Cecilia Camera Strap
Reviewed by David Ondrik
I thought it’d be hard to write much about a camera strap, so it was with some trepidation that I opened the Priority Mail envelope containing the Cecilia strap that I’d been waiting for. Straps have not played a large role in my photography gear as I’ve mostly shot with larger film cameras that don’t strap well (or so I thought). The leather strap from the late 1970 that came with my father’s Canon A-1 was now attached to a Mamiya C330, but I’d never considered replacing the strap that came attached to my Digital Rebel.
I bring up the old strap because I was immediately reminded of it when the Cecilia q'enqo alpaca wool and black leather gorgeousness slid from the chipboard envelope. Like all good camera straps, the geometric pattern and color choices are a throwback to 1970s styling, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The business-card sized piece of cardboard attached let me know that the alpaca wool is not dyed, thus the earthy color scheme. The black leather was supple and felt surprisingly substantial.
I was impressed.
It took less than a minute to replace the strap on my Rebel, after which I wandered downtown Portland to see what I thought of it. The strap was light and airy over my shoulder. Admittedly the Rebel is very light, but I hardly noticed it on my tour. The leather of the Cecilia strap moved smoothly every time I raised my camera for a shot. It was really great, and pointed out that a strap can actually make using your gear more pleasant. I had never thought of this before, but the rubbery coating on kit-straps is very grabby and less pleasant.
A borderline absurd test of the strap came a few days later when I attached it to my mid-1970’s Mamiya RB67, a five pound hunk of metal and glass awesomeness. The Cecilia strap, and most modern camera straps, aren’t made to attach to the metal lugs on the RB, so I had to mangle another strap to retrieve the required lug-clips — an easy conversion. I’d never used a strap with this camera, and the set up was almost the opposite of light and airy. As I walked around Northwest Portland, I was concerned that the leather would not be up to the task and the clips would slide loose. Over two hours later it was clear I had nothing to worry about. Everything stayed attached, and the strap worked like a champ, although it is a little narrow for long-term comfort with the RB.
I expect that most people don’t replace the brand-emblazoned camera strap that comes with new cameras. This is a shame, as the kit strap is a lot like the kit lens — serviceable, but better options will improve your experience. At first glance it may seem a little expensive, and it is, but you get what you pay for. The Cecilia strap is well made of quality materials. I’d expect it to last over 30 years, just like my father’s old strap. And that’s a great value.
Buy a Cecelia Strap here.
David Ondrik lives and works in Portland, Oregon.
Check out his website at Bromide Drag.