Luma Loop – A Radical Camera Strap Re-Design

January 20, 2010 by
Filed under: Reviews 

You wouldn’t think that there’s much you could do to change the design of a camera strap. Oh sure, you can build it out of better materials, and make the strap easier to attach or detach, and maybe make one strap that’s more fashionable than another. But actually creating a truly different strap, one that functions in a different, better way? That’s a tougher call, because a camera strap seems to be a fairly basic piece of gear. But, Luma Labs has proven that even something as seemingly simple as a camera strap can be given a radical new spin, and dramatically improved. For your consideration: the Luma Loop.

Conceived of by photographer James Duncan Davidson, the Luma Loop consists of a closed loop strap that you put over your head, and a small lanyard that you attach to your camera. The lanyard slides up and down the strap, making it simple to stow the camera at your waist, or pull it up to your eye, without ever taking the strap over your head.

The best way to understand the Luma Loop, is to see it in action:


If you carry a camera a lot, then you’ll definitely want to check out the LumaLoop. It’s a wonderful design, and very well-made. It only took a few hours for me to be thoroughly sold on the product.

Priced at $60, the LumaLoop, as well as more information, is available at:

The Luma Labs website

Comments

41 Comments on Luma Loop – A Radical Camera Strap Re-Design

  1. Terri Stone on Wed, 20th Jan 2010 8:04 pm
  2. Interesting product. It looks like it works well for you, but I wonder how it would be on other body types; on women, for example? In the interests of research, could you please try the demo again wearing a padded bra? I would appreciate it if you would let me know when that new video is uploaded.

  3. Terri Stone on Wed, 20th Jan 2010 8:09 pm
  4. Please also wear a wig that’s at least shoulder-length, so we can see whether longer hair interferes with the strap’s proper functioning.

  5. Damon Lynch on Thu, 21st Jan 2010 12:28 am
  6. I would never use this: it looks like a fantastic way to get your camera stolen!

  7. Ben Long on Thu, 21st Jan 2010 12:31 am
  8. How so? It’s hanging the same way as a normal camera. In fact, given that I just usually carry a camera with a normal strap on one shoulder, rather than over my head, the Luma Loop is actually more secure.

  9. Jennifer Wills on Thu, 21st Jan 2010 12:33 am
  10. Have you looked at the Black Rapid R -strap and compared them? I am curious as to the pros and cons. It would be great to see a side by side comparison, with the wig and bra, and without.

  11. SCOTT Campbell on Thu, 21st Jan 2010 5:44 am
  12. It could be that this is the guy who conceived of this design first, although it has been around for a long time. I made one myself and then there is the R-Strap by Black Rapid and the Sun Sniper by the California Sun Bounce folks.

    The interesting variation here is the use of a quick release clip on the lanyard. I’m not sure I would use that design, being afraid it would (a) accidentally release and my camera would crash to the ground or (b) allow for a quick thief to steal it while I was in a crowded place.

  13. Jim N. on Thu, 21st Jan 2010 5:58 am
  14. I recently purchased a Sun-Sniper (www.sun-sniper.com), which is essentially the same thing. What I prefer about the Sniper is the metal clasp attaching the camera to the strap. The lanyard seems like it would allow for lots of swinging around, whereas the metal clasp on the Sniper is a bit more solid. Also, as the metal clasp is one piece connecting the camera to the strap, there are no clasps to accidentally get pushed.

    Either way, I prefer these strap models to the traditional ones, which I wore as a “loop” anyway.

  15. Mike Spivey on Thu, 21st Jan 2010 12:49 pm
  16. Re-inventing a well developed wheel. Sixty bucks? At least this product does one positive thing. Makes me feel better about the fifty bucks I spent on my R Strap (with a little safer hardware).

  17. availablelight on Thu, 21st Jan 2010 4:06 pm
  18. +1 for all the comments that say it looks and works just like a blackrapid r-strap with a bit less ‘oomph’

    how is this radically different from something that’s been internationally available for several years now?

    also wondering how comfortable it would be for anyone possessing more than a flat chest… it looks very tight and restrictive, and if you loosen it then the camera would hang down at the side, exactly like a rapidstrap (which by the way is very convenient and comfortable, specially when you’re using a dual harness)

    not liking the plastic clip, and another +1 for everyone who says hanging a camera at your back makes it easier to steal in a crowd

    but yes, if you are only comparing it to a normal neck strap, then it is an improvement

  19. Ben Long on Thu, 21st Jan 2010 5:27 pm
  20. Guys, the camera moves up and down the strap. If you’re in a place where you’re worried someone might grab it, just don’t put it behind your back. Put it at your side, or in front of you, just as you would with a normal camera strap.

    The plastic clip is incredibly strong. I have tried yanking it apart, and pulling it apart – even with the full weight of the camera, and it won’t let go, so I don’t see this is a security weakness at all.

    With a normal strap, I carry my camera hanging at my right side, from my right shoulder, so if someone wanted to grab it, they’d only have to get it off my arm. With this, they have to get it over my head, which is far less likely.

    All that said, though, I’ve shot around the world, in central American shanty towns and South African townships, in crowded areas and remote rural villages. In all that time I’ve never had a camera stolen or threatened. Security in those situations is not about your camera strap, it’s about intelligence and how you carry yourself.

    Availablelight- The loop is no more tight or restrictive than a normal camera strap hanging over your head. Of course, how much pressure you’re feeling is dependent on the weight of your camera. In that regard, a regular strap has a nice advantage in that you can easily move it to the other shoulder if your “normal” shoulder gets tired.

    And yes, I was only comparing this to a conventional camera strap. I haven’t checked out the other ones you mentioned, but will try to get ahold of them and set up a comparison of some kind.

    Jim N, I’m particularly curious about the Sun-Sniper because you’re right, the lanyard design on the Luma Loop does twirl, which can be a little annoying.

  21. Andrionni R. on Sat, 23rd Jan 2010 1:14 am
  22. I have a R-Strap, RS-4, and it reminds me of that. They say they’re patent pending right now… I wonder who came first.

    One thing I don’t like about that strap in the video is the easy-clip… somebody could unclip it and run with it. R-strap doesn’t have that issue due to the screw binder clip. However, I have to use the tripod hole to lock it in with my R-strap. Eh.. I work with it.

    It’s also a pain to switch lenses since the camera’s upside down… a big downside to all those “loop” straps.

  23. James Duncan Davidson on Tue, 26th Jan 2010 7:01 pm
  24. Thanks for the great video introduction, Ben. It’s very cool to see.

    To address some of the other comments–the origins of the camera sling are as an adaptation of the sorts of slings that riflemen have used in the military. There have been several companies bring commercialized implementations of it of late and we don’t claim to be the first. Our implementation, however, offers a well built minimal design that emphasizes comfort and flexibility within a minimal aesthetic. Nothing is included that isn’t essential.

    As far as the loads that can be carried, we made a fun video that illustrates how strong the system is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEUNv5VDKXY&feature=channel

    Duncan

  25. Dustin on Wed, 17th Feb 2010 10:27 am
  26. I have a Blackrapid RS-4 and love it, but I think some of the ideas on the Lumaloop are pretty good. I like the ability to put the camera connector on something besides the tripod screw. More flexibility is nice. Also, I would feel much better about the the two quick release clips if they weren’t plastic clips or had some secondary connector. I just don’t trust the plastic clips enough. I would feel the need to add a second ‘failsafe’. Maybe just a long strip of velcro over the clip would be enough, or using something more substatial than plastic clips. Taking an extra second to disengage the connector is better, in my opinion, than relying on something that could let you down.

  27. george whitson on Thu, 18th Feb 2010 11:15 am
  28. I’ll ready to purchase one of these systems. My concern is whether I can attach the strap to my really right stuff L brackets that I keep on my camera. I see that you can with the luma loop but wonder if any of you know whether that’s true for the other two systems?

    george

  29. Ben Long on Sun, 21st Feb 2010 10:32 pm
  30. George: I got the Sun Sniper and the R-Strap. They both attach by simply screwing in to the tripod mount on your camera. So if your L brackets don’t have some kind of pass-through tripod mount, you’ll be out of luck.

  31. Ben Long on Sun, 21st Feb 2010 10:34 pm
  32. Hey Dustin – I really wouldn’t worry about the Luma Loop plastic brackets. Check out this video showing them supporting hundreds of pounds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEUNv5VDKXY&feature=channel

    These are the same types of brackets that I use to hold my motorcycle bags onto my bike, and they’ve never let me down, even after thousands and thousands of on and offroad riding, carrying shifting, oddly-weighted loads at high speed.

  33. Alf Nielsen on Tue, 23rd Feb 2010 11:55 pm
  34. Wow, this looks cool. And very much what i need for my new Camera.
    I’m gonna make it my self though. Seem straightforward enough :)

    Thanks for the review.

  35. Ian-Sebastien Sweeney on Sat, 27th Mar 2010 3:10 pm
  36. I love the Luma loop and did order one. One of the thing I also like is the tripod plate you have on your camera. Can you tell me exactly which one it is. I would like to have one similar!
    Regards, Ian

  37. Ben Long on Wed, 31st Mar 2010 11:37 am
  38. Hi Ian, that was a plate from reallyrightstuff.com. Here’s their plates page: http://reallyrightstuff.com/QR/04.html

  39. Anonymous on Mon, 5th Apr 2010 11:28 pm
  40. You mentioned that you now have the Sun Sniper and R-Strap as well. How do they compare in your estimation? Thanks.

  41. Ben Long on Mon, 3rd May 2010 10:58 am
  42. I much prefer the Luma Loop. The other straps are big and bulky and not nearly as comfortable. It’s their pads slide around and get in the way, and I don’t personally need the extra little pockets and things. The Luma Loop is minimal and light and works great. For those worried about the connector, don’t. It’s incredibly sturdy – the camera’s not gonna come off accidentally.

  43. Johnny Chin on Mon, 17th May 2010 5:12 pm
  44. Ben, thanks for the video and the review. Unlike others, I am not worried about the plastic clip because my current Tamrac camera straps have similar quick-release clips and they have yet to fail me (except for neck pain after 10 hours of shooting). I am almost ready to pull the trigger and buy this to replace the camera straps on all my cameras. I love the fact that this does not use the tripod mount on the camera (where I have a quick-release plate for my tripod and/or flash bracket). However, the $60 price tag for the strap and $10 for each loop is a bit pricey in my opinion. Hopefully one day they would have a “package” deal and lower the price. Thanks again for the review.

  45. Dan Valente @ danielvalentephotography.com on Tue, 1st Jun 2010 6:18 am
  46. It’s hand made in the USA, I think it is a great product.

    I had the black-rapid, and honestly, the materials and construction quality were 100% sub-par. The Luma Loop is constructed much more like my bike messenger bags with high quality parts.

    I use it for shooting weddings where theft is much less likely. It’s nice to be able to swing the camera out of the way while navigating through a crowd, blocking the camera with your body.

    I only have 1 loop currently, but am going to add another for my 70-200mm on it’s tripod mount.

    It’s a great product, and at $60, very competitively price vs. the BlackRapid strap considering its superior quality.

  47. Lyn on Wed, 16th Jun 2010 8:49 pm
  48. Hi Ben
    Do you use two bodies at the same time? I have seen a B;ack Rapid strap for this but it looked awfully bulky. Do you have any suggestions for shooting with two bodies (Nikon D300 and D300S in my case) that will prevent me from strangling myself with the straps? I’m not very large, but size doesn’t seem to be the main problem — organization is.

    Thanks!

  49. Annie on Mon, 28th Jun 2010 8:54 am
  50. Hi there–Are there any women out there who have tried this strap? If so, I’d really like to hear your thoughts. Being reasonably well-endowed, I wonder how comfortable this would be, or how conspicuous I might feel with the strap emphasizing my girls! Thanks for any input.

  51. Jane on Sat, 3rd Jul 2010 12:13 pm
  52. There is a version of the R-strap for women:

    http://vimeo.com/13041046

  53. Ben Long on Mon, 5th Jul 2010 9:33 am
  54. Annie – I asked James Duncan Davidson, the creator of the Luma Loop about this issue. He said “Several of the women I know have attenuated the dividing line effect by wearing darker clothes. White shirts tend to emphasize. ”

    As for comfort, if you normally wear a camera strap over your head, crossing your chest, the Luma Loop won’t be any different.

  55. Roger Dietz on Sun, 10th Oct 2010 5:30 pm
  56. hello,

    I’m a pretty big guy, how long is the “loop” itself and how much adjustment can it take?

  57. Ben Long on Wed, 20th Oct 2010 8:56 am
  58. I’m not sure of the length, but there are probably specs on their web site. I still love mine!

  59. Rno on Sat, 27th Nov 2010 11:44 pm
  60. Interesting thread (and product). Some comments:

    For the women, check out sun-sniper’s website for some pictures! That will give you an idea how short your may be able to carry this sling.

    For my comparison review of Sun-Sniper vs. Black Rapid 7, check out this thread:
    http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/topic69894_post792413.html#792413
    On page 3, you’ll see the comparison.

    For the lumaloop, its specific differences to the above remind me of the op/tech system (Utility Strap Sling) for under $20. That’s my next trial, and in this whole pursuit I came across lumaloop. Will there be a new version coming? When? What will be different? Why should I wait? Will it come close to my ideal sling (with a shock absorber and a well weight-distributing pad)? Is it going to be worth spending so much more vs. op/tech?

  61. Ron Paulk on Mon, 14th Feb 2011 9:24 pm
  62. I just received my Luma Loop with the new a lanyard. It works great, I like it so much I just ordered a second plus an additional lanyard. I like my Black Rapid, but the mount taking up my tripod socket didn’t work for me as I was continually having to remove it. This actually has a nicer strap that stays in place on my shoulder and the camera stays behind me where I like it. Craigs list here comes my Black Rapid and my cotton carrier system.

  63. Kenn S. on Sat, 30th Jul 2011 8:27 am
  64. After researching numerous camera straps/slings I decided to give this one a try. I have used this walking about the mountains shooting scenics, wild flowers, through towns large and small.

    NO SECURITY PROBLEMS!

    My equipment is Canon 7D, 18-135 lens, Sigma 70-300lens and a Canon 10-22 lens. Absolutely no problems.

    I have a Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod with a quick release head and plate attached to the bottom of my camera and the Luma fits. As far as tripod quick release plates go, if one is handy with the most basic of power tools and has a bit of common sense one can modify their tripod quick release plate by drilling a hole to accommodate the Luma cord, file off the sharp edges and loop the cord through and then mount the plate to the bottom of your camera. Problem solved, quick release plate still mounts securely to the tripod head. Simple. Easy. Not over thought.

    Photography is a creative process and it can be a situation of adapt, modify, over come to get your photo. Nothing is perfect. Think things through, discuss and then make it happen.

    As for comfort, not much I have personally tried compares to this strap. The strap does not migrate across the material of my rain parka or even my winter coats of slick surfaces when I wear it on one shoulder.

    My strap is second generation with ballistics metal attachments used on military web gear and not plastic. Again no problems with security, disconnecting at unwanted times endangering valuable photo gear.

    Again adapt, modify and over come.

  65. Owin Thomas on Thu, 1st Sep 2011 11:44 am
  66. Not such a great design … That feature of being easy to unconnect the camera to hand someone else, or put on a tripod also allows any light fingered thief to help themselves to your nice camera very easily.

    Just my thought as soon as I saw the snap fasteners.

  67. Ben on Thu, 1st Sep 2011 11:48 am
  68. I’ve used this strap in crowded cities in Turkey, small villages in South Africa, and I’ve never felt it was at any risk at all. The connection point is always so close to my body, and the clip is so stiff, I don’t believe that anyone could actually get it disconnected. I don’t feel this is any more theft-prone than any other strap.

    [...] than innovation, used to stifle competition. Luma Labs have discontinued their camera sling, the Luma Loop, for fear of litigation, but have new camera strap designs in the works. I’m looking forward [...]

  69. Phil bark on Sun, 1st Jan 2012 4:52 pm
  70. Loved the look of the sling style camera strap you used on the Lynda tutorials shame it seems they are not available anymore , any suggestions ?

  71. Ben on Tue, 3rd Jan 2012 4:23 pm
  72. Hi Phil, Sorry, but with Luma Loop gone, I’m not sure what to suggest. I tried the Black Rapid ones, but they’re just too big and bulky. So I’m just hoping my Luma Loop never wears out or disappears!

  73. Morgan James on Sun, 24th Jun 2012 10:01 am
  74. I dont like the idea of the camera hanging behind me on a strap that can either be easily undone by the clasp or cut and bye bye camera. Also I would like to see video of woman wearing it!!

  75. Alin B on Tue, 14th May 2013 8:40 am
  76. I’m using the BlackRapid Metro Sling, which they advertise for compacts, but I have found works nicely for larger, heavier cameras as well. I agree with Ben that the BlackRapid RS series are too bulky. I wanted something lighter and simpler. I have used it all day with my Nikon D600 with 24-70 f/2.8 and SB-900 attached, and I love it.

  77. Ben W on Wed, 15th May 2013 4:08 pm
  78. Luma Labs released the Cinch – check it out at http://www.luma-labs.com/cinch. The Luma Loop was discontinued due to patent infringement claimed by Black Rapid.

    The only current downside is that they are still perfecting the quick release system of the original Luma Loop, so it may be a while before it truly replaces the functions offered by the Luma Loop. See comments at the bottom of this review for details.

    http://prometheus.med.utah.edu/~bwjones/2012/02/luma-labs-cinch-review/

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