Why we make camera straps
As you where able to read in our last story, Qord Amsterdam is a photography community and a camera strap company. This means that we not only believe in building relationships with people, we also believe in preserving a relationship. That’s is the one between you and your camera.
When I (my name is Mitch by the way, if you didn’t know: hi there!) developed the need for a different camera strap other than the one that came with my camera, I only searched the internet for one for about 5 minutes, maybe. After that, I quickly realised that what I wanted, what I needed, was something I could not only make myself, I could do it better than those options out there.
Why our camera straps are different
Now, you will have to take my word on it that I am saying all this without any ego. I am not trying to claim victory or say that we are the best option out there. You can totally be the judge of that yourself. Instead, let me just start by detailing my needs a little more.
When you buy a camera, you will usually get a camera strap in the box with that camera. It will almost always (or just always?) be a neck strap and usually it’s not a very nice one. The one I received with my Fujifilm (any other Fuji shooters out there?), I believe is actually one of the nicer ones but it still didn’t satisfy all my needs.
Why did I want a wrist strap?
At that time, I did a lot of run & gun type shooting on the streets, which means that I was holding my camera all the time and had the neck strap wrapped around my wrist. It was functional, but not very comfortable. The strap would tighten up around my jacket at inconvenient times, where I would lose my flexibility, or it would fall off my arm and expose my camera to potential dropping.
I do realise I am no child and I am able to hold on to an object. But my camera is expensive and if you are running around the street all day, you only have to wait for somebody to bump into you and make you drop whatever it is you are holding. It’s not a question about if it happens, it’s a question about when it happens. This is when I first came up with the current design of our Qord Amsterdam Wrist Qord, which is a camera strap for your wrist (duh).
The origins of the Wrist Strap
The first ever Wrist Strap we made was made out of an old shoelace and pretty much nothing else. I then learned how to make the knot we are still using to this day and I figured out how long all the parts needed to be for a safe but comfortable solution. I managed to fabricate a wrist strap that would allow me to hold my camera and manoeuvre freely, while also assuring me the camera would be secure if I were to drop it. The knots around your wrist keep a loose and comfortable fitting but the loop would slide closed as soon as your camera dropped and would lock tight around your wrist.
Upgrades came quick
I actually used this first version of the Wrist Qord for a few weeks in a row before I decided it was time to upgrade from an old shoelace to a higher quality fabric. I also needed to find a solution for the sliding part that allowed for the loop to tighten up in the case of an emergency. My search continued.
What materials are our Qords made out of?
Paracord was something I never heard of before but realised I did was familiar with its uses as soon as I discovered it. Especially the Type III paracord that we use for all our camera straps was what caught my eye. This type of paracord has a breaking strength of up to 250 kg, or 550 pounds for you Americans out there, which is why it’s also called Paracord 550. It was the perfect base material for my Wrist Qord as it provided me with the sought after balance between strength and comfort. Next to that, you might now also see where the name Qord comes from, right?
I was a happy man. I always really like the look of a leather strap but I don’t really believe in its durability. On the other hand I think the straps that are made from other synthetic materials, like nylon, might be durable but never really look that nice. I found the perfect match for myself with the paracord. All I had to do was use a metal split ring to attach it to my camera and a solid ring for the Wrist Qord to slide through and I was done. My strap was now functional, as well as aesthetically pleasing!
The Wrist Qord needed a companion
My mission was not done yet though, as I might have been the proud owner of the perfect Wrist Qord, I now felt like my Fujifilm neck strap could use an upgrade as well (sorry Fujifilm). This was a little easier to establish though, as I now already figured out the material, the techniques I wished to use and the way I wanted the strap to connect to the camera. The length of the Neck Qord was all I had to figure out. It wasn’t long after that I showed off my creations on social media and attracted the attention of Stijn. He was the one that came up with the current colours we carry, as well as some other things.
By having these different colours, you can now create a nice matching pair of a camera wrist strap and a neck strap. They are the perfect companion to your camera as your camera might be pretty, it’s also very generic. Our camera straps allow you to add some personality to them. All while keeping your gear safe, of course. 🙂
A few notes
I do realise we are not the first to come up with camera wrist straps or camera straps with this design. Still, I believe that our implementation is one of the better ones out there. The materials are sturdy and won’t fail you. The design is simple yet remains elegant. During this all, I know we are still talking about a camera strap though. You mostly want a camera strap to be functional and simply serve its purpose. The fact that you can add some identity to your camera while doing that should never come at the cost of less functionality or safety. I strive very hard to create the best product possible and I believe that the secret lies in maintaining its simplicity.