While I was shooting, the strap came loose – didn’t fall because the strap was fastened. Thankfully the camera was in my hand and there was no other gear in the bag. Could happen with any of the other rivets on the bag – and none of the others have secondary fasteners. Ouch. Also scary.
I’m back to square one in my search for a stylish camera bag that will also keep my gear safe. Unfortunate to see the company spending so much time doing giveaways and other marketing programs but not spending time building products that last. The Brooklyn Bag is falling apart within two months of my receiving it from them. #heartbreak And I can’t get a refund either because B&H Photo – from where I purchased the bag – doesn’t do refunds after 30 days and ONA doesn’t have a “policy” of refunds when the purchase has been made from a third party store.
I do not recommend buying from ONA Bags.
END OF UPDATE
START OF ORIGINAL BLOG POST
This is what I got for myself for Christmas 2012. After a crazy, eventful year full of hard work and travel and new things learned, I decided it was time to get myself the thing I’d had on my wishlist for almost a whole year.
It’s the ONA Bags’ Brooklyn Camera Satchel in Chestnut! While the bag was sadly out of stock on ONA’s website, I luckily found one on B&HPhotoVideo and quickly ordered it. The bag costs $329. I paid $85 in shipping and an additional $160 in customs duty while receiving it in India.
I received the shipment of the bag within 3 days of ordering it! BEFORE Christmas! I was thrilled to bits. I also have an important assignment coming up with the Maharajah of Jodhpur right after Christmas and thought it would be perfect to show-off my sexy new camera bag there.
One of my initial observations was that the bag was not as big as I’d imagined it to be. And believe me I did my research online, looked at as many images of the bag as I could find etc. But the bag turned out to be smaller than it had looked – which was a good thing – for me. I currently use a Shootsac to carry my lenses and while it’s handy, it isn’t sexy or smart AND I can’t put a camera body in it.
Another observation was that the bag already had some scuffs and scratches on the leather. While I know that leather gets scuffed and scratched over a period of time – I’ve owned leather jackets – I was disappointed that a new bag would have those even before I’d taken it out of the packaging. Most were minor – you can see them in the photos above – but there was a major one.
I really appreciated that the buckles and clasps were metal, not hard plastic. I’ve purchased a few things earlier from other brands and many times those things have turned out to be “Made in China” and the fabrication has been cheap even though it’s a US company selling them under their name at exorbitant prices. I was very happy that this was not the case with ONA.
I was able to fit in my Nikon D800 with the 14-24 f2.8 on it + the 24-70 f2.8 + the 70-200 f2.8 AND my SB600 on-camera flash alongwith other accessories. It didn’t look like it could fit everything but it did – I had to figure out the configuration for a while to fit everything in comfortably.
The photo below shows the reason why I have now asked ONA to send me a replacement bag. There is a very large scuff on the left side in the image below. I showed it to them on Twitter @onabags and they said I could write to their customer support in case I wanted a replacement. I was torn between whether to get it or whether to keep the bag. I really wanted to use the bag for my last assignment of the year with the Maharajah of Jodhpur but alas I will be taking the Shootsac along.
The grain on the leather also does not seem even in all places – left bottom you can see it’s a lot smoother than the rest of it. I’m not a leather aficionado, so this doesn’t really bother me but I’ve read some really enthusiastic people complaining about this online.
Here, the bag is stuffed with my gear. Doesn’t look like it does it? And isn’t it gorgeous? I love the way it smells and feels. It feels strong. The grip is great and I am not worried that the bag will not be able to take the load of all my gear. And you know one more thing, even though the gear quantity is the same, the ONA feels a lot lighter than my Shootsac. I don’t know why – but it does.
I also noticed that a thread had come undone at one end of the handle-grip. In the photo below this one you will see the other end of the handle grip where the threading is fine. When I’m making such an expensive purchase, I prefer to have every little thing in order. If the threading is unraveling even before I’ve used the bag even once, how long will the rest of it hold up? Well. Since I’ve already purchased the bag, I will report my findings as and when I find out. First I have to return this one, get the new one and then use it – I guess it will only happen in 2013. I hope I get to shoot my first 2013 assignment with the ONA bag for company.
This is one of those possessions that you look at and want to grow old with. My Brooklyn ONA bag and I – we will grow old together. Lines and wrinkles will form, we will build character and mould ourselves according to each other’s quirks and habits. I am looking forward to having this baby back as soon as possible!
I dream of ONA! Once I have the replacement, I will also post some photos of me WITH the camera!