I don't usually like a strap on my cameras. If I'm in the studio, a strap is just in the way. If I'm in the field, I usually have a bag, and the camera is either there or in my hand, and so again—the strap is in the way. It's not often that I want the camera on a strap over my shoulder.
In the past (i.e. in my Photo 101 video on lynda.com and in various books I've written), I've touted the Black Rapid straps. I still love those, but for a particular use. I think shooting an event, where you need multiple cameras hanging off of you and quick access to a variety of lenses, that's still the ideal system. At least it is for me. But you don't always need the Swiss Army Knife of straps. Sometimes you just need to carry your camera—comfortably, and, dare I say it, fashionably.
The Lance Strap itself is "premium polyester" (unless you're looking at the leather models), which honestly doesn't sound that appealing. Given the cost of these handmade straps (in the USA, no less), pretty as they may be, learning that they're made of a 1970's fashion faux pas doesn't instill product lust. But it turns out polyester has come a long way since John Travolta shimmied his way across the silver screen sporting plastic butterflies around his neck (give it a moment… it'll make sense).
I learned about these straps through a friend and fellow LUMIX Luminary, Giulio Sciorio (of Small Camera Big Picture fame), who owns at least a few of them. On first glance I thought "there's no way that can be comfortable". After all, it's round, for cryin' out loud. A comfortable camera strap is flat, and wide, right?
Turns out, maybe not. G's strap was surprisingly comfortable. Now let's be completely fair—he and I are both sporting these straps on LUMIX gear, which means it weighs considerably less than a full-size dSLR counterpart. Would this strap be as lovely on a heavier body? I don't know. But putting it on a LUMIX GH4 with the biggest lens I've got, it's still completely and totally comfortable. And I don't mean that in a "oh, it'll do" kind of way. I mean that in a "whoa, wait, really? This is awesome!" kind of way.
One of the things I like about the strap is that the material is very slippery. So this means when it's across your chest, bandolier style, it slides along your clothing without grabbing at all as you snatch the camera up into position. Yes this also means it's not ideal to just hang of your shoulder, but that's never been a way I like to carry a camera in the first place. No matter what material, it's too prone to dropping or thieving, and when you do grab your camera for a shot, the strap invariable falls down over your elbow anyway. No, my preferred method has always been the bandolier, but this also means you need a slightly longer strap than usual. Which introduces another amazing benefit of the Lance Camera Strap.
These are totally customizable at the time of order. They do actually make an adjustable version, but personally I wanted the fixed length cord; simplicity at its finest. You can order it at the precise length that you desire. It's handmade, just for you, so why not? You can choose the color of the cord, the thread, and the leather tips. You can choose the length on some straps by default, but if you email them, they'll customize it however you like!
Remember in the beginning I said I don't usually use camera straps. Which means to use one, it has to quickly (as in… quickly) get on and off my camera body. I've owned many "quick release" camera straps before, but the "release" part always left something behind. There was always a piece of the strap that was left on the camera, so you ended up with a body sporting floppy ears, getting in the way of your grip, or poking you in the eye or forehead in portrait orientation. There's nothing quite so awesome as poking yourself in the eye while shooting for a client. "Nope, didn't really need to see today, thanks."
The "quick connect" versions of the Lance straps employ a simple pressure clip that's rubberized for your (camera's) protection. It's there to prevent camera scratches as the clip rubs against the body.
I ended up buying two straps. First, the "Classic Quick Connect" ($68) in red with black leather ends, which I ordered at an appropriate length for my physique, and also the "String Loop Wrist" ($26) also in red with a black leather end, which I asked to be customized to have the same "quick connect" attachment included. They were built and shipped within days of my order (which surprised me as I thought it'd take much longer), and were delivered in beautiful packaging. And since receiving them, I'm absolutely loving these things. They are comfortable, practical, durable, and they look cool, too.
You can get these on amazon but I definitely recommend ordering directly from the manufacturer. They aren't Prime on amazon so you'll pay shipping anyway, and you may as well get the personalized care that comes from Lance himself when you email the company. Head over to LanceCameraStraps.com and see what strap is perfect for you!
(NOTE: I am not sponsored by Lance camera straps… I paid full price for these, and the links to their site are not even affiliate links. I really do like these that much!)