(Above image: my Leica MP and CSLR Glide Strap)
In my 6 years of shooting street photography, I have experimented with lots of different straps. I tried neck straps, wrist straps, hand straps, and even no straps.
Finding an ideal camera strap for street photography is very difficult. You need a strap that is discrete, comfortable, yet looks good.
I was really excited when I first came upon the CSLR Glide Strap on the internet (I first heard about it through Kickstarter for their C-Loop). Their revolutionary idea at the time was why not take your camera strap off your neck (where it gets itchy and sticky) and put it over your shoulder instead? This way it could disperse more weight more evenly around your body.
Not only that, they advertised a “gliding” mechanism that would allow you to quickly draw your camera (just like a gun-slinger out of a cowboy movie).
Using the CSLR Glide Strap for the first time for street photography
I was excited when I first got the CSLR Glide Strap and used it on my Canon 5D DSLR at the time for street photography. It allowed me to stay more discrete when shooting street photography, by having my camera by my side (instead of really obviously around my neck).
Not only that, but having the glidestrap allowed me to quickly draw up my camera when I wanted to quickly capture “the decisive moment”.
Out of all the camera straps that I experimented with, the CSLR Glide Strap was the most ideal. I no longer had to worry about the strain on my neck (with traditional camera straps), nor worrying about where to put my camera when I wanted to wash my hands or eat a hotdog (with a wriststrap).
Therefore I thought that other street photographers would benefit from the strap, so I contacted CSLR themselves and asked them if they could be one of my sponsors – and support myself as well as the rest of the community with their products.
Over the last few months, I have gotten to know Ivan (the guy who started the whole idea) quite well- and am very impressed with his passion. This guy isn’t just a corporate fatcat who is trying to squeeze profits out of the photography community (like a lot of the other bigger companies). Rather, he is also a fellow photographer who wanted to help out other photographers with good products to make our lives easier.
I was even more surprised to hear how small and local CSLR was as a company. They are around an intimate 3-person team, and currently based in San Jose (I grew up near there in the Bay Area). They are also producing new solutions for people out there shooting with tripods with their M-Plate Pro Universal Tripod Plate System.
Comparisons with other products
The only real competitor of the CSLR Glide Strap is the Blackrapid strap (as well as a few others). While the Blackrapid strap is a similar solution and a good product, I feel that the design and quality is a bit lacking when compared to the CSLR Glide Strap. The only way I could put it is like having a PC vs Mac. Both of them ultimately do the same tasks, but PC’s are often far less elegant and polished than the aluminum Mac’s. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Mac fanboy (I used PC’s for around 10 years – since I was 12 until 22). However in the end I found the simplicity and elegance of the Mac able to help me be more productive and accomplish more.
Taking this back to the Blackrapid vs CSLR Glide Strap debate. While the Blackrapid is also a solid strap, I dislike the awkward “hook” that they have that attaches to the bottom of the camera, that sticks out and is quite obtrusive. The CSLR C-Loop is built much more elegantly – that has a smaller profile and swivels far more freely.
Furthermore, the strap on the Blackrapid is far bulkier, heavier, and less flexible. The CSLR Glide Strap is softer, more flexible, and also stretchy – that offers better comfort and usability.
Also a price comparison (the CSLR Strap is cheaper):
Video Review of the CSLR Glide strap
I highly recommend the CSLR Glide Strap to those of you shooting with a DSLR, a larger micro 4/3rds camera, or a Leica. It is one of the best designed products I have used, and the most functional for street photography. It is comfortable around your shoulder, flexible, and you can quickly draw your camera when capturing decisive moments in street photography.
I wouldn’t recommend the CSLR Glide Strap to those with point-and-shoot cameras, or the smaller micro 4/3rds cameras. The current strap is a bit big for those cameras. However after giving CSLR some suggestions, they are now considering creating a smaller model for smaller cameras (if you are for the idea, leave a comment below and let them know!)
Any questions about the CSLR Glide Strap for street photography? If so, leave a question in the comments below!