What I find difficult reviewing camera straps day after day is finding new interesting things to say.
I have reviewed dozens and dozens of them. It’s part of what I do.
Finding interesting straps is a good start and Tap & Dye, an independent American maker, features very high on my "favourites" list. They make the best American leather camera straps hands down and they are guaranteed for life!
A little about Tap & Dye...
After having spent 10 years in the product design industry investing his time and designing for other brands, Justin (Mr Bossman at Tap & Dye) had decided it was time to invest in something of his own, something that he really wanted to do.
And so, Justin started the brand over 4 years ago so that he could combine his love as a designer / maker with photography.
Cameras and photography have been and always will be a huge part of his life, so to be able to have a space to come to everyday and craft an accessory for someone who also shares that same passion is a huge win for him.
Knowing that it will be put to good use and hopefully handed down someday is a very fulfilling experience, one that Justin does not take for granted.
So how exactly does a camera strap tick all the boxes according to my books?
Simple, it has to be well designed, priced fairly to reflect the quality, durable, leather is preferred, not mass produced in a third world country, and when possible local.
This is the second time I am reviewing Tap & Dye.
Last time I reviewed their leather wrist straps while this time I’m reviewing a shoulder/neck strap, the Nero legacy strap in brown horween chromexcel. (Only the Nero straps are made from Horween leather, each one hand stitched, made to order).
The wrist strap was reviewed nearly a year ago (read the review here) and, I kid you not, it’s been attached to my camera ever since. It has not deteriorated in any way, quite the opposite, it has aged gracefully (just the opposite of me!).
This comes from the dedication Justin the owner shows to his craft.
Every strap is hand made by him. So there is no way he’ll let a subpar strap leave his workshop. This is pride in what you produce. It’s really the only way to control your quality. Start outsourcing to China and the dedication and quality control will never be the same, it’s impossible as no one will ever be as dedicated to your own product as yourself. Especially if you pay them peanuts.
Justin also chooses to work with the very best leather, why wouldn’t he? Hoween Chromexcel (a word that is impossible to spell correctly I found).
This is seriously soft and strong leather. I’ve never actually since found softer than the wrist strap I own.
Camera straps design isn’t rocket science, I mean I don’t design them but it really only requires basic starting blocks.
Justin’s straps protect your camera by providing the assurance they won’t snap, neither will they scratch your camera body, they will provide ultimate comfort and last as long as a strap can last. And to top this… they look amazing.
This is all I need to say, this is all you need to hear.
I have three all-time favourite manufacturers, all are hand-made.
Tap & Dye is in my top three and I recommend you stop wasting money on cheap and badly designed straps and head to the Tap & Dye website in time for Christmas.