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The Pap Strap Review

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Category: Bags, Cases and Straps
Product: The Pap Strap
Price: £29.50
Rating: 4.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 5

The Pap Strap - The Pap Strap is a new style of camera strap aimed at making picture taking faster.

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The Pap Strap is simple yet very effective and allows you to get the camera up to the eye very quickly without any interfernece from the strap fittings. It costs £29.50 (carriage extra).

People start forum threads on ePHOTOzine on all sorts of hardware subject: what camera to buy, which lens is best for such-and-such a subject, will the XYZ flashgun blow-up during high-speed continuous shooting, that sort of thing. But the other day I stumbled across a thread about a camera strap and it intrigued me enough to get a sample in try for myself. By the way, click here to see the forum thread.

The Pap Strap is £29.50 (£37.10 with carriage) so it is not cheap but it is different and it is being talked about.

The Pap Strap: Features
Innovation on something as basic as a camera strap is not easy but the Pap Strap, however, does offer an innovative approach to comfort and speed of use. Let's be honest, there is not much about camera straps that is exciting and that is why many photographers use the one that came supplied with their camera – even if it does have the maker's logo boldly emblazoned along it.
The Pap Strap is designed to be worn across the body – not hanging off the shoulder or around the neck. The camera is attached to it via a specially designed tripod bush that clips onto a spring-loaded retaining clip through which the nylon webbing strap is threaded.
The camera is attached to the Pap Strap with a specially designed tripod bush (left), which slips onto strap's holding clip (right image).
The spring-loaded clip is powerful but I would prefer something even more secure – a mountaineering carabiner with a screw-lock mechanism would be perfect. This would make it slower to remove the camera from the strap but it would make it even less likely to slip off inadvertently. To be fair, though, that is a tiny risk anyway. A bigger risk is a thief on a busy train unclipping the camera and running off with it. I am slightly paranoid in that sort of situation so I would be holding onto the camera anyway, as I am sure most photographers would. A slip of concentration, however, could be risky.
The Pap Strap: Performance
Start by screwing the special tripod bush into the camera and then slip this into the clip and you are ready to go.
It probably was not surprising that I found myself holding on to the camera because it seemed strange not to have it on a normal strap. I suppose I felt nervous – understandably, I hope you will appreciate – at putting so much trust on a tripod bush. I also found that the camera banged against me as I walked around and holding it against my body or in one hand stopped that.
However, I soon got used to the strap and got it adjusted to the right length to suit me. This also stopped the camera swinging into me too. It is a question of finding the right length so that camera sits in the small of your back, but it is very quick to move the camera up to the eye.
Once I got my confidence with the strap I just left the camera dangling there knowing that it was not about to meet its maker.
The strap is plenty long enough to suit the tallest photographer. I found I had some excess strap that I could trim off if I wanted – a warning on the Pap Strap website does stress the strap should never be modified so I left it.
This strap is a clever, functional yet very simple piece of design. Clearly, it will not suit every type of photographer. For example, because the strap uses the tripod bush, you cannot use the camera on a tripod until the screw-in bush is removed. It probably won't suit long lens users too because it can be uncomfortable.
However, the name of the strap (ie Pap, paparazzi, geddit?) is a big clue about the potential end user. It does make the camera very quick to use and means less likelihood of missing the shot. Grabbing the camera and getting it up to the eye is brilliantly fast and there is no tangle or fighting your way with the normal strap. Also, having the strap lugs clear of a strap is a lovely freedom.
In terms of comfort, the Pap strap rates highly too. It does not have the weight-absorbing, Neoprene stretchiness of the ePHOTOzine or Op/Tech straps, but wearing the strap camera across the body with the camera in the small of your back is more comfortable than just having it around the neck or shoulder.
For the money, it is terrific value and mine is in regular use but not in every situation, so I still have my regular strap in the bag when I feel the need to swap over. It really does comes into its own in situations where catching the moment is crucial - on the street, weddings, events, that sort of thing.
The Pap Strap: Verdict
The Pap Strap costs £29.50 if you collect it from the Pap Strap Essex store, but it is more likely that you will take the £37.10 option which includes the strap and UK next day delivery. For the strap and worldwide postage, the strap costs £49.48.
Extra screw-in tripod bushes costs £12 each £13.50 with postage) and are sold to Pap Strap customers only. An extra bush or two is handy when using telephoto lenses with a tripod mounts or for a second camera.
Straps start from free (ie the one that came with your SLR) upwards and the Pap Strap is at the top end of the price range. Despite this, and I know some think it is expensive for what you get, I happen to think it is excellent value for money and well worth buying if you are into street and people photography.

For more details of the Pap Strap, please visit here.

The Pap Strap: Pros
Makes camera fast to use
The Pap Strap: Cons
Clip could be more secure
Expensive for a strap

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dcash29  81870 forum posts England
14 Jul 2010 - 9:57 PM

If you go to a climbing shop you can purchase everything you'll need, less the tripod mount for under a fiver

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