First Impressions: Luma Labs Cinch 2


I've owned the Cinch version 1 for over a year and when I use a strap it's the only one I'll choose - it's been amazing. From toting around a 70-200 2.8 + 2x teleconverter all day long during the Head of the Hooch Regatta to just a 10.5 fisheye while touring the VAB at Kennedy Space Center it's kept the camera close and easy to access. I love it's simplicity, the machined bits, and how fast it adjusts.

When Greg and Duncan announced version 2, I knew I had to get it. After a few weeks of anxious waiting, I got it. I've been using it for a month or so now, here is what I think so far.

The new composite pieces are beautiful, lightweight, and stealth with an all-black look to the new Cinch. Do I miss the machined parts? Yep, sure do. But you don't get both the beautiful machined parts and stealth at once, obviously. So far I enjoy them both, a lot, in different ways.

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The Cinch 2 in symmetrical, modular, and lighter. With both ends able to adjust, it also allows a larger range of fits compared to the Cinch v1 which had sizes (Small, Medium, Large). The grip side of the shoulder pad is grippier, with larger grip sections than the zigzag stripe of the Cinch 1. Because it's modular, Greg has many plans to offer different pads, sliders, attachment points.

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There was only 1 thing I wanted from the Cinch 1 - a quick disconnect. I use a strap about 30% of the time with my camera, and having to fiddle with the strap and sliders each time made it more likely for me to leave the Cinch at home if I was in between on using a strap that day.

Well, no more. With the new disconnects, I always have the strap in my bag ready to attach. Or if I'm shooting long exposures, I can remove the strap so there's one less source of snag or vibration on the tripod.

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The new composite Arca-Swiss plate is beautiful. It's always in my bag, ready to attach to my GoPro, for days when I'm going without my battery grip (and the always attached ReallyRightStuff L plate), or when my dad or friend wants to use my Arca compatible tripod setups.

Not only is it a gorgeous piece, it's lightweight, incredibly strong and the rubber on top is not going to allow any twist between it and the camera.

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What I like

+ Symmetrical Design

Attach it to the camera in any orientation, still retain ease of adjustment.

+ Stealth

Dark composite pieces are gorgeous and don't draw attention.

+ Modular

I can't wait to see what Greg has up his sleeves for this.

+ Lead Times are Gone

With new construction techniques and suppliers, straps will ship when you order, not weeks after like with the Cinch 1 and the machined pieces bottleneck.

What I Don't Like

– No Pull Tab

The new sliders slide with less effort and are smaller. However, they also require pulling from their edges. If you are wearing a thick, soft jacket or sweater the pieces can get lost as they will dig in a bit. With the Cinch 1, there was a big, fat, protruding leather tab which allowed your fingers to find it no matter what. This is far from a full point negative, but it's something that I found different from the Cinch 1 while snowboarding in Colorado. Greg says they plan to offer a pull tab again that you'll be able to add to the Cinch 2 thanks to it's modularity.

Would I Recommend the Cinch 2?

Absolutely, no question.

If you have a Cinch 1, you can purchase the Quick Disconnects and use it with the Cinch you have now, as well as the Arca Plate. Have a second camera? Pick up a Cinch 2, you'll love it. If you don't have a Cinch 1, this is a no brainer for someone looking to upgrade away from the stock Canon/Nikon/Sony strap that came with your camera.

Don't have a DSLR? This probably isn't the strap for you, it works best with a larger camera. Luma is looking to make straps for m43, Mirrorless and smaller cameras in the future, keep an eye out!

Buy the Cinch from Luma-Labs.