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I have one of these as well (Penn's Pad & Pencil Satchel: Artisan&Artist* Bags) and I take it just about everywhere. Best camera bag I've ever owned. Zippers are plastic (but well made) so I've never had an issue with scratching. Perfect size. Love the strap and feel of this bag. 'Nuff said.

 

Thanks,

Will

Will I really like the look of the Penn's Pad & Pencil which seems to hold 2 M bodies with lenses fitted plus .... At present I use one of three Lowepro bags: Omni Traveller, Omni Sport and Stealth Reporter, the latter bought primarily for a dslr. The two Omnis are excellent but do not lend themselves to access a second M body with lens without opening the main compartment. That requires a table top and is not practical 'on the move'. The Pad & Pencil seem to afford that easy access. There is only one problem; is there a dealer in the UK? I will have to do some searching.

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Hi David,

 

I believe that it's a special version made for Leica. Any Leica dealer should be able to order one for you, although I doubt that many would keep them in stock due to the price and limited market.

 

Dear Nicole,

 

I've a Billingham Alice and it's nearly the same as the Leica variant, just some minor (to me) modifications)...

 

Best regards,

Michael

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Will I really like the look of the Penn's Pad & Pencil which seems to hold 2 M bodies with lenses fitted plus .... At present I use one of three Lowepro bags: Omni Traveller, Omni Sport and Stealth Reporter, the latter bought primarily for a dslr. The two Omnis are excellent but do not lend themselves to access a second M body with lens without opening the main compartment. That requires a table top and is not practical 'on the move'. The Pad & Pencil seem to afford that easy access. There is only one problem; is there a dealer in the UK? I will have to do some searching.

 

The only dealer I have found is The Classic Camera but they don't have everything. Give Andy a cll and see what he has. I am hoping to check out a couple when I am in London next thursday.

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Will I really like the look of the Penn's Pad & Pencil which seems to hold 2 M bodies with lenses fitted plus.

 

I've used it with two bodies a few times. That's a rectangular/square/rectangular compartment configuration. M6+Summicron 50mm, 18mm or 90mm lens, M8+Summicron 35mm

 

I normally have the dividers arranged to a square/square/rectangular configuration, for lenses/lens/camera+lens setup.

 

I carry the M8 with 18mm mounted (with finder + Luigi case and its strap), plus 50mm and 35mm Summicron in their own compartments. There's plenty of room with this configuration to chuck in the battery charger or Visoflex III, and/or stack in the 21mm CV in on top. (Although with all this stuff it starts to get a bit heavy--the bag can handle it, though. Strap is robust.)

 

Another configuration is the 50mm and 35mm Summicron (capped and stacked) in one area + the 90mm Summicron in another + M8 with 18mm mounted (with finder).

 

Zippered pocket for 2 spare batteries, light meter, cleaning cloth, mini SDHC card reader, and spare flash drive.

 

Open "snap" pocket for keys, wallet, and iPhone.

 

I've written elsewhere that I *like* the wide sewn-in strap. I hate clip-on straps for bags because either the hardware clanks or (worse) it's plastic. I also really like the canvas. Durable. Looks and feels better than ballistic nylon. (In my opinion, anyway.) When festooned with clasps/straps/multiple colors/logos and ABS snaps/locks, the ballistic nylon bags get very busy to look at very quickly. (Yuck.) Again, just me.

 

The fact that the top is zippered in the middle is a real bonus. I can extract out the M8+lens, shoot, leave the bag unzippered/open (and slung over body instead of on shoulder), and just reach down to swap lenses out easily without futzing with the bag (moving a flap up, holding stuff out of the way) and its hardware (fasteners, etc.). When shooting fast I feel A-OK about leaving lens caps off and just dumping lenses into one compartment each, for quick switches. (The compartments are very soft--it's a cotton material, not foam-stuffed nylon.)

 

For walkabouts and daily use, the open "snap" pocket is super convenient for just reaching in and extracting wallet, iPhone, etc., again without futzing with anything.

 

And it doesn't draw any attention whatsoever. Until the camera comes out, it's unclear what it's carrying.

 

There is only one problem; is there a dealer in the UK? I will have to do some searching.

 

I ordered it online through their site. There is some contact information at the bottom of this page that may be of use to you: Artisan & Artist*

 

 

And. . . . Just a quick note about size. Fully loaded, this bag can fit neatly *inside* the official Canon Digital Gadget Bag (200DG). And weighs less.

I know because I used work's Canon bag loaded up this week with Canon gear and when I returned to my own bag I thought: wow, that's light, small kit. Edited by wstotler

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I've used it with two bodies a few times. That's a rectangular/square/rectangular compartment configuration. M6+Summicron 50mm, 18mm or 90mm lens, M8+Summicron 35mm

 

I normally have the dividers arranged to a square/square/rectangular configuration, for lenses/lens/camera+lens setup. ....

 

I carry the M8 with 18mm mounted (with finder + Luigi case and its strap), plus 50mm and 35mm Summicron in their own compartments. There's plenty of room with this configuration to chuck in the battery charger or Visoflex III, and/or stack in the 21mm CV in on top. (Although with all this stuff it starts to get a bit heavy--the bag can handle it, though. Strap is robust.)

 

Another configuration is the 50mm and 35mm Summicron (capped and stacked) in one area + the 90mm Summicron in another + M8 with 18mm mounted (with finder).

 

Zippered pocket for 2 spare batteries, light meter, cleaning cloth, mini SDHC card reader, and spare flash drive.

Will, that's really helpful; thank you. In your opinion, would your kit fit even if the bodies each had a Leica hand-grip attached?

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Will, that's really helpful; thank you. In your opinion, would your kit fit even if the bodies each had a Leica hand-grip attached?

 

You're welcome.

 

A hand grip should make no difference as it does not add any more depth to the camera than a camera+lens does. Cameras loaded into the bag with their hand-grips facing up would make for a really fast pull of the cameras from the bag.

 

Cheers!

Will

 

P.S. The bag has this fabulous thin rear strap (on the snapped open-pocket side) that hangs neatly across the bag's rear. It's a "top" handle. When you need to pick up the bag (without using the large strap) you just slide your hand up the back side of the bag, catch the thin strap, and lift. You can't really see it in the photos on their site, though.

Edited by wstotler

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I use an Artisan and Artist ACAM 7100, and it is nearly perfect, except that my new, larger laptop doesn't fit, so I will probably upgrade to the next size at some point. I wrote a mini-review here:

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m8-forum/24846-artisan-artist-acam-7100-mini-review.html

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I use an Artisan and Artist ACAM 7100, and it is nearly perfect, except that my new, larger laptop doesn't fit, so I will probably upgrade to the next size at some point. I wrote a mini-review here:

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-forum/leica-m8-forum/24846-artisan-artist-acam-7100-mini-review.html

Carsten, I have revisited your review which is excellent. I really like the size of the A&A series but I cannot quite see how it would suit me. I realize that choice is very personal, so let me explain.

 

My need for a walk-about bag revolves around ready top access to either of two M bodies, one fitted with a short lens and one with either the MATE or 75mm lenses. The difficulty I face is storing and retrieving the latter without disturbing everything else. It just does not seem possible judging by the open top view shown. I can see that it would work if one body was lens-less or with two bodies both with short lenses, but that defeats my aim. Because I do not like to have two Ms normally hanging around my neck, I need to be able to swap body with lens for another body with lens from within the bag.

 

The other disadvantage I see is retrieving a third or fourth lens when it is buried beneath the top tier of bodies. Perhaps these live in jacket pockets rather than in the A&A bag. Again, I prefer not to live this way when touring for several hours. I would welcome satisfied A&A users' views on the practicalities of the scenario I describe.

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For your situation I would say you are probably right. With two cameras with lenses mounted which aren't compact, and another two needing to be ready, you need something slightly larger. There is another bag of the same style which is larger, in case the rest of the design pleases you: the Sabastio's Reporter Satchel. The ACAM-7000 is cloth, like mine. There is also a GCAM-7000 where the top flap is covered in leather.

 

Artisan&Artist ACAM-7000

 

With this bag, it should be possible to have two Ms, one at each end, with lenses facing in, and a pocket in the middle with two stacked lenses. I would say this is almost already possible with mine, but it would be tight. In fact, I am probably also going to buy an A&A ACAM-7000 sometime soon, since I have outgrown my 7100 a little. Great bag, and I will keep it for those times that I don't need to carry a magazine or a laptop, but the 7000's extra space would be really handy.

Edited by carstenw

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I just tried it, and in the 7100 I can fit an M6 with 50 Lux ASPH, an M8 with 35 Lux ASPH, and in the middle, a 28 Cron ASPH and 90 Cron ASPH. It is really tight though, and the 90 Cron ASPH would not fit on a camera in this position. The 7000 is 4cm wider, and that would allow one long lens on one of the cameras, as well as a little more room everywhere. Which specific lens/body combinations are you trying to squeeze in?

 

For the OP, the 7100 sounds perfect, size-wise. The 7200 might even be big enough.

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I just tried it, and in the 7100 I can fit an M6 with 50 Lux ASPH, an M8 with 35 Lux ASPH, and in the middle, a 28 Cron ASPH and 90 Cron ASPH. It is really tight though, and the 90 Cron ASPH would not fit on a camera in this position. The 7000 is 4cm wider, and that would allow one long lens on one of the cameras, as well as a little more room everywhere. Which specific lens/body combinations are you trying to squeeze in?

 

For the OP, the 7100 sounds perfect, size-wise. The 7200 might even be big enough.

Carsten, thank you for your helpful reply. At least you have confirmed my theoretical experiment.

 

In the meantime, I have readjusted the inserts in my Lowepro Omni Traveller and produced a workable solution. However, it does leave spare space at the bottom which one can always fill. Though that would work against my desire for weight reduction. So I will look at the 7100 and 7200.

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Do you really mean the 7200, the smallest? The sizes are inverse to the numbers, i.e. 7000 is the largest and 7200 the smallest.

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Do you really mean the 7200, the smallest? The sizes are inverse to the numbers, i.e. 7000 is the largest and 7200 the smallest.

Sorry, I misread your previous post which included advice to the OP.

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Fitting M and three lenses into the Billingham Airline bag:

It's very tight, although there is space between the lenses in the bottom for padding - usually I have one or both of them in a pouch. Generally I go out with two lenses - one mounted and the other in the bag as shown, with batteries where the second lens is placed in these shots. In that setup there is plenty of room, in fact I usually slide my sunglasses case in behind the camera. The lenses here are the 28cron and the 50lux, if you had one shorter lens then you put that one below where the camera body will sit (in this case on the left hand side).

 

I've used the M7 with grip, as I was shooting with the M8 - they both fit pretty much the same.

You can see the M7 fits fine with the Tri-Elmar mounted, it also fits with the 90cron (last pre-asph version).

 

 

I wouldn't advise dropping your gear off a cliff in this bag, as there isn't a whole lot of padding. However it's fine for stowing the camera and lenses when you are walking around, especially if you are going somewhere you really don't want to carry a more bulky bag.

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Problem solved, took the opportunity to visit a billingham dealer this morning and tried out a few options, settled on the hadley digital, fits m8 with grip with any lens mounted while also having room to carry another 2 lenses, spare batteries and sd cards

 

SORTED!

 

(ian, will send the combicase on sat)

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Nicole, some Leica dealers in the UK seem only to stock the full Billingham range. Do you know if the Leica Billingham is a rebadged Handley Pro? If not, which one? I can't think Billingham would make a special limited line unless that accounts for the price premium.

 

Hi David,

 

I believe that it's a special version made for Leica. Any Leica dealer should be able to order one for you, although I doubt that many would keep them in stock due to the price and limited market.

 

I should have found this thread before spending my money bought a bag that now seems way too big

 

I think the Leica Billingham is similar sized to the Hadley SMALL, with a redesign clasp and pockets. The main compartment seem to be the same, although I have not seen them side by side. Only seen one at one shop and then another at another shop.

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Like Gary B, I use the DOMKE F-5XA SMALL SHOULDER/BELT BAG. It's a great little bag and the cost is reasonable—about $65 at B&H or Cambridge Camera. The bag is well made. It's waterproof and padded. It can hold a Leica and two lenses and more, similar to the Artisan bags shown on this page, but at a quarter of the cost. I have 2 of them. One is about 20 years old and still good. The Velcro flap is great. I just got back form Europe. No one could possible pick that bag without me hearing the Velcro. It has a rubberized shoulder strap with excellent hardware, metal clips that hook onto metal O rings on each end of the bag. With a waist belt the bag is easy on the shoulders. With inserts removed it's great protection for a 28-70 f2.8 Nikkor. I think the prices of some of the bags under discussion here are truly insane.

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