Last Updated on 01/17/2018 by Mark Beckenbach
The Holdfast Gear Camera Leash 2 adds more versatility to the burly wrist strap.
If you were to look at the Holdfast Gear Camera Leash 2, you wouldn’t necessarily notice the upgrades. It’s only when you take a closer look that you’ll see how apparent they are. One of the company’s first products was the Camera Leash: a wrist strap with a bit of flair, sturdiness, and a major deviation from many of the other strap manufacturers out when they were introduced years ago. Some said the straps were vain. Others like myself saw them as an alternative to not looking like I was owned by one particular camera brand. They are a very subtle way to stand out from the crowd. And the Holdfast Gear Camera Leash 2 does that still, but at this point is much more familiar to photography audiences across the world. It’s again made of very durable leather, and been improved to be soft to the touch on the interior. The way it connects to the other Holdfast accessories has been vastly improved.
Holdfast’s products have evolved over the years from products with subtle stylishness to a more brash boldness. And as I too have grown older (I’m now 30 – when I started Phoblographer I was 22) my tastes have also changed. I find myself going after more canvas, leather, cashmere and wool products. With that said, I feel like Holdfast was ahead of what I’ve been looking for and I’ve grown an appreciation for their products.
We tested the Holdfast Gear Camera Leash 2 with the Canon 6D and the Lomography Lomo’Instant Wide camera
Tech specs for the Holdfast Gear Camera Leash 2 were taken from their website.
Simple, tough, and incredibly useful. Link 2 Camera Leashes to the Money Maker Harness, and comfortably carry a 3rd camera. Use it to steady your gear as you traverse rough terrain. Secure your keys to a belt-loop. Strap a water bottle to your backpack. The Camera Leash is the perfect multi-tool for the on-the-go photographer.
Seriously useful, and seriously good looking. Like we all aspire to be.
You’ll need to purchase a Camera Hold Fast if you want to attach the Camera Leash to the tripod mount, otherwise it ships with a high strength split ring for side lug mount.
*UPDATES- All American Bison straps are now lined in Cream glove leather lining and have all black hardware. Images are not fully updated.
The Holdfast Gear Camera Leash 2 is like many other wrist straps except in this case, it’s quite wide. At the same time, it’s alsp thick. The exterior is nice and shiny while the interior is fairly soft.
The Holdfast Gear Camera Leash 2 loops through itself with D rings. It then uses a very, very strong hook system to connect to the camera. The camera is connected to the strap via a D ring system that screws into the tripod socket. Think Black Rapid in some ways.
To connect the Holdfast Gear Camera Leash 2 to the camera you’ll need to deal with this part. It’s a special type of D ring that had a latch. In my time using it, it fortunately never opened up on me. To do that, you’ll need to pull a tab up. The owners of Holdfast tell me it’s inspired by climbing gear. So if you’re one who likes to climb mountains or goes bouldering, then you’ll be right at home.
Then there’s the underside of the Holdfast Gear Camera Leash 2. As you can see this is a totally different texture of leather. It’s softer, but to be fair I’ve used significantly softer leather. The folks at Hawkesmill and TAP and DYE make much softer stuff. Granted, theirs are different styles of leather.
My only concern about this whole system is the D ring that opens up. It does so fairly easily, but it also is pretty strong as is. When I was working with their newer harness system, one of the leashes came loose on me. What I found is that this problem is easily fixed if you remove the little black tag and the split triangle ring completely from the spool. Of course, this makes it tougher to get the leash off of the camera, but I’d prefer that. My recommendation to Holdfast would be to either make the spool longer or institute a twist function. At the current moment, it’s too easy to open up the D ring, but you can easily modify this yourself and otherwise get a very secure system.
As it is, I haven’t heard many complaints about the harness system. But at Photo Plus, I heard complaints about the leather breaking down after a year of use. Holdfast Gear to my knowledge did replacements at the show. But in my years of using the original Camera leash, it hasn’t worn away at all. Obviously, I haven’t had this second one for over a year yet.
Ease of Use
In my time using the Holdfast Gear Camera Leash 2, I never accidentally opened the leash up despite my leaving the tag on. Still though, to be extra secure I’d probably take it off. It’s easy enough to slip your hand into it, pull, and the camera strap will use the weight of the camera to tighten it around your wrist. It’s a nice addition and in some ways the Holdfast Gear Camera Leash 2 feels like a really thick watch strap. Where it really comes into use though is with their Money Maker harness system as it can attach to the straps and you can slide it up and down as you need to. I plan to actually use this system for when I shoot with more than one film camera and it works well enough for both of my Sony a7 series cameras with lenses attached.
So do I like the Holdfast Gear Camera Leash 2? I do, and for the price point I think that it’s very worth it. I mean, $45 for a strap that is durable, and works right out of the box is very reasonable. Plus it’s stylish.