Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

Started Feb 27, 2013 | Questions
JIMBO3031NIKON Forum Member • Posts: 88
Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

I have been researching bags for some time now and can't settle on the right one. I have a M6 ttl with a Every Ready Case (film version) and it is ok, don't like the bulkiness of this case and the fact that the bottom can't be taken apart.

For my new M-E I would like a small bag/puch to carry just the camera with my Summicron 50, nothing more or at least no additional lenses or flash. I am not sold on the half cases b/c I would like the camera and lens to be protected and also to be able to conceal them from watchers and potential theft. As a side note, for my D7000 and Nikon (large, big, etc) lenses, flash, etc I have a Lowepro Flipside and a toploader that work pretty well for my Nikon equipment.

So, my research has led me to four options, if any of you have any experience with these I would appreciate  your thoughts.

Option 1, Leica Neoprene with short front: this one will protect it but I am not shure how much it could get in the middle of my shooting.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/461922-USA/Leica_14867_Neoprene_Case_with_Short.html

Option 2, Domke F-5XA, from what I have seen online this is a small and discreet option, I like this one a lot but I am not sure if the size will fit the camera and lens.

http://www.domkebags.co.uk/en/domke-bags/21-domke-f-5xa-small-shoulder-bag.html

Option 3, National Geographic NG 1153 Earth Explorer Medium Pouch, this one loos small also and have doubts if it will be big enough.

http://www.geographicbags.com/1153-medium-pouch

Option 4, National Geographic A2200 Small Holster, similar to the one above

http://www.geographicbags.us/small-holster-for-an-advanced-point-and-shoot-camera



BTW I am a casual shooter, not pro, just for fun on spare time, friends, family, travel and in a few months will be shooting my first baby!

Thanks in advance. I searched the forum but couldn't find a good reference for these bags.

JIMBO

ANSWER:
Canon PowerShot A2200 Nikon D7000
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Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,707
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences
1

Of these four bags, I'd go with the Domke F5XA. Although to be honest, I owned one of these briefly a few years back and returned it ... I find the F5XB size and shape more comfortable to wear.

My F5XB is now about 20 years old and still going strong. It long ago passed beyond the "this is a camera bag" look to "this is a worn out old junk bag". It's carried a ton of different equipment all around the world for me. Right now it's home to my Olympus E-1 and two small lenses.

In the UK, I'd also look at the Billingham Hadley Digital. Top notch quality, closer to the Domke F5XA than the F5XB, but I feel it's a superior design.

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Jeff Kerridge Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

My choice for M9 and50 'Lux was an Artisan and artist "Oscars all day bang". Not cheap but great quality and perfect for my needs!

Leitzianer Moots New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

I've been searching for the past couple of months for a replacement to my Billingham Leica M Combination bag, where my Leica M2, M8, and M9 (and soon M240) have all sat over the years. I've used Domke, Artisan & Artist, Fogg, and many other bags in the past, but I've always gone back to my Billingham Leica bag. Why?

1. Fits my M body and 3 lenses comfortable (50Noct, 35CronIV, 90Cron). I keep one lens on the camera and the other two tucked inside its Leica leather pouches, which also fit snugly into the compartments.

2. BLACK. The Billingham Leica bag is completely matte black. Stealth is everything in street photography and especially when you are using a Leica. Not only will it help to deter theft, but it will also deter attention from your subjects.

3. AVEA Leica M side pockets are detachable and are excellent for those extra accessories. I usually keep a couple pens, shutter release cable, and some cleaning cloths. It also has a larger zipped front pocket, where I can keep my battery, memory cards, and a note pad (I've even fit a Kindle Fire in it for long trips). The inner compartment also has a rear pocket, which is where I keep a few filters, cleaning cloths, and business cards for quick access.  I keep a pretty light load, which is the whole point of owning an M system.  So when I want to have just the bare minimum, then I unhook the AVEA pockets and it's just a tiny bag with a body and lenses.

4. The top of the inner compartments are also closed off by a cushion before the external cover is buckled on. I questioned the durability of the brass strap locks, but they have stand through the test of time and have never unlocked or release on their own. It might seem like a very insecure locking mechanism at first, but it is extremely safe and efficient...you have extremely fast access to your camera and lenses, which is critical to get the shot sometimes.  I've done photojournalistic, wedding, modeling, and travel photography completely with Leica cameras and this bag have always survived the abuse.

5. The shoulder strap is wide and comfortable but I also purchased a Billingham pad for it. The Leica camera's original strap is extremely painful to wear over long periods of time and the tiny rubber stubs can really irritate the skin on the back of your neck. I recommend the leather Leica strap, which is a great alternative to the stock strap that comes with your camera. The Billingham shoulder pad also has a rubber lining, so it will not slip when you are wearing it diagonally.

Like I've mentioned before, I've owned and tried many bags in the past, but I've always gone back to my Billingham Leica M Combo bag in the end. I've used it for many years now and it still performs and looks great for its age. Hope this helps.

Tuananh

Nich0las
Nich0las Contributing Member • Posts: 835
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

I use a LowePro Event Messenger 100 for my M9-P and 35mm Summilux - the great thing is a kindle eBook reader fits perfectly in the front zip pocket! It's inexpensive so doesn't attract too much attention, comfortable to wear all day and easy to access while over the shoulder...

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Osscat
Osscat Contributing Member • Posts: 550
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

Always used a small kit bag from one of the military services (UK) the RAF bags were the toughest  - had the appearance of a croust bag (Croust (or Crowst) - a mid-morning break for a snack (usually west Cornwall)[12] (from Cornish language  croust) originally a Gas Mask bag was ideal but as they became rarer the small shoulder bag fitted the bill.

These bags look remarkably uninteresting and do not draw attention to themselves - less likely to be nicked (stolen) nor give away their contents - that is, unlike specialist bags, which tend to infer the nature of their contents, consequently less attention is drawn to oneself.

Some strategically placed foam or even better an extremely useful towel can be used to protect ones kit.  Used this method for all my gear over the past 40 years.

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noegd
noegd Senior Member • Posts: 1,306
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

For an M and one lens only, I used quite a lot a LowePro Terraclime 50, but I'm not sure it will take the Summicron: I used a very small Skopar.

What I like about the Terraclime is that it is very light and can be rolled and stuffed in one's pocket when not used. You may want to check the larger Terraclime 100.

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Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,707
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

noegd wrote:

For an M and one lens only, I used quite a lot a LowePro Terraclime 50, but I'm not sure it will take the Summicron: I used a very small Skopar.

What I like about the Terraclime is that it is very light and can be rolled and stuffed in one's pocket when not used. You may want to check the larger Terraclime 100.

Didn't mention it above, but I use a Terraclime 100 quite often as my day bag. For carrying cameras, I dropped an A&A insert from the ACAM 7100 into it, it fits loosely and moulds to the bag's shape nicely, is very light but very protective of the gear. M9 plus lens plus other stuff fits easily, if that's all you're carrying you have a lot of space to work with.

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Lu Heng
Lu Heng Forum Member • Posts: 63
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

Billingham Hadley Digital. Top notch quality,

I'm using this for 5 years. It's the best small bag IMO. Do not hesitate on that.

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Sergey

 Lu Heng's gear list:Lu Heng's gear list
Leica D-LUX 5 Leica M8.2 Leica M9 Leica M Typ 240 Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/2 ASPH +6 more
OP JIMBO3031NIKON Forum Member • Posts: 88
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

Thanks everyone for your input. I am seriously considering the Hadley Digital and the two Domkes, the prices however are very different. How bulky are the mid Domke and the Hadey?

No one seems to have used or considered the national grographic bags.

Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,707
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

JIMBO3031NIKON wrote:

Thanks everyone for your input. I am seriously considering the Hadley Digital and the two Domkes, the prices however are very different. How bulky are the mid Domke and the Hadey?

No one seems to have used or considered the national grographic bags.

Only one of my friends has used the National Geo bags, and when I saw it, it impressed me as a clumsy design. Never used one myself.

Prices in the USA for the Billinghams are ferociously higher than the Domkes. However, the UK prices for the Billingham is lower and the Domke's are more expensive in that market.

For instance, B&H Photo in NY shows this:

Billingham Hadley Digital $219.95

Domke F5XA $59.95

Domke F5XB $77.95

Robert White UK shows this for the Billingham:

Billingham Hadley Digital £80/£96 (special price) ($120/$144)

And DomkeBags.co.uk shows:

Domke F5XA --/£65 ($97)

Domke F5XB --/£87 ($128)

If you're in the UK, I'd buy the Billingham at that price over the F5XB without question. I'd even buy it in the USA and have them ship it, as the ex-VAT price plus shipping is less than the B&H price plus shipping, about $175 complete, although that's a fair bit more dear than the Domkes.

Size-wise, the Domke F5XA is pretty small... the F5XB hangs better for me, as does the Hadley Digital. I prefer my shoulder bag be a little more roomy than absolutely necessary too, so the HD and F5XB bags are both appealing to me on that basis.

(Another somewhat pricey bag that I like is the A&A ACAM 1100:

http://www.artisanandartist.com/bags/acam1100.htm

I have the GCAM version of this in soft black leather, but I bought it second hand for a little over a hundred dollars rather than spend $250 for it.)

"If I didn't have so darn much equipment, I wouldn't have so many bags..."

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DavidGBK Senior Member • Posts: 1,062
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

Godfrey wrote:

JIMBO3031NIKON wrote:

Thanks everyone for your input. I am seriously considering the Hadley Digital and the two Domkes, the prices however are very different. How bulky are the mid Domke and the Hadey?

No one seems to have used or considered the national grographic bags.

Only one of my friends has used the National Geo bags, and when I saw it, it impressed me as a clumsy design. Never used one myself.

Prices in the USA for the Billinghams are ferociously higher than the Domkes. However, the UK prices for the Billingham is lower and the Domke's are more expensive in that market.

For instance, B&H Photo in NY shows this:

Billingham Hadley Digital $219.95

Domke F5XA $59.95

Domke F5XB $77.95

Robert White UK shows this for the Billingham:

Billingham Hadley Digital £80/£96 (special price) ($120/$144)

And DomkeBags.co.uk shows:

Domke F5XA --/£65 ($97)

Domke F5XB --/£87 ($128)

If you're in the UK, I'd buy the Billingham at that price over the F5XB without question. I'd even buy it in the USA and have them ship it, as the ex-VAT price plus shipping is less than the B&H price plus shipping, about $175 complete, although that's a fair bit more dear than the Domkes.

Size-wise, the Domke F5XA is pretty small... the F5XB hangs better for me, as does the Hadley Digital. I prefer my shoulder bag be a little more roomy than absolutely necessary too, so the HD and F5XB bags are both appealing to me on that basis.

(Another somewhat pricey bag that I like is the A&A ACAM 1100:

http://www.artisanandartist.com/bags/acam1100.htm

I have the GCAM version of this in soft black leather, but I bought it second hand for a little over a hundred dollars rather than spend $250 for it.)

"If I didn't have so darn much equipment, I wouldn't have so many bags..."

I would move quickly if you plan to buy a Billingham from Robert White in the UK - the special price is because they are going to stop stocking them. I was trying to buy some Billingham lens pouches for s/h lenses but they ran out of stock. This is the message I received:

Hi David,

I have now cancelled and refunded the order.

It is regrettable that we are ceasing to sell Billingham, but as they insist on allowing the products to be sold on Amazon, who are happy to sell at 1% on cost, we simply cannot compete.

I did take advantage of the bag offer buying a Hadley Pro - I think that was on Godfrey's advice.

Regards

David

OP JIMBO3031NIKON Forum Member • Posts: 88
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

Thanks again for your input. Finally I ordered the Domke F-5XB. I compared prices and sizes and even draw both Domkes, Ona Bowery and Hadley Digital on a sheet of paper (eye opening). I felt the size of the F-5XB was the right one, a little bigger maybe but prefer to have some slack than a tight fit.

headofdestiny Veteran Member • Posts: 9,230
Re: Which bag for Leica one Leica M and one lens only? Please share experiences

In regards to the Leica neoprene case that the OP mentioned, for those interested, I'd avoid it and go with the OP/TECH USA rangefinder soft pouch. I own both, and the OPTECH is less than half the price of the Leica, fits my M9 better, uses snaps rather than velcro, and it actually uses waterproof neoprene.  The only advantage that I see with the Leica case, outside of the "logo," is that it has a small space to put a memory card.

I took both of these cases and poured water into the lens area and let is sit.  To my surprise, the water immediately seeped right through the Leica case, but only slowly dripped out of the seams of the OPTECH case without out seeping through the actual neoprene.  Neither is waterproof, but the OPTECH is much more water resistant.  To be honest, I'd choose the OPTECH over the Leica if they were the same price, so the OPTECH is a no brainer at $21.

The nice thing about either neoprene case is that they fold up pretty nicely, so you can quickly take it off of the camera and put it in your back pocket.  I think it is a great solution, if you're a single lens shooter who doesn't need to bring anything else along.  Just a Leica on a strap.

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