Back in the day, when I shot with DSLRs, I was sporting some honking big camera straps. It wasn’t by choice; it was by necessity! I was carrying a Canon DSLR, battery grip, and big Canon L lenses. All that glass weighed me down, and a camera strap was essential for optimal comfort. Not that it worked.
Most camera straps that ship with cameras are bulky, don’t breath naturally and are hideous to look at. Plus, I stopped shooting with big cameras and lenses as I developed neck and back issues. These issues were the typical moans and groans most photographers go through. But for me, it was ruining my love of photography.
That was when I made the jump to Fujifilm mirrorless cameras – and my love of photography bloomed once again.
With a smaller, lighter, and far more aesthetically pleasing camera and lens kit, my next move was to find the best strap. I tried many and discarded most – there were only a few that I regarded as suitable. You see, for a mirrorless set-up like a Fujifilm X-E4, Fujifilm X100V, or my beloved X70, you don’t need a big honking strap.
You need a strap that is proportioned perfectly for Fujifilm – stylish, comfortable, neat. My mate and Fuji X Aus community member Harmeet obviously had the same thoughts as he has developed a small, bespoke range of leather camera straps ideal for Fujifilm shooters. The brand is HG Leather Craft, and I am so happy to see someone like Harmeet take the plunge to offer a premium product to photographers like us.
I was lucky enough to pick up one of the HG Leather Craft Camera Wrist Straps in blue. And I gotta say, it’s a gorgeous piece of homemade kit with a pro-grade finish. Let me walk you through the key specs:
HG Leather Craft Camera Wrist Strap Specs
- It is currently available in Blue, Green, and Red.
- The strap is 100% handcrafted by Harmeet.
- They are crafted with Maya Leather from Conceria Il Ponte, Italy.
- The leather is sourced from a local Australian supplier.
- The wrist strap is 24cm in length and 1.7cm wide.
- The single 16mm o-ring fits all standard lugs and loops
- Included with the strap is a leather disc to fit over the lug before you attach the strap.
HG Leather Craft Wrist Strap Build Quality
Now blue, green and red are not your typical go-to colours for leather camera straps. But these are not bright flashy colours. The colours are softer in tone and don’t take away from the grain of the leather.
As for the leather itself, it is locally sourced Maya Leather that’s only around 2mm thick and has a super-fine grain. It’s super soft and supple, but you can tell it will age gracefully. The leather has a small amount of elasticity – it stretches but instantly pulls back its natural shape.
I like how the HG Leather Craft Wrist Strap is instantly comfortable to wear. A lot of leather straps take a long time to soften and feel supple. The edges are finished to prevent unnecessary fraying. You could wear this strap all day long and not experience any discomfort.
The strap features a small leather loop to adjust the size of the straps loop or to cinch it to your wrist. The small loop and the main strap has the HG logo embossed into the surface. The HG Leather Craft Wrist Strap features a second layer of leather at the business end to secure the 16mm o-ring. The four layers of leather are glued and stitched to ensure a strong connection point.
I really appreciate the use of a 16mm o-ring compared to a 20mm or larger one. Fujifilm lugs on the older cameras (such as my X70) are small and larger rings don’t spin freely. And the addition of a little disc of leather to protect your camera body is also appreciated.
The HG Leather Craft Range
For as long as I’ve known Harmeet, he’s been an industrious fellow. He runs a YouTube channel where he documents his travels, photography, and experiences as a visual creative. The HG Leather Craft business is a new endeavour that already looks polished and professional.
Be sure to check out his site, and while you are there, check out his other products.
If you want something both unique, handmade, and highly functional, check out the Camo Camera Wrist Strap that is a little wider and longer than the one I have. Plus, for those who love Peak Design attachment systems, the strap features a PD connector ready securely crafted into the strap. This strap would be ideal for the X100 series or even a larger camera like the X-T4 or X-Pro range.
But the good times don’t stop there as HG also has a long neck strap option. The best bit is that you can choose from a range of strap lengths (90, 100, 110, 120cm), and the price increases proportionately with the strap size. You only pay for what you get. The strap is currently available in a natural leather finish and features a Peak Design connector on each end. It’s the ideal strap for larger Fujifilm camera and lens combos.
The last product currently available on the site is an HG Leather Craft 6-Slot SD Card Holder. It’s a neat and stylish-looking SD card holder that folds in half and snaps shut with magnets. It holds six-card and has larger pockets to store other small items. It looks gorgeous and provides a slimline card wallet – I hope he makes these to match the strap colours one day.
Customise, Customise, Customise
We all love bespoke products, but what if you could take that uniqueness to the next level? What if you could customise the strap to suit your specific needs – or just to stand out from the crowd?
Harmeet is completely open to various customisation options to develop a one-of-a-kind camera strap if necessary. Being able to customise a camera strap to suit your needs is essential. We are all unique in how we carry our Fujifilm cameras, how we like to shoot, and how we like to look. If you want an extra-long neck strap or a strap with 0-rings instead of PD clips, you can talk to Harmett and discuss these options.
The Final Verdict on HG Leather Craft Camera Straps
Throughout my career as a photographer and gear reviewer, I’ve come across a lot of examples of truly horrible camera strap designs and ideas. Some of them are just stupid and obviously created by people that have never had to carry a camera all day.
‘And these days more than ever it is important to support local businesses wherever we can.‘
The beauty of the handmade leather straps from Harmeet at HG Leather Craft is that they are the real deal. They have been designed, handcrafted, and tested by Harmeet – a photographer and videographer. He is a Fujifilm lover and a part of the Australian Fujifilm community – he knows what we like. Harmeet ought to be congratulated for doing what many of us dream of doing; making our own leather camera strap perfectly tailored to our Fujifilm kit. I know I have thought about it but lack the skill, time and patience.