4V Design holds a special place in my heart. I’m a big fan of Italy and Italian design. 4V Design is one of those companies that show their Italian heritage in everything they do, make and design. It is a mix of undeniable style, true old school craftsmanship and modern engineering. I’ve reviewed some 4V products before, like the beautiful Sella shoulder strap (read that review here) and the 4V Design Ergo wrist strap (read that review here). After my review the Ergo wrist strap has been attached to my camera almost all the time, being used every day. I love having a small strap to give me some extra security without limiting my flexibility.
The Ergo wrist strap was the perfect solution for me especially when I used my small Sony A7 with the tiny 35mm Zeiss lens. But since moving back to Nikon and buying a D800 there were some situations where carrying the camera around in my hands just wasn’t very comfortable. My current ‘walk around’ set is my D800 and the Sigma 35mm f1.4 Art lens. Not exactly lightweight, lens and camera weigh about 1,5 kilograms (about 3 pounds). I still use the Ergo wrist strap, but I was in need of a good neck / shoulder strap. I found a perfect candidate in the new 4V Design Lusso Large Top neck and shoulder strap. In this review I’ll tell you more about the strap and my experience using it as my daily strap in combination with my big and heavy D800.
4V Design Lusso Large Top
The shoulder pad of the 4V Design Lusso Large Top is made of beautiful brown leather. That is also the first thing you’ll smell when you open the pretty box. The strap comes in a signature 4V Design box, white with a cyan coloured sleeve. When you open it you’ll find the strap wrapped in special paper with the 4V Design logo embossed in it. The paper protects the strap during transport, but also adds to the feeling you’ve bought something special. The leather smell is great, but maybe a little overwhelming at first for some people (I really like the smell of leather, so I love it). Luckily most of it wears off after a few days in the open air, so if you aren’t a fan of the leather smell there is no need to worry. The smell also doesn’t transfer to your clothes or camera bag anymore after the first few days.
The Lusso Large Top is a very pretty looking strap. I’ve got the brown version that has light, cappuccino-coloured, leather on the shoulder pad and the camera attachments. There is also a black version. The strap itself is made of durable cotton. The cotton strap is 20mm wide, but because of the way it is woven it is both strong and supple. That is a big plus when you need to store the strap in your camera bag. It folds up very easy.
The Lusso Large Top is perfect for both smaller DSLR’s / mirrorless systems and heavy professional cameras and can take loads of up to 20 kilograms (40 pounds). For smaller systems you could check out the Lusso Medium or slim or the Sella.
The shoulder pad deserves some extra attention. It is made of high quality Italian leather. 4V Design uses real Italian leather that is tanned using only natural materials. Because of the used process the leather stays rich in natural grease. Because of that the leather is durable and doesn’t dry out or crack like cheaper leather sometimes does. I’ve used my old Ergo wrist strap, that is made of the same kind of leather, for a long time now and the leather only keeps getting prettier without any signs drying or cracking. The inside of the shoulder pad is lined with black fabric that is coated with a grippy, rubber-like material. That keeps the pad from sliding from your shoulder. 4V Design hasn’t used their signature cyan colour on the inside like they do on some other products, preserving the classic look of the Lusso Large Top.
The pad is ergonomically formed to make it comfortable to use both as a shoulder strap as a neck strap. It is padded with memory foam. That is soft enough to make sure seams in your clothing don’t press in to your skin when you wear the strap. Because it is memory foam the padding forms to your body making it even more comfortable to wear.
All metal parts on the strap are made of solid copper. That is very durable and also looks very good. The copper colour matches the other brown colours of the strap very well.
The fun thing about 4V Design product is that they add smart, well designed details that make the products more comfortable, durable or easier to use without compromising the looks. On the Lusso Large Top for instance they’ve add the first truly good looking quick-release system I’ve ever seen. I need a straps that comes of easily when I use my tripod and most shoulder straps don’t offer that. Most shoulder straps use some system where you have to loop the attachment trough the rings on the camera and lock them in place with more looping. An annoying job, that takes way too long to keep attaching and taking the strap off your camera. Some cheaper straps use small plastic quick release clips that may work fast but can’t handle the load of a big camera. The clips that can take the weight of a big camera are so big they would look terrible on a luxurious strap like the 4V Design Lusso Large Top.
Luckily 4V Design came up with a system that is simple and elegant looking and works very quick without trading in durability, safety or maximum load capacity. The attachments are rated to hold up to 10 kilograms (20 pounds) each, so combined they can take 20 kilograms which is more than strong enough for every modern camera. The system uses strong polyamide lugs, leather tabs to protect your camera from damage and sturdy copper clips.
The 4V Design Lusso Large Top strap can be used both as a neck and shoulder strap. That means it needs to be adjustable over a long range. Luckily that isn’t a problem with the Lusso Large Top. You can adjust it from 97 cm to an impressive 155 cm (38 to 61 inches). That means it works perfect for shorter people using it as neck strap but also for longer people using it as a shoulder strap. I’m a big guy and I can comfortably use it as a cross chest shoulder strap.
Adjusting is easy with a normal sliding system that uses copper buckles that slide easily. The system has got enough resistance to make sure the strap doesn’t adjust unwanted.
Using the 4V Design Lusso Large Top strap
I’ve grown very fond of the Lusso Large Top strap. Despite my preference for small wrist straps I haven’t taken the Lusso Large Top off my camera since I’ve got it. I really like that 4V design has chosen to use a mix of leather and cotton. The cotton makes the strap lighter, but what I really like that it is very supple. Because of that the strap is easy to store in a bag. It also means it doesn’t get in the way when you use your camera.
The shoulder pad is very comfortable to use and the memory foam makes the strap form to your body. Adjustability is very good. I’m a long big guy and this is one of the first shoulder straps that is long enough for me to use as a cross chest shoulder strap. When I do that I don’t even have to extend it to the maximum length and my camera hangs at perfect height just above my waist. That means it is out of the way when I don’t need it, I have both hands free and don’t have to worry about the camera sliding forwards and hitting something. When I want to take a photo I can just grab the camera and move it up to my eye without a stiff strap limiting my flexibility.
The 4V Design Lusso Large Top is a beautiful strap. It offers a very rare combination of style and usability that you won’t find in most of its competition. The strap is perfect for big and heavy cameras but will also work very well with smaller cameras. A big advantage is that the strap itself is made of supple cotton, so if you use it for a smaller camera and have a lighter lens attached it is still supple and doesn’t get in the way like other heavy straps can sometimes do. The quick release system on the strap is an example of great product design. It is pretty and works very good.
The strap looks absolutely stunning. 4V Design has used very nice leather and the craftsmanship on the strap is excellent. Every stitch is placed perfect and adds to the feeling of quality. The 4V Design Lusso Large Top isn’t a cheap strap, but the quality, look and smart details make it worth every cent.
If you buy the strap at the official 4V Design website you can use the promotional code: 4V-RICKSREVIEWS-10 and for a limited time you’ll get a 10% discount.