Black M Down!
Split about split rings? – We all heard the horror stories: Badly scratched cameras, rangefinders in need of repair and owners in utter shock and disbelief.
All that and worse simply because a split ring houdinied its way out of a camera’s eyelet. No wonder more and more people are worried and react to them like vampires to garlic.
What is going on?
The answer is rather simple: There are split rings and then there are split rings.
In fact, two different kind of rings are often mistaken as one and the same, split rings and key rings.
As the name indicates, key rings are made to hold keys together. The tricky thing is they look just like split rings. But underneath their shiny, nickel plated surface lies the ugly truth: Low quality steel, with little to no memory.
That sounds dramatic but frankly speaking, to fulfill their purpose – which is holding keys – they are perfect. They don’t need fancy steel. As long as it is relatively easy to attach keys or take them off again, they are doing a fine job. Period.
Sure, they could be used to attach a strap to a camera. – The low quality steel used to make them is definitely strong enough to carry the weight of a Leica M.
But let’s face it, this kind of strength is not what matters. And therein lies what separates the boys from the men.
Split rings on the other hand are a different breed. And that difference can be huge. It might not be obvious since most are, like key rings, nickel plated but as a rule, they are made from better quality steel.
The rings to rule them all are so-called industrial standard split rings. Made from either spring loaded or high quality stainless steel that has also a high memory factor – read: the strength/force needed to open the ring and in return, its ability to snap back with the same force to its original, closed state. And remain closed.
The latter won't let go of your beloved camera. That's why they are my kind of split rings.
PS: In case you are wondering about those triangular rings often used in the past ...
A word of caution: There's a reason why they disappeared. True, they can't work their way out of a camera's eyelet but – and that's a capital BUT – that does not mean they won't rotate like round rings do. And just like a buzz saw they'll make quick work of your strap.