Review of the Oberwerth Harry & Sally camera bag

posted in: Reviews 0

Disclaimer: I am an Oberwerth Ambassador. This means they send me stuff to review (and actually seem to listen to what I have to say about it). However, I don't get any compensation for this. The words you read here reflect my own opinion.

As readers of my previous camera bag reviews know, I’m very much enamored with the Oberwerth Casual Line of camera bags. I have been using the largest bag of said line, the Richard, for about one and a half years. In fact it has become my almost-everyday-bag.

You noticed the ‘almost’, I’d think. The use of this word has nothing to do with any fault the Richard bag would have. It’s simply that there are days when I don’t need to carry a whole lot of equipment, so a much smaller bag would be sufficient to hold everything I need.

Enter Harry & Sally, the smallest bag of the Casual Line.

The Oberwerth Harry & Sally in front of Vienna's Hofburg.

I think the Oberwerth people came up with the name, which by the way is the German title of the movie ‘When Harry met Sally’, to indicate that this bag would be equally wearable for men and women. Which is probably true, although I certainly know women who carry Richard-sized photo bags if need be.

As a smaller member of the Casual Line family, Harry & Sally sticks to the same design principles. It’s made of the same gorgeous leather that is tanned using vegetable extracts with an environmentally friendly method, it sports the same LOXX fasteners which look great and operate easily, and it has my preferred layout of the straps that hold the bag closed: they are attached to the lower end of the bag and not to the closing flap, which makes one-handed operation a lot easier.

On the inside of the bag you will find the Oberwerth-typical insert that provides sufficient padding for your equipment and can easily be removed if you want to use your Harry & Sally just as a messenger bag. But then, the main purpose of this bag is to hold camera equipment, which leads us to the question: How much gear does it hold?

For me, the motivation for getting this bag was that I discovered that when I shoot casually, I use the focal lengths (full-frame equivalent) of 28 mm, 35 mm and 50 mm for 90 % of my pictures. Also, I like to carry two camera bodies so I don’t have to change lenses all the time and also to have a spare in case I drop one or something else goes wrong. My preferred combination to cover that range is two Fuji X100F cameras with the 28 mm and the 50 mm conversion lenses. And yes, they will easily fit the Harry & Sally.

I also like to use fill-flash from time to time, so I carry a small Metz M400 flash unit with a diffusor, color gels and spare batteries. Talking about spare batteries: the cameras also need them. As you can see from the following picture, the bag will hold all the gear I mentioned.

The Harry & Sally bag and what I typically carry in it.

One evening on a recent trip to Vienna I felt that I might need a somewhat longer lens, too, so instead of the X100F system I carried an 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 nicely fit into the bag.

Is Harry & Sally the right companion for your equipment? I can’t tell, but to me it’s the perfect combination of the right size for a small system, practical operation (let me mention those LOXX fasteners again), phenomenal craftsmanship and plain good looks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *