I am a bit of a nut case when it comes to camera accessories…. I have way too many camera bags and straps, but never seem to have enough! If you follow my blog and equipment reviews, then you know I only review stuff I really like - the remaining 70% of the “meh and below” gear sits in boxes away from the world.
When I started shooting the Leica M cameras, I gravitated toward a mass produced leather strap as a starting point. It worked fine, but I wanted something that really dazzled. My quest forthe perfect strap was also fueled by the need for a strap to go on my Hasselblad. After weeks of searching and comparing strap makers, I settled on two custom made premium leather straps from a US company called Tap & Dye.
Justin, the owner and founder of the company, has a reputation for building exceptional straps for analog cameras. His company uses leather sourced from American tanneries to handcraft each strap to order. That’s right - to order. When purchasing, you select the size, stitching, colors, etc that you want and then exercise patience while Justin and his crew cut and finish each strap to order. The result is some of the nicest leather products I’ve ever seen - the leather was nice and soft and has great character. The construction is top notch - these straps will take a beating!
When looking at straps, my criteria are theft-resistant, good looking, functional, and durable. The straps from Tape & Dye check all these boxes and more.
I purchased the Legacy Classic Wide Camera Strap in antique tan and brown horween CXL for my Hasselblad 503CX and a tan fixed length strap with bumpers and neck pad for my Leica M7. Each arrived in a small cloth bag and with a tag indicating the date of construction - a nice personal touch. As I opened the bags, the cats and dog in my house came running…. the smell of the fresh leather was intoxicating and everyone in the house wanted a whiff.
I intentionally sized both straps a little long as I’m often wearing a jacket and I like to carry the camera cross-body. This is again where I love Tap & Dye - I could have sized the straps down to the inch for comfort and fit, which is something virtually no other leather goods manufacturer offers.
Although Tap & Dye mostly caters to old film cameras, I’m hoping to convince Justin to craft a custom strap for my Leica SL; his craftsmanship is unlike anything else I’ve seen and I’d love to utilize his straps across my entire line of camera bodies….even the less-analog ones!
As always, my reviews are not solicited - I paid full price and have not received any kick-backs to do this review. I strongly recommend the straps from Tap & Dye.... check them out here!