Bags again (for the last time…)

As I said before re bags, if you’re not a photographer, this stuff’s really pretty dull. In fact, even if you are a photographer, you may find you’re not really fired up by this post. But you might be. Especially if you’re looking for the perfect bag (impossible photography quest number 2…). So following my ‘All the (big) baggage…’ post last week, the story continues… (and after this, no more bag mentions, honest)

After three days of Billingham-world, I was fed up of the size and bulk of the bag – worth doing, interesting experiment etc, but the bag’s too big, I kept trying to carry too much in it, and it already weighed over twice what a Domke F2 does when empty, so I ordered a new F2 – I got the wax wear one, as there don’t seem to be any blue ones left in the UK. It’s really nice, simple, easy to work out of and doesn’t let me carry too much stuff, so I’m happy again.

If you look at the pics, the 12-24 is still the problem, in that it’s so wide, so I’ve ordered another, slightly larger insert which should sort this out.

I’m sure the ThinkTank bag is cool too – however, it’s main compartment is almost identical in size to the main Billingham 445 one, and I was already feeling as though I was working out of a great deep pit trying to find what I needed in the Billingham, so I’m glad to be back with something I’m comfortable with. If anyone has got experience of using the ThinkTank Urban Disguise 70, I’d certainly be interested in hearing your review…

Anyone want to buy a Billingham 445? No?

UPDATE at the start of 2010: A couple of weeks after I initially posted this I went into Harrison Cameras, here in Sheffield, and it turns out they’re now an official ThinkTank stockist. I had a long hard look at the UD70 (even though my Domke had already arrived – like I said, you can never have too many bags…), and a lot of what I was thinking before was confirmed. Firstly, it is a beautifully made bag – somehow the ThinkTank materials just feel right, they’re exceptional quality and well put together. Secondly, it is a very deep bag – it’s big, and offers a lot of the positives of the Billingham in fact – one of them being that it does keep your gear further away from prying hands. But having played with it for ten minutes or so (and explored all it’s wonderful pockets and corners), I’m still committed to my Domke F2. I’ve got the slightly larger insert now, and the lenses sit more comfortably. And although it’s a more ‘open’ type bag, I’ve never had anything nicked from a Domke while I’ve been walking around, and I always always always do up the clasps when I pick the bag up (though it would be hard to tip it over – it’s a pretty robustly bottom-heavy bag – actually something I found wasn’t so consistent with the Billingham oddly.  It was more possible to pick it up with the straps in a tangle and end up with things heading outwards than I’ve ever found with the apparently more vulnerable Domke…). And the Domke’s waxwear finish is wearing well so far – the strap’s a little light, so is discolouring already, but all the rest feels good, and it feels like it’ll only get better in terms of suppleness. Hope that’s the case! And I regularly, comfortably, fit an additional SB900 in the bag main section (so two SB800s and the 900), which isn’t shown in the pictures below. Now back to the original post…

Here’s how the kit looks inside the bags:

Deep pit of kit in a Billingham 445, with too much stuff...

Domke F2 :: full but everything's accessible...

Domke F2 wax wear