As a design lover, I get excited by just about everything that Hard Graft does. As a photographer, I scream like a school girl when they reveal new photo accessories. This one is no exception. It’s the Hard Graft Box Camera Bag, a compact carrying case that’ll fit your DSLR and an attached lens plus a slew of small accessories. It’s the second generation in this line, and the first to be available in this lovely “Ocean” colorway. It’s blue leather and gray wool felt, and it couldn’t possibly look better.
If the next one has a little extra room for a second lens and an easy access top, boom — I’m sold. If you’re a Sony/Fuji shooter, this might be the bag for you as is.
The Hard Graft Box Camera Bag in ocean blue is simple in function, but complicated by design. It’s not a typical bag — it’s a box, folding together with flaps that tie neatly at the top. It sports a leather and wool strap that is adjustable based on your preferred length, and the shoulder portion is thicker to provide more support. It’s what you’d expect from Hard Graft. It’s sleek, elegant, well-designed and most importantly — it’s so damned pretty.
Would I change anything about the Box Camera Bag if I could? Probably, but that’s based on my own personal needs as a photographer, which are different than most. When I travel, I always carry two or more lenses, so I’d need a bag capable of carrying a second piece of glass. This might not cut it. But if you’re using a compact camera like a Sony A7RII, you might be able to fit a pair of lenses in the bag. In short, if you’re planning on shooting with a single lens when you’re traveling or out and about, this is your bag. It may not be mine.
There’s a second issue that’s worth addressing. When I travel, I need access to my camera at a moment’s notice. I need a second or two to pop the camera to eye level and remove the lens cap. If something happens or I see a fleeting frame, I’m not going to want to take the time to untie this box. I need easy access. That might make a box like this more of a transporting case, not a regular sidearm for when I’m out shooting. That might be worth addressing in version three.
These very personal, particular issues aside, the Hard Graft Box Camera Bag in Ocean blue is absolutely stunning. It’s a bag I’d be proud to wear, and it’d carry a piece of equipment I have a pretty intimate relationship with. The style of this bag is unmatched. If the next one has a little extra room for a second lens and an easy access top, boom — I’m sold. If you’re a Sony/Fuji shooter, this might be the bag for you as is. [$468 at Hard Graft]