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.

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19 Comments

  1. Michael Burton on September 6, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    Here is the real problem….if you need to kneel down the camera you aren’t using is going to hit the ground. There needs to be a way to quickly secure one camera up higher on your chest. It’s terrible trying to take a picture while trying to hold the other camera up so it doesn’t crash on the ground. I am shocked no one has brought this up. I kneel down a lot….I thought we all did!!

    • Mark Condon on September 6, 2021 at 2:17 pm

      I tend to ‘cradle’ the lower camera in my lap when kneeling down – not ideal, but does the job.

  2. Lana on September 28, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    When I walk I am also carrying an light so I need my hands free – is there a way to stop them from spinning and leaving huge bruises on my legs from the lenses? It hurts! I tried to figure this out on my own, just wondering if anyone has had the same problem or already has a solution. Is there a video? Maybe I missed something in the initial set up.

    • Mark Condon on September 29, 2020 at 9:50 am

      I remember having to hold my elbows back in a weird way when I was walking fast enough for them to swing, Lana! Maybe have a play with the lengths of the straps.

    • Matthew Swaggart on March 12, 2021 at 11:27 am

      Hey Lana, thanks for the feedback! Well if they are hitting your legs, my first suggestion would be perhaps it’s setup too big. The cameras should be falling just below the waist. Then if you are super active, we do make Belt Anchors that keep the cameras in place, without moving anywhere, until you have to use them! If you have any more questions please feel free to shoot me an email!

  3. Taz on February 15, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Thought I’d put my 2 penny’s worth in. I only heard of Holdfast 3 months ago and I’ve got to say…. WOW!!! I have the MM in Black and Tan. I’m now waiting on the bison black and Mahogony too.
    Ok, so I’ve got issues! I love the look of This gear soooo much I’d forgotten to find out if it works well enough for me!!! Well the answer to that is YES!!!
    I’ve got the Roamographer bags too and as a system, works really well.
    If it has some floors, I’d rather not mention them as I know other brands will have theirs too!!
    BTW. It’s not always easy to respond to clients so I get it when my q’s get a delayed response. All in all I’m addicted and can’t wait to see what comes next.

    • Mark on February 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Yeah the whole Roamographer system is good looking and useful! Thanks for the comment Taz.

  4. Kerim Belet on December 30, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    It just looks good and that’s it! I am sorry to say this but a big waste of money.

    – Worst locking system ever. Takes ages to put on and off the camera and same goes with the security lock.
    – The way camera’s are positioned when attached leaves the lenses vulnerable to pretty much anything.
    – You can not run with this or even walk with it without holding the cameras as two cameras start hitting each other behind your back.
    – Shooting vertical is kind of not possible because of the length of the strap is short (i am 1.88 meters and i bought the large one) and connection is under the camera.

    these are the things that i come up with after using it two times. it just looks good…

    • Mark on December 31, 2015 at 6:37 am

      Interesting feedback Kerim! Will see what Matt from Holdfast has to say about your comments. Thanks

    • Matthew Swaggart on December 31, 2015 at 6:54 am

      Hey Kerim:

      1. Actually it’s extremely easy to use and perhaps the FASTEST clip on the market, however it’s all in the technique, see this video: https://youtu.be/EA7AduWhWfU

      2. This is the exact same way ALL double straps attach. ANd there aren’t any reports of people having problems with that at all because thats how they all work.

      3. You are likely wearing them way too loose. And no one can run at speed with 2 cameras…unless you held them in hand-again this is how all double straps work.

      4. No not impossible, see this video: https://youtu.be/gpsqE3GPgBE

      Sorry you had an odd experience, it’s not possible to make a product that works for everyone on the planet although I sure do try. Perhaps it just isn’t for you. Or perhaps you need to adjust to it.

  5. Mark Romine on September 10, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Love mine too but hate their current clips. Your review is with the previous clips which I would prefer and many others do too, over the new ones which are a pain to connect a camera to when in a hurry. It ‘s a two handed process along with needing a flat surface to set the camera on to connect a camera now.

    • Mark on September 10, 2015 at 9:54 am

      AH I didn’t know they changed the clips Mark – that sounds like a bit of a pain. I’m sure Matt from Holdfast would like to know your feedback!

  6. Jozef Povazan on December 17, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Thinking to get the Money Maker for this season to replace my Black Rapids. Anyone here who made the same decision and lives hilly ever after..? Thanks.
    J

  7. Jon Sharman on May 23, 2014 at 4:52 am

    I recently purchased one, but it’s twisted in the back where the 2 straps connect, almost like it was put together incorrectly. In the product photos they always look flat with the finished leather side facing out, but mine has the twist in it which is kind of uncomfortable. Is that the luck of the draw or do you think it’s an error?

    • Mark on May 23, 2014 at 7:11 am

      That does sound a bit odd Jon. I’m assuming you’ve already tried to untwist it under the buckle, (as it may have flipped over during transit)? I’d get in touch with whoever you bought it from and request an exchange if I were you.

  8. Fred on April 8, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Got mine a few days ago. I’m delighted with it. Didn’t want to look like a SWAT officer either.
    Great review.

  9. Chris - Smudged Photo on April 1, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Just ordered one of these as I’ve moved over to an all prime setup for this years weddings. Looks ideal, I used to only use one body and carry a think tank retrospective around all day. What a slog that was with about 4 lenses and flashes etc. Then a backpack to set down with laptop, food etc in.

    Hopefully now, I can set the think tank down somewhere during points of the wedding day and just have two bodies with an 85 and a 35 on each. Much less strain. Can’t wait for it to arrive from America now!

    • Mark on April 1, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      Good decision Chris! I’m sure your back will thank you ;-)

  10. James Grist on March 1, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Excellent review! I also have a Money Maker Strap. Absolutely awesome idea !

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