Research the materials your camera straps are made out of. It’s the deciding factor between aesthetic vs. function, but forces the photographer to think about what kind of strap you need. It’s an annoying step in the process that takes time, but worth it for the peace of mind. The last thing you want is the camera to fall off of its hitches and plummet to the ground. Ask yourself this series of questions the next time you’re on a shopping page:
- Will the material stand the test of time?
- How much stress load can material handle?
- Can it stand up to the outside elements when shooting outside?
There’s a multitude of varying materials. Leather, paracord, climbing rope, etc. — but what works for you? What best suits you and your needs? It’s not particularly wise to bring a leather strap on the hiking trails under rain cover, but a thinner wool wrist strap isn’t enough to comply with a wedding photographer’s needs either. Read below our mini guide for the varying materials we most often come across and the functions of each:
Leather: Leather provides a durable solution for everyday camera carry. However, be mindful of its thickness, as you don’t want the leather to be wet. Dampness will deeply affects its chemical makeup and change the functional properties… but it looks sexy! Also, be wary of patina as leather goods often change wear and color over time.
Paracord: Paracord serves a distinctive style, but is wildly rugged and serves a great deal of functions.
Neoprene: This is what you make wet-suits out of! It retains flexibility and durability throughout varied conditions & temperatures, perfect for bringing on the trails or all day shoots.
Wool: Wool grows itchy when damp or wet, and isn’t the best when used for long shoots, but serves its purpose as a wrist strap for smaller camera phones or point-and-shoots.
Nylon: This is an incredibly strong, abrasion resistant material looked to serve your every need.
Wax Canvas: This material is often impregnated with paraffin or natural beeswax based wax, woven into or applied to the cloth for a secure hold. While it may repel mist or rain, don’t saturate it in a puddle.
Climbing Rope: I mean hey... if it can hold a human, it can hold a camera.