Are you a photographer who puts emphasis on quality over quantity when it comes to your cameras and accessories? If so, this camera strap may be the perfect addition to your kit (and outfit). Take a look at our review, and see if this is for you.
As someone who used to only own relatively bulky DSLR cameras, it was a big change when I transitioned into using a smaller mirrorless for my personal and street photography work. This also meant that I did not consider getting a strap for a long time, because I had been so used to just carrying my heavier cameras in hand. Although, since then, I have upgraded by finally getting myself a simple neck camera strap, I was still excited to try out a more luxurious one from Woolnut. Founded in Stockholm, Woolnut offers a variety of premium leather accessories primarily aimed at protecting your tech equipment, from laptops to phones, as well as smaller accessories, such as card holders, passport sleeves, and last but not least: camera straps. Combining technology, design, and modern craftsmanship, Woolnut represents high-end leather products on the market.
This leather camera strap is made with vegetable tanned full-grain leather coming from Scandinavia and fully natural wool felt from Germany, which covers the other side of the strap. No doubt, with these two natural materials, the camera strap will age and change the more you wear it. The strap is adjustable on both sides, and it comes in two colors for you to choose from: black and cognac.
The strap measures between 120 and 135 cm in length, depending how much you adjust it on either side. The neck part has soft padding and is the thickest part of it; the wool also acts as a shock absorbent. The leather part of the strap also contains Woolnut logo; however, it is very minimalistic and hardly visible. The strap is compatible to carry most cameras, including DSLRs, and comes with small split rings on either side. All of the metal details come in silver, regardless of which color strap you choose.
Both color straps retail for €78 on the Woolnut website.
As soon as I took the strap out of the mailing parcel, I was pleasantly surprised by how it was packaged. It came in a small cotton bag with the Woolnut logo on top. As someone who rarely uses or owns any leather accessories, be it in photography or in my wardrobe, I had an initial surprise of how sturdy it felt, especially the neck part of the strap. Looking at the initial photographs on the company's website, I imagined the leather would be thinner and softer. However, as noted, I don't really own any other leather accessories; as such, I didn't quite know what to expect.
I was worried the strap might feel too rigid because of the leather being not worn in yet, especially in comparison to my previous fabric strap. However, the more I wore it outside, the more I got used to it. I paired it with my old and trusted Fuji X-Pro1, which already looks like an old vintage camera, but combined with the strap, it almost felt like I finally had a camera and strap combination that made my disheveled Fuji look more of a retro piece to be proud of rather than an old and cheap camera with an equally basic strap. Although, I must note that the look of something when it comes to equipment or fashion trends has never really been that important to me, or at least before, they haven't been that important.
It was very simple to attach the camera to the strap, because the metal buckles are more user-friendly than the generic straps where you need to try and fiddle with the material to go through a small gap to fasten it; the strap also felt secure enough with this type of fastening.
The strap felt very comfortable around my neck while walking around the city and doing street photography. I often put my camera strap on one shoulder and that felt secure, and comfortable, too. When lifting camera your up to your eyes, the leather obviously isn't as flexible as a softer fabric strap would be. That's something you need to keep in mind. Another thing to note is that I was out with the camera during cold autumn days where coats are a must; at this point, I can't judge how this leather strap feels during hot summer days, when you may get hot and sweaty or when you may wear minimal clothing.
What I Liked
- Timeless and minimalistic unisex design
- No bright logos or brand names on it
- Suits both retro and modern cameras
- High quality craftsmanship
- Easy and quick to fasten it
- Adjustable length
- The price is appropriate; to me it reflects the quality of materials and work that has gone into designing and creating it while still remaining a luxury product
What Could Be Improved
- An alternative vegan-friendly material to appeal to a wider range of photographers
- Additional colors to choose from: for example, a darker brown option
- Although I understand it's the nature of a leather product, I would have preferred it to be more flexible when it comes to lifting camera up to my face
For most of my life, I have been someone who foregoes luxury and style to instead focus on comfort and usability. For me, this strap combines the best of both worlds. Without a doubt, straight out of the package, the strap will feel the same way a new pair of leather shoes feels: slightly hard and needing time to wear them in. The good thing about that is that it will age a lot better than basic fabric straps and consequently feel more personal. The design itself, to me, exudes confidence and elegance for both men and women, so I'd happily use it outdoors when photographing in the streets, but equally, it feels robust enough to be taken out in harsher conditions when traveling.
Although the price may appear quite high for a camera strap, I do feel it fairly reflects what has gone into creating the product, and at the end of the day, it's a luxury product, not a necessity. As a leather product, I am confident it will last a long time if it's looked after, and if that's the case, I think the price becomes a fair investment. With it being a higher-end product, you need to ask yourself what your shooting style is and what things matter to you when it comes to being a photographer on the go. Once you know the answer, you'll know if this is the right thing for you to treat yourself with.
If you do want to purchase it, you can visit Woolnut website here.