Modifying Peak Design Clutch for Mirrorless Cameras

After reading about the Kickstarter campaign for SpiderLight Hand Strap, I got to thinkin’. I know — big mistake.

I love my Peak Design Clutch on my DSLR…

20151020 192000 IMG_9647 t2i flipped_Crop_DCE

Like most hand straps, it fits the height of the DSLR nicely, but the PD Clutch is easy to adjust and remove. What I love about hand straps over wrist straps is that you don’t have to open the wrist strap loop in order to get your hand in so the hand strap is immediate so you are more likely to use it. Hand straps also don’t dangle far away from the camera like my Joby DSLR wrist strap which also tends to rest in the tightened position.

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Unfortunately, most mirrorless cameras are simply not designed for hand straps, and the PD Clutch is no exception as their own web page notes.

(Let me emphasize again, it is not a problem with the hand straps — it is the design inherent to (probably all) mirrorless cameras (thin bodies) that doesn’t make hand straps work.)

But the adapter on the SpiderLight got me thinkin’.

spyderlite hand strap Cg_EeB-VEAQcH0O.jpg

Could adding just a little material to my PD Clutch make it usable on my Fuji X-T1? This would be like the added material in Fuji’s own Grip Belt GB-001.

Turns out it doesn’t. The result is not so great (but so close, I can taste it!). Here’s why it is not so great:

I used velcro and a small key ring to add the extra material.

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The base of the strap adjusted nicely to the angle.

But the added material got in the way of my shutter finger, and the location of the attachment under my finger made the strap want to move forward, so when the strap was loose enough to comfortably use the shutter button, the strap moves to sit across my knuckles and therefore does not feel secure and doesn’t provide adequate security if you were to lose your grip.

However, having the strap tight enough to feel secure and keep the strap in a secure position on the back of your hand made using the shutter button very hard.

It isn’t visible in the shots, but I’m working very hard to push my finger to the shutter button — enough that my red fingers are white where the strap presses.

I tried different lengths of velcro and with and without hand grip. No luck.

And just to leave no stone unturned, since the strap attachment is between my first and middle finger, I did try the strap between those fingers.

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It was surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be, but it doesn’t work. The strap goes across the knuckles and slides off easily.

What now?

SpiderLight

I’m still tempted to fund the SpiderLight Kickstarter campaign, but I have some issues that I will post soon.

**Update** I got a Spiderlight Hand Strap! Here are some first impressions.

Modify my Joby DSLR wrist strap

On a more practical note, I added a velcro stopper to my Joby DSLR wrist strap so it won’t close as easily. I’ll share photos in a post soon.

Continue to work on Peak Design Clutch

Keep working on trying to get the Peak Design Clutch to work on the mirrorless body. I think the adapter is the key, but it would have to:

  • Be strong enough to stay together if my camera were to fall with my heaviest lens and to bounce back from being pulled
  • Be rigid enough to keep the new attachment point close to the thumb rest
  • (Not damage the camera)
  • Not block the memory card door which is just below the attachment point

I can’t think of a DIY material I can use to do all that yet, but I’m working on it.

 

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