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).
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.”
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.”
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!