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Saturday, June 10, 2006

T.O.P. Sponsors: UPSTRAP

Jay Maisel makes me feel a little bit better. I only met Jay, an imposing, cigar-chomping, genial guy and one of the top commercial photographers of his generation, one time, when he and Art Kramer were roaming around Photo East together getting into mischief. But his attachment to his Upstrap camera strap—he actually calls it "the single best photo accessory I have ever had!"—makes me feel a little bit better. I am keen to an almost comical degree about my Upstraps, and it comforts me to be in such good company.
They're not the only game in town, of course. If you carry your camera around your neck, the Op-Tech straps are very comfortable, and clothesline works. I can't carry cameras around my neck, because too many years with too much weight there has left my neck permanently sensitive. I'm stuck with hanging my cameras from one shoulder.

Why do the Upstraps do this so well when so many other straps with little doohickeys in the middle don't work as well? No idea. Don't care. What I care about: an available supply of Upstraps until I die.

The key to how much you'll like these things, I think, is how many hours you've logged with a camera hanging from a strap on your shoulder. Slipping, adjusting, hitching it back up, hunching your shoulder, leaning sideways, worrying about the camera when you bend down or reach for something, recovering from the occasional slip when the camera comes off your shoulder and you catch it in the crook of your elbow. It makes you tense, and it's as annoying as a cloud of gnats—and the Upstrap doesn't do any of it. The Upstrap just stays up. True to its name. How? Again: don't care.

The expression is overused, but this is a no-brainer. Even if you've never seen or tried one of these things you can safely go buy one for every one of your cameras and bags. They work.

And hey, they help bring you The Online Photographer. What more do you want? You can find the link in our Sponsors List on the left.



Anonymous Igor I. said...

Uhm... I keep wondering if there's something wrong with me. Maybe it's because I am not a pro? The thing is, I always wear the strap over my shoulder AND neck. It never slips off and swings quite a bit less.
Now please tell me why I shouldn't do it.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

You should do anything you want to! Anything that works for you is great. I never cared to carry anything that way, but it's entirely an individual thing.


9:58 PM  
Anonymous ken tanaka said...

I think I may be one of the few people that really doesn't like these straps. And i really don't like them at all.

First, for the sake of your sponsors, I will say straight away that these straps work absolutely as advertised. Nothing easily escapes these little black hole-like rubber pads.

Since I have quite narrow shoulders I'm naturally drawn to anything that might improve my sherpa capacity. So largely on the strength of broad Internet endorsements (such as this) I bought two of these straps last fall. After perhaps two months of use, however, I decided to restore my cameras' original straps. While the UpStraps did keep the camera secure on my shoulder their large, heavy wads of rubber drove me berserk. While doing walk-around shooting I most often wrap the strap around my arm, something not terribly comfortable to do with an UpStrap. When shooting on a tripod the lump dangled and thumped between the legs. I also found the UpStraps rather uncomfortable to use on my Canon 1 bodies. The lump is permanently welded to a specific place on the strap. That it cannot adapt to load shifts, and that it's so relatively narrow, can make it uncomfortable when used on a heavier camera.

Actually, I find my standard Canon straps to be just about perfect. Comfortable, wide, tacky enough to stay put, light and flexible enough to be unobtrusive. I couldn't care less if they display the camera brand.

To each his/her own, eh?

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Nicolai said...

FWIW, I whole-heartedly second this recommendation. I bought one of each the large and small straps to try and I'm going to order more to put on every normal camera I own. They're incredible with a single camera and nothing short of brilliant for juggling two bodies at once (where I otherwise miss shots trying to keep the equipment intact).

As you said, they simply work. Really, really well.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Donncha said...

That sounds like a good purchase! I carry my 20D in my hand with the strap wrapped around my wrist. It's too heavy for me to carry around my neck, but this could be very useful for those times when I need to use both hands!


3:44 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

One more satisfied customer. They definitely do work. I now have UPstraps for both SLRs (one film, one digital) and the Bessa. "The Camera Strap" is now a *solved* problem for me.

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why Upstrap doesn't sell its products on European webshops? Ordering on USA webshops is really a problem (more taxes, shipping costs, etc) for an European.

8:23 AM  

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