M43 system + one sweet Billingham Hadley Small bag

Started Mar 31, 2012 | Discussions thread
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NZ Scott
NZ Scott Veteran Member • Posts: 4,463
M43 system + one sweet Billingham Hadley Small bag

Hey guys,

After much advice from / discussion with fellow dpreview members last week, I splashed out on a Billingham Hadley Small bag to help me haul around my m43 kit. I bought it from shashinki.com for RM 620 (about US $200) and it arrived today. I thought I'd post some pix and first impressions as a guide for other m43 users interested in this product, which is popular with rangefinder and mirrorless shooters.

Before going on, I'd like to thank everyone who participated in the earlier thread in which I requested help choosing a bag.

First impressions: It's a quality product, alright. It's hand-made in England from waterproof rubber-lined canvas, leather and brass. The bag is too posh to use anything as low-class as velcro or zips (although the internal dividers do use velcro to keep them in place). The khaki/tan colour combo is nice, but I'm a little concerned about how well it will resist stains.

This afternoon I managed to cram my entire m43 kit (sans tripod) into this little thing, consisting of the following:

E-P3 camera body
M. Zuiko 14-42IIR
M. Zuiko 40-150 ED
M. Zuiko 12/2.0
M. Zuiko 45/1.8
Marumi DHG Achromat (58mm) macro lens
3 x 46mm B+W filters with 3 x cases
1 x 46mm no-name IR filter with 1 x B+W case
1 x Cokin A-series grad filter (A121M)
1 x neoprene lens pouch with carabiner
1 x leather lens pouch
1 x spare battery
1 x cable release
1 x lens pen
1 x cleaning cloth
1 x WhiBal grey card

The only thing I couldn't fit in there was my tripod. A Gorillapod wouldn't fit either. But an iPad will fit - between the back of the back and the padded camera box.

Not bad, yeah?

I'll report back if the thing falls to bits on me, although I can't see that happening (5-year guarantee, in any case).

Some pix:

Ze bag:

No nylon, please - we're English.

The strap is nice and soft, and doesn't cut into your shoulders like those horrible nylon straps you get on cheaper bags.

Undoing ze bag - brass and leather. No crappy velcro here, chaps!

Gotta fit all this crap in there somehow (note: the E-P3 and 14-42IIR are not in this photo because I needed to use them to take this photo).

The padded camera box comes with four dividers (I'm only using one in this photo). The entire box can be unbuttoned and removed, allowing the Billingham to be used as a messenger bag. This also allows you to put the box / your gear in some other luggage, such as a suitcase or backpack.

In this photo you can see the gap between the padded box (foreground, with the green lid down) and the back of the bag. This is just the right size for an iPad.

The two front pockets are quite roomy. They can be expanded by unclipping a brass button (you can see one near the top right-hand corner).

This photo shows all my kit stuffed into the bag, apart from my E-P3 and kit lens, which I used to take the photograph. In the main compartment, on the left, I have stacked the 45/1.8 on top of the 12/2.0, which is in a leather lens bag. Next to it, I have stacked the 40-150 ED (in a neoprene bag) on top of the Marumi Achromat. On the right is the gap where I place my E-P3 with attached lens. The camera sits snuggly with the lens facing into the centre of the bag. I don't think an E-M5 would fit as well, because of the viewfinder hump. In the front left pocket, I've placed the cable release, battery and cleaning cloth. As you can see, there is still a bit of space left. In the right pocket I've placed all my filters, grey card and lens pen.

I welcome questions and comments.

 NZ Scott's gear list:NZ Scott's gear list
Olympus PEN E-P3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +10 more
Olympus PEN E-P3
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