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back alley's In The Bag Joe's quest for the ultimate Camera Bag! So many bags .. so little time ...

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My first Billingham!
Old 12-05-2014   #1
YYV_146
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My first Billingham!

I wanted a two-camera bag and was torn between the Hadley pro and the ONA Union Street for a long, long time...I've been lukewarm about Billingham since I started photography, probably because I see too many of them around, but then I saw a like new one being sold in the classifieds and pulled the trigger.



And here it is! After a day's handling I have to say that I'm extremely impressed with how well-built and thought-out the design is. These bags are popular for a good reason. Fits two A7s plus four lenses or a laptop and a two-lens kit with a bit of room to spare. And if it actually helps start conversations with other Leica users on the street...all the better.

Anyways, a big thanks to Brad for making sure that it arrived before my winter trip to the tropics.
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Old 12-05-2014   #2
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My Billingham 335 is over 30 years old now and is battered beyond battered, its still going great, they are built to last, enjoy your bag
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Old 12-05-2014   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YYV_146 View Post
I wanted a two-camera bag and was torn between the Hadley pro and the ONA Union Street for a long, long time...I've been lukewarm about Billingham since I started photography, probably because I see too many of them around, but then I saw a like new one being sold in the classifieds and pulled the trigger.



And here it is! After a day's handling I have to say that I'm extremely impressed with how well-built and thought-out the design is. These bags are popular for a good reason. Fits two A7s plus four lenses or a laptop and a two-lens kit with a bit of room to spare. And if it actually helps start conversations with other Leica users on the street...all the better.

Anyways, a big thanks to Brad for making sure that it arrived before my winter trip to the tropics.
Oh, you're the one that got that. You got a great deal! I thought about it, but I think you pulled the trigger as I was procrastinating. Congrats on the new bag!
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Old 12-05-2014   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxmike View Post
My Billingham 335 is over 30 years old now and is battered beyond battered, its still going great, they are built to last, enjoy your bag
30 years? Wow - I guess that explains the "so many" part.
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Old 12-05-2014   #5
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Oh, you're the one that got that. You got a great deal! I thought about it, but I think you pulled the trigger as I was procrastinating. Congrats on the new bag!
I bought mine from an earlier ad - probably not as good as that deal you missed.

Yes, I saw that one too, but when I did I already paid for this one...
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Old 12-05-2014   #6
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all the leather is worn on mine now and one of the flap fastening straps perished years ago, its till a very usable bag and its still water proof, even after 3 decades, mind you I think billinghams look better once they are battered a bit, mind you I would say that as mine looks like it has been nuked
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Old 12-05-2014   #7
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Enjoy it!

Billingham makes excellent quality bags. My Alice L2 (also black/black/nickel like the one you bought) is twelve years old now, still looks as if new despite being used and used and used.

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Couldn't resist
Old 12-05-2014   #8
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Couldn't resist

Well, after seeing one Billingham Hadley Pro in the rff classifieds and seeing this post, I searched through ebay and found an almost new Hadley Pro for $165.

Being leery of ebay fakes, I asked the seller (100% positive, 1465 feedback) if he was the original owner and where he had bought it, etc... His answers were good enough for me (original owner, bought it from B&H, etc...)

So, I pulled the trigger on it. While I would have preferred black or olive, I guess this will have to do. Here's a picture of the bag, which I hope to have in my hands in a few days.

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Old 12-05-2014   #9
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beautiful capable bags…i just could not get used to the strap system…my fingers are maybe a bit too stiff for one handed operation.
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Old 12-05-2014   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kxl View Post
Well, after seeing one Billingham Hadley Pro in the rff classifieds and seeing this post, I searched through ebay and found an almost new Hadley Pro for $165.

Being leery of ebay fakes, I asked the seller (100% positive, 1465 feedback) if he was the original owner and where he had bought it, etc... His answers were good enough for me (original owner, bought it from B&H, etc...)

So, I pulled the trigger on it. While I would have preferred black or olive, I guess this will have to do. Here's a picture of the bag, which I hope to have in my hands in a few days.
Nice color The nice thing about the brown trimmings is that it immediately identifies as a camera bag. Black on black is more discreet but loses some of the Billingham "flare", IMO.

I'd still check the bag carefully, though. I once saw a whole stack of multicolored fake Hadleys in a camera store in Hangzhou, going for $40 each...and they could absolutely pass for real ones unless you looked inside them.
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Old 12-05-2014   #11
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Quote:
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beautiful capable bags…i just could not get used to the strap system…my fingers are maybe a bit too stiff for one handed operation.
One handed operation? I'm mostly a backpack guy, so it's two hands, a flat surface and a full minute of fidgeting Now this bag eliminates two of these three requirements...
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Old 12-06-2014   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
beautiful capable bags…i just could not get used to the strap system…my fingers are maybe a bit too stiff for one handed operation.
The keyhole and peg strap fasteners are often a little stiff when new but break in nicely in a week or so of use. The ones on my Alice L2 now glide on and off smoothly one-handed with no effort, then a little tug to drop the peg into the keyhole and they lock securely.
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Old 12-12-2014   #13
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I have 5 Billingham bags and the Rucksack, all bought used in like-new condition for quite a savings. All of them are black w/brn leather except my Hadley which is all black. Black seems to stay cleaner-looking. (I don't care about wear, but dirt and stains irritate me ). When the padding in the superflex inserts deteriorated, Billingham replaced the inserts free with new ones with upgraded padding material. Great quality, great customer service. I have other bags also, but I have a soft spot for Billinghams.

One note to potential buyers of used ones: the early ones have studs with rounded ends of narrower diameter than the wider, flat-ended ones they went to some years ago now. Those smaller ones tend to slip out of the leather fobs too easily once the leather becomes supple with age.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #14
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Today I walked into the local Vinnies op shop, and walked out with a new/unused khaki colour Billingham for Leica bag (minus the 2 dividers) for USD55, complete with warranty registration card. I've got some old LowePro dividers that fit, so I'm a happy camper.. it seems about the right size for a film CL and lenses or a couple of Barnacks.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #15
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Beautiful, Stylish, I love it !!

Congrats and Enjoy !
Now put it to good use.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #16
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I love my Billingham. It’s a “buy it once” sorta purchase.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #17
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Billinghams are my faves!
Got 3 of them.
The 30 year old one is looking pretty ratty these days though.

So they dont last forever.
My new one..
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #18
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I have four .
A 335 bought about 25 years ago , a small Hadley , an F4 and a Billingham 72 .
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #19
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Had the Hadley Original for about 25 years. Though it didn’t get heavy use it was always my choice for when the weather was poor or as my carry-on bag. It was still in excellent condition when I sold it.
Now have the Hadley Pro and the Small.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #20
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I like the "steal" my wife's Billingham, it's perfect





Of course the bag was a present from me to her ...
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