Carrying the Leica Q -What Works Best & Why
I have been trying a variety of ways to carry the Q looking for minimalism, light weight and comfort without risking undue damage to the Q. I ordered and received the holster, the hand grip and the finger loop. I also had a soft cord type neck strap, the neck strap that comes with the Q, a Leica Goodies Sling, a home made leather sling, more bags that multiply like rabbits in the bins I keep bags in, a soft leather pouch and a Leica M8 neck strap.
After trying the Q with and without the grip and finger loop I found that for me the added bulk and weight was not desirable yet they appeared to be essential for use in the holster in order to facilitate quickly removing the camera without risk of having it slip from your fingers to the floor. Additionally, I found that one could not put a neck strap on the camera and comfortably put it in the holster so if one were going to use a neck strap at any time and carry it in the holster the neck strap needed quick disconnects. Unfortunately, virtually every camera strap that is designed to work with the type of lugs on the Q uses a split ring to secure the strap and those are a major pain to put on and take off. The other alternative is the nylon string with disc or some other nylon string arrangement. I did not want strings or strings with discs dangling from my camera or catching in the holster. Luigi does offer a quick connect for one of his wrist straps that looks nice but I did not see it on a neck strap. Various searches of the web failed to turn up much that would fit the hole in the lug, be strong and not offer so much exposed metal that it wouldn't mar the camera. I found that of the various straps I have tried (drawer full of those too), the cord type is very comfortable with the Q and allows the over the neck and one shoulder carry with ease and the ability to quickly bring the camera to shooting position. In my search, there was the mention of an article by Ken Hanson in which he raved that the Leica M8 strap was a great strap for its ability to quickly and easily be removed on put back. Luckily I happened to have one in my box. I removed the quick connect ends and took them to my local shoe repairman to have him sew them on the cord strap. The pictures show the result.
Reluctantly, I returned the grip and finger loop. If there had been a way to use the finger loop without the grip I would have kept it (a la M9 Titanium). I then created a leather Leica Goodies Sling finger loop (I had the nylon one but didn't like its appearance or feel compared to leather. This worked very well to quickly and easily remove the camera from the holster and with my new neck strap I had the option to use the holster or the neck strap. Previously, I had used a Tamara 3385 bag which held the Q, neck strap, flash, spare battery and spare SD card. It worked well but wasn't the best looking solution. If I was going to use the holster, I needed a smaller more compact way to carry everything but the Q. Rummaging through my bags I found this soft leather pouch by Fabretti. This particular style may not be available any longer but they are nice and inexpensive. It holds the SF-26 flash, a spare SD card, a spare battery and a pocket for some cash and a few credit/debit cards. You can also get the neck strap into it. Very small but carries a lot and can be work on a belt, carried via wrist strap of via a neck strap.
So today, I set out to test all of this out. A long hike with the camera in the holster and the holster adjusted so that it was as comfortable as I could make it. My finding from today was that the holster, while it looks very nice is not very comfortable. I could not find a position where it would stay such that the camera was not in the way of my arm swing. I kept sliding it back to the comfort position and it kept sliding back to the discomfort position. That was a bit disappointing. I will try more adjustments on the holster but If I can't find a position that is truly as comfortable as the neck strap alone, then it too will go back. A real shame as it is really nicely made and very attractive. Additionally, I want the extra protection it offers and I thought when I am in a restaurant I can hang it over a chair and have it ready to go in an instant, no reaching into a bag.
I am curious what others have found works for them and why. I hope this helps some of you and I look forward to your feedback on what you have found works best for you.
Re: Carrying the Leica Q -What Works Best & Why
"If there were a way to use the loop without the grip" - My thoughts exactly.
I guess you could just use a straight up leather hand strap. That's what I did when testing the holster. I actually don't like the holster, so I went back to leather neck strap.