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FORUMS General Gear Talk Camera Bags, Backpacks & Cases
Thread started 17 Aug 2006 (Thursday) 00:02
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Please Post Your Billingham Bags!

 
amonline
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Aug 17, 2006 00:02 |  #1

I have found that the images on the web when trying to choose a Billingham bag just plain suck. So, I'm calling for all Billingham bag owners to post images of their bags and the gear it holds. I'm especially interested in the 550 and anything near that size. (445/555) You can see my list of daily carried gear below. (minus all the little extras)

FWIW, I currently own an Expedition 7 (Tamrac) and love it. It's great for hiking and certain things, but I want a classier satchel for other times like pro client shoots. I've tried the Lowepro Nova 4 AW. I really liked it a lot, but it was a little too soft for me and not as ruggedly built at the Billinghams seem to be.

Regarding the 550, I'm not sure about the buckles either - so, opinions on that are welcome too. Alternatively, I was looking at the 445/555 as well.

Any thoughts from the owners are more than welcome to help me decide. Please let me know where you got 'em and the best price. (US)

Looking forward to everyone's images and thanks for the help!




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amonline
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Aug 17, 2006 17:42 |  #2

Bump...




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Jon
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Aug 18, 2006 12:07 |  #3

Take a look at CamBags.comexternal link. They've got a number of Billinghams pictured.


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Freff
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Aug 18, 2006 17:30 |  #4

Here you go Alan.

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Tony

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"I used to be indecisive, but I'm not so sure anymore"

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amonline
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Aug 18, 2006 19:53 |  #5

Thanks! I actually saw these on the forum... I was hoping there were other owners out there. How do you like the buckles? Do you think the slip locks are better/worse?

Do you feel I could easily fit my signature in there? (I mount the 24-105 constantly)




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Freff
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Aug 19, 2006 22:59 as a reply to amonline's post |  #6

The buckles are very substantial and are the straps, they are made of the best and will last a lifetime. What are the slip locks? If you are referring to the pouch straps then they are very useful and easy and quick to detach. There is more than enough room for all your gear, it just depends on how you arrange it. I bought my inserts separate to accommodate specific lenses. My 100-400 and 70-200 are at each end of the bag in tall inserts and keep the bag balanced. Smaller lenses ie 50mm and TC are stacked and so are several others. The bag is quite deep and will allow a variety of orientations.This bag will hold a lot of gear and can become quite heavy if you haul all your gear around. I use mine generally for special assignments when appearance is important or to store my gear at home when I'm using my Lowepro 200AW with limited gear when sports shooting.It also doubles as a nice weekend bag when the inserts are removed. It's a bag of quality, waterproof and will last a lifetime.:) :) :)


Tony

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amonline
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Aug 19, 2006 23:06 |  #7

Thank you Freff... that was great info!




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Rob612
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Aug 20, 2006 04:31 |  #8

I'd really preferred the Domke F5 over the Billingham. Personal taste, of course.


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Freff
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Aug 20, 2006 06:28 as a reply to Rob612's post |  #9

Rob612 wrote:
I'd really preferred the Domke F5 over the Billingham. Personal taste, of course.

WHY?


Tony

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"I used to be indecisive, but I'm not so sure anymore"

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Rob612
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Aug 20, 2006 06:38 as a reply to Freff's post |  #10

Freff wrote:
WHY?

Because the Domke is much more lighter, its is more flexible while in use, it has the best shoulder strap I've ever tried (even compared to the billingham's) and more important is more "operative" less padding, less compartments (except for the lens holder) and much more adjustable. Also, I don't like the buckles. It's really a reporter bag, at the opposite of almost everything else that basically are more oriented towards the "transport" of the equipment.

Now, keep in mind that the F5 is only one of my bags, and it is not the one I use in long travel, in that case I either use the Computrekker AW backpack or the Commercial AW from Lowepro, depending on the needs. But if I carry the equipment with one of these two, the F5, copletely flattened (being almost withou padding can be really squeezed and become very thin) is always in my suitcase.

Another thing that I suggest for the on the job action, is the chestvest by Newswear (www.newswear.comexternal link). Another item that is always with me. I think that Skip and Maureen saw mine when we met here in Rome (and yes... it holds the Glock 26 also :D)


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Freff
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Aug 20, 2006 12:07 |  #11

Just curious because the OP asked specifically for details about the Billingham and the 550. I think the OP has a lot of gear to accommodate and the Domke F5 is a far smaller and inferior bag for the poster's intentions.


Tony

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"I used to be indecisive, but I'm not so sure anymore"

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Rob612
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Aug 20, 2006 14:20 as a reply to Freff's post |  #12

Freff wrote:
Just curious because the OP asked specifically for details about the Billingham and the 550. I think the OP has a lot of gear to accommodate and the Domke F5 is a far smaller and inferior bag for the poster's intentions.

I am awfully sorry, my mistake... Mine is the F1-X not the F5... Actually the bigger of the line. Dunno why I got confused (probably because I am planning about getting a smaller bag and thinking about the F5...)

You're absolutely right the F5 for the OP would be completely useless. But anyway all the other comments apply, just replace F5 with F1 :) Sorry...

Edit: the F1-X will hold almost everything in my sig, except a third body, but two bodies with lens on, plus the other lenses and two flashes. Will get heavy, thou :)


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CyberDyneSystems
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Aug 20, 2006 14:39 |  #13

Where's Rene?

Some things I like about the 550.
1. It is tall enough that a 1D wth a 70-200mm or 100-400mm mounted can be stowed "nose down" for easy fast removal and use.

2. It's got lots of room and doesn't weigh too much

3. The removeable side pouches. Much larger inside than expected, can hold flash, and all the bells and whistles a nature photog wants to use with the flash (telephoto bracket, better beamer etc..)

4. Level of padding to me is perfect, far less cumbersome than the Tamrac/Lowepro/Tenba etc. ballistic nylon monsters we see.

5. It just feels better than any other bag I've used (I do not have any personal expeireince with Domke though)

6. The inside ISN"T BLACK! Why on earth they make the interiors black is beyond me. Its unforgiveable!

7. It really has all the room I need. I can stuff it to the point of it being too heavy, or I can just pop two bodies with lenses and some spare batts etc.. and either way it works well

Some negatives:
1. I hate the way it closes with the flap and then the zipper, as the inner zipper makes "working" out of it much harder. (there's another model that overcomes this with a wide mouth, I beleive they are the 445 and 555 ?)

2. They need to redesign the bottom of it, no matter what you do, the bag allways wants to fall over forward when set down. Again makes working out of it much more difficult.

3. Buckles are nice, but slow to use. They inhibit the use of the top flap, and handle.

4. Top handle should be attached to the whole bag on both sides, rather than to the bag on one side, and the top flap on the other. This way you would be able to USE the handle! .... as is the top handle can only be employed when the bag is buckeled shut. Again, makes this difficult to work out of. ( you don't want to close your bag using slow buckels just to pick it up and move it 5 feet)

Sorry I don't have any actual photos,. but it has never occurred to me to take pics of my bags :)


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amonline
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Aug 20, 2006 16:30 |  #14

Awesome post Cyber... great info! I will look a little more at the 555; although, I feel it may share some of your cons in the general layout/construction and how it will topple over.




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Freff
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Aug 20, 2006 17:37 as a reply to amonline's post |  #15

The pics above are of the 550. I don't find it difficult to work out of the bag with the flap. If I have it shouldered whilst shooting I have the flap folded back out of the way with access to the top zipper, easy. The only time I use the carrying handle is when I have finished for the day. Moving the bag from spot to spot say at a wedding, I use the sholder strap. The main opening has two zips which are closed at each lens change, no need to use the main flap at all during normal shooting. In fact I fold it up and stow it in the back compartment which is the size of the back of the bag. There is a stiff inner floor in my bag and I have never experienced it falling over. Again, it depends how you balance your bag. My two large lenses are at the back at either end. The 550 has the leather straps and buckles and the 555 has webbing type straps with slip over type studs for closing. The 550 is the original camera bag and IMHO is THE best of them all.


Tony

"I would give my right arm to be ambidextrous"

"I used to be indecisive, but I'm not so sure anymore"

My Gear

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Please Post Your Billingham Bags!
FORUMS General Gear Talk Camera Bags, Backpacks & Cases


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