First off let me say this... Now a days I feel like you have to mention (in order for viewers to take the review seriously) THIS IS NOT A PAYED OR SPONSORED advertisement or review by ONA. I have had my eye on ONA for quite some time now and finally about a month and a half ago purchased the ONA Union Street. The following post is my personal opinion on this bag and hopefully will be a helpful review to anyone who is currently considering one for themselves or a loved one. Now this review is about the ONA Union Street in particular, however what I have to say can easily be translated to other styles ONA offers as well as other camera bags from other brands as all things I will cover should be considered when looking for a new bag to carry equipment.
Now, My reason for choosing the Union Street. For the last few years I was carrying around and traveling with a black Domke bag. Now i loved the Domke however the more I carried it and the further i grew with my work/workflow I began to notice I was wishing for certain things it didn't have. MAINLY a place to carry my computer. With New York Fashion Week fast approaching I decided this time I would make some things easier on myself and decided to finally purchase that ONA Union Street that sat in my B&H wishlist for.... well.... quite some time.
When it came to choosing a new camera bag and finally purchasing one, I really sat down and thought about everything I wanted in a camera bag. First off I wanted something that was specifically for my camera kit. I was not looking for a case I can throw everything in and call it a day. I like to keep organized with my equipment and have separate hard cases for Lighting equipment and lighting accessories and so on... but, back to the point. The ONA Union Street is listed to hold a SLR/DSLR with 3 lenses as well as accessories. Having its main compartment that has 3 main dividers as well as a sleeve on the back panel to hold up to a 15" laptop. the entire inside can be customized to your preference.
Next to the main compartment is a side pouch that zips closed to keep things intact. Inside you can find two small slots for SD Memory cards, two bigger slots for business cards or whatever else you find fits. While traveling I have kept my passport in one and my phone occasionally in the other. Next to the bigger slots are two spaces for pens. In this side pouch I usually keep a card reader, some pens and a small note book, SD cards as well as a small case holding CF cards. Needless to say although it is a tight fitting pocket, its able to hold quite a bit and still stay organized. On the back of the bag is another pocket big enough for a notebook or tablet. I usually hold my tether cable coiled up in this pocket. Finally as far as pockets go, on each side of the bag there are small pockets for keeping smaller things. During Fashion Week I crammed a GoPro Session on a handle grip in one of them (you cans see it in there on the top right in the first picture at the beginning of the post.)
After using the ONA Union Street for over a month and a half now I thought it would be a good time to write this review. So far I don't have very many complaints. The bag had definitely met expectations for traveling, Running around NYC during fashion week to all the shows I was booked to cover. During those shows while smashed in the press pit the bag was sleek enough to where I could keep it tucked between my legs and ever mount my GoPro in the side pocket and use it as a make shift tripod to record the shows. The Union Street has been perfect for me but with that being said I have noticed a few things that my be a problem for others....
As I mentioned earlier, the bag is relatively meant for travel as well as being the bag of choice to carry a camera kit built for the job/shoot you are heading to. On a professional level the ONA Union Street is meant for the photographer that knows his/her tools, The photographer that plans ahead and really chooses the right equipment to get the job done. If you are someone that likes to take just about everything to be safe, this bag may not be the right choice for you. Although for the way I shoot and my workflow the space in this bag is perfect. As I mentioned earlier I like having things organized, and a bag that my camera kit fits in perfectly is just what I was looking for. However I can absolutely see this bag being to small for some, I'll even be completely honest and say when mine arrived I was a little nervous at first that it wouldn't fit everything I use. Or if it would be packed full, unable to fit anything else if i needed and thats something i really cant stand... especially when cords get tangled or stuff falls everywhere.... For me the space was not an issue, for others... well it might just be.
To recap, lets look at some pros and cons.
To wrap this up I will finish by saying one huge plus for me is how stylish this bag is. Not just this bag but how stylish ONA bags are in general. One big thing for me was that I wanted a camera bag that didn't look like a camera bag. The bag is built extremely well and feel very sturdy. The outside is water proofed from rain and small amounts (don't submerge this in water of course) The opening flap features folds that when closed keep any kind of water from getting inside (again i'm talking about rain) The bag features brass clips as well as leather accents that just bring the whole thing together. Another favorite little thing on this bag for me is the leather handle on the top, it makes it so much easier to just grab and go. The strap is very comfortable and feels extremely well fastened. The ONA Union Street is a brilliantly crafted bag for now it is my first of ONA's products, however in the future I will most likely be purchasing another, when the time comes and I need it of course. I hope to whoever reads this that is considering one of these bags found this post helpful. To anyone who may have read this that isn't interested in purchasing one... well thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.
The ONA Union Street is currently listed at $298.95 on B&H Photo/Video
Until the next time... Enjoy the rest of your day.