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Monday, 15 September 2014

Miggo: Keep it under wraps

The thing about cameras (especially DSLRs and mirrorless models) is that there’s a whole ecosystem of accessories that go with it. You get everything from fancy lens caps to a bewildering array of tripod options (and mounting options that go with that) and more besides.

Just take a look at camera straps — while you get a basic strap bundled with every camera, there’s no shortage of third-party straps available for every type of camera, from stylish leather models to purely functional ones like the BlackRapid series.

And now a new company called Miggo has introduced an unusual strap — it claims it to be the world’s first strap that also doubles as a wrap for the camera.

Made of neoprene and Lycra with very stylish prints applied, these straps are made for people who don’t want to lug special padded camera bags with them and simply want to stow their cameras away in their existing backpacks, along with all their other stuff.

How it works

The Miggo strap and wrap as it’s called, is very unusual in design — as a strap, it’s a bit wider than most camera straps. It also attaches not to the lugs of the camera but to the tripod mount much like a BlackRapid strap.

Miggo Strap & Wrap
The Miggo is a cool option if you like to travel light.
There’s a good reason for the wider-than-usual design of the Miggo. It’s made in such a way that the two parts of the strap will zip up and join together, creating a wide swath of material which you then simply wrap around the camera.

It’s an innovative idea, but one that is not without its problems. For one thing, as ­cameras come in a variety of sizes with ­different sized lenses, Miggo has to ­produce a number of different sized straps to ­accommodate most of them.

Also, the strap is made to work with cameras with medium or standard sized lenses — large ones with long telephoto lenses are definitely out of the equation and strangely enough so are cameras with lenses that are too short. This is because lenses that are too short will not allow the strap to make the final loop over the lens to secure the whole thing in position.

The Miggo straps, then, are made to work with a small- to medium-sized DSLRs or mirrorless cameras with their respective kit lenses.

There are actually two styles of straps — one is called the Grip & Wrap while the other type is the Strap & Wrap.

The Strap & Wrap is longer and works as a neck strap while the Grip & Wrap is a wrist strap — both styles use the same basic ­“wrapping” concept.

In use

The idea behind the strap is relatively simple, but when we first tried it, we found that even the longest strap wouldn’t fit the Nikon D600 with 24-85mm kit lens attached, nor would it fit the Nikon D5200 with an 18-105mm lens attached.

What it could properly wrap around was the Sony A7 with 24-70mm lens. Bummer.

However, after some talks with the local distributor who was in contact with the ­manufacturer, we discovered that there was an alternate method of wrapping slightly larger cameras.

The normal wrapping procedure is to bring the strap around from the bottom to the back of the camera and around to the front before making a final loop over the lens to secure it.

However, with larger cameras we found that it was a little too short to get the strap to completely wrap around this way. Instead, it would only work if we started wrapping from the bottom to the front and then around the back and securing with a final loop over the lens.

This method was actually long enough to secure all three aforementioned cameras.

All the wraps are perhaps a bit narrow to really protect the edges of a medium-sized DSLR or larger mirrorless camera as the sides stick out a little bit even when wrapped, but the rest of the device is reasonably well-­protected.

Miggo strap patterned 3
Miggo had to intentionally make the strap long so that it would wrap the entire camera.
All the Miggo straps come with a very ­useful lens cap slot which you can use to keep your lens cap while shooting. Nice idea ­especially for someone like me who has ­misplaced quite a few lens caps in my time.

As a strap, the Miggo is pretty ­comfortable to use, although it’s a bit wider than the straps you’re normally used to seeing.

I tried it out quite a bit and it certainly functioned well as a strap and even elicited a few questions from friends and family who saw me using it.

One issue with the strap that works with DSLRs is that it’s a bit on the long side — it’s okay if you’re taller than 170cm but for ­anyone below that the strap tends to hang a little low.

Apparently the manufacturer is aware of this and intends to make models that fit Asians better in the future.

It’s a wrap

The Miggo strap is certainly not for everyone, but if you’re a casual shooter who uses a smaller camera with kit lens then you might want to consider this strap and wrap option.

I have to admit that the strap looks stylish, feels comfortable and in its alternate form as a camera wrap it offers an adequate layer of protection for your camera.

However, if you’re going to buy one of these, I highly recommend that you try the strap yourself before buying it just to make sure it fits.

Also, Miggo said it will have a list up soon of camera model and lens combinations that will work with the various straps.

Pros: Stylish; comfortable; works as a ­camera wrap.

Cons: Doesn’t work with lens that are too long or short; won’t adequately protect the edges of most larger cameras.

Price: RM179 for Strap & Wrap; RM149.99 for Grip & Wrap. Review units courtesy of Virtuous Trading, (03) 7732-2884.

Tags / Keywords: Science Technology , Camera

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