The Billingham 5-Series includes the largest bags in the range and are popular among professionals and amateur photographers who must carry larger amounts of gear. The British company launches an improved range, the MkII, with comfort and functional improvements.
Leica photographers tend to focus on Billingham’s smaller bags, such as the Hadley range. But the classic Billingham 5-Series of larger bags is in consistent demand from photographers who carry larger DSLR or mirrorless systems or an extended M collection. Made in England, the latest editions, designated Mark II, are of the Billingham 255, 335, 445 and 555. They are a culmination of decades of refinement to the popular 5-series designs.
All the new bags are large enough to carry the latest full-frame and medium-format cameras such as the Canon R6 Mk II, Canon R3, Nikon Z9, Leica SL2, Sony 𝛼9 III, Lumix S5 and Fujifilm GFX 100. They are also suitable for classic cameras such as the Nikon F3 and Hasselblad 500CM, along with a selection of lenses and accessories.
The Billingham 5-Series collection now starts with the medium-sized 225 Mk II and scales up to the very spacious 555 Mk II, Billingham’s biggest camera bag. The larger models in the series can hold multiple cameras or longer lenses. The bags also store electronic devices, from a tablet the size of an 11-in iPad in the 225 and a 14-in MacBook Pro in the 335. The larger 445 and 555 Mk II models can swallow a 16in MacBook Pro.
All Mk II bags now feature luggage-trolley straps on the back for convenience while travelling and incorporate Billingham’s new “V-Bridge 15” padded divider to support lenses attached to cameras, in addition to the dividers previously supplied. The 225 MkII and 335 Mk II now sport the same wider shoulder slings and shoulder pads as their bigger siblings, to provide extra comfort when carrying the bags for extended periods.
Above, clockwise: The V-Bridge 15 divider for cameras with a lens attached, the TukTop feature to hide the zips, the classic Billingham leather handle, and a full system array
SuperFlex and TukTop
The new models retain the improvements made to the 5-Series and its predecessors over the years. These including the SuperFlex divider system, and strips of Velcro on the front and back of the main compartments to more securely attach dividers. Main zips can be tucked out of the way during use thanks to the company’s“TukTop” feature. In addition, the foam padding is made from a more robust “closed-cell” material.
In common with all Billingham’s current bags, the 5-Series models are made from a three-layer waterproof fabric with a core butyl rubber layer to improve water resistance without reproofing. The leather trim includes sold-brass fixings as usual.
Commenting on the updated range, Harry Billingham said, “For many years the 225, 335, 445 and 555 have been the backbone of our offering to photographers due to their high-capacity and legendary durability. These bags have journeyed around the world, from film sets to the front lines of photojournalism. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we are proud to update these bags with new features and a ‘MkII’ designation to serve another generation of both cameras and photographers.”
Colours and prices
From launch, the Billingham 5-Series Mk II is available in khaki canvas with tan leather, sage FibreNyte with chocolate leather, black FibreNyte with black leather, and (for the 335 Mk II only) navy canvas with chocolate leather
The new bags area available worldwide (except the USA) from the company’s website. Customers in the USA should visit the dedicated local site. Below are the prices of the Billingham 5-Series MkII bags. They are also available from approved retailers throughout the world.
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