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Review: Tap and Dye Legacy Wrist Strap (Used on the Olympus OMD EM5)

by Chris Gampat on 12/29/2012

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tap and Dye Camera Strap Review Photos (1 of 6)ISO 1601-200 sec at f - 2.8

Tap and Dye is a brand new camera strap startup based in NYC. The founder, Justin Waldinger, created the Legacy Wrist strap to be used primarily with film SLRs and Rangefinders. But his straps have found a comfortable following amongst the digital world as well for mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras such as the Olympus OMD EM5.

I’ve been testing the strap for around three weeks now, and it’s become the strap the lives on my Olympus OMD now–successfully replacing my Olympus Pen Premium Case Strap (which now resides on my X Pro 1.) So what about this strap makes it so appealing?

Pros and Cons

Pros

– Sleek, sexy, and very discrete

– Very fine craftsmanship

– Durable

Cons

– Can be not so comfortable after prolonged use with the Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95

– Takes some time to get used to

Gear Used

For this review, we tested the Tap and Dye strap with the Olympus OMD EM5, Voigtlander 17.5mm f0.95, and an old Voigtlander 50mm f1.5 screwmount.

Tech Specs

Specifications copied from the product listing.

  • Each strap is made from Full Grain, Vegetable Tan Cowhide leather. All edges will be left unfinished and distressed for a vintage antique look.
  • Each strap features durable, high quality antique nickel plated solid brass rivets.
  • A high quality matte finish nickel plated brass D ring is fitted to each strap for size adjustment
  • Each strap will be ~ 8.5″ long without protective strap bumper. Strap thickness is 1/8″ and width is 1/2″ Measurements: (.5″ x 8.5″ x .125″) {12.7mm x 209mm x 3.15mm}

Compatible Cameras

  • Each strap is compatible will ALL Round-Strap LUG mounts: Film SLRs, DSLRs, Rangefinders, EVIL cameras, Micro 4/3, Compact Mirrorless.
  • Nikon FILM: FE, FE2, FM, FM2, F100, F3, F2, FM2N, F6
  • Nikon DSLR: D300, D700, D200, D3, D3S, D3X, D4, D800/E, D7000, D600
  • Nikon 1 Compact: V1, V2, COOLPIX P7700
  • Olympus Micro 4/3: EP1, EP2, EP3, EPL-5, OMD-EM 5, E-PM 1, E-PM 2
  • Leica: ALL M rangefinders: M2, M3, M4, M5, M6, M7, M8, M9, MP
  • SONY NEX: NEX6, NEX5R, NEX 7
  • FUJI FILM: X-E1, X100, X-Pro 1, X10
  • Panasonic LUMIX: DMC-GH2, GH3
  • Voigtlander Bessa M Rangefinders: RM2, RM3, RM4

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tap and Dye Camera Strap Review Photos (2 of 6)ISO 1601-200 sec at f - 2.8

The Tap and Dye Legacy Wrist Strap is thin, solidly built, and while maintaining a vintage aesthetic still has a modernistic simplicity to it. There are three major components: the strap itself, the tightening ring, and the lug to attach to your camera.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tap and Dye Camera Strap Review Photos (3 of 6)ISO 1601-200 sec at f - 2.8

Before we go on though, we should emphasize the subtle yet beautiful branding on the strap–you know, so everyone knows your the cool kid in town.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tap and Dye Camera Strap Review Photos (4 of 6)ISO 1601-200 sec at f - 2.2

The strap, when not in use can be collapsed down and wrapped around your lens for convenience of storage. In real life, use we found this to be an awesome solution for storage: and also meant that when the camera came out of the bag it wasn’t tangled in the web of a strap that can usually be the case.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tap and Dye Camera Strap Review Photos (5 of 6)ISO 1601-200 sec at f - 2.2

 

To attach itself onto a camera, one needs to either slip the strap ring through the appropriate spot or place the strap lug on and then put the ring through. We found this to be a tad bit difficult, and Justin actually had to do this for us. Granted, he’s far more skilled at this than we are.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tap and Dye Camera Strap Review Photos (6 of 6)ISO 1601-200 sec at f - 2.2

 

Then there is the tightening ring. When your wrist is through this strap, the ring will help keep the camera and strap securely in your hand.

Build Quality

We used this strap in the rain, through a minor blizzard, and during casual street walks. It survived everything through thick and thin; which means that it will keep up with your OMD no matter how much you test its weathersealing.

Ease of Use

The strap is really simple to use: just attach it, slip your wrist through it, and adjust the ring for tightness. Then you’re ready to shoot.

Using the strap is very straightforward, but there were a couple fo design quibbles that could have been corrected. The ring sometimes wore into my wrist while shooting; and that became a bit annoying. Being metal and with semi-sharp edges, we’d recommend that a hard plastic version be offered as an alternative or plastic/rubber be placed around the edges to prevent such a problem from happening.

The Legacy wrist strap felt most comfortable when the strap body itself went down the length of my palm and to my wrist. It also made shooting more straightforward when it came time to bring the camera up to my eye. To boot, if I wanted to flip the OMD’s screen up and shoot TLR style, this is the preferred method of strap placement.

While this version looks beautiful, I wonder what a version made with soft leather for the interior would be like. The leather here might have worn down my skin a bit if I did not have calluses from playing the guitar and bass on my wrist area (it’s from my style of strumming.) Overall though, I really didn’t have any issues with the comfort given the design. However, soft leather or suede would have surely made it a bit more comfortable.

Note that when I put a lighter lens on, this wasn’t really an issue and the comfort was top notch. So really heed these precautions if you’re going for heavier and more sturdy glass like my Voigtlander.

Conclusions

Overall, despite some minor quibbles, the Tap and Dye Legacy Wrist Strap worked very well for us. Not only is there a sleek and sexy design, but there is also a huge demand for it as mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras become more popular. This strap is very well suited to the street photographer opting for lighter lenses or the person that wants to do studio work with their mirrorless camera.

Check out their website, shop and Facebook page.

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