I have never once used the original straps that came with the cameras I own.
I dislike their shamelessly emblazoned brand logos that scream come steal my expensive camera to any would-be thieves.
Also, I find fault with their often clunky design and pedestrian workmanship.
Most of all, I shudder at the thought of having the same strap as every other tourist on the boardwalk.
Since I am already spending so much on the camera, it makes sense for me to invest a little in a well-made strap that is both durable and stylish.
If you are anything like me, read on for my hands-on review of the Barton 1972 leather-straps.
The Barton 1972 leather straps are made in Hong Kong and I was first introduced to them through Steve Huff who was using the braided strap for his M9P.
I was instantly intrigued as they looked absolutely fantastic and were priced very reasonably.
When I got wind that they were available in locally, I got my grubby hands on the Braided Style in a rustic russet brown, the Sensuality in smokey camel and the Braidy wrist-strap in olive green.
I will start with the Braided Style and the Braidy wrist-strap since they are essentially the same thing but in different configurations.
They are made using 100% leather and are surprisingly soft despite being slightly thicker due to the braiding.
Both straps are extremely supple and feels great to the touch. These are definitely genuine leather and none of those cheap, faux-leather variants.
The Sensuality, which is of a more conventional styling, also uses 100% leather.
The straps deep, orangey brown is beautiful to behold and feels very luxurious and substantial.
The underside is made of a rougher textured leather helps with the grip, which I found to be very useful.
Hardware-wise, all three straps use simple split-rings to attach to the camera.
There is nothing to fault but nothing to write home about either.
When I evaluate a products construction, I always look out for a few main things.
Firstly, the quality and consistency of the stitching and seams.
Next, if there are any breakable parts and the presence of stray threads or loose ends.
And finally I would also look out for added considerations such as using higher quality thread such as nylon or polyester and if the stress points are identified and reinforced.
Overall, the Barton straps are well-constructed with neat and even stitching.
The stress-point on the tip of the strap is reinforced with a repeated zigzag stitching pattern.
There are no stray threads or loose ends and no breakable parts. The braiding on the braided straps is tight and consistent.
To really improve their quality, they might consider investing in higher quality thread instead of the cotton ones that is currently in use.
Cotton threads are prone to rotting in moisture and have considerably lower friction compared the nylon or polyester variants.