The most common accessory for a camera is a strap. Everyone has a camera strap. Cameras even come with straps! It’s like they are supposed to be used with a strap. Well, I don’t like straps. I’ve never liked using camera straps. I do use them when needed, like working with two cameras, or in an environment that I risk losing my camera if it falls (ocean, large heights, etc…). Overall though, I always have some kind of quick release so I can get rid of the strap asap! I try to avoid using a strap as much as I can.
Wrist straps have never worked for me either. They just don’t work for my hands. Basically I’de rather be stuck with a strap than a wrist strap!
I discovered another solution called the “Sling” which is offered from LeicaGoodies.com. It is a very simple device that loops both ends of a piece of nylon on to the strap lug. To secure it, you then place your keyring through the strap lug. Actually getting the keyring on is not easy to begin with. It is even more difficult with the sling present. This is NOT a quick addition or removal. Plan on leaving the sling on once you get it on! Then again, you can use a standard strap even with the sling present.
The sling is ordered based on measuring your finger diameter. (A piece of string wrapped around the finger and then laid out of a ruler works) I think I could have been slightly smaller with my measurement, but regardless it is still quite secure. I wasn’t sure how the measurement would translate in reality so I didn’t measure too tightly. Here is what the sling looks like attached. (Is it just me or does the M8 seem like it has bunny ears now…)
The sling amazingly works. I was quite skeptical at first. I also was a bit skeptical when I first tried it. The last thing I want is to feel the camera slide off my fingers and go glass first into the ground! However…it DOES work. Basically you slip your ring and middle finger through the two loops. It just slides right on. At that point the camera is “perpendicular” to you hand. When you “let go” of the camera so it is hanging down it becomes “parallel” to the hand. It seems to me that the weight of the camera and the angle it places the loops against the finger when hanging down actually create a secure hold. You can’t actually just pull the camera off the hand either. You can see in this next photo that it just seemingly defies gravity…and stays attached to your hand! Also take note of the loop angle.
If you even apply a little pressure with your fingers onto the camera the hold becomes even more secure. You can just swing the camera up to your other hand or face and be ready to shoot. It’s actually easier than having a camera on a strap. So far the Sling has been quite comfortable for use over several hours. I don’t know how much weight I would want to support in this way however. So far with a Leica and small and medium sized lenses you don’t even think about the weight. With a large heavy lens like a Noctilux or any of the 135mm lenses I’de be a little more hesitant put stress on the fingers over long term use. The LeicaGoodies website also shows the sling used with an R series camera. Honestly, I can’t imagine using a sling to support an R series, or any SLR that size with a large lens. Not that it “can’t”…i’m sure it can…but that seems like too much weight on the finger joints to me. (Then again I am a guitarist, so I am extra careful of my fingers, joints, and wrists!)
Overall I find this is the best solution for me with an M system. I can walk around and just have the camera next to me ready. I don’t have to reach for it, or try to grab it and adjust hand position to shoot like with a strap. I don’t have a strap annoying me when trying to shoot at different angles, straight down or up. The camera is there, ready to go. All you do is close your hand and you are in shooting position.