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Bag review: The new Billingham Hadley One part one – first impressions

UPDATE: Win this Billingham Hadley One

You may have noticed in the comments below that there are a few trolls lurking around. Don’t be alarmed, it’s to be expected. You see, Billingham, Twitter’s Dan K (@ZDP189) and I are giving you the chance to win the very bag being reviewed here by yours truly.

The premise is simple: troll me. The competition runs until Sunday June 4th, at which point, we’ll be deciding which one of you submitted the best troll comment below and awarding you the bag. It’s that simple. All we ask is that you keep it clean and keep it clever.

Over to you.

 

A few weeks ago, the lovely folks over at Billingham got in touch to ask if I wanted to review one of their new bags, the Hadley One, the newest – and most advanced, in my opinionmember of the Hadley family, which was first introduced nearly 30 years ago in 1988.

The bag, plus a few extras arrived last week and if you follow @EMULSIVEfilm on Twitter, you may have see the multi-tweet unboxing. Just I n case you missed it, I’ve wrapped it all up in this Twitter Moment.

In this, part one of an extended review, I’ll be providing you with my first impressions after using the bag for about a week, as well as a few of the kit configurations I’ve been using to put it through its paces.

You can look forward to part two of this review about a month from now, once we’ve managed to spend some quality alone time together.

Before I jump into the review, please allow me to take a small step back and fill in some back story…

 

 

My Billingham experience

I’ve been using a black Billingham fStop 1.4 for a little over two years now. It’s the larger of the two in the series, the smaller version being the fStop 2.8 (get it?!)

Prior to making the leap, I’d used Timbuk2 messenger bags almost exclusively for about a decade. They’re generally well made, have lots of compartments, are designed with the user in mind and provide excellent rain protection. I was in the market for something a little smaller but felt it was time to make the. switch to something a little more traditional in outward appearance, while retaining the benefits of my current system.

I spent a couple of months researching my options and had whittled them down to a shortlist of three vendors. In the end, I decided to go with Billingham for the following reasons:

  • Best-in-class reliability and legendary service.
  • Plenty of bag / accessory options.
  • Classic looks with fully waterproof finishes.
  • Patriotic loyalty to a British brand (really, I’m not kidding).

 

Billingham bags aren’t what one would describe as cheap but they are priced reasonably similarly to other boutique and small-scale vendors. If you’re not aware of the company, they are family owned and operated, will celebrate their 45th birthday in 2018 and their bags are hand made in England.

The brand is synonymous with quality. The finish and construction, as well as the thought that goes into their design has been well documented. It’s not an exaggeration to say that (as many do), when you buy a Billingham, you’re buying the Rolls Royce of camera bags.

My fStop 1.4 has been a literal daily companion to me ever since. It’s small enough to remain unobtrusive, it doesn’t feel ridiculous when only carrying a single 35mm SLR camera, and it’s large enough to serve my mixed format needs (I typically carry one medium format and one 35mm camera every day).

Such has been my obsession with this bag that I’ve even stretched it to carry my Speed Graphic, a couple of small lenses, a film back (or holders) and my spot meter, as well as other accessories. It’s a snug fit but I’m ok with that, it’s not something I imagine the designers envisaged. I wonder if we’ll ever see an fStop 0.95…

As this isn’t a review of my fStop, I will close by saying this: I’m shooting more and more large format these days and I’ve been eyeing up a larger (Billingham) bag to give me a bit more wiggle room. Specifically, I’ve been looking for a bag that will carry my complete AEROgraphic (camera, lens, meter, film back, accessories), and in that respect, Billingham’s idea for a review was rather timely.

Oh, this is also my first bag review, so please be gentle.

 

 

The Hadley One: in the box

Billingham Hadley One - The package

Billingham Hadley One – The package

Billingham Hadley One - Exploded

Billingham Hadley One – Exploded

As standard, Hadley One comes with:

  • Hadley One
  • Half size insert
  • Removable ‘H1’ shoulder sling
  • Drawstring dust cover for storage

Optional extras pictured in above and included for this review are:

  • A second half size insert
  • A prototype full size insert
  • An SP50 shoulder pad

At the time of writing, the Hadley One is not available for sale in the US and only being sold via Billingham partner websites (details are at the bottom of this page). (You can’t even purchase it from their website yet!)

Unlike other current Hadley series bags, the One can be used without a strap and trust me, it looks great as a “work” bag in that particular configuration.

 

 

The Hadley One: first impressions

Billingham Hadley One - Front

Billingham Hadley One – Front

In terms of size, the One sits between the Hadley Pro and Hadley Large (details a bit further below).

Upon quick visual inspection, this new bag has a handful of very obvious improvements over the rest of the current series and I would imagine many of these refinements making it into other Billingham bags over the coming months and years.

Highlights compared specifically to the early 2017 Hadley Pro are:

  • An extra 2.75 litres of space.
  • Externally 2cm wider and 2cm deeper.
  • Internally 1cm wider, 4cm deeper and 2cm taller (without a padded insert).
  • The bag is also about 2cm deeper at the bottom than the top (interesting choice).
  • Better engineered top handle, including leather reinforcement on its underside.
  • Totally new shoulder strap mount – the webbed strap is no longer stiched to the main body, instead it clips to dedicated mounts using a robust leather clasp.
  • A new full-length, thick leather strip covers the rear pocket zip (replacing the old cloth strip). The zip is now fitted with an easier-to-grab zip-pull.
  • New, half-width (full-height) padded inserts.
  • Stitched-in pen pockets in each of the two front “dump pockets”.
  • A padded 13″ laptop compartment, sewn into the bag.
  • Luggage strap for sliding the bag onto the handle of your suitcase/flight bag.

 

Some images showing the updated features:

Billingham Hadley One - Top handle

Billingham Hadley One – Top handle

Billingham Hadley One - Strap mount (front)

Billingham Hadley One – Strap mount (front)

Billingham Hadley One - Rear, with shoulder strap

Billingham Hadley One – Rear, with shoulder strap

I’ll be the first to admit that moving to one of the Hadley series has been a constant nagging thought over the past year or so. My only concern with these bags has been speed of access.

The statement “film slows you down” is oft used and oft misunderstood by both the person saying it, as well as the person hearing it.

On a personal level, yes…film slows down my thought process. It allows me to pause for thought and pay attention to my composition when it’s called for. However, most of the time, I’ll see something, decide to shoot it and fire off a frame or two within a few seconds. For this reason, having quick access to my bag’s camera compartment is crucial.

Users of the current Hadley series will be familiar with the main flap’s quick release clasp mechanism. The QR straps soften a bit over time but still requires the occasional “tug down” of the main flap to help release each catch (see below).

Billingham Hadley One - Quick release strap

Billingham Hadley One – Quick release strap

My fStop is different: simply pull the long leather straps which secure the main flap closed and flip it up to gain quick access to the main compartment and goodies therein.

With difference in the way the two bags are locked closed, it quickly became apparent to me that using the Hadley One would potentially be a little slower than using my fStop but not necessarily in a bad way.

It’s worth saying that over the past week the QR straps on the One have gone from looking like German Shepherd ears (standing up) to something a little more floppy and supple. I’ll report back on how these soften part two.

 

 

The Hadley One: use cases

Over the past week I have packed 35mm cameras, a mixture of medium format TLRs and SLRs, and even large format gear in an attempt to “beat the bag”. I can honestly say that I’ve gotten close but for the moment I remain defeated.

Based on my time with the One so far, here are my thoughts on a few use cases – relevant to me – for the bag. I’ll be exploring each of these over the course of the next month and you can expect to read about how I get on in part two.

If there’s a specific use case you would like to see tested, I’ll be happy to add it to the mix (time and gear permitting). Drop me a line in the comments.

 

 

Use case one: the Hadley One as a 35mm shooter’s camera bag

Billingham Hadley One - 35mm Kit

Billingham Hadley One – 35mm Kit

If you regularly only carry a single 35mm camera (no matter how big it is), the Hadley One will probably be overkill as a dedicated camera bag for it. Add a laptop, keys, paperwork, etc., to this and you have a reasonably large work / photographer’s bag that won’t look out of place in an office.

The half-width inner that comes with the bag is tall enough to stack two cameras (or a camera with multiple lenses and accessories), and still leave you with around 4 litres of space in the main compartment – not including the two front dump pockets and laptop slot.

You can secure the half-width insert to the left or right of the main compartment, or even the middle if you want to leave spaces for a bottle of something and a small umbrella on either side.

Regardless of how you configure the insert, the bag will easily engulf the items detailed in part one of the photographer’s day pack.

 

 

Use case two: the Hadley One as a medium format shooter’s camera bag

Billingham Hadley One - Medium format shooters

Billingham Hadley One – Medium format shooters

Swap the 35mm camera for a medium format TLR or SLR and the bag starts coming into it’s own. it WANTS you to fill it with stuff and actually feels nicer on the shoulder as a result. The wide shoulder strap is comfortable (for webbing, at least) but I would highly recommend getting a shoulder pad if your primary goal is to carry medium format gear.

Note that the full-width insert in the picture above has its main flap folded back into the front of the main compartment. I prefer this configuration when out and about, as it makes the bag faster to use. I also configure the half-width inserts similarly but still appreciate the main flaps when moving from place to place, for the extra peace of mind they provide.

The front dump pockets will swallow up your film cases, light meter, extension tubes, snacks, even a small 35mm, with ease.

 

 

Use case three: the Hadley One as a mixed format shooter’s camera bag

Billingham Hadley One - Mixed formats, Hasselblad and Nikon FT3

Billingham Hadley One – Mixed formats, Hasselblad and Nikon FT3

This is where things get interesting. I’ve been using two half-width inserts, as opposed to partitioning the full-width prototype when carrying more than one camera. It feels stronger to me and when out and about, and I can simply pull one of the inserts from the bag and leave it on the side for easy access.

With both half-width inserts filled with cameras (one with my Hasselblad and the other with a 35mm camera and lenses), I use the dump pockets to store film cases, my light meter, cable release, macro extension rings, etc. In the image above, I also managed to fit in a Hasselblad compendium shade and used the laptop pocket to store my 100x100mm filters.

That said, there’s still space.

 

 

Use case four: the Hadley One as a large format shooter’s camera bag

Billingham Hadley One - Speed Graphic plus Leica (exploded)

Billingham Hadley One – Speed Graphic plus Leica (exploded)

To really fill this camera to the brim you need to think a little bigger than medium format. For me (as mentioned above), this means large format gear, specifically my AEROgraphic. That is, a Graflex Pacemaker Speed Graphic, 6×12 film back, my Kodak Aero Ektar lens, a spot meter, cable release, loupe….and Leica M6 with cases for 120 and 135 film.

Add to that a tripod (carried separately) and you have a Hadley One that is pretty as much as full as it can get. Even though the camera, lens and film back weigh in at ~5kg, the bag is comfortable when slung across the body or carried on a shoulder.

I was out cycling with this combination last weekend (at the time of writing).

You’ll notice that I’m using the full-width insert split about 30/70 in his configuration. I prefer the two half-width inserts as described in use case 3 but obviously that wasn’t going to work with the Graflex on board

 

 

Initial conclusions

Compared to my fStop 1.4, the Hadley One is large to the point of cavernous but without external dimensions that are too imposing. My first thought upon unpacking the bag was that the main pocket was too small to warrant an upgrade from the fStop 1.4. I was wrong. Even with the main flaps of the inserts folded back into the bag, there’s ample space.

The laptop slot is incredibly well thought out and I’ve no qualms about carrying a naked laptop or tablet in it. When out shooting, I use the slot to store filters, notepads and other relatively flat gear. Billingham say that the laptop sleeve is capable of taking a 13″ laptop and my 13″ Macbook Air slips right in almost unnoticed.

Even after only a week of using the One, I’ve no problem recommending this bag to anyone. None whatsoever.

If you are an existing Billingham customer and want something bigger than the Hadley Pro but are not quite ready to make a jump to their really big bags, this might well fit the bill.

If you are not a Billingham customer and want a mid-large sized bag that’ll take pretty much everything you can throw at it, I’d strongly advise you to try it ou for yourself and compare. You won’t be disappointed.

I’ll be posting part two of this article in about 4 weeks, once I’ve had a chance to live with the One for a while. Given how much of a pleasure it’s been to use so far, you might even see a mini update a little sooner than that.

Thanks for reading and as always, keep shooting, folks!

~ EMULSIVE

 

 

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About The Author

EMULSIVE

Self confessed film-freak and film photography mad-obsessive and OVERLORD at emulsive.org. I push, pull, shoot, boil and burn film everyday, and I want to share what I learn.

79 Comments

  1. It’s the latest in the long line of excellent Hadleys (and other Billingham bags). I have several Billingham Bags – an original Hadley (no handle), a Hadley (with handle), in black, same again in Imperial Blue – with Avea pockets, a Hadley Large Pro and a 335 (or 355 (I can never remember). All are canvas other than the Large Pro – which is in Fibrenyte. Nothing against Fibrenyte – it seems perfectly weather-resistant and durable, however, I’ve come to realise that I prefer the feel of canvas and the way it wears and the colour “mellows” over time.

    As I have a mixture of LF, MF and 35mm kit, I’m looking at the “One” to be my go-to bag when on holiday / touring as it’s big enough and small enough, if you know what I mean. The 335 (or 355) is great but my inserts are shot to bits and I have a tendency to try to fit too much in it – and it’s a bit of an unwieldy lump when it’s full (a bit like me).

    I saw one at the Photo show thing at the NEC in March and I’m just waiting for Billingham to bring one out in canvas (ideally the nice burgundy colour) before jumping in. If they need a bag tester, I’d be only too happy to oblige…..;-))

    Reply
  2. I got question. Can this bag take lots of vegetable and fresh fish from market? I am tuk-tuk driver in Thailand and my maam likes the color very much to go market. Sawadeekap.

    Reply
    • Yes it can, however we would recommend placing the vegetables and fish in the removable inserts so that if they start to smell you can either try and wash them or buy new replacement ones! Congratulations also on almost winning Paul John Bayfield’s competition – I’m sure your maam will be very proud!

      Reply
  3. Does this come with the ability to shoot better and look classy at the same time whilst hanging my Alpa’s and Hassies around my neck?

    Reply
    • Yes, adorn your neck with cameras and your shoulders with our bags and you are certain to be the ultimate photographer!

      Reply
  4. You forgot Use Case 5: The Hadley as an Instagrammer’s Camera Bag. Holds a Macbook, iPhone, Fuji Instax Mini, oversize scarf, and wide brimmed hat just fine, with enough space left for your favourite bottle of organic, free-range beard oil.

    Reply
    • I think you’ll find the Instagrammers now have upgraded to beard tonic, however point well made!

      Reply
  5. Why are you considering this bag? Can’t you afford an Eventer.

    Reply
    • Harsh! This bag however has the added benefit of the laptop slip being separate from the camera inserts – meaning that you can take the camera insert out to make more room for wads of cash and still account for that cash on your gold-plated MacBook 🙂

      Reply
  6. After test driving a Billingham bag for a few years I switched my camera gear into a Lidl Bag For Life… It holds my gear perfectly and safely, Apart from the obvious facts it’s waterproof and has an unbeatable returns policy it also has great properties for travelling incognito when doing those hard to tog rundown housing estate shot’s after all who has been mugged for Lidl.

    Will you be doing something similar to this in the future.

    Reply
    • Hi David,

      Thank you for your kind suggestion. A Lidl bag for life is indeed an excellent investment but I’m afraid that we would feel bad undercutting them. However what the Lidl bag does lack is padding – we sell a variety of padded inserts for the Lidl bag to protect your disposable cameras. I hope that this of some interest to you.

      Here is a link: https://www.billingham.co.uk/accessories.html

      Regards,

      Mike

      Reply
  7. Can I strap it onto my titanium fold-up Brompton bicycle? and will it go with all my tweed jackets, tight pastel jeans, and carefully curated beard? Seriously, guys, a camera bag that costs more than a camera? #DownWithHipsters #UseAPlaccyBag

    Reply
    • Hi Dennis,

      I’m afraid that the Hadley One is unlikely to attach securely to the bike – however some customers have found that our Delta pockets do. You can find them here: https://www.billingham.co.uk/accessories/delta.html

      I doubt however that they will attach to your handlebar moustache (the presence of which I think was implied) – however some of our many colour combinations should go with your no doubt lustrous trousers and jacket.

      I hope that this assists.

      Regards,

      Mike

      Reply
  8. Will there be a black version with a red dot on it? It would match perfectly with my new M6.

    Reply
    • Hi Joan,

      I’m afraid that you would need to purchase the ‘dot’ separately from Leica themselves – I understand they cost more than the cameras!

      Regards,

      Mike

      Reply
  9. I heard they last for ages. Why would
    I want to get stuck to “ONE” bag for decades?

    Reply
    • Hi Michal,

      If you ever get bored of it just sell it one of the hipsters who will only buy a used one 🙂

      Regards,

      Mike

      Reply
  10. You say: ‘…I’ll see something, decide to shoot it and fire off a frame or two within a few seconds. For this reason, having quick access to my bag’s camera compartment is crucial.’.

    I’ve seen your shots, and if this is the case, you need to put your camera in a safety deposit box because, man, are they garbage.

    Unless of course, the Billingham adds +10 to your photographic skills, like every other loser with a Billingham/Leica combo would have you believe it does; just because you have a Billingham, doesn’t make you a pro-tog, it just means you have more money than sense.

    Reply
  11. Shut up with all that non-biodegradable stuff. I want a positively non-degradable bag, neither bio nor trio.
    I want something which is durable at least as a pre WWI ICA bellow, as a Kodachrome preserved in darkness, as a clean Compur shutter.
    Want all this, at least, three times more durable than me, and keep in mind that I’ve already got projects for 2060 (when after all I’ll be only 100).
    I want to be around for a long long time with my cameras and bags. And rolls and sheets and glasses.
    Many many years after future Fuji repentance for having suspended film production, I mean.
    I’m tired to change my bags after, say, only one or two decades.
    You Billingham guys, do you feel comfortable thinking that within 20 or 30 years I’ll be following your tracks, should your bag be degraded by other bio agents less aggressive than myself?

    Reply
    • Hi Sergio,

      It depends how you treat it! Treated well its very likely that it will last you many years and let you store the Micro-Super-Mega-Quantum-SDHC cards that Fuji will inevitably force you into using by then!

      Regards,

      Mike

      Reply
  12. Is this Billingham Hadle One going to have a new version don the line and will it be called Hadley Two?

    Reply
    • Hi Ed,

      Unlikely! We don’t have any plans for a second version – we just tend to make minor adjustments (that most people never notice) as we go along like we have with the Hadley Pro. Also ‘TWO’ doesn’t have the same ring to it 🙂

      Hope that helps!

      Regards,

      Mike

      Reply
  13. I just have some questions in regards to this bag. Will this bag make my hair look sexier?
    Is red an available colour for this? I want to actually match this with the pajamas that I am wearing.
    Can I also fit my entire RB67, my Canon FTb, Canon AE-1 Program and all the needed lenses, all in this one bag?
    Can I go swimming with it?
    Will this improve my chances of being a ladies man or at least getting me some street cred?
    And lastly, do I get hipster points for being an owner of this aforementioned bag?
    Please let me know, tanks
    PJ (Pajamas) De Jesus

    Reply
    • Almost anything will make your hair look sexier, PJ. A red version is available as a “user modified option”, which is applied by the owner after purchase under the understanding that any warranty will be made void. The bag itself has no issue carrying everything you mention based on its use of technology from another great British creation, Dr Who. Regards street cred, hipster points and helping you become a ladies man. The bag itself enables HP +5%, Magic Defence +10% and Critical Hit +25% when equipped. The rest is up to you.

      Reply
    • I just have some questions in regards to this bag. Will this bag make my hair look sexier? YES.
      Is red an available colour for this? I want to actually match this with the pajamas that I am wearing. NO PLANS AT THE MOMENT, ALTHOUGH IF YOU CAN SEND US A PHOTO OF YOUR PJs WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO CREATE AN EXACT MATCH (IF YOU PAY US MANY THOUSANDS OF POUNDS :))
      Can I also fit my entire RB67, my Canon FTb, Canon AE-1 Program and all the needed lenses, all in this one bag? DEPENDS WHAT LENSES!
      Can I go swimming with it? ONLY IF YOU ARE VERY SMALL
      Will this improve my chances of being a ladies man or at least getting me some street cred? DEFINITELY. ‘L2’ IN ‘BILLINGHAM L2’ ACTUALLY STANDS FOR ‘LADIES LOVE’
      And lastly, do I get hipster points for being an owner of this aforementioned bag? YES, IN FACT SO MANY YOU MIGHT ‘LEVEL UP’ TO BECOME A SUPER HIPSTER.
      Please let me know, tanks
      PJ (Pajamas) De Jesus

      Reply
  14. Does this bag work for non-dead technology? I mean, c’mon… film!? Let me guess, they call their strap latches the bag’s “zone” system.

    Reply
    • To my admittedly limited knowledge, this bag is best used only with UNdead equipment. The Zone System, being dead, has no right being mentioned here.

      Reply
    • Yep, stores a iPhone with plenty of room to spare!

      Reply
  15. How dare you continuously refer to this bag as the One.

    Everyone has watched Highlander and therefor everyone knows “There can be only one!”

    Do I get The Prize?

    Reply
    • There can be only one…but there were three. Well, two and a half if you cut out most of the last one.

      Reply
      • Must be a kind of magic.

    • If you’d used a Chesney Hawkes reference you’d have won 🙂

      Reply
      • One dream, one soul, one prize,
        One goal, one golden glance of what should be,

        It’s a kind of magic,

        One shaft of light that shows the way,
        No mortal man can win this day,

        …good job I’m not mortal then.

        There Can Be Only One!!!!!!!

      • **shudders**

        I am the one and only
        No bag I’d rather win
        If I don’t win this bag
        I’ll have to console myself with gin

  16. You call this a review? My 3 year old can write better than this. How much did Billingham pay you to say you like their new old man bag? 😉

    Reply
    • Six shillings and elevenpence. Why?

      Reply
  17. I’m sorry, but I’m a professional photographer and I wouldn’t recommend this bag to anyone! I bought it online last month and I’ve used it enough to say that the quality is inexistent. The Pillingham logo is about to come off and the seams in the handle are loosening already. On the plus side, the turquoise looks great and the seller threw in a selfie stick that I can use with my Pentax 67.

    Reply
    • Hi,

      Given the context of the competition not sure if you’re joking or not. If not though email help @ billingham.co.uk and sure we can sort your problem out 🙂

      Regards,

      Billingham

      Reply
      • Thanks,
        No need to call for help.
        Trolling is tricky

  18. Here we go again, promise of freebies, further clickbait reviews to come…you should have gone straight out, and undertaken a realtime review around Billingham, wandering around the dystopian sprawl of the old chemical works, letting the FibreNyte soak up the ammonia laden air, seasoning the leather in a climate made for hard folk and tough bags…or don’t you think it’s as strong as that old RAF haversack that my grandad shouldered day in day out to the works, laden with potted meat sandwiches and a tartan flask of tea?

    Or were you feared of looking a bit soft wandering around a Northern town with a ‘Hearing Aid Beige’ shoulder bag? I wouldn’t be seen dead with one of them ‘man bag’ things!

    Red

    Reply
  19. I love Billingham bags and this one looks big enough even for Mary Poppins. (you should easily get your floor lamp and aspidistra in this bag, he-he!) I used a 225 for 10+ years in the 80/90’s loaded with Hassleblad and Metz gear, it never let me down and still had plenty of life left in it after I had finished with the bag. Don’t you think the bags look better once they have been lived in for a couple of years? My five year old Hadley Small is just right, but my one year old Hadley Digital is still a little embarassingly new looking, give it another year or two. Perhaps Billingham could copy jeans manufacturers and pre-worn service!!

    Reply
    • I know exactly what you mean about that “lived-in” feeling.

      Reply
  20. Hi there, actually, I have a question about the F-Stop 1.4…can it fit A4 paper in the laptop sleeve without it getting crumpled? My use scenario is work bag first, with a little bit of camera bag for my everyday camera…

    Reply
    • Apologies for the delay, Apfel. Sorry but the answer is no. The rear pocket is a few CM too narrow.

      Reply
  21. What happens when you put it in a blender?

    Reply
    • Not much, actually. The bag is pretty big and just sits on top of the damned thing.

      Reply
  22. Apologies for a serious question, but … do you think the half-width insert is large enough to comfortably fit a larger SLR like a Nikon F6 with a large prime like the Sigma Art 35? How about a body with an integrated vertical grip like a Nikon F5? I love my Hadley Pro, but the F6 is a bit of a squeeze, and the F5 doesn’t really fit unless I detach the lens.

    Reply
    • Don’t worry Paul, I can still answer normally while the wholesome trolling competition is in full swing.

      I can give you a point of reference using the Nikon F100. Lying on it’s back in either the full or half-width insert (lens up), the F100 is snug but there’s still some room to move it about.

      My feeling is that your F6 will be ok in this orientation but in order to comfortably fit the F5, you’ll need to remove the lens.

      Have you considered the Hadley Large Pro?

      If you’re on Twitter or FB, I’d recommend reaching out to the Billingham folks for advice. They’re incredibly helpful.

      Cheers, EM.

      Reply
  23. I was feeling that by the time I got to the end of this review they would be carrying me out in a custom bag with quick release straps. Happily I now know to request one that is bigger at the bottom than at the top. Thank you, I can rest in peace.

    Reply
    • I aim to please. It’s a touch wider at the bottom but don’t call it pear shaped.

      Reply
  24. Is there a size and fit guide and is vanity sizing in use – is the bag pictured the Men’s Large version? Are there accessories that will adapt it to a Women’s Small? Perhaps you can provide an exercise guide, so that owners can adapt their shoulders to the bag size.

    You didn’t mention in your review if there was a pocket suitable for lipstick; I don’t carry a purse and a camera bag at the same time. Will there be other colorful patterns or pom-pom fob accessories available for the fashion conscious photographer?

    Reply
    • Thank you for your question, Monika.

      The outer edge of each of the front dump pockets has a stitched compartment that you can slide lipstick or mascara into. As the pockets are quite deep it will be possible to hold at least two lipsticks in each compartment – I keep cigars in mine.

      Much like the other bags in the range, you will eventually be able to pick more colour variations, although if you would like something particularly different, you will likely have to speak directly to Billingham to have your favourite Liberty or Cath Kidston print turned into a bag.

      I am sad to say that Billingham don’t currently offer any exercise guides to adapt shoulders to their various bags but I have passed it on as a suggestion and you can expect a short advertainment piece covering the training regime (with a range of accessories), to be broadcast on Basic Cable in the US by the end of the year.

      Reply
  25. OK, but what is the average speed of an unladden Billingham Hadley one bag, and more to the point, how many coconuts can you carry inside one? (I’ll not ask if it weighs the same way as a duck, as it’s obviously not made of wood.)

    Reply
    • Good question!

      Billingham products do not have legs, or any other form of apparatus to propel themselves, so the average speed of the Hadley one is zero units of distance over time. It is about as fast as a granite tor.

      Regarding coconuts, great question! The One can store approximately 23 Dwarf Coconuts and seventeen average supermarket-sized coconuts. Naturally, these figures are based on the husk having been already removed. However, if your local supermarket only stocks Lodoicea Maldivica, you’re in for a disappointment. At about 30cm in diameter and weighing up to 18kg you would likely be able to carry one at a time.

      You could actually carry as many wooden ducks as coconuts, as long as they are made to the same approximate volume as your target coconuts. I wouldn’t recommend carrying live ducks in your bag.

      Reply
  26. If Sandeep places an F6 and an OM-1 in the Hadley One, will the bag keep them apart and prevent a lens fight? Or will he care if he surrounds each with lots of biscuits?

    Sincerely,

    @panamstyle

    PS – gravy

    Reply
    • No gravy

      Reply
      • Boring limey

    • This is an interesting question but one that need not cause you concern. Whilst “Olympus” may sound Greek in origin, both vendors are actually Japanese (go figure). When encountering an angry Nikon, the Olympus uses it’s secret weapon: it’s name.

      I needn’t refer you to the Vedantic texts (specifically the early Upanishads), as you seem a rather well-read chap.

      In order to minimise any inter-vendor arguments inside the bag, Billingham inserts are are created with coexistence in mind and use special crystals woven into the foam, which help to align the chakras of different cameras and create a harmonious storage environment.

      Biscuits, whilst imbued with similar properties are merely a stop-gap.

      Reply
      • Brilliant answer and apparently a brilliant bag. I think I’ll go have some gravy.

  27. Is this bag suitable for digital photography, it’s just as an analogue purist, I wouldn’t want to use a bag suitable for digital. Also, will this bag improve the bokeh in my shots? I’m also confused as to whether or not this bag is suitable to be processed in Rodinal? What is the optimum time for stand development for Rodinal 1/100 with this bag?

    Also, this bag would look a lot better if it was covered in patches with slogans on – How many standard “film is not dead” or “waste of film” patches could I fit on (horizontally, obviously).

    Could you maybe upload some examples of the dynamic range available with this bag? How does it compare to Kodachrome?

    And I really like how film photography slows me down – is there a way to make the clasps on this bag less functional to slow me down further?

    Reply
    • Dear Simon, thank you so much for your comment. I am always happy to help those so obviously new to film and whilst your question is short on insight, it certainly makes up for it in length!

      To answer your questions, Billingham have engineered this bag to harness zero point energy, which as you know is fatal to digital equipment but will make your lenses bokeh monsters. If you would like to pack digital cameras in this bag, search the Billingham website for “anti-zero point insert”.

      Regarding development practices, I think you may be a little confused. The Hadley One is only compatible with Ronda-nol, named after the female UFC fighter. The stand development time refers to the amount of time a grown man of Nordic descent can hold Ronda above his head (arms fully locked) before developing a headache. Interestingly, this time is the same as Ronda’s average ring time at 2 minutes and 11 seconds.

      The Hadley One can accept over 127 “Like-uh” badges from Mike Padua’s shootfilm.co but due to time constraints, no further tests using patches or sticker application volume were done for this review.

      Dynamic Range. Sorry, this bag only supports HIGH dynamic range. Is that good enough? The technology is unique to Billingham and means that even in pitch black surroundings, you will be able to take a photo of this bag as if it were broad daylight. It’s also much better than Kodachrome, mostly because it’s available to purchase. Kodachrome is not (at the time of writing).

      To answer your final question, we recommend wrapping your camera in several dozen, very long cable ties, making sure that you also arm yourself with a large wooden spoon. When you need to access the bag, use the wooden spoon to slowly wear each cable tie down one at a time. By using this method you can guarantee at least four hours from when the perfect photographic opportunity presents itself to when you are finally able to remove your camera and take the shot!

      Reply
      • Thanks for such a complete answer, but I’ve now moved on to different hipster pursuits, such as buying vinyl records despite not having a turntable, curing my own vegan cheeses, milking almonds, and riding a fixie bike, despite living on a hill. This leaves very little time for my 4 hour long photographic process which you suggest in such great detail here.

        As a film photographer yourself, you must be a massive hipster also, so I was wondering how many cans of micro-brewery ale the bag can fit, and if it comes with an attachment to put it on the handlebars (of the fixie bike, not my handlebar mustache)?

        I was thinking of using the aforementioned cable ties, but I’ve given up PVA and all other kinds of plastic as part of my carbon emission reduction lifestyle.

        Actually, now we’re on the subject of handlebars, do you have any preferred brand of mustache wax that provides great hold for facial fuzz while also being able to be used on my vintage Helios lens to create extra swirl around the edge of my dudeoir shoots with fellow hipsters?

      • Hello? It’s been at least 24 hours since I replied to your comment and have yet to get a response. I know how long it has been as in this time I’ve managed to make 6 photographs.

      • Yep, I gave up on the replies Simeon. Don’t feed the trolls 😛 BTW, I am a MASSIVE hipster.

  28. Competition! Troll my buddy @EMULSIVEfilm’s review. Winner gets a @BillinghamBags Hadley One.

    @EMULSIVEfilm’s the judge, so be humorous and warm-spirited, or you’ll win no prizes. Entries only judged if they show in the article.

    Many thanks to @emulsive and @BillinghamBags for being fun-loving enough to give permission for my competition. Don’t be a dick (Like me)

    Reply
  29. @BillinghamBags If you find a good option for graphic + aero I’d love to hear it.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, Erik. It’s nice and snug with the Leica and 6×12 back in the example above. I’ve taken it out again but replacing those two with six film holders. It’s near on perfect. The only thing I would add is an AVEA-style pouch. I understand that Billingham are working on it.

      Reply
  30. Hi,

    This is Billingham. Its made of FibreNyte – so not biodegradable. Indeed its intended to last a long time – which of course has negatives, but also huge positives too – if it stops you having to replace it every few years. Even if it does fail we offer a repairs service – for free if under guarantee, and paid after that. This of course further increases its lifespan and yet reduces its environmental burden.

    In terms of manufacturing – its made in England by adults. So no child labour whatsoever!

    Regards,

    Mike

    Reply
  31. @BillinghamBags I was impressed by your first impressions of the Hadley One. Here is my impression of… https://t.co/id9p7zwV69

    Reply
  32. @BillinghamBags no No NO !!!! wayyyyy too tempting, I have two already, @BillinghamBags are so beautifully made

    Reply
  33. Has the manufacturer made an environmental/social impact statement? Is it recyclable or biodegradable? I’d like to think my bag will return to nature. Was child labour employed in the manufacturing process, and if so, were they paid a living wage?

    Reply
    • I’ll ask if they have a enviro/social statement but I’m sad to say that the bags are no biodegradable.

      You see, when the Earth is left a barren and arid ball of dust after the inevitable man vs monkey wars, only three things will have been hardy enough to survive armageddon: those small bits 1×2 blocks of Lego that somehow always get stuck in your heel, brussel sprouts and Billingham bags.

      Reply
  34. @BillinghamBags I MUST NOT LOOK at bag reviews…I MUST NOT….I MUST LOOK…arghhh 😉 Great review and lovely bag.

    Reply
  35. What I want to know is, in a survival situation, can it be used to carry water or gasoline? Please test and report back.

    Reply
    • Not sure about the one but the fStop will hold a few liters of water in its main compartment. I’ll provide a report on the One this weekend, sir 😉 Not sure about testing with gasoline, though…

      Reply

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