Softening Nylon Webbing

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by jay_chadney, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. There is no proper place to post this, and since I the nylon webbing is
    attached to a Leica camera, here it goes:

    I have 2 Domke neck straps (one brown/one black). I am using them both on 2
    different cameras. One has very slick, supple strap webbing on the thin length
    that is closest to the camera. The other has stiffer webbing. The stiffer one
    doesn't drape, and sometimes it will poke me in the eye when I raise the
    camera up. Is there any way to make the stiffer webbing softer/more flexible?
    I soaked it in 190 degree water for 20 minutes or so - no change.

    I wonder if anyone in here has a solution, or is bothered by the same problem.
    Don't get all mad at me for such a trivial question, but if I poke my eye out,
    it may have far reaching ramifications.

  2. I have an assortment of fabric straps. The softest ones seem to be Nikon, but they've been in use probably 25 years (on Leicas). The CL strap by Leica is the stiffest. The Bessa straps and a couple of no-name straps are in between. It'll probably get softer with age and use. Did you try using a fabric softener?
  3. After many years of wrestling with straps of leather, webbing, metal, and various other materials and combinations therof I have settled on 1" wide grosgrain ribbon as the most practical material for my needs. It is adequate in strength, pliable, and doesn't bulk-up or chafe. Neither is it clumsy when stuffed into a gadget bag along with its camera or accessory. If anyone is interested I can provide a sketch showing how to rig the strap to make its length adjustable for comfort and utility.
  4. The accessory Voigtlander straps that Stephen Gandy at Cameraquest sells are quite nice,
    softer than a Domke strap, but not length adjustable. It almost feels like soft cotton and has
    a suede-like non-slip pad at the shoulder. I imagine that Rick Pinto at Photo Village would
    have them also. BTW, I think this is a different strap than the standard Bessa strap that
    comes with the cameras.
  5. Dan, a sketch of what you did would be neat.
  6. "Is there any way to make the stiffer webbing softer/more flexible? I soaked it in 190 degree water for 20 minutes or so - no change."

    Try soaking it in chicken stock and give it to the dog. Oh yea, if he's given to burying bones in the backyard, you might want to take the strap off the camera first :)
  7. Old Nikon ones like Al said. They are almost floppy.
  8. Fabric softener, followed by a cycle in the washer did nothing. I realize part of the problem is the leather piece I have there to "protect" the camera body from rubs. It doesn't allow the o-ring to fall freely to the side of the camera. When the o-ring stops at horizontal, then so does the first few inches of strap.

    I took the leather piece off, and the only place the metal ring could contact the body is when the strap is at a right angle to the body, and the tinist bit of ring can touch. Other than that, the strap itself acts as a bumper for the o-ring.

    Is it really necessary to bumper the o-ring? I mean, when being carriend around, the ring can't touch the body.

  9. The strap itself, any strap, will eventually make rub marks in the chrome, which is why some people want a piece of protective leather there between the strap and the body. The rings will also cause wear in the camera's attachment lugs. I've seen people using a length of leather shoe lace to attach the camera to the strap to avoid that from happening.
  10. Here are the scans and sketches for the Grosgrain camera strap. I think the diagram is self explanatory. The ends are tapered by folding over and sewing. Dan
  11. Here is the tip of the Grosgrain strap.
  12. Here is the rigging diagram for the Grosgrain Camera Strap.
  13. The Grosgrain ribbon I used is approximately 48" long before folding at the tips. My M is black so I don't need any guards to keep the rings from rubbing. If your camera is silver it would be prudent to attach some suede guards.
  14. Actually there are several ways the ribbon can be woven through the buckles, but I have found that the one above affords the greater adjusability with enough friction to hold at the chosen length. Obviously the method of attachment to the camera lugs is optional.
  15. For some unknown reason the scan has disappeared. Here is a new scan of the completed strap. Realize that by sliding the buckles together or apart the length of the strap can be adjusted without anything but friction to hold it in place.

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