A S C R A P B O O K O F S O L U T I O N S F O R T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R
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19 April 2016
Custom SLR has announced the availability of its new Slim Strap to the general product. The former Kickstarter project shipped the strap to its backers April 6 and now it's everyone else's turn to admire the $29.95 minimalist strap.
Custom SLR sent a sample to us a few weeks ago and we've been using it on our daily forays into the asphalt jungle, which can last a few hours.
Among the highlights of the Slim Strap's design are:
- Genuine top grain leather: on the shoulder pad, strap connectors and thumb loop.
- Quick-adjust slider: Camera stays cinched securely at your side. To quickly snap a photo, just pull and slide.
- Lightweight and compact: Its slim design make it a lightweight yet comfortable strap solution.
- Versatile: Designed for mirrorless, Micro Four Thirds and compact cameras but compatible with any camera, including DSLRs.
We previously reviewed the Air Strap, which also features the company's Quick-adjust slider, which we liked very much.
The strap itself seems to weigh nothing. And because the leather pad that rides on your shoulder is only an inch wide, you hardly know you're wearing it.
Unless, that is, you attach a heavy camera to it. And by "heavy" we mean a dSLR. It's really suited (and ideally so) to a lighter mirrorless camera and lens. So while it was comfortable for us to wear with a mirrorless camera and kit lens, we wouldn't want to walk around with it for a couple of hours with our D300 and 18-200mm zoom on it.
Secondly, it isn't entirely a leather strap. There are a few small leather connectors and thumb loop but mainly the strap is fabric, which keeps the weight down. The leather part is the pad that remains attached to your shoulder as you slide the fabric strap through it.
The leather keeps the strap on your shoulder without adding much weight to the system. Very nice and just the right balance. But if you're looking for a leather strap, this isn't it.
Finally, you can use the strap by itself, nothing else required, by looping the detachable ends through your camera's eyelets.
This might even be the preferred method if you plan to bike with it. Your camera will lie flat on your back, part of the strap rather than merely attached to it at a swivel point.
We like to keep a wrist strap on one of our eyelets, though. So we availed ourselves of the Custom SLR C-Loop Mini, a smaller version of its tripod-mount C-Loop. They both provide 360 degrees of swivel and can be hand tightened. The Mini uses a knurled screw rather than the small collapsible handle of the C-Loop but it works just as well.
Both loops provide eyelets on a freely rotating collar to which you attach the ends of the strap.
There's not a lot of mass to the Slim Strap so it packs up tidily in a bag for travel. But there's not much sense carrying it in a camera bag, either. You'll want to wear it.
And when you do, you'll hardly notice it's there.
We wear it over our shirt and under a jacket (partly so it isn't obvious we're carrying a camera). You'd think the one-inch wide strap would dig into our shoulder and be uncomfortable after half an hour but that was never the case because our gear just didn't weigh very much.
It felt like some invisible companion was walking along with us, holding our camera for us until we wanted to use it. Then they'd just pass it off to us, we'd raise it up to our eye and go about our business before dropping it back to our sidekick.
That's the result of the Quick-adjust slider we first appreciated on the company's Air Strap. What you adjust with it is the overall length of the strap. So when we're twisting our way through some congested urban byway, we can shorten the strap so the camera tucks into our coat. And when we're ready to shoot, we can lengthen it so we can easily hold it in front of us.
And we can do that without taking our eyes off the scene because the thumb pad that releases the strap is right in front of us on our chest. We just reach down, grab it and pull.
The Slim Strap is available now directly from Custom SLR for $29.95.
This is a clever solution for mirrorless camera owners who like shoulder straps. It's light but it doesn't slip off your shoulder. And unlike other sliding designs, you can expand or contract it with nothing more than a pull of the thumb pad. So you can keep it lose for action or tight for travel.
The leather is a nice and useful touch but it's the Quick-adjust slider that really makes the sale. And earns the Slim Strap a recommendation of all four photo corners.