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Carrying Straps and Other Accessories - a Rant (1 Viewer)

Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
This is a rather banal theme, but I haven't read much here recently and think it is relevant to carrying comfort and the security of one's binoculars.

I have followed the advice I picked up years ago on birdforum:
Firstly, shorten the strap so that it just passes over your head. This restricts unwanted movement of the binocular and is most comfortable. The cut ends can be prevented from fraying by sealing them over a candle flame. Some may be loathe to mutilate original equipment, but a strap is an item which wears out and is eventually replaced, just like car tyres.
Secondly, the most secure method of attaching the strap is demonstrated in this Opticron video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqyG9cymiYQ.

There was a time when cameras and binoculars came with an 11 mm wide leather strap and pocket bins came on a thin nylon cord. Now manufacturers seem to want to surpass one another in size and complexity.
Some years ago a member here posted a heads-up on some cheap so-called NATO straps on an auction site. I bought a couple, as did Arthur Pinewood. The neck section is 25 mm wide cotton webbing, which is unsurpassed for suppleness and is very comfortable carrying a 950 g binocular. I have been unable to find anything similar and have even considered getting some made up by a saddler.

I rate Swarovski's products very highly and have five of them, but as regards accessories they are one of the worst offenders. There must be a Heath Robinson department in Absam, where the apprentices are given free rein to develop accessories, which no-one asked for and no-one needs.
Examples are that horrible hard plastic click-stop rainguard, instantly adjustable-length straps where one is faced with the choice of flapping ends or no safety retention, and the latest rotating lugs which could lead to unsafe attachment and inevitably cause tangles. Meopta too offered the choice of attaching the strap with snap connectors to either the case or the binocular, but what do you do with the case when the strap is on the bins? Similarly, my Kowa Genesis 33 came with an over-dimensioned strap and a case which lacked a strap and belt loop.

Fotunately most of these problems can be rectified by purchasing alternative accessories, but I do feel some manufacturers are paying too little atention to user's needs.

John
 

Gijs van Ginkel

Well-known member
Tringa 45,post 1,
John, life is in my opinion not that simple as you describe it. Some years ago Swarovski supplied the best binocular bag ever made in my opinion: a simple envelope, that protected the binocular very well and that made the whole package as compact as possible. The binocular was very well protected and very fast/comfortable and easy to use. The company had to stop selling it, because the customers did complain and did not want it, since it was obviously either not fancy enough or for whatever other reason. Wherever I find one I buy it since it is in my opinion one of the best binocular bags made for travel, protection etc.
Gijs van Ginkel
 

[email protected]

Well-known member
Supporter
In my opinion I think the carrying straps and case on the new Swarovski NL are quite nice. I personally like the side entry case because you can put your binoculars in easier and there is plenty of room for the strap and even the head rest and it is well constructed and padded well. Swarovski has tightened up the FP attachment so no longer does it rotate freely and get twisted and there is little chance of it coming off. The strap is neater than a conventional strap using only one attachment point without all the looping. The strap could be a little shorter for me but maybe those Austrians are tall. The rain guard and objective covers fit better than the older EL not being as tight and are made of high quality rubber. I really don't have too many complaints. Everybody has a preference in straps and cases and objective covers and rain guards so it hard to please all the people all the time as they say. If you don't like what the manufacturer supplies the binocular with it is pretty easy to switch it out in most cases. One of my favorite aftermarket cases is the Zeiss Conquest case which can be purchased in 32mm or 42mm sizes and my favorite aftermarket strap is the Vero Vellini comfort strap.

https://www.amazon.com/Zeiss-Cordur...rds=zeiss+conquest+case&qid=1602035335&sr=8-5
https://www.amazon.com/Zeiss-Cordur...rds=zeiss+conquest+case&qid=1602035396&sr=8-3
https://www.amazon.com/Vero-Vellini...vero+vellini+strap&qid=1602035539&sr=8-3&th=1
 

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PeterPS

MEMBER
Hi John,
Regarding Swaro's hard plastic click-stop rainguard, I like it: as far I know it's the only rainguard that can be adjusted to your IPD, and it fits neatly over the eyecups. I heard other people say that they dislike it (everybody is different....), although I have never seen specific comments on what's wrong with it.
Peter
 

Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
Some years ago Swarovski supplied the best binocular bag ever made in my opinion: a simple envelope, that protected the binocular very well and that made the whole package as compact as possible.

Gijs,

Surely you don't mean that "toiletry bag" that Swarovski used to supply with the SLCs in the early 2000s. I never used mine.
Apart from the rather impractical zip fasteners, their more recent bags (Swarovision and Field Pro) are much better and of good material quality.
The Zeiss bags Dennis linked are also good but a similar one that came with an FL was showing significant wear after a couple of years.
Birders make up a large proportion of the sports optics manufacturers' clientele but many of them seem oblivious to birders' needs. Gerald Dobler is perhaps a notable exception.

John

PS:- Life is indeed not that simple. What I dislike are the attempts to make it more complicated!
 
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Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
Hi John,
Regarding Swaro's hard plastic click-stop rainguard, I like it: as far I know it's the only rainguard that can be adjusted to your IPD, and it fits neatly over the eyecups. I heard other people say that they dislike it (everybody is different....), although I have never seen specific comments on what's wrong with it.
Peter

Hi Peter,

Personal preference I guess. I think it's an abonimation! ;)
The requirements of a rainguard are that it goes on and off quickly and doesn't get in the way (I attach mine via a cord loop to the strap).
The old oval Zeiss type was a bit bulky but otherwise ideal and is still available from some sources.
I have Leica Ultravid and Zeiss FL rainguards on two of my Swarovskis and the latter will even fit the enlarged eyecups of the 56 mm SLCs.

John
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
This is a rather banal theme, but I haven't read much here recently and think it is relevant to carrying comfort and the security of one's binoculars.

I have followed the advice I picked up years ago on birdforum:
Firstly, shorten the strap so that it just passes over your head. This restricts unwanted movement of the binocular and is most comfortable. The cut ends can be prevented from fraying by sealing them over a candle flame. Some may be loathe to mutilate original equipment, but a strap is an item which wears out and is eventually replaced, just like car tyres.
Secondly, the most secure method of attaching the strap is demonstrated in this Opticron video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqyG9cymiYQ.

I rate Swarovski's products very highly .... but as regards accessories they are one of the worst offenders. There must be a Heath Robinson department in Absam, where the apprentices are given free rein to develop accessories, which no-one asked for and no-one needs. .... instantly adjustable-length straps where one is faced with the choice of flapping ends or no safety retention, and the latest rotating lugs which could lead to unsafe attachment and inevitably cause tangles.

Fotunately most of these problems can be rectified by purchasing alternative accessories, but I do feel some manufacturers are paying too little atention to user's needs.

John

As a very new Swarovski user, I absolutely agree with regard to their straps & their attachment. I can't see what was ever wrong with the attachment method used on older models (and used pretty much universally employed without a hitch on other makes). Attachment is fiddly, it's not always clear when it's firmly attached and sometimes difficult (it took my dealer 25 minutes to do it). Indeed the design's only function would seem to be to add unnecessary additional costs in manufacture which can then be passed on to the consumer (at a premium?). In fairness, they do include an accessory by which a strap can be attached by conventional means BUT having spent a small fortune on the binoculars I'm reluctant to spend more on a strap to my liking. I'm also irritated that they don't make their neck strap and harness easily interchangeable by using clips to attach the binoculars (via a short strap) on both rather than just the harness. I'd like to use the latter occasionally for long days in the field but don't want to detach and reattach to strap every time. (Anyone know of a neck strap with connectors compatible with a Swarovski harness?)

I too like a short strap and the flapping unused ends are annoying but I too don't want to mutilate them. Currently, the ends are dangling down almost to the binoculars' objective lenses which is unsatisfactory. Incidentally, my solution to this problem in the past was to buy a heat shrinkable rubber tube (sold in the UK by Wilkinsons amongst others) to slip over the offending loose end & use a hairdryer to shrink to fit.
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
Like John/ Tringa45, I too favour a short neck strap barely fitting over the head, for a high on the chest carry

In dealing with excess length with a conventional strap, see an image from Nikon which shows how to thread the tail between the doubled portion,
so that the tail is not flapping around
So an option to cutting off the excess


John
 

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John Cantelo

Well-known member
Like John/ Tringa45, I too favour a short neck strap barely fitting over the head, for a high on the chest carry

In dealing with excess length with a conventional strap, see an image from Nikon which shows how to thread the tail between the doubled portion,
so that the tail is not flapping around
So an option to cutting off the excess


John

Unfortunately, the Swarovski strap is so badly designed that this is not an option. I've no idea what 'problem' they were seeking to 'resolve' by their design but whatever it was, since I've never noticed it, it cannot be as bad as the one they've designed in!
 

John Cantelo

Well-known member
I have managed to tidy up the 25 cm of dangling strap by using 40p's worth of velcro tape (see photo). I doubled-up the strap several times before winding the tape around it. The velcro 'hooks' attached to the strap so I was able to make it fairly tight & secure but, unlike sticky tape, it should be easy to detach & readjust. Only time will tell whether this is a long term solution. A shorter strap also makes it easier to pack away the binoculars into the case I'm about average height and most birders I know use fairly short neck straps which suggests dangling-strap syndrome with Swaros cannot be unusual. Given their high price one would have hoped they would have provided their own solution.
 

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Kammerdiner

Well-known member
Tringa 45,post 1,
John, life is in my opinion not that simple as you describe it. Some years ago Swarovski supplied the best binocular bag ever made in my opinion: a simple envelope, that protected the binocular very well and that made the whole package as compact as possible. The binocular was very well protected and very fast/comfortable and easy to use. The company had to stop selling it, because the customers did complain and did not want it, since it was obviously either not fancy enough or for whatever other reason. Wherever I find one I buy it since it is in my opinion one of the best binocular bags made for travel, protection etc.
Gijs van Ginkel

Totally agree! Mine have been through about a hundred airports. I forget what they called them but they should bring them back. Not fancy, just effective.
 
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tenex

reality-based
I hope Dale from Swaro reads this thread... Like most people surely, I adjust a strap just once at purchase, reasonably short. I loathed Swaro straps even before Fieldpro for all the above reasons (bulky/protruding/dangly bits, now twisty and fiddly as well). Mine just stay in the box while I use simpler ones instead on my SLCs... ("LEICA"! Hardly good publicity.) Straps were a total non-issue until Swaro made them one. Nice binos though.
.
 
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fazalmajid

Well-known member
In dealing with excess length with a conventional strap, see an image from Nikon which shows how to thread the tail between the doubled portion,
so that the tail is not flapping around

Yes, that is absolutely the right way: tight, no dangling ends.

My Leica Ultravid 8x42 BL has a strap with clips on both ends that allow adjusting the length with no dangling either. In comparison, the execrable Swarovski straps on the EL SV and NL guaranteed loose ends flying into your face in the wind.
 

John A Roberts

Well-known member
Australia
I presume that Gijs (post #2) and Kammi (post #11) are referring to this bag that was once offered by Swarovski?
As can be seen, it's much more compact than the more recent Field Bags


John


The images are from a 2014 eBay listing by leviandjamie5911
 

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Hermann

Well-known member
In dealing with excess length with a conventional strap, see an image from Nikon which shows how to thread the tail between the doubled portion, so that the tail is not flapping around
So an option to cutting off the excess.

That's the best way to attach traditional straps. I've been using it for years. Works like a charm and is very secure.

Hermann
 

Hermann

Well-known member
As a very new Swarovski user, I absolutely agree with regard to their straps & their attachment. I can't see what was ever wrong with the attachment method used on older models (and used pretty much universally employed without a hitch on other makes). Attachment is fiddly, it's not always clear when it's firmly attached and sometimes difficult (it took my dealer 25 minutes to do it). Indeed the design's only function would seem to be to add unnecessary additional costs in manufacture which can then be passed on to the consumer (at a premium?).

I totally agree. The "FieldPro" system appears to have been designed by some fool who doesn't use binoculars in the field at all. Nothing "professional" about it, far from it.

In fact, that stupid system is a dealbreaker for me, just like excessive glare. A binocular has to work, all parts of it. This system doesn't work for me.

Hermann
 

Tringa45

Well-known member
Europe
That's the best way to attach traditional straps. I've been using it for years. Works like a charm and is very secure.

Hermann

But why tuck away loose ends if you don't need them? Off with their heads! (The Queen of Hearts)

John
 

Kammerdiner

Well-known member
I presume that Gijs (post #2) and Kammi (post #11) are referring to this bag that was once offered by Swarovski?
As can be seen, it's much more compact than the more recent Field Bags


John


The images are from a 2014 eBay listing by leviandjamie5911

Yes, John, those are the ones I meant. I think they were called "Functional Bags" and they are that. They are very lightweight, fold flat, don't need their own strap, and provide, in my opinion, plenty of protection.

The field pro strap is OK. Just remember to push the button through the strap first, then attach the strap. It simply doesn't work the other way around. Like most, I see no real point to the FP system, however.

Pre FP straps are easy enough to shorten since the keeper is sown on. Cut stiches, shorten strap, sow the keeper back on.

FP straps have permanent keepers that can't reused. I'll be shortening that strap as well as soon as I come up with a good substitute for the keeper.
 

highlake

Member
I find that these Velcro cable straps work well on my pre-FP SV.
 

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Hermann

Well-known member
But why tuck away loose ends if you don't need them? Off with their heads! (The Queen of Hearts)

I typically change the length of the strap at least twice a year - in winter I need a longer strap than in summer because of all the clothing. So yes, I also chop of the bit that's not needed, but during the summer there are still some loose ends that need to be tucked away.

As much as I like the Queen of Hearts her thinking does seem to be somewhat simplistic ... :)

Hermann
 

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