I contacted Ponte Leather Co. back in July when I first saw there product on Kickstarter and immediately thought that it appealed to me as a traveler photographer. They were nice enough to send me one before I did a long walk through Spain called the “Camino de Santiago“.
What is the product?
Ponte Leather Midnight Blue Canvas Camera Lift-Strap currently on Pre-order for $30USD
What does the Product do?
It looks quite similar to a normal camera strap, but what sets it apart from the competitors is that it has a unique leather strap coming on it that can be attached to your backpack loop located on the top of your backpack, shifting most of the weight of your camera from your neck to your shoulders.
The quality of the canvas and leather is far superior to that of the one that came with my high end DSLR camera. I’ve taken this strap to the extremes of the world, from the blistering cold of the high Himalayas to the sweltering heat of the summer in Spain.
As you can see, the canvas got a little sun bleached but you should see my shirts from the same time period… they’re all nearly white now. The leather on the strap remains as fresh as the day they sent it to me.
In terms of comfort compared to other conventional camera straps I’ve used, it’s pretty similar to all of the rest. The one thing that takes a little getting used to is the leather strap that latches on to your backpack. For trekking and walking long distances, it is advantageous for me to have the camera near my hip so it’s not smacking me in the chest every single time I take a step. I find it a little more difficult to use this product when the leather strap is attached to my pack since it positions the camera at my chest, rather than at my hip. It’s not a problem if you’re carrying a smaller lens on a light body but when your carrying a 4kg kit it tends to get a bit annoying after a hour or so.
For walking around the city for a few hours to take photos, however, this strap outshines the rest. You simply latch the leather strap to your day pack and walk around at ease not feeling the neck aches you would normally feel after 2hrs with your old strap. The strap weighs a little more than the standard issue camera strap from the manufacturer, but that added weight provides a function that no other strap can, so for me it’s worth the extra weight.
1. Top quality material
2. Transfers the weight of your camera from your neck to your shoulders/back
3. Strap style is far superior to the standard issued DSLR strap
4. Logo-less strap provides a little safety whilst traveling in cities synonymous with theft.
Carrying a strap that says Canon/Nikon is like wearing a gold necklace or sign that says “I have lots of money, rob me!”
5. The price is right!
Most other aftermarket camera straps cost around $20USD and you get what you pay for. For around $50 you can get a camera strap of similar quality to the Ponte Leather one but without the added function of the Camera Lift-Strap.
6. Prevents the easy grab and go robbery
Usually it’s a motor bike or bicycle that will ride by you and grab your camera but if its attached to your backpack that’s an extra level of protection against your camera being stolen.
1. Not as functional for trekkers or people walking extreme distances with cameras
2. Not as functional for photographers with a heavy DSLR kit.
If you have a DSLR kit weighing 4kg then you need to have more than 4kg in your backpack to relieve any of the weight from your neck.