Tanner Goods Camera Strap Review

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Introduction:

There are so many camera straps available out there in many material types such as nylon or leather. Hopefully, this Tanner Goods leather camera strap review will be of use to you. Shortly after I purchased my first DLSR in 2014, I visited the recently opened Tanner Goods flagship store in Downtown LA. At the time, Tanner Goods was still using Horween Chromexcel as their primary leather with the colorways “Rich Moc”, “Chicago Tan”, “Dark Oak”, Black, and Natural. Every couple of years, Tanner Goods switches the leather on their goods to change things up. I had a hard time deciding between Chicago Tan and Rich Moc. I ended up purchasing the Rich Moc camera strap because I felt that the light brown tone would patina well. The Dark Oak was a medium brown and would have been a solid choice also. I liked the simple design of the strap and lack of “synthetic” materials (other than the nylon cords).

 

To me, Tanner Goods and Horween Leather come hand in hand. I feel that the brand’s success was because of their selection of leather, particularly Chromexcel, at an early time when not many other leather makers were using it. Nowadays, CXL is very prominent especially in footwear.

Details:

Tanner Goods SLR Camera Strap in “Rich Moc” Leather
Price: $130 USD

  • Made of 3.5oz Horween Chromexcel Leather
  • Attaches to camera via two high density nylon cords
  • Nonmetal hardware attachment reduces possibility of damage to camera
  • Easily detachable for tripod use
  • Burnished, waxed, and dyed by hand
  • Dimensions 36″ end to end
  • Made in the USA


Impressions:

The design of the camera strap is pretty innovative. It uses Tanner Goods’ signature belt loop and brass button stud attachment which is very secure. While many companies use a button stud, Tanner Goods went further to secure it using a leather loop so that unintended stress in any direction will not detach the leather. While I have no doubt that the button stud will stay secured, the leather loop adds that extra comfort of mind.


The main leather piece that sits on your neck or shoulder has 6 parallel slits on each side. The straps are connected to this piece by weaving through these slits alternatingly and then looping through itself to secure it. This placement allows the strap to occupy 3 of the 6 slots at a time. The camera strap initially comes with the straps at their longest (aka the lateral-most 3 slots of the 6). If you want to shorten the straps, you can remove them and position them in the slots more towards the center. Therefore, there are 4 potential positions to shorten/lengthen the strap. (654, 543, 432, 321).


I’ve carried a DSLR with a hefty lens without any problem or doubt. The main strap actually has a curved side which is supposed contour around your neck. Keep that in mind when you’re re-attaching the cords! Personally, it doesn’t make a difference to me whether the shoulder strap is facing the correct way as I carry the strap on my shoulder not neck.

I have tried to utilize the inner slots to shorten the strap length on several occasions but felt that in doing so, the main leather piece sticks out at its ends, making it look awkward. Also, it takes several minutes to adjust the straps, using the other side as a model to find out what loops through what. Ever since, I just leave it on the most longest position which is the most natural looking as the strap position allows the main shoulder/neck piece to completely curve. Moving to the straps shortest position only decreased the total length by about 4 inches!

The stitching and leather burnishing is very well done on the main leather piece. The lateral straps, however, do not have burnished edges which is one of my main irks. This leads to the straps having “fuzzy edges” which looks like a bad hairday! Perhaps the straps could not be burnished because of they were too thin.\

A trick that I used to get the nylon cord through my Fuji X-T10 was using dental floss to thread it through. On larger cameras, it is more practical to use O rings.

I love how easily the straps can detach so that it does not dangle in the way when on the tripod. Another technique is to to wrap the strap several times around my hand to prevent the strap flopping in front of my camera. The straps do not have any metal hardware that can scratch your camera. The nylon cords at the ends seem very securely riveted to the leather. But if anything were to fail first, it would probably be the nylon cords detaching.

Conclusion:

I nearly forgot about the MSRP of the Tanner Goods camera strap being $130. Even though the price was steep, it’s pretty much been the only camera strap I’ve used. I like the design and innovation of Tanner Goods being made of a material that ages gracefully. You can, however, find the straps lightly used on eBay for around $70-80. That’s a more affordable price!

The Rich Moc Chromexcel leather developed very prominent creases and perhaps even creased in an undesired looking manner. However, this creasing does not at all affect the durability of the product and is just cosmetic. The second Natural tooling camera strap that I also owned has darkened significantly in the places exposed.


The current leather that Tanner Goods uses is English Bridle Leather. I haven’t had much experience with that leather, but the design of the strap is still the same. One thing I love about Chromexcel is how soft it starts with. The Bridle Leather that I felt in person initially felt a lot more rigid and dry.

When I’m not using the camera or strap, it’s stored away safely in my Filson Photographer’s Backpack (check out that review here)!


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