Does your camera have a wrist strap?

Well, does it?

No, not your tiny point&shoot, but your DSLR with the 200 or more mm zoom lens. They all come with neck straps. Personally I find neck straps to be of good use, but limited carrying comfort. For one thing, they always get bunched up with collars of jackets and sweaters, so in winter things around my neck are all  bunched up. Especially if I also have to carry my camera bag by its shoulder strap. Worse, a long and heavy lens tilts the camera forward, so much so that my 300 mm Tamron will bounce against me when I walk. Short lenses are better, but still the camera will bounce around – maybe I need to get really fat so that it can rest on my belly, not hang in front of it.

Then, recently, I noticed that I had adopted the habit of tightly wrapping the neck strap around my right wrist a few times and carrying the camera one handed. I was holding it with the tips of my index, middle and ring fingers only. Basically, I dangled it from the bulge at the front of the camera that has the trigger on it. That was quite comfortable, and a quick test with the Tamron showed this to be a good carrying position. However, the strap keeps slipping, or if I wound it tight it would inhibit my handling of the camera while taking pictures. Carrying it without the strap – if it only wasn’t been for the risk of dropping >1000 EUR of equipment at any time!

Thus, I spent EUR 3.95 for a wrist strap – a short loop that can be attached to the right eye of the camera that also holds one end of the neck strap. And I am now very close to taking off the neck strap entirely: two days in the zoo last weekend saw me using the neck strap exactly zero times!

Interestingly, I saw a lot of people run around the two Berlin zoos last and this weekend with white lenses. These all are huge lenses, even the “dinky” 200mm ones, and I saw three – count them, three! – 600mm ones! ENVY!!!!!! I also saw two 400mm lenses, and one 800mm one. And guess what: not one of the owners of these masterpieces of long lenses used the neck strap for anything but as a safety – if at all! Obviously, a camera/lens combo this size is much bigger than what I have, and the problem of having a heavy thing bump around on your belly only gets worse. Most carried the camera in one or both hands, one had a monopod (yep, only one had a support for the camera!).

So, give it a try, get a wrist strap and enjoy a totally new freedom. But make sure it is a quality strap and doesn’t let go.

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About Heinrich Mallison

I'm a dinosaur biomech guy working at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.
This entry was posted in photography. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Does your camera have a wrist strap?

  1. I abandoned the neck strap aeons ago because it just hindered my movements too much (after going through the same ‘neckstrap-as-wiststrap’ stage). Personally, I find that the freedom gain more than outweighs the greater risk. And I’m perfectly capable of dropping a camera despite using a neckstrap, anyway. Haven’t tried the wrist strap, might be a good idea.

  2. TomT says:

    I also gave up on neck straps long ago. I often use a decent wrist strap (e.g., http://optechusa.com/slr-wrist-strap.html) with a moderately heavy lens (24-70 or 70-200 f/2.8.) However for extended periods of carrying around a heavy lens I find a good shoulder strap to be quite comfortable. BlackRapid makes some good ones; I believe this one is similar to mine: http://www.blackrapid.com/products/curve

  3. Pingback: snaphots | dinosaurpalaeo

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