Italian leather has forever been praised for its quality and its seeming exoticness to us Americans. And for the discerning photographers amongst us that crave beautiful and handmade products, you may just be turned onto 4V Design. They’re a newish company based out of Italy, and they create beautiful leather straps with a bit more flair than normal–though not enough flair to seem obnoxious.
At Photo Plus Expo, I met with the company’s American reps; where I was given the Lusso Slim. This variant is a brown and cyan strap, but there are different versions available to suit your particular style.
Specs taken from the B&H Photo listing.
- Holds a Mirrorless Camera
- Comfortable Rounded Shape
- Made of Leather
- Ultra Grip Underneath Pad
- Adjustable 37.8 – 49.6″ Cross-Body Strap
- Split Ring or Loop with Connector
- Made in Italy
The 4V Design Lusso Slim strap is designed much like many of the other high end camera straps that are manufactured these days, but it has differentiating features that set it apart from much of the rest too. In many ways, it lets you tailor it to exactly the way that you want it to be.
This strap is designed for mirrorless digital cameras and small film SLR cameras. Though to be honest, I’m sure it could support a DSLR with no real trouble.
One of the bigger distinguishing features is on top of the shoulder pad: it’s the branded 4V Design logo. The leather here and all over the strap is a soft feel leather that balances both said soft feel and a ruggedness. I wouldn’t quite call it elegant, but it’s almost there.
This is a leather that’s soft to the touch and easy on your skin whether you’re wearing a bit less clothing during the hot summer months or you’re wrapping the strap around your wrist–which is something I often do.
Each strap can be adjusted with these buckles. There is one of them on each side and if you want one side to be longer than the other, you can surely go for it. Think of these buckles like a leather strap that closes up a journal or a diary. You’ve all surely seen shoes with buckles like this too.
One of the bigger distinguishing features is the underside of the shoulder pad: For this version, I’ve got Cyan, and it looks a bit like someone took a turtle shell and painted it this color–except that this is all leather.
If you’re turned off by this color, then maybe this specific shade isn’t your cup of tea. Lucky for you, there are other colors available. But besides the color, something else should be noted here. These undersides have a special sealant on them that prevents your shoulder or wrist from slipping around. In practice, it proves to be a non-slip solution that helps keep your camera where it’s supposed to be. To that end, it gives you extra security.
The padding also is fairly thick and can be moved around pretty much all around the strap. During our testing, we found it to be very comfortable.
To connect this to your camera, you’ll need to put these cloth strips into the camera loop and then slip the end into the security buckles. It’s really simple to do and to set up.
4V Design manages to strike a very delicate balance here and does it very well. The strap is elegant yet tough. It feels nice around the shoulder or even wrapped around the wrist. If done properly it can also ensure that most of the weight on your wrist is focused on the big shoulder pad while your wrist gets the comfort of the pad.
Nothing about the strap feels cheaply made–in fact, even the stitching feels solid.
Ease of Use
What I really love about this strap is that nothing is complicated about it. Mounting it onto a camera is straight forward as is adjusting it to be the right length for your body. The shoulder pad also slips around with just enough ease to stay in place but not too much to make adjusting it tedious.
If you’re like me and you love wrapping a shoulder strap around your wrist, ensure that the strap itself coils around the shoulder pad. The pad will then wrap around your wrist and provide lots of comfort when shooting.
Considering how nice the 4V Design Lusso Slim strap is, there is only one thing that you may be put you off: and that’s the price. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a solid strap. The build quality is right up there with Cub and Co, TAP and DYE, Great State, and many others. But what this strap does is makes adjustment very simple to do. On top of that, you’re getting lots of comfort and actual padding in the shoulder pad–which many other straps don’t have. Combine that with the design of the shoulder pad’s underside to not slip off of your skin or clothing without causing issues of any sort and you’ve got something really great.
While many of you may say “It’s just a strap” I’d seriously argue that the 4V Design Lusso Slim is a strap with innovation.
We give the 4V Design Lusso Slim five out of five stars. We still feel it’s a bit expensive, and that’s preventing our Editor’s Choice award, but at the same time you’ll be hard pressed to find a beautiful strap like this. Want one? Check out B&H Photo’s listing.