Billingham 207 Camera Bag First Impressions

Billingham 207 Camera Bag First Impressions:

For the past year and a half or so, my go-to bag has been the Billingham 307 (full review here).  It’s the main bag I take with me to every shoot.  It holds quite a lot of gear, and like the rest of the Billingham 7 series, it’s unique in the way that it opens up like one of those doctor’s bags from older times.  It has what Billingham calls the PressTop easy access system.  Anyway, the 307 is a pretty big bag. Currently, I have my entire SL2 kit stored in it.  So, for those who may want all the features of the 307 but maybe in a smaller version, there is the Billingham 207.  I’ve always been curious about the 207, and thanks to Billingham, I’m able to get one in to review.  Here’s my first impressions of it.

So, as I said, the 207 is a smaller version of the 307 but it can still hold quite a lot of stuff.  You can easily stuff a DSLR along with two lenses, a flash, and a bunch of accessories.  In terms of dividers, it comes with a SuperFlex 9-15, and a Superflex Flap.  All of them are padded, and held in by velcro, so you can position them pretty much anywhere inside the bag for full customization.

↑ The Billingham 207 in Khaki FibreNyte/Chocolate Leather.

What makes this bag along with the rest of the 7 series unique is the PressTop easy access system.  I absolutely love this feature on my 307, and it’s actually one of the main reason why I wanted the bag.  Once you get the flap out of the way, and open the main compartment zip, just spread the opening.  It’ll be held wide open because of the PressTop feature, which is made of two specially shaped fiberglass and aluminum wands.  These wands shape the fabric into a wide rectangle giving you easier access to your gear.  What’s great is if you’re in say a studio, just leave the bag on the floor (it has solid brass feet), and work directly out of it.  This is exactly what I do during my shoots.  This is similar to those bags doctors used to carry around in the older times.

↑ Here’s the main compartment zip.

↑ This is the interior of the main compartment.  Notice how it opens up.

↑ In this photo, I have my Leica SL2 with Summilux-SL 50mm f1.4 ASPH attached, my APO Summicron-SL 90mm f2 ASPH, a Fuji X-Pro3 I’m reviewing, and an XF 35mm f1.4 R lens attached to the Fuji.

Since the Billingham 207 is designed to carry a lot of gear, it can sometimes get heavy.  Thankfully, there’s also a lot of support built right into the bag.  For one, it does come with the SP50 shoulder pad, which is one of the best shoulder pads I’ve used.   Like the 207, the quality is pretty much second to none. Then there is the top handle when the bag is closed, and another top handle under the main flap.  There’s also the inverted “Y” shaped Delta Sling webbing of the shoulder sling’s fixing points.  This design is aimed at reducing the tipping over or rolling motion when your bag is full of gear, and believe me, it works.

↑ The shoulder pad is quality stuff.

↑ The inverted “Y” shaped Delta Sling webbing.

↑ The top handle when the bag is closed.

↑ You can still use a top handle when the flap is open.  I find this option very useful for quick moves, since I don’t have to secure the flap first to use its top handle.

In addition to these features, this is a Billingham bag, so you can guarantee it’s one of the most well-made bags that you can get.  In my opinion, Billingham bags are like the benchmark.  I haven’t just reviewed nearly the entire line, I own many of them myself because I feel their bags are some of the best on the market.  Craftsmanship is excellent; things like the stitching are perfect, and the raw materials used are the best.  The 207 is also made exclusively out of Billingham’s FibreNyte instead of the traditional canvas.  The FybreNyte bags are lighter, more fade resistant, and more durable than their canvas counterparts all while having a very similar feel as well.

↑ The Billingham 207 has front pockets.  It also has one in the rear.

Anyway, this is only my first impressions of the 207.  Expect a full review soon.  I’ll probably also either write up a comparison between this bag and the 307 or include one in my review.  Thanks For stopping by and stay tuned for the review!

If you want more info on the 207, you can find it on Billingham’s website page.

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3 comments… add one
  • Michael Shea

    Thank you for the review. Your photos were especially helpful as I’m considering making a purchase of a nearly-new copy. I already own the 107, together with the Packington and Digital versions. Of those, my 107 is far and away the most often used because it feels the most robust and doesn’t contain an excess of compartments or wasted space in which my equipment might otherwise rattle around. The padding qualities are particularly good and I trust it to house my 5D camera when I’m wandering around. You are quite right about the ‘Y’ design of the main strap and it does help, together with the excellent shoulder pad, to keep the bag still when I’m in motion.

    I would certainly choose the 207 over the 307, which I suspect in my own situation would tend to be

  • Michael Shea

    Thank you for a very useful review. Your photos were especially helpful, as I’m considering making a purchase of a nearly-new copy and needed a clear idea of the configuration and usable size. I already own the splendid 107, together with the Packington and Hadley Digital editions respectively. Of those, my 107 is far and away the most often employed because it feels far and away the most robust and doesn’t contain an excess of compartments or wasted space, within which my equipment might otherwise rattle around more often than not. The padding qualities are particularly good and I always trust it to house my 5D camera and a couple of medium sized lenses when I’m wandering around. You are quite right about the ‘Y’ design of the main strap and it certainly does help, in conjunction with the shoulder pad, to keep the bag still when I’m in motion.

    I strongly feel that a 307 would end up containing far more weighty equipment than I’d usually need and therefore the 207 is a genuine contender, most of all when I choose a grip and/or a telephoto zoom. Once again, thank you for this information and all your trouble in providing it.

    • Patrick

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for the kind words, and for taking the time out to read my first impressions of it!

      The 207 is a great size; this is the first time I’ve really had a chance to use one and I love it. I currently use a 307 quite a lot these days; it’s become my daily bag lol but yes, you’re right. It’s designed to hold more weight, and I use it mainly to carry my gear to my studio. Sometimes, I’ll throw in some loaner gear that I’m reviewing too. But the 207 still holds quite a bit all while being easier to use more as a walkaround than the 307. I genuinely love the size of this bag; it’s just about perfect. It also has all the features of the 7 Series system. I love the opening of it :).

      I will be posting a big review of this bag along with plenty of pictures, so come by and take a look at it, if you haven’t bought the bag by then :). I might also do a comparison between the 307 and 207 (wish I had a 107 here too). Thanks for stopping by, Michael! Have a great Sunday!

      Best,

      Patrick

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