Minimalist Glide-style Sling Strap

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by oldracer, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    After becoming inspired by Ray Sachs' 112 page (!) thread on sling straps (https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=2901) I've been sold on them. I have my own strap system that uses quick-disconnect rifle sling swivels and have made a number of glide-style and other straps in nylon webbing and in leather. (A glide strap design allows the camera connector to move along the strap as the camera is raised to the eye while the strap doesn't move or doesn't move much. There are also straps sold as "sling" straps that are simply longer versions of the usual neck strap.)

    Slow learner, I guess, but I just figured out that a perfectly good (and really cheap) glide strap can be made using paracord and I thought I'd post a photo in hopes of inspiring someone to experiment with making their own.

    P1060680-LoRes-01.

    The main piece is a few dimes worth of 550 paracord and a couple of cord locks for length adjustment. I've had instances where, when sitting, a strap will slide off my shoulder so I've added a shirt clip left over from some long-departed set of ear buds. There's no shoulder pad because I rarely let my camera hang loose for very long; it's either in my hand or on a belt clip.

    The white paracord is just for the prototype; my plan is to get some more neutral colored cord so that the strap is inconspicuous when worn. My camera connection is a little more elaborate than most will want to fool with, but all you really need is a welded metal ring to glide on the paracord, plus a connection from it to your camera. As you can see, I prefer to connect to the strap lug, but there are also hardware solutions that connect to the tripod socket, for example http://www.lensloop.com/products/mikey-camera-connector.

    Cord locks and paracord are easy to find on the internet. Here is a Chinese supplier I have used a couple of times. Cord locks: http://www.plastic-buckle.com/cordlocksfor550paracord.aspx and paracord: http://www.plastic-buckle.com/550-paracord.aspx This stuff is so cheap that the shipping charges can dominate. My last order from this supplier had only $3.95 for shipping and the mailed package from China showed up in about 8 business days. There are lots of domestic suppliers, too, like: http://www.strapworks.com/Cord_Locks_s/45.htm

    (If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll be happy to describe my camera connection in a little more detail.)
     
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  2. stargate

    stargate Mu-43 Regular

    131
    Aug 14, 2013
    Greece
    Yes, that's the idea. I use the same with my camera, with a carabiner instead of the metal ring. Works like a charm!
     
  3. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Yes. A carabiner ought to work just fine. I have had trouble with split rings, though, like key rings. The cut ends of the wire are rough and tend to tear up the strap. I saw this with 1" nylon webbing straps but I'm sure it would be the same with paracord. An option would be to get a small sharpening stone and use it to smooth the ends, but this would take off the nickel plating and leave a surface prone to rust. A carabiner is a good choice as this gets you light weight and a quick disconnect as well.
     
  4. dpaultx

    dpaultx Mu-43 Regular

    58
    Jan 19, 2014
    North TX
    Where did you find the QD sling swivel with the "U" shaped loop on the bottom. I've got dozens of swivels like this, but have never seen one with that particular feature.

    QD.

    Is the "U" shaped loop something you added? Is it welded on?

    Just curious . . . Doug
     
  5. tornado

    tornado Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Nov 6, 2012
    I use the OpTech Compact Sling Strap for my OM-D cams:

    CompactSling.

    Plenty strong enough for these m43 bodies, very comfortable. Little to no interference while using the camera & controls. No metal fittings to scratch the LCD or camera surfaces; Cheap (<$15).

    Mike.
     
  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Yes. I added it. From racing times I have a pretty complete shop, which includes a TIG (helliarc) welder. I just bent a piece of heavy wire, fitted it to the loop using needle files, and welded it with a couple of tacks on each side. I had what they call "cold" gun blue in my pistolsmithing junk box, so I used that to restore the blued QD swivel finish. That's why I wasn't encouraging folks to duplicate my camera connector. Making it took tools that are not found in the average home shop.

    But, all that said, the QD fitting would work just fine on the paracord without adding the little loop. I tend towards the philosophy that anything worth doing is worth overdoing. :smile:
     
  7. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    I got the regular Utility Strap-Sling from Op/Tech. Heavier duty, but I had a Canon 7D on it at the time. Using it with an OMD system now and it works great and is much more comfortable than a neck strap. No more neck straps! The Mirrorless version would probably be less bulky.
     
  8. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Those Op Tech glide straps are not bad for commercial products. I don't like the fragile-looking plastic QD hardware, though it probably would not be a reliability problem and it does have the advantage of lighter weight vs the much tougher rifle swivel.

    I also do not like the single piece of string that connects to the camera. Too susceptible to fraying or to cutting if someone wants to steal a camera when I'm traveling. My connector uses two (for redundancy) pieces of 90# stainless cable, fishing line actually. I'll also thread the same stainless cable through the colored or light camo paracord when making my final model, making that cut-proof too. (http://www.afwhiseas.com/Surfstrand-Micro-Uncoated-Stainless-Steel-Trace-Wire-s/2019.htm) Like I said about overdoing things ...:biggrin:

    One caution if you're using the OpTech: Thread the camera connector string through the camera lug rather than using a split ring. I had the rough ends of a split ring chew up and break one of those stainless steel cables last spring during a trip to Costa Rica. I'm sure the split ring would eat a nylon cord even faster. Consequently I am now connecting to the split ring via a very small welded stainless ring that cannot gnaw on the cable. If you look very carefully at the photo you can just barely see it.
     
  9. tornado

    tornado Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Nov 6, 2012
    Yes, I attach optech cord right to the body lug, no split ring-dings. I've had the em5 on this sling for about two,years, no sig wear on the attachment line. Note these can be bought separately as spares if you want to change them out etc. I've fitted them to my em1 and can now swap between bodies the sling strap for the small style optech wrist cuff, or even a standard neck strap using both lugs.

    Sent from my BlackBerry z10 via mu43 App.
    My BlackBerry Messenger pin:24BDF528
     
  10. tornado

    tornado Mu-43 Veteran

    270
    Nov 6, 2012
    Also, when walking about with most any strap, I rarely leave the camera swinging in the breeze...its just too unstable and I've already lost a few em5 eye cups. so I usually have a hand resting or at least partially supporting the camera. The strap is just backup in case I let it go.


    Sent from my BlackBerry z10 via mu43 App.
    My BlackBerry Messenger pin:24BDF528