Secrets of the GR III Diary Edition Case & Strap (Inaba)

2023.01.25 BLOG

(Translated from the original post on January 17, 2022)

Hello, this is Inaba.

Okubo, our product planner, wrote about the concept and design of the GR III Diary Edition (click here to read the article).

This Special Limited Kit includes a newly designed camera case and finger strap.

With the release date (January 20) just around the corner, I would like to talk about the design of these two accessories.

GR III Diary Edition Special Limited Kit accessories.

As for the camera case, in order to evoke the Diary Edition's concept of "taking everyday snapshots in a more intimate and relaxed way," the idea of using cloth, specifically canvas, rather than the black genuine leather we had been using, was discussed with the project members from the very beginning.

Initial sketch of the camera case.

One of the key points of the design was to avoid the use of any attachment device such as magnets or hooks that require an extra step to open and close, or Velcro to avoid noise when opening the lid of the case, as the main purpose of the case is for "everyday snapshots", while at the same time holding the lid in place.

Handmade sample of the case made by the manufacturer's staff to study the structure of the case.

The sample was made based on the sketch to see if it would function as a case and to further study the shape.

For the handmade sample in the photo above, the belt was attached to the back of the case for sewing purposes. After exchanging ideas, we came up with a shape that could be sewn and used to fasten the lid with a belt, as shown in the sketch.

As cases are made by sewing, some shapes can be difficult to make depending on the order of sewing, so it is necessary to discuss the procedures between the manufacturer and the designer (thank you for your time, Mr Representative).

The first prototype made with the fabrics for the actual product.

I remember that the project members were worried when they saw the handmade product, but they started to smile as soon as they saw this sample (laughs).

Based on this sample, the actual camera insertion/removal and the detailed shape were re-examined and refined.

The stitching of the details and the colour of the threads were adjusted, and the overall size was checked.

The engraving of the GR logo on the belt was originally going to be the same as the engraving on the case currently on sale, but considering the overall balance, I thought it would fit better if it was a little smaller, so I asked for a new, smaller engraving of the GR logo.

We also worked on details such as the optimal thickness of the body and the length of the lid for camera insertion/removal before finalising the product.

As you can see, a lot of ideas and hard work went into the design of the camera case, so please take a good look, use it and get attached to it.

Another accessory is the finger strap. We had a hard time achieving both the aesthetics of the leather product and the usability.

Finger strap for Special Limited Kit.

The current hand strap is easy to use, but I found it a little too long when carrying the camera in a bag or pocket, so even before the Diary Edition project began, I was researching the feasibility of a shorter, easier-to-use strap.

In order to create a strap that was not too long and did not use hard and thick materials such as resin, we decided to use soft materials and considered using genuine leather as a base.

However, the small size made it look toyish and we struggled to achieve both design and quality.

The design transition from Type A in the upper row to Type D in the lower row.

As shown in the CG sketches above, the original ideas not only looked cheap, perhaps because of the uniform width, but also did not fit well with fingers when actually used.

After prototyping and testing different shapes, we finally created a finger strap that was both high quality and comfortable to use by adjusting the stitching lines and the way the core was inserted into the leather, and by making the shape wider at the end.

These photos show only a small part of the process. The colour of the leather, the grain and the colour of the thread were chosen from a large number of samples.

Once the shape had been decided, the leather and threads for the actual product were selected.

The leather and threads chosen for the finger strap were also used for the belt section of the camera case to give the whole Special Limited Kit a consistent look.

I think we have created very convincing accessories. What do you think? We would love to hear your feedback.

The finger strap can be used in a variety of ways, so I'd like you to try using it in your own way. I'll show you how I use it as an example.

Example of how to use the finger strap.

Attach the finger strap to the strap hole on the underside of the handle as shown in the photo above. The middle and ring fingers are passed through the strap and the little finger is placed inside the strap without passing through it.

I recommend holding the handle in this way as it gives you a firm and stable grip. It also reduces the risk of dropping the camera because the grip is stable.

This is just my way of using it, so if you have any ideas on how to use it, please let us know.

This time I have talked about the design and development of accessories.

I hope you will use and love our accessories because they are all made with our love and passion.

And if you notice anything, please let us know.

See you soon!


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