Are you happy with the strap that came with your camera? Whenever I get a new camera I never seem to be. These often underestimated accessories tend to be either too small, too difficult to put on and off, feel uncomfortable around your neck or simply look horrid. I tried to remidy this by buying third party straps and have gone through several types and makes. Recently I got some nice ones from Lance Camera Straps.
This is a family business based in Virginia, USA, offering fully customizable polyester cord camera straps online. They claim their products are not only stylish and very durable but also very affordable.
Safe to carry – durable – customizable
I usually carry my cameras with the strap pulled over neck and one shoulder. But often I use a shoulder bag and only want something to assure myself I won`t be dropping my camera by accident when I pull it out and carry it in hand only. So I like to swap camera straps depending on the specific shooting conditions.
That is why I decided to get a string loop version of both the neck strap and wrist strap cords. This gives me the convenience I need by being able to quickly detach the side clips and put on the second strap whenever I feel like it – switching from neck strap to wrist strap (or the other way round) in seconds.
If you feel uncomfortable using detachable plastic clips to secure your gear, you might want to opt for 16mm split rings (rather than string loops) that fit nicely on any camera lug mount – even on very small cameras (e.g. Fuji X20). There also is a new very durable looking metal quick connect version that might be the best of both worlds – fast release and safe to carry.
And secure and durable enough it all seems to be. I have used these straps on several different cameras – entrusting my heavy Nikon DSLR and even my new Leica M Typ 240 to these polyester cords. I never had any cause for concern. I believe the clips can withstand a lot of pressure when pulled and with the cords (that are spliced for better durability) you could probably tow a car. For most applications this should be sufficient. Check out the durability test on the company site. It would be nice if they gave some more detailed information on just how much pressure these clips can take though.
The camera straps are also very comfortable to wear. IMO the round cords are much nicer than commonly used flat straps that frequently get caught on clothing or chafe the skin.
I quite like the wrist strap too. But I decided to push the rubber stop ring to the inside of the wrist cord loop because I did not like the cord coming too tight. This way you can choose a fix size of the wrist loop rather than let it pull close. Additional information: I just heard from Lance that the new version of the wrist strap now comes equipped with another O-Ring Strap Bumper on the loop of the strap. This will have solved the problem I encountered with my earlier version.
The straps are available in seven different colors, with even more ring and thread colors to choose from. I opted for flashy red (because I never had one in red before 🙂 ) and the more conservative dark blue cord color. The colors on mine did not fade over time at all. The straps seem to be very resistant to sunlight and generally very robust (no fraying, no odors – absolutely spotless).
Best of all, these straps are customizable not only in color but also in length. I am quite tall, so I chose the neck strap in 61“. Now I can carry my cam closer to the hip and it does not hang from the neck right in front of my chest. The custom sizes come at no extra cost.
The Lance Camera Straps are quite affordable. They can be had from $24 to $68 and all products come with free standard shipping within the USA (if you order for $30 or more). International customers have to pay an extra $12 for that.
Compared to similar products
If you are into round cord straps at all, there are other alternatives of course. I have tried the Artisan Artist ACAM-301 cord camera strap that comes equipped with metal split rings. This is made of very nice woven silk and is very smooth to the touch. Since it was only available in a length of 37“ (approx. 94cm) it did not suit my purposes though. I prefer longer lengths to be able to carry the camera across one shoulder and neck with the cam dangling from the side. The Artisan Artist strap also features a premium price tag (around $189). The Lance neck strap comes in at about a third of the price.
The Street Strap made of black round nylon weave is also a little softer to the touch and a little thinner than the Lance Camera Strap I got – again featuring split rings for more permanent attachment to the camera. Here it is possible to get a triangular ring version, that might be of use for some types of camera. Priced at $79.99 (MSRP) the Street Strap it is a direct competitor. But again, you can not customize length (46“/approx. 117mm size for all) or color.
The string loop straps from Lance Camera Straps are thicker than most other straps I have tried, but they are still very comfortable to use. Meanwhile they also have a new line of Classic Non-adjust and Classic Quick Connect straps on offer. These are not spliced and therefore maintain an 8mm cord diameter which makes them thinner than the spliced version I got some time ago.
I prefer the loop version because they are easily detachable but others might like the more sturdy looking split rings. For $2 extra there are O-Ring Strap Bumpers available that protect the camera from split ring to body contact. Why not try one of these straps? I think you won`t be disappointed. The only problem you will face is choosing the colors you like best 🙂 .
More information available at Lance Camera Straps.