Heavy Leather NYC camera straps are built with a modern, punk rock edge to them that clashes a bit with the vintage aesthetics that most strap manufacturers seem to embody with their products today. However, Heavy Leather NYC still sticks to the handmade philosophy and as a result delivers very well made and beautiful straps that will appeal to a specific customer. They’ve got experience in making guitar straps; which are often heavier than cameras.
Earlier this year, the company introduced a new sling strap similar to what BlackRapid makes. However, these straps use waxed canvas and are far better looking. They’re called the Slingshot straps, and they’re available in Olive Green, Charcoal and Tan version for a pretty affordable $85 considering what you’re getting.
The Heavy Leather NYC Slingshot strap was tested with the Canon 6D holding the Canon 35mm f1.4 L II, and the Diana F+ with an Instant film back attached.
- Bottom leather: 2/3 oz cowhide
- Top material: Martexin wax cotton
- Strap 2″ wide
- Adjustable length 43-64.5″
- Side binding for maximum comfort
- Aluminum side release buckle
- Steel metal heavy spring tactical snap
- Tripod mount screw with rubber washer
The Heavy Leather NYC strap is built very much like other camera straps except for the fact that, well, it’s a sling strap. This means that you’ll have your camera down by your side and it’s designed mostly for quicker access to your camera if you wish that.
The strap’s body is comprised of this long, lengthy piece of canvas wrapped in leather. The color of the canvas varies depending on what you’re looking for. Note that this is also pretty soft canvas; but very durable.
On the edges of the canvas are leather that wraps around the underside. Said underside also has the company’s logo branded into it with a bit of that showing through the top of the strap.
Adjustment is done via the standard push/pull system that many other camera straps use. But what’s really cool about Heavy Leather’s option is this buckle. The buckle lets you take the camera strap off very quickly and makes it very simple for you to wrap it around yourself and adjust it later it. This of it as a quick release of the entire system.
This buckle is obviously only on one side, so you won’t need to worry about one on each side accidentally being dislodged. In my testing, the buckle never came apart. It’s worth it to note that this buckle is also made of solid metal. You wouldn’t want to be accidentally hit by this thing.
The slingshot connects to the bottom of your camera using a standard 1/4″ screw. The screw has a loop that looks much like BlackRapid’s and connects to the strap via yet another clip made of solid metal. Again, it’s all incredibly well built.
Of any strap that I’ve used that comprises mostly of canvas, this is by far the best built. But part of this has to do with the build of the underside. The underside of the Slingshot uses a very suede-like leather that is comfortable, soft to the touch and just really nice overall. If this strap were purely canvas with leather to connect it to a camera, then it might have been a different story.
The other part has to do with the incredible amount of metal actually put into the strap’s construction. There isn’t a single bit of plastic here. Everything is made from leather, canvas, metal, and vinyl. Heavy Leather NYC should be commended for crafting such a high quality strap.
Ease of Use
During my tests, I used the strap mostly in photowalking and street photography scenarios. With the 6D and lens attached, the strap always felt comfortable along the length of my body. After the first week, I was finally confident enough with the buckles and 1/4″ attachment that I wasn’t trying to tighten and twist it anytime I got a chance. However, I’d still do it every couple of hours just because I’m a tad paranoid. Most photographers don’t do this though; I’m just a reviewer that’s seen things go wrong before.
To be very fair here, the Slingshot is designed so that your camera doesn’t twist and spin around to begin with unlike BlackRapid’s. Instead, it stays in one place. For some, this may be desired but for others they might want the fact that it swings around easier. Personally, I wouldn’t want the latter.
BlackRapid has more concentrated padding across more of their lineups, but if where Heavy Leather compensates for that is with a strap that covers a wider surface area.
With the Diana F+, the camera was lightweight enough where the strap didn’t give much of any sort of problems. Indeed, this strap was made to be used with DSLRs and big medium format cameras. A slimmer version for mirrorless cameras and lighter cameras would be a nice addition.
If you’re looking for a camera strap in a sling configuration, then you’re not really going to be able to beat the Heavy Leather NYC strap. Though I wouldn’t award it anywhere as many brownie points for looks as I would the more standard, traditional straps, what Heavy Leather NYC is trading here is top notch functionality, incredibly solid build quality, and a pretty affordable price point.