There are so many leather camera strap brands out there these days I imagine that for some people it might be hard to know where to start on the path to finding one that suits them. Fortunately for me and my search I was already fairly well committed to the idea of a Footprint Custom Strap. Firstly because I’ve bought a wrist strap from him before, secondly there’s the fact that 2 1/2 years on am still very happy with it, thirdly, he gave me brilliant service first time round and lastly he is based in Redditch which is a town only about 20 miles from where I live.
I actually find camera straps a little annoying or at very least an inconvenience. The problem is, when not in use, they tend to clutter the space they occupy. What I mean by this is that as soon as you put the camera down, or more importantly try and stow it in a case or bag, a camera strap becomes something that gets in the way of neatness; something that has to be pushed down behind or around the camera. If like me you have more cameras than is by any stretch conceivably required, that mess of strap can become quite the tangle. Worst case scenario is when one strap decides it wants to mate with another, which is exactly what they do when you leave them alone for long enough. Then when you come to pick up one camera and its strap is in a loved up embrace with another camera’s strap, disasters strikes! The lovestruck strap’s embrace is usually tight enough to pull the second camera along for the ride, but is rarely tight enough to hold on for very long. At the exact point the second camera reaches its highest vertical distance from the floor the embrace breaks. At which point the mass of the second camera combines with the inevitable forces of the earths usually-so-useful gravity, and the second camera plummets – often in slow motion – hitting the deck with its most delicate protrusion making first contact. Though as anyone who has experienced this moment will attest, the slow motion – quite frustratingly – is rarely slow enough for you to action any kind of useful response.
The solution is to separate the straps from their cameras, that way they can procreate all they like within whatever dark recess of your camera bag you put them in with little chance of them causing much harm. Of course, once a strap has been removed, you might find yourself asking the same question I asked myself when looking for a strap: “just how many camera straps do I actually need?” Since it’s fairly uncommon and largely inconvenient to have two cameras hanging around your neck at the same time, having one strap that you swap between cameras can actually make a lot of sense. Of course thats where things can get a little annoying, or at least time consuming. Fiddling with split rings can hurt ones delicate photographers fingers too!
Step in the Footprint Leather Camera Strap with ‘QR Swivels’
In case you hadn’t worked it out from the photo above, ‘QR swivels’ are quick release clips that are attached to the end of the strap with ball bearing swivels. The swivels allow the strap to quite literally swivel. The combination of these swivels and the QR clips allows for very quick swapping of the strap between cameras.
My particular strap is what Clive – the chap who makes them – refers to as “A good old fashioned ‘retro’ camera strap. Classic ‘no frills’ shoulder strap in Sedgwick’s 1st quality English 4mm bridle leather.” He then goes on to say that it is “Embossed with the ‘Footprint’ logo. Hand stitched and bound with waxed polyester thread”. It can be made – presumably to order – out of 5 different colours of leather with one of 24 different colours of thread. I went for “Rich Brown” thread and “Light Havana” leather (if memory serves) and personally think the outcome is particularly attractive.
As far as the quality of workmanship is concerned, it feels and looks very high to me, I really couldn’t be happier with it! And since I have owned one of Clive’s straps before I can also vouch for the longevity. It was pointed out to me after I bought it that maybe I should think about protecting the sides of my cameras from the clips. What neither me or the chap who suggested this had noticed was the fact that the clips are actually rubber coated, and therefore shouldn’t cause much ware to the camera.
So thats that, I now only have one camera strap, a strap that looks beautiful, and to top it off I can swap it between one camera and the next with ease! The only loser here is the strap itself… Since it will likely never get a chance to mate!
Cheers for reading
If you would like to buy a Footprint Custom Strap, you can
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