Back in March, I had the chance to review the M1a Mirrorless camera strap from Simplr. I really enjoyed it and have been using this a lot since then. But how can something good get better? Making it simpler! Or should I say, Simplr?
You can win one of these straps
Before proceeding with the review, I would like to inform that thanks to Jason from Simplr we will raffle one of these straps. Now I’m going to be a little selfish and say right away that the red one is for me! So if you want to qualify to win the “Castor Gray” strap, it’s pretty simple, we will randomly select a subscriber from our mailing list and, if that email address is also on Simplr’s mailing list, we will contact to ask for the address to ship the strap.
If you have not yet subscribed to our mailing list you will still be on time, because the draw will only be held on Monday 29th October.
The F1 Sling-Style Camera Strap
When I reviewed the M1a, in the final considerations I mentioned only 2 Cons: being a bit slippery and the limited range of colours available. The colour issue is obviously settled, because I’ve been proudly using a red one! There goes the ability to merge in the crowd, to be inconspicuous and to photograph in the street without being noticed. Although at a distance it’s difficult to say if I carry a camera or if I am a FC Barcelona fan.
As for the fact of the nylon strap being a bit slippery, after a short time I learned to use it correctly. Instead of using it on the shoulder, if crossing and using it in sling style as illustrated in the photo below by my son, the fact of being slippery makes a lot easier the operation of pulling the camera and raise it at eye level.
So what’s the difference between the F1 strap and the previous M1a?
The F1 is very similar to the M1a model, the same width, the same military grade nylon, very high build quality, allowing it to be used safely in any camera, from a small mirrorless to a medium format. In addition to other upgrades, the biggest difference is that the M1a has a quick-release system and the F1 is fixed (though adjustable).
The strap is very soft, comfortable and you will almost not notice that it’s there as it’s extremely lightweight.
As for the connectors, you can choose between Flat or Lug mount, being compatible with almost all brands and models, including classic cameras like the Rolleiflex 2.8F TLR.
This version for my X-Pro1 has Lug mount, with Simplr’s proprietary split rings made out of a steel and magnesium alloy that’s 25% stronger than stainless steel. They are smaller than we usually see on other straps, which makes them more discreet and, above all, more rigid. While using I also noticed another advantage of these smaller rings: regardless of the position of the strap, they never touch the camera, therefore preventing scratching the paint as it usually happens.
This strap is very similar to the one I tested earlier and so I highly recommend it. Everything in this strap is thought and designed for the user. It fulfills its function, it’s comfortable, robust and very durable. After months of use, my M1a shows no signs of wear. So I expect the same level of reliability for the F1, if not higher. It’s simple to use and with the adjustment tab you can quickly change the length to suit your needs, regardless of whether you wear it as a neck strap or sling-style. I found the split rings a bit harder to put in the camera than usual, but it’s natural because of its smaller diameter. But it’s also something that you do only once.
Which one to choose?
If you photograph landscapes I would recommend the M1a because of the quick connectors which allow you to promptly remove the strap when the camera is on the tripod, avoiding unwanted vibrations when making long exposures on windy days. Or, if you want to use the same strap in multiple cameras, you can buy some extra Mini QD Loops.
For all other situations I would recommend the F1 for its simplicity and superior strength while maintaining the same light weight.
Co-founder of the Fuji X Passion Project.
Travel and documentary photographer from Portugal, using mirrorless cameras since 2012.