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Billingham bags

bag billingham

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7 replies to this topic

#1
Merco_61

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I have, over the years, had shoulder bags from Hama, Lowe-pro, Tamrac and Gilles Berthoud and never quite liked any of them.

Some of them have been too flexible in configurations, so that they lose their shape after a year or so, others have not been flexible enough so that they have been less than ideal for the stuff I want to carry.

I think it was about 1994 I first saw a Billingham 550 in use, and was impressed by how it shaped itself to follow the waist and back of the user. I put it out of my mind because they cost about as much as a used 400/5.6ED.

In 1997 on tax-return day our local hasselblad store had a 550 ex-demo bag for a good price since they wanted to sell bags, not just display them. I bought it, came home and started filling it. By moving the Superflex inserts around I got it to balance and be easy to carry with 2X F4E, 2X SB-24, 24/2.8, 35/1.4, 50/1.8, 55/3.5 Micro, 105/2.5, 80-200/4.5 and 180/2.8. There was still room for cleaning supplies, extra battery packs, a brick of agfachrome and some rolls of HP5.

It behaves more like a messenger bag than a traditional shoulder bag, in that it pulls back on the shoulder rather than outwards-downwards. That makes it easy to carry even fully loaded.

I still use it when I have to have everything and the kitchen sink with me, and a backpack is out of the question but it *is* a bit large.

I therefore got a 206 to carry one body, a wide zoom, a normal zoom and a flash. It is still as easy to carry because of the shape, only smaller.

Sometimes the 206 is a bit small, so for event photography I got a 335 that takes the same as the 206, but also has room for a 35/1.4, a 50/1.4 and a 85/1.4 for available light.

The bags have proved themselves to be very water resistant and durable. Another thing I like is that they don't look like camera bags.

 

I will post some pictures of the bags later.



#2
Tony892

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Look forward to seeing images of the bags. I have more bags than socks as I am always looking for the right bag that does a particular job.

#3
Thumper

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I looked up the Billingham 500, and it is indeed a very nice bag.  It looks very similar to my Domke F-1x.   And then I found this:

 

http://www.professio...gham-Bag-Review

 

The comparison that the author used was pretty funny.

 

 

I wouldn't mind having a Billingham.  I kind of like the looks of that.



#4
Merco_61

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Here are the pictures as promised

First the 335

The 335 can be carried by the handle even open, unlike the 550.

Attached File  PES_131112_211012.jpg   117.04KB   4 downloadsAttached File  PES_131112_211032.jpg   112.15KB   4 downloadsAttached File  PES_131112_211104.jpg   86.99KB   4 downloadsAttached File  PES_131112_211129.jpg   116.58KB   4 downloadsAttached File  PES_131112_211217.jpg   122.69KB   4 downloadsAttached File  PES_131112_211306.jpg   112.61KB   4 downloadsAttached File  PES_131112_211344.jpg   122.17KB   4 downloadsAttached File  PES_131112_211449.jpg   110.21KB   4 downloads

 

Then the 550

The end pockets are detachable and are big enough for a SB-910 in it's padded case or a Superflex 8x15 with a 55 and a 105 MicroNikkor AI.

Attached File  PES_131112_211848.jpg   124.29KB   4 downloadsAttached File  PES_131112_211912.jpg   111.74KB   4 downloadsAttached File  PES_131112_212020.jpg   103.67KB   4 downloadsAttached File  PES_131112_212042.jpg   130.25KB   4 downloadsAttached File  PES_131112_212221.jpg   89.64KB   4 downloads

 

And finally the secret of the flexible but sturdy bag, the Superflex insert.

Attached File  PES_131112_212301.jpg   141.04KB   4 downloads

 

The 206 will have to wait until I have some daylight, the D700 at home or time in the studio, the black canvas eats light and a couple of speedlights are not enough to get good pictures without raising the ISO into noise country on the D300.



#5
Stas

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Cool. Really nice photobag. What is about waterproof of this bag?



#6
Merco_61

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According to Billingham the cotton canvas is rubber laminated and the thread is waxed in production. I have never found water or seepage in the 550 in 16 years of use, The only part that has worn out in these years is a shoulder pad.



#7
Stas

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Thank you. Than it is a really cool bag)



#8
Thumper

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Wow, great pics. That bag is impressive. Looks like it would really protect your gear, while still making it all highly accessible, and the interior is customizable. The construction and design of the materials sounds really above the bar as well. Normally, I am a "form follows function" person, but that bag meets all the criteria of being fully functional and protective while being one really good looking bag.

Thanks for sharing that.