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Billingham Launches New Camera Bags

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Billingham Launches New Camera Bags

There aren't all that many examples of traditional British craftsmanship left, most having been priced out of the market by cheaper imported goods, but thankfully M Billingham & Co. is still there, making the best camera and travel bags in the world, sewn by hand from the finest quality materials in the heart of the Black Country. Used and loved by professional photographers all over the world, their products are very expensive, but if you want a bag that will last you 30 years you want a Billingham. Like most small-volume manufacturers Billingham doesn't launch a lot of new lines in a year, so a new bag is something of an event. Two new bags, doubly so.

Billingham has just announced the introduction of two new items in its F/Stop range of smaller camera bags. The F/Stop f/2.8 and the larger F/Stop f/1.4 (photographers will get the joke) are designed for small DSLR systems or larger compacts with accessories, but would be just as useful for a video camcorder. Both are available in Black FibreNyte with black leather trim and nickel plated brass fittings or their most recent combination; Khaki FibreNyte with chocolate leather trim.

Naturally, the f/stops provide the same high levels of protection as Billinghams’ other products courtesy of a 25mm thick reinforced foam base and wrap-around side padding. The f/stop bags provide the level of protection, style and craftsmanship you’d expect from a Billingham, but in compact form that allows you to adapt them to suit your specific needs.

The f/1.4 has internal dimensions of 18 x 32 x 11cm and external dimensions of 25 x 35 x 17, while the smaller f/2.8 has internal dimensions of 18 x 26 x 11cm and external dimensions of 25 x 30 x 17. The f/1.4 is priced at £159.99 and the f/2.8 at £149.99, both inc. VAT.

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lifethroughalens

January 28, 2010, 4:48 pm

These truly are the best bags made by a country mile. I've had my 550 for over 6 years, which I got as a hand-me-down. The photographer before me had it for donkey's years too, and it's just beginning to look broken in!





They are expensive, but this bag has outlasted many other bags I've bought in the mean time which have long bitten the dust. Billingham Bags - the original Mercedes 190D of bags. It'll go around the world for ever and look good in the process!

Noodles

January 28, 2010, 6:31 pm

Totally agree, along with my Domke F2, you'll have to prise my Billingham out of my cold dead hands...





They may be hugely expensive bags, but they really are totally bombproof, and even well worn ones seem to make a lot of their value back on eBay!

Occam's Razor

January 28, 2010, 6:34 pm

These bags shout, 'steal me.'





Prefer the Domke bags myself.

Luan Bach

January 28, 2010, 6:38 pm

On a related note, can anyone recommend a messenger style bag for a DSLR + 2 lens + flash + 13" laptop ?

Noodles

January 28, 2010, 6:40 pm

@Occam - The normal tan coloured bag is a little "loud" for my liking as well, but they come in stealthy all black too, making them just as inconspicuous as a Domke bag.

gadgetmania

January 28, 2010, 6:45 pm

I stopped reading the article after "...most having been priced out of the market by cheap mass-produced crap from the sweat-shops of Asia". I am unpleasantly surprised to see this kind of offensive language in my favourite reviews site. Does the author or trustedreviews believe that opening statements of this nature will help this fine product stand out among the crowd?

Dark of Day

January 28, 2010, 7:43 pm

@gadgetmania -perhaps a poorly chosen/phrased sentance but hardly offensive unless you're looking to be offended.

needlegun

January 28, 2010, 8:57 pm

Upsetting because the remark is true, but I wouldn't call it offensive.

Hans Gruber

January 29, 2010, 2:43 am

I wouldn't call the remark true and acknowledge it's a throwaway comment from Cliff that's not designed to offend but it's ill chosen for a number of reasons.





As for Billingham as a brand, I find it far too tweady. I've examined some of their bags and though they are strong I hate the styling and colours chosen, far too gentrified for my tastes but that's just me. Also I prefer back pack types I guess - easier to walk with and balance the load on longer distances.





I'd kind of like to know exactly which manufacturers Cliff's referring to when he refers to mass produced 'crap' from Asia. I have a couple of Lowe Pros, one a large trolley design with a badly thought out handle (one column) and the mini trekker thing which makes me feel very self conscious and exposed, even though both are black. I know they're not brilliantly designed and there are definitely a lot of corners cut in their production. Just haven't found anything I'd be happy with yet.





There's a huge variety of camera bags but it's really difficult finding one which meets your own personal needs. I'd like something that was quick to access, strong enough to protect my gear from impact and large enough to get an SLR in with a flash and a couple of lenses. I'm sure that's a typical requirement overall. Also, I want my bag to be as nondescript as possible and not to cost several hundred pounds whilst offering good value, unless the bag is absolutely bombproof in which case, I'd get two! ;)

lifethroughalens

January 29, 2010, 6:05 pm

@ Red





Yes, I know what you mean about the 'tweedy' look - these bags IMO only ever look good after they have been battered and dragged around for a few years, they don't attract half as much unwanted attraction then either. I have to say that I agree with you over back-packs being better balanced over a long day, a heavy 550 Billy will often leave me with a blood blister on my shoulder after lugging 15KG's around for 12 hours on one side! Problem for me is that backpacks don't supply the ease of access that the Billy does.





I have a Crumpler backpack (black and blue, had it 5 years now but it's like this one: http://www.worldofbags.co.uk/B... that can hold 2 Pro bodies and several lenses including a 70-200 (f2.8) or 300mm (f4) L lens and flashes etc...and a 17" laptop. It's very comfortable to wear even at 20KG's fully loaded but is a bit of a pain if you have to move fast as you have to lay it down to unzip it and you can't move off again until it's all zipped up nice again. It is well padded, can take a few knocks too and is very subtle. (except for when you strap a carbon tripod on the side too!)





I've also got a Peli case 1610 with travel handle / wheels with foam inserts for when you really need something to get somewhere no matter what happens! You could drop this off the roof of a bus on to concrete and in to a river and all will be well :)

Cliff Smith

January 29, 2010, 8:12 pm

I apologise for the poorly chosen remark, it was not my intention to cause any offence. I've edited the beginning of the article to be less controversial.

Hans Gruber

January 30, 2010, 1:14 am

That's all right Cliff, we realised you meant no offence.





Thanks Lifethroughalens, your comments are useful to me. I'll check out your link in a bit. It was nice to learn of your own experiences lugging around all that heavy gear! Certainly keeps you fit doesn't it? : )

gadgetmania

January 30, 2010, 2:11 am

@Cliff: Thanks for your sensitivity!

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