When it comes to camera straps I confess to owning a rare old connection. I have a particular weakness for Barton1972 braided neck and wrist straps and have examples in various colour combinations. I reviewed the standard black Braided Style strap in April 2012 and the new Yin Yang red-and-black strap in July this year (see photograph at the top of this article). I am also a great fan of the simple and inexpensive leather wrist straps from Gordy.
I have always felt, though, that a red stripe on a black strap would particularly complement a Leica M. And now, we have not one but two new examples to tempt the wallet. First is the boringly named ACAM-310 from Artisan & Artist. Like previous A&A straps it is covered in woven silk but, instead of being round-section, it is flat. The black and red version, shown here, looks really good but, if you are feeling less adventurous, it comes in all red or black. I particularly like the padded leather terminators that help prevent the split rings from rubbing on the camera body.
The principal snag with A&A straps is price. Only yesterday I saw a similar flat-silk A&A strap in the Leica store in London at £160, an eye-watering price for a camera strap. By comparison, an all-leather braided strap from Barton1972 costs £69 (top photograph).
To my mind, an even better solution if you want a red-stripe strap is to go to Harry Benz in Toronto. His Urushi leather strap is made to very high standards and, like the A&A, has padded protectors at either end to prevent any abrasion by the split ring. I prefer this approach to the soft leather flap that Barton1972 uses to protect the camera since after a time it can become rather tatty. Despite the high quality of workmanship, the Harry Benz Urushi $139 Canadian, approximately £90.
Frankly, any of these straps, in whatever colour combination, are a vast improvement on the standard offering that comes with Leica Ms.
So far I haven’t had the chance to handle a Harry Benz Urushi but I have now ordered one (click of the shutter release to George James for putting me on this track) to go with my latest little toy, Neil the M7. I will do a full review when it finds its way here from Toronto.