Camera straps have always been a personal thing for me. I find one I like and I stick with it for as long as possible. My favourite used to be a chunky Nikon NPS strap I got about 15 years ago. It stuck with my main camera as I upgraded for about a decade, then it broke. Now I use the strap that came with the Nikon D2h, and Peak Design anchors so I can use it with all my cameras.
For some people, though, there are no readily available straps that just really feel right. For photographer Nick Mayo, that meant making his own out of an old leather belt. It’s how he makes all his camera straps. In this video, Nick shows how he makes them from recycled belt leather.
It’s a video that Nick’s had a lot of requests for. So, he went all out. At 37 and a half minutes, it seems rather long just to show how he makes his straps. But he does go over some valuable information and tips to help make the best strap you can.
If you just want to get straight into the making, skip ahead to 13 minutes. And if you do skip the beginning, that’s where Nick talks about all the different items you’ll need and why.
- 01:27 – Leather Belt
- 07:10 – Leather Soap
- 08:28 – Leather Punch
- 08:40 – Hammer
- 09:00 – Heavy Duty Needle and Wax Thread
- 10:24 – Pliers
- 10:44 – Ruler & Tailors Tape
- 11:22 – Split Rings
- 12:06 – Cutting Mat
- 12:15 – Knife or Razor Blade
- 12:30 – Pen
- 12:32 – Wood Block
- 13:29 – Making the Belt
- 32:59 – Leather Hole Punch Tool
Belts come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, lengths, patterns and styles. Nick starts by telling us some of the benefits and pitfalls of different types of leather. Aside from the aesthetics of various types of leather there’s the construction of the belt. Bonded leather vs solid leather, for example, will play a large part in how long your strap will last.
Nick talks about the different types of belt for quite a while, but it’s important information to know. You don’t want your strap breaking when you least expect it to see your camera drop to the ground.
It’s an awful lot of work, but it’s worth it if you want your camera strap to have that personal touch. You can cut it to fit exactly how you like. The right length and width to give you the comfort you want.
For me, I think I’ll stick with my D2h strap for a while longer.