Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 Woven Silk Cord Camera Strap Review:
Nowadays, camera straps are a big thing in the camera world. And why wouldn’t they be? The world today is about personalization. Everything we buy can be customized to our satisfaction. Some car companies now will even paint your car any color that you would like (for a small fee, of course 🙂 ). We now have more camera strap companies than ever before, and that is not a bad thing. Some may say it’s a waste to “bling” your camera out but hey, it’s YOUR camera, and you can add whatever you want to it. I remember when I first received my M3, I wanted a leather strap so badly for it. I wanted that old school look to really resonate from my camera. I was 12 then, and at that time, they didn’t really have any third party camera strap companies. Now, they do, and one company that has earn the respect of many photographers is Artisan & Artist. I spoke of Artisan & Artist straps before in my ACAm-280 Kobe Strap review, and today, I will be showing you the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 silk cord.
Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 Woven Silk Cord Build Quality:
One of the reasons for why Artisan & Artist can command such high prices on their straps is because you really get a quality built product. The Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 woven silk cord is no exception to this rule. You’re first greeted with a plain, and simple black box. When you finally take your strap out, you know you bought a quality product because you can see all of the intricate detail, and craftsmanship that goes into making this wonderful strap. The photos of this silk cord do not do it justice; the silk cord looks absolutely awesome in person. Seriously, this is a really nice strap…in my opinion, a better strap than the leather ones that Artisan & Artist makes.
↑ Here’s the box the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 woven silk cord comes in.
↑ Inside, you’re strap is wrapped in a fine linen-type paper, and you have some directions on how to care for it, and what to expect.
You get what you pay for sometimes, and this strap is a classic example of that motto. Build Quality is second to none. There is a little flex in the cord itself when you first hang it around your neck but nothing that will give you any indication that this is an inferior product. There is attention to detail everywhere, and you can see this even with the beautiful stitching at the leather binding. Don’t worry about dropping your camera because the leather binding at the O rings feel very secure. I use this strap on my X-Pro1 but I would have no problems whatsoever using it on my M9, which is heavier and costs a lot more. I’ve had this strap for about a month, and I love it.
↑ Here’s a close up thanks to the awesome XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro lens of the fine stitching.
One thing that I was a little concerned about was how durable the woven silk cord would be. Well, it’s actually pretty thick, and sturdy. Even if I were to use a knife to cut it, it would probably take me several attempts (not that I would try it since it costs about $189). Bottom line is, you won’t be dropping your camera because the cord snapped on you. The cord feels almost indestructible, and as Artisan & Artist says, “The strong braids are nearly unbreakable for those worried that their camera will one day hit the deck due to a frayed camera strap. That simply won’t happen with the Silk Cord Strap, one of the most unique camera restraints in the world!”
↑ Here’s another photo demonstrating how the strap looks like when it is attached to the lug nuts of your camera.
However, even with such a sturdy cord, the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 woven silk cord is extremely light, and very flexible. You can easily wrap this cord around your hand, and use it like a wrist strap if you’d prefer. This was one of the main reasons for why I wanted to try out the silk cord. When I’m walking around the streets here in New York, I like using my neck straps like wrist straps. Sometimes I find that a bit difficult with the leather straps because they’re not as flexible as I would like them to be.
↑ The silk cord is so flexible, and so light.
The Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 Woven Silk Cord Real World Use:
Again, the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 woven silk cord is very flexible, which makes it very comfortable to wear all day, and very easy to live with. As I mentioned before, the strap is also very light, which only makes it even more comfortable for extended periods of shooting. In other words, this strap will not get in the way at all, which sometimes I find that to be the case with their leather straps. Since it is also lighter, and more breathable than a leather strap, my neck actually feels a bit better at the end of the day. I also just love this red color but if that’s too flashy for you, there is a silver one and a black one as well.
↑ Like all Artisan & Artist products, the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 woven silk cord is made in Japan.
While I love this strap, nothing is perfect in this world. There are some things that some people might not like about it. One thing that comes to mind is that there is no protection against the O rings. On the Artisan & Artist leather straps, there’s always a thin piece of leather protecting your camera body from damage against the O rings but there are none on this cord. There is one cheap fix for this, though. Just place a piece of electrical tape or gaffer tape where the lug nuts are. I did this with my M3, and had no problems whatsoever. There are probably a million other cheap fixes for this issue that many savvy photographers have already thought of but this is what I would do. If you don’t really care, there isn’t much too worry about anyway. I only have one or two very slight marks on my X-Pro1 but I just wanted to mention this to be thorough.
↑ There isn’t really any protection from the O ring, so there is a chance that you might slightly mark the areas of your camera where the strap attaches to the lug nuts.
The other issue is that the length of the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 woven silk cord is not adjustable. At 37 inches, it actually fits me perfectly but that might vary for others. It hangs right below my chest, which is where I like the camera to be. But for others, some may find it too short or too long.
↑ The Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 woven silk cord is a beautiful strap, more so in person.
Lastly, this silk cord commands a really high price. This cord costs around $189, which is more expensive than a lot of the manufacturer’s leather straps. Is it worth it though? Only you can answer that for yourself but in my opinion, this is such a cooler, and more unique strap than the leather ones made by Artisan & Artist. This strap just feels different than the typical leather straps we see nowadays. It’s also built better too.
The Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 woven silk cord Final Thoughts:
So, would I buy the Artisan & Artist ACAM-301 woven silk cord again? You bet. In fact, I might even buy one for my new M when I get it. I honestly didn’t care for the silk cord much before because I’m a bit of a traditionalist, and I prefer leather straps. But I’m really glad that I gave this silk cord a chance. The silk cord is built so well, and it’s so much more functional, at least for my needs. I use to think Artisan & Artist made great leather straps but I was wrong; they make great straps out of all materials. This is a solid product albeit a bit expensive, that should last you many happy years. It is something a bit different, and will definitely be a conversation starter, especially if you get the red one like I did ;).
That’s it for this review, I hoped that you all thoroughly enjoyed it. As always, comments below are always welcomed. Thanks for stopping by!
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