Today I want to introduce you to the Billingham 207. After the Hadley series my second favorite series from the house Billingham.
Similar to the Hadley series, the Billingham 207 is a shoulder bag with a few small but subtle differences. In my Billingham bag collection, I affectionately call it No.10 🙈.
Before I get to the bag itself, it's important for me to provide transparency. The Billingham 207 was provided to me by Billingham to look at and report on at my leisure.
I am/was not paid for the review, nor was the review available to Billingham in advance for approval. Bilingham also did not dictate what I may or may not say.
As always, you get my honest opinion of the bag here. Good as well as bad. Spoiler alert: Bad there is basically not ;)
The 7 Series from the House of Billingham is also a shoulder bag, but - unlike the Hadley Series - the 7 Series is not designed exclusively for shoulder work. I'll explain what I mean by that below.
Currently, there are only two different sizes in the 7 Series. The 207, which is what I'm talking about here, and the 307, which is also in my possession.
These two differ in size only in their width. While the 207 measures 350x210x300mm (WxDxH), the dimensions of the 307 are 390x210x300mm. At 1.75kg versus 2.05kg, the 207 is naturally also a bit lighter.
The main external feature that distinguishes the 7 series from the Hadleys is, firstly, the carrying strap. It is wider than the Hadleys and attached to the bag with a "Y" like system. This has a positive effect on load distribution throughout.
The access to the main compartment is, unlike the Hadleys, secured by a zipper. If you open this, the bag behaves similar to an old "doctor's bag". This makes it extremely easy to access the contents.
Unlike the Hadleys, the 7 Series has small brass(?) feet. The base is also wider and inside is a wide shape-retaining padded bottom panel. This makes the 7 series stand very steady on the ground.
This in particular is not always possible with the Hadleys. The firmer base and the feet are missing.
When open, there are also two smaller leather straps under the top flap. These allow one to quickly grab and transport the bag without having to grip the bag by the strap or the handle on the main flap exclusively.
Very nice here is that if you don't want to use this transport option, you can simply remove the one leather strap and so don't have to deal with the one leather strap when closing the main flap.
In my opinion, the 7 series is geared more towards photographers who are traveling with slightly larger equipment. Cameras like DSLRs with larger autofocus lenses or with multiple cameras. In my example here, I have 2 Leica Ms each with lens, an SL2s with two smaller Sigma iSeries lenses and of course some small stuff (not in the photo).
That is already a lot of capacity, what this bag offers one.
I walked around Berlin for two hours with this equipment, and I was amazed at how light it was. The belt system of the 207 or the 7 series is really quite outstanding here.
I have reviewed many Billingham bags here on our blog, and as with all the other Billinghams, the Billingham 207 is no exception in terms of workmanship and material quality. Both are outstanding!
For me, every Billingham bag I know serves its primary purpose quite admirably. Billingham bags protect my partly very expensive equipment perfectly! Be it from shocks when I pull in the narrow city bustle through the streets or in the open countryside through dirt, dust, mud, etc. wander. If it rains like from buckets, I have to worry at most about my Kleindung, but not that my cameras and lenses get damp or even wet.
The durability of the bags is also unparalleled and makes up for the admittedly somewhat higher purchase costs quickly. A Billingham lasts at least a photographer's lifetime. It is not for nothing that there are numerous reports on the web about photographers who have been using a Billingham for more than 40 years.
In my eyes, this alone is the most important argument for a Billingham. You get with a Billingham what you are primarily looking for in a photo bag:
A high-quality and durable photo bag that protects the equipment in the best possible way.
The Billingham 207 fulfills this promise very well.
My conclusion can only be positive. The bag provides a lot of storage space, is very comfortable to wear, protects the equipment excellent from external weather influences, but also shocks and similar rough situations.
I find it a pity that Billingham does not give the 7 series the inner material of the Hadleys. So a stacking of equipment is rather not well possible.
I would also welcome a strap for mounting on a trolley.
However, especially for photographers who prefer to place their bag on the ground to shoot, or who want to carry slightly larger and heavier equipment, the 7 series might be preferable to the Hadley series.
I use my Hadleys mostly when I'm walking around cities doing street photography and the like, my 307 and now the 207 mostly when I'm going to a shoot. So studio or somewhere at a location where I'm going to stay longer to photograph something. I put the bag down safely on the ground and then I can focus on the shoot itself. In doing so, I have very quick and easy access to my equipment and can still move quickly and briefly.
In cases like this, the 7 series is clearly the winner here in my eyes, and I really like this series. The 207 is just about perfect for my equipment. The 307 has a little more air overall, and that has its advantages, but for me the 207 usually fits better.
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