Peak Design’s “Cuff” camera wrist strap is comfortable, modular, and dependable. It’s been an essential companion for most of my 35mm film cameras, especially those that weigh 1-5lb.
So far, I’ve used it with about a dozen bodies in various settings: from shooting things off a tall balcony to days-long hikes across snow-capped mountain peaks.
Why use a wrist strap?
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to carrying and securing film cameras, from a ready case that hangs on the neck and dangles its leather flap when you “open” it to modern camera bags, neck straps, or just a jacket pocket if you’ve got a point-and-shoot. Having tried them all, I found that a good wrist strap works best for me. Here’s why:
Comfort — there’s no pulling sensation on the neck and no awkward camera bouncing on the belly with every step. A wrist strap is lighter and smaller than a neck strap or a camera bag. And if the camera is pocketable, you can place it in your jacket or pants and let the strap hang out for quick access.
Speed — camera wrist straps are designed to keep your camera safe as you hold it in your hand — all you need to take a photo is frame and press the shutter.
Gentle handling — since the camera is in hand, it can be kept safely away from zippers and other bits/accessories that can scratch or damage a vintage camera that may never be made again.
Style — a camera on a wrist strap looks like a tool in its rightful place — it neither obstructs the wardrobe nor gives off tourist vibes (not that there’s anything wrong with tourist vibes).
Many point-and-shoot cameras come with free wrist straps. They are never good — even on expensive pieces, like Minolta TC-1. Peak Design’s strap is beyond all that. It looks good, is exceptionally well-made, and has practical features that even the priciest handmade designs can’t possibly deliver.
Anchor Links are perhaps the most useful feature that comes with the wrist strap. These little round plastic buttons have glass-reinforced nylon string loops that you can feed through your camera’s strap lugs. Though this feature may look like a weak point, Peak Design says it can handle over 200lb of force.
Once Anchor Link is attached to your camera, you can connect it to your strap by feeding it into the port and pulling until you hear a click. The strap can be released just as quickly by pushing the Link button and pulling on it.
Here’s the neat part: you can have multiple Links attached to all your favourite cameras (two come in a package, and more can be bought online). This way, you can switch between your cameras quickly with just one strap.
Anchor Links are also compatible with Peak Design’s other straps. If you own a few of these things, you can move them around from camera to camera.
Practical convenience features.
While Peak Design’s “Cuff” wrist strap looks fairly minimalistic, it’s packed with features I would’ve never expected from such a simple accessory.
There’s a square magnet underneath the leather portion of the strap (non-leather finish available in black). This magnet lets you wear your wrist strap as a bracelet. To do so, you’ll need to disconnect it from your camera, tighten the noose, and wrap the end portion of the strap around your wrist. The port for Anchor Links has a metal part on its back that snaps to the magnet.
You can adjust your bracelet’s size by repositioning the magnet inside your strap by squeezing the sides and pushing it with your fingers.
I wouldn’t call this bracelet a fashion accessory, though this may be a convenient way to keep it on your person without having to stuff it into a bag or a pocket. I’ve used the magnet to stick the strap to my metal-bodied cameras so it doesn’t dangle from the shelf. It’ll stick to your fridge too.
Peak Design’s wrist strap can also switch between the self-tightening noose and static loop modes. The former will squeeze your wrist as soon as you let the camera go, which is safer for your camera but isn’t very convenient for carrying. You can change that by doing the following:
Hold the sliver slider with the “PD” logo and pull on the half of the strap that doesn’t have the leather accent tightly until it snuggly snaps next to the Anchor Link port. Your wrist strap will become a static loop that won’t squeeze your wrist. To go back to the noose mode, tightly pull on the part of the strap that has the leather accent while holding the Anchor Link port until the slider snaps out.
Peak Design’s “Cuff” wrist strap’s durability and build quality.
I don’t own 200lb cameras, nor would I want to subject my wrist to such force — but that’s what Peak Design claims their construction is rated to withstand. It’s made with nylon, anodized aluminum, leather (on Ash, Midnight and Sage colour selections) or Hypalon accents, glass-reinforced nylon, and thermoplastic.
The stitching on the strap is fantastic. I’ve used it for five years in various climates on a nearly daily basis. Not a single loose thread.
A wrist strap for film cameras.
Since most film cameras can’t change film mid-roll, many folks own multiple bodies. One can be loaded with Ektar for the day, and the next can have P3200 for the indoor lighting in black and white. Anchor Links make switching between those cameras very quick.
This strap is much safer and more comfortable than the rotting fabric you may get with the nearly century-old equipment. And its minimalist design fits well with virtually any camera.
The only thing it can not do is shrink in size to fit some of the smaller point-and-shoots. It’s not very practical for something that weighs half a pound and fits in a pocket.
How much does it cost, and where to find one.
Peak Design’s “Cuff” wrist strap is made in black, ash (this is what I have), midnight, and sage colours. It costs around $50, comes with two Anchor Links, and is available at most places that sell camera accessories.
❤ By the way: Please consider making your Peak Design’s “Cuff” wrist strap purchase using this link so that this website may get a small percentage of that sale — at no extra charge for you — thanks!