Review camera bag HARRY & SALLY by Carsten Bockermann (DE)
Oberwerth Harry & Sally - A field report
As readers of my previous reports know, I have a particular soft spot for bags from the Oberwerth Casual Line. The largest bag from this series, the Richard, has been practically my constant companion for more than a half.
Yes, the word “practical” is a limitation. But it has nothing to do with a potential Richard fault. Rather, there are days when I don't want to (or have to) carry the large equipment around with me, so that a smaller bag is completely sufficient.
Oberwerth Harry & Sally
Clear the stage for Harry & Sally, the smallest bag from the Casual Line.
My guess is that the Oberwerth marketing department wants to use this name, which is of course reminiscent of the famous film with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, to express that the bag is equally suitable for men and women. She sure is, but I do know women photographers who use photo bags the size of Richard's every day.
Even as a smaller member of the Casual Line family, Harry & Sally remains true to the same principles as their big brothers. It is made from the same wonderfully touchable leather that has been eco-friendly vegetable tanned, it has the same LOXX fasteners that look elegant and are extremely practical, and above all it has my preferred layout for the fastening straps: they are sewn to the bottom of the bag and not at the top of the tab, which makes one-handed handling much easier.
The inside of the Harry & Sally contains the typical Oberwerth inner pocket, which offers sufficient protection for the equipment thanks to its padding and can be easily removed if you want to use the bag as a messenger bag. The main task of the bag is of course to accommodate photographic equipment, which leads us to the question: What does it fit in?
My motivation when choosing this bag was the realization that when I take photos for myself, I take 90% of all photos with the (35 mm equivalent) focal lengths of 28 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm. I like to have two camera bodies with me so that I don't have to constantly change lenses and also have a spare in case a camera breaks. My preferred equipment for this is two Fuji X100F cameras with converters for 28 mm and 50 mm focal length. And yes, this equipment fits easily into the Harry & Sally.
I also like to use some fill-flash from time to time. That's why I'm taking a Metz M400 flash with diffuser, color filters and spare batteries with me. Incidentally, the cameras also need replacement batteries. As you can see in the following picture, everything mentioned fits in your pocket.
On a recent trip to Vienna, it occurred to me that I wanted to take a slightly wider range of focal lengths with me. Instead of the X100F system described above, I took a Fuji X-Pro 2 with the XF 16 mm / 2.8, XF 23 mm / 2, XF 35 mm / 1.4 and XF 50 mm / 2 lenses, all of which easily fit in my pocket .
Is the Harry & Sally the right one for your gear? I can't know, but for me it represents the perfect combination of the right size for a small system, practical handling (I have to mention the LOXX closures again here), excellent craftsmanship and an elegant appearance.