This past month I've been lucky enough to test the Hawkesmill British quality leather camera straps.
Ah Hawkesmill Hawkesmill Hawkesmill…. Just on time for Christmas it seems...
By now you’ve guessed it: I’m a sucker for camera accessories and pimping out my gear.
Not really that bad but I do love craftsmanship and I feel often that cameras deserve better than a nylon strap and generic bag.
I do spend a considerable amount on cameras, lenses and general camera gear and I like to both keep it safe and protected whilst at the same time looking like a sexy mofo. I usually fail at the latter but at least my gear is protected while I am kept under the illusion that it actually does make me look sexy.
So how do I achieve that?
Well a lot of research goes into this daily, I review camera accessories regularly by testing them intensively in my advanced testing facility (London that is) and when it comes to camera straps in particular… I know my shit, pardon my French. Don’t believe me? Check-out my ultimate review of the best leather camera straps!
But since this is an ongoing search, I’m regularly finding new exciting brands and update that same review to bring you the latest products.
Today’s brand? Well I said it already three times in my intro but nevermind paying attention… It’s Hawkesmill. Tadaaaa!
In the world of camera accessory brands, Hawkesmill is kind of the new kid on the block. They launched back in April 2016. And yet, everyone’s talking about them and there’s a reason behind that: They are not taking the mickey with an inferior product charged at top prices. No, what you pay for is what you get, you pay a premium and what you get is the best product you can possibly think of in terms of both safety for your camera and in terms of looks.
Hawkesmill is hand crafted in the UK, designed by photographers for photographers. OK I know that this means little since bad products are also often designed by photographers, but Hawkesmill does it really well.
The leather is the best you’ll find around. This particular strap, the Westminster, is made of Horween Chromexcel leather. It’s soft, very pliable and ages perfectly (I know it from past use of that same leather). It’s not overly thick, just the perfect balance of thinness and solidity without being too rigid. If you scratch the leather with your nail, the mark left behind can easily be rubbed out with your finger in a couple of seconds.
The stitching also cannot be faulted, a very close inspection confirms it won’t let you down.
This is a fixed length strap (various lengths are available). I tend to increasingly prefer fixed length as you remove the metal loops and fittings to adjust length which often damage the camera by scratching it.
The only metal bit is the loop to attach the camera. This is isolated properly from the camera body through the use of a leather “buffer” (not sure of the name) so there is no way your camera will be damaged.
I also think it’s very well thought of Hawkesmill to include a few sets of differently sized rings depending on which camera you use. A larger ring fits better a DSLR while a small mirrorless camera (MFT type) will usually suit a smaller ring better.
Simple maybe yet no other manufacturer has thought of it. That I know of anyway.
I love how the brand and made in England are embossed in the leather. The comfort is second to none. You see some leathers by other manufacturers are often badly cut and the sharp edges cause friction on the skin which over the course of a day can really cause huge discomfort.
The colours are classy as well. Brown leather and orange/golden thread really looks ultra classy.
Right I think my work here is done.
Overall I absolutely cannot fault this strap so can comfortably give it a 10/10, and I'm generally fussy.
Sure the price is high but so is the quality. Buy one of these and you’ll probably not need another for at least ten years.
Make sure you head to my articles below for more reviews of straps, bags and other goodies!