Much to the chagrin of my friends and family, I
normally have a camera with me at all times. I own two, an Ebony 4x5
and a Canon 1dsMk2. The Canon, being the lighter of the two cameras,
is what normally is within reach. And by within reach, I mean it is
normally hanging from my left shoulder.
There seem to be two types of photographers (isn’t it nice to
be able to narrow down the world into just two types)… those
who hang their cameras from their shoulder, and those who hang it around
their neck. I am the former. We are normally recognizable by the tilt
of our body to one side, one shoulder up, and one shoulder down. The
attempts to keep the camera from slipping probably fund a good portion
of the chiropractic industry.
Over the years, I have sampled many different kinds of straps, always
searching for what seems like the Holy Grail. In the search I have
bought and used straps from Canon, Nikon, Kenesis, Tamrac, Domke and
OpTec. The best I found were from Domke and OpTec, but they only
slowed the inevitable downward slide of the camera.
Until now. The product is the UPstrap,
and it’s owner and inventor is Al Stegmeyer.
Not produced by large corporations with design committees, a single
man in Florida has developed a product that will save millions in Chiropractic
bills. Photographers can again walk with shoulders horizontal.
his web page, Al describes the UPstrap as:
The SLR & RF camera straps use a single 62" piece of 1100
pound test 3/8" web which will adjust in length from 56" to
as short as 14" . The patented polymer double sided non-skid
pad is molded to the web. Standard metal sliders and plastic keepers
to the camera in the normal manner. “
It’s much simpler
than this. The UPstrap just works. Al Stegmeyer has built a better
mousetrap. Al makes and sells straps for different
weight cameras, camera bags, tripod bags, pretty much anything
you can sling over your shoulder. His testimonial page is a veritable
who’s who in photography.
The one shortcoming I could come up with was the lack of a quick release.
Al refused to produce one, until he was certain that your shoulder
would detach from the body before the quick release would. My understanding
is that he has accomplished this, and is now awaiting manufacture.
A disclaimer. I do not hang my camera from around my neck, so I don’t
know how this option works. I do know, as a shoulder hanging photographer,
that this will likely be the last camera strap I will buy.
Note by Uwe: I hang my cameras around the neck :-)