I’m a bit crazy about film cameras at the moment and I’ve bought a few film cameras recently, one of them is a Konica Hexar AF. While my Konica camera is in really good condition, the camera strap it comes with looks pretty sad. So I want to buy a nice camera strap to replace it.
Unfortunately the Konica Hexar AF has a pretty narrow hole for the camera strap and most aftermarket straps aren’t narrow enough to fit through it. Then I came across “The Allfit Strap” from Deadcameras which is specially made for cameras like my Konica! And it looks great too! Hooray!
So I ordered the Allfit strap from them and it arrived just 10 days or so later from Portugal.
The Allfit Strap has quite plain and simple packaging. Basically it’s just a black pouch with the Deadcameras logo printed on it. Nothing fancy at all.
(Note: Deadcameras told me their straps sold at physical shops do come with a slightly different packaging which includes a box as well. But they decided to ship the internet orders without the box for logistic and other reasons)
The Allfit Strap is made of leather, pretty thick leather. The leather is of really nice quality. A thinner layer of leather wraps the main strap that acts as the shoulder pad and covers the strap’s sharp edges. The strap feels very soft and comfortable when you wear it around your neck.
Something I really like about the Deadcameras strap is that they are not only hand made but they are also made according to your preference. When I order the strap, I can choose the length of the strap, the colour of the little plastic dot on the strap, and also the leather colour as well. Actually they even asked if I want to keep the webbing the normal length or if I prefer to have them a bit longer for more adjustability. Each strap is pretty much tailor made to match your taste and requirement.
There is a little O-ring at each end of the strap which ties the loose end of the strap and keep it tidy. It also makes the strap a bit more secure.
While the Allfit strap was originally designed for cameras that doesn’t use split rings, like my Konica Hexar AF. Deadcameras also includes a pair of 16mm split rings and leather protection discs so you could also use the strap on camera that uses split rings to attach the camera strap.
They also include a spare colour dot pin just in case you lost one. All these little things just make you fall in love with the Deadcameras strap.
The Allfit Strap looks, feels and even smells fantastic. The workmanship is top quality and I believe the strap could last a very long time. If you are a long time user, you might remember I’ve reviewed the Artisan and Artist ACAM-280 strap a while ago. The Artisan and Artist strap is very nice, but apart from the Deadcameras’s plain packaging is nowhere as cool as Artisan and Artist’s orange cardboard box, I would say the Deadcameras straps are better than the Artisan and Artists straps in pretty much every single area. The leather is of better quality, softer, it’s more comfortable, looks better and the price is the same if not cheaper.
After I ordered my Allfit strap, I got in touch with the owner of Deadcameras, Ricardo Silva. I told him I want to do a review of his camera straps and he was kind enough to sent me a few other strap samples for me to review as well. The straps I received are The Nano Slim Strap, The Wrist Strap and The XL Strap. Let’s talk about the Nano Slim Strap first.
The Nano Slim Strap is the new additional to the Deadcamera catalogue. Basically, The Nano Slim Strap is a scaled down version of their The Silm Strap. It’s a minimal design leather strap. Unlike the Allfit Strap, it is completely made of leather and would only fit cameras with split rings. It’s designed for smaller cameras like Olympus Pen, Leica X, Sony RX1, and in my case I mounted it on a Panasonic GX8 with the Panasonic Leica 12mm f/1.4 and they match perfectly.
Just like the Allfit strap, the Nano Slim Strap also has padding that covers most of the strap to give you that extra smooth and soft feeling. I quite often use the Nano Slim Strap as a wrist strap and I can wrap it around my wrist easily.
But while the Nano Slim Strap could be used as a wrist strap, you probably should get one of their wrist strap instead if you are not intending to hang the camera around your neck.
Deadcameras make two types of wrist strap, The Wrist Strap and The Nano Wrist Strap. As you have probably guessed from the names, the Nano Wrist Strap is the smaller version and is designed for small cameras. The Wrist Strap is a bit longer and better suited to larger cameras. The Nano Wrist Strap has a “loop” strap connection but otherwise it’s very similar to The Wrist Strap. There is a large rubber O-ring for you to adjust the strap to fit your wrist. The quality of The Wrist Strap is just as good as the other Deadcameras straps, good quality leather, very well made. There really isn’t much I can complain about. If you are lucky enough to have a Leica M in your camera bag, Deadcameras’s The Wrist Strap would be the perfect wrist strap for your Leica. Just remember to order one with the red pin to match the red logo on your camera 😉
The last strap I want to talk about is The XL Strap. It’s one of the most expensive and also my favourite Deadcameras strap! The XL strap is designed for the larger and heavier cameras, such as full frame DSLRs.Because of that, the XL strap’s design is quite different to the rest of the Deadcameras straps.
Inspired by Volvo 122 (from 1950s)’s ribbed leather upholstery which is not only comfortable but also provides good support to the passengers, the XL strap has a ribbed shape strap design. Basically, the strap is made up of two narrow straps and then with a leather should pad holding them together. Compare to the normal non-padded straps, you won’t feel any sharp edges when you put the XL Strap around your neck as all the sharp edges are covered by the shoulder pad. Even the stitches are at the central recessed part of the strap so it won’t cause any discomfort when you wearing the strap around your neck or shoulder. The shoulder pad is made of calfskin and it is very very soft.
The XL Strap looks absolutely fantastic and it is easily the most comfortable strap I’ve ever used. Nothing else even come close. The shoulder pad feel so soft yet the strap appears to be very strong and tough. I have the XL Strap on my Nikon F3 for about a month now, and believe it or not, the XL Strap makes me want to pick up the F3 and go out shooting with it even more. Not that I need more reasons to shoot with my F3.
If you are looking for a nice strap for your SLR or DSLR, you really should check out the XL Strap.
Deadcameras is really a gem that not many people know about it….. yet (At least here in New Zealand). But with it’s fantastic quality, very reasonable price, beautiful yet practical design and their attention to details, I’m sure it’s just a matter of time Deadcameras will become a very well known brand.
Normally, my review would stop here. But because I’m so impressed by the Deadcameras straps, I did a little interview with Ricardo Silva (owner of DeadCameras) to find out a bit more about Deadcameras and the stories behind it.
Me: Hi Ricardo, I really love the design and the quality of your Deadcameras straps. Can you tell me how was Deadcameras started?
Ricardo: Well I had a old Pratika camera that had a really nice leather strap and I was wondering why I could not get those old school straps anymore. I had some experience with leather craft so I decided to make one and so I started.
Me: I’m glad you did that or otherwise there would be no Deadcameras straps! So why did you choose “Deadcameras” as your brand name? I have to say I found the name a bit weird when I first heard of it.
Ricardo: It was not my intention to name the straps Deadcameras. Deadcameras was the name I gave to my blog where I started selling the straps firstly for friends and then on facebook. I realized I needed a name for the straps but by the time the graphic design for the brand was ready, the name Deadcameras straps had spread to the point I did not want to loose the hype.
The name Deadcameras came from the perception 10 years ago, discussed on forums, that film was dead so all film cameras would end up obsolete, hence deadcameras. In a way they are dead, few are made these days.
Me: You just mentioned “film was dead”. Do you think film is really dead? I’ve been shooting a lot of film recently and I have a feeling that there are more and more people going back to film in the last few years. There are just something special that digital cameras can’t give you. What do you think
Ricardo: I think it is always possible to achieve the same results with digital as with film when we talk about the image rendering of the scene. Exceptions might be true in some niche areas like large format photography, because of digital sensor size constraints.
But to my eyes, the goal of digital is not to emulate the “film look” albeit such can be done. It is more logical to shoot film if the goal is to achieve that special look, natural to film. Now, where film differs largely from digital is mostly at the moment of capture. Film is expensive and unforgiving so film photographers take extra care preparing the scene and this slows the process.
On the other hand with digital, one can capture images that with film would not be possible, at least from an economical point of view. Film is more demanding hence more rewarding when one achieves positive results.
For such I think film is not dead, it will survive, just like other analog formats for recording data but it will remain a niche.
Me: Obviously you love film cameras and have quite a few of them. So what is your favourite film camera?
Ricardo: For me, the best camera ever made was and still is the Rolleiflex TLR. I don’t really need to justify for that. If you are lucky enough to get one, you will come to the same conclusion. The quality of the images it produces, the quality of the camera itself… They are magical tools.
Me: Is Deadcameras a one man company? Do you do everything yourself? Design, manufacture, daily admin…etc? That’s a lot of work to do!
Ricardo: Yes, it was started as a one man company but not so much these days. I depend on a lot of people to make it work. For instance, almost all the product photos you can see on the Deadcameras website where made by me, something I love to do but cannot afford to do anymore. The project is running, now it needs to grow, and I can´t do that without the help of others.
Me:Is there any project you really want to do? Whether it’s Dead Cameras related, or photography in general?
Ricardo: I am an architect that was committed to architecture and interior design for almost 20 years. Unfortunately these days, architects are human extensions of the computer, so I decided to stop there for a while.
Deadcameras was the oportunity to do something I also love to do, that is photography related.
If I can find me some time, I would like to do a Master´s degree in photography. After that I don’t know. Life is full of surprises.
Me: Ricardo, thanks for doing the interview. It’s really great to see someone like you who work on things you really enjoy doing. I wish you all the best and thank you for creating such wonderful camera straps!
Reviewer: Richard Wong
Richard is a multi-award winning wedding/portrait photographer based in Auckland, New Zealand. Richard’s website is www.photobyrichard.com
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