When it comes to accessorising a camera there are actually quite a few nifty little things that you can do to personalise your baby…..I mean camera! Of course. You can of course buy your camera in an alternative colour variation to the standard black such as with many Fujifilm cameras – but not many other camera companies offer this. You can get all sorts of soft shutter release buttons that either screw into, or adhere onto, the shutter release. You can get thumb grips or even a spirit level that slides into the hot shoe that a flash would otherwise occupy. Special cases made from leather are a big hit with the hipster style cameras with a retro look. For me, I have always had GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) when it comes to choosing a camera strap to suit my style and comfort needs.
In the early days I tried to be a purist and just stick with the Fujiifilm long neck straps that came with the cameras I owned. But, these are not the most comfortable of camera straps and being a bigger guy they were often too short to fit around my frame. Then I purchased some fantastic slider straps with an adjustable length from Artisan & Artist – a Japanese camera strap and bag manufacturer. But these had a bit of a design flaw and the leather loops degraded and started to rip far too quickly. Photographers worst nightmare would be a camera strap snapping and your precious baby…camera…smashing on the ground. Then I moved to Peak Design for my camera straps and also for my camera bag. Immaculate crafting and modern design. They were very comfortable, strong, durable and adjustable. And I stuck with these for a while.
So why did I change? Well the thing about GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) is that like many syndromes you don’t have a choice in it. Also, I was really getting sick of hanging a camera around my neck. It was beginning to remind me of my DSLR days and lugging heavy gear and getting a sore neck, back and shoulders. Whilst the Fujifilm gear is a fraction of the weight, I was finally realising that I just don’t like having anything hanging from my neck. So the next obvious move was to go with wrist straps. Like I said the cameras are relatively light and I was moving away from the larger Fujifilm lenses to the much smaller F2 versions.
Enter one of my biggest influencers: Big Head Taco! BHT or Take Kayo is a Canadian photographer who I have followed a long time on his YouTube channel and also via the contributions he makes to the FujiLove community. You can check out Take’s channel here. Take is a huge fan of accessories and he loves to ‘Frankenstein’ his cameras. In one of his videos he was carrying a camera on a slim camera strap. He went on to explain that the strap was made by Cura. It was woven silk and made using traditional methods and machinery. I was instantly curious about this brand and found that the only place to reliably get them was from the online store of Camera Film Photo. A Hong Kong based camera store specialising in film and accessories. If you have been keeping up with my blogs you will have seen my blog on Cura cleaning products via Camera Film Photo. You can read that one here. Same company making exceptional products for photographers.
Cura make a wide range of camera straps that come in various lengths, materials and styles. So full length neck straps as well as wrist straps. They have broader straps made from a herringbone weave that would be suitable for those carrying larger gear and lenses. Then there are finer straps made from premium leather with some that are even made from Japanese Wagyu leather. I have one such leather wrist strap and the leather is soft and supple unlike other leather straps that I have looked at that are too thick and unyielding. Then there are my personal favourites. The silk woven straps that have been made by the same family for over 100 years. This particular style has been employed in traditional Japanese crafts dating back to the creation of straps for binding Samurai armour. There is a short video of the straps being woven here if you are curious.
I have a couple of these wrist straps in black with gold details and a light coloured leather feature. I also have a red and silver with the same light leather. I find that they are of exceptional quality and are strong yet incredibly comfortable. I hand-hold my camera a lot so having a light yet reliable strap is really important. The loop that is used to fix the strap to the camera is strong and has no pointy or rough surfaces – unlike some other attachments. I have been using these Cura straps for a number of months now and to be honest my GAS seems to have subsided and been replaced with a feeling of contentment. Further to this I feel like these straps add a nice level of camera personalisation. You can check out the complete range of Cura camera straps available from Camera Film Photo here. All shots for this blog were taken with my Fujifilm X-T2 and the XF50mmF2 as well as the Fujifilm X70. I also used the small retro Fujifilm EF-X20 flash for lighting. And just to clarify, I am not sponsored by Cura or Camera Film Photo in any way.