Camera straps are a very personal accessory. Everyone has their own idea of what makes the "perfect" strap. Some like leather, some silk - just as some prefer a very simple strap and others a more adjustable (in length) strap or with a shoulder/neck pad.
The Street Strap is a new accessory for your Leica M camera (as well as any other compatible camera for that matter). It's as basic a camera strap as you'll find - it comes only in black and only in a 46" (117cm) length. There are no adjustments for the length. In fact, the only options are whether you prefer a triangular or a round ring on the ends!
The Street Strap bears a striking resemblance to another, popular camera strap made by Artisan and Artist - the ACAM-301. It's popular exactly because of its simple, basic nature. Both are high quality, well-made straps. The big difference between the two are the material used for the strap - and thus, the price. While the Artisan and Artist strap is made of 37" of woven silk, the Street Strap is made of 46" of soft nylon. The former costs $146 - as compared to a much more palatable $70 for the latter!
Is a camera strap worth $70, let alone $146? Compared to the cheap knock-offs that are available on sites like eBay or even reputable manufacturers through well-known storefronts - the short answer is yes. Lesser straps are made from a much narrower cord - which is both less secure and digs into your skin when over your shoulder or around your neck. They're just not made to take into account the heavier weight of your typical M camera, nor "plush" in general. The workmanship is often shoddy at best as well. Certainly not something to be trusted to carrying an expensive camera.
Construction and Quality
The Street Strap is a high quality strap both in terms of materials and construction. The thick, soft nylon cord won't dig into your skin and can support even the heaviest of rigs. While perhaps not as soft as silk, the nylon material is very comfortable - and not as sensitive to stains and abrasion.
The leather wraps around the ends are made of a soft leather and are long enough to extend above the camera body. This ensures comfort when gripping the camera with the strap through your fingers and also protects the camera from wear. They're sewn to the cord tightly and plentifully - ensuring they won't fray or come apart. Depending on your preference, they can be fitted with either triangular or round rings - both are a quality ring made of heavy gauge wire and not cheap, thin rings that come apart.
The strap exudes an understated simplicity. There are no logos, no white stitching and the leather ends are matte - unlike the ACAM-301. If you prefer to be as low-key as possible, this is your strap. It goes particularly well with black chrome bodies, though looks good on any finish.
Another benefit to the round cord material is that it never twists up like flat straps. It relaxes naturally. And being as soft and flexible as it is, can also be worn as a wrist strap. Simply loop it around your wrist a few times:
Considering the cost of the Street Strap is half that of the ACAM-301, yet has the same high quality in materials and workmanship - makes it a great value proposition. While the nylon doesn't have the same super-soft feel of the silk, it's not far off... The $76 difference in price is something you'll have to decide for yourself.
Another factor to consider when deciding is the strap length. The Artisan and Artist strap is 37" long, which works better if the camera is around your neck and hanging straight down primarily. If you prefer to wear your camera around your neck and/or shoulder, off to the side - the longer 46" Street Strap is much more practical.
Where to Buy
The Street Strap can be purchased via the Street Strap website or directly through the following links: