Necking For Seniors

I am a senior. Actually a senior señor. I have a scrawny neck…but this okay, because I also have a scrawny head and a scrawny body. The ensemble works.

The only time it distresses me is when I have to tote a camera around it all day. I favour the Fujifilm system and I am happy to say that the cameras are very well-built. They have metal bodies and lenses and exhibit a certain gravitas. Unfortunately this also attracts gravity and the result is that the whole assembly starts to cut my head off after about an hour.

The problem is the leather-like strap that Fujifilm supply. It is very well made and attaches securely to the support rings on the camera bodies, but has been made of reconstituted bandsaw blades…and they have left the teeth on the outer edges. If I am ever jailed, and I can keep my camera strap, I expect that I can cut through the iron bars and escape before morning.

Fujifilm are not alone in this. Nikon and Canon straps are equally harsh, even though they are a little wider. They are the reason that the secondary market in straps is as big as it is. Fashion and geekiness only count for some of the sales – the rest are driven by pain. For me there is also the pain of parsimony. I quail at paying another $ 50 to $ 150 for a comfortable strap.

So I am going to try to convert a standard Fujifilm accessory to something usable. I’ve gotten the idea from the Crumpler bag I always carry. It features a padded rider that sits on the top of the shoulder to cushion the thing, and I must say it seems to be effective. I’ve yet to own a Crumpler product that did not perform well. But what sort of material to pad the camera strap is a problem – particularly as I will need to hand-sew it. First experiment will be with a suede lens cloth that someone donated to me. I am not a wizz with the needle and thread but I used to sew cartridge pouches and shakos so it can’t be that hard.

And my neck is looking forward to the relief. I’m getting to know what Marie Antoinette must have felt like.



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