When it comes to camera accessories, there’s a plethora of options out there, especially where camera straps are concerned, and for the most part they tend to lack a certain style. You could say that I’m the kind of person who likes my camera to look the part as well as act as a tool, not that I would opt for style over substance, but as a photographer I tend to think aesthetically.
I’ve been intrigued by 595strapco’s cohort of leather straps since they launched on the market earlier this year and I’ve been meaning to add one of their neck straps to my collection ever since. I really like the vintage design and the restrained classical design. I also want to try them out because I have incredibly sensitive skin that takes a huge amount of daily management to keep under control, and can often be irritated by outside influences, especially camera neck straps. The generic rubber and plastic straps often rub and cause discomfort, so I was intrigued to see how my skin reacted to a more natural material.
The first thing that I noted about the Laverton neck strap is it’s wonderful tan colour (it's also available is brown and black), which incidentally matched by brogues perfectly. It just looks good and contrasts perfectly with the jet black of my X-T1. There’s a quality about the leather that feels great in your hand, and of course you get that unique leather smell, which is just as precious as the smell of fresh cut grass, or the ground after it rains. There’s something natural and tactile about it’s texture, something authentic about it’s aesthetic. It slots perfectly into the cultural undercurrent of simplicity and vintage styles of camera design, and it compliments the new wave of mirrorless bodies, as well as numerous decades of film cameras that preceded the digital revolution.
The 42” example I used fitted perfectly onto my Fujifilm X-T1, and allows me to swing it over my shoulder. I’m rather short, clocking in at a humble 5ft 1”, so the 42” sits on my hip, possibly not quite it’s intended location, and I missed the ability to adjust on a few occasions, but this is a minimal quibble that would likely be rectified by using a smaller size (the 36” or 38” for example). The strap has already suffered through some intense weather conditions, included a deluge of rain in the Lake District, without showing any signs of wear & tear (although leather just tends to look better when it's a little weathered), and my skin has remained unharmed, which is definitely a bonus!
I'm impressed with the quality as well as the style, and it feels like a excellent fit for my mirrorless camera body. Also, after several weeks of use, I've noticed that the irritation caused by the generic Fujifilm strap is much improved. For now it seems that leather is the way forward, and the Laverton is staying firmly on my Fujifilm X-T1.