Best Leica Camera Bag – Billingham Hadley Digital

Billingham Hadley Digital

Billingham Hadley Digital

The Billingham Hadley Digital camera bag is the latest edition to my Leica camera outfit. I already own quite a few camera bags including rucksacks, a Thinktank shoulder bag and an Ona small shoulder bag. I wanted something smaller that would not hinder my movement to carry just essentials in. For a Leica wedding day I have the Leica M9 as my main digital camera and then the Leica M8 as a backup digital camera. If I was shooting digital only I would have the M8 in the ‘Hadley’ on my back. If I was shooting Leica film photography and digital photography I would have the Leica M2 in the bag so it was with me and leave the M8 in my larger ‘backup bag’.

Leica Camera Bag

How much Leica camera equipment can you fit into a Billingham Hadley Digital camera bag?

Answer. More than you think! Today I did an engagement shoot so got to road test the Billingham bag.

Main compartment: has 2 small internal ‘pockets’ perfect for Leica lenses leaving a ‘T’ shape space to fit a camera and lens with lens pointing down. In the 2 compartments I packed a Leica Summicron 50mm f2 v5 and Voigtlander Ultron 28mm f2 lens. I then had the Leica M9 with the Leica Summarit 50mm f1.5 (1954) attached facing down. I then placed a micro cloth over the top (back screen) of the M9. On top of this I fitted the Leica M2 film camera (body only).

Front pocket: I managed to fit 2 Leica spare batteries, filters and step rings, spare SD cards, iPhone 5, 4x spare AA batteries for speedlight, wireless triggers, micro cloth, car keys and credit cards. There was still space left to use so I fitted in the little Voigtlander Skopar 35mm f2.5 PII lens. Impressive!

More about the bag..

Comfort? The Hadley Digital does not have a shoulder pad but it really is not needed. I had the bag on my back all afternoon and almost forgot it was there. It stayed in place when I when low or leant over without restricting my movement. This is ideally for my wedding photography where I want to be able to stay light and mobile.

Build Quality?

The Billingham Hadley Digital is extremely well made and I can see it still going strong in 50yrs time. I think it will grow old gracefully with my Leica camera equipment. The internal pocket is very well designed and padded keeping your beloved camera secure. The outer cover/ fabric provides a reliable weather seal for your camera. This is especially important living in the UK! 🙂 The clasp is secure yet easy to open quickly given immediate access to your camera without having to undo zips and the like.

Would I buy another Billingham camera bag in the future?

Yes absolutely. I don’t think I would buy any other make after now owning a Billingham bag.

Fashion statement? In addition to being practical and very well made the Billingham Hadley bag is also a very good looking bag and I am more than happy to carry it with me for events such as weddings.

Billingham Hadley Digital for Leica Street Photography?

As noted above the Hadley Digital bag is perfect for travelling light while carrying all your ‘essentials’. In addition to wedding photography and event photography I will also use the bag for Leica street photography. Is ‘my’ bag the right choice for the street? The khaki colour looks good but if money was no object I would probably buy a second Hadley Digital in black for street photography. On the street you do not want to draw attention to yourself or your nice camera so black is the practical choice. It is just a matter of using your common sense as to when and where to walk around the streets with a bag on your back that says ‘nice camera inside’ written all over it.

I am very happy with my purchase and cannot recommend Billingham bags highly enough. – Leica Photographer

3 thoughts on “Best Leica Camera Bag – Billingham Hadley Digital”

  1. I use the Billingham Hadley as a large bag, and a think tank retrospective as my small bag. On the street, I usually wear the M9 and keep a filter and battery in a coat or pants pocket.

    But I’ll keep an eye out for the Hadley digital next time I’m in a store. It sounds like it a useful bag.

  2. Hi Matt, great review. Would it be possible to fit Leica Sl2 with SL 35mm APO Summicron attached in this bag?

    1. matthewosbornephotography

      Hi Mark,

      I’ve not used that mentioned setup but if you take out both dividers I would like to think yes. Most Leica stores tend to sell these bags so you might be best to check in store before buying.

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