In this video, Bert Stephani discusses his love of portraiture, and shares his thoughts on the new Fujifilm X-T5.
Bert has numerous Simplr straps, but the one seen attached to his X-T5 is a castor gray F1.
*It’s worth noting that our recommendation for an X-T5 would generally be a lug mount F1 — but Bert is tall — like 6’7″. Bert likes the flat mount F1 because he’s able to lengthen it well beyond our published max of 56″ via its attachment hardware.
If your specialty is concert photography — 2020 and ’21 have not been your best years ever — until now that is, for one such photographer.
Flemming Bo Jensen’s passion for music, and unmatched timing have made him on of the world’s finest live music photographers. When he was asked to photograph Danish band The Minds of 99 at Parken, Denmark’s national stadium, of course he jumped at the chance. It turned out to be the largest stadium concert in Europe since the onset of COVID, and the subject of this inspired short-film.
Flemming’s been part of the Simplr product testing team since the beginning — and most of his cameras are adorned with F1’s — his camera strap of choice for working fast, in the challenging world of concert photography, while leaving nothing to chance.
Amongst our camera-herd here at Simplr, is a staff-favorite Fuji X-E2s. To give a little context — it was acquired brand new in late 2016, before the widely-held expectation that every camera should do everything — meaning, photos and cinema quality video.
Even today, as a photo-making machine, the X-E2s is a tiny monster: superb quality images from a tiny, stealthy, unassuming little camera; good viewfinder; all the knobs, dials, and buttons anyone really needs; supreme versatility thanks to compatibility with all X-mount glass; even a built-in flash!
If you can’t make great images with the X-E2s, the problem isn’t the camera. However, the shortcoming that’s tough to ignore today is video (it’s got video, but there’s practically zero control, and it’s a veritable moiré and aliasing party).
The recently released Fujifilm X-E4 possesses most of what we loved about the X-E2s (yes, we’re aware there’s an X-E3 — but we have no experience with it), but with a few easily adaptable-to changes in control layout, and notably, no flash.
Just like the X-E series have always been stealthy photo-making machines, with the X-E4 we’ve now got a 4:2:2 10-bit DCI 4K 200Mbps stealthy video-making machine (sans F-Log). Video quality is excellent, and with the built-in Eterna (including the “bleach bypass” variant) and Classic Negative profiles, you’re unlikely to see any difference, compared to its larger brethren.
There are those who’ll point out that, when combined with the XF 27mm f/2.8, the size of the X-E4 is nearly the same as the X100V. It’s worth noting that the XF 27mm and the 23mm of the X100 series are more different in their rendering and their perspective than you might expect. The wider perspective and creamier rendering of the X100 series’ built-in 23mm is readily apparent. Don’t think slapping an XF27 on your X-E series will turn it into an X100 (and let’s not forget about the X100 series’ whisper-quiet leaf shutter). Also, X-E4 no longer has the X100 series and earlier X-E’s built-in flash.
(So what are the advantages of the XF 27mm, which a lot of people plan on purchasing with their X-E4? None that we can surmise. Technically it’s fine … fast, sharp … but not wide enough to be wide, and not close enough to be intimate. Of course, opinions vary.)
If you never use the optical viewfinder of the X-Pro series, the X-E4 presents a very appealing lower-cost alternative. Especially considering that the EVF of the X-E4 sports a more comfortable eyepoint than the X-Pro’s EVF (which is how most people use their X-Pro). However, the X-E4 can’t hold a candle to the X-Pro3’s sexy solidity, weather sealing, and premium finishes.
If you’re looking for the most versatile video camera, X-E4’s lack of F-Log could be a negative, compared to the X-T series. For handheld video, X-E4’s lack of IBIS is the other big difference compared to the X-T4. Although it’s possible to gain stabilization by using IS lenses, this can be limiting, in light of the sea of vintage glass often employed for video.
Summary & The Elephant in the Room
The X-E4 can’t replace the X100V’s wider, creamier 23mm rendering, whisper-quiet shutter, or flash. Nor can it replace the X-T4’s F-Log and IBIS, which are fundamental to its video superiority.
What it can do, is almost everything the X-Pro3 can — but in a more compact, significantly less expensive package. If you don’t use the X-Pro’s optical viewfinder (as most X-Pro owners can attest, despite whatever their intentions were pre-purchase, 99% leave the EVF on 100% of the time) the X-E4 will do everything your X-Pro can — albeit without the weather sealing and premium finishes.
If you want X-Pro image quality and versatility, in a smaller body without the bling — and you don’t care about an optical viewfinder — the choice is clear: X-E4 is a stealthy and serious contender.
Strap attachment on the X-E4 is different than the other cameras compared above. Whereas the others have lug-mount attachment, the X-E4 requires flat-mount (our flat-mount F1’s are a lightweight, versatile option):
There’s been a ton of excitement around the new Fujinon 33mm lens — and nobody’s better equipped to give impressions than Charlene Winfred — who’s spent years with the “original” Fujinon XF35mmF1.4 R practically glued to her camera.
Alongside the new and old lenses, are some appropriately-matched new and old Simplr straps (Charlene’s been testing our stuff since the prototyping stages) — and we’re just happy to be along for the ride.
Because we craft our own products, from materials made right here in the US, we don’t need to make thousands of camera straps at a time. With smaller production runs, comes the freedom to offer multiple colors!
Unique Colors — in Limited Quantities
To keep things fresh, we like to shake-up our colors from time to time. Yes, we’ll most likely have the strap you want in black … maybe one or two others — but when we sell out — we often don’t have any plans to make more in the foreseeable future. So if you see a color you like — grab it while we’ve got it! (yes, we’ve run out of black too)
Color is Not Just for Decoration
It has a very practical purpose as well. Picture this: You’re shooting an event with a typical two-camera setup — one body with a medium wide-angle lens, and one with a short telephoto. Put a different color strap on each camera to immediately know which is which (even while it’s still in your bag).
Stephen Escallier is a hiking enthusiast — very knowledgeable about outdoor gear — with an impressive YouTube channel. In this video, he talks a little bit about his well-considered photography tools, including our F1 camera strap.
If you were to ask us which photographer we most closely associate with Fuji’s magical XF35mmF1.4 R, it would be Charlene Winfred.
So it’s only fitting that Fujifilm themselves chose to feature her in their new promo video for this (not at all new) lens. In a world where newer is virtually always equated with better — it’s great to see talented photographers singing the praises of X-Series “O.G.” glass.
Charlene’s got a few Simplr straps, but this one happens to be an F1 (in stealthy castor gray).
Ben Staley is an Emmy-winning DP/Producer, gifted photographer, and hardcore adventurer (sometimes for pay, sometimes for play).
Adventure & Art, Ben’s new YouTube channel, features (as you may have guessed) liberal helpings of both photography and adventure — a recipe Ben is uniquely qualified to serve up (he films Deadliest Catch for gosh sake).
The majority of the series focuses on pretty deep topics — like inspiration, motivation, credibility and purpose — but there’s a little bit of gear talk as well.
Speaking of gear — keep your eyes peeled for Ben’s Leica M6, peppered throughout the episodes. There’s a camera that’s seen some action.
“This is my favorite camera that I’ve ever had.” — Ben Staley, on the Leica M6
Ben’s got a couple of Simplr straps, but the one that graces his favorite rangefinder camera happens to be an M1a, precursor to our flagship F1. Oh, If that strap could talk…
Quickly changing your F1 camera strap from a long sling-style strap to a traditional-length neck strap needs no explanation — but converting it to a wrist strap is less obvious. Watch this video to see how easy it is!
Longtime Simplr user Flemming Bo Jensen posted a review of his F1’s, describing them as his “perfect camera strap.”
“…Simplr Straps answered our wishes by making the Simplr F1 strap! … I have been using the F1 models for more than a year now, for hundreds of concerts and festivals and I am never using any other strap – this is absolutely my perfect camera strap!”
Flemming is a working music photographer, subjecting all of his gear to brutal conditions. In fact, we asked Flemming to torture-test the F1’s long before they were released. Now, hundreds of concerts and more than a year later, his F1’s are still working like new!
Bert Stephani has been using the newly announced Fujifilm X100V for some two months now, amassing gorgeous top-secret images.
In this video from Fujifilm, part of a series introducing the X100V, It would appear Bert’s M1a Mirrorless Camera Strap (in limited-edition Coyote Brown) has also been logging some top-secret time with this formerly mum cam.
In addition to the official X100V marketing video, you can watch Bert’s review of the X100V, which is infinitely more in-depth:
This epic production spans the 18-month period leading up to the release of the Fujifilm X-Pro3.
The film focuses not only on the ideation, design, and manufacturing process (with the actual designers, pretty cool huh?) — but also the veritable “family” of Fujifilm Ambassadors — with whom the development of this camera was shaped.
Based in England’s Lake District, Rigu carries a great selection of camera accessories, with a focus on camera straps and bags. They’re now carrying the vast majority of our camera straps … exciting news for our friends in the UK (especially post-Brexit).
Mindy Tan is an exceptionally talented documentary and street photographer, and Fujifilm Ambassador. In the the Fuji Girl series, Mindy talks about gear, technique, and what she looks for in her subjects.
Unsurprisingly, the co-stars here are Fujifilm cameras, including X-T3 and gorgeous pre-release (as of filming) Fuji X-Pro3’s — and the co-co-star (does that make it a best supporting actor?) is an F1 Camera Strap in castor gray.
After a long hiatus from YouTube, The very talented and knowledgeable Bert Stephani has released a video detailing his experience with the long-awaited Fujifilm X-Pro3. Attached to that X-Pro3 is our M1a Mirrorless Camera Strap (in rarely seen coyote brown). We’re jealous!
Fujifilm X-Photographer Charlene Winfred is currently working in Iraq, advancing Preemptive Love’s noble mission, to provide assistance to refugees and residents of war-torn countries. Although she deserves a medal, it would appear she’s settled for a coveted Fujifilm X-Pro3.
In this post, she shares her thoughts on the camera, as well as some truly breathtaking images. If you look closely (okay, maybe not that closely), you’ll see images of strap of choice for said camera, a Simplr F1.
Kevin Mullins, wedding & street photographer par excellence, reveals his thoughts on the highly anticipated Fujifilm X-Pro3, with which he’s been spending some top-secret time. We’re just happy to be along for the ride (that’s a Simplr F1 attached to it). He’s got a video and a detailed post — so be sure to check out both.
Flemming Bo Jensen’s ability to capture the excitement of live concerts is second-to-none. An official Red Bull and Fujifilm X-Photographer, his ability to get “the shot” boils down to experience, timing, skill, passion — and of course, his gear. Want to know what’s in Flemming’s bag? Shotkit just posted a rig rundown with all of the particulars, including his F1 Sling-Style Camera Straps Attached to dueling Fuji X-T’s.
If you’re aware of Fuji’s team of professional X Photographers, you’re probably acquainted with Charlene Winfred. You might also be familiar with her famously battered Fujinon XF35mmF1.4. It’s been attached to every Fuji she’s ever owned. For as many times as she’s written about her gear and lenses, this will be the first time she’s discussed the lens with which she’s become synonymous.
Read about her journey with that lens on Fujilove.com, and if you’d like to know more about Charlene’s work, do that here.
Attached to her go-to rig is what we’d consider to be our go-to camera strap — our F1 Sling-Style Camera Strap. It’s nice when things just work.
Fujicast is a Fujifilm and Photography Podcast presented by Neale James and Kevin Mullins. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Neale and Kevin are both incredibly accomplished shooters in multiple disciplines — wedding, street, documentary and video. To hear them talk shop with each other, and with a diverse crew of noteworthy guests, is informative and at times downright inspirational.
They also answer questions from inquisitive listeners trying to grow their photography skillset, and we’re proud to be awarding some sweet Simplr camera straps to those listeners asking the most thought-provoking questions.
Give a listen to The Fujicast, pretty much anywhere you can listen to podcasts, to expand your knowledge … maybe even land one of our camera straps.
As a connoisseur of several camera brands, Hugo’s desire to make his life simpler by paring down his photography gear, was no easy task. In this article, he talks about his camera and lens decision — an Olympus E-M5 Mk II + M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.2 Pro) — which he chose over Fuji and Sony.
We’re flattered he’s chosen a Simplr F1, to live on that camera (pretty sure he gave that some thought as well).
Charlene Winfred is a talented photographer and capable wordsmith. If you know her work, you’ll know much of it relies on a famously battered Fujinon 35mm f/1.4. In this article at Fujilove.com, Charlene discusses her adjustment to a much wider perspective, namely the Fujinon 18mm f/2. Look closely at that fine looking X-T3 and you’ll see our telltale orange logo (it’s a castor gray Simplr F1).
The multi-talented Patrick La Roque appeared at Photokina 2018 in Cologne, Germany to discuss his unique approach to commercial photography. Accompanying Patrick was his up-until-then top-secret Fujifilm GFX 50R — adorned with a secret Simplr F1.
A huge “thank you” to Patrick, and the entire extended Simplr pro family, who volunteer to test our stuff — before it’s attached to your camera.
Everything in this strap is thought and designed for the user. It fulfills its function, it’s comfortable, robust and very durable. … It’s simple to use and with the adjustment tab you can quickly change the length to suit your needs, regardless of whether you wear it as a neck strap or sling-style.
Check out this informative video from the very talented Kevin Mullins, wherein he talks about his typical street photography setup. Attached to Kevin’s Fujifilm X70 (at 12:25) is a Simplr M1ultralight, our uniquely nano-size full-function camera strap.
Here at Simplr HQ, we’re largely Fujifilm shooters — so it’s exciting to have one of our products reviewed over at fujixpassion.com.
Here’s a snippet of their F1 review:
“Everything in this strap is thought and designed for the user. It fulfills its function, it’s comfortable, robust and very durable. …It’s simple to use and with the adjustment tab you can quickly change the length to suit your needs, regardless of whether you wear it as a neck strap or sling-style.”
As one of the first professional photographers who graciously volunteered to test our stuff, she’s been using Simplr straps out in the field for quite a while — so it’s not a huge surprise that she’s a fan of the F1 — because feedback from Charlene and other pros went into the design of the F1.
Here’s a little bit of what she had to say:
“There’s nothing about a Simplr strap that asks to be admired or fawned over, no flash or fanciness. I love plain, sleek things that are made well though, and this is exactly what I found attractive about it at the start. It’s all class…
…as far as I’m concerned, Simplr straps are how straps should be made. They’re light, easy to use, and comfortable, combining function beautifully with form. Black accents of extenders, keepers, buckles and stitching against the various strap colors gives those clean lines a subtle elegance.”
If you’re an inquisitive Fuji user, FujiLove.com will no doubt be familiar to you. If you’re unfamiliar, you really should check them out. It’s a great site, with an endless flow of quality editorials and reviews, from a collective of knowledgeable contributors.
As far back as I can remember, my dad took photos. Not just casual family snaps either — he attended photography classes at our local community college, developing and printing artful imagery.
He had what I think was a GAF L-CM early on (I only know this because it appears in mirror self-portraits), and at some point he traded up to a Fujica ST701. This is the camera I remember — mostly because of my strong personal connection with it.
In the mid 1980’s, I signed up for photography classes, like my dad. Mostly, I wanted to meet girls and smoke cigarettes — but photography seemed like good excuse to do that. I appropriated the Fujica, went away for the summer, took lots of photos, learned to use a darkroom and smoke cigarettes (though not at the same time).
I didn’t think much about the camera — not like people think about their cameras now. It’s been said the best camera is the one you have with you, but at that time, the best camera was the one I had — and I didn’t want for more.
I “forgot” to give back the ST701, and it went where I went — capturing important, artful, and sometimes embarrassing moments over the years.
When the light meter failed in the early 2000’s, I replaced it with a very capable Nikon FE (maybe the subject of a future blog post) — eventually going digital and moving to a humongous Nikon D1x, and then a D200 (which seemed downright puny compared to the D1x) complemented by a handful of lenses.
Problem was … my cameras had gotten so darn big that I’d only use them for occasions or paid gigs. Sure, I had a pocketable digital camera too, but the images were distractingly characterless. There was nothing nostalgia-worthy about them. What I missed about my film cameras, and in particular my Fujica (for the sentimental reasons), was the sheer spirit of spontaneity — a product of the reasonable size and the image quality which left nothing to be desired.
When I saw the Fujifilm X-Pro1, I immediately thought back to blissfully shooting the ST701. I bought the X-Pro1 with the XF35 f2, hoping to recapture that … the simplicity … the sense of nostalgia.
Did that happen? Kind of. I regained the ability to throw a camera in the glove box, and it reignited my will to take photos (which is ridiculous — because the will to take photos is not the same as taking photos). At the same time, I figured out how to approximate the look of the film images I missed so much (ironically, by degrading my now “superior” images).
But, as with so many things in this era, there’s a certain amount of “analysis paralysis” brought about by the endless flow of information. “Would another lens be better? … Do I need these video features? … Is my auto-focus fast enough? Blah. Blah. Blah.” I succumbed to Gear Acquisition Syndrome — contracting an X-E2s, X-Pro2, and the X-T2 pictured with the old Fujica ST701 at the top of this post (but I can forgive myself, because they’re all so danged gorgeous).
I’m pretty sure I’ll never get back the exact feeling I got from the Fujica; too many things have gotten complicated over the years. But there are things I’ve gained…
Simplr, for one (you can read a little about that here). Also, an underlying sense of camaraderie with others who felt photography had gotten too complicated. In particular, I’d like to thank the Fujifilm community — especially the pros, who graciously donated their time to help develop these camera straps — for the love of beautiful images and the desire to keep things simpler (if not simple).
*If you’re just installing Simplr Split Rings, not an F1 camera strap, you can skip straight to 1:07 in this video.
Mounting a camera strap with split rings is just like putting a key on a keychain — but instead of a key, it’s a camera.
Situate your Lug Mount F1 or F1ultralight so the adjustment tab is in front of your body when the camera strap is fully-extended, and the camera is worn sling-style. Some people prefer to wear the camera on their left, others to their right. Do whatever feels most comfortable for you.
Double-check the orientation of the strap to make sure you’re not installing it backwards or inside-out (the “S” logo goes on the inside).
Pry a small gap in the split ring, just wide enough to feed the end of the wire through the lug on your camera. It’s unlikely you’ll need any tools for this; your thumbnail should suffice.
Turn the split ring until the entire wire has passed through the lug and it springs back together (just like a keychain).
The flat mount version of our F1 camera strap installs similarly to a “traditional” camera strap, with a significant difference — the sliplok and keeper are used only for installation, not to adjust the length of the camera strap.
Situate your F1 so the adjustment tab is in front of your body when the camera strap is fully-extended, and the camera is worn sling-style.
Pull the keeper about 2″ (5cm) away from the D-ring to “unlock” it. It’s held securely in place by friction — and needs a strong tug.
You don’t need to remove the sliplok and keeper altogether, just feed the cut end of the webbing back through both.
Insert the loose end through the lug, far enough so the webbing can double-back along itself (like when it came out of the package).
Feed the webbing back through the sliplok, then the keeper, as shown (please note the orientation of the ridges in the sliplok).
Pull the keeper back into “locked” position (next to the D-ring) with a strong tug. This will hold the end neatly in place (unlike most other straps)
Repeat on the other side (the “S” logo goes on the inside).
Recently, one of our customers returned from a two-week photojournalism assignment aboard a working cargo ship, and asked how to clean a smelly, dirty Simplr strap.
There’s no need to baby it — because your Simplr strap isn’t afraid of the elements. Just throw it in a bowl of lukewarm water with a little laundry detergent or Dawn dishwashing liquid, then soak or scrub as much as needed to get the job done. Hang it up to dry. (Don’t try that with your fancy leather camera strap.)
We’ve made it no secret that, although our straps work well on virtually all mirrorless cameras, we’ve got a particular affinity for Fujifilm cameras. So, we were pretty excited to be reviewed by fujixpassion.com.
Here’s a snippet:
“As soon as I took out the M1a Mirrorless Camera Strap from the packaging, the first thing that stands out is the build quality. Although it’s a very simple piece (as the name implies), everything on this strap denotes a high standard of quality, from the materials chosen to the manufacturing itself. The nylon strap is thin, light and soft.”
He’s a remarkable visual storyteller, who’s work could equally evoke calm or frenzy, warmth or solitude.
Here’s a little of what Patrick thinks about his M1a & M1w:
“…Basically, these are products that don’t flash or glitter, that don’t call attention to themselves at all. Everything about them is understated and subtle. But they’re beautifully crafted and ready-made for mirrorless systems. …As much as I still love the feel of my leather straps, I can’t dismiss how much lighter and easier to work with these are. Just quickly being able to vary the length with little friction, to remove them altogether if they’re in the way…it all adds up.”
“With many camera strap manufacturers trying to revolutionise the humble camera strap with the addition of crazy gadgets and gizmos, it’s nice to see some brands trying to perfect what we already have by keeping things simple.
The aptly named Simplr M1a mirrorless camera strap is made from lightweight, strong, military grade nylon webbing and heavy duty plastic hardware that won’t scratch your camera.
My favourite feature and the main reason for inclusion on this list of the best camera straps are the detachable connectors, which allow you to remove or reattach the main portion of the strap in seconds. If you’re like me and appreciate the freedom of using a camera strap whilst walking but hate having it hang in front of you whilst shooting, this is the perfect solution.”
Although we were part of the 2017 list, it’s worth noting that this list is curated annually, and we’re happy to be included for 2018 as well.
Shotkit started in 2014, chronicling the gear well-respected photographers were using to get their work done … Today it’s an ever-expanding resource of the best gear, workflows and photography inspiration.
Curious to see what kind of company we’re keeping? Head over to Shotkit and read their list of Best Camera Straps.
Flemming Bo Jensen is a music photographer … More specifically, he’s known for his uncanny ability to capture the concertgoer experience at live music venues. Whether small, huge, beautiful or chaotic — Flemming distills it into gorgeous still images.
This strap is long! Fully extended, it is 142cm. This is really nice, it is the longest camera strap I have used. I am a tall Scandinavian techno viking with long arms (sorry, this is like an intro to an online dating profile). Not only can I comfortably wear my camera across my body with this strap, the strap is long enough I can just pick up the camera and shoot without taking the strap off my body first. The nylon is smooth to slide easily around my body, so nothing gets entangled. No strap I have used could do this, it is an awesome way to work. Only when I have to shoot overhead, arms raised over my head (watch Dual Vision and you shall see it in action) do I still have to un-attach the strap from my body.(This may be the weirdest paragraph I have ever written, it is hard to describe this stuff!)
It is simple, non flashy, flexible and light weight. It is just a strap. Simple as that. Minimal and very light weight. Never gets in the way. Very supple too. Not pretty but heck, it’s a strap.
The quick-release connectors. I don’t shoot a lot of video, but it is still nice when I need to that I can unclick the strap in 2 seconds. The quick-release connectors used to get in my way until I attached the strap directly to the camera strap loops.
Easily adjustable length. From 91cm to 142cm. I now pretty much shoot with the strap going across my body all the time, but sometimes I am shooting action packed gigs where I know I will constantly swap between camera to my eye and camera over my head. Then I just shorten the strap completely and wrap it once around my right hand and the camera is securely attached now to carry all the time, and the strap is not in the way.
The very talented Kevin Mullins from f16.click just released a new video with his thoughts on the X-Pro2 firmware 4.0 update, including new video features. He also talks about some new X100F features (and we’re tickled he’s outfitted his favorite camera with an M1a).
Fujifilm Global just released this video featuring the Roaming Frame dynamic duo of Charlene Winfred and Flemming Bo Jensen — plus their dueling X-Pro2 and X-T2 cameras. It’s a fun but informative piece talking about the differences between these two cameras, and the photographers that use them. Watch closely and you’ll see they both prefer the same camera strap — our Simplr M1a Mirrorless Camera Strap.
Charlene’s approach to equipment epitomizes what we’re about here at Simplr: No muss. No fuss. Things should just work, work well, and keep working … without too much thought.
She even came up with a couple of new ideas for her M1a Mirrorless Camera Strap — including lashing extra weight to a tripod (and one more that we hope she’ll never need to make use of).
“The Simplr promise is, well, simple. Their straps are strong, functional, and aesthetically understated. All the qualities I like in equipment, in general.
Things I really like about my strap:
It’s long. I can wear my camera slung across my body, which is SUPER. Never had a strap I could do this with.
It weighs nothing. This is always a boon.
Because it’s made of nylon, it’s also extremely supple and very comfortable to use.
It’s super convenient for video because the main strap snaps off, and the connectors are so light, they make no difference hanging there on the little X-E3, whether it’s on a gimbal or tripod.
The main strap, when disconnected, is useful as a general tie down.
As advertised, this thing just works with no fuss. Like the camera, it doesn’t get in the way, and you don’t have to fiddle with it. Attach it, forget about it and go shoot. If you need a tourniquet, it’s there for you.”
It’s not often you read a review that starts with the word “fugly” … and concludes with this:
“In terms of functionality, the Simplr M1a Mirrorless Camera Strap has to be one of the best straps from a small American manufacturer on the market. I’m pleasantly surprised despite how simple and deceiving it looks. Can it use some more Patina? Heck yes. But does it serve its purpose? It more than does; and I’d even recommend this strap be used with full frame DSLRs.
Best of all for a lot of you folks: they’re only $42 on the Simplr website. If you don’t care about Patina the way that I do, then I strongly suggest that this is THE SINGLE BEST strap that you can upgrade to.”
In this video Palle talks about his compact video rig … including a Fujifilm XT-2, and a Simplr M1a camera strap, for stabilization and insurance against accidental drops.
“I really like it because it’s easy to snap off, and the ends are really small … The good thing about having it here, is you can actually stabilize with it … and also as a safety precaution if you drop the camera.”
“I have been looking for a new camera strap that is both functional and stylish without breaking the bank. … at 42 USD, it seemed to be too good to be true. … So far, I love this strap. It has pretty much everything I personally want in a strap.”
Some years back, I embarked on a week-long hiking excursion in Switzerland. My expectation was that I’d see lots of mountains, vast green pastures, goats with bells, and quaint Swiss cottages.
What I hadn’t grasped, was the extent to which design pervades almost every aspect of Swiss culture. Now, it’s no secret that Switzerland holds design in high regard — after all they did invent what we now know as modern typography and minimalist design — so I expected to see terrific examples of art and architecture (and was not disappointed).
It was where I hadn’t expected to see it that made the biggest impression on me. Case in point: the Swiss train intercom.
Growing up in the New York metropolitan area, I’m accustomed to seeing lots of ugly, failing infrastructure. You steer clear of it for fear of getting electrocuted — or at the very least — a bad case of cooties.
This contraption really caught my attention. My inner “design guy” walked over and just stared at it. Why? It ticks a few boxes for me:
Well Made — It’s obviously been around for a while (guessing it’s about 50 years old) and doesn’t look like it’ll break any time soon.
Everything Has a Purpose — I’ll go out on a limb here and say if I want to call someone, I probably push down on one of those levers and then talk into that microphone. I believe every thing on a thing should do something, and if it doesn’t — then it shouldn’t be there.
Nice to Look At — Purpose doesn’t trump design. They should live happily together. Every piece on here has been enriched without compromising function. Don’t you just want to push those levers? I know I did. They’re smooth, and curved, and I imagined they would feel springy. And that color … as inviting as an orange creamsicle!
You might be thinking “Why on Earth is this camera strap company talking about a Swiss train intercom?”
The reason is, it pretty well sums up our design philosophy:
Well Made — We use strong materials, and assemble them to last with a high degree of workmanship.
Everything Has a Purpose — Each piece of hardware does something. Furthermore, it does what it looks like it does.
Nice to Look At — If you take each piece that does something, make it look and feel good, you enrich the experience of the user. If a particular color of strap begs a photographer to wear their camera, we’re all for it.
… and that’s why we care about a Swiss train intercom (plus, we like orange).
So you want to make a paracord camera wrist strap. Great! We love DIY. It’s how Simplr began — making one strap for myself.
A Short Rant on What’s Wrong with Most Camera Wrist Straps (opinionated)
Just as our camera straps are a little “different”, so too is our suggestion for a DIY paracord wrist strap — and if you use a mirrorless, micro four-thirds or compact camera, you’ll find this article particularly relevant.
Commercial wrist straps tend to be overly complicated and bulky — more focused on looks than function. At Simplr we’re all about getting rid of excess bulk — and if you’ve got a smaller camera, why would you want a wrist strap as thick or inflexible as a garden hose? It’s just silly.
When to Use a Camera Wrist Strap (highly opinionated)
We like camera wrist straps for two things:
Cameras that are too small for a neck strap: If you’ve got a pocketable camera, like a Ricoh GR — you don’t absolutely need a neck strap (there’s a good chance you’re here because you already know this). A wrist strap can be much better-suited to these really small cameras.
For occasions when a neck strap is superfluous: Maybe you’re shooting handheld video. Maybe you’re in the studio or just shooting stuff around the house. These are times when a neck strap is superfluous … but you’ll still want a little insurance policy to guard against drops
Don’t be that guy or girl, swinging your big camera from your wrist as you stroll along, as if it were some kind of pendulum:
“Hey, I don’t remember that scratch/ding on there,” –or– “What the heck happened to my lens?”
Your camera should be in your hand most of the time. There’s no reason to be hanging six pounds off your wrist all day. Your wrist strap should be your insurance policy against drops.
… Voila, this (less bulky) paracord camera wrist strap.
What We’ll be Making
A non-braided paracord camera wrist strap with a quick-release — a nice, utilitarian design that’s strong enough for a DSLR, yet packs small. You don’t need much to make it, and the total time is about 20 minutes. Once finished, you’ll have a very useful accessory that takes up virtually no space in your camera bag.
Paracord Camera Wrist Strap Materials
550 Paracord — available from Lowes, Home Depot and about about a zillion places.
Scissors or Sharp Knife (No, we’re not responsible if you cut yourself.)
Lighter or Matches (Don’t burn yourself either.)
How to Make It
Figure out how big to make the loop. Your preference may vary, but around 8″ would be a good starting point. Paracord is cheap and plentiful so there’s no reason to obsess over this … You can always make one that’s bigger or smaller if you’re not happy with the size of the first one.
Tie a knot. You can tie a simple overhand knot at the end. Our preference would be something a little bigger that you can hold onto, like a lanyard knot.
Finish the loose ends. Clip the loose ends of the string, then melt with a lighter so they don’t fray.
Attach it to the female connector. Feed the loop end through the connector. It’s easier if you use a loop of string or dental floss to pull it through. You could loop it once around (like the way the string attaches to the strap lug) or you could do something a little bit more decorative, like this:
The quick-connectors we use on our M1a and M1w straps are Op/Tech USA Mini QD Loops™ (They come in 1mm and 1.5mm versions, but we only use the stronger 1.5mm version).
We’re often asked if they release accidentally. We’re happy to report, we’ve never seen or heard of this happening. To release them, you have to apply significant pressure to both sides — simultaneously. It’s virtually impossible for them to release unintentionally.
We’ve found them to be small, strong (check out our strength test) and reliable, but don’t just take our word for it — They have a 4.6 rating on Amazon with 250+ reviews.
If you’d like to use your M1 Series strap on more than one camera, or just want some spares, we sell them here.
Unless you’re 100% certain that your camera has smooth lugs, it’s best that you attach Mini QD Loops via split rings. Furthermore, we suggest that you use ours, as they’re uniquely designed to work beautifully with the cord loops (much better than the triangular ones).
1. Thread the cord loop through the split ring.
2. Thread the mini quick-disconnect through the loop.
3. Pull the mini quick-disconnect to cinch the loop.
If your camera came with triangular split rings, we strongly recommend replacing them with round ones.
Strap lug inserts are hardened metal “sleeves” located inside strap lugs. They’re meant to reduce metal-on-metal wear caused when hard steel split rings rub against softer metal lugs. Some cameras have strap lug inserts and some don’t.
Fujifilm cameras are notorious for having potentially jagged strap lug inserts, and all modern Fuji cameras including later production X-Pro1 and X-E1 have them.
This is what they look like, inside the strap lugs:
Why You Should Care
If your camera has strap lug inserts (like the ones shown above), and your camera strap connects via cord loops (Peak Design, OpTech), attaching them straight to the camera (without split rings) could be a very bad idea. Jagged strap lug inserts will often “chew” right through the cords.
Installation Options for Cameras with Strap Lug Inserts
If you’ve got a Fujifilm camera, and you’d like to attach your Mini QD Loops directly to your camera, you might* be able to remove your strap lug inserts to reveal a smoother point of attachment. Please note that if you scratch a strap lug during this procedure, you could very easily make them sharper than the strap lug inserts you just removed!
*Date of manufacture, environmental and other factors all play a part. Cameras that are exposed to the elements are particularly susceptible to galvanic corrosion which can “glue” metal parts together. Use your best judgement, and know that we’re not responsible if you damage anything.
4. Use the 2.5mm hex key to push the strap lug inserts out, from back to font. This might take a medium amount of force, but shouldn’t require the use of any additional tools.
5. Repeat on the opposite lug. Keep them in a safe place, so you can re-insert them if need be.
6. Examine the strap lugs to make sure you haven’t left any scratches. Run a piece of thread through the hole, pull it tightly and drag it around the lug repeatedly to check for burrs. If you can saw through the thread, it will eventually saw through the cord loops!
When I got my first mirrorless camera, I was all too happy to ditch my bloated DSLR. For the first time in years, I had a reasonably-sized camera with truly professional image quality — and I was excited to pair it with the exact right strap.
30 years prior, When I “borrowed” my dad’s camera (a Fujica ST701 — which I still have), the strap left a lot to be desired. It was far bulkier than necessary, especially for a small 35mm SLR. Its oversized metal hardware was uncomfortable under my hand, and left a telltale wake of scratched paint on the camera. Stylish as it was, combining both velour and embroidery, it would become a relic of that bygone era — no doubt bested by any number of modern straps…
…except it wasn’t.
Shockingly, every present-day strap suffered from at least one of the issues I’d noticed some 30 years prior — unnecessary bulk, clumsy hardware under my hand (where it’s most annoying), or metal that could damage my camera and lenses — so I decided to make my own.
Suffice to say, it came out pretty good … good enough to make some more. Thus, Simplr was born.
Today, our camera straps are favored by thousands of working professionals and serious amateur photographers worldwide — that realized — they needn’t use bloated straps designed for big cameras.