Until recently, I had never used a camera strap other than the ones that come standard with my camera purchases – but after long days of shooting, I was finding myself getting sore neck and shoulder muscles, so I went on the hunt for one with a more padded strap.
I did some research and picked up two different camera straps by Peak Designs. One is a sling strap for my Nikon D800 and the other is a hand strap for my Nikon FE 35mm Camera. While a new strap isn’t an accessory which improves the quality of your photography, I found that a they can vastly improve your photographic experience, especially if you’re using heavier cameras and lenses.
Here’s my top 5 reasons all photographers should be using aftermarket camera straps:
Adjustable – Unlike the straps that come with most new cameras, aftermarket straps have been designed with more function than just to hang a camera around your neck. The Slide Camera Sling by Peak Designs allows you to easily adjust the length of the strap and is capable of more that just the standard mounting style.
Comfortable – Premium straps mean premium materials. This make such a big difference, especially if you are spending long periods of time with your camera around your neck and shoulders. Wider and more padded straps creates better weight distribution that helps to minimise strain and tension on your body.
Discreet – Most standard manufacturer straps are emblazoned with big and brightly coloured logos and camera model numbers. These straps can make you a walking advertisement for thieves, especially when you’re travelling O/S.
Versatile – Aftermarket straps have been designed to be more than just a means of transporting your camera. The Slide Camera Sling was developed for use as a neck, sling and shoulder strap. Unlike my original camera straps; when used as a sling or shoulder strap, the camera hangs perfectly at your side with minimal swinging movement or digging the lens or camera body into your hips. This is a big win especially on hikes or day-trips.
Extras – Decent designs come complete with serious bells and whistles that stock straps just don’t have such as; primo padding, grippy sections on the strap, quick release fasting systems and abrasion-proof webbing so they actually withstand the test of time.
At first glance, you may think that there are better camera accessories to be splurging your money on. But take it from the newly converted. A proper strap makes for a greater shooting experience and will keep you shooting like a pro for hours on end, without any fuss.
Here’s what I’m using – both are developed by Peak Design: