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Charlene Winfred Reviews her M1a

Charlene Winfred's Camera Strap on Her Fuji X-Pro2

Charlene Winfred is a nomad photographer, videographer, writer, Fujifilm X-series ambassador and half the production team of Roaming Frame.

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:

  1. It’s long. I can wear my camera slung across my body, which is SUPER. Never had a strap I could do this with.
  2. It weighs nothing. This is always a boon.
  3. Because it’s made of nylon, it’s also extremely supple and very comfortable to use.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Read the full review at CharleneWinfred.com

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M1a Blessed by Bless This Stuff

Mirrorless Camera Strap Review M1a on BlessThisStuff

Bless This Stuff curate all manner of manly stuff. For instance, right now our M1a Mirrorless Camera Strap is surrounded by a Ducati Panigale V4, some kind of intense coffee maker, and a 1965 Porsche 356.

If you´re looking for a new camera strap that is both functional and stylish without breaking the bank, check out the M1a Camera Strap by Simplr.

Read the full recommendation at BlessThisStuff.com

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The Phoblographer Hates Highly Recommends our M1a

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. But if you care more about textures and looks, then there are tons of options out there from Hawkesmill, TAP and DYE, Cub and Co, and 4V Design.

Read the full review at ThePhoblographer.com

Does the M1a have a face only a mother could love? Let us know your thoughts.

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Kevin Mullins’ Fujifilm X-E3 Review (plus a few words about his M1a)

Kevin Mullins Camera Strap on X-E3

Kevin Mullins is a highly regarded UK wedding photographer.

In addition to his impressive professional wedding portfolio, he also runs the popular f16.click site, dedicated to his personal work and all things Fuji.

Kevin recently posted his thoughts on the Fujifilm X-E3 … and we’re happy to report that it pairs nicely with the olive green Simplr M1a he’s got attached to it.

By the way, the strap you see in these images is a Simplr Camera Strap which I picked up whilst in New York. It’s a really comfortable, non-slip and visually attractive strap.

He’s an official Fujifilm X-photographer, and member of The KAGE Collective — an international group of visual story tellers.

Read Kevin’s full X-E3 review at f16.click

 

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Palle Schultz’s Video Rig … with a Simplr Camera Strap

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Palle Schultz is a photographer and videographer based in Denmark, and an official Fujifilm X-photographer.

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.

Check out his YouTube channel.

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Bert Stephani Reviews his M1a

Bert Stephani's Camera Strap a Simplr M1a

Bert Stephani posts his thoughts on his M1a Mirrorless Camera Strap, along with some excellent images.

He’s a Belgian commercial and editorial photographer, an official Fujifilm X-photographer, and member of The KAGE Collective — an international group of visual story tellers.

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.

Read the full review at BertStephani.info

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Who shouldn’t buy a Simplr M1a Camera Strap?

I stepped out of the office to grab a bite here in downtown New York City, where there are lots of tourists armed with cameras. I was thinking about which photographers would be happy Simplr customers, and which would be better served elsewhere.

In that spirit, let’s talk about who the M1a Mirrorless Camera Strap isn’t made for:

The M1a is not for people who try to look like “professional” photographers.

I’m not talking about the modern professional who discretely shoots events or weddings with a couple of mirrorless cameras and a maybe three lenses.

I am talking about the sightseer with a full-frame DSLR and a 70–200mm f/2.8 … with a backpack that contains eight more lenses … and a carbon tripod. I’m not pointing fingers — I’m just saying that’s just not our jam.

Simplr is all about being discrete and traveling light.

The M1a is not for big cameras and lenses.

This might sound like a reiteration of the prior point, but it’s not.

What we’re talking about here is weight distribution. From a strength perspective, you’re plenty safe with an M1a up to about 4.4lbs (with a 10:1 margin of safety based on the M1a’s tensile strength of 44lbs), but with heavier camera/lens combos, the one-inch wide strap isn’t designed to distribute that weight comfortably.

Admittedly, big cameras and lenses are better suited to some things: for the time being, sports photography — and (at least in the case of my particular Fujis) tethered shooting in the studio. I still have a DSLR and telephoto lens which I use for sports — but I wouldn’t use an M1a on it — and shooting tethered in the studio, I wouldn’t use any strap at all.

The M1a is plenty strong for its intended purpose, but it’s intended for smaller camera/lens combos. (Not sure how heavy your rig is? This might help.)

The M1a is not for people who display prominent brand names on their straps.

In the famous words of Richard Nixon “I am not a thief … but if I were, I’d know who to mug based on their conspicuously branded camera straps.”

In 2017 New York City, you really needn’t worry about muggers — but if you’re a hardcore traveler, you’ll likely find yourself in some less fortunate parts of the world where it’s a genuine concern. Don’t be the guy or gal wearing a strap that says “Canon” or “Nikon” there. (I might add that red or yellow accents on a black strap does a pretty good job of saying “Canon” or “Nikon” all by itself.)

The M1a is well-suited to photographers who fly under the radar, calling as little attention to themselves as possible … and certainly not spelling out what brand of camera they’re carrying.

The M1a is not for people who sacrifice function for the ultimate in simplicity.

As you might imagine, I have a handful of camera straps.

One of them is a nice-looking brown leather strap. It’s about a half-inch wide, fixed-length (maybe 37″), and attaches via round split-rings.

It’s about the simplest strap you can get — which is cool — but functionally it does zilch. You can’t adjust it. It takes a couple minutes to detach and re-attach it, and if I want to wear it cross body I can’t even get the camera up to my eyeball to take a photo; it’s too short.

Our company is called Simplr, not Simplest. We think we’ve struck the ideal balance between form and function.

The M1a is not for people who prize luxury over utility.

We don’t want to waste time oiling virgin goatskin, being overly concerned with how “sexy” our camera straps feel, or worse yet … wondering if our stuff looks beat up enough for street cred.

We like our stuff to work, work well, and keep working. And that’s what our camera straps do.

We make full camera straps that pack smaller than many other manufacturers’ wrist straps (try that with a shearling shoulder pad). We use strong plastic because fancy-schmancy metal hardware scratches and clanks against things (Hey what’s that sound in your video?). One of our pro users lashes extra weight to their tripod by tying their M1a in knots — then untying it and putting it right back on their camera — and that’s just the sort of thing we love to hear.

Again, we’re not judging.

It helps to have the right tool for the right job. With the M1a, we’ve chosen to make one very specific tool.

If you’re a full-frame sports shooter, we don’t make the strap you need.

If you carry a big camera and big bag of lenses like so many totems, we don’t make the strap you need.

If you like big logos on your camera staps, we don’t make the strap you need.

If you’re looking for the simplest, least functional strap, we don’t make the strap you need.

If you prefer rich corinthian leather to strong, no-fuss materials, we don’t make the strap you need.

If on the other hand, you’re a photographer that values discretion, small pro-quality cameras, understatement, and function … we’ve got you covered.

 

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The Swiss Train Intercom

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).

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A Show of Strength

This is what we do for fun around the office.

Here’s a Simplr M1a camera strap with 35lbs (nearly 16 kilos) hanging from it. And that’s off of one connector … Remember you’ll have two attached to your camera.

We wouldn’t advise carrying a 35lb camera/lense combo on this strap, but when you’ve got a 2.5lb rig, it’s nice to feel safe.

It’s also worth noting that the adjuster, which slides easily when adjusting the length of the strap, didn’t budge at all under this weight.

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DIY Paracord Camera Wrist Strap with Instructions

DIY Paracord Camera Wrist Strap attached to Fujifilm X-E2s

One of the perks of the Simplr camera straps is the quick-disconnect which makes it easy to remove. It stands to reason that if you want a neck strap that’s easy to remove … it’s because you don’t always want a strap around your neck!

But maybe you want a little insurance policy to guard against drops. Voila, wrist strap.

There are some braided commercial and DIY alternatives which are a little nicer to look at, but they’re also considerably more bulky. At Simplr, we try to do away with bulk, so here’s our suggestion for a good, utilitarian paracord camera wrist strap.

You don’t need much to make it, and the total time is about 20 minutes.

Paracord Camera Wrist Strap Materials

  • 550 Paracord — available from Lowes, Home Depot and about about a zillion places including these guys.
  • 3/8″ Quick-Disconnects — like the ones we use from Op/Tech USA (or some others which may be compatible).

Tools Needed

  • 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

    This is a lanyard knot. It looks a little more “finished”.
  3. Finish the loose ends. Clip the loose ends of the string, then melt with a lighter so they don’t fray.
  4. 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:
    Paracord Camera Wrist Strap
    Feed the loop through the middle, then over the lanyard knot.

    Cinch it and you’ll end up with this.
DIY Paracord Camera Wrist Strap attached to Fujifilm X-E2s
DIY Paracord Camera Wrist Strap attached to Fujifilm X-E2s

That’s it. Cheap, useful and good-looking.

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M1a Mirrorless Camera Strap Customer Reviews

Got one? Submit a Review here.

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Strap Lug Inserts: What Are They and Why Should I Care?

Before attaching your Simplr camera strap, it’s important to know if you’ve got strap lug inserts.

Their purpose is to reduce lug wear caused by metal-split rings. A handful of camera manufacturers have used them over the years. (For instance, if you’ve got a Fujifilm camera from the last couple years, you’ve definitely got strap lug inserts.)

They look like this:

The problem is, the edges of these inserts can be jagged. If you install your strap directly onto the strap lug, the insert can eventually damage the attachment string.

Installation Options for Cameras with Strap Lug Inserts

If your camera has strap lug inserts, you have two options when attaching your Simplr strap:

  1. Leave the insert where it is and use the metal split-ring that came with your camera. The string will be attached to the split-ring.
  2. Remove the insert (being careful not to gouge the strap lug). Confirm that there are no sharp edges. The string can now be attached directly to the lug.

(*As a suggestion, start out with #1 and try that for a while.)

Ready to install your strap?

Once you’re ready to attach your Mini QD Loops™, continue to: How to Attach Mini QD Loops™ to Your Camera

Do you have strap lug inserts, but want to remove them?

Here are some informative links we’ve gathered from the interwebs which address the removal of strap lug inserts:

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How to Attach Mini QD Loops™ to Your Camera

Before attaching Mini QD Loops™, read Strap Lug Inserts: What Are They and Why Should I Care? to figure out what connection point to use on your camera (split-rings vs. strap lugs).

1. Thread small cord loop through connection point on camera. It might help to use a piece of string or dental floss.

2. Thread mini quick-disconnect through opening of loop.

3. Pull mini quick-disconnect to cinch the loop.

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About Mini QD Loops™

The quick-connectors we use on our M1a straps are Op/Tech USA Mini QD Loops™ (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 need to press both sides simultaneously, and you have to apply a little pressure. It’s virtually impossible for them to release unintentionally.

We’ve found them to be small, strong and reliable, but don’t just our work for it — They have a 4.7 rating on Amazon with 250+ reviews.

Watch this video to learn more. They discuss installation and strength.

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Meet Simplr

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I started Simplr because I’ve always had strong ideas about how things should be made. In this case, that thing was a camera strap.

… Which is ironic, because over the course of my last three decades behind a camera, I’ve despised most camera straps.

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Although there were times I wanted a strap, much of the time I didn’t. Fiddling with slidey-strappy-connector-things for five minutes to remove or re-install a strap is downright annoying — and on a paid gig is downright unprofessional. My dream strap would connect and disconnect in seconds, and leave nary a trace when stowed.
  2. I wanted to adjust my strap length at will, but couldn’t. Those aforementioned slidey-strappy-connector-things are not only bad as strap installers, they’re drudgery as strap adjusters. What if I wanted to cinch my strap a little tighter while I strolled along, then lengthen when I wanted to get down to business? My dream strap would have one adjuster that slides, but doesn’t slip.
  3. I wanted a strap suited to the size and weight of smaller cameras. Why would I need metal hardware (that can scratch my cameras and lenses) if plastic is plenty strong? Why would I need heavy fabrics, when light materials could distribute the weight comfortably? Why would I need big connectors, instead of small, comfortable ones? My dream strap would be made from materials that were slim, strong, and wouldn’t scratch my camera.

For the last 20+ years, I’ve worked professionally as a Graphic Artist, Illustrator, Design Director (there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen some of my stuff), and to a lesser extent, as a Photographer. Because photography comprised a tiny portion of my earnings over the years, it remained a passion, rather than a vocation.

Upon transitioning to a mirrorless camera after years of using pro-size DSLRs, I realized I couldn’t find a strap sized for my smaller camera that would satisfy the three ideals I listed above.

I put pen to paper and came up with a design that did what I wanted: easy to connect/disconnect (yet comfortable to hold), no metal hardware, quick and easy to adjust. I ordered lots of different materials until I found the right ones, with the proper balance of lightness, flexibility and strength. Luckily I knew my way around a sewing machine (my dad was a master upholsterer), so I made prototype after prototype … culminating in what’s now known as the M1a.

I was so happy with the end result, I decided to make more.

Fujifilm X-E2s, XF56mm F1.2 R

Jason Petrisko
Design Director, Simplr