The Billingham Hadley Large is a very useful camera bag but I found it to be too big on occasions when I preferred something smaller. I really like the quality of Billingham and was deciding between the f-stop 2.8 and the Hadley Small for my small camera bag.
The Hadley Small can carry several rangefinder cameras and my iPad 2 fits in snugly. This makes it the perfect bag for the times when I prefer to travel light. I only find myself using the Hadley Large if I need to bring my MacBook Air of if I need the extra space the latter provides.
My D700 can squeeze into the bag but it would make the bag bulge. It would fit nicely if I were to unmount the lens from the body. A small DSLR would be able to fit into the Hadley Small. My film SLRs do not face this problem.
Like the Hadley Large, it is waterproof and the craftsmanship is of high quality. This khaki Hadley Small is made of canvas as compared to the FibreNyte material used for the black Hadley Large.
From the official Billingham website: FibreNyte is a high performance, super durable fabric which is bonded to a polyester lining using Billingham StormBlock butyl rubber and weighs 10% less than our traditional canvas.
Both material feel the same to me. I guess only time will tell which is the more durable of the two.
There was once I accidentally left my Hadley Large in a puddle of water. I was busy shooting and it was a while before I realised that the bag was wet. To my surprise, interior remained dry.
I had to run in a heavy downpour once and the Hadley Small was exposed to the rain but it did not soak up any rainwater.
These experiences make me trust the waterproof ability of Billingham bags. I’ve used Kata and Think Tank bags and while they are water resistant, they still get soaked if exposed to too much water or exposed too long to water.
This bag is ideal for street photography. It does not look like a camera bag and is inconspicuous. The only complaint was from my girlfriend. She prefers the black to the tan. My Hadley Large is black and I would agree that black is easier to match with clothes than a khaki bag.
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