Putting a leash on somebody or something sounds not too positive to me (Think about your neighbors dog!). Keeping your camera safe and sound is a totally different story. When it comes to my gear, I discovered two surprisingly simple things. In terms of cameras and lenses and lights the job defines what I need – and I have what I need (or know where to get it). But as we all know it’s not only the ‘basic gear’ – the little helpers make our lives as Photographers easier.
Since how many years am I looking for the magic super-all-in-one and all-for-all-(cameras) photo bag? Feels like a century. Have I found it? Not quite yet (even if I am quite close to. This will be a future article). My working style is very active during the shoot: I walk around a lot, interact with the model, explore the location (climb up somewhere and check from above). Keeping the camera in my hands all time would certainly constrain me too much. So, where to leave the camera when not actually pressing the shutter? Right where you have it at hand any second – on your body. Here we go again: My search for the holy grail in terms of accessories. The real breakthrough came with the Capture Clip last year. As I am shooting with two cameras in parallel quite often the next question arises. Where to put the second one? The ‘evil circle’ closes as we are back at camera straps. I always hated them. All the ones that came with any camera are still originally-sealed and were never touched. The imagination alone of having a camera hanging around my neck is causing this uncomfortable feeling in my tummy.
When Peter Dering told me about their new project Leash & Cuff during last year´s Photokina I was quite excited to test this combination. Since a few days I am right in my next ‘real life test’ and the system works great. Period. The anchor points are the key to the very well balanced orientation of the camera when hanging on the strap. While I am only very rarely using it as a classic camera strap (around my neck), the sling-setup is as great as simple: The seat belt quality material slides smoothly over any kind of clothing you wear and no additional buckles, supporting straps or similar are needed. While all other sling-straps I tested required some serious setup and tuning in order to have the length of the strap and the position of the camera adjusted. With the Leash you throw the strap over your shoulder – eventually alter the length with one hand – you click in the camera and here we go.
The three-anchor point system (you can freely choose how and where you connect the two ends of the strap two any two anchor points) allows you to comfortably wear any camera-lens combination taking the size and weight of this particular combo into account. Shooting on location it comes very handy that just one hand is enough to adjust the length of the strap to change from ‘sling-mode’ to ‘neck-mode’ and back.
A few words about the little brother, the ‘Cuff’. Originally designed as a hand-strap, I mainly use it as a safety-cord under rough shooting conditions if there’s a risk one could drop the camera. Attached to your belt on the one side and using the lower anchor point (at the tripod adapter) make’s it a very handy camera stabilizer by simply pushing the camera upwards in a way that the cuff is under tension.
Summarizing what makes Leash & Cuff special is the flexibility of the system. No matter what camera and lenses I use, the anchor-points can be easily changed and adjusted in a way that makes me carry the camera very comfortably. The components are rock-solid and give you the feeling your expensive gear is always safe. It nicely blends in with the Capture Clip. And last but not least all this comes at a very interesting price !
Highly recommended !