The Leather Brixton
Generally a Street photographer need only few things when he goes shooting. First and foremost a camera bag therefore it needs to be low profile and not attract any attention to them. In fact, they need to blend in as much as they possibly can. But they also need quick access to their gear and they need to be able to move quickly. My personal choice many years was to carry my gear in some normal bags prepared with Protective camera bag divider order to wear my gear camouflaged.
In the years that I’ve been photographer I’ve had many camera bags… I’ve tried everything from backpacks to messenger bags. So for the different tasks I had different bags. Admittedly, I’m generally looking for something inexpensive for my camera bag so it seemed that the Protective camera bag divider that could be adapted to any bag were perfect for my needs and a normal bag of the heap normally does not look like I’m carrying thousands of dollars of camera gear around but when I first saw the ONA bags two or three years ago I fell in love with them.
So I decided to acquire The Leather Brixton (A little more jazzy than a waxed canvas bag)
With full-grain Italian-tanned leather, this version of the Brixton camera bag is as sumptuous as it is functional. Made with a light wax finish that develops a rich patina over time, the Brixton is a true beaut that’ll only get better with age. The Brixton is designed to carry a camera, two to three lenses and up to a 13-inch laptop. It has four removable dividers that allow you to customize the interior and two front pockets that provide room for your lens caps, batteries and small personal items. The Brixton is most comfortably worn cross-body.
If you are looking for a bag to protect your gear from dust and strong weather events this is definitely not your bag. The bag itself feels like it was built to withstand a beating, it’s not delicate and begs to be treated like a much less expensive bag. The bag is firm, not so firm to be uncomfortable but firm enough to not collapse together when you take your DSLR out of the bag on the fly (meaning you can slip the camera in your bag using just one hand).
There are a couple of flaps on the sides of the bag that fold beneath the main flap when you close the bag, I believe these are to keep the weather and debris out of your bag. Not quite effective on my recent trip to the beach the bag performed not so good.
As for water resistance, with a bit of rain in a drizzle nothing will happens everything inside of the bag will stay dry but during a downpour water can leak inside.
The stitching all around the bag is solid, it’s one of the first things I check when purchasing a bag (or really anything with stitching). After 2 years of pretty heavy use everything is still solid but there is some fraying or loosening. As for the antique brassl parts they do not show any wear and looks perfect.
And the antique brass fasteners on the main flap are sometimes a pain to fasten. Don’t get me wrong, they are built well, it’s just that if you have the strap set on the furthest hole they can be tough to slip into the brass clasp because the leather strap wants to bend. In practice you’ll find that while your walking around snapping photographs so you’ll leave the straps unfastened in order to quickly access your gear. Being able to walk around with the straps unfastened and quickly access your DSLR and gear is one of the key reasons to own a messenger bag as your camera bag.
The main shoulder strap is comfortable (but not in summer) and fat enough that it doesn’t feel as though it’s digging into your neck. You’ve got plenty of room to adjust the length for your height or activity. Adjusting the strap longer is great for walks where you want to casually grab gear out of your bag without jacking your shoulder up.
Ease Of Use
It’s a bag, just drop your gear in and go… The included dividers are similar to the dividers you’ll find in any other camera bag, they use Velcro to secure each side to the walls of the bags interior.
What It’s Ideal For
Messenger bags are great for everyday photography, carrying your gear around the town or city, even short day hikes. Longer hikes or extremely difficult terrain (traversing boulders) demands a more secure camera bag like a backpack. You can take your camera to work with you in the ONA bag and nobody would be the wiser, it’s one of the only bags that could pull this off stylishly. What’s more is you can feel comfortable that you won’t be making yourself a target carrying the ONA because most people won’t even know it’s a camera bag (this is ideal if you’re a traveler).
four hundred thirty-nine bucks is a lot for a camera bag. The ONA is more than just a camera bag though, it makes a great computer bag as well as daily briefcase bag. You can pull the dividers out of the bag and create a versatile messenger bag you can use for just about anything. It’s stylish enough I’m comfortable carrying it to work in my suit during the week… How many camera bags can pull that off?