By Betsy Finn, Cr.Photog., CPP
Finding the perfect camera strap is no easy feat. A number of elements go into this decision, including comfort, capability, and of course, style. Usually, you can find a strap with one or maybe two of these qualities, but it’s rare to find one that has all three. If you’re tired of sacrificing your fashion sense for comfort, or are ready for a camera strap that is comfortable to wear during long shoots, you may want to give Abie Camera Straps a chance.
Abie Camera Straps are both practical and fashionable. When you first hold one of these straps in your hand, you can feel the difference—I was impressed with the amount of padding in the strap, as well as the suppleness of the material. I fell in love with two designs in particular: subtle brown suede with an embossed motif, and a lighthearted yellow floral woven design.
The straps come in more than 20 styles, so whether you are looking for something whimsical, elegant, or subtle, you’ll have multiple options to choose from. Guys, don’t worry—there are some more masculine designs you will not be ashamed to wear out in public. If you’re looking for something more you, custom straps (even showcasing your logo) can be designed upon request. Unless you decide you want to add your logo, though, Abie Camera Straps come delightfully free of branding. You won’t be promoting a camera company or any business aside from your own.
I want to highlight several features that help Abie Camera Straps to stand out from the ordinary camera straps I’ve used in the past:
• Comfort—In case I haven’t emphasized it enough, the straps are well padded, yet are somehow not bulky to wear.
• Quick Release Buckles—The straps feature a pair of plastic buckles that allow you to change out camera straps easily, or even go strapless. I appreciated this because I like wearing a camera strap on location, but having a strap on my camera in the studio inhibits my shooting style (I use a camera stand).
• Plenty of Length—Since I am rather short (5'3"), the strap “ends” (that connect to the camera) were longer than I needed. This is a nice feature, as my husband (6'2") can rarely find a camera strap that allows the camera to hang properly. For myself, though, I trimmed off about six inches of excess length on each side (with more to spare). If you do decide to trim your straps, just make sure to heat the newly cut ends so that the nylon will not fray.
• Secret Pocket—Aside from the comfort factor, the straps are very well constructed, with a hidden pocket to hold an extra Compact Flash card (on the underside of the strap). [see below]
• No-Slip Backing—The backside of the strap, regardless of your strap’s motif, is soft black suede. I really enjoyed this feature because it kept the strap from sliding off my shoulder when I was working.
Overall, I enjoyed using the Abie Camera Straps while working with my clients. As I mentioned, the ease with which I could detach the strap for studio work was extremely convenient. Despite the detachable nature of the strap, I felt comfortable trusting it to support the entire weight of my camera and lens. Even my model in the images accompanying this review remarked on how comfortable the strap was to have around her neck. In short—if you’re tired of having a subpar camera strap and want something comfortable, I think you should give Abie Camera Straps a test run. You’ll be amazed at the level of comfort it will add to your workday!
The straps are currently designed for use with Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Sony and other DSLR cameras. A hand strap is also in the works for those who prefer not to work with a neck strap. One final thing to note—Abie Camera Straps are crafted and sewn in the United States.
Abie Camera Straps are the brainchild of photographer and entrepreneur Ellen LeRoy, and retail for $145-175. The official website will be launching in about two weeks, so for now, you can visit www.abiestraps.com to get a sneak peek. Sign up to receive an e-mail notification when the site launches (and get an exclusive discount code at that time!).