Review: Leica System Bag for M, T and X cameras
Fitting a Leica M, T or X Vario with attached EVF into most standard photo bags can be a challenge. The viewfinder hump means that the camera needs a squarish rather than narrow shape. Both my Billingham Hadley Small and Hadley Pro bags are just a shade too narrow and I often find it necessary to remove the EVF for stowage. If I don't remove the EVF it can easily become dislodged.
Leica's System Bag adds some much-needed depth as well as a few more millimeters of height to completely solve this problem. I had the chance to try out the medium version at Red Dot Cameras in London and came away very impressed. The case has one fairly rigid top flap which uses magnets to make it easy to open and close one-handedly. The flap is tailored to the bag to achieve a close fit, especially at the ends, as a protection against water ingress.
The case is finished in a robust nylon canvas material which looks very much like that used for convertible car roofs. It has black synthetic leather trim and is fitted with an adjustable canvas strap with built-in shoulder pad. Overall, this is a high quality bag and carries the Leica branding on the flap and on the shoulder pad.
Inside, the system bag is lined in an attractive grey plush material. There are double velcro strips front and rear to act as anchor for the two supplied dividers, both of have which an integral top flap to help protect the contents. Since the Velcro on the dividers doesn't adhere to the plush interior, it is easier to adjust them than with more traditional designs where the the dividers are constantly snagging on the lining material.
If you own an M, T or X and wish to leave the EVF on the camera, the Leica system bag is a great solution. It will easily hold a camera and a couple of lenses, plus odds and ends. Unfortunately there is no separate accessory pocket and no slot for an iPad. However, the extra dimensions make it much easier to stow or remove a fully-functioning M or T without risking pulling off the EVF. It works equally well with the X Vario when the viewfinder attached.
Although I have previously seen this Leica system bag on the web site of the Miami Leica Store, I haven't pinned down one in the UK before today. However, Red Dot Cameras have new stock at the moment. Cost is £210 including VAT.