No Need To Be Stiff Necked About it

No Need To Be Stiff Necked About it

I rarely feature old equipment in this column – after all I’m writing for a shop that wants you to buy new stuff. But this column is about older gear that I thoroughly recommend – because it has proven it’s worth again and again.  And it’s not expensive at all…

Dear old Op/Tech camera straps have been on the Camera Electronic sales racks for decades. I saw them when I first entered the shop as an employee in 2008 and they were still there when I retired in 2016. Not the same straps, I hasten to add – the stocks turned over regularly in the time period. I spent many a morning unpacking and racking up the various sorts of strap so that they were presented in an orderly fashion. The customers regularly re-arranged them into chaos. Writing for retail workers everywhere, here…

But the customers bought the straps. And I was one of the customers. I acquired the strap you see in the heading image way back when I was toting a DSLR. It was a professional one that weighted roughly the same as a Leopard tank with full ammo racks. I’d bought the camera secondhand and the strap that was included with it was the original maker’s one. It was a fine accessory, but not if you had it around your neck. The edges were raw nylon braid with the profile of a bandsaw blade. Even on a suit coat shoulder, the edge would fray up the cloth.

I reviewed the Op/Tech stand and selected the best rounded and padded strap they made. It was slightly complex, having the padded section detachable from the camera connectors – they clicked together with nylon buckles. This seemed unnecessary at the time but has since proved invaluable.

The strap was an instant success as my neck went from red back to pink. I could haul the big DSLR – and all subsequent mirror-less rigs – with ease, all day. I could suspend the newer ones with flip-down screens from my neck or shoulder without wanting to quit and go home early.

And the detachable centre-section? When I got into the studio I put the camera on a the studio stand and clipped off the padding. The sides fell out of the way and the whole thing was civilised.

I do hope CE still sell Op/Tech. If they don’t, set up a clamour for the padded ones to be restocked! I want some more for extra cameras.

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