Leo Laksi’s Bangkok And Back

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Two Billingham Hadleys in comparison – Hadley Pro v. Hadley (small)

with 21 comments


Recently I was asked about the size difference between these two Billingham bags.  The tan Hadley Pro is large enough to hold a Canon 5D with 17-40mm f/4 L and a 70-200mm f/2.8 L lenses.  As the 70-200mm is a large lens, both length and diameter, it consumes all the extra room.  Optionally, the bag will hold a Canon 5D with attached 17-40mm f/4 lens, as well as two other lenses, a 24-105mm f/4 L and an 85mm f/1.8 lens.  The two front pockets will also hold your accessories.   See my two previous postings on this subject.  Here or here.


The small Hadley will hold a DLSR with attached lens and one other small to medium sized lens, like the 24-105mm f/4 L lens.  And if you DSLR is on the small side like a Canon 450D, you have a little more room.  See my other posting about the small Hadley.


Comfortwise, I find the small Hadley one of the most comfortable bags I have.  I can carry this bag all day and never notice any discomfort.  On the other hand, I don’t find the Hadley Pro comfortable at all.  Perhaps it had to do with the overall stiffness of the bag with insert in place.  It’s not one of my favorite bags and I usually use the Crumpler “seven million dollar home” or the Lowe Pro Inverse 200 AW if there’s a need to carry a larger bag.  The Hadley Pro stays at home.

Removable inserts

Removable inserts

Both Hadleys are versatile.  Their inserts remove and you can use the bags in other ways.  The Hadley Pro can be used as a daily work bag and will hold an A4 sheet of paper,  even with the insert in place, you can place A4 size docs in the space behind the insert.  Also, the snap shown in the above photo creates a divided area in the space in front of the insert.

Quality-wise, both bags are extremely well-made and can be expected to last a lifetime.  The leather trim also adds to the appearance of the beautiful canvas material.


Written by leolaksi

March 8, 2009 at 7:50 am

21 Responses

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  1. Do you think the Canon 5D with 17-40mm f/4 L attached will fit into a Hardly (Small)

    Terence TeD

    July 29, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    • Terence. The 5D with the 17-40 will fit in the small Hadley. As I no longer have a 5D or the 17-40, I tried my D700 with attached L bracket and attached 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. The D700 with bracket is quite a bit larger than the 5D and the 14-24 is significantly larger than the 17-40. The Nikon and attached lens fit with no problems. (By the way the 14-24mm is four inches across at the built in hood.) The attached 17-40 lens hood may be a bit wide but if its around 4 inches across, no problem. If its larger then you can detach and store in pocket until needed. The small Hadley is a nice little bag. Good luck. Leo


      July 29, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    • Hello! Great blog!

      Could you help? I’m trying to buy a Billingham as a present for someone with a Nikon D300. He normally has lens attached.

      Would it fit ok in the Small? I need to choose and buy today for a Christmas present!

      Thank you so much


      December 14, 2009 at 4:55 pm

      • Sarah,

        Which lens does he have attached to the D300? Makes a difference. Let me know and I will post a photo of the D300 with that lens. If I don’t have that lens, I will post one of similar size.

        The D300 with an attached lens will work, depending on the size of the lens.



        December 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm

  2. OH man, that’s great, cos I am deciding between L2 and this….
    the pouch infront, can a EX530 flash be fitted in?

    Terence TeD

    July 29, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    • I don’t know about the dimensions of the EX530 but the small Hadley pockets are somewhat expansive by unsnapping a button. Depth (top to bottom) is about seven inches. That’s a guess with ruler. A snug width of 5 inches for each pocket and a width of 2 1/2 to three inches. These measures are per pocket.


      July 29, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    • The L2 is one internal pocket from end to end.


      July 29, 2009 at 3:38 pm

  3. Hello Mr Laski,

    I am also interested in using a Nikon D300 with a Hadley bag. I’m thinking about either the Pro or the large and I was wondering if you could tell me whether it would fit?

    I mostly shoot with prime lenses and only camera couple with me at any one time. I travel quite low on camera gear but I’m interested in something that I can use as a general bag/satchel (which doesn’t look too ‘camerabag’).

    How well does the camera’s height fit into the Hadley’s width (I see that you are now shooting with a D700 which I believe is taller again that the D300)? Will the camera only fit face down with the LCD facing upwards or will it sit inside the bag?

    Thank you very much for any light you can shed,



    April 9, 2010 at 8:20 am

    • The Hadley Pro will accommodate the D300 either “nose” down with the LCD facing upwards or lengthwise with the LCD facing the side panel. You should be able to carry two or three lenses depending on the size of your lenses. Billingham makes beautiful well-made bags that will last you for years.

      I don’t have the large Hadley. I do have the large 555 and this bag swallows the D300 or D700 with no difficulties whatsoever. It is a heavy bag because it has lots of pockets and dividers for carrying a couple of camera bodies, several lenses and other accessories.

      (Incidently, the D700 and D300 are basically the same size.)



      April 13, 2010 at 9:44 pm

  4. I currently use a Domke f3x, and am considering “upgrading” to a compact Billingham. I generally carry a Nikon D300 with 35/1.8 attached, as well as one other prime (e.g. a 50/1.8 or 85/1.8) and one larger zoom lens, e.g. the 55-200.

    Will these lenses fit into the small, or would I need a Pro? Do you have any idea whether the new Billingham F2.8 or F1.4 would be better?

    Thanks in advance…


    December 1, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    • Shutterbug,

      I would recommend the Hadley Pro because it gives you room to grow. And yes, those lenses will fit in that bag. The F1.4 would fit although there is not much extra room for other accessories.



      December 3, 2010 at 5:40 pm

  5. I’m trying to decide between the pro and the small. I have a Canon 7D with a 18-135mm lens but I plan on getting more as time goes on and do not want to run out of space in the small. In the meantime I’d plan on using the extra space as I would a purse. What do you think? If I can only purchase one bag for the next few years should I go bigger?

    Alex Andersen

    December 3, 2010 at 7:08 am

    • Alex,

      The small Hadley is great as it is very compact however it doesn’t give you much room to carry a third lens or a larger second lens. I would recommend the Hadley Pro has it size allow you to carry a third smaller or a second larger. Also there is plenty of room to use the bag as a shoulder bag.



      December 3, 2010 at 5:35 pm

  6. Is your Hadley Small made from the black canvas or the FibreNyt?


    April 24, 2011 at 10:25 am

    • HI Jenny,

      It’s black canvas.



      May 5, 2011 at 2:25 pm

  7. Awesome !! Thanks for such a detail post ! Will be getting the small Hadley !


    Linda Yeo

    July 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm

  8. Hi Leo,

    Thanks for the great comparison — very helpful.

    I’m considering purchasing a Hadley Small to hold a Canon 5d Mark ii with 24-105 attached and a 580 EX ii – would the Small be enough or would I need to go for the Pro?

    With thanks


    September 23, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    • Hi Colin. The small Hadley would be a very tight fit with just your camera and lens. ( My D700 and a similar lens fit snugly.) It’s the 580 that will be tough to accommodate. The being said I love the way the small Hadley rests on your torso. The Hadley Pro doesn’t hang the same due to it’s larger dimensions.



      September 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm

  9. Hi Leo,

    Thanks for the comparison! certainly very helpful.

    I was wondering if a d90/d300s with a 24-70 attached would fit the hadley small. and if so, will there be any room left? (say for a flash or a film camera). I’m hesitant about the hadley pro because it does seem significantly larger. thanks!


    November 23, 2011 at 7:53 am

    • that configuration will fit the small Hadley. There would a little room left. Whether a flash or a film camera will fit depends on the flash and the camera. leo


      January 21, 2012 at 7:17 pm

  10. Hi Leo,
    This blog is really helpful….can’t seem to find internal pictures of Billingham bags anywhere so thanks for doing this!
    Anyway, i’m off to New York next month and i’m planning on taking my 5d mk2 with only my 17-40mm lens attached but also with the battery pack attached. I’m looking for a lightweight bag i can also use as my flight bag when i fly as my camera never leaves my side, so it needs to accommodate a small purse, passport and hopefully my canon G10??
    As im only 5ft 5″ in height i was hoping the hadley small would suit as its a really nice looking bag esp in black or do you think it would be too small??? The Hadley Pro i fear would be too bulky for my frame….what are your thoughts????


    January 12, 2012 at 4:54 am

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