A few months ago I had the chance to review the M1a Mirrorless camera strap from Simplr. I really enjoyed it and have been using it a lot since then. But how can something good get better? Making it simpler! Or should I say, Simplr?
The F1 Sling-Style Camera Strap
When testing the M1a, I’ve found only 2 Cons: being a bit slippery and the limited range of colours available. The colour issue is obviously settled, because I’ve been proudly using a red one! There goes the ability to merge in the crowd, to be inconspicuous and to photograph in the streets without being noticed.
As for the fact of the nylon strap being a bit slippery, after a short time I learned to use it correctly. Instead of using it on the shoulder, if crossing and using it in sling style as illustrated in the photo below by my son, the fact of being slippery makes a lot easier the operation of pulling the camera and raise it at eye level.
So what’s the difference between the F1 strap and the previous M1a?
The F1 is very similar to the M1a model, the same width, the same military grade nylon, very high build quality, allowing it to be used safely in any camera, from a small mirrorless to a medium format. In addition to other upgrades, the biggest difference is that the M1a has a quick-release system and the F1 is fixed (though adjustable).
The strap is very soft, comfortable and you will almost not notice that it’s there as it’s extremely lightweight.
As for the connectors, you can choose between Flat or Lug mount, being compatible with almost all brands and models, including classic cameras like the Rolleiflex 2.8F TLR.
This version for my Olympus 35RC has Lug mount, with Simplr’s proprietary split rings made out of a steel and magnesium alloy that’s 25% stronger than stainless steel. They are smaller than we usually see on other straps, which makes them more discreet and, above all, more rigid. While using I also noticed another advantage of these smaller rings: regardless of the position of the strap, they never touch the camera, therefore preventing scratching the paint as it usually happens.
This strap is very similar to the one I tested earlier and so I highly recommend it. Everything in this strap is thought and designed for the user. It fulfills its function, it’s comfortable, robust and very durable. After months of use, my M1a shows no signs of wear. So I expect the same level of reliability for the F1, if not higher. It’s simple to use and with the adjustment tab you can quickly change the length to suit your needs, regardless of whether you wear it as a neck strap or sling-style. I found the split rings a bit harder to put in the camera than usual, but it’s natural because of its smaller diameter. But it’s also something that you do only once.
Which one to choose?
If you photograph landscapes I would recommend the M1a because of the quick connectors which allow you to promptly remove the strap when the camera is on the tripod, avoiding unwanted vibrations when making long exposures on windy days. Or, if you want to use the same strap in multiple cameras, you can buy some extra Mini QD Loops.
For all other situations I would recommend the F1 for its simplicity and superior strength while maintaining the same light weight.
Co-founder of the Olympus Passion Project.
Travel and documentary photographer from Portugal, using mirrorless cameras since 2012.