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Thread started 11 Nov 2010 (Thursday) 11:41
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[REVIEW] NEW Luma Loop Mk II ~Beta~

 
kinghong1970
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Nov 11, 2010 11:41 |  #1

Hello good folks of PoTN!

After my initial review/comparison of the Luma Loop vs Black Rapid RS-7, Greg from Luma Loop has contacted me via pm and told me of a revised version of the Luma Loop and that i would be receiving a beta version of this as soon as it's available.

According to Greg:

Yours is a production beta unit (i.e. the design is 100% complete, but the ones we are shipping out now are the ones we use to lock down the actual production steps - the quality and hardware and everything is the same as production Loops)...

well, i'm happy to announce, that it has come... and i am very impressed over the improvements...

many of the concerns regarding the loop has been addressed with some very interesting and nifty features... so without further delay, here goes... and as usual, taking review from top down...

Shoulder Pad "Banana":

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Mk I (lf) vs Mk II (rt)

the most noticable improvement of the "banana" is that it has been widened... this will help keep the banana over your shoulders but then again, with all straps, when you lift and move the camera around to shoot, they will move... i have since sold my RS-7 loop because i like the minimalistic and effective design of the LL... and i have to admit, the neoprene also grips better on my shoulder.

second, if you look closely, you will notice that the leather loop that connects the D-Ring has been widened from 7/8" to 1"

LL still opted to use the screw method to assemble the D-Ring onto the banana ends but i have no complaints as they have proven themselves to work fine in my days of walking all around with my camera.

Another noticeable difference is the leather used on the banana... it is thicker and seems more dense.

aesthetic changes were that the LL logo looks like it's laser etched on leather versus simple embossing...

also, they've logo'd the edge of the neoprene...
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i did not know that they could do that... lol...

Banana Hardware:
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the old Plastic D-ring has also changed to 1/8" thick dual d-ring method and they've removed the sliding locking buckle and replaced it to a metal ladder lock sliding buckle.

this is a great improvement as i found that the plastic lever lock buckle easily came loose.

the metal ladder lock buckle is a bit more time consuming to make adjustments but once you set your length, you don't need to make much changes to the loop length so this is fine.

this system works... in two folds.
remember those old army belts that uses 2 d-rings that lock onto each other? this is the same. the dual locking metal d-ring locks and holds the webbing in place very well... then the sliding ladder lock buckle also holds in place very well, in part, because of the next improvement... webbing.

Webbing:
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Mk I (lf) MkII (rt)

they've stayed with the 1" webbing tape...
the LL Mk I webbing tape was still superior to the Black Rapids because they were better quality with a higher density webbing...
the Mk II is taking that and making it even thicker...

the new webbing is a bit more flexible and not as rigid as MkI but the increased thickness and texture works well together with metal or plastic hardware... this is the same adjustment system as the stock camera straps... the texture of the webbing, along with the tension work with each other to lock the buckle and length in place.

i would like to have seen the open end of the loop folded and stitch tacked but this webbing and hardware combo will NOT slip...

Side Release Buckle:
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Mk I (lf) Mk II (rt)

keeping with their original design, the 1" side release buckle is still there... and again, i repeat, better positioning versus the BR-7 (especially for those who sling their camera to the right hip) because the buckle is in front of your chest, not behind you.

same model, Duraflex Rock Lobster buckle was used... again, this never failed in my use of the LL with lenses such as the 70-200 Mk II on my 7D.

Camera Attachment:

this is where the biggest improvement has been made.
firstly, the buckle system they've used in the past was fine for my use, again, never failed... worked well, ease of removing and light weight... furthermore, metal does not come in contact with my camera.

the new method... wow...
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again, a 1/8" thick metal ring connects to a swiveling male insert that has a push button release.

let me go back and compare this to the BR-7...
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this is basically a simple cast metal D-ring with a swiveling carabiner... my problem is that with this type of setup, especially in bags, after use, the mushroom top gets worn out and slips through the hole... it has happened many times to me in college days...

the LL system is definitely improvement because it seems to be machined out of a steel rod and the D-ring is securely fixed to the male cylinder.
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the push button basically enables 4 ball bearings to retract and the female cap can slide out and apart from the loop.

nifty feature... yes, added weight but heck there was certain amount of concern over plastic buckles so this is a great solution imo.

i tried to see how easy it was for another person to snap it off... i assembled the loop and put it on my mannequin and tried to prop it off...

see, this is the nifty feature... gravity and design is in your favor...
when the camera is on your loop, the male rod and button is positioned right under the d-ring loop so without lifting the camera and pivoting the D-ring+webbing loop aside, you really cannot access the button with ease...

... continued...

Albert the Clumsy Ape
GEAR | FEEDBACK | REVIEW | KING OF GREENE STREET (external link) | FS: Gitzo GT1550T, Photoclam PC30N

  
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kinghong1970
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Nov 11, 2010 11:41 |  #2

continued...

here's a pic of the male plug...

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you can see the ball bearings that lock it against the female cylinder.

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here you will see what i mean, the button can be accessed when the webbing and d-ring is out of the way... unless you got small and strong fingers...

Female Cap:
the female cap is at first, meh design... but i've had a DOH! moment...
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in this pic, you will see the groove where the bearings lock and hold...

and while looking at this, and attaching this to my camera, it hit me... or, more rather, it hit my camera... and i realized the design...

the grooves hold 4 o-rings in place, quite tightly... and basically, they act as bumper on the camera... that was cool.
yes, you can remove the o-rings... but in the event that you loose an o-ring, heck, you can just pick them up at Ace's hardware or Home Depot or McMaster.com...
if you want, you can buy some heat shrink tubes and ensure the o-rings will stay in place...

but i like this improvement a lot.

i've seen folks concerned about the plastic buckle and they've addressed it... and improved upon it imo.

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just another view of the female cap...

my beta loop also came with a 1/4 threaded pod mount...
rather than just a neoprene gasket, it has cork and rubber gasket for the pod mount... but i fix my loop directly to the camera strap loop on the shutter button side...

Camera Attachment Cord:
this is also another place of improvement...
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when i received my LL MkI, i saw the flat 1/4" webbing tape and thought to myself... who's shoe-lace did they cut up? hahaha...

the Mk II comes with a tightly woven cord loop that is attached to the female cap and tied at the ends to prevent slipping.
ease of replacement, and better/stronger material.

i do wish that the cord loop was 1" longer tho... but again, it's an easy fix... if you have the scissor and know how to tie a solid knot...

Size:
many have asked me if it is long enough or short enough...
the Mk2 loop only measure appx 30"
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in comparison to Mk 1, the Mk2 is actually longer a bit... and fully adjustable for varying heights.
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Albert the Clumsy Ape
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kinghong1970
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Nov 11, 2010 12:02 as a reply to  @ kinghong1970's post |  #3

Here's the female cap fixed on my camera...

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here's my crappy iphone pic of the setup on my shop mannequin.
the mannequin is appx 6'10" height (including the missing head)
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Conclusion:
well, i loved the simplicity and effectiveness of Mk1, but i love even more the improvements of the Mk 2 even more.

i think they've pretty much took a good design and improved upon it even more.

from my initial review, i've had issues about lack of bar tacks... and i've even received and pm'd with Greg from LL about them... but in Mk2, i don't really miss them at all... nor i feel the need for them... this is sturdy enough... thick enough and honestly, i don't know if you can bar tack such thick layers...

anyways, thank you very much LL for giving me opportunity to preview the new product.

thank you PoTN for reading my reviews...

hope that you find them helpful...

regards,

Albert

Albert the Clumsy Ape
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Jonta
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Nov 11, 2010 12:28 |  #4

1: Crop and resize images please. Seems some people still use dial-up O.o (and; there's a lot of white-space in them).
2: What about disadvantages? Your review doesn't seem very credible now, all I can see is that you've received a product from the manufacturer for free, and given a very detailed description of it, with a bunch of pictures.
3: How is it in actual use, the most interesting part of personal reviews, since manufacturers publish descriptions of their products.




  
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TT-00
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Nov 11, 2010 12:48 as a reply to  @ Jonta's post |  #5

Where to buy the LL II?




  
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kinghong1970
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Nov 11, 2010 12:48 |  #6

Jonta wrote in post #11266157 (external link)
1: Crop and resize images please. Seems some people still use dial-up O.o (and; there's a lot of white-space in them).

noted... yea, i got a bit lazy... and the pics are not as clear as i'd like...

Jonta wrote in post #11266157 (external link)
2: What about disadvantages? Your review doesn't seem very credible now, all I can see is that you've received a product from the manufacturer for free, and given a very detailed description of it, with a bunch of pictures.

well, i'm not sure if this is "free" as you put it... as i'm still waiting on LL for return instructions nor was it clarified by them. i have no objection to returning this product to them... if that bothers you.

as for disadvantages... hmm... i'd say that whatever disadvantage you may have from using this type of camera sling applies here... yes, if you're not attentive/careful in using any loop, you'll find that it swings and hits here and there... and when you go down to tie your shoe... yea, need to get in the habit.

as for specific disadvantage of the LL... i have not taken this out fully for a day yet... i received this package yesterday and sadly work has been keeping me quite busy.

it does lack some of the pockets and whatnot for your flash cards but that has never been an issue.

if you read my first review, i've always thought that the LL was a better designed product compared to the BR option.

Jonta wrote in post #11266157 (external link)
3: How is it in actual use, the most interesting part of personal reviews, since manufacturers publish descriptions of their products.

actual use of LL MkI... i love it... love how light it is... love how simple it's been.
i sold my Black Rapid RS-7 because i did not use it at all.

i like how the neoprene keeps the pad at the shoulder better... but as i've stated in my review, when you've got the camera up to shoot, neither product padding stays on the shoulder.

i like the better quality of the webbing in LL over BR and now, i think the quality is improved and works better with the selected hardware.

i hate to repeat... but i've been producing garments, shoes, and accessories for a better part of my past 20 years and in my working experience, i see the material use and construction to be a very important factor.

i also value the hidden manufacturing steps of the product because it tells me a ton about a factory or brand's QC... hence i am very dissappointed with the Kata 3n1 30 (my review in sig)...

i hope i've answered your questions and doubts... all except resizing, of course... :D


Albert the Clumsy Ape
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kinghong1970
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Nov 11, 2010 12:50 |  #7

TT-00 wrote in post #11266260 (external link)
Where to buy the LL II?

well, you can google their website but it seems that the new product is not listed yet...


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VinnieJ
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Nov 11, 2010 18:19 |  #8

Nice review. I have a Black Rapid but I don't like how it screws into the tripod mount. Nice to see that this has a different option.




  
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Nov 11, 2010 19:51 |  #9

VinnieJ wrote in post #11268061 (external link)
Nice review. I have a Black Rapid but I don't like how it screws into the tripod mount. Nice to see that this has a different option.

Optech utility loops or Adapt-its will allow you to attach the BR Connect R2 to any of your camera or grip strap lugs.

http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=rppV7crLuVs (external link)


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Nov 11, 2010 19:55 |  #10

how does the new metal connector system compare to the plastic tongue and groove connector, being much smaller is there any chance of not getting a secure lock if your in a hurry or careless.


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gakoenig
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Nov 11, 2010 20:45 |  #11

As the guy who shipped Albert the beta Loop 2, I thought I would chime in and address a couple of points:

- Albert was given a beta Loop 2 because of his insightful critique of our original Loop. He is clearly a knowledgeable, detail oriented and picky individual and that is what I like about him! As a product designer, you never really feel like the job is finished, but if you can satisfy the standards of someone like Albert, you are doing the right things. We very much appreciate his review, but a review was not the primary reason I shipped him a beta unit.

-Loop 2 will be coming online in the next couple of weeks. The first production batch is winding through the various steps (out of laser engraving and onto sewing today). Typically however, Luma doesn't pre-announce products until they are at our shipping workstation and ready to go to customers. Duncan and I both hate seeing something cool and new online, only to have to wait months for it to be for sale.

It will be going online at a new website where we currently just have a teaser video of the laser engraving process up now:

http://lu.ma (external link)

If you all have any questions, feel free to email me greg AT luma-labs.com.


http://lu.ma (external link), greg@luma-labs.com (external link)

  
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Nov 11, 2010 21:06 |  #12

this will help keep the banana over your shoulders but then again, with all straps, when you lift and move the camera around to shoot, they will move...

Personally, this would be an issue for me, in terms of how is this better than what I am using now. If I have to reposition the strap after every time I drop the camera back down, I might as well continue using my Opteck cross shouldered which pretty much self positions itself when I swing the camera back down to my side. Getting the camera uo to shooting position is not an issue. I have developed a knack for that which works flawlessly almost every time.

I am looking, though, for a 2 camera system.


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jlt23
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Nov 11, 2010 21:23 |  #13

The type of locking system is used on guitar straps and I've seen two version on these quick release locks. One is like a push button like this new luma loop. The other is a pull knob instead of a push button. Some people feel that it's easy to push the button and it would come loose than if you had to pull a knob. Do you think that would apply here? I have a luma loop strap and I have no problems with it.


James

  
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kinghong1970
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Nov 11, 2010 22:09 |  #14

gakoenig wrote in post #11268787 (external link)
As the guy who shipped Albert the beta Loop 2, I thought I would chime in and address a couple of points:

- Albert was given a beta Loop 2 because of his insightful critique of our original Loop. He is clearly a knowledgeable, detail oriented and picky individual and that is what I like about him! As a product designer, you never really feel like the job is finished, but if you can satisfy the standards of someone like Albert, you are doing the right things. We very much appreciate his review, but a review was not the primary reason I shipped him a beta unit.

-Loop 2 will be coming online in the next couple of weeks. The first production batch is winding through the various steps (out of laser engraving and onto sewing today). Typically however, Luma doesn't pre-announce products until they are at our shipping workstation and ready to go to customers. Duncan and I both hate seeing something cool and new online, only to have to wait months for it to be for sale.

It will be going online at a new website where we currently just have a teaser video of the laser engraving process up now:

http://lu.ma (external link)

If you all have any questions, feel free to email me greg AT luma-labs.com.

thanks for chiming in... and thanks for giving me the opportunity to preview your new product.

bohdank wrote in post #11268889 (external link)
this will help keep the banana over your shoulders but then again, with all straps, when you lift and move the camera around to shoot, they will move...

Personally, this would be an issue for me, in terms of how is this better than what I am using now. If I have to reposition the strap after every time I drop the camera back down, I might as well continue using my Opteck cross shouldered which pretty much self positions itself when I swing the camera back down to my side. Getting the camera uo to shooting position is not an issue. I have developed a knack for that which works flawlessly almost every time.

I am looking, though, for a 2 camera system.

i understand what you're saying... both BR and LL is the same because the portion that attaches to the camera swings back and forth freely throughout the length of the webbing... hence the shoulder pad plays around freely.

in comparison, the BR, iirc, had some printed gel grip surface but i just find the raw neoprene to have better friction.

to help "reposition" one quick thought i've had is to somehow fix the webbings together near the camera attachment d-ring so that it's movement is limited and position is fixed to opposite of shoulder pad... in this case, after when shooting, the shoulder pad will slide back, but when camera is released, then the shoulder weight of the camera strap will bring the pad, (and your shirt, and your vest, and your jacket) back up to the original position... lol?

jlt23 wrote in post #11268982 (external link)
The type of locking system is used on guitar straps and I've seen two version on these quick release locks. One is like a push button like this new luma loop. The other is a pull knob instead of a push button. Some people feel that it's easy to push the button and it would come loose than if you had to pull a knob. Do you think that would apply here? I have a luma loop strap and I have no problems with it.

lannes wrote in post #11268525 (external link)
how does the new metal connector system compare to the plastic tongue and groove connector, being much smaller is there any chance of not getting a secure lock if your in a hurry or careless.

there is a distinct click you feel and hear when you insert the plug to the cap.
same for plastic buckles...

i kinda got used to the faster release of the side release buckle but again, any aftermarket straps and their options will require the user some time to get used to it... else, why not stick with the stock strap?

with the side release buckle in version 1, i can just feel it and click and release... also putting it back, train your hand to hold the buckle in palm then grab camera, then with thumb and index, you can click on and off the buckle...

with the version 2, i've yet to find a comfortable, quick release and lock...
i guess being new, i still need to get used to it... and your question is valid... as i'm clicking in and checking before i let go... again, did teh same with 1st version, the BR and this...

@ Greg from LL...
quick question... do you have any tests on the load capacity of the metal lock versus the load capacity of the duraflex buckle?

i know that duraflex offers load capacity as i recall from seeing their catalogs...

thanks again...


Albert the Clumsy Ape
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janner
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Nov 12, 2010 01:16 |  #15

Thanks for the review. It looks to be an excellent and practical design. I'm still very happy with my Mk1 strap.




  
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[REVIEW] NEW Luma Loop Mk II ~Beta~
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