Packing Micro 4/3 gear into the Billingham Hadley Pro.

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Savas K, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013
    I'm not one who advocates chock-filling bags with gear, where the individual pieces in the bag are stacked and not independently and easily accessible at once. After all, once you've decided to head out with that panoply of gear, it's all about the lens swapping isn't it? Or does it satisfy just to have it all with you while maintaining the one mounted lens that you left the house with; so that the other lenses just enjoyed a day out and about while sitting in the bag?

    Kind of like the SUV that's never left dry, level ground; it's reassuring just having the capability to ford a stream or ascend a steep hill. So it is with having a marvelous range at your disposal.

    Those times that I have swapped lenses while standing with a stacked bag on my shoulder came with some fumbling that, luckily, has not led to a dropped lens onto hard city streets. Add to that the instances of screwing a filter onto a lens as yet to be mounted. Or the frenzy that follows after having deposited a nice, solid thumb print on a lens surface. These juggling activities become a high-wire act. In sometimes cold and windy conditions. And it's always in a hurry. So there is an uneasiness that bolsters laziness to accept the less than ideal framing or point of view, leading to missed opportunities.

    In my personal view, a bag with stacked lenses is for when you reach a destination that is sufficiently safe and that allows you to partially empty the bag of gear and have it out on a table so that you can swap to your heart's content. Event shooting comes to mind.

    While the Hadley Pro can accommodate a full-size un-gripped DLSR with mounted lens; plus an extra lens and flash unit; it can accommodate more gear than that in the Micro 4/3 range. For those curious about the Billingham Hadley Pro and what it can contain in Micro 4/3 gear, the following illustrates.
     
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  2. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013
    Here is the cast of characters, assembled and ready.

    IMG_2114_DxO.


    First layer of gear goes in. I show a gray central pad that is from another bag. (At some point later, I was able to use a matching green pad from another Hadley Pro insert.)

    IMG_2115_DxO.


    Here, I put the OM-D's included shoe mount pop-up along with the FL-600R.

    IMG_2116_DxO.

    Hatches down.

    IMG_2117_DxO.
     
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  3. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013
    Second layer inserted.

    IMG_2118_DxO.


    Headroom for my extended eyecup. (Sorry about the dust. I cleaned it later ...)

    IMG_2119_DxO.


    The strap placed upon the top pad of the overall insert enclosure.

    IMG_2120_DxO.

    Top view.

    IMG_2122_DxO.

    Side view.

    Said to the content, "okay, kiddies, buckle-up. we're ready to pull out of the driveway!"

    IMG_2123_DxO.
     
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  4. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013
    This depicts a secondary Hadley Pro enclosure. This is in fact the original that came with my bag; the prior was the new one; and I've added to the original a Billingham flapped partition pair made for some other bag. This created an enclosure for when I am carrying a "partial camera / whatever else" I want to bring.

    I swap the enclosures depending upon the Hadley Pro's anticipated duties. These enclosures literally snap into place.

    IMG_2134_DxO.

    Here is a stowed lens and flash unit put into place.

    IMG_2135_DxO.

    The camera with mounted second lens occupy's its throne.

    IMG_2136_DxO.

    If I need more room for non-camera gear and I can ditch the flash, yanking out that single full height partition is easy. The space that's left over is for personal man-purse items. I put a zipped pouch in there containing personal care stuff such as eye drops, hand cream, lip balm; flashlight, knife, sunglasses, etc.

    It can also fit chargers for both laptop and phone. It is generally known that the space between the padded enclosure and the bag interior fits a small laptop, such as a Macbook Air. I first put my Macbook into a minimal neoprene sleeve by InCase Designs. The sleeve presents a soft side between laptop and body; otherwise it's just canvas that separates the two.

    That's all she wrote. I hope these visuals are helpful for photographers who are considering the Billingham Hadley Pro and others in its range for Micro 4/3 use.
     
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  5. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    Nice shots Savas.

    I went ahead and bought the Billingham Hadley small. Really great bag. Fantastic quality. It's a perfect size for the OM-D plus one or two additional lenses and when I'm travelling I can pack it out with the OM-D and 4 additional lenses plus a few filters and batteries and then slip it inside my Timubuk 2 Medium Messenger for the flight.

    Once at my destination I then have the option of the Timbuk 2 messenger and the Hadley small.
     
  6. RuffDraft

    RuffDraft Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jan 13, 2013
    Amazing review again Savas, thank you for spending so much time reviewing these bags - they're definitely worthy of a blog and the introduction is excellent too, as it really depicts how I felt in Barcelona when I was switching between lenses whilst looking out for pick pockets. Fortunately, the only time that I was pick pocketed was when I was able to fend for myself and managed to save the new iPhone 4 at the time.

    That's beside the point though, you've really got me wondering as to whether or not the Pro is the bag for me. On one side of the fence, it's perfect as it should house my lenses, whilst stacking them shouldn't be too much of a problem, seeing as there is space for two lenses at any given time. But the thought and recommendation (almost) from you to swap lenses with spaces in a bag, has really influenced my overall feeling as to which bag is the right one for me! But I've written quite a detailed response in the other thread and I'll be considering which of the two is right for me in the days ahead! Thanks again!
     
  7. mdg137

    mdg137 New to Mu-43

    2
    Oct 10, 2010
    I bought several rear caps and epoxied them back to back-- much like the old dual leica caps.

    Allows for double stacking of lenses, but no banging into each other. Very secure, very efficient.
     
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  8. e_kjellgren

    e_kjellgren Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Oct 17, 2011
    Sweden
    Did you get the regular Classic Messenger without any inserts?

    /Regards Evert
     
  9. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Nice bag - I have the same one that I used to keep my Leica kit in, it will soon house my replacement OMD kit.

    Sturdy and showerproof with long lasting potential - not cheap though!
     
  10. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013
    You betch'a, Ian. In that spirit, my Olympus 75mm wasn't cheap. But oh, so gratifying with each use. Your bag is having renewed life with Micro 4/3. The Billingham continues to serve beyond systems and bodies; remaining a trusted tool as does a nice lens.

    Lucky you; you can get the bag without import. I imported mine from Robert White, Ltd. Saved a few bucks over buying locally in the States, but the dollar versus the British pound elevated it's price, as did import and tax fees; else the savings would have been more.
     
  11. TDP

    TDP Guest

  12. picker77

    picker77 Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Mar 17, 2012
    Oklahoma
    Folks who can afford multiple Billingham bags should just have one of their people do their packing for them. :biggrin:
     
  13. stevedo

    stevedo Mu-43 Regular

    109
    May 12, 2012
    UK
    I have the Billingham L2 in which I carry OM-D, 7-14, 12-35, 45 1.8, 75 1.8, couple of spare batteries, lens cleaning kit and filters. For me choosing a bag was really tough, it had to carry all my gear and also fit in my motorcycle tank bag. The L2 is perfect :)

    I purchased the L2, hardly used, on ebay for 1/3 price of a new one. Also just purchased a "new" Hadley Digital on ebay for 1/2 price of a new one. Buying this way means I can afford more nice bags. Not seen the Digital yet as I'm currently not at home but my wife assures me it's really nice.

    I'll take pictures of both and how the kit fits when I get home.
     
  14. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013

    stevedo - interested in how the kit appears outside and inside the L2. That bag always intrigued me. I was wondering if it's more spacious than the Hadley Digital.
     
  15. Dogman

    Dogman Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Dec 23, 2012
    Maryland
    I love my Hadley Pro small black bag! Fits a ton of m43 gear. :smile: But, the strap kept sliding off my shoulder, and I had to spring another $50 for the shoulder pad. :frown:
     
  16. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013
    Having gotten a second body, I set about trying different combinations. The 107 and 307 handles dual bodies well. The Hadley Pro, however, handles it with bodies separated from lenses. No big deal. Because you can show up, mount the two lenses and enjoy carrying a light bag for the rest of the session.


    Ready for gear. All hatches open.

    IMG_2240.

    Lower level gets filled.

    IMG_2242.



    Hatches down; ready for the next layer.

    IMG_2243.


    Upper level gets filled with gear.

    IMG_2244.
     
  17. 2mnycars

    2mnycars Mu-43 Veteran

    279
    Aug 26, 2012
    Toronto
    DaveL
    Just a thought...I'm going to take 2 caps for the lens mount end and "Siamese" them. So my 2 lenses won't rattle around.
    I only have one H Pro insert came with 2 of the little flaps.
     
  18. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013
    I used a small gray flap from a Lowepro before I acquired a third green one.
     
  19. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Billingham do make great bags and I have a large one I used to carry my kit in when working as a PJ (20+ yrs ago), it looks a little battered now but is still fully functional and with many years good use left.

    This weekend, I do inted to swop my Mu43 kit from it's current bag (a second world war canvas NBC bag that looks more like a sandwhich bag than a camera bag - does look inconspicuous though) - the Hadley pro (black) previously used for my Leica kit will now inherit the OMD kit and I am sure they will end up as a well matched pair!
     
  20. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    784
    Jan 10, 2013
    Adding onto the thread given recent reconfiguration ideas. I wanted to try one vertical divider in the middle in order to see what is possible. Had a hunch and just went with it.


    In the first test, I put the EM-5 together with Olympus' 75-300mm II with it's generously sized hood in the extended position. Full grip is attached to the body. It turns out that gear in this configuration fits, as seen here.


    Empty bag.
    IMG_2313.


    Single body with long lens extended hood, set on top of bag
    IMG_2312.

    Inserted camera.
    IMG_2311.


    It fit very well. I had not idea until I gave it a shot. Top closes with no bulge and no one's any the wiser.