We realized just how much we like Artisan & Artist straps one day when we were out shooting with two cameras each, two Leicas (Roger) and two Voigtländers (Frances) and realized that all four of them had A&A straps on. As you might guess, we are not short of straps, but these really are a delight. They are ridiculously expensive, but superbly made. Roger uses two leather straps, one brown (pictured above, his favourite, on his M8), one black, while Frances uses one of soft hemp with leather trim and one of black cotton; the last, the simplest (and cheapest!) is her favourite.
It is hard to say just what is so good about them, but the best way of describing them is 'time travel'. These are the kind of strap where you say, "They don't make 'em like this any more," whereas, in fact, they do.
On the right is Frances's hemp-and-leather strap on her Bessa-R2. You should be able to see the built-in leather body protectors that stop the rings scratching up the body, and the artisanal quality of the stitching should also be visible. The hemp is not quite as green as it appears on the right; the bit over the speed dial is the best colour guide.
These are not new straps: we have been using them for some years, and they just go on getting better as they wear. When we thought of this 'Microtest' series, they were one of the first things we put in. Ours were supplied the Photo Village in New York -- or go to the manufacturers' own site.
We should however add the rider that we use them only with rangefinder cameras: they might well be uncomfortably narrow when used with a heavy reflex. But we don't use heavy reflexes...
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© 2007 Roger W. Hicks