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Billingham 445 Classic Safari Soft Case

4.8 star rating
                      4.8 / 5 (10 Reviews)
MSRP : $449.00

Product Description

All main compartments are accessed by a single straight zip with double pullers. Straight zips avoid the stress which occurs when zips are forced around tight corners. Double puller arrangement provides restricted access when working in crowds.

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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by martinr a Intermediate from tyne & wear, england

Date Reviewed: July 29, 2002

Strengths:    jeez - where do I start??
Size, materials, feel, comfort, versatility.
If you have a 335 or 445 I can heartily recommend getting the backpack harness - makes a great bag even better!

Weaknesses:    Because its so apacious there's a temptation to fill it - my back fully laden weighs thirty pounds - at least its good exercise!!nearly

Bottom Line:   
Firstly - I have a 335 NOT a 445 but there isn't a review space for the 335 so I thought I'd drop my review in here - kinda fits?!
I got my Billingham as part of a job lot through a local advertising rag - Dynax 7 + VC7, sigma 28-300, sigma 24-70, 2 x canon a1's + winders, canon 28, 50, 75-200, 199 flash, tripod, filters & the 335 (all 6months old or newer) - £660 - can't be bad!!
My intention was to keep the 7 and flog the rest but the Billy ended up staying after I used it for a day. The thing just oozes quality - it makes you feel "special" in a kind of Louis Vuitton way. The 335 is smaller than the 445 but I can fit in 3 x 35mm slr bodies + VC grips, 24mm, 105mm, 28-70, 70-210, flash, filters, load of films, odd & sods and still have space for a decent size sandwich box!!!. I made a couple of DIY quick release harness straps and bought the backpack harness (the "octopus") which is simply fantastic. With the BPH its not as comfortable as my Lowepro but it still gives your shoulder a rest.
Seriously - how many decent quality bags are there that you can carry as a backpack, hand held or carry over the shoulder (with quick unfussed access). The Lowepro's gonna have to go!!

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Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Price Paid:    $60.00

Purchased At:   admag

Similar Products Used:   Assorted over the years but nothing worth remembering now.

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by paul mac a Professional from Bradford UK

Date Reviewed: November 8, 2001

Strengths:    Good capacity and style.

Weaknesses:    Appears to be hard wearing but not my experience. Definately no "family heirloom" as will fall to bits in really hard use

Bottom Line:   
I work as a press snapper in the UK and have had a canvas 445 for about 10yrs.My bag has now worn out with lots of holes in the base and corners.Was never really waterproof - lealing at the seams.Main problems that I found with the bag are 1.Equipment tends to get covered in fine dust or fibres of some sort which I put down to the rubber lining or canvas deteriorating - although this was a problem from new. 2. The strap has deteriorated to a colection of threads running over my shoulder. My bag was used extremly hard but this is the nature of press work!. Recently replaced it though with a 555 as I do like the way the bags can accomodate a large amount of gear in relative safety and don't shout camera bag come and steal me.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Similar Products Used:   None

Type of photography:   Other

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Simon Wardle a Intermediate from Kingston upon Thames, England

Date Reviewed: May 22, 2001

Strengths:    Build Quality

Doesn't shout "Camera Bag!"

Protection offered

Weaknesses:    Can't remove shoulder strap and fit neoprene replacement

Bottom Line:   
Just like a Barbour jacket, a Newbery bat or a Bentley, this is a timeless English classic. I’ve had my Billingham for 10 years and it’s great. Originally, I had no intention of buying a Billingham. I’d outgrown my previous bag, a Hippo I think, and I fancied a CCS bag, but couldn’t find one at the time. The shop suggested a Billingham instead and I’ve not regretted the purchase.

This bag is not cheap. Mine cost GBP 100 (approx. USD 150) 10 years ago and is currently priced at about GBP180 (USD240) However, the quality justifies the price.

This bag will carry a lot of kit and can become heavy as a result. I generally carry a Canon EOS body, 20-35, 28-105 and 80-200 f2.8 zooms, flash, and various accessories and the bag is by no means full.

The protection is very good. The main compartment is lined bottom and sides with covered foam and additional padded dividers are held in place by Velcro, allowing you to tailor the bag to your own requirements.

The bag has an amazing number of pockets and pouches to store things like film, filters, batteries and cable releases. There is a slim full-length pocket on the other side to the straps that is great for storing travel documents, event programmes etc. It even has handy pen pockets so pens don’t get lost at the bottom of other pockets.

It also has lots of loops on for attaching tripod straps or harness that turns it into a backpack.

The only criticisms I have are firstly, the original shoulder pad disintegrated, but I was easily able to buy a replacement, which is a different design and has lasted much better, and secondly, the shoulder strap can-not be detached. As mentioned earlier, the bag can get heavy and with my previous bag, I used an Optech neoprene strap to make it more comfortable. This is not an option with a Billingham.

I chose the Nytex version and this has worn very well and is easy to clean. The leather parts respond well to a little clear shoe polish if they get dried out and if the brass fittings get tarnished, get the Brasso out! Although mine is 10 years old it only looks 1 or 2 years old. This bag should last you a lifetime!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   Bonsers of the Bigg Market, Newcastle upon Tyne

Similar Products Used:   Hippo Bag about 20 years ago. I outgrew it when I bought a 80-200 f2.8 zoom

Type of photography:   Sports

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Scott a Intermediate from St. Helens, England

Date Reviewed: March 13, 2001

Strengths:    Quality of Material.
Looks like a weekend bag rather than a camera bag.
can withstand a lot of abuse (heavy rain, trodden on etc etc)
Cleans up quite easily.

Weaknesses:    price.
a bit awkward to get in to if in a hurry.
weighs a bit fully loaded.

Bottom Line:   
If you can get past the price, this bag will last for ever, get the right internal dividers/padding and your equipment will last too. Its a bit heavy but you can buy a back pack harness, Highly recommended.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Local Camera Shop

Similar Products Used:   First bag I tried was the 445, nothing else mattered after that !

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bert Janssen a Expert from The Netherlands

Date Reviewed: February 18, 2001

Strengths:    Excellent materials used, beautfully crafted, inconspicuous,
lots of space, offers excellent protection for your gear against every threat.

Weaknesses:    expensive, but splendid value for money

Bottom Line:   
The Billingham 445 has become my everyday, all duty camerabag. I easily get 3-4 bodies (Minolta XM, SRT-303, XD-7 with winder and X-700 with motordrive), 6-8 lenses, a flashgun with accessories, a lightmeter and lots of filters, films and small items into it. It gets better everyday just by using it; I have even used it as a travelbag (by removing the internal dividers.
This is a bag for life and worth the money you pay for it! That's why I have bought a Billingham F4,5 for a small outfit (1 body, 3 lenses and a flash) when I don't want to carry a lot of gear.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $130.00

Purchased At:   Jessops, Maidstone, UK

Similar Products Used:   Tamrac 606 and Expedition-5, Domke F-3X, Billingham F4,5

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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