Old geezers like me can remember a time when SLR cameras were small and light and their accompanying lenses didn’t weigh much either unless you were lugging big glass around. Today’s DSLRs and autofocus lenses are bigger than their ancestors. Add on a power grip and flash unit and serious neck strain can be a problem. Often, the strap included with the camera is just a basic, no frills canvas or nylon neck strap. While serviceable, these straps are seldom comfortable. It’s no wonder many third party accessory equipment makers offer one type of camera strap or another. Optech, a long time maker of camera straps and pouches offers a variety of camera straps including a wide selection of neoprene straps designed to make wearing a camera much more comfortable. The Fashion Strap is one such offering and offers a good choice for photographers looking for a more comfortable strap, provided those photographers aren’t in the habit of shooting many vertical images.
Using it (2 out of 5)
The Fashion Strap, as its name implies, is a good looking camera strap that’s available in a variety of colors. It boasts a couple of interesting features. One of these is that the strap uses a pair of connectors that connect it to other sections of strap that actually connect to the camera. This makes it possible to change main straps (to match your outfit?) or replace frayed or broken main straps. The other interesting feature is how the strap connects to the camera. Instead of the typical nylon material that threads through camera’s strap hooks, the Fashion Strap uses a plastic stem that is much easier to thread through the camera’s hooks. (A chore I’ve always hated because the regular straps don’t thread worth a darn.) The plastic stems are much easier to use and lock in place, making it much easier to attach the strap to the camera than other straps I’ve used. There is a problem though. The plastic stems are a real problem when you’re trying to use the camera vertically because they really get in the way.
Price to value (2 out of 5)
Price to value: $14.95 isn’t very expensive for a camera strap, and if you’re looking for a neoprene strap, the Fashion Strap isn’t a bad choice, so long as you don’t plan on shooting very many verticals. If you do (and you should), then you’ll find it an annoying strap to use. Optech gave me one for free for inclusion in the David Busch Quick Snap Guide to Photo Gear and I put it on my wife’s Canon 20D and she hates it. I had to promise her I’d put her regular strap back on the camera once I was done reviewing the Fashion Strap.