#843. What’s in my Bag? (Adam)

By Adam Bonn | Review

Apr 12

Late to the party (but always nice to be invited) it’s high time I shared with you the contents of my bag!


The obvious choice for me was the Billingham Hadley small. To me this bag has everything I need. The ability to cram in more stuff that anything that size has any physical right to hold, it has no zips or Velcro (these things have a habit of breaking and/or wearing out) and I find it comfortable to wear and carry.

That “26” written in pen identifies who in the factory hand assembled this bag, betcha didn’t know that about your Billingham

Best of all it was about half price in a department store sale and that was all the Bag Acquisition incentive I needed! Fours years on and it has red wine and cafe food stains because at times I can be a clumsy fuck (and I like to keep it on-the-lap close to me in cafes), the colour’s rubbed off a bit on one edge where the bag rubs against my hip, but most of all the quality of the bag has rubbed off on me! (If you’re reading this Billingham, I can provide ad copy for a small fee)

Four years of rubbing on my hip. Happy enough with that

If the worst happened and it somehow died I wouldn’t really hesitate to replace it with another…. I probably wouldn’t score a half price one again though and would have to console myself with having a colour choice. Not that Khaki is terrible… but it’s no black.

As well as the camera and three or four lenses, you can also get an iPad Air in the back!

If I’m taking everything, it’s usually this – Leica M9P 50 summicron 35 and 90 summarits and the 7Artisans (mounted) as you can see from the cork, the M isn’t a big bit of kit!

My Leica kit effortlessly fits inside the Hadley Small

I also keep in the Billingham:
A spare SD card, spare batteries (not pictured)
A cleaning cloth (not pictured)
A White Balance Card, a lanyard to attach the WB card to things (like me)
A lens cleaning pen
ND filters
Hayfever tablets
A plastic bag for wet/dusty environment lens changes
A nicotine vaporiser (for nicotine is addictive yet cigarettes are bad and Adam is only able to live without the latter if he still has the former!)
The Billingham serves as my ‘I simply have to take all my stuff with me’ bag. This is a rare occurrence… as usually I’ve a reasonable idea of what kit I want to shoot so there’s no point dragging it all along with me.


For the most part I don’t want to take all my stuff with me…

My Case Logic Small DSLR bag (it’s never had a DSLR in it in its life!)

Which leads me to my Case Logic small DSLR bag. This bag will happily fit one Leica M (or Fuji X-Pro) with a lens mounted and another lens loose in the main compartment. I’ve had this bag nearly a decade and my only recollection is seeing it in a store, baulking at the price, then scoring it on eBay for about 60% less. Between them, the two side pockets can fit a spare battery (or two for an X-Pro – it’s not that the Fuji batteries are smaller, just that it might be worth having two spares!) and some filters, WB card, door keys. After all these years the only issue is that one of the rubber mouldings that encases the zip puller has snapped off, but there’s still ample left to tug on the zip.

50 + 35 + Camera = one bag and more than enough for most things I shoot (lens usually in a pouch, not shown for clarity)

My third bag is another decade old one, a Golla something or other I mainly use this as a hand luggage bag, as it’ll take three lenses, then this little bag can go in my big (but still small enough to fit under the plane seat 😉 ) rucksack that I travel with.

The perspective makes the bag look big – it isn’t, but these all fit. Just.

Occasionally I take both the Case Logic and Golla bag out with me, on that rare (like count on the fingers of one hand number of times) that I want all the lenses, but don’t want to bring the Billingham with me.

Fujifilm XF lens pouches make great protection for all my lenses. Don’t fret folks, the XF lenses are safely stored elsewhere.

Of course gear’s great, but what does all this get used for?


Well a variety of things!

I tend to think of myself as a Street Tog (what with me being a street tog) but that doesn’t mean I can’t cross this bridge see this view and not point a camera at it (apologies to the DS members and readers that can actually do a landscape some sort of justice)

As you might know, I’m english but I’ve been living in Portugal for the past five years and I never get tired of how different the world looks here!

My first visit to Braga!

Portugal also offers me many different opportunities for street photography!

Students earning a little on the side!
The Happy Tram Man

I quite often use the 7Artisans 50mm F1.1 with my M9. The DS massive is a little split as to whether it’s a good lens or not… I won’t tell tales on who thinks what…

It’s not the sharpest glass around – but like a fifteen year old Honda Fireblade, it’s a cheap way to go very fast (unlike the motorcycle, the 7Artisans probably won’t earn you a driving ban for excessive velocity on the public highway #truestory #missspentyouth)

But I’d be the first to admit that better IQ is available with native M glass (and no doubt Zeiss and almost certainly modern Voigtländer glass)

The de rigueur monochrome shot
The de rigueur cat shot

I hope that you enjoyed this little peek into the murky world of my bag…. The short answer to the question (what’s in my bag) is basically one camera and 35mm and 50mm lenses, which I do find covers off so, so much of what I like to take pictures of.


I usually just take the Case Logic bag with these two primes… But often in the summer months, I just pick a lens for the day, sling the camera round my neck and head on out with nothing more than a spare battery (or two) in a jeans pocket. Rolling back home some hours later as golden hour fades, perhaps a little sun burnt, usually full of cafe food and very occasionally with an image or two that I’m quite happy with


All images shot with the M9P, 50 summicron, 35 and 90 summarits and the 7artisans 50mm F1.1


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  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    And you bought a matching Leica M9P? – good choice, Adam.

    Actually, if I can stop being silly for a moment, all your gear seems to be eminently sensible and practical. And you’ve posted enough on DS over the years to prove you know how to use the stuff. Most of your readers will be filled with envy at the convenience factor.

    I do like the convenience factor of my Lowepro backpack – once open, everything is laid out in front of me and easy to access. Of course it’s essential to make sure it’s all properly closed before attempting to pick it up, or the whole lot would probably go flying across the room! – not such a problem with shoulder bags! But then I need something bigger than your bags – DSLRs and lenses like my Otuses do take a bit more room!

    I would be terrified to treat my cams the way some of the pros do – hanging off their belt, on a clip – or hanging on a clip at the end of a shoulder strap, and swinging around as they walk.

    • Adam Bonn says:

      Thanks Pete,

      I actually have a cheap rucksack with compartments that I use to store which ever system (eg the fuji or the leica) that I’m not using, but I never wear it out so I didn’t include it

      People who use no strap at all give me the jitters… I couldn’t imagine relying on my (in)ability to hold something to protect my camera

      The M plus lenses certainly is small… the price of course is no AF and the constant worry of what it all costs and the need to safeguard it.

      I clonked the 7artisans (whilst on the camera) on something yesterday and I appear to have got a away with it… but still a worry.

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        Worry gives you wrinkles – try laughing.

        Anyway, think of it this way. I had an accidental holiday in Portugal years ago, and was gobsmacked by the place. I’ve spent the past 30 years telling everyone it’s the best tourist destination I’ve ever experienced. Sure, there are places like Petra and the Galapagos and on and on. But Portugal has so much to offer – and a standard one month holiday, you could practically see everything – or at least imagine you had. (It’s never going to be possible to do that anywhere of course).

        And you LIVE there! Just think – to cheer yourself up, all you have to do is think of England! Sorry – couldn’t resist that! – my wife lives in the forlorn hope that one day I’ll learn how to behave myself! 🙂

        • Adam Bonn says:

          I’m more old to have my fair share of wrinkles Pete!

          But you’re quite right, why worry?

          And I love living here in a vibrant european city, compared to the small town I grew up in


  • immodoc says:

    Hi, your article shows that one can take good pictures with minimal equipment (if one can), and even an older Leica is still going strong …

    I started in 1988 with a Leica M6 and only two lenses, the Summicron 2/35 and the Elmarit 2,8/90, and I was extremely happy.

    But in those days, photography was different. A power user needed one slide film/day on holiday. Back home, the films were sent
    to KODAK for development and framing. And after sorting the slides in the magazines, they were shown using a LEITZ Pradovit
    and a big screen to members of the family. No one got up in those days to check the fine print on a car license plate.

    Now, I have 30 Leica M mount lenses, and I am not always entirely sure that my pictures are 15 times better … — LOL

    • Adam Bonn says:

      Thank you very much.

      I’m pretty new to the Leica world (but not photography) only having had one since 2017

      With the M I started off with just the 50/2, then added the 35/90 summarits a little later.

      On the one hand I’d love a stable of high end fast Leica glass (the m9 could do with the light gathering), but on the other hand it’s very expensive and I’m PERSONALLY not convinced that rangefinding is the best vehicle for focusing very fast FF glass.

      That said, companies other than Leica are offering increasingly decent products that do open my options (7artisans have just announced a 75mm f1.25)

      I’d like to get a 28mm, but I think I fundamentally see the world in 50mm and the other lenses are just for when 50 doesn’t work in whatever scenario. This is good as it does keep my GAS in bay a bit…

      So 30 M mounts.. wow do you have many duplicated focal lengths?

      • immodoc says:

        Hi, I have 2 21mm, 2 24mm, 2 28mm, 5 35mm, 4 50mm, 2 90mm, 2 135mm lenses (and a few “singles”).

        These are not all from Leica, but also from Voigtländer and ZEISS.

        One could say, I am not underequipped, strictly speaking … — LOL

        I have the Elmarit 2,8/28 in the latest asph. version, and the one preceding it.

        Both are good, but the asph. version is more compact, thus more Leica-like, I find … —

        • Adam Bonn says:

          What no 75? 🙂

          It certainly seems like you have all the important FLs covered and backed up

          I do have two 50s already and I haven’t been into this Leica thing for 2 years yet, so I quess in another 28 years I could easily have many, many more lenses!

          • immodoc says:

            Hi, sorry I overlooked that I have 3 28mm, and 2 75mm. Maybe, this is due to my English education, leaning to understatement …

            Others might call it forgetfulness — LOL

  • immodoc says:

    Well, I have several favorites:

    -Leica Elmarit 2,8/21 asph

    -Leica Summicron 2/35 pre-asph

    (ZEISS Distagon 1,4/35 is my best 35mm lens, but the Summicron I have since 1988,
    maybe it’s a “first love” thing … 😉 )

    -Leica Summicron 2/50 current version

    Some of the other M mounts I bought out of curiosity. I use them occasionally, to experience some variety … —

    • Adam Bonn says:

      That’s a fine list of favourite lenses, I even have the 50/2 myself (it has the dubious distinction of being the most I ever spent on a lens, and I fear that I’ve only just scratched the surface 🙂 )

      Although I am considering branching out into VL/Zeiss glass a little… well maybe a Leica 28/2.8 first…

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