter the the head of the D-ring screw to add extra lock-down grip to the strap at the bottom mounting point.
If you are wondering about the use of D-ring screws, its simply a matter of ease of use. Rather than have to carry a screwdriver with me, the D-ring screw is easy to remove if I want to use a tripod mount, and saves me from having to completely remove the strap from the camera. On the larger DSLR one could incorporate a small carabina clip on the top connection for fast and complete removal of the strap. Total cost for the two camera straps is $7.50 and that was for the two D-ring screws plus the freight, which works out at $3.75 for the strap. Thats New Zealand dollars of course.
Pictured below is my EOS 1000d and my Pentax MZ-6, both now sporting the hand straps I made this morning. Pentax users may want to look away 🙂
I will endeavour to find a good Pentax strap at a later time.
Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.
Both these cameras are going to be used quite extensively tomorrow on a photo expedition, therefore I will be able to report just how well they do their job.