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Wapiti Camera Strap
Old 04-20-2013   #1
Duane Pandorf
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Wapiti Camera Strap

I've purchased a custom Wapiti Camera Strap. I haven't received it yet but I'm looking forward to see how this one will perform.

I've been looking around at other strap options and most of the "standard" rangefinder straps are too short. I have my factory Leica strap extended full length so I can easily wear it across my chest. Lug - lug its 46". I'm on a waiting list for the latest ARTISAN & ARTIST* ACAM-E25R but I think it will be too wide at the lugs for me. I recently tried one of those silk type straps but it was too big around at the lugs and I had trouble holding the camera when taking a shot.

I really like the way the factory Leica strap attaches to the camera but I dislike the shoulder pad due to the nubs that are there to prevent sliding. Well, I need the strap to slide as I do carry the camera across my chest and when I go to take a photo the strap should not be a hinderance.

So that's where the Wapiti Strap comes in. The C1 has the same width nylon strap (1/2") that connects at the camera. And then it has a nice shoulder pad.

I sent an email last evening asking a few questions and was surprised to get an almost immediate response from David Grubbs who makes the straps. I explained what I was looking for and sent him some photos of the lugs of the camera along with a photo of the factory camera's fittings. Plus I remeasured my strap length to ensure I had the right size.

So what I've decided to do is remove the factory straps metal attachment rings and the plastic locking clasps and use them on the Wapiti C1 strap. David will size the strap so that once its configured it will be 46" lug - lug.

As soon as I sent the Paypal funds to him I got an email back saying he'd have it out in Monday's mail. I call that pretty good service.

This is all I could find on Youtube pertaining to his straps: Connecting a Wapiti C1 Strap - YouTube
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Old 04-20-2013   #2
Alexander
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I have got three or four of the Wapiti straps from DSLRs to Point & Shoots - I love these straps! I am surprised they are not more popular with this crowd - very comfortable strap.

You can see Pete Sousa uses his strap in a decent PBS documentry



http://www.pbs.org/programs/presidents-photographer

...@
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Old 04-20-2013   #3
Duane Pandorf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander View Post
I have got three or four of the Wapiti straps from DSLRs to Point & Shoots - I love these straps! I am surprised they are not more popular with this crowd - very comfortable strap.

You can see Pete Sousa uses his strap in a decent PBS documentry



http://www.pbs.org/programs/presidents-photographer

...@
Once I get the strap and add my modification with the Leica factory connectors I will post a review and some pictures.
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Old 04-20-2013   #4
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Looks like an excellent strap, and fitting it with the Leica loops and locks will make it great for the M9. I might even try one myself ... although....

As a test, I took the Street Strap off my X2 and fitted it to the M9 for my trip. It worked brilliantly, was extremely comfortable and easy to work with. Never twists or binds on anything.

The Wapiti might be just the thing for the Hasselblads, though. The original Hassy straps are too thin for comfort, but the Hassy clips are great ... It looks like they'll fit the Wapiti C1 strap perfectly.

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Old 04-20-2013   #5
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The Wapiti are great straps. Your modification sounds interesting. I happened to have a C1 and a Leica strap sitting here unused so I thought I'd give it a look. The C1 strap is slightly wider and thicker than the Leica strap. It looks like the metal connector has sufficient 'play' and should work, but the plastic locking tab may be a problem.

Keep us posted on how this works.
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Old 04-20-2013   #6
Duane Pandorf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CVickery View Post
The Wapiti are great straps. Your modification sounds interesting. I happened to have a C1 and a Leica strap sitting here unused so I thought I'd give it a look. The C1 strap is slightly wider and thicker than the Leica strap. It looks like the metal connector has sufficient 'play' and should work, but the plastic locking tab may be a problem.

Keep us posted on how this works.
His website says 1/2" for the C1 and that's what I measured the Leica factory strap at. His Bugle strap at 3/8" maybe what I needed in stead. It will still be less money than any of the other "custom" straps I've seen.
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Old 04-20-2013   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane Pandorf View Post
His website says 1/2" for the C1 and that's what I measured the Leica factory strap at. His Bugle strap at 3/8" maybe what I needed in stead. It will still be less money than any of the other "custom" straps I've seen.
I measure my Leica strap at 7/16" and the C1 at 1/2". I had thought that the C1 was thicker, but looking again it doesn't seem to be...just a coarser weave. Looking at the plastic clip again it looks like there is just a bit of extra room. It'll probably be tight, but should fit. I'd give it a try myself but I'm not sure how to get the clips off the Leica strap without damaging the strap.
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Old 04-20-2013   #8
Duane Pandorf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CVickery View Post
I measure my Leica strap at 7/16" and the C1 at 1/2". I had thought that the C1 was thicker, but looking again it doesn't seem to be...just a coarser weave. Looking at the plastic clip again it looks like there is just a bit of extra room. It'll probably be tight, but should fit. I'd give it a try myself but I'm not sure how to get the clips off the Leica strap without damaging the strap.
Getting the clips off the Leica strap will require cutting. I was going to separate the strap at the plastic fitting where the loop is sewed. Then if I want to use the Leica strap again you would just have to secure it manually like any other strap.
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Old 04-20-2013   #9
Pablito
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Similar to Domke's cheapest strap (my default general use strap) but more than twice the price. Ok, the Wapiti looks a bit nicer but I guess I'm not that fussy - would rather save the money ($16 for the Domke vs. $40 for Wapiti's C1)
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Old 04-20-2013   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito View Post
Similar to Domke's cheapest strap (my default general use strap) but more than twice the price. Ok, the Wapiti looks a bit nicer but I guess I'm not that fussy - would rather save the money ($16 for the Domke vs. $40 for Wapiti's C1)
I have Domke straps as well....no contest the Wapiti is far nicer in use. It's softer and more pliable so it's more comfortable and doesn't get in the way. I was also always wary of the metal clips of the Domke damaging the camera or lens.
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Old 04-21-2013   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CVickery View Post
I have Domke straps as well....no contest the Wapiti is far nicer in use. It's softer and more pliable so it's more comfortable and doesn't get in the way. I was also always wary of the metal clips of the Domke damaging the camera or lens.
The Wapiti look a lot like the original strap for the Mamiya 6, one of my favorite straps ever. I have no doubt it's better than the Domke but just to clarify, I use the cheapest Domke, which has no clips, just some metal connectors.
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Old 04-21-2013   #12
Duane Pandorf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pablito View Post
The Wapiti look a lot like the original strap for the Mamiya 6, one of my favorite straps ever. I have no doubt it's better than the Domke but just to clarify, I use the cheapest Domke, which has no clips, just some metal connectors.
I think the big deal is the 1/2" strap is one piece the whole length so there are no pieces to come apart that hold the camera.

The Wapiti website doesn't show it but I found more details about the strap at this blog that included his reason for switching away from a Domke strap to the Wapiti:

Wapiti Strap Review

Quote:
.... Up to this point I had settled on Domke straps, which work well enough, but A) they aren’t very comfortable, and B) they tend to wear out right at the strap lugs on my cameras. I never had one actually tear, but I’ve seen it happen and that always worried me. I don’t think that would happen with the Wapiti strap, the mounting point is exceptionally secure and I could not get it to slip no matter how hard I tried....
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