Billingham camera bags ??

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
Mark_A
Mark_A Forum Pro • Posts: 16,060
Only a budget camera bag here ..

Only a budget camera bag here ..

I waited till they were on special offer and bought a non branded camera bag / rucksack for perhaps £15.00

It fits my body and 4 lenses ok (three small primes and a 77mm Dia zoom), bit tight. Cant fit my telephoto in though although that would probably make it too heavy.

Mark_A
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A thread of photos from SmartPhones ..
https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64212858

SonyOB Senior Member • Posts: 1,325
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

I do not believe people who use expressions like 'nothing ever'.
Sorry. Life has made me so.

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Words are wind.

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tassienick Senior Member • Posts: 1,328
Re: Billingham camera bags ??
1

SonyOB wrote:

I do not believe people who use expressions like 'nothing ever'.
Sorry. Life has made me so.

Ok. How else would you like me to say ‘nothing has ever fallen out of a pouch’?

OP Phil A Martin Senior Member • Posts: 1,316
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

SonyOB wrote:

I do not believe people who use expressions like 'nothing ever'.
Sorry. Life has made me so.

If that's his experience, then that's his experience, he hasn't experienced anything scratching in his Billingham bags and to be honest, neither have I but then I keep my lenses in individual pouches inside the bag dividers.

OP Phil A Martin Senior Member • Posts: 1,316
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

SonyOB wrote:

I do not believe people who use expressions like 'nothing ever'.
Sorry. Life has made me so.

You are essentially accusing tassaniek of lying and that's not good.

e268 Senior Member • Posts: 1,672
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

tassienick wrote:

SonyOB wrote:

I do have an opinion about the Billingham brand.
They are not adequate camera bags. They offer no protection against dust or moisture. The pouches do not keep stuff securely in place. You need to get the insides from another manufacturer if you want to keep your material from scratching against each other.

Im not sure which Billingham you were using, but my Hadley Small has offered fantastic protection against dust and moisture (including half dozen trips to Malaysia during the wet season), nothing has ever fallen out of a pouch, and the inserts and dividers have been of great quality and work exactly as they should, and nothing has ever scratched against anything... YMMV.

I have had two of them. I gave them away to photographing family members.
Now I am looking for yet another bag and probably my choice is the 13" Peak Designs everyday bag. I have had the 15" as my everyday bag for three years now. The person(s) who designed it have clearly used it themselves.
There is a certain functionality I have not met in any other make.
This is an opinion based on my own daily use.

I can vouch for the Hadley Small since I have it for about 10 years.  I also have the Billingham Small which can hold my 10.5 in ipad when I travel.  These bags offer security from pick pockets.  In two occasions, the pick pocket managed to undo the buckle, but since the flap is quite deep, it is difficult to put a handle into the bag.  I did not loose anything.

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SonyOB Senior Member • Posts: 1,325
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

tassienick wrote:

SonyOB wrote:

I do not believe people who use expressions like 'nothing ever'.
Sorry. Life has made me so.

Ok. How else would you like me to say ‘nothing has ever fallen out of a pouch’?

No need to convince me. Deal with easier persons.

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Words are wind.

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Art Jacks Veteran Member • Posts: 3,188
Re: Billingham camera bags ??
3

Other than the price of Billingham bags based on their quality my concerns are regarding the recognisable image of the bags, some of the likely lads or lasses out on the street would probably deduct that the bags could contain some expensive items ! I travel light using a non branded, non photographic designed shoulder bag in my attempt to not draw attention to myself, at 74 I cannot run very fast or very far

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Franglais91 Senior Member • Posts: 1,044
Always been expensive
1

Phil A Martin wrote:

I recently decided to replace the dividers in my Billingham 550 camera bag, bought second hand in mint condition some time in the early 1990s and was shocked to find that three inserts and one flap came to £60.00, at least that was until I checked the price of a replacement bag, which cost £600.00. Now I've always thought of these bags as being pricey but I don't recall them being that expensive in the past. I've not looked at their prices for a decade or so, I know they did a budget series for a few years between 2003-06, the "Venture" bags but these days Billingham seem to be heading into the Veblen Goods market, rather than marketing to the general population.

I've always thought they looked good, especially in comparison with other manufacturers but I've never really though them that great as camera bags, too many open pockets for things to tumble out of.

What do other people think? Are they worth the money, do you like them as bags, what alternatives would you recommend?

I have built up quite a collection of Billingham bags over the last twenty years - three Hadleys of different sizes and colours, a 335 and a 445. If I need a shoulderbag then it's always been a Billingham. I have always bought them in England as in France they always seem to be much more expensive.

However nowadays I almost always use a LowePro backpack. I'm no longer wandering  around in the street with a Leica and a few tiny lenses for a Reportage, it's a DSLR with zooms and a precise mission in mind. A shoulderbag is much faster to get the gear out but nowadays I have the time to take off the backpack and get the camera ready. With a backpack I can carry my gear around for days without hurting myself whereas with a shoulderbag its backache after four hours.

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,464
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

Art Jacks wrote:

Other than the price of Billingham bags based on their quality my concerns are regarding the recognisable image of the bags, some of the likely lads or lasses out on the street would probably deduct that the bags could contain some expensive items ! I travel light using a non branded, non photographic designed shoulder bag in my attempt to not draw attention to myself, at 74 I cannot run very fast or very far

There is that - I never put my cameras or laptops in a named bag or one that looks like it was made for those items.

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tassienick Senior Member • Posts: 1,328
Re: Billingham camera bags ??
2

Art Jacks wrote:

Other than the price of Billingham bags based on their quality my concerns are regarding the recognisable image of the bags, some of the likely lads or lasses out on the street would probably deduct that the bags could contain some expensive items ! I travel light using a non branded, non photographic designed shoulder bag in my attempt to not draw attention to myself, at 74 I cannot run very fast or very far

I know what you mean, but I suspect the 'lads or lasses out on the street' are probably more interested in Old Mate wearing the generic LowePro backpack with a 'CaNikon' branded neckstrap hanging out of the open zip.

Stuff like Billingham might have a a recognisable look to photo nerds on photography forums, but I'm not sure that carries to the broader public.

Kelvin L Regular Member • Posts: 430
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

Phil A Martin wrote:

I've always thought they looked good, especially in comparison with other manufacturers but I've never really though them that great as camera bags, too many open pockets for things to tumble out of.

What do other people think? Are they worth the money, do you like them as bags, what alternatives would you recommend?

I have a Billingham 107 which is waterproof and stylish. I've had mine for about 10 years and it looks as good as new. I've carried it in the pouring rain with no problems.

Unfortunately I don't use it that often as I find the closure system really fiddly. Leather strap push pin, followed by leather handle with button clips, followed by zipper. Removing/replacing a small item, such as a wallet, can become a chore. It's also a heavy bag for its size.

For day-to-day work I prefer the Lowepro AW range (love the old Magnum shoulder bag!). Not as pretty, but much more efficient.

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57even Forum Pro • Posts: 14,714
Re: Billingham camera bags ??
2

tassienick wrote:

Art Jacks wrote:

Other than the price of Billingham bags based on their quality my concerns are regarding the recognisable image of the bags, some of the likely lads or lasses out on the street would probably deduct that the bags could contain some expensive items ! I travel light using a non branded, non photographic designed shoulder bag in my attempt to not draw attention to myself, at 74 I cannot run very fast or very far

I know what you mean, but I suspect the 'lads or lasses out on the street' are probably more interested in Old Mate wearing the generic LowePro backpack with a 'CaNikon' branded neckstrap hanging out of the open zip.

Stuff like Billingham might have a a recognisable look to photo nerds on photography forums, but I'm not sure that carries to the broader public.

I think you underestimate how well street gangs know their marks.

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The Grumpy Snapper Regular Member • Posts: 382
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

Art Jacks wrote:

Other than the price of Billingham bags based on their quality my concerns are regarding the recognisable image of the bags, some of the likely lads or lasses out on the street would probably deduct that the bags could contain some expensive items ! I travel light using a non branded, non photographic designed shoulder bag in my attempt to not draw attention to myself, at 74 I cannot run very fast or very far

That only works if you never take the camera out of the bag.

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It's the image that's important, not the tools used to make it. I wonder if carpenters list the hammers they use on carpentry forums.

FrancoD Forum Pro • Posts: 12,999
Re: Billingham camera bags ??
1

A member here posted that he bought the 550 in 1987 in London for £150.

Inflation adjusted last year that would have been £425 .https://www.dpreview.com/articles/4340088218/billingham-marks-40-years-of-history

OP Phil A Martin Senior Member • Posts: 1,316
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

tassienick wrote:

Art Jacks wrote:

Other than the price of Billingham bags based on their quality my concerns are regarding the recognisable image of the bags, some of the likely lads or lasses out on the street would probably deduct that the bags could contain some expensive items ! I travel light using a non branded, non photographic designed shoulder bag in my attempt to not draw attention to myself, at 74 I cannot run very fast or very far

I know what you mean, but I suspect the 'lads or lasses out on the street' are probably more interested in Old Mate wearing the generic LowePro backpack with a 'CaNikon' branded neckstrap hanging out of the open zip.

Stuff like Billingham might have a a recognisable look to photo nerds on photography forums, but I'm not sure that carries to the broader public.

Yes, that's what I'd assume. Less conspicuous than some of the more glaring camera bags, especially when dirty. Years ago I used to keep a TLR plus filters, Western Master meter and films in an old gasmask case bought in an Army Navy Stores. It was excellent and totally waterproof but no padding. My tripod in a green tool-bag. So to all eyes I just looked like a carpenter or someone off to work.

OP Phil A Martin Senior Member • Posts: 1,316
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

FrancoD wrote:

A member here posted that he bought the 550 in 1987 in London for £150.

Inflation adjusted last year that would have been £425 .https://www.dpreview.com/articles/4340088218/billingham-marks-40-years-of-history

Yes, I bought my 550 second hand but in mint condition, around 1992-3. I cannot remember how much it cost me but I think it was certainly under £150 and around £400 would seem to be an appropriate updating of the new price from then but the current prices of £600 was a shock and seems outrageous.

57even Forum Pro • Posts: 14,714
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

Phil A Martin wrote:

FrancoD wrote:

A member here posted that he bought the 550 in 1987 in London for £150.

Inflation adjusted last year that would have been £425 .https://www.dpreview.com/articles/4340088218/billingham-marks-40-years-of-history

Yes, I bought my 550 second hand but in mint condition, around 1992-3. I cannot remember how much it cost me but I think it was certainly under £150 and around £400 would seem to be an appropriate updating of the new price from then but the current prices of £600 was a shock and seems outrageous.

They are the Leica of camera bags. The bag is the same price as everyone elses, but the label costs £500

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stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 24,464
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

tassienick wrote:

Art Jacks wrote:

Other than the price of Billingham bags based on their quality my concerns are regarding the recognisable image of the bags, some of the likely lads or lasses out on the street would probably deduct that the bags could contain some expensive items ! I travel light using a non branded, non photographic designed shoulder bag in my attempt to not draw attention to myself, at 74 I cannot run very fast or very far

I know what you mean, but I suspect the 'lads or lasses out on the street' are probably more interested in Old Mate wearing the generic LowePro backpack with a 'CaNikon' branded neckstrap hanging out of the open zip.

Stuff like Billingham might have a a recognisable look to photo nerds on photography forums, but I'm not sure that carries to the broader public.

But they look expensive and that equates with expensive contents.

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SonyOB Senior Member • Posts: 1,325
Re: Billingham camera bags ??

"Billingham" = "Rob me!"

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