Meet Eddycam: The most luxurious camera strap this side of Bavaria
posted Friday, September 25, 2015 at 11:47 AM EDT
Moose hide is thick and strong, but is also soft... very soft, actually, as well as flexible. It has some stretch and give, like a thick piece of neoprene, yet it's also breatheable. Edlef Wienen makes his Eddycam camera straps from moose hide in his workshop in Bavaria. He uses two layers of this thick, soft leather, with a smaller natural rubber pad inside the center. He leaves the edges unfinished; they are as soft as the surface. He shapes the strap into an ergonomic double S-curve, stitches it all securely, and attaches a simple webbing strap with slider hardware.
The result is beautiful and feels great in your hands, or on any other bare skin! It's simple and unpretentious, with the only marking being the "smiling moose" logo. Despite being thick, wide and comfortable, it weighs only a few grams. With a heavy camera on it, it just snuggles softly into your shoulder.
Scandanavia has a large wild moose population, despite game management programs including hunting moose for meat. As a result, all Moose leather used in these straps comes from ethically harvested animals culled for population control. (Note: in North America, we use the Native American word "moose"; in Europe they call the same animal an "elk".) A tannery in Finland processes the hides into lovely "elchleder" for Eddycam, and dyes them various colors. Edlef and his team cut, assemble, glue, and stitch the materials mostly by hand. The process is documented in videos on their website, with English translations.
They make different widths and lengths for different cameras. They offer several different colors, mostly subtle earth-tones, but also vibrant red and yellow. Two-tone versions are popular, with black leather outside and tan inside, or several other combinations. Eddycam also makes a wrist strap of the same super-soft leather, with a simple cord loop for a connection.
The prices reflect the amount of hand work in each strap and the quality of the leather, though they seem reasonable when you actually feel the leather in your hand. These straps have been available in Europe for some time, but the shipping cost from Germany is scary. Now there is a US distributor, and you can buy them right here.
These days, we see lots of hard, tough leather more suited to a draft horse harness than a camera strap, and oversized, clanking, brass hipster hardware. We wonder if the folks making these have ever actually held a camera. The Eddycam strap is the opposite: a simple, useful tool made of light, thick, soft, luxurious leather that looks great, and makes a heavy camera feel light on your shoulder.
For more information, including a nice video showing how they make these excellent straps, you can visit their website at www.Eddycam.com, and for retail sales in the US please see www.DigitalBack.com.