You know what they say about camera straps… actually I don’t know what they say and I don’t think anyone says much about camera straps anyway. Most of us stick with the usual black and yellow Nikon branded came-with-the-box camera straps. Mainly because not many options were widely available earlier. Of course, the Internet and e-commerce have changed all that. Even so, while there are now many options that one can purchase, good quality ones are still rare to come by.
I had been looking for a good strap for years now. I’d even reviewed some pretty ones that were great conversation starters. But I was not comfortable using them for my heavy D800 camera especially with either the 24-70mm f 2.8 lens on it or the 70-200mm f 2.8 lens. With the 50mm lens, lighter straps were ok. But for my simple and heavy duty rig, I needed something simple and heavy duty. Something I could keep on without worrying about the colors not matching my wardrobe or the colors being too flashy for the gig.
As with everything else, I asked for help on Twitter and this time someone pointed me to the Hard Graft website.
The moment I saw that website, my hopes of finding the camera strap I had been looking for all this while, rose. And soon enough I’d scrolled to the ReProcess Camera Strap. Pretty soon I’d ordered one and here’s what that looked like.
The strap came packed in a flat paper envelope and was bent out of shape traveling all across the globe. I did reach out to Hard Graft’s Twitter handle and mentioned they might make sure that doesn’t happen if they use a hard case for shipping.
Well packaged nonethless. I’m using the cloth bag to store the extra camera body in my rig.
The material used and the construction is very well done. Not a stitch out of place. The only complaint I have is that it is hard to put this strap onto my D800 / D810. The strap comes equipped with metallic circular ends that are supposed to be looped onto the camera’s metallic triangular loops. But the metallic loops of the strap do not inspire confidence in terms of their ability to carry the weight of my rig. So I got rid of them and looped the leather ends of the strap straight onto the camera’s triangular metallic loops. That was some task as the camera body loops are thicker and cannot be separated just using my finger nails. I had to use a pointed object and poked my fingers more than a couple of times. The leather of the strap is also very thick and hence hard to loop through the metal. Once you’ve put the leather through the metal, it is advisable to leave it there.
If you’re planning to use this strap on multiple bodies, forget about it. Unless those are smaller camera bodies, in which case it shouldn’t be as much trouble as you can probably use the original metal loops that come with this strap.
I have been using the strap on my new D810 now and below are a few photographs of me on assignment – after the end of the day.
I definitely recommend this camera strap by Hard Graft. They have other options in terms of design / length etc. I am hoping they will also add an “Ocean” color for this strap. I will get that one for myself as well, for the D800, which is now my backup camera body.
They use vegetable tanned Italian leather and it is hand-stained hide by hide. The neck strap is Italian wool felt. The strap is made in Italy. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked where I got the strap from. If you’ve asked me and I’ve not responded individually ( sorry about that ), then now you know!