GEAR REVIEW - PEAK DESIGN LEASH
The camera strap market is one of the most competitive there is in the photographic industry. With so many styles, designs, features and each manufacturer claiming to offer the ultimate in comfort and ergonomics, it's hard to know what to choose or where to start.
The only thing we do know is that the straps provided by camera manufacturers suck. Sure they perform a function but anyone who has gone on a daytrip will tell you, they ended up with a sore neck, shoulders or back from having the camera hanging off it all day long. In hot or humid weather, these straps make your neck sweat. I've even had friction burns. Lean forward and the camera is swinging around in mid air and hitting whatever is in front of you. Hike up a hillside and you have the camera thumping you in the chest.
For my mind, you won't find a better range of camera carrying solutions than those offered by the guys at Peak Design. Here I will be reviewing the Leash. Like all of their products, Leash is a very minimalistic design, yet it offers great versatility and it can be worn in a number of ways to suit the shooting situation you find yourself in. You can't say that about a lot of straps, I promise you. Having been through so many over the years, I know what brand I'll be sticking to in future!
The great thing about Leash, like all the Peak Design gear, is that it's compatible with any camera system. So whether you own a compact, bridge, DSLR or even larger camera, if there is a strap lug or a 1/4" inch tripod mount, you can use the Peak Design system.
There are a couple of ways you can attach Leash to your camera. Firstly is via the usual metal lugs that the manufacturer provided strap normally feeds through. Simply thread the Anchor cord through the lug and loop it back through itself, to form a self-tightening knot when worn. Do this to both lugs on the camera and you're ready to attach the strap.
The round disc of the Anchor slides and locks into the Link Clip on the strap. It's really that simple. If you want to detach the strap, simply depress the Anchor and slide it back out of the Link Clip. All very quick and easy and even doable with one hand!
The next method to attach Leash to your camera is via one of 4 different plates. These screw into the tripod mount on the base of the camera and have room to attach two anchors. The plate you choose will depend upon the type of camera you have and also the type of tripod system you use.
If you are unsure, I'd suggest buying either the Dualplate which is suitable for both the Manfrotto and Arca-type connecting systems, or the Proplate, which does the same thing. The Microplate which is designed for compact cameras or those with a small profile, will only work on Arca-type heads. The plates are sold seperately.
The last way to attach the Anchors to your camera is via another accessory mady by Peak Design - the Pro Drive Screw. This allows you the same configuration options as when using a plate but, absent any tripod compatibility. At only $10, it's 1/3rd the price of buying a plate and a much more economical choice for those that don't own or need use of a tripod or monopod whilst out shooting. Street photgoraphers will probably favour this.
The Pro Drive screws into the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera and allows you to connect two Anchors. A hex key slot enables the Pro Drive to be tightened securely, if you're grip isn't up to the task.
Leash can be worn as a traditonal neck strap, or a shoulder strap across the body. The strong webbing material is very smooth and glides across clothing with ease. It's lightweight and is easily stored in your pocket and takes are hardly any room in your camera bag, which has been an issue for me in the past with other, more bulky straps.
Leash can also be used as a "hands free" strap or safety cord. Simply thread it through your belt, shorten the length and you're good to go. This is particularly handy when in wet or humid conditions when your grip could become compromised and you need uninhibited upper body movement.
From the same position, Leash can also be used to stabilize a camera by raising it until the strap is taut. This creates a rudimentary anchor point and can be very effective where a tripod or monopod just isn't available or even permitted. Be sure to check out the video to see Leash in action and you too will see how versatile and functional it is. It gets a big thumbs up from me!
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