Billingham 72: The new bag for fixed-prime and small-system cameras
In common with many of my friends in the Leica world, I’m a great fan of Billingham bags. Not only are they made from high-quality materials, they are manufactured in England — in the Black Country as it happens, an example of a modern clean industry after the worst the industrial revolution could wreak on the area west of Birmingham. In an age when even high-price designer bags are manufactured in low-cost countries, Billingham remains firmly planted in the UK and that has to be a bonus.
All Billingham’s products follow a traditional concept, manufactured from tough canvas or synthetic FibreNyte and trimmed with high-quality leather and brass. The latest member of the family is no exception. The Billingham 72 was announced this morning and is aimed at owners of fixed prime lens cameras such as the Leica Q, Fujifilm X100 series or the Sony RX1 series. It’s also just right for a small system camera such as the Fuji X-T20 and X-T2 or the Leica Q, provided the attached lens is compact.
The new 72 weighs just 460g and features a newly-designed arrangement of structured, highly dense foam in a continuous double layer around the whole body of the bag. It safeguards the entire camera and lens, with full protection for corners and edges. Colour choices are:
- Sage FibreNyte and chocolate leather
- Khaki canvas and tan leather
- Burgundy canvas and chocolate leather
- Black canvas and tan leather
- Black FibreNyte and black leather
Billingham’s press release goes on to describe the new bag:
“Heavier camera bodies with small lenses fit perfectly into the Billingham 72 interior with the grip facing upwards. A padded inner lid over the main compartment completely covers the top end of the camera, but allows the photographer quick access to their equipment when required. Ideal for travelling, or when working in large crowds, the equipment is shielded on all sides from any knocks or bumps.
“With an outer body constructed of either Billingham canvas or FibreNyte, the Billingham 72 offers the ultimate in water resistance and provides full defence against inclement weather conditions. Both materials are hard-wearing yet lightweight and never require reproofing, remaining moisture- and heat-resistant for their entire life. FibreNyte is an extra-rugged material that is colour-fast, and delivers exceptional durability and protection against wear and tear.
“The bag’s Quick Release System comprises a strong leather tab and brass ClogBall, enabling fast opening with one hand to retrieve the camera, while securing the equipment in transit. Each model is reinforced with the finest top-grain leather, and all fittings are made from solid brass.
“For maximum versatility, the Billingham 72 comes with a comfortable, detachable shoulder sling made of extra strong, shuttle-woven spun polyester, which is long enough to be worn across the body. It also incorporates a wide belt loop for those who prefer to keep their camera a little closer.
“A precisely-formed removable foam base and a vertical padded divider attached with Velcro® are included with the Billingham 72, enabling the photographer to configure the bag and adjust it to fit their individual requirements. A small pocket on the front provides storage for a spare battery, lens cap or memory cards.
“As with all Billingham bags, the 72 is manufactured with extreme precision, meeting meticulous technical standards. Once it has passed Billingham’s strict quality controls, each bag is adorned with a laser-engraved woven label containing an individual 10-digit barcoded serial number as part of the company’s Unique Identifier (UI) system, allowing the bag to be registered, identified and tracked throughout its life.
“Harry Billingham, director at M. Billingham & Co, said, ‘The idea for the Billingham 72 was conceived by our newly formed in-house design team, following extensive research into the market. They identified a need for a secure but lightweight bag to protect smaller systems or fixed lens cameras, particularly those with heavier bodies, that also gives photographers immediate access to their equipment. It makes a perfect addition to our range, providing owners of small premium cameras with a smart, reliable and robust way of protecting their valuable kit from the elements and daily wear and tear.’
“The Billingham 72 comes with a 5 year manufacturer’s guarantee.
“A collection of leather accessories is available for all Billingham bags, including fine leather luggage tallies and shoulder pads, to complement the colour and style of each model.
“More information on the Billingham range can be found here.
Billingham 72 technical specifications:
- External dimensions: 150 x 130 x 190mm (WxDxH)
- Internal dimensions: 110 x 90 x 140mm (WxDxH)
- Capacity: 1.38 litres
- Weight: 0.33 kgs (without shoulder sling) / 0.46 kgs (with shoulder sling)
- Sling: Adjustable between 99cm and 172cm in length
- Front pocket: 110 x nominal x 120mm (WxDxH)
The Billingham 72 is available to order now from Billingham stockists in the UK. Price is £100, including VAT.