Lance String Loop Camera Strap
Reviewed by Michael Sebastian
When Fraction editor and fellow gadgeteer David Bram asked me to review the Lance Camera Strap, my first thought was that the world would surely continue its desultory orbit without another camera strap in the universe. But, as it happened, I was looking for a new strap for my X-Pro1. Presto! DB gets his review; you get the questionable benefit of my wisdom; and I get 40 bucks’ worth of strap, plus shipping, for my trouble. Consider yourselves disclaimed.
Pity the makers of camera straps, as they struggle to move product to curmudgeons like me, in a market more saturated than a post-hurricane bayou in St. Tammany Parish. I’ve lost count of the number I’ve tried and discarded over the years. Each has been deficient in some respect, so I’ve found something to hate in all of them. How, then, to solve this vexing first-world conundrum?
Lance straps are made of a soft, round, woven polyester cord about a half inch (~1.25 cm) thick. I don’t recall many other round straps out there; too bad, as an edgeless strap makes for a gentler ride. The cord is spliced back onto itself in a tight loop at its hardware-attachment points, without stitching or glue; the splice is finished with a neatly-applied string over-wrap. Nice touch. The strap looks sturdy enough to handle any camera whose mass wouldn’t fracture your spine.
The straps are available in a variety of man-colors – no “aubergine” here – and in fixed or adjustable lengths up to 60”. (You can also custom-order your desired length.) Furthermore, you get your choice of attachment hardware: split O-rings for heavier, lug-equipped cameras, or nylon string-loop attachment via quick-release fasteners for a universal fit, or for smaller cameras without lugs.
The strap I received was a 48-inch fixed-length string-loop version. For those of you who aren’t built like an NBA center or a Smart Car, that’s plenty long enough to wear across your chest. But, with my cotton-bale torso, the camera rode up well into my armpit. I suspect the 60” version would do me proud; I tried mine as a neck, shoulder (uncrossed), or wrist strap instead.
On the neck, the Lance was very comfortable, due to its round shape and soft material. I don’t much care for neck straps, since they allow the camera to bounce off my sternum or abdomen with each step, and who wants to carry an anvil by his neck all day? But as an uncrossed shoulder strap, that smooth round cord that is so comfortable across the neck wants to roll down your arm rather than grab your shirt and hold on. An uncrossed shoulder strap really needs a grippy undersurface to stay in place, at least on my shoulder.
Therefore, I have deployed this Lance as an exuberantly-long wrist strap, with the excess coiled up my arm like a languid python. The wrist-length version (10.5”/~27 cm) should be just the ticket if you like wrist straps; I’m not fond of those, either, because eventually you want to use the dominant/camera hand for something else, like going upside the head of an obstreperous child, or drawing one’s Glock from a pocket or purse. The camera is then left to dangle, banging depreciatingly against skull or muzzle. Not good.
Furthermore, the string-loop attachment gave me pause. While the company’s website has pictures showing this little loop of dental floss and its QR attachment lifting a hefty static load, I’d not want to bet a $10k camera rig on that slender bit of twine against a thief’s sharp tug or sharper blade. Go with the lug attachment if your camera allows it, as most heavier ones do, and sleep better at night.
After several weeks of use, here’s my take. The Lance is well-made, attractive, unique-looking, and decently priced. Just be sure you order the right length for your intended mode of carry; and, if possible, avoid the string loop for all but the lightest cameras. Otherwise, I’d recommend the Lance for neck, cross-body, or wrist carry for just about any camera you’d venture to schlep.
Buy the Lance strap here.
Michael Sebastian is a Lexington, KY based photographer.
To view Michael's work, please visit his website.