Anybody uses OP/Tech USA neoprene straps with MF cameras ?

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Kodachromeguy

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I also use the Op/Tech strap for my Hasselblad 501CM. It is a bit bulky when wound around the camera body and pushed into a camera bag. I may look for one of the original thin leather black Hasselblad straps.
 
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wiltw

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I use the OpTech Super Classic on all my cameras, including Bronica ETRSi and my dSLRs. It has limited stretch (I dislike too stretchy straps!) and it is more narrow than the Classic. I seldom use super long FL lenses, so I have little need for the broader surface Classic, and do not want bulkier straps.
 
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I also use the Op/Tech strap for my Hasselblad 50iCM. It is a bit bulky when wound around the camera body and pushed into a camera bag. I may look for one of the original thin leather black Hasselblad straps.

The thin thing from Hasselblad is indeed ... thin. There was a wider shoulder pad made for them, but that one is hard to find unless you stumble upon it as part of strap offer. Regarding Op/Tech, all I have at this moment are the extensions, Super Classic is in the mail. But it seem sot me that once neck section is disconnected, the leftovers are not bulkier than original one. In fact, being two separate tentacles, easier to store around camera.
 

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I got an OP/Tech set in Japan when I bought a Fujica GL690 back in 2012.
I purchased the Pro Strap option with metal connectors for Fujica/Pentax67 and found it to be extremely comfortable and have had no reason to question it's reliability.

More recently I bought a set of Hasselblad connectors for my SWC (a great street camera) and I use them with the old Pro neoprene neck strap. I can walk around for hours without discomfort.
 

neilt3

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I've been using Op-tech straps for years .
Got them on a Bronica ETRSi, Mamiya C3 and others models , Kiev 88 and Sony a900 DSLR or Minolta Dynax 9 SLR with grip and lens that weighs at least as much or more than my MF gear .
I've carried then across myself from one shoulder with the camera under my opposite arm on hikes as well as bike rides .
20+ years on and the same straps are still holding up well , and much comfier than the solid woven straps .
Having that bit of bounce is much better . I've never had a clip break on me .
I use them on any heavier camera I buy , only the small , light manual focus 35mm cameras have regular straps on them .
 

Oldwino

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I use the OpTech straps with my Mamiya 645 and often with my Nikon F4 (heavy and dense camera). I’ve never had a clip fail on me, but if it worries you, they sell thin strips of Velcro that you can weave through both sides of the clip. It adds extra security, but mean an extra step to disassemble the strap.
 

Sirius Glass

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The thin thing from Hasselblad is indeed ... thin. There was a wider shoulder pad made for them, but that one is hard to find unless you stumble upon it as part of strap offer. Regarding Op/Tech, all I have at this moment are the extensions, Super Classic is in the mail. But it seem sot me that once neck section is disconnected, the leftovers are not bulkier than original one. In fact, being two separate tentacles, easier to store around camera.

I use the thin Hasselblad neck strap for my 903 SWC. A wider one for the 503 CX.
 

Sirius Glass

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I stopped using a neck strap on my Mamiya RB67 since I always use a tripod with my landscape pictures. The OpTech I did buy it for originally was switched to my 35mm camera. It's a little bouncy but it's very comfortable around the neck.

The Mamiya RB67 should only be carried around if the photographer is wearing a truss.
 

abruzzi

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I use the OpTech straps with my Mamiya 645 and often with my Nikon F4 (heavy and dense camera). I’ve never had a clip fail on me, but if it worries you, they sell thin strips of Velcro that you can weave through both sides of the clip. It adds extra security, but mean an extra step to disassemble the strap.

thats an interesting idea. the difficulty disassembling would be a non issue for me because I never do that. I recently bought a sling style shoulder strap with a quick release clip, and to get around my fear of the quick release giving way, I sewed the strap in place--so about as non-quick release as you can get. Were these velcro strips made specifically for that purpose, or did you just get velcro from Joann fabric or similar?
 

abruzzi

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I dont do this for camera straps (but I might if I had a RB67) but for bags, I love the Domke US Post office shoulder pad for evening out the weight.
 

wiltw

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I dont do this for camera straps (but I might if I had a RB67) but for bags, I love the Domke US Post office shoulder pad for evening out the weight.

I use the Domke US Post Office pad on my 'working' bag for my medium format (Bronica) bag, since its strap cannot be removed and a different strap take its place.

For my less weighty dSLR 'working bag', which does has removeable strap, I use the OpTech SOS Curve bag strap with metal clip ends.
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blee1996

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I use OP/TECH straps for several of my medium format cameras (Pentax 6x7 MLU, Fujica GL690) and they work well.

I tried them on Hasselblad 500C and 501CM, but the strap/clips tend to get in the way of Hasselblad's film crank. I think this might be just me, but I don't like use these types of straps with any medium format camera with right hand film crank. So now I just keep my Hassy in a shoulder bag, without any strap. While in use, I have left hand cradle the camera and focus, while right hand crank forward and release shutter, and it is quite secure.
 

Sirius Glass

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I use OP/TECH straps for several of my medium format cameras (Pentax 6x7 MLU, Fujica GL690) and they work well.

I tried them on Hasselblad 500C and 501CM, but the strap/clips tend to get in the way of Hasselblad's film crank. I think this might be just me, but I don't like use these types of straps with any medium format camera with right hand film crank. So now I just keep my Hassy in a shoulder bag, without any strap. While in use, I have left hand cradle the camera and focus, while right hand crank forward and release shutter, and it is quite secure.

Have you considered a wrist strap for safety?
 

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Hassasin

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I am surprised more people don't recommend Domke straps. I like the basic Gripper strap -- use it on all my Rolleiflexes.


I believe Op/Tech is the only one major strap maker offering metal clips for al these major brands, as direct fit without fussing around. That drew me to them in the first place (and the clips are indeed of great quality). I used to use Tamrac straps, which were great quality too.
 
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I use the ones with Hasselblad type connector on my Kiev 88. No issues and quite comfortable. Also use them on my Bronica and Mamiya C330 with the proper adapters. Quite good.
 

Sirius Glass

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I believe Op/Tech is the only one major strap maker offering metal clips for al these major brands, as direct fit without fussing around. That drew me to them in the first place (and the clips are indeed of great quality). I used to use Tamrac straps, which were great quality too.

Those do not have the Hasselblad clips, the whole point of the thread.
 

BrianShaw

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Those do not have the Hasselblad clips, the whole point of the thread.

Not a problem. Hasselblad clips are inexpensive and easily available on eBay. Not Swedish, but Chinese, and with same quality as the real deal. I use Tamrac straps exclusively but prefer the style that is no longer in production with the webbing to connect with the camera rather than the strings. The plastic quick connects are solid and safely secure the camera.
 

Oldwino

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thats an interesting idea. the difficulty disassembling would be a non issue for me because I never do that. I recently bought a sling style shoulder strap with a quick release clip, and to get around my fear of the quick release giving way, I sewed the strap in place--so about as non-quick release as you can get. Were these velcro strips made specifically for that purpose, or did you just get velcro from Joann fabric or similar?

I think OpTech might sell them. I recall buying them from B&H…but you could easily cut your own.
 

Pieter12

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If you are truly worried about the clips coming undone and don't need to disassemble the neck strap try find a shoemaker to sew some ballistic webbing strips connecting across the clips and you would have a bullet-proof (although maybe a bit bulky) solution.
 

Philippe-Georges

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I have one on my Linhof Technorama 617, but with the genuine Linhof connectors from the original strap.
It's far more comfortable than the original neck strap, and when used on a tripod, the wide middle part can easily be taken off.

TECHNORAMA.jpg
 
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  • BrianShaw
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***TL/DR Synopsis***

I have one, it doesn't bounce much compared to older ones, but I'm moving away from having a strap on my Hasselblad cameras for normal shooting. I do like them and would choose them over most other straps because of the neoprene and quality.

-----

I have an Op/Tech Pro strap on my 501C at the moment, but I am more inclined to not use a strap because the right clip does get in the way of winding at times, and if you have a prisim on the camera (instead of the folding WL finder) the camera is going to likely want to flop in an akward manner (unless you are using a very long lens). If you are shooting out of a bag or satchel, I think having the straps on are more hassle as well.

But let me answer the original question about the straps with a little history... the very first Op/Tech straps came out in the mid-80's I think? At least that was when they first made their way to US camera stores. I was working at a store at that time and they had the Pro and another model similar to the Classic today. I don't recall if they made hand straps, etc. back then, but I did have a tripod strap from them in the late 80's.

Back then, the neoprene was very similar to the material used on scuba diving suits. It was quite pliable and springy and it would cause the camera to bounce, especially if it was a heavy camera, with a MD, larger lens, etc. Bounce, bounce, bounce. But, it did take the shock off the sholder a lot, so that aspect was good.

It was also great for placing between the camera and a rock for a little cushioned spot to shoot because the wider Pro strap was 2" or so wide.

Lastly, it had plastic connector QR buckles on each side of the strap so you could remove most of the strap and just have a hand-carry strap (not a hand-synch, but just a really short strap that you could use to pick up the camera by connecting together the two strap segments that connect to the camera).

They've changed the straps since then. The neoprene is much, much stiffer. It is stiff enough that I don't think it bounces much at all. A little bounce is what relieves your shoulder of some of the strain of carrying a camera for a long time, so eliminating it completely probably wouldn't have been a good thing. They moved the strap coupling QR buckles out from near the camera to the end of the narrow nylon strap (at the point of connection to the neoprene portion). I don't know why they did that, but it defeats part of the point of having the QR buckles, which is to remove as much of the strap as possible to get it out of the way.

I used to love the Op/Tech straps when I shot 35mm a lot. They seemed to suit the cameras well and I used them through my college years shooting a lot of PJ for the newspaper on campus and the yearbook as well. My impression of the current Op/Tech Pro strap on a Hasselblad is that I don't love it, but it is a good strap. I think as I'm learning the Hasselblad cameras more, it's pretty clear to me that they do function better without a strap so I'm going to probably go that route, but maybe think about a hand strap (for the left hand) for security. Free up the right hand and side for the film winding.

This may be a bit of a learning process for me, because on 35mm-style cameras (including modern digital Fujifilm GFX and X cameras), I use my left hand to operate the lens (focus, aperture) and my right hand to do the rest, but if I have the hand strap on my left hand, I can't really use it to do the lens settings, except maybe focus. All the rest will be with my right hand while I keep hold of the camera with my left. I guess that's what the camera forces me into anyway? I'll have to pay closer attention as I use it.

I do like to walk/hike with a camera in my hand, and maybe at those times, putting a full strap on would be beneficial, so if I'm not traveling light, I will bring the straps I have (an Op/Tech for the 501C and a Hasselblad nylon strap for the SWC/M).
 
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