Cameras are fragile and expensive and the best camera setups can approach the 5 figure mark and learning how to attach a camera strap can make all the difference.
That a serious investment to be carrying around your neck.
The glass lenses and complex bodies are just one fall away from breaking your heart and your bank account.
I’m using a slightly cheesy reference to get the point across.
There isn’t really anything else to guard your investment against crashing to the floor other than a couple of pieces of tough material and your superhuman reflexes.
The good news is that when you attach camera straps right, they’re incredibly reliable, despite how much your camera and lens weighs.
The bad news is that if you don’t pay careful attention and check your strap regularly, one poorly fastened buckle or a loose strap can end in tragedy – it only takes one fall to do irreparable damage.
With our guide, you’ll learn how to attach a strap to a camera to give you reliable and protective control over your camera.
You’ll get more stable and sharper shots as a result.
It’s very important to do right and luckily, not too complicated.
We break down the process into easy to understand steps that are practical and simple.
By the end, you’ll be confident enough to attach your own camera strap and give your camera (and your bank account) the protection it needs.
Attaching the strap
Whether you want to know how to put neck straps on cameras, or wrist and shoulder straps, the steps below will help you get it done the right way.
Here they are – try to stick to the order and complete each step before tackling the next one:
- Get the strap facing upwards and straighten it out so there aren’t any twists in it
- Find the little plastic buckle and turn it on its side with the right side facing up
- Slip the strap into the buckle making sure that it’s from the outside-in
- Feed the strap through the metal rings or tethering points of your camera body
- Check again to make sure there are no unnecessary twists in the strap
- Grab the strap in the middle part of the plastic buckle and pull it upwards a little to create some extra slack
- Feed the strap through the fastening clip (the one that keeps it from flying about) – you may need to go through the retainer piece if your camera uses one
- Tighten the strap by pulling down gently on both ends until it’s tight and secure
Well, that’s the basic rundown of how to tie a camera strap on safely.
After you’ve followed these steps in their order, check them again and make sure there aren’t any twists or kinks.
Checking everything is okay
If you’ve done everything correctly so far, the strap should be secure and have no twists or kinks in it.
It’s worth taking the time to test this all out.
Get some cushions or a soft mattress and your newly strapped camera.
Hold the strap in your hand and let it completely support the weight of the camera.
Jiggle it around and let it lightly bounce. Do this all as close to the surface of your cushions in case it falls.
It’s better to try this now and let it fall onto a soft surface than for it to happen over the tough pavement.
What is the best material for a camera strap?
This is a good question and it affects both your camera’s safety and how comfortable it is to use and hold.
There are other things to consider such as how easy it is to clean and how well it does when exposed to the elements.
It’s a good idea to ditch the strap that came with your camera and go for something better quality and more reliable.
You want to get the longest effective life from your camera, so here are the best materials and features to look for:
- Neoprene straps – they also fit most binoculars as an added bonus and can hold up to around 4.5kg (10lbs)
- Nylon webbing – it’s super strong and a little flexible so it won’t take damage easily
- Padded necklines – this is usually neoprene and is purely for comfort and durability
- Genuine leather – it’s extremely durable and looks classy; it’s worth the money
- Three-button pinch release clips – these make it faster and safer to quickly add and remove your straps
- Well tested and able to hold weights far higher than your camera’s total weight
- Metal clips – these might ware badly over time, but they’re strong and trustworthy
These are just some things to look out for.
They offer small changes but can make a big difference in comfort and ease-of-use.
How to wear a camera strap
This depends on the type of strap you want.
You’ll also hold it differently depending on the type of photography you’re into and the specific situation you’re shooting in.
Here are some general tips to help you out:
- Avoid wearing the strap around the back of your neck – it gets very uncomfortable and can cause you quite a bit of neck and back pain if you’re moving around a lot
- Get a double wrap around your wrist to give you better control of the camera and reduce the risk on a drop
- If you’re holding the camera on your right side, don’t ever lug the strap over your right shoulder – always wear in diagonally across your body and over your head
- Don’t leave the strap too loose – you don’t want your camera to become an expensive wrecking ball; keep is as close to your body as you comfortably can
- Keep the camera held on your dominant side – you’re more likely to save it and react faster with your dominant hand
You should have the information you need to get strapped up.
Remember to always double-check after a friend or workmate has used your camera!
Check it yourself to always be sure it’s all in order, don’t trust them to do it for you.
You also don’t want to have to regularly change straps as you need to get used to using one – you’ll learn some clever tricks along the way.
So go ahead and invest some extra money and time into finding the right strap – it’ll pay itself back in no time.
Now that you know how to attach a camera strap, you’re ready to do it for yourself. Get it done right and protect your camera and lens everywhere you go.