Short version: I love it, go get one! Slightly longer version, continue reading…
I’ve had an old leather strap on several of my cameras, including the M9. But a few months back it broke and since then I’ve been using the plastic Leica strap that came with the camera. Not bad, for a plastic strap, but it’s plastic…
So I ordered a 42″ leather strap from 595strapco (the ”classic” model in tan) and it arrived last week. The leather is thick (much thicker than the old one I had) and gorgeous. It was quite stiff at first but is already softening a bit. The edges are raw and at first quite sharp, but I rubbed them with a piece of brass (actually my Kaweco brass sport pen) to round them off.
The leather has already picked up a couple of scuffs and marks, I’m sure it will age beautifully. If you want a strap that stays pristine, this one might not be for you. Of course one could treat the strap with something to protect it more, like Chamberlain’s Leather Milk. That would also make it more supple.
At first the strap rings seemed a bit lighter than other straps I’ve used, but everything feels secure so I’m not worried at all. On the M9 the rivets do end up just at the camera body’s edge so there might be some brassing here in the future. If you don’t like brassing, 595 has some designs without rivets.
One huge difference between this strap and other straps I’ve used is that the length is fixed. So whatever length you get, you can’t change it. That had me thinking for a while, but I realized that I’ve never really changed the length on my straps, just adjusted them to be the right length and left them there. When I measured the strap I was using it was almost exactly 42″, so I figured that would be perfect for me. It’s long enough to carry the camera cross-body, and it’s easy enough to wrap around my wrist when I carry it in my hand.
The price was good, shipping was fast and I really really like the strap. If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills leather strap, check out 595strapco.