Tuesday, June 17, 2008

light as a feather

About 8 years ago I purchased my first SLR.  The guys at the studio cut out a picture of the camera and set it behind the counter where I could see it all the time.  I had a goal!  I slaved in that studio for about 4 months before I had saved enough for the camera.  Once I had all my money together I started bidding on eBay and after a few tries I won a camera.  A week or so later my Nikon N90s came to the doorstep!  opened the bubble wrap and there it was the best looking camera body I had ever seen!  And that was it ... just a camera body.  No lens, no manual, no strap, nothing.  When the description said body only they weren't kidding!  One of the guys in the studio loaned me a lens from an old manual Nikon FM-2 and I "borrowed" the strap from my dad's AE-1 out of the closet.  All was good.  A few weeks later I purchased a vertical grip and a lens for the camera and all was right in the world.

Fast-forward about 10 months and the family is getting out of the car in Yellowstone National Park.  The 4 day drive was finally over - we could start our adventure.  We hopped out and my dad popped open his case and went ... "so where is my camera strap?"  I sorta gave him a goofy grin and said, " it's on my camera."  My dad slowly responded with ... "so where is my camera strap?"  So, I figured I would explain why his strap was on my camera but he sorta cut me off with ... "so where is my camera strap?"  Ok ... so I may be dense but even I could see where this was going ... "um, your camera strap will be right back on your camera in a sec dad."  Now I am at the start of a brand new vacation with no camera strap.  I desperately headed for the gift shop (you know the places that used to charge like 12.00 for a roll of film to the sorry tourist who forgot to bring any along ... gotta love economics ... supply and demand baby ... supply and demand)  I was wandering around trying to find something to hook to my camera when I happened upon a gem.  They had some straps hanging in the camera section that looked promising.  I seem to remember them being like $29.00 (which considering B&H sole 'em at the time for around $14.00 I guess that is about right).  I read the packaging and decided to go for it.
At that time I had a crazy huge 28-200 mm lens that wasn't what I would describe as a light lens - compound that on the weight of the N90s and you had a tank!  My shoulder always hurt after long assignments with my dad's strap.  After the first day out in the park I knew I had made a good decision with the strap.  With the strap around my neck I didn't feel the weight of the camera at all.  My shoulders didn't hurt all week!  So here is the deal...

I used the Canon strap that came with my 20D for a few weeks and then found myself on an assignment with a 70-200 mm lens and immediately remembered why I loved the OP/TECH strap so much.  I ran down the street to a Ritz Camera (I know ... no comments needed) and picked up what I thought was going to be close to the same thing ... hope that wasn't my final answer.  Lets just say when I got home I ordered an OP/TECH immediately.  I figured all Neoprene based straps were the same ... WRONG!  Some have too little give while some (like the one from Ritz) have too much.  So here is the deal:

Ritz Neoprene Camera Strap: $10.00 (can't find the strap on their website)

My OP/TECH strap is the single most important non-electrical accessory I have purchased for my camera.  It reduces wear and tear on ME during weddings and is a pleasure to use.  I am not paid by OP/TECH - I just use the product and love it.  Check it out - I think you will like it!

No comments: