Camera bags (billingham 445?)
Wondering if you folks can help me here.
Basically I need a new bag. The nearest camera store is 30 miles away, and none of the stores I've been in has a particulary good range of bags.
At the moment I'm using an old Billingham, a hand me down, measuring it up, it's seems to be about the size of a 225 and a lot of the time it's too small for me.
I've been putting off shelling out on a new bag, but with the G8 coming to Scotland and as I'll be covering it from the 2nd to the 10th along with lots of stuff in the run up, I need a bigger bag.
Probably I'm not going to carry that much gear,in fact less than I usually do, I don't want to get bogged down with too much gear. So two EOS 30's a 24f2.8 (not sure about taking my 24L along) a 35mmf2, 50mmf1.8 and a 100mmf2, 420EX flash, filters and a pile of film. But I figure I also need to get in the bag a simple roll up water proof jacket, some sun scream, bottle of water and a couple of sandwiches + tobacco (probably get penned in by the police at some point).
Was thinking a Billingham 445 might serve me well, plus it'll carry more gear when it need it to at later dates. Thinking the 555 is probably a monster.
Are Billingham bags still really tougth? Not keen on the fasteners on the big flap, but there appears to be a sturdy zip under this.
Looked at e-bay, but too many silly bidders, Robert White seems to have good prices on new ones, though if anybody has one they ain't using...........
Are there other bags I should consider, or is Billingham still simply the best for the job?
I don't know the models of Billingham bags. I do know they make extremely good bags. I've been carrying a Hadley Pro almost everywhere I go for at least two years and it's held up well.
I like the way Billinghams look, too. If you can live with the boxey look and nylon material of other camera bags, I've had various LowePro models that were well made and held up well. I don't know if they are still being made or not, but F64 bags are (were) well designed and well built.
Billingham bags certainly are nice. If you're looking at bags in that class, you might also look at Fogg bags.
My personal favorites are old Perrin leather bags. They're not made anymore, but they were so well constructed that you can often find older ones in good condition. They don't have all the nice dividers that modern bags have, but I've usually found ways of making them work for me.
My "other half" has a 445 - it is indeed very nice (I've got a 225).
At a push it holds 2 fuji 645's, and 2 Eos 35mm's (with a couple of spare lenses), and a Metz 45. Two nice pockets on the front for film (exposed and unexposed), and a good size pocket inside for misc stuff (battery packs, meter, filters, leads etc).
It's big enough to get a LOT of stuff inside. I wouldn't want to go up to the 555 unless you have to, as that would be too heavy. For the size though they're nice to carry, as they're soft, and the straps are attatched to the bag so as to stabalise it rather than let it pivot.
They're soft, so they mold to use - we've only had this one a year or so, and it hasn't seen tough use, but I expect it will get more comfortable with age, as the canvas softens up. Simlarly the leather fastners work really well once they wear in a bit.
There is indeed a good sturdy zip under the top flap. One really nice touch is that there's also a second carrying handle, so you can pick it up with the flap open, or closed.
They are expensive, so I'd look seriously at the other options. However what I love about the Billinghams is their feeling of craftsmanship. I think to spend £160 (from Robert Whites last year) on a bag is total indulgence, but they are top quality, and indulging now and then isn't a bad thing.
Yeah I like the way the Billingham bags look too. Though they do tend to shout photo gear inside these days. Sometimes that's good, other times not so good.
Those Fogg bags look really fine too. Perhaps a little too stylised for my taste, but I don't think there's a UK stockist. F64 bags still seem to be in production but again can't find a UK stockist.
The lowepro stuff looks good, and it's much cheaper.
If I didn't already have an old Billingham, I probably wouldn't consider getting another. But once you have had one, you like em.
Hate the thought of walking about with a brand new bag though, it's like wearing new bike leathers, but I guess after a few months it'll look right.
Oh, what to do...........
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Sounds almost too big! But then I should get my two EOS's in, the 4 small prime lenses, plus roll up jacket, filters, film, water, sandwiches and tobacco. Oh and the flash gun.
Need to make shapes with the tape measure again, oh for a good photo store.
Like you say it's expensive but should last a life time, nor hopefully is it made with slave labour. 445 is 173 quid.
Oh Robert White does Domke bags, look nice, downloading catalogue right now.
Hi Gareth, are you still looking for a 445. I have one surplus to requirments.
In good cond.
I am down in the Scottish Borders.
I'm very interested. E-mail on it's way.
Thank-you very much Cee-Jay.
I am absolutely delighted with the bag, and I promise to look after her.
Nice to meet you. The wonders of the web!