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Accessory talk Those important extra system components.

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  #1  
Old 28th January 2012
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Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

What's your favourite ?

I ( like many of you I guess ) have several bags to carry my equipment around in, various sizes for various configurations and without doubt my Billingham Hadley Small is my favourite and most versatile bag by far.

Not only is it very well made, comfortable and small, importantly it can hold a surprisingly diverse and sometimes comprehensive outfit, so I thought it may be worthwhile sharing with you some images of what I can "comfortably" get inside it as you may ( or may not ! ) find it informative.

There are quite a few images to share with you and as I can upload a max of 5 per thread this thread will have a "part 2" ( possibly 3 ) to it.

Anyway, if I have uploaded in the correct sequence this is what you should see:-

Image 1: Bag next to a "known size" everyday object to give a sense of size

Image 2: Bag Containing E5 with 12/60 attached & 50/200 SWD without tripod collar but including "alternative" hood ... aka Contax Hood 5

Image 3: As Image 2 but outside of bag

Image 4: 50/200 with Contax hood attached

Image 5: 50/200 with Contax hood reversed ..... a perfect fit !

Image 4 & 5 are included as I believe this hood is an excellent alternative to the "Oversized" OEM hood. It works perfectly at all focal lengths on the 50/200 , ie. no vignetting.

IMO this is a truly great little bag, I have tried many bags over the years and whilst I also currently have other larger ones this is THE bag that sees the most use, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Part 2 to follow,

Regards Simon
Attached Images
File Type: jpg HadleySmall.jpg (92.8 KB, 96 views)
File Type: jpg HadleySmall-E5.jpg (88.3 KB, 110 views)
File Type: jpg HadleySmall-E5-2.jpg (86.0 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg Oly50-200-ConHood.jpg (57.0 KB, 85 views)
File Type: jpg Oly50-200-ConHood2.jpg (55.1 KB, 76 views)
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  #2  
Old 28th January 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

The Tenba Pro-Paks are the best shoulder bags I've ever found. My oldest dates back to 1980 or '81.

Tenba don't make them anymore but I've got three of the four sizes they made and as the 30 year old one is still going strong I may never need to find an alternative.
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  #3  
Old 29th January 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Bee View Post

Image 4 & 5 are included as I believe this hood is an excellent alternative to the "Oversized" OEM hood. It works perfectly at all focal lengths on the 50/200 , ie. no vignetting.

Regards Simon
This hood looks very interesting, I've never heard of one before - are they still available somewhere?

Thanks

David
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Old 29th January 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

Simon, Thank You for sharing this information & well presented shots too!

I have not yet got a favourite and I so not have a shoulder bag as thus, yet - largely because I prefer weight over both shoulders than one. BUT I am not that happy with my rucksacks and the belt with lens pouches drives me nuts!

So I may just try one of these ! ... ps and I too like that metal hood and I may have one in my trunk of bits
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Old 29th January 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

I've got a couple of Billingham Hadley bags in different sizes, and the "small" is my favourite too. Though I must confess my Millican Stephen is an excellent bag for my E-P2 kit.
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Old 29th January 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morison View Post
This hood looks very interesting, I've never heard of one before - are they still available somewhere?

Thanks

David
David ( and Chevvyf1 ) ,

The Contax hood system is no longer available new but can on occasion be found on dealer websites ( try www.ffordes.com for example ) . It is probably the most versatile lens hood system around, there were several hoods available to cover the Contax/Zeiss MF lens system from focal lengths of 18mm to 300mm.

All the hoods have a "native" 86mm male thread and you attach the correct stepping ring to the hood to suit your lens - simple really. Both hoods and rings are all metal and the quality is typical of Contax, very high in other words. When new the hoods and step rings were expensive and to be honest often still are when they appear for sale.

The genuine Contax step rings are ideally the best to have as they go from 86mm down to native lens thread in one ring, such as 86mm - 55mm , however they are often hard to find and one can use multiple "after-market" rings to achieve the same end result, as you can see I have done with a few rings.

The "Hood 5" is the longest in the series and was meant for use with Contax/Zeiss 100mm onwards although it works fine with my Olympus 35mm macro ( 70mm in 135 film terms ) as you can see in the photo's, no vignetting what so ever. It does however vignette with my Pana/Leica 25mm, a shorter hood would be the best choice with that lens such as "Hood 4".

For me the beauty of using this hood is that it is the only hood I need to carry for use on my 35 macro, 50 Sigma, 85 Nikkor and 50-200 SWD ..... one hood and a few step rings and I'm sorted.

The attached photo's hopefully are in the following order:-

1) 50-200 fully extended + hood
2) E5 + 500-200 contracted + hood
3) Contax Hood 5 + selection of step rings
4) E5 + 35 macro + Hood 5 ( ok it looks "overkill" I know ! )
5) E5 + 35 macro + Hood 5 taken at an angle.

BTW, I believe that B&W filters produce a similar system to this and it is available new, thus most likely more easily obtainable.

Regards Simon
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 50-200Contax5extended .jpg (46.4 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg 50-200+contax5.jpg (60.2 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Contax5 + rings.jpg (72.4 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg 35+contax5.jpg (58.5 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg 55+contax5-2.jpg (61.6 KB, 10 views)
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  #7  
Old 29th January 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Morison View Post
This hood looks very interesting, I've never heard of one before - are they still available somewhere?

Thanks

David

A few more images showing the Hood fitted to other suitable lenses:-

1 + 2 ) Fitted to Sigma 50mm F1.4
3 + 4 ) Fitted to Nikkor 85mm F1.4 ( E5 & this lens make for a great combo )
5) OK, no hood I know, I just wanted to show you my "Low light Holy Trinity" Sadly none of the three are made by Olympus Still great lenses though.

For those who may wish to know the 85mm Nikkor is a breeze to manually focus on the E5, it just "snaps" in and out of focus . I think Olympus really did drop the ball when they did not release at least one really fast prime, Ok the 14-35 & 35-100 are stunning zooms and constant F2 but they are bloody huge ! The 50 macro is great too but IMO its focussing is not really fast enough for general use. To be truthful the 12/60 & 50-200 are not seeing a great deal of use right now, I prefer to go out with the 25/50/85 .... all relatively compact in size and very fast at F1.4 , considering 9-18 to cover the wide end ( I don't need a fast lens for that and 7-14 will add considerable bulk ) and I will be covered for general use.

Regards Simon
Attached Images
File Type: jpg E5+50sigma+contax5.jpg (75.6 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg E5+50sigma+contax5-2.jpg (56.0 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg E5+85+Contax5.jpg (66.6 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg E5+85+Contax5-2.jpg (65.0 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Holy Trinity.jpg (86.9 KB, 17 views)
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Old 30th January 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

I love Billingham bags and the Hadleys are superb. The only one I have now is a Khaki 335 that is just over 20 years old and shows very few signs of wear. My guess is that it will be good for at least another 20 years, possibly longer as I take it out less than I used to nowadays.
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Old 30th January 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

I have a small Hadley that I bought from the Dixons store in queen street cardiff before it closed about 8/9 years ago. 25 quid - bargain. Wish I had bought two! Very versatile bag. Use it for work, camera club as well as for photo gear. Should last forever.
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Old 23rd April 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

Thanks for taking the time to post this with such nice images. This bag looks like it might be the right size for my needs, but unfortunately I cannot stand the styling! I know others will disagree. But for me, low-key is nicer.
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Old 23rd April 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

Quote:
Originally Posted by rparmar View Post
Thanks for taking the time to post this with such nice images. This bag looks like it might be the right size for my needs, but unfortunately I cannot stand the styling! I know others will disagree. But for me, low-key is nicer.
Have to agree about the styling!

Camera bags in general are pretty horrendous things......
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Old 23rd April 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

Quote:
Originally Posted by rparmar View Post
Thanks for taking the time to post this with such nice images. This bag looks like it might be the right size for my needs, but unfortunately I cannot stand the styling! I know others will disagree. But for me, low-key is nicer.

Actually believe it or not Billingham bags out on the street "are" low key ...by that I mean virtually no one takes a second glance and those that do "smirk" thinking to themselves ...." oh look at that geek with his old school satchel ...he -he ".

I have had far far less 'unwanted" glances from "undesirable characters" when out with a Billingham than I have with my Lowepro's

True you either love the Retro look or hate it ..... it's kind of like "Marmite" , but I can tell you now ....having at some point or other owned various bags from most makers nothing has come close to the Billinghams for "build, comfort,longevity".

I have since also bought a "Hadley Pro" & "Hadley Large" , the latter holds two E5's ... one with the 14-35 attached, the other with the 150 F2 attached and 1.4x/2x/ex25 "stacked" between them.

To be honest you "need" to handle a Billingham to appreciate the quality and genuine "usability" of the product. Once you do, you "get it" , also if it doesn't work for you you will find that they sell quickly on ebay ( for example ) such is their popularity and you will recover a high percentage of it's initial cost, something I have never managed to do with any other bag especially Lowepro

Kind regards Simon
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Old 23rd April 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

True enough, I can tell immediately this couldn't be compared to Lowepro or one of those "I'm a camera bag" bags. They are poles apart, but maybe I'm an equator sort of guy.

My two favourite bags currently are not camera bags at all. I got them in a departmental store.
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Old 9th June 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

My wife and I have Hadley bags - she has a Hadley in khaki and I have a Hadley Pro in sage green. We have different colours to stop her picking up my bag when travelling! I like my Pro for the extra compartment and the handle.

I agree that while these don't shout "camera bag" they do shout "smart, stylish and probably expensive" so I understand the need for a lower profile bag. I have been looking at the ThinkTank Retrospective bag in Pinestone which doesn't look like a camera bag and looks quite stressed and aged and so doesn't stand out. The only downside is that I don't like the idea of relying only on two Velcro pads to securely close the bag.
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Old 8th July 2012
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Re: Billingham Hadley Small ... my most versatile bag

It looks like I'll be going for a Hadley Small since the Retrospective 5 hasn't worked out for me.
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