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Excellent Strap But Too Short
on April 9, 2014
I quickly got tired of the thin factory Lumix strap from my new Panasonic FZ200 cutting into the back of my neck, so I decided to take a risk on this strap in light of the several reviews stating it is too short. For the price of around 8 bucks shipped, I guess I can't complain because I got it to work, but I can't imagine why the manufacturer wouldn't have spent the extra 10 cents and made the nylon strap maybe 3-4" longer on each side.
The strap is neoprene on one side (the kind of material that a can cooler is made from) and a soft textured rubber on the other side that provides a good grip on one's shoulder. The ends of the padded portion of the strap have a vinyl cap about 1.75" long sewn on that anchors where the nylon strap is attached. Dimensions of the padded portion of the strap (from beginning of nylon strap to beginning of nylon strap), is 20.5". Each thin, non-padded nylon strap attached to either end of the padded portion of the strap is 14.5" long and about 3/8" (actually, exactly 9mm) wide. The nylon straps' buckles are plastic and could use a bit sharper teeth to prevent the strap from slipping.
- The strap seems well-made, with reinforced stitching everywhere one might expect it would be needed and I think it will last for years.
- The strap is comfortable and provides a good amount of cushioning, with no sharp seams or edges that would be annoying on the neck. I think it is wide enough and supportive enough for most amateur photographers with a megazoom P&S camera or typical DSLR and ordinary lenses, but someone sporting a pro-level DSLR with a hefty lens weighing several pounds might want a wider, sturdier strap. Personally, if I was toting around $3000 or more of camera and lens, I'd have a bigger, beefier, more expensive strap, but I think this one would be fine for most amateurs.
- The strap grips nicely on the soft rubber part
- The strap is fairly compact for an adequately padded strap. My FZ200 is a fairly close fit in my LowePro bag, and I was worried that a big, bulky strap wouldn't fit and would poke out of my bag, but this strap doesn't take up too much room and is a good fit.
- The big con is that the two nylon straps on either side of the main padded portion of the strap are at least 3" to 4" too short to let the camera hang to a normal level (which I'll say is a few inches above one's belt buckle) and probably should be 6" longer. If one left about 3" of excess strap beyond the buckle, for purposes of security in case it began to slip through the buckle, the straps would be significantly too short and the camera would hang about mid-chest height, maybe 6" under one's chin, far too high. Lengthening up the straps to let the camera hang at lower, more typical height will result in too little excess strap hanging out of the buckle to be secure against slippage.
- The buckle should have teeth in it to keep the strap from slipping, but it does not really have this - there is a ridged area, but I wouldn't trust it to hold the strap securely without a fair amount of extra strap dangling out the edge of the buckle.
Great strap except it's too short - no one wants their camera securely attached but dangling just under their chin, or else hanging at a reasonable level a few inches above one's belt, but not be secure.
HOWEVER, there is a reasonable and inexpensive solution: I fed the nylon strap through the buckles so it had maybe 3/4" sticking out and found that this would let the camera hang at a reasonably low and normal enough position. Then, I took a small safety pin on each side of the strap and pinned the nylon strap back to itself so it couldn't slip back through the buckle. The safety pin lies pretty flat, isn't obtrusive or that noticeable, and this fix works so that for the eight or nine bucks I paid for this strap with shipping, it works very well, the way I hoped it would. I wouldn't trust this strap with my camera without doing something to keep the end of the strap from slipping through the buckle, though. One could knot up the end of the strap or melt it into a blob bigger than the buckle opening, but I think my solution is a better combination of non-permanence and unobtrusiveness.