I have praised Barton1972’s braided wrist strap on many occasions. The Braidy is a work of art and is supple and stretchy. I still think it is a wonderfully comfortable and practical strap. Recently, though, I have obtained a Gordy leather strap which, I think, looks better than the Braidy and is much cheaper. It is just as practical.
The Gordy strap is made from California Latigo belt leather with a polished outer and a rawhide inner surface. This rougher inner makes for a firm grip on the wrist and results in amazing comfort. Unlike the Braidy straps, the Gordys have a rubber ring which can be pulled down until the strap is tight on the wrist with absolutely no chance of the camera falling.
I went for the small version. There are medium and large versions if you want a bit more leeway or have very large hands. I find the small is absolutely right and I have not needed to adjust the rubber ring.
The hallmark of the Gordy strap is the cord binding which comes in a big variety of colours. Being a Leica fan, I chose red to complement the red Leica dot. However, as you see here, the strap’s first outing has been on my new Sony RX1.
I prefer wrist straps to neck straps which are obviously longer and tend to get in the way. A good wrist strap such as the Gordy or the Braidy will hold the camera securely and is particularly suitable for compact cameras, including Micro Four Thirds, Fuji X series and the Leica M. The M, with a 35mm or 50mm Summilux attached, is getting on the heavy side and I have not completely made up my mind wether I prefer a wrist strap or a neck strap (in which case I prefer either the Barton1972 Braided Style XL or the A&A silk cord in long version). These longer straps enable the camera to be carried across the shoulder and resting against the thigh. It is safer, more convenient and looks less nerdy.
The standard Gordy, with split-ring attachment, is suitable for all semi-pro compacts and rangefinders with standard round strap lugs. It even fits some smaller compacts with an elongated lug (as on the Panasonic LX-7/Leica D-Lux 6) if you use a key or other lever to force the ring to open sufficiently. Some compacts (such as the Sony RX100) have very small fixing holes. To cater for these cameras, Gordy makes a complementary range of “string” straps which can be threaded through the lug and then pulled over the leather. You need to check which type is suitable for your camera.
Gordy is well-known for customer service and shipping from the Washington State, USA, factory is quick. This is a family business run by Gordon Coale and customers definitely feel wanted. Gordon’s daughter Jenny runs the web site and hosts a Tumblr blog for pictures of owners’ cameras. Every time you buy a strap she will write to ask you to send in a photograph. You can check out the blog here if you want to see what your camera will look like attached to a Gordy strap. It’s worth a visit in any case because there is endless photographic eye candy.
I have saved the best bit until last. Whereas a Braidy wrist strap costs £39 in the UK, the shipping price of a small Gordy strap is only $18 (or £11.65). Medium and Large straps cost an extra $1 or $2. Even with shipping the total cost is less than £20 and the package arrives within days. I have noticed, though, that a single strap arrives through the letter box with no extra charges. Two straps in the same package often get held up by HMRC and there is VAT and import duty to pay. So order ’em singly.
by Mike Evans, 10 May 2013
LAST WORD: GORDON COALE
“I used to say that each strap is handmade by a little old man (that would be me), or my faithful helper Kim. Well, things have been growing here at World Headquarters for gordy’s camera straps (still in my basement). Kim and I have been making the straps for several years but strap orders have increased to the level that we have had to bring on extra people. My son, Robby, now handles shipping and making all the leather strips, pads, buckles, tripod connectors, and strap bumpers. We have added a second strap assembler: Ethan. Kim has done an excellent job of bringing him up to the quality level our customers expect. Running the business side has gotten too much for one person and my oldest daughter, Jenny, has become my Office Manager. She puts the orders together and handles the books. I try and keep this train on the tracks. I still do special orders and I have been developing some new straps .” Gordon Cole