The Best Camera Strap in the World

From the people who brought you the best camera in the world…

Da dun da da dun!

I present…

The best camera strap in the world!

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This is the Leica 14312.

I believe that it first surfaced in the 1990’s but I invite a more knowledgeable Leicaphile to comment on its precise origins.  All that I know is that this is the best camera strap that I’ve ever used and I’m happy to inflate its reputation in true Leica tradition!

Psst!  Please don’t close this page just because you don’t own or potentially even despise Leica!  You may just find that this strap is perfect for your Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Fuji, whatever too!  Guess what?  Nobody else has copied this design yet!  So read on, weary-necked photographer!

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Many shooters seem to use their camera straps as a form of self-expression.  Leica shooters tend to sport multi-hundred dollar, handcrafted Italian leather straps which often match their hot shoe covers, soft shutter releases and other pointless jewelry that seem to oppose any concept of utilitarian stealth that they may have idealized when choosing Leica.

Other classic camera shooters choose bright, nostalgic wide woven “hippie straps” which loudly announce their presence and retro style.

The DSLR crowd who aren’t using fake vintage hippie straps to match their fake vintage film filters, are usually more utilitarian and will typically advertise their camera model in bold lettering on their straps.

Grandpas use bloated, ugly neoprene things with massive plastic Tinker Toy-like plastic fittings that resemble medical apparatuses.

If the 14312 had a nose, it would thumb it at these embarrassing fashion and function faux pas.

Oh Leica 14312, how do I love thee?!  Let me count the ways…

1–The 14312 is made of common, soft, strong black nylon that should last 30-40 years, has about the same carbon footprint as wool and matches every ensemble.  It isn’t made of dead animals and will not split and break with age like leather.  It will not irritate allergies or cause dermatitis like neoprene.  As such, it’s perhaps the only thing that Leica’s ever sold that wasn’t pretentious!

2–The 14312 is easily adjusted quickly without loose strap ends flicking about like the unsightly, untied shoe laces of an unkempt child.

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3–The 14312, in all the frills of simplicity, features a basic rubber neck pad.  Unlike every other manufacturers’ neck pad , the 14312’s pad is fixed in position so as not to be chased about clumsily, making one appear idiotic.  The neck pad isn’t bloated.  It features, in understated black-on-black, the word “LEICA” which is, as it were, enough said.

4–The 14312 is as compact as it is tidy.  The clips and length adjusters are small but effective.  Metal where metal is good, plastic where plastic is good.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Stows easily in a camera bag, does not block ones lens or rangefinder windows when lifting the camera to the eye, coils round the wrist if one chooses to hold it like that, wraps neatly around the camera body when not in use.

5–This is where I get excited.  My absolute favorite, completely indispensable feature of the 14312 are these fucking ingenious anchor clips.

Hippie straps are fast/easy to remove but their big medieval metal spring clips scratch the shit out of the corners of your top plate.  Metal keychain-style split rings will break your fingernails and patience trying to install or remove them.  Nylon strap loops can come undone (I’ve seen it) and also take a hot minute to install or remove.  But these guys, THESE GUYS are goddamn foolproof!

You’ve got the reliability of a metal split-ring but with open ends that are easy to install/uninstall.   The locking plastic cover also serves to protect the top plate from scratching/brassing.  INGENIOUS!

What would you expect to pay for this modern marvel of stylish grace and effective simplicity?!

$300?

$150?

Believe it or not, the 14312 one of the few Leica products that isn’t grossly overpriced!  You can buy one brand new in a collectible official Leica box for just $50 at B&H!  That’s right!  Just FIFTY U.S. DOLLARS!!!

WOW!  They must be crazy!  But not so crazy that if you call now, you’ll get an extra one for free. 😉

I currently own three 14312 but am slowly replacing all my 35mm camera straps with them.  How about you?  Are you sold on the Leica 14312?  Is it the best camera strap in the world?!

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11 thoughts on “The Best Camera Strap in the World

  1. Hi Johnny, Interesting, I use Nikon straps on everything, including my Leica’s. I like them because they don’t scream “expensive camera!” The Leica strap clips are pretty compelling, and at that price I might try one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t really buy the whole “steal me” thing that Leica shooters are always worried about. We know they’re costly but I don’t think that the average person, or probably the average thief even knows the name much less that it’s a luxury brand. And the fact that you’re wearing the strap should be a deterrent enough, I’d think! However, those bright yellow Nikon letters, to me, that’s screaming! There are some Nikons that are more costly than Leicas and everyone knows Nikon. But yeah, those clips are at the heart of why I love these straps. If you give it a try, let me know what you think! Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah, I gotta agree with you that this is probably the best all around camera strap out there. I was skeptical when I first saw one of these but became a believer after putting it on my camera—so easy and then after a day of carrying my camera around on this strap–so comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Funny – I agree with you completely about the idiocy of using a fancy ass strap that screams LOOK AT ME!! But I am a Leica and Fuji shooter and always dispose of the Leica straps – love the clips, hate that stiff rubber pad on the latter, and hate everything about those neoprene monsters Fuji gives out. Instead, I put Domke gripper straps on all my cameras; less than half the cost of the Leica straps; available in tan, dark blue, and black; available in a couple widths; easily adjustable; o rings with leather protectors for attaching to the camera; avavilble with swivels so they never get tangled; rubber gripper backing so they don’t slide around. Totally utilitarian, at reasonable cost, without any branding. Try ‘em; you’ll like ‘em. (Great bags too.)

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  4. I’ve tried a lot of straps because they usually come with the cameras I pick up. The problem is, I wear my camera across my shoulders, not just around my neck, and there aren’t a lot long enough for that. Why can’t thet make straps just a *little* bit longer???

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  5. This is the strap I currently have as well. (Very regretfully) sold the M6 TTL, but kept this because as written here, it is basically what a camera strap should be.

    Two things:
    – That locking mechanism is not fool-proof in my experience. It could have been my mistake, but it did slip away twice, luckily I did catch it in time, but it was worrying nevertheless and I don’t want to check it constantly.
    – With the Sony cameras (and also the M6 TTL) it did scratch the sides of the camera, I tried to add some gaffer tape near the mounting point, but is is not ideal.

    So right now, I just don’t use a strap at all on the street. I probably would, if I used the viewfinder at all times, or if I didn’t want to keep the camera in a bag when not shooting, although some people here already give a disapproving look even just seeing a camera hanging around.

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