Review: Kata “Reflex-C” Camera Strap

by Klaus on February 15, 2011

in Photography

You’d be surprised how hard it is to review a camera strap. I mean, it’s a strap. It holds your camera. What else is there?

Actually, there’s more to it than that, and if you’re still shooting with your branded original camera strap, I’ll let you in on a secret: It sucks and it was made to suck.

Okay so maybe there’s one or two photographers out there who actually enjoys using the original camera strap. The rest of them just doesn’t use a camera strap that much so they leave it on for those occasions where they need to hang it on their shoulder and stuff like that.

There are several great camera straps out there, at very reasonable prices, which has different purposes. I’ll do a summary on those later, but for now I’ll just focus on one strap: Kata Reflex-C.

Kata is a company based in Israel which also makes equipment for their military, so you’d imagine their stuff is good enough for photographers also. Actually, I can’t remember ever having heard anything bad about Kata and their camera equipment (bags, straps etc.).

I bought the Kata Reflex-C camera strap for two reasons:

  1. I was desperate. I just couldn’t stand walking around with the original strap anymore, fearing every step I’d take if now would be the moment it slipped off my shoulder and camera goes down to the ground.
  2. Scott Bourne has recommended the “Reflex-E” version multiple times on his podcasts etc.

So when I came by a store who actually had the Reflex-C in stock, I figured I would give it a try. If it didn’t work out, I could always sell it again. But I was absolutely sure it would be better than my original Nikon strap that came with the D7000 – I was not wrong.

I wanted the Reflex-E version as that was what Scott Bourne prefers, but they didn’t have that in stock. The only difference, as far as I know, is that “E” has a quick release system so you can easily remove most of the strap from the camera. The “C” strap is like the original straps, basically always attached.

Very comfortable neoprene shoulder pad

Let’s get to the pros and cons regarding Kata Reflex-C and I’ll also let you know which strap(s) I already replaced it with.

What I do like about Kata Reflex-C:

  • Comfortable. I think it has some “built-in stretching system”, so your camera doesn’t feel as heavy.
  • The shoulder pad is very comfortable, much more so than original camera straps.
  • The pad feels more secure, it doesn’t slide off your shoulder as easy (though it’s not perfect).
  • It has two built-in zippered pockets for CF cards. Unfortunately they’re too small to hold business cards (I don’t use CF cards).

What I do not like too much about Kata Reflex-C:

  • No quick-release system. The Reflex-E has this and I actually miss that.
  • The CF card pockets. For storing SD cards, just one would be enough (or at least make them smaller) – or have just one pocket which is also big enough for some backup business cards. I’d prefer not having the pockets though.
  • The pad doesn’t have anything in particular to prevent it from sliding off your shoulder, though the neoprene is better than whatever material the Nikon straps are made of (and probably Canon too?).

As you can see, I contradict myself on a few points. Kata Reflex-C is better than the original strap, but it’s not quite as good as what I was hoping for.

That’s why I replaced it with the Super Classic Strap from OP/TECH USA, plus the SLR Wrist Strap, both using the uni-loop connectors (came with the Super Classic Strap). Why? I’ll tell you in my next post on camera straps in a week or so… stay tuned!

One of two zippered CF card pockets on Kata Reflex-C

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