Iâ€™ve never had much of a shoe or purse fetish, but I do have a bit of a thing for camera bags.Â I bought a large red leather roller once because I thought it was commanding yet feminine.Â I used it once and itâ€™s been languishing in my closet ever since, waiting for just the right occasion when I require aesthetics over utility.
The Brooklyn, by Ona, is a thing of loveliness.Â Itâ€™s a satchel that fits beautifully with my 1930s Parisian street photography fantasy. I feel like I should be drinking absinthe in a cafe along the Seine when I look at it sitting in my office, begging me to take it for a stroll and some casual inebriated afternoon snaps.Â It is a bag that looks like it should contain a notebook and a sketchbook and a flask and a pearl-handled knife.Â It is a romantic bag.
I took it out for a day in Washington, DC- Americaâ€™s most European city.Â It wants to be worn as a cross-body bag, but I found it to be uncomfortable in this position.Â I opted to use it as a shoulder bag instead and after an hour, I decided to take some things out of it.Â It works and feels better when it is not overloaded.Â The cushion on the strap is well-made, but I do wish it could be adjusted to a shorter length.Â Leather is meant to be well-worn and molded to oneâ€™s will, and it would be simple to make a few more holes along the strap.
This is not a bag for the working photojournalist or anyone who needs quick and easy access to gear.Â It doesnâ€™t hold a great deal, nor should it.Â This is a bag for leisure or for personal extras when one has the luxury of multiple bags and a place to put them while working.Â It smells nice, itâ€™s pleasing to the eye, and I think there is a place for it in my pantheon of camera bags.Â Iâ€™d love to see what it looks like after five years of use.Â Bags may be born pretty, but they have to earn their â€śruggedly handsomeâ€ť status.