If you were to look at what some of the biggest names in the premium camera strap manufacturer lineup were, one brand that would immediately come to mind is Holdfast Gear. Their straps are incredibly different from everything else out there and for the most part, they got a bit of extra peacock to them vs many of the others. For a while now, I’ve been testing the Holdfast Gear Maven camera strap on the Impossible Project’s I-1 camera. Despite the fact that it isn’t specifically designed for that camera, they still work very well together due to the camera’s design.
Most of all, if you’re looking for something a bit more toned down from Holdfast, then the Maven is probably what you’re looking for.
Specs taken from the Holdfast Gear website
The Maven comes in 3 lengths: 38″ – 46″ – 52″
38″ is a short neck strap ideally suited for carrying over the neck in the front position.
46″ is a good cross body length for small to medium fit.
52″ is a good cross body length for large fit.
The Holdfast Gear Maven strap is a strap that has a whole lot of Patina in the same way that many other premium camera straps does. This one is made of American Buffalo and has a bit of very comfortable pebbling all over it. It feels nice and the one I’ve got is characterized by this beautiful reddish color. On the inside, you’ll find white along with the company’s branding.
This strap is the 38 inch version and so it’s design to really be a neck strap. However, it goes well around your shoulder. Part of this is due to the excellent build quality that is incorporated in with the soft leather on the outside.
To connect it to a camera, you’ll use split rings that Holdfast provides. But with the I-1, you’ve got these screws on the side. These work well enough but otherwise, what you’d need to do is use the connecting hooks.
These hooks help give the strap extra grip onto the camera via the use of the split rings. They’re well built and add a bit more beauty to the overall product.
Holdfast’s products have always been very well made and done right here in America. For that reason, you’re paying more money. But the quality surely comes through in the product.
Ease of Use
Putting the strap onto the camera is honestly the toughest part whether you’re using Holdfast’s split rings or a manufacturer’s own split rings. The reason why is because getting the hooks into place can take quite a bit of extra work on your part. Once your fingers have been excessively bleeding (sarcasm), you;ve ripped nails (may have happened) and you’ve finally got it hooked then it will all have been worth it. Just…good luck trying to get it off the camera afterward.
That’s one of the reasons why I opted for the Impossible Project’s I-1–the fact that I get so many straps in and that they rotate from camera to camera makes me just want to keep some on certain cameras. Holdfast isn’t exclusive to this, some of the earlier stuff from TAP and DYE was also quite mentally taxing.
Overall though, using the strap otherwise is pretty straightforward. I tend to wrap it around my wrist because it’s soft and comfortable.
The Holdfast Gear Maven Strap is really nice. Pricey? Sure. Will it outlive you? Most likely. It’s also an expensive leather and when you purchase one you know that you’re supporting something being American made–which tends to be a trend now. But in all honestly, I think that these are well worth the value when you consider that they’re bound to last you the rest of your life.