Accessories

595Strapco Laverton review

A week or so ago, Dave from 595Strapco sent me one of his Laverton Leather Camera Neck Straps. I’ve been using it since on a verity of cameras so thought I’d share my thoughts.

These days it sometimes seems that there are as many choices of leather camera straps as there are cameras to put them on. A quick search on Google will reveal a fair few brands of strap, all coming in a verity of different shapes and sizes. In fact, if you are looking for a camera strap there is probably more choice available today than there ever has been. Many of these straps come with their own stories of high quality leather, hand made to order etc etc. I guess many of these cottage industry manufacturers set out making a strap for themselves. They then ended up producing something of such quality they came to the conclusion they could make and sell the things to folks over the Internet.

I should add, I don’t know if this was Dave’s story, I’m just speculating about the rise in cottage industry strap manufacture as a whole.

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I personally wouldn’t have a clue where to start making one for myself. On face value, it’s just a strip of leather with a split ring at each end, how hard can it be? Well, not that hard I suppose, at least once you’ve found a way to cut the leather perfectly straight, then dye it and finish it to a consistent and high quality standard. There is also the responsibility of making something that is going to hang someone’s pride and joy around their neck without the risk of it breaking. I know leather itself is very strong, but some of the ways some of the straps you find on eBay are assembled look decidedly iffy to me! I’m sure these people know what they are doing when they make them though – my point is that I don’t. So whilst, as I say on face value it’s “just” a strip of leather with a split ring at each end, there does seem more to making these things than perhaps meets the eye.

The question then I suppose is this, does the 595 Strap Co Laverton offer anything that any of the other brands out there don’t? Well, I suspect that in such a crowded market place the answer is no, it doesn’t. This strap isnt a thing of unique design, its not even uniquely priced. Though it might be considerably cheaper than the likes of the top brands, many of its ebay competitors are actually a very similar price.

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What the 595 Laverton does offer though is a sense of quality material. It also gives me confidence through what appears to be a very sturdy method of construction – the steel rivets don’t look like they would shift anywhere anytime soon.

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Whats more, it is actually very comfortable strap to wear. It might be the thickness of the material, the softness of the underside of the leather, the clean but unfurnished edge, or perhaps a combination of all three? I’m not sure it matters why it’s comfortable, but it certainly is! Even with my Leica M5 hanging off it for the entirety of a 10 hour wedding the other day, I barely noticed it was there – and the M5 is quite a lump!

If I had any criticism it would only be that I may have chopped the leather a touch shorter past the rivets… But thats hardly a real issue beyond a minor aesthetic consideration.

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So would I recommend one? Well yes I suppose would, I often roll my eyes at the price this sort of thing sometimes goes for just on the basis of its handmade nature and fancy branding. Dave’s straps might be simple, understated, or perhaps even basic in their design, but they are definitely a good quality material and construction that gives me confidence that they would last. They also look nice, are comfortable, and are petty inexpensive too… in short for £23, the 595Strapco Laverton is fine by me!

A little bonus, Dave the chap who makes them seems like a good sort too… And if you happen to be from my neck of the woods – Worcestershire in the Midlands, UK – buying one from him is supporting a local company, which I’m always a fan of!

Cheers

Hamish

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5 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Stephen
    August 24, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    I have a couple of similar leather straps from another “cottage” manufacturer, and I would rather see some sort of protection for my camera around the the rivet/keyring area than what has been done in this instance…

    Mine are whipped and not riveted, and the manufacturer hit upon the idea of supplying a choice of little bits of leather, or alternatively a little rubber “o” ring… to protect the camera from “ring rub”.

    The first one has been used extensively and is as strong as the day it arrived, but also it now has a patina… Unfortunately my newest one was supplied four inches too short, even though I specified the required length… A new one is currently being whittled I believe.

    I notice that Strapco Laverton Dave has used whipping on his wrist straps!

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      August 24, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      Hi Stephen
      It does actually come with little rubber O rings, I just don’t use them. Which brand did you buy?

      • Avatar
        Reply
        Stephen
        August 24, 2015 at 9:38 pm

        Hi Hamish,

        I am using Gordy’s straps…

        Like you though, I would rather have had something made locally, I just didn’t know about your guy… The rivet would still have put me off a bit though.

  • Avatar
    Reply
    jeremy north
    August 24, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    I have bought a couple of Cam-In straps which are better finished and with better camera body protection for around the same price The uk distributor is a good bloke in the Lake District. However there is a lot to say for supporting a local trader as opposed to something mass produced in the far east. I hope your other local bloke in Redditch who had the horrible life dog borne illness, gets back to production, I like the look of his work.
    I think that these ’boutique’ products are all overpriced so it is more a matter of who you’ll allow to rip you off. Compare it to what you pay for leather shoes!
    I bet a local cobbler could knock up a strip of leather for peanuts including the rivets.

    • Avatar
      Reply
      Hamish Gill
      August 24, 2015 at 9:59 pm

      Indeed, I do like footprint straps, it is a shame about Clive, that’s for sure!

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