ANDREW BALE on our 1901 'Leiter' camera strap

Searching for the perfect camera strap is such a daunting task.  Hours and hours of staying up late at night sifting through web search after web search.  Box upon box being delivered by UPS, Fedex and USPS, only to be opened and then repacked a day later and shipped back, all while the crappy and uncomfortable OME still hangs around my neck in disgust!  

Why is it that camera companies go to so much effort and work to produce such high quality cameras and lenses, but are eluded by actually supplying a usable strap?  Why?  Such is the case with the Fuji X100T.  The camera strap supplied by fuji is 100% unusable and in my opinion should be discarded directly after opening the camera for the first time.  Fuji's styling on the packaging, presentation and gem of a camera is truly outstanding, so how wonderful would it have been to have a strap that matches.  And how hard would it have been to produce.  It only took me a few minutes to realize that I was not going to be a fan of the supplied strap and so moments after unpacking the camera the search begin.  It actually took several months, but I did it, I really, really did it.  I found the perfect camera strap!

Enter Mark Lewis, a well known british photographer and owner of 1901 fotographi.   From my conversations with Mark he is a stand up guy and is creating wonderful minimalist camera straps and a camera bag that I lust after on a daily basis.  As soon as I unwrapped his strap I knew it was for me.  The leather is soft, but strong and I love the fact that regardless of which length you select there is still adjustability so one can dial in the proper length.  His attention to detail is exact and the small stainless steel pins have been beautifully machined.  Mark stands behind his product 100% and I know this for a fact.  The story however is too long to go into here, but I can tell you, that if you are unhappy, he'll make it right.  I purchased the 1901 'Leiter' because at only 9mm wide I felt it would be a perfect match for my X100T.  And it was.  He's making several straps and you should be able to find one that fits your needs.

So if you've been searching for a strap that won't break the bank, is minimalist and is responsibly manufactured, then look no further.  Head on over to his site and poke around.  I think you'll be just as impressed as I am.  Thanks Mark, I love it!

Andrew Bale is a photographer in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Bale received his MFA from the University of Delaware in 2005, and his BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 1994.

He has been a full-time Lecturer of Photography at Dickinson College since 2013, and served as an adjunct professor of Photography prior to that from 2005 until 2012. He also taught at Messiah College, Lebanon Valley College, and the University of Delaware. Bale has worked with children from ages 8-18 in workshops designed to help them explore their visual environment.

Bale has exhibited regularly both in group and solo shows since 2004, and has served as the 2008 artist in-residence for the Fondation Espace Ecureuil in Tolouse, France, and the Guest Artist at SCAD's Lacoste, France campus that same year. Most recently, he was a photography team member for the Ese'Eja Cultural Mapping Project, supported by a National Geographic Legacy Fund Grant. 

Bale's photographs are included in the permanent collections of Caisse d'Epargne in Tolouse, the Photomedia Center and Messiah College in Pennsylvania, and at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.

Posted on September 5, 2015 .