Evidently, wrist straps are popular. They're easy to use, and light. They don't get in the way. But I simply don't get why or how anyone would opt for one. Most are gawd-awful paddy things. Gordy's is different. It's a simple mash of leather and twine and steel. The leather is thick, the steel is hard and isn't prone to chip or dent. If you want, you can add an extra leather tag to protect your camera.
It is strong. After about a week with it I got into the habit of letting whatever camera I had attached to it just dangle. When it came time to shoot, flipping the camera up into the palm is as easy as it is quick. As my most-used camera and lens combo is the Fujifilm X-T1 Speedbooster, I reckon this is a worst-case front-heavy scenario. If nothing else, the constant flipping of the camera from dangle to eye has ground to powder portions of my ulna and radius. (I'll see a doctor about that.)
But just to be sure, I dangled myself from a tree by the wrist strap. Both the tree and the strap held up extremely well. I now have stretch marks below my right wrist.
Gordy's Wrist Lug: 18$ and up
Headfi's beefy admins, Sean Chan, and Amos Barnett, use slings. They have muscles out to their ears. I do not. And my cameras are generally much smaller than theirs. Ditto my lenses. The idea of a camera sling came from watching them clack away with their D3s and D800s.
Gordy gave some helpful advice, which I followed. My sling is cut to drop about hip-length on my trim 184cm long body.
At first, packing a camera at the hip forced me to swagger a bit to the left; I wanted to keep the camera close to my right hip. The sling mounts to the camera via a pretty hefty steel bolt. That bolt is tightened very simply by a large, flat turn screw. The screw does not lock. The leather thong around the bolt rotates freely, relieving most of the desire the bolt may have to unlock. Still, I wouldn't feel comfortable rocking a D4 or D800 setup from the Gordy sling. The X-T1 or X100s were made for it.
And when shooting models and places for audio product placement, I used it more than any other strap. Why? Because I could hold a reflector or nudge a light and still have a free hand to bring the camera up to my eye without yoga. That is why slings exist.
Of course, none of my interchangeable lenses are AF, so once the camera got to the right spot, I sometimes had to do an awkward jiggle to make sure that my subject was sharp enough.
Gordy's Neck Sling: 40$ USD and up
The horizontal strap
While the horizontal strap concedes flexibility on the job, it feels so much better agains the body, or when out on a date. And Gordy's horizontal neck strap retains all the leather goodness and strength of the other straps, but sits more naturally on the body. I opted for a neck pad, but don't think it's necessary. Mainly, I keep the featherlight Fujifilm X100s attached to it. The combo is perfect.
This strap will go down to replace numerous straps which I have purchased all across Asia, North America, and Sweden. And despite being leather, it costs roughly the same as an off-market strap from a respectable maker.
Gordy's Horizontal strap: 27$ USD and up
Each strap is fashioned from thick, stiff, hide. My first wear was itchy. But leather wears in. Today, neither the thin strap nor the neck pad rub my skin the wrong way. Each is comfortable and natural. Better yet, even after being stuck to a sweaty skin, the leather thongs don't get stinky like canvass, or thin leather veneers.
In ordering your Gordy's Camera Strap, you must specify strap length and colour, as well as wrap colour. If you opt for leather grommets, neck pads, or other luxuries, those too. The final product is understated, and practical; like burlap instead of silk. The order process is a bit like a semi-bespoke tailor's, and the staff are pleasant and polite.
My order arrived in Chiba from America in about two weeks. It came in a simple blister envelope. There's nothing inside for customs/parcel carriers to harm. And for the price, I'd expect nothing more. That said, the attention to the product is lessened somewhat by the perfunctory way it arrived at my door.
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I'd love to pay an extra 5$ for better brand awareness.
The photographs in this review illustrate some of the ways my wife and I used and enjoyed Gordy's straps. They have been used now for over two months in regular life and have survived being thrown around in three separate commercial shoots. They've held up wonderfully, and in the case of the sling, simplified some of my work.
Best of all is that Gordy's straps don't look like they were made to be shown off. They're not jewellery. They're not collector items. It's meet that my wife wears t-shirts with fake microphones on them, and that I like pentagrams. The natural, rough exterior of Gordy's straps jives with our rough, natural exteriors.
And if you're reading this, with eyes on a Gordy's, I reckon they'll fit your natural, rough exterior just perfectly.