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Billingham man thinks about buying thinktank
Old 01-14-2019   #1
lxmike
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Billingham man thinks about buying thinktank

I have a Billingham 225, (over 30 years old), a handlyn pro and a Billingham stowaway, l am after a bag that will blend in and have beendrawn towards the Thinktank retrospective, (pine stone). I must point out that all my life l have been a Billingham man, so why another bag, well l want a small inconspicuous bagbthat willhold two Fuji cameras and or my IIIg when l walk and shoot, this bag l plan to take on my New York trip in November. What are your views on this
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Old 01-14-2019   #2
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I have a Think Tank Retrospective 10 it is quite good and does look a bit more subtle, but don't like it as much as my Billingham (Hadley Pro). They are well designed bags though and the outside pocket is quite good for a bottle of water.
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Old 01-14-2019   #3
Peter Wijninga
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I can only comment on the quality of ThinkTank products: many years ago, I bought a ThinkTank carry on rolling case and I can assure you that the thing is indestructible.
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Old 01-14-2019   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al1966 View Post
I have a Think Tank Retrospective 10 it is quite good and does look a bit more subtle, but don't like it as much as my Billingham (Hadley Pro). They are well designed bags though and the outside pocket is quite good for a bottle of water.
many thanks for your reply, l will look into the think tank 10
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Old 01-14-2019   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
I can only comment on the quality of ThinkTank products: many years ago, I bought a ThinkTank carry on rolling case and I can assure you that the thing is indestructible.

sturdy is good, my Billinghams are sturdy, hopefully the thinktanks will be too
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Old 01-14-2019   #6
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I'm a Billingham guy myself but I have owned a few ThinkTank bags. They are well designed, well made bags. I still prefer Billingham but I doubt you will be disappointed in the overall quality of the ThinkTank.
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Old 01-14-2019   #7
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I also have a Thinktank Restrospective 10, which is a well thought through bag, very functional, and like it a lot. But it is rather bulky, there is no space for a laptop, and it is not very elegant. I haven't used it since I bought an Ona Bowery and a Brixton. To me, Ona leather bags are the best camera bags out there.

I also just bought a Copper River Lewis & Clark leather bag, which is currently on sale for half off ($215.-), with a $10.- camera insert. The leather is fantastic and it is even lighter than the Ona Brixton (same size) because the leather is thinner. After I received the bag, I sent an email to Copper River and said "I wish the bag had a luggage strap". The owner of the company immediately replied and said "Just send it back and we'll make you a custom luggage strap from the same leather." How nice of them!

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Old 01-14-2019   #8
Peter Wijninga
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Quote:
sturdy is good, my Billinghams are sturdy, hopefully the thinktanks will be too
To be honest, my ThinkTank is uber sturdy and also industrial ugly. I always liked the Billinghams for their combination of sturdiness and elegance.
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Old 01-14-2019   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxmike View Post
l am after a bag that will blend in ... this bag l plan to take on my New York trip in November.
Blend in ... in NYC? I don't even know what that means. Well, if you want to bend in on 5th Ave, you need a Hermes bag; if you want to bend in on Wall Street, you need a leather briefcase ... everywhere else you need a plastic shopping bag. But New Yorkers will notice in a second anyway that you are a tourist, unless you are walking very fast, never make eye contact, talk to yourself, and act rude and impatient.
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Old 01-14-2019   #10
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have you seen the bags that you are interested in...in person?
think tanks bags are very good but they seem a bit bulky to me and have too many small pockets...
take a look at the tenba cooper series...well built very nice looking bags.
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Old 01-14-2019   #11
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I have had Billinghams (L2 and Hadley Pro) and more Think Tank bags than I can recall. I regularly use the Bilingham L2 still; it is a great bag for a modest sized kit (two M cameras and three lenses fit easily) and the front pocket can hold even my 2018 iPad Pro 11" if I want to carry it. I also have a couple of excellent Tenbas. (A mark that I still have too much equipment is that I still have too many bags in the closet! but that's another discussion... )

But... For smaller size, more capacity for the size, and lighter weight, I went for a Black Label Bag "Oskar's One Day Bag Mark II" from Photo Village (in NYC) in 2011, and have not looked back since. It replaced my Hadley Pro. It is very similar to the Artisan & Artist ACAM 7100 but has a couple of detail improvements (I use one of these as well).

I've used the Oskar'sII bag for every lengthy trip since I bought it and it still looks virtually new. It's an inconspicuous bag, light, and molds nicely to the body in use. Easy to get gear in and out of when needed, it's compact yet holds a lot when needed. The interior compartment is configurable yet lifts in and out as a complete unit, allowing the bag to be used as a day bag when traveling without camera gear if desired easily.

I've worn the OskarsII while walking the streets of NYC four times in the past eight years and been impressed that very few people's eyes ever looked at the bag at all. It carries all my camera gear, plus iPad, plus travel papers and other incidentals easily and inconspicuously when needed. When I compared it to the Think Tank Retrospective 10, it was instantly apparent that the OskarsII held more, was smaller, weighed less, and felt better: The Retrospective has more/stiffer padding and is much bulkier.

I just can't praise the Black Label Bag enough. The one and only issue I had with it is that the original ladders on mine that secured the strap to the bag allowed the strap to twist too easily due to the thickness of the wire and their size. I replaced them with a pair of thicker, super heavy duty West Marine carabiners which eliminated the problem completely, and allow the strap to be removed easily as well.

Good luck in your search and decision.

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Old 01-14-2019   #12
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Since you want your bag for your trip to NYC, I suggest that you go B&H after your arrival and check out the bags they have.
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Old 01-14-2019   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
To be honest, my ThinkTank is uber sturdy and also industrial ugly....
True that. The Retrospective bags look a lot like some of the Rothco canvas utility shoulder bags. But the Rothco bags are also pretty good if you could add some internal padding.

The "industrial" look probably adds to the low profile desires of the OP.
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Old 01-14-2019   #14
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What's "industrial" looking about these bags?



This is industrial looking:

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Old 01-14-2019   #15
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I have had a Billingham and got rid of it to go back to Domke. Protects the camera(s) very well and are inconspicuous.
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Old 01-14-2019   #16
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Since someone else mentioned them I'll add my two cents:
You really should look at the various smaller Domke models.

Chris
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Old 01-14-2019   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogman View Post
I'm a Billingham guy myself but I have owned a few ThinkTank bags. They are well designed, well made bags. I still prefer Billingham but I doubt you will be disappointed in the overall quality of the ThinkTank.

many thanks, l reaaly like the colour/finish of the pine retrospective bags
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Old 01-14-2019   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giganova View Post
I also have a Thinktank Restrospective 10, which is a well thought through bag, very functional, and like it a lot. But it is rather bulky, there is no space for a laptop, and it is not very elegant. I haven't used it since I bought an Ona Bowery and a Brixton. To me, Ona leather bags are the best camera bags out there.

I also just bought a Copper River Lewis & Clark leather bag, which is currently on sale for half off ($215.-), with a $10.- camera insert. The leather is fantastic and it is even lighter than the Ona Brixton (same size) because the leather is thinner. After I received the bag, I sent an email to Copper River and said "I wish the bag had a luggage strap". The owner of the company immediately replied and said "Just send it back and we'll make you a custom luggage strap from the same leather." How nice of them!

that's one very interesting and cool bag
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Old 01-14-2019   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giganova View Post
Blend in ... in NYC? I don't even know what that means. Well, if you want to bend in on 5th Ave, you need a Hermes bag; if you want to bend in on Wall Street, you need a leather briefcase ... everywhere else you need a plastic shopping bag. But New Yorkers will notice in a second anyway that you are a tourist, unless you are walking very fast, never make eye contact, talk to yourself, and act rude and impatient.
these are all very good points
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Old 01-14-2019   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
To be honest, my ThinkTank is uber sturdy and also industrial ugly. I always liked the Billinghams for their combination of sturdiness and elegance.
funny enough you could describe me as sturdy and industrial
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Old 01-14-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
have you seen the bags that you are interested in...in person?
think tanks bags are very good but they seem a bit bulky to me and have too many small pockets...
take a look at the tenba cooper series...well built very nice looking bags.
just had a look on ebay, they are very nice looking bags
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Old 01-14-2019   #22
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Well just returned from a little run about flea bay and low and behold, a used billingham black Hadley, slightly worn in, (just as l like), came up at a neat price so l hit the button and thus remain a Billingham man, thanks for all your replies to this thread
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Old 01-14-2019   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxmike View Post
Well just returned from a little run about flea bay and low and behold, a used billingham black Hadley, slightly worn in, (just as l like), came up at a neat price so l hit the button and thus remain a Billingham man, thanks for all your replies to this thread
Nice one Mike. Had my first Hadley Original over 20 years and still looked frat when I sold it. Mainly used when weather was poor or when travelling, fits well under plane seats. Often took a smaller bag in luggage for daily use.
Just got myself the Hadley Small too.
Like you Mike Iím off to the US this year and Iím hoping to use the smaller bag.

Paul
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Old 01-14-2019   #24
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Great find and congrats!
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Old 01-14-2019   #25
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Nice one Mike. Had my first Hadley Original over 20 years and still looked frat when I sold it. Mainly used when weather was poor or when travelling, fits well under plane seats. Often took a smaller bag in luggage for daily use.
Just got myself the Hadley Small too.
Like you Mike Iím off to the US this year and Iím hoping to use the smaller bag.

Paul
hey Paul good to hear from you, have a great trip when you head off to the US.
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Old 01-14-2019   #26
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Great find and congrats!
Many many thanks
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Old 01-14-2019   #27
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A bag is only low profile until you open it to pull out your camera. I've owned both a ThinkTank Retrospective and a Billingham F-Sharp. IMHO the Billingham is far better. YMMV.
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Old 01-14-2019   #28
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A bag is only low profile until you open it to pull out your camera. I've owned both a ThinkTank Retrospective and a Billingham F-Sharp. IMHO the Billingham is far better. YMMV.
thanks Robert l must admit to having a soft spot for Billingham bags
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Inconspicuous
Old 01-14-2019   #29
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Inconspicuous

If you want to blend in in NYC then a plastic shopping beg would be best as was previous suggested. I knew someone who carried his Hasselblad kit like that. Not wanting to decend to that level of despair, I have two Courierware black messenger bags with the photo insert. They look like plain black messenger bags. They have been with me countless times on the subway and around town without any issues. But then NY is now one of the safest large cities in the US - not like the 70s and 80s.
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Old 01-14-2019   #30
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@lxmike - hahaha, nice catch with the near mint Billingham.
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Old 01-14-2019   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxmike View Post
Well just returned from a little run about flea bay and low and behold, a used billingham black Hadley, slightly worn in, (just as l like), came up at a neat price so l hit the button and thus remain a Billingham man, thanks for all your replies to this thread
Very nice! Always nice to save something like that from the junk heap.

G
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Old 01-15-2019   #32
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Originally Posted by lxmike View Post
I have a Billingham 225, (over 30 years old), a handlyn pro and a Billingham stowaway, l am after a bag that will blend in and have beendrawn towards the Thinktank retrospective, (pine stone). I must point out that all my life l have been a Billingham man, so why another bag, well l want a small inconspicuous bagbthat willhold two Fuji cameras and or my IIIg when l walk and shoot, this bag l plan to take on my New York trip in November. What are your views on this
Thinktank makes very high quality, great looking bags. The retrospective is just that as well as discrete. You will not be sorry.
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