Solutions: Hands-Free

Camera straps have grown up to offer a higher level of both form and function

HoldFast Camera Leash

Every camera comes with some sort of a perfectly functional strap, and because it usually has the name and model number of the camera it came with, the strap can also serve as a status badge. If you'd like a little more function than that basic strap, you have some options that are both highly functional and stylish, as well.


BlackRapid Yeti

BlackRapid has made a name for themselves with strap systems that securely connect to the camera's 1⁄4-20 tripod thread. The camera sits at your hip in a natural position so that when you reach down, you're automatically holding it so it's ready to shoot. Most of BlackRapid's various shoulder straps are contoured to be worn across your body, which is both comfortable and much more secure than just slinging on your shoulder. BlackRapid makes several models to fit your shooting style. Thinner, less obtrusive straps like the Curve, Metro, Shot and Cross Shot are good for travel and urban shooting. The Yeti's double-camera/single-strap setup is ideal for sports photographers and photojournalists who need two body/lens combinations ready at all times. The Kick is optimized for women, and the Sport is built for active shooters and is excellent for day hikes. www.blackrapid.com

OP/TECH USA neoprene straps have been favorites with many nature photographers for years. Available in various colors and widths, the neoprene OP/TECH models give you a little shock absorption, which makes them very comfortable when hiking on jarring terrain or anytime you have heavier gear. OP/TECH has a vast collection of products, each with a clearly defined purpose. optechusa.com


HoldFast MoneyMaker

HoldFast is a relatively new player in the strap world, and they've made a name for themselves with leather and canvas construction. Of the various models, HoldFast offers shoulder straps, neck straps, harnesses and wrist leashes. The MoneyMaker is their dual-camera harness system that attaches via the camera's tripod thread. HoldFast employs a shackle system that allows you to unhook from the strap quickly. For security, there's a safety system that prevents the camera from falling should you accidentally disengage the shackle. HoldFast's Camera Leash is a leather wrist strap with a similar 1⁄4-20 and shackle attachment system as the MoneyMaker. It's a nice option if you just don't want to deal with a shoulder-strap system or harness of any kind. Any photographer looking for a more natural material should spend some time looking into HoldFast. holdfastgear.com

Fashion Camera Straps


Capturing Couture

Capturing Couture is a relatively new player in the camera strap world. If you were a photographer in the 1970s or you remember your parents' 1970s-era camera straps, much of the Capturing Couture line will look familiar. Looking decidedly retro, there are a lot of design options in their product line. www.capturingcouture.com

Like Capturing Couture, mod makes a line of retro-looking, stylish neck straps in a variety of designs. If the simple design that came with your camera makes your fashionista skin crawl, look into mod for something that coordinates a little better with your aesthetic requirements. www.modstraps.com

Also playing in the more fashion-oriented space is !MoStrap. Their line of neck straps is available in myriad patterns, including a leopard pattern. !MoStrap also makes neoprene straps that feature a more sedate look and plenty of all-weather function. One feature we don't like about many of !MoStrap's models is their quick-release buckle system. Quick releases have a tendency to release, well, quickly, and there's no safety system. www.iMoStrap.com

3 Comments

    After many years of searching, I now have a “strap” from KirkPhoto.com that fastens directly to my L-bracket or to the foot of my telephoto lens. The same bracket fastens to the ballhead on my tripod. I carry tripod on my left side and camera on my right. With a quick twist, camera is off the strap and attached to my tripod’s ballhead. By adjusting on side shorter, I can carry my camera with either 70-200 or 80-400 on my back while riding my bicycle through the Everglades. My tripod with gimbal head is attached to the rack on the back of the bike.

    How about a mention of Luma Labs Cinch strap? Beautifully designed and made here in the USA — and in 3 sizes because people don’t come in one size.
    I have two and I find them much more comfortable to wear and easier to use.

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