Tap & Dye Wrist Strap
Last updated May 1, 2013
Tap & Dye is a relative newcomer and quickly making a name for themselves. Based in New York, their mantra is quality above all else... Every item they sell is hand-crafted in their studio; all parts and pieces are USA-made and sourced. They take great pride in their creations. The catalog isn't very extensive at this time; consisting entirely of similar products; a camera strap (in two lengths), a wrist strap (in several colors) and a key fob. Today we'll take a look at one of them - the Legacy Wrist Strap (Antique Tan).
The presentation is nice. The strap came shipped in a generic brown envelope, but with a custom Tap & Dye printed label. Once opened, the presentation continued... Inside was a custom linen pouch with the Tap & Dye logo printed upon it. Simple, effective and looks professional. No cheap plastic bag or bubble wrap here.
Removing the strap from the pouch, you reveal another, final layer of the presentation. Affixed to the strap with a short leather lanyard is a distressed tag, stating "one hundred percent guaranteed premium quality full grained leather" materials. There's also another tag with the disclaimer that the leather is cut from natural cowhide and that it will, over time, achieve a rich patina. We're sure it will, and there's no doubt it's made of a subtle, natural leather. The look and the smell are immediately obvious!
The strap itself is clean cut, non-distressed, natural-looking cowhide. Again, the look and smell of fresh, natural leather is unmistakeable. The feel of it is firm, but pliable. That is, it gives a bit when handled but will clearly take a little time to properly break in (and achieving the aforementioned patina). Like a pair of brand new shoes... While the example we reviewed was the "Antique Tan" version, there's another color option, called "Dark Amber Beeswax." It's further treated with melted beeswax to impart a deeper, amber color. From normal use and handling, your skin oils, sweat and dirt will eventual darken both versions and make the leather softer, more compliant. There's actually a "Royal Navy" dyed version, but it's a limited edition.
The hardware is minimal, but of top quality. In fact, there's only three pieces; the split ring for attaching to the camera, a rivet to bind the strap ends together and a D ring to close down the strap around your wrist. While the split ring is chromed and fairly standard, it's of a good (larger) size and gauge. The rivet and D ring have a soft, diffuse antique nickel finish to them and don't have a burr, flash or machining mark anywhere. Nothing rough to damage you or your camera here! Underneath, they're solid brass. Finally, there's a smaller leather flap that goes under the split ring to protect your camera's finish around the lug area where it attaches.
The strap itself has the Tap & Dye logo cleanly and evenly stamped into it. It won't wear off. It's 8.5" long (not including the protective flap), 1/2" wide and 1/8" thick (209mm x 12.7mm x 3.15mm).
Once the tags are removed you can give it a test drive. The strap attaches simply, as with any split ring style camera strap - but the stiffness of the new leather makes it a little challenging. Once attached, you're all set! Slip the strap over your wrist, and slide the D ring down so that the resulting opening is smaller than your hand. This way, even if you let go of the camera, it will stay attached to your wrist. This is of course an optional, extra step... But an important safety feature! It also moves the D ring away from your camera body, so there's no chance of contact or interference with your grip.
As mentioned, the leather is new and a tad firm, so it might take a little getting used to until it breaks in... But the fit is comfortable, the feeling secure. You have total freedom of movement (unlike with neck straps) yet should you drop your camera - or someone grab it - it's not going anywhere.
Whether you choose the wrist strap or longer length camera strap, you won't be disappointed with the quality of the material or workmanship. Clean, well-made and USA-sourced for a lifetime of service. We look forward to further "personalizing" our strap with years of use ahead.