Interesteing, and affordable, small case for X cameras

Started Aug 20, 2014 | Discussions thread
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babart Senior Member • Posts: 2,095
Interesteing, and affordable, small case for X cameras

I dislike camera bags. Although many are quite useful, they look like camera bags, and they are the first thing that goes missing when travelling. Too, many are so stiff and boxy that carrying one is like toting around a cooler for a six-pack of beer.

Searching on this forum for a camera bag for the Fuji X-E1, I discovered the Ona Bowery ( and the Hadley Small (, and the Jill-E camera bag ( All were in the size range I wanted, and both the Hadley and the Bowery seemed very well made. I’m loath to buy anything without actually handling it so I can judge its usefulness, however, and since none of these were available locally for that purpose, I decided on the inexpensive ($30) Jill-E from B&H. If this worked I would be better able to judge a more expensive bag. If it didn’t I wouldn’t be out a large chunk of change.

The Jill-E (this company makes Jill bags and Jack bags, but there’s no insert for the all-leather Jack models) is a camera insert made to fit into a purse. It can, however, also be used as a stand-alone bag and comes with a strap for that purpose.

At first the Jill-E looked too small at 10.5L x 3.5W x 6.25H inches. I was wrong. There are five lenses in these two photos: the Fuji 18-55 (mounted), the Fuji 27/2.8, Pentax 15/4 limited, 70/2.4 limited, and M 100/2.8, plus a Novoflex PK to FX adapter.

Yes, the lid actually zips. I have an RRS L-bracket attached to the XE-1 which does cause a slight protrusion above the zipper, but it’s really not a problem, as the padding is not board stiff. Note the two net compartments in the lid. These are for slender items only, such as an extra card or a lens hood for the 27/2.8 :). An extra battery might best be stowed elsewhere inside the bag – under the barrel of the zoom for instance. The 27/2.8 will actually stow under that lens barrel, wrapped in the thin protector that came with the lens.

There’s also a zippered compartment on the back, here holding a Lance adjustable camera strap. As can be seen, the shoulder strap disconnects and there is a handle on the top lid to help place it in a backpack, suitcase, or airline carry-on bag.

There are other lens options of course. For urban prowling I’d fit the 27mm, and stow the 18-55 and a Rokinon 12/2.0 in the bag.

So I’m very pleased. I have no idea how the bag would handle wet weather, but I’m sure a light drizzle or quick shower wouldn’t stress it all that much. Anything heavier and it would need to be inside a more waterproof pack. I’m not certain I’ll gravitate to a more expensive bag either, although both the Ona and Billingham offerings are very tempting. I especially like the more protective fabric and lids on both those bags.

All I need is a waterproof black laundry pen to mark out the “Jill-E” :).


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 babart's gear list:babart's gear list
Sony Alpha a7 Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 Samyang AF 14mm F2.8 FE +7 more
Fujifilm X-E1
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