11.10.2018

What FujiFilm gets just right that all the other camera makers royally screw up on. It's a big deal and it may affect the way you interface with your camera. #Scandal.


I've endured the same insult from camera company after camera company. If there was ever a way to decrease your pride of ownership just enough to give you pause it's this. It's a side effect of relentless and sometimes tasteless branding...

It's those damn camera straps that come packed into the boxes with our brand new cameras. I've bought four Panasonic cameras in the last year and each time I am disappointed and aesthetically insulted when I pull out the plastic wrapped, nylon camera strap that has bright yellow on it and huge white, embroidered letters, all over it, contrasting with its black background. They are nothing less than a garish advertisement for a camera you've already bought.

The Nikon straps are particularly ugly. They stand out like a beacon which says of the wearer, "I have absolutely no taste when it comes to carrying my camera in public." But hey, Canon users, don't get smug because Canon straps are just as ugly and poorly visually designed as most of the rest of the camera makers. I'm guessing the camera makers were all sitting around in velour hip hugger jeans in the 1970's, Dingo boots up on the conference table, and someone said, "Well, we'll always be including camera straps, let's just buy tens of millions of these groovy and far out straps with our logos in big, bright, poorly chosen typestyles. That way we'll have a fifty year supply and we'll so beat inflation." And the whole design group agreed and then went out to celebrate with Boone's Farm apple wine and PinĂ¥ Coladas. Leaving generations of camera buyers either so embarrassed about the straps they are provided that they went elsewhere and fostered a whole third party industry aimed at making better camera straps; or alternately their design decision created a public eyesore as people with horrible taste just ignored the hideous type and offensive colors of the straps and used them anyway, thinking, I am sure: "Well, I already paid for this I might as well use it." 

I'm guessing camera companies got together and had a contest for who could not only design and produce the most visually offensive shoulder strap, but whose oafish customers they could convince to actually wear them along with the camera. I'm guessing Nikon for the overall loss...

I was already stripping my understated, all black Tamrac camera strap off another camera to use on the new Fuji XT-3 in the house when I opened up the box to see the camera and check out the accessories. I was stunned and elated when I found the included strap. It's black on black. Not too wide. And the only branding on the strap is a discreet and almost invisible debossed logo on the non-slip strip of material that rests on one's shoulder. I had to turn the strap in the light to even see the debossed logo.

The strap is just about perfect. From an aesthetic perspective it IS perfect. It's quite enough that Fuji has their logo in white against the black of the finder assembly on the front of the camera. They didn't feel the (desperate ???) need to festoon it in a heavy handed, heavy metal manner all over the strap.

Had more makers focused on making their straps discreet and functional accessories instead of embarrassing shoulder mounted billboards (complete with "exploding balloon" logos) it's likely that abominations like the Black Vapid straps would never have hit the market. So many cameras would have been saved from accidental destruction. So many owners spared the agony of a camera getting loose from the tripod mount....

Kudos to Fuji for having good taste and for finally being one of the cameras manufacturers to provide us with a usable accessory. Black strap. Demure debossing. Perfect size and width. Well done.

Now admit it. One of the first things you do after you open the Nikon or Lumix box is to toss out (into the trash) the abomination of a strap that comes with your new camera and get online to shop for something that doesn't scream out, "I'm a cheap-ass moron with very bad taste." 

Thank you Fuji for getting a small detail correct and, by doing so, bringing a genuine smile to my face.


29 comments:

Paul Bradforth said...

Kirk, I have to say kudos to Olympus in that case—I recently bought a PEN F, and the strap that came with it sounds just like your Fuji one. Plus the little grippy bit grips on *anything* including shiny waterproofs. Best, Paul.

DrMickey said...

No photo of the Fujifilm strap? Since I may never buy one of their cameras I doubt I will ever see one of their straps.

Rick said...

Agreed, the garish strap advertising (strapertizing?) seems to be a way to visually declare market dominance. i.e., at any public gathering drawing photographers there is Nikon, there is Canon and there is a scattering of weirdos with neither of the above. Effective, if the opposite of stealthy.

My last (counts on fingers) five cameras purchased I left the strap in the box in lieu of a modular system connecting at the tripod socket. Now I can have a wrist strap, single sling or double sling as needed in seconds and when using a tripod or transporting, there is no strap to snag and fling the camera to the floor.

typingtalker said...

These straps are free advertising. If they want to use me as a billboard they need to pay me.

Bonaventura said...

Amen brother. All my 35 mm and digital cameras get Upstrap retrofits In fairness, the old Hasselblad 50x series straps were also in logoless, basic black and grippy...of course they also fit no other camera on earth and, like all Hasselblad accessories, cost too much. Still, mine is still looking unobtrusive and going strong after 26 years.

Patrick Corrigan said...

I don't toss mine in the trash. I keep them to include when I sell the camera. Of course, I don't actually use them.

Gordon R. Brown said...

See also Leica straps without screaming logos. The red dot on the camera however...

Jack said...

I never unpack those "billboard" camera straps. They stay in the plastic wrap and are passed on to the next owner when I sell the camera. I have one I like that moves from old camera body to latest camera.

That changed when I moved to Fuji. Now I have 2 straps I like.


Cheers

Mark A. said...

Last time I used a shoulder strap was about ten years ago.
I use wrist straps that I made myself with leftover stuff from a sewing project. Yes, those straps scream "myog" when you look too closely, but they are simple, black and exactly like I want them to be.
Don't rely on some stupid (did I just write that word?) camera makers for things like that, empower yourself!

Anonymous said...

You are so right about idiotic Canon & Nikon straps that it's not even funny. I have recently came across this blog devoted exclusively to photo straps:
https://www.nicholasgooddenphotography.co.uk/london-blog/2014/8/11/best-leather-camera-straps
and found it extremely helpful. Other readers of your blog may find it of interest as well. We are constantly bombarded by advertisements, but we do have a choice.

HR said...

"It's black on black. Not too wide. And the only branding on the strap is a discreet and almost invisible debossed logo on the non-slip strip of material that rests on one's shoulder. I had to turn the strap in the light to even see the debossed logo."

That sounds just like the Olympus strap that came with my PEN-F.

HR said...

In the early 1970s I bought a Mamiya-Sekor 1000 DTL SLR. Back in those days SLRs usually came with 1/4" wide, plastic straps. I was in high school at the time and bought one of those 1.5" wide multi-colored fabric straps that were common in those days. Very garish. They looked sort of like a guitar strap. I have a photo of one, but I don't see a way to post it here. You probably remember them. :-)

Rodney said...

I wish camera makers designed strap connectors so that it was easy to attach a strap when you wanted to carry the camera around and easy to remove the strap when you want to mount the camera on a tripod. I use the Peak Design system for this purpose but it’s really a camera maker failure.

amolitor said...

I am practically unique in the world of cameras, it seems. I don't use a strap at all, I just hang onto the camera.

Anthony Alongi said...

I am a big fan of Peak Design products including their straps and connector system. I most often use their wrist strap now although the "leash" is always packed as well. Super-simple to switch from camera to camera with their quick release connector system. I DO NOT work for Peak Design - just a huge fanboy. Take a look (and if you are so inclined, have a look at their capture clip as well - for walking about with a backpack or a sling it is simply brilliant. It has changed not only how but also how much I carry my cameras around.

Eric Rose said...

I put my Nikon D700 strap on my Leica M4. Just to piss off both camps ;)

Nicolas Woollaston said...

Nikon knew how to make a more tasteful strap 30 years ago when I bought a 601, not too narrow, not too wide, it said Nikon in white on black, but just once in moderate sized letters, no shouting. It also annoys me how car manufacturers turn us into mobile advertisements - some vehicles have Ford, etc written across their ends so large they have to make the vehicle bigger to fit the writing.

Paul said...

I think it’s a ploy by camera strap makers. They sell garish ones to camera manufacturers to tout the camera manufacturers brand knowing users will buy another strap to avoid the advertising - result almost twice as many straps in existence than needed.

Bob F. said...

I've always hated the traditional neck straps-the camera bounces off my chest as I walk and I never could find a convenient way to carry it side-saddle. The absolute best $20 I ever spent on photography was for an Altura BlackRapid knock off. The camera rides comfortably on my hip and is never in the way. And it doesn't shout "Nikon" in big yellow letters.

Chalaphan said...

Hi Kirk, you are in honeymoon period with Fuji. Even the camera's strap looks superior to other camera bands. Wait until one day you wake up and then you realise that it just a camera strap. It has zero effect to the final pictures you get from the camera.
But enjoy the camera anyway. Photographer never has enough cameras, including me.

Anonymous said...

I admit it, I never use a commercial strap. Instead, I use a cheap black wrist strap that attaches to the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera. That way I can hold the camera steady and safe, always in hand ready to shoot. That said, I only use smallish cameras.

John W said...

Years ago I discovered Domke straps. I've never used an included strap since. I've never even looked at the strap in my Fuji XT-1 box ... but now that you mention it ....

Nate said...

Too funny, I have no qualms with rockin' my numbers-matching Nikon camera-strap or even my free optional black on yellow Nikon strap. :-)

Kodachromeguy said...

Hi Kirk,
In my not-humble opinion, the worst abomination for camera straps were the braided Banjo-style straps sold to amateurs with their camera kits in the 1970s. ("You need this strap for comfort.") The straps themselves were not too bad if you could stand the colors. But the steel D-rings and steel clips were positioned such that they were guaranteed to scuff or gouge your camera on the upper left and right edges. And if you were careless when putting the camera on a table, the bulky strap with steel snap would swing around and whack the lens. At garage sales, you still sometimes see one of these kits with a pretty decent body and 50mm lens, the banjo strap, and a low-end 70-210mm zoom.

At the other extreme, the leather strap fad has moved to extremes. Plenty of "designer" straps are sold at over $100 each. But the Chinese entrepreneurs sell equivalent ones via eBay for $15. The round braided designer straps must be a bad design choice for comfort if you will be carrying the camera for any length of time. (Confession: I'd like the red Leica leather strap for my M2, but at >$150, I'll pass.)

David said...

Kodak had that system with the SLR/n camera. There maybe a pattent on it stoping others.

Chris said...

The all-time worse ones are the Olympus straps. I seem to disagree with someone above. Stiff and how they cut into the flesh. I also dislike straps that are too grippy. To me it is always job#1 to get rid of the supplied strap. I use Optech - cheap, modular, and customizable with no big, heavy metal buckles.

Tom Barry said...

I have Domke Grippers on every camera I use, except two thin, plain black leather straps I got from Olympus that are on my old XZ-1 and E-P1. For me, the Grippers are the best.

Collin Orthner said...

I use a Sharpie pen to colour in the white letters, so now I get dark gray on black, which looks almost classy! Simply re-apply as you see fit.

Unknown said...

I have four Fujis at the moment and I couldn't even tell you what the straps look like - they've never left the box because every camera I own smaller than an RZ-67, gets hooked to a Leica nylon strap (model 14312). Discrete, grippy where they need to be, flop out of the way when you raise the camera, secure when attached but quick to unhook, and they last pretty much forever - what's not to like?