Monday, May 28, 2012

My Bespoke Camera Strap for Fuji X100 Leica and Sony

Here's my perfect camera strap. Presented to you in a little understated video I made.

Reasons to recommend this strap:
  1. Comfort in the hand or around the neck. Very occasionally, I carry my camera with the strap running diagonally across my chest (never in front like a tourist). But most of the time I carry my camera with the strap wrapped around my wrist like a hand strap. My strap feels great however you carry your camera.
  2. No fiddly adjustments and no buckles. I just want a strap the correct length, for me. Not too long and not too short.
  3. Strong. Oh yes, very strong.
  4. Design. I want a strap that compliments the look of my cameras. Also, I like the feel and quality of handmade items.
Red strap on Fuji X100 by Tim Irving
Red Bespoke Strap
I've been a professional photographer for the past 30 years, I know exactly the sort of strap I needed/wanted. So while this blog has been quiet, I've spent the past months testing materials and making prototypes. As an ex sailor in the merchant navy (marine),  I remember my knots, so it's natural that my strap would be hand knotted and spliced.

The cord is military grade, made in the US. It's very strong, a single strand will hold over 600 pounds. For added security the ends are spliced to form a loop, where a stainless steel split ring connects to the camera. I've used a leather tube to protect the camera from rubbing against the split ring. The loose ends are finished with a celtic knot for luck and love. The new strap initially feels a little stiff, like a new pair of jeans, but with use it will relax and become the most comfortable material in the hand. It feels great and because it's cylindrical it rolls instead of digging in.

There are no buckles and bits of plastic, the strap is bespoke and is made to any length, from 30 inches to 50 inches. At the moment colours are black, gray, khaki and olive, but I'm playing with new colours and will show them here as I make them.
Bespoke camera strap colors by Tim Irving
Apart from the leather protector, the only tools used are a rigging knife with a marlin spike. Each strap takes between eight and ten hours to make, so my straps are rare animals.

Tim Irving Wrist Strap on Fuji X-100 Camera

The straps are available from my BitMit shop but they sell out very quickly. If there are no straps in stock, keep checking the shop and this blog for up-dates.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Misty Beaches

Beach huts, Norfolk England - Photograph by Tim Irving
Norfolk, England - Tim Irving
beach hyt - Photograph by Tim Irving
Beach Hut - Tim Irving
Beach Hut - Tim Irving
Beach Hut - Tim Irving

We've had some very British weather this year. Freezing, wet, windy, dull and damp. Then last Tuesday the sun came out. So after being assured by the weather forcasts that we'll have blue skies for two weeks, I arranged to spend last Friday taking photographs and videos on the Norfolk coast. The promise of sun made the beach popular with families, but despite the forecasts the whole day was misty, which was a bonus for me, but it did feel slightly strange.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Fujifilm X100 Camera Strap

A few months ago I bought a new Fuji X100 camera. I'm pleased to say it works as it should, there have been very few dramas. However, there is one niggle and that is the strap supplied with the camera is awful. That's not such a surprise because most straps supplied with cameras are awful. The strap that comes with the Fuji camera feels and looks cheap, its been thrown together with poor materials -  mine came out of the box with loose threads and frayed edges. Sadly, it's what I've come to expect. The Fuji X100 is a $1,200 camera, I expect better.

Fujifilm X100 strap
Fujifilm X100 strap
Fujifilm X100 camera strap
Fujifilm X100 strap
To be continued...........

Monday, May 14, 2012


Kings College and Chapel, Cambridge photograph by Tim Irving
Kings College and Chapel, Cambridge - Tim Irving
Freelensing is a technique to try when everything else has been done, when your subject is a cliche. It's a tilt and shift lens for the poor and it allows you to focus on a point of interest and blur out distractions. Kings College in Cambridge is one of the most visited and photographed buildings in Britain. You see all those blurred people at the bottom left of the photograph? They're all tourists and they're all snapping away. Kings College has been photographed to death, so it's an excellent subject to freelens.

Freelensing is simple, just remove your lens, then hold the lens in front of the camera and gently and slowly tilt it. Just play around until it looks interesting, then press the shutter. It does need practice and patience. As you're tilting, use your fingers to avoid light leaks. It works best on standard and short telephot lenses, I used a standard 50mm lens on a 35mm slr camera for this photo.


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