Last year Levi’s teamed up with Hong Kong magazine New Monday on an exclusive denim camera strap that was included for free with an issue of the magazine. The strap was produced with the same materials used to manufacture Levi’s jeans and came in both red and black. You can find the straps for sale on eBay for around $20-$30.
If you have an unwanted silk scarf lying around, you can combine it with some key rings to turn it into a stylish camera strap. All you need are some key rings and a sewing machine (and some leather if you want extra style points). Stacie over at Scarves.net has written a step-by-step tutorial on how you can make your own.
How to Make a Camera Strap From a Scarf [Scarves.net]
It’s not just big tech companies engaged in patent wars: Luma Labs has discontinued their Luma Loop and Luma LoopIt camera straps after Black Rapid was awarded a patent for camera slings with sliding connections on November 1st. In an open letter to customers, the company writes,
We did our research, consulted our lawyers, and found more than enough prior art related to this concept.
[...] the idea of a sliding camera sling isn’t an amazing new invention. It’s just a really good idea that’s been around for a while and which has been iteratively developed. Neither we nor our lawyers believed that the USPTO would grant a patent for the claims related to this concept. It was a surprise, then, when our competitor was granted a patent covering the concept on November 1st, 2011. To say that we’re disappointed that the USPTO couldn’t find the prior art around the idea is an understatement.
Not wanting to engage in a costly legal battle, Luma Labs has decided to killed off their main products. Despite this setback, the company is planning on sticking around: it’s working on a new strap concept that will be released in December.
An open letter to our customers, past and future [Luma Labs]
Thanks for the tip, Kim!
Eddie had a hard time finding a camera strap he liked, so he decided to make his own in the style of some rifle slings he found online. The slings were weaved together using 550 Paracord (parachute cord), which has a breaking weight of 550 pounds. He found some for sale for $7 at his local army-navy store, and weaved together his own rugged DIY camera strap.
There are a number of products out there that connect your strap to your DSLR via the tripod mount, allowing it to swivel, but taking up the mount is an inconvenience for photographers who actually use it regularly with their tripod. San Francisco-based Custom SLR (makers of the C-Loop) has come up with a solution that offers the best of both worlds: the M-Plate.
Here’s a weekend project idea: personalize your camera’s wrist strap by making it look like a friendship bracelet! All you need is some embroidery thread and some time. Simply repeat a simple knot over and over and your strap will magically be covered with a neat repeating pattern. Head on over to KEH for the step-by-step tutorial.
Camera Wrist Strap Cover: How-To [KEH Camera Blog]
Now here’s a camera accessory you don’t see every day: over in Japan there’s an artisan named Takuya Okamoto who handcrafts unique camera straps out of crocodile hide. The straps cost a whopping $1400 apiece.
Crocodile Hide Camera Straps (via Map Camera via tokyo camera style)
We’ve seen all kinds of ideas for keeping track of your camera’s lens cap when it’s not being used, including velcro, special mounts, fashionable pouches, and even a retractable cap, but Nikon has come up with the best idea yet: a lens cap that attaches to camera straps! A patent filed by the company in 2009 and published yesterday shows a lens cap that can easily clip onto a strap when not in use — a simple solution to a small problem that apparently many entrepreneurs have been interested in solving. Sorry, but Nikon wins this one.
Have an unloved camera strap lying around? You can repurpose it as a strap for a shoulder bag! This could be a good upgrade for a bag that doesn’t fit very nicely over your shoulder, or could be a fun gift idea for your photography-lovin’ girlfriend or wife. You can find a tutorial on how to do this over on Photojojo.
The LoopIt is a new camera sling by Luma designed to be smaller, lighter, and more affordable than the Luma Loop. Both slings use a lanyard and connector that slide along the camera strap and connect to cameras via any available strap mount point. The push-to-release swivels are manufactured at the same factory that invented the swivel used by the US military, with tolerances that supposedly exceed the ones used in combat.