Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: Paulo Bizarro on June 04, 2005, 02:49:45 am

Title: UPstraps
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on June 04, 2005, 02:49:45 am
From what I have read, I see no advantages of the Upstrap over the Domke Gripper, or the Lowepro Neoprene. Both straps have non-slip streaks or dots that work very well. On top of that, they have swivel clips that prevent straps from twisting.

So am I missing something?
Title: UPstraps
Post by: Dr. Gary on June 07, 2005, 10:22:43 pm
I bought one last night so I will let you know how it works after I come back from Eastern Europe in late July.

Title: UPstraps
Post by: budjames on June 11, 2005, 05:25:35 pm
I purchased the Upstrap for my Canon 1Ds MkII. I have it installed with the Canon hand strap that I put my right hand through to grip the camera.

The Upstrap replaced a LowePro neoprene strap (the one with the quick releases).

Today, I shot my son's baseball game with the 1Ds Mk2 and a Canon 100-400 IS lens. This combo is HEAVY. The Upstrap grips my shoulder and stays put much better than the LowePro strap. The little "dots" on the LowePro strap are not very "grippy".

I never felt comfortable with quick releases on a camera strap, especially when the camera and lens together is over $6,000 of value.

I highly recommend the Upstrap. I will be ordering a second one for my 20D to replace the LowePro strap that I use on this body too.

Anyone interested in buying 2 LowePro straps?

Bud James
North Wales, PA
Title: UPstraps
Post by: Gary_Berg on July 07, 2005, 09:35:13 pm
Al, is there any sort of connection for the Upstrap like the OpTech Pro loop straps have? I really like not having the little snap rings on my cameras...
Title: UPstraps
Post by: Mark D Segal on August 13, 2005, 11:20:18 am
I bought an Up-strap from Al Stegmeyer (the LT version for a camera bag). My camera bag weighs 14 pounds. I put on a silk shirt (slippery material), slung the bag over my shoulder and trundled up and down several flights of stairs over and over again without holding the bag or the strap. The bag stayed firmly on my shoulder. As far as I'm concerned it passed the test and works better than anything I have used in the past. Grade A+ for quality and performance.

As for shipping to Canada - that is another issue. The actual postal charge for one such item is no more than seven dollars US. If UpStrap wishes to charge an additional 18 dollars for the time involved taking packages to the post office and filling a customs declaration stickie, that is a commercial decision and risk they take. Canadians of course are also liable to GST, PST and Canada Post handling fee for the customs clearance (about six dollars or so CAD). If all this needs to be heaped onto a 25 dollar shipping and handling fee from the USA, the product becomes exhorbitantly expensive in Canada for what it is.
Title: UPstraps
Post by: Hank on June 02, 2005, 12:06:10 pm
Interesting piece by Sean Reid.  I could ask this at UPstraps site, but the answer is useful to more photographers here:

I delved into the UPstrap site and couldn't find one bit of information that is critical to me:  How long are the straps?  In my uses I like to have one body on a longer strap, sufficient to put my head and one arm through while the camera hangs down at belt level.  This keeps that body out of the way and secure behind my elbow.  

On my frame that translates into a strap at least 49 inches long, as in the Tamrac N-46.  The padding on the UPstrap looks promising, but not if I have a couple of cameras clanging together around my neck, the straps too short to drop at least one to a much lower level.  In truth I keep long straps on both cameras, with one hanging in front and the other to the side.  It's simply easier than trying to remember which is which.
Title: UPstraps
Post by: 61Dynamic on June 03, 2005, 12:19:29 am
The only thing that would keep me from buying the UpStrap is the lack of a swivel clip. Twisted-up straps bug me.

Right now I use the Domke Gripper which is a superb strap. It has swivel-clips and the shoulder portion of the strap is strong as all heck (and comfortable). It has two strips of rubber sewn into it to keep gear in place.

It may not hold gear as well as the upstrap, but I've never had issues with slippage.
Title: UPstraps
Post by: 61Dynamic on June 04, 2005, 03:01:30 am
The upstrap has a much larger rubber surface area and it has nubs to help it grip.

Just by looking at the images of the item on the site it is not hard to believe it would grip quite well.

How much better (if at all) than the Lowepro or the Domke would have to be tested.
Title: UPstraps
Post by: on June 07, 2005, 10:03:21 am
I wish you had an Israeli importer so I could actually try it side by side against the Lowepro Neoprene (which is imported).... :-(

Happy shooting,
Title: UPstraps
Post by: jackmacd on June 08, 2005, 10:27:22 pm
My strap arrived today and it is even better than I anticipated. I thought I had a great strap before until it broke with a 1Ds attached. Oops, good thing the camera is unbreakable.

Having been used to the Leica M strap I am familiar with the strap layout. When this strap arrived I was thinking it would need to be bigger than it is for the weight of the 1Ds, but it is perfect. Michael was right to bring this to our attention. I think this strap is glued to my shoulder. Now I'll order one for my binoculars.
Title: UPstraps
Post by: couimet on June 11, 2005, 08:44:34 am
The strap looks interesting. I'd buy one for $30US but $25US to mail it to Canada? No thanks.

BTW ... there are three email addresses on the UPstrap web site: "", "" and "". They all bounce back with the message "host[] said: 553 5.3.0 REJECT Sorry, your IP address is not allowed to send email to this address." This is something I have never seen before.
Title: UPstraps
Post by: crivera on July 07, 2005, 04:11:53 pm
I have  two UPstraps for my cameras and I highly recommend them I have doing extensive hiking with my grear and never have problem of sliping from my shoulders (I'm a 5'7" tall) while I'm hiking with the two cameras.
They are not cheap but are worth every penny
Title: UPstraps
Post by: Pete on July 12, 2005, 03:45:18 pm
Here is a another satisfied upstrap customer, but with a twist.. .

Recently I received my set of upsttraps--dynamite stuff--as others have reported.   However, here's an added story about how good this company and its owner, Al Stegmeyer, are.  There was a small snafu with my order--a missed order and a bit of delay.  When I emailed customer support about it, I did not get a email response.  INSTEAD, Al called me personally (last monday morning) to apologize about the delay!  We had a really nice conversation, turns out he grew up only a few miles from my home.  In addition to getting the order out asap, he included a few anti-static bags for my cf cards and a couple of flash bags to diffuse light from my speedlights.

Now, snafus are expected on occasion, especially since the extra business generatred by a Popular Photo magazine article back in February and the recent recommendation from this site.  However, I was really impressed that the owner made a call himself.  Kudos to Al and his company for not only a superb product but also superb customer support.

I plan to order another set of straps for my backup camera and for one of my bigger bags.  Thanks again, Al.

Best to all,
Title: UPstraps
Post by: taosphoto on June 11, 2005, 12:22:13 pm
Sorry about thinking the UPstrap broke. . .it was not the UPstrap but the other strap. . .

See I am so tired I was up ALL night thursday trying to solve this international shipping / credit card bit as the web guy dropped off the face of the earth mid week.  As I had promised all international buyers a solution by the end of the week, I did the best I could for the moment.  Perhaps I can drop the shipping some in the future but until I figure a way to do it and still get paid?

Help me find a dealer in Canada and the UK.  That will take care of a a lot of you.

Title: UPstraps
Post by: couimet on June 13, 2005, 07:01:07 pm
Thanks Al ...

I agree that Canada Post is much more competitive than USPS when it comes to parcels although I believe USPS is better when it comes to letters.

How about a Canadian Retailer as your Canadian base? Henry's ( be a good choice with 16 stores across Ontario and a good web store.

Michael Reichmann seems to do a lot of business with Vistek (; they could be good second choice, also with a reasonable web store but only two retail outlets (Toronto and Calgary) although Toronto probably has more serious photographers than the rest of the country.
Title: UPstraps
Post by: rjkjunkmail on August 13, 2005, 08:51:07 am
I bought two of these several years ago after seeing a tip online.

Both have performed very well.

They are very grippy; it is hard to conceive that a camera could slip off of the shoulder.  Put it there, it stays.  Period.
Title: UPstraps
Post by: libertygh on June 02, 2005, 10:12:44 pm
I read Sean's review with some interest as this past Sunday night I got an email from Roberts Imaging in Indianapolis on a variety of products on sale and special offering.

I saw the Upstrap on their email and just checked and see its in their online catalogue.  I have no idea of their shipping charges especially outside the US; however, for those interested parties, especially outside the US, Roberts may be a workable and best alternative for this product.  Now the disclaimer,  I have done business with Roberts, i.e. bought gear from them (very happy with their service) and am not connected with them in any way, so let the buyer beware!

Title: UPstraps
Post by: taosphoto on June 07, 2005, 09:14:20 am
I am sorry the website is not tuned up.  It is getting bit long in the tooth. It was done by a friend while I was totally focused on building the mold for the shoulder pad so a few things I assumed that would be understood were left out.  My webmaster now works for a TV production company and I have not found the right person to replace him.  

The UPstrap camera straps are made on a single piece of 62" long web that is rated at 1100 pounds with no sewing.  For those of you that haul ten grand on your shoulder. . .this may allow some peace of mind.

One would need to try the UPstrap to see if it grips better than other straps.  Since the non-slip is on both side of the strap, we can assume that it is at least better when if flops over. . .as they do.  I've used all of them and I know, but you need to find out for yourself.

As for swivels, it is one more part to break.  While the vast majority of photographers don't haul $10,000 on their shoulder 10 hours a day 7 days a week. . .there are those that do.  They are the guys and gals that count on their gear to work.  They have found that less is more.  Untwisting the strap is really no big deal, a few twists of the wrist and it is done, a small price to pay for added strength. . .IMHO

The larger problem is the quick release.  Again, until I can finish one of the quick releases that I know will not eventually fail and cause the $10,000 crash, I will not release on.  The good news is that we are close on that issue.

Roberts is a dealer.  They ship international as long as your willing to do a wire transfer.

Keep in mind that we offer a 60 day money back guarentee.  If slipping shoulder straps are and issue for you, then try the UPstrap.  If you think that the non-skid on other brands is as good as the UPstrap then you are assuming something that you have no direct knowldege of.  The guys that endorse my strap are known worldwide and carry a camera A LOT and the UPstrap is what they choose.  If after trying the UPstrap you want to go back to what you had before, send it back and I will refund your money, but not your shipping.  

I realize that some will prefer a different strap.  I have no problem with this.  I do think it is impossible to make this judgement unless you actually try it.  If you insist on swivels then this is not the strap for you.

Keep in mind that the LT strap is NOT for a camera but for a bag. While one web is 1" and the other 3/8" (industry standard for camera attachments) both have a break strength of over 1000 pounds.  

Again, when you give the UPstrap a try you might find that a simple 3/8" web works better than others.  But again, you will not know, unless you try.

I hope this helps and again I am sorry the website is not a bit better.

Good Shooting,

Al Stegmeyer  photographer-inventor
Title: UPstraps
Post by: taosphoto on June 11, 2005, 11:54:34 am
I would like to know where the strap "broke"  we have never ever had an UPstrap break. . .ever.  The web is 1100 pound test.  I will pay postage back and replace the strap free with an extra second extra strap if the customer wants.  Many heavy duty pros not to mention thousands of satisfied customers use the UPstrap day in day out and I would have had some feedback if there was a problem.

Please send a photo of the broken strap to (  I really want to know.  .where did it break?

In fact all of you who are having trouble getting email to me (for some odd reason as I get fifty or more emails there a day) can use the  () email.  Sometimes a host will block depending upon if spam is coming from that host.  Not that the sender is sending spam but someone may have been or is spamming from that isp host.  I have copied your post and sent it to my host for a more detailed answer.

As far as the shipping price goes, there may be a way to reduce it in the future (for Canada or Zone 1 countries) but I need to see how this international issue shakes out.  With international there are extra forms and special trips to the PO, basicallly my time.  It is not like a CD where the weight is standard.  We have 3 models, alll with different weights, with a 4 strap max - how many possibile weights is that? Someone (me) needs to do each one and that takes time.  I don't work for free.   The shipping can be trimmmed some but not without buying a module on the shopping cart to figure the weights that figure the fee. . .and then a guy to do the programming to set it up.  As an aside I have learned that overall the Canadian Postal Service beats the US Postal Service in terms of what they offer for service(s)

I wish I had a better solution other than each of you calling your dealer or sending a letter to one of them that you use and see if they will stock a few.  

To my knowldege Roberts will not do international without a wire transfer if that give you a hint as to one dealers experience with international.

Send me the broken strap of the address to send the postage for the broken strap.  It will be a first and I want to see if there is a problem and what it is.

Al Stegmeyer
Title: UPstraps
Post by: taosphoto on July 07, 2005, 02:51:47 am
I would be happy to take on a Canadian dealer and be able to put an end to the shipping cost problem. . .at least to Canada.  I have spoken to one and even sent samples at my cost but they do not respond.  I suggest you guys who want one but don't want to pay the heavy shipping cost to contact your dealer and ask to buy one. . .when they say they don't have it, request the buyer or owner and suggest they give it a try.

It takes a dealer with savvy to understand the value of a shoulder strap that really does not slip to a shooter who hauls a camera most every day.  As far as the non-slip abilities of the UPstrap vs the Domke or others it simply is no contest. . .the UPstrap is far more agressive than any of the others. . .and the non-slip is on ALL sides so no suprises.

The swivle - twist issue ?  How twisted can a strap get and how diffacult is it to untwist.  I know the Domke strap, I've used the Domke strap.  The snap swivles are small "cast" metal I have samples from the vendor as well as a box of swivel snaps for the LT bag strap that I had planned to offer as an option but decided against it.  

I would trust the swivel on an inexpensive light camera but no way on a big gun.  I don't sell the LT with a swivel unless the customer really wants it and then I tell him. . .if it let's go. . .your problem.

The web we use (camera and bag) is rated at 1100 pounds.  It is a single piece with the pad molded to it.  When attached to the camera the weakest link is the split rings - which most cameras don't use anymore.  Those that do have special rings with sometimes plastic overlays.  The break strength of the rings is about 100 pounds or less.  

The UPstrap is designed for utility and saftey.  No bells and whistles, just a basic nuts and bolts shoulder strap that stays put because the pad is engineered to the max.  The web is 62" long on the camera SLR or RF and 64" on the bag or LT.

Feel free to email me with any questions and I'll keep working on trying to reduce the shipping on international.  I'll need a few months to see how it goes.


Title: UPstraps
Post by: taosphoto on July 13, 2005, 11:54:20 am
Thanks for your kind words Pete.  We do what we can, sometimes dropping the ball. Some of our "contract" labor for assembly & fulfilllment is from my head injury support group and they have cognitive "issues".  I feel good about helping the disabled this little bit but it does create a few glitches now and again.  In the big picture it is not like we are shipping organs for transplant. . . no harm no foul.

As far as the rings issue and quick disconect.  For starters, you should not use the rings unless you have a camera that uses rings. Brackets do not need the rings.  In addition, you should use the rings we send only on old cameras that have worn rings. . .otherwise use the mfg rings.  

I've been working on a quick disconnect for almost 2 years now.  Most of you know not to trust a plastic quick disconnect on anything of any weight unless you are willing to chance the possibility of failure and the ugly result.  Given that the vast majority of my clients are working professionals who use the biggest bodies and sometimes the largest glass, there was no way I would use a plastic QR knowing that the best of them has a break strength of about 115 lbs at a nominal working temp.  Put one on a 400 2.8 with a Mark II during a 20 degree Superbowl and even if said pro was willing to do so. . .disaster was in the making.

I was in the process of building a 275 pound test QR when I came across a 960 pound QR made for NASCAR helmets and F-16's.  I ordered 400 and began production as this was a beautiful (but expensive) metal to metal QR with a ballistic nylon cover.  As I was in the first production run I was checking a connection and pullled the release at a 45 degree angle. . .it let go!  I was stunned!  

I contacted the mfg and sent him a sample explaing the problem in our application that is different in that the direction of pull is not always in a straight line but perhaps on an angle if a body or lens would hang the QR and the angle pull issue would happen.

This man make a trip to California to speak with the actual builder of the part and explained the problem.  As I understand it they have re-engineered the body and re-cut the mold to have enough support to withstand the angle pull.  Given his other clients and the small quantities we would use. . .this was major league customer service.

At the same time, I have started back on the original design of mine and some new parts have come in.  I need only to decide on one more part and then a sub-contractor and method for an attachment to the camera.

I have been accused of absurd overkill and over-engineering and assured that all will be well without all this strength.  However it does not take a mensa member to realize that there are situations where a jerk strength of over 250 pounds from strap to body or lens is quite possible.  Of course none of these guys who yell overkill would be willing to pay the damages is the plastic release were in play.  The buck stops here in Tallahassee!

From what I see from the orders that come in you guys carry around $10,000 on your shoulder?  Sometimes more, sometimes less.  This does not count the time you put in to make the images, the downtime if it breaks and the hassle. . .although repaired it may never really work right again.

As a photographer I have dealt first hand with such a disaster.   Was it user error or an old plastic QR that had some dirt or a few grains of sand in it?  I do know it ate the front end of a 135 2.0 that was hand picked by a Nikon tech as a special favor and was a killer lens.  

So, until I can send you a release that I would trust, that is foolproof. . . be patient.  The good news is that I am very close, perhaps in more than one version.  One more elegant than the other but one that has a built in saftey feature that even if the release becomes unhooked, the release stays in place until you unhook it.

Please don't email me asking when or for photos as the moment it is finished a patent will be filed.

Good shooting and thanks for your business.  This is really a great website with a ton of great information on it.

Al Stegmeyer
Title: UPstraps
Post by: budjames on July 14, 2005, 10:12:06 pm
I was using the LowePro neoprene straps for a few years, but never satisfied with them. The dots still slipped under the weight of the camera and lens.

After purchasing an UPStrap for one of my bodies, I was so impressed that I purchased a second one right away. It is the best strap ever.

Does any one out there want to be 2 LowePro Neoprene straps in great condition?

Bud James