Stroppa Camera Straps

Last updated May 24, 2017

Stroppa - rope and leather camera strap review

Introduction

Rope straps have really hit their stride these days, and perhaps one of the finest examples of this are those made by Mateusz Grybczynski of Stroppa out of Warsaw, Poland. The Stroppa straps come in a variety of nylon rope and leather. We have a particular fondness for "rope" style straps... Maybe not as posh as silk, but certainly more use (and abuse) friendly.

Our straps can be a great, hand made, accesory for a camera. They give you the ability to hang it on your neck or wrap it on your wrist. You can use them anyway you want. Without any unnecesseary elements it is you who decide how to wear them. They`ll always be comfortable and durable irrespectively how you decide to use it.

How does this strap compare to some of the other offerings like Artisan & Artist ACAM-301, Street Strap or AFShoot Shop Snake? Quite well, actually - in fact, we feel they're easily the best of the bunch!

Packaging

The strap is shipped in a linen pouch that's custom printed with the Stroppa logo along with the name, color and length of the strap. It's simple, yet nice. A green solution to packaging that also displays well on a store shelf (though it lacks a means to hang it).

Stroppa

Materials

The straps are made from premium full grain leather and climbing ropes. They are said to be very durable, improve as they age and of course they soften as you use them. The fact that these are sourced from climbing ropes certainly gives us the reassurance that holding a camera, no matter how heavy - should not be a problem! The split ring that holds the camera is 15mm in diameter and of a high quality (see notes below). The straps come in a variety of sizes, including custom lengths. A shorter length is great for those that prefer wearing the camera over only one shoulder or around the neck, hanging down in front. The longer version, and what we prefer - is better suited for those that wear their camera diagonally across the body, or for tall folks.

The straps are currently available in three designs, the Stroppa Flex, Stroppa Duo and Stroppa Active. All three pair very well with a variety of Leica (and other) camera equipment. The strap end leather and threading is black, regardless of strap color.

In Practice

The most arresting of the straps is the one called Stoppa Duo. It's multicolored in black and white and really stands out. While black has been our favorite thus far, this one moves to the top. It just looks fabulous, with the black and white colors matching details of the camera as well. The Stropp Duo and Stroppa Active are the same thickness, while the Stroppa Flex is a tad narrower and with a looser weave. This allows it to (you guessed it) flex more easily.

Stroppa

Here you can see an overall shot of the Stroppa Duo when attached to an M camera. The length on this particular strap is a custom order and on the longer side - as we prefer to wear the camera diagonally, across the body.

Stroppa

In this closeup of the Stroppa Duo, you can really see the interesting coloration of the weave. Of course, with use, the white will probably darken a bit as it gets dirty (it's okay to get dirty by using your camera!). Between that and softening up, it will just look better and better.

Stroppa

When first removing the Stroppa Duo and Stroppa Active straps from the pouch, it's a little surprising at how thick they are. These are beefy straps! It's thicker than the Street Strap that we've reviewed previously, as well as the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 strap. Its commanding presence immediately made us think that this strap would be great for heavier setups especially - such as a Leica M camera with a Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH lens attached.

Stroppa

The heavier strap material does have a slight amount of stretch to it and a bit more compression, which is nice - as it should cushion your neck and shoulder a bit from the bouncing of the camera. It's also quite soft and flexible... We'd rate it as softer in feel than the Street Strap and AFShoot Shop Snake straps but not as soft as the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 (except for the Stroppa Flex - see below). The former are nylon while the latter is silk, so not surprising. We suspect a slightly looser weave than the former gives that impression; as tactilely, without applying pressure - they feel about the same. This too is not surprising, as the Stroppa straps are also made of nylon. Nylon should not be discounted as a strap material... It really is quite soft and comfortable on the skin and serves to keep the price down. It will also break in a bit further, so there's that.

Worth reiterating is that out of all of these straps, the Stroppa Flex competes with silk in both feel and flexibility. Just as flexible as the thinner Street Strap and the silk Artisan & Artist ACAM-301! And while it's made of nylon (polypropylene to be exact) it has a looser weave and feels like silk. It can be folded a full 180º back on itself; not easily done with the other two versions. The name is quite fitting.


Stroppa

The strap ends are folded leather of a nice weight, which is then stitched all along the sides with a nylon thread. While not cross-stitched like the Street Strap nor as heavy a thread in the middle as the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 - it looks and feels quite strong. These ends feel absolutely massive and smooth to the fingers everywhere. They seriously look like they could tow a car.

As large as they are, they swing straight up, and easily rest between the fingers for shooting - or you can fold them downwards, along the side of the camera if you prefer. They might take a little getting used to, but it's nothing to be overly worried about... The Stroppa Flex is a good bit more flexible, if it does.

Stroppa

One other issue worth pointing out (notably for Fujifilm shooters) is that because of the beefy nature of the split rings, they will not fit the smaller strap lugs. You can get them on, but they'll sit only where the actual split occurs. This renders the strap less mobile within the lug and might even cause premature wear. Simply swap out a skinnier split ring in such cases (they're quite inexpensive - but an extra step). No issues with Leica cameras, however. Once attached, we merely rotated the split up into the leather loop.

Stroppa

Let's get back to that comparison mentioned at the top of the review. In the picture above, you can see the Street Strap on top, the AFShoot Shop in the middle and on the bottom, the Stroppa Flex (the thinnest of the three). Besides the varying thicknesses, what really sets them apart is not only the quality of the leather ends, but the attention to detail; careful and robust stitching, and the finish of same. While the top two vary slightly in robustness, neither are as nicely finished, or the thread ends smooth (if not hidden entirely). There's also the camera protecting flap of the Stroppa straps. Really, there's no comparison as to which is the nicest (hint; it's the Stropp Flex!).

The Verdict

What's nice about these round straps is that they don't twist up like conventional, flat straps do. There's also no "shoulder pad" to deal with. As a result, you can easily wear the camera to your side and slide it up quickly to your eye, even with bulky or "catchy" clothing. Furthermore, you can easily loop the strap around your wrist to use it as a wrist strap. They're simple and get the job done, require no maintenance and take extreme punishment well.

While we certainly like the high-end feel of the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301, the price is a tough pill to swallow. The garish branding and white contrast stitching on the strap ends has also been a bit of a turn off, to be honest. Though it does come in four colors (black, white, red and khaki). This drove us to choose the Street Strap initially - same principle but at a much better price point; largely due to the choice of nylon vs. silk for the strap material. Much more low-key than the ACAM-301, but it only comes in black. However, it's a fairly thin strap. The AFShoot Shop strap takes it a step further with thicker rope - which is perfect for heavier rigs or those that just prefer a beefier strap. Three colors to choose from, yet low-key as well. The problem is the finishing of the ends, which leaves something to be desired.

This is where the Stroppa straps come in. They combine the thicker rope material of the latter, with perfectly made strap ends that are a joy to behold and use - and offer the additional feature of camera protecting flaps around the lugs. They're the ultimate development of nylon straps and while they compete most directly with the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 - they have a much more reasonable price point and vastly better robustness. They also look nicer overall, in our opinion. If you're in the market for a solid, beautiful nylon and leather strap, Stroppa straps are the only ones you should be looking at.

The Stroppa straps also come in at about $38 USD, regardless of the length. This makes them the most inexpensive of all the options and a no-brainer, in our opinion.

The Stroppa straps have become our new favorite straps, bar none!