Holdfast MoneyMaker Dual Camera Strap Review

holdfast-moneymaker-review

I feel like I’m preaching to the converted when writing this Holdfast Money Maker review here in 2021.

By now, any wedding photographer worth his/her salt is already rocking one of these quintessential dual camera straps.

However, for those new to the scene, or perhaps still considering the purchase, this is all you need to know:

The Money Maker is the best leather camera strap for carrying two cameras at once.

Shotkit_Holdfast_MoneyMaker_Review
Holdfast Money Maker

Stylish & functional dual camera strap built to last a lifetime. Save 10% with Coupon Code: SHOTKIT10

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It’s handmade to last forever, improves with age and will attract compliments wherever you go. Best of all, you feel like a complete bad-ass whenever you put it on.

The ritual of slipping your arms through those thick leather openings and shouldering the weight of your cameras is akin to photography-battle-preparation!

I’ve been using a Money Maker since 2013. I’ve shot over 150 weddings around the world with it, and the leather has softened and aged beautifully after soaking up my blood, sweat and tears.

The latest version has newly designed hardware and safety straps, making it even more robust.

In this review, I’ll be examining the ‘Original Bridle Leather Money Maker’, as well as introducing a few variants.

Introducing the Holdfast Money Maker

 
Pros
  • Looks amazing
  • Distributes weight well
  • Carries up to 3 cameras
  • Extremely robust
  • Improves with age
  • Lifetime warranty (1 year for non-leather)
Cons
  • Stiff at first
  • Availability
  • Dual camera strap (3rd camera with optional chest strap)
  • Full-grain leather (U.S. native steer hide)
  • Anchored stainless steel d-rings/hardware (no rust)
  • Reinforced nylon safety straps
  • Multiple colours
  • Available in S, M & L depending on user’s height

Get a 10% discount on any Money Maker strap with coupon code SHOTKIT10:

Build & Appearance

closeup leather strap

Thankfully, even the Holdfast logo looks great!

The main straps of the Money Maker are made from full grain leather, which occasionally feature ‘scars’ incurred from the life of the animal, making your strap truly one of a kind.

The unit I received for testing had no such scarring, exhibiting only the beautiful smoothness and reassuring weight of high-quality leather.

The buffed back has a suede-like feel, which sheds a little at first as it moulds and shapes to the contours of your body, getting softer over time.

Due to the nature of the thick leather, the Money Maker will remain stiff for the first few uses, with a gradual ‘breaking in’ process similar to wearing an expensive leather shoe multiple times.

After consistent use, you’ll be rewarded with a strap that feels like a second skin. Putting it on and taking it off becomes easier too.

Build quality of the Money Maker leather is impeccable, as is the stainless steel hardware – the d-rings and fasteners are rust-proof and feel like they’d last forever.

The strap can hold whatever multi-camera + lens + accessory combination you attach to it. It’s so strong that you can even do chin-ups with it if an average shoot isn’t enough exercise for you…

As for the appearance, well, this is what’s made the Money Maker such an iconic camera strap. You will literally get compliments every time you wear it, even from non-photographers.

leather-strap-strength-test

Our top-secret strength testing facility finally revealed.

If I had a dollar for every time a wedding guest asked me where I got my camera strap, I’d buy myself a proper chin-up bar…

As you’ll see below, there’s a Money Maker variant for every taste, from the classic leathers to canvases and even vegan rubbers, all in a rainbow of colours.

It’s an iconic strap that makes you look and feel the part, whether you’re a wedding photographer or any other photographer who needs to carry more than one camera at a time.

Ease of Use

photographer checking images

Sliding the cameras up and down the straps becomes smoother over time.

Putting on the Money Maker is a little confusing the first time, but you quickly get the hang of it.

(Just make sure you practice at home a couple of times, so you don’t look like a kid on the first day of school.)

The first thing to do is to attach the screws to your cameras’ tripod mounts. It’s a good idea to leave them in there indefinitely just in case you forget to bring them on a shoot. We’ve all done it…

Next, you can install the split ring from the safety catch directly to the left-side lug of your camera, attach the metal sailboat clip from the slider to the screw loop, then attach the safety catch clip to the previously installed split ring.

The use of the safety catch is optional – it’s actually one of the main updates to the original Money Maker that I used for 7 years without issue.

moneymaker-clip

Sailboat clip (metal), safety catch (plastic) and 1/4″ screw for tripod mount on camera.

I assume that Matt from Holdfast wanted to make the strap even more secure with the addition of the safety clips, but personally, I can’t see most photographers ever needing them – the sailboat clips seem more than adequate.

(I actually removed the safety catch clips altogether for the sake of the strap’s aesthetics.)

You can make adjustments to the length of the strap by using the rear belt buckles – the goal is to have your cameras hang about 4″ below your armpits so they stay high on the body.

Once you’re wearing the Money Maker, accessing your cameras is simple – just reach down, grab one of them and slide it up the strap. It’s an addictive movement, encouraging you to shoot more!

Initially, the sliding is a little jerky due to the stiffness of the leather, so you may need to hold the strap with your other hand to prevent any movement, but soon you’ll be able to do it one-handed.

Performance

Adjustment to strap size can be made via rear belt buckles.

The Money Maker performs very well in two fundamental areas – it allows you to efficiently carry and access 1-3 cameras while on the move, while distributing the cameras’ weight across the strongest portion of your back, reducing neck and shoulder strain.

If for any reason you’re only attaching one camera to the strap, everything still remains well-balanced.

Two-camera-carry is obviously the most common usage, and everything performs as you’d expect. There’s also the option to attach a third camera via an optional chest strap.

Walking with the Money Maker will cause your cameras to sway a little, and if you need to run, it’s advisable to hold the cameras to prevent them from bouncing around too much.

You’ll also need to take care when squeezing through narrow gaps (wedding aisles are a classic), or when small children are nearby, unless they’re wearing full-face helmets…

The biggest overall benefit from using a Money Maker strap to carry your cameras is comfort. You can be shooting all day long and never have to worry about an aching neck, shoulders or back, with the weight of your gear re-distributed around your body.

There’s also a Skinny version with 1″-wide straps and removable shoulder pads, ideal for lighter camera setups or for those of you with smaller frames.

An additional advantage of a thinner strap when you’re using the Money Maker in hotter weather is a reduction in the size of the ‘sweat-tramlines’ left on your shirt… the sign of a hard-working photographer!

Alternate Models

I was fortunate enough to receive several popular models from the Money Maker collection to test. Each strap features the same flawless core functionality, so there’s really nothing more to add to the review in that regard.

Nevertheless, I thought you’d enjoy some pretty pictures of each strap being worn by my brother-in-law Jay.

Click here to learn more about each strap and the latest pricing.

Water Buffalo Leather

  • Black, burgundy or tan
  • Skinny or regular
  • 2 or 3 cam setup
  • S, M & L
  • Lifetime warranty

Aside from the various limited-edition options, this is the mac-daddy of Money Makers, for those who want something even more premium than bridle leather.

If you’re going to spend this much on a ‘forever-strap’, you may as well go the whole hog, right?!

Camera Swagg

  • High-grade cotton canvas
  • Black, navy, copper or red
  • 2 or 3 cam setup
  • One size
  • 1-year warranty

Featuring the same metal hardware, this variant is made with 100% Cotton Canvas instead of leather.

The Swagg is lighter and packs smaller than the leather variants, making it an ideal option for travelling photographers – this is what I use for destination weddings. Due to its lighter weight, it also breathes better in hotter climates.

It’s also a great option if you’re not a fan of leather-goods for whatever reason.

Vegan

  • Vegan leather (rubber?)
  • All-weather
  • 15 colours to choose from!
  • 2 or 3 cam setup
  • One size
  • Lifetime warranty

This one’s marketed as an all-weather strap – not that regular leather can’t be used in the rain, but the Vegan version just handles it better, and won’t soak up any moisture. It also won’t discolour after a downpour.

The Vegan is available in a rainbow of funky colours and is slightly cheaper than the leather variants.

It’s a great option if you shoot regularly in adverse weather conditions and/or you’re a vegan!

Money Maker Solo

  • Black, burgundy or tan
  • Skinny or regular
  • 2 or 3 cam setup
  • S, M & L
  • Lifetime warranty

Single-camera, cross-body version of the original, featuring the same leathers and hardware. Includes a padded shoulder strap and stabilizer, which keeps the shoulder strap in place.

There’s also a belt anchor which stops your camera from swinging around while you walk.

It’s definitely the best-looking leather camera strap you’ll come across – read more about the Solo in our full review.

Money Maker Skinny

  • Chestnut, tan or black
  • Bridle leather or Water Buffalo
  • 2 or 3 cam setup
  • Removable shoulder pads
  • S, M & L
  • Lifetime warranty

If you’re after something thinner for smaller cameras or narrower shoulders, the Skinny is only 1″ wide (as opposed to 1.5″) and includes removable shoulder pads and D rings.

It’s also lighter than the original and works well when worn underneath a jacket since the straps won’t create bulges.

Value for Money

It’s a premium product with a premium price tag… but worth every penny.

Price is usually the only sticking point for photographers thinking about buying a Holdfast Money Maker.

Sure, dual-camera harnesses are available for half the price: either ugly nylon versions that look more appropriate for a S.W.A.T team, or some cheeky copy-cat version of dubious leather quality…

However, this is a premium camera strap that definitely warrants its higher price.

The Money Maker is impeccably-made, looks and feels amazing, functions well and brings a smile to your face every single time you slip it over your shoulders.

It’s the kind of product that you’ll keep for your life as a photographer, and makes a good-looking heirloom to have hanging on your wall when your dual-camera-shutter-clicking days are done.

The only real downside is availability – products are shipped from the USA and incur slightly steep International shipping fees, so make sure you use the discount code at checkout below.

Get a 10% discount on any Holdfast product with coupon code SHOTKIT10:

Final Words

If you’ve read this far and haven’t already clicked through to the Holdfast website to buy a MoneyMaker strap, you probably already own one.

In the world of wedding photography, the MoneyMaker is ubiquitous, while still managing to remain original at the same time.

More commercial, events, sports, and other photographers who carry 2 cameras at the same time should wake up to the advantages of this unique, practical and stylish solution.

While cameras and lenses come and go, this is a camera strap that’s been designed to last forever, with looks and performance that manage to improve with age.

If you haven’t already got one, procrastinate no longer – it’s time to join the club!

Shotkit_Holdfast_MoneyMaker_Review
Holdfast Money Maker

Stylish & functional dual camera strap built to last a lifetime. Save 10% with Coupon Code: SHOTKIT10

Get Discount

Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post may contain affiliate links.

Mark Condon

Mark Condon is a British wedding photographer based in Australia and the founder of Shotkit.

Looks10
Durability10
Value9
Warranty10
Availability7