So… as I have gone all retro I was thinking of improving my bag situation. I have always fancied a Billingham camera bag, they have such a great reputation for quality and longevity, and the older they get, the cooler they look…the mission was on!
The fun part for me is always researching before a purchase and I wanted a bag which would be big enough to carry my street photography kit for the days out, yet not too massive, as I like to travel light and a big bag would only encourage me to pack loads of unnecessary kit, and struggling on the London tube with a big bag is no fun at all. It all pointed to the Billingham Hadley Small, I watched a couple of YouTube vids with guys showing what they carried in their bag and I was sold.
I just had to find one at the right price. Now shopping for these things second hand can be a mine field, there are a lot of fakes about, put it that way! Any way I found what I was looking for and did the deal, I am pleased…… no I am really pleased with it! My Hadley Small is used and a bit scuffed and stained but that’s what I wanted… it’s got cool!
I used to be a back pack kind of guy, I tried the messenger bag thing but I never felt comfortable, they always seemed to slip around me and I was forever pushing them back. The Hadley just seems to stay put! It really is unobtrusive, I can get the X-Pro and the X-100 in and there’s room for a couple of lenses in there and a couple of Mars bars too!, the internal compartment which is removable has an adjustable divider inside so I can stop things rolling around in there and getting damaged. The front two pockets have press studs to adjust their size and are very handy for stuffing goodies in!
The quality of Billingham really shines through with the fittings on this bag, brass and leather is evident and it just says it’s going to last forever! The front straps have brass buckles and a very convenient quick release system which means you don’t need to fuss around undoing the buckles when you need to get into the bag, just slip them off the brass rivets on the top flap and you’re in! The shoulder strap is tough looking webbing and doesn’t slip around on the shoulder. The canvas is also ‘Stormblock’ which according to their website is aged and flexed in water 100,000 times without water ingress, so I can only say it should be waterproof… good job too in this country!
All that remains now is to stand the test of time, which I have no doubt it will, and will do with added cool!
So there it is, I am now retro man, and happy!…