Available to order: The ultimate photographers’ daybag, a collaboration with Frankie Falcon

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I think we all have this problem: there is no such thing as the perfect bag. Unless, of course, you design it yourself. After receiving a lot of positive feedback (and desire) from people who’ve seen it, I’ve also decided it will be made in a limited run. In collaboration with bespoke UK bag maker Frankie Falcon, I’m pleased to offer my first hardware collaboration: The MT x FF Ultimate Photographers’ Daybag. Orders for the first (and limited) batch will run until 31 October 2016. Final orders will ship 1st week December 2016.

The order book is now closed. I will likely be offering a new (smaller) version by popular demand in early 2017. Thank you for your support!

Click on after the jump to order and for the rest of the details…

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I’ve always wanted an urban shoulder bag that I can work out of: i.e. get stuff in and out, change lenses, sling out of the way. It had to be a shoulder bag because it’s fastest to open up to change lenses, and easy to put down when you have the chance. It’s also lower profile and stealthier than a backpack, without issues of access or strange configurations. It had to be able to store a decent amount of gear if required, be soft enough to form itself to your body for comfort, but rigid enough to stop things banging together. Plus ideally collapse down for situations when you have to stuff it in your suitcase – budget carriers, for instance. I’ve tried just about everything made in this category by all of the major brands and then some – but they all were either too padded, to small internally, or too rigid and not easy to work out of. It should have a minimal amount of exposed metal hardware to avoid scratches (no zips for this reason), and a sleek exterior with as few straps as possible to avoid catching on things.

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Omnomnom. I will eat all your gear. Note side wings to stop stuff falling out, or uninvited hands going in.

This bag is a result of a) buying far too many in the past that haven’t served the right purpose, have been awkward to use, overpadded, unpackable in themselves, not durable, or just plain ugly. What you see is the result of both years of photography and figuring out what one really needs to hand practical walkabout situation, and what one can live without. We also went through four redesigns and prototypes in the process of arriving at this solution, and I’ve been using variants of this bag for the last six months. We’ve thrown away everything you don’t need, but left you with everything you do. As a bonus, it’s handmade in England from the same materials used on high end convertible sportscars.

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Two Hasselblad H bodies, lenses attached, and a laptop? No problem. It’s how I’ve been using it for the last month in transport mode, but most of the time it’s camera in hand and 2-3 lenses + accessories easily accessible over the shoulder.

Firstly, you’ll notice there’s almost no internal padding.
The materials used are thick enough to prevent bumping and chafing, and there’s strategic thin padding on the divider and bottom, but nowhere else. When was the last time you dropped a bag, but how often have you cursed at the wasted volume? A lot of other photographers have been using non-camera bags for this reason, or unlined canvas photo bags like Domkes.

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Smaller than you might think, but internally larger than it looks

Secondly, it’s got a much greater internal volume than it appears to have.
The bag’s external dimensions are 31x24x16cm, which is small enough to count as your ‘personal item’ when you fly, but I can fit two Hasselblad H bodies, two lenses, spares, a full size iPad in the rear pocket, and a 12″ Macbook in the front laptop pocket with room to spare – or two D810s, three Zeiss Otuses and the same spares, iPad and laptop. A D810 or 5D-sized body will fit transversely – so you could put three in, with lenses attached if you were really masochistic. If you’re willing to forgo a bit of internal room, it’ll stretch to fit a 13″ Retina Macbook Pro. I’ve not been able to find another bag that can do this. I would like to claim this has something to do with advance applied physics, but it’s simply because we went strategic on the packing.

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Our new continuous loop divider. D810 transversely (with L bracket) – plus laptop; with three Otuses for size.
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Thirdly, you’ll see there’s only one piece of velcro in the entire bag, yet there are five possible configurations.
In practice, we don’t need velcro everywhere. The internal continuous loop divider is threaded through four leather retaining straps at 1/3rd width intervals; by threading the divider through different combinations of the loop and securing it with that single piece of velcro, you can have either one big compartment, three equal ones, two equal ones or two unequal ones (L-R bias). And the divider is long enough that you’ll still have a third thin compartment between the two compartments if you choose the two-up route. I usually use it in the three compartment configuration: in the field, three lenses easily changed out, camera in hand; or two lenses, and one on the camera which sits in the middle.

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Small accessory pockets – on both sides

The bag was designed to be flexible and easily reconfigurable to adapt to multiple systems. You could stuff it full of Hasselblad, or just use part of it for a couple of Leicas or mirrorless cameras and the rest for your lunch and a sweater. Cameras slide in and out easily, and lens changes are a breeze. In addition to the main compartment, there’s a laptop slot at the front of the bag, under the main flap (which will fit up to a 13″ Macbook Pro Retina), two small internal pockets for accessories, and a rear slip pocket that will fit up to a 12″ iPad or Macbook. I put the main laptop pocket at the front of the bag so the rest of it can still bend comfortably to your body.

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Folds completely flat for easy packing.

Fourthly, It’s lightweight, self-forming, fully collapsible, and water resistant.
The bag is mostly double-layer canvas, of the same treated sort that’s used in convertible roofs – as you can see, it’s hydrophobic and water beads and runs off. If you remove the divider and fold up the bottom padding, you can squash it completely flat – making it easy to pack into your check in luggage. The bag weighs about 1kg empty.

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Fine detailing and water-resistance.

Finally, I think it looks pretty good 🙂
I wanted something with the style of a Billingham but more stealth, and the utility of a Domke but with a bit more structure: this is it. More important than that, however, is that it’s comfortable in use: there’s a top handle for quick pickups, the front tab closures are at a slight angle to pull the lid shut when using the handle. The shoulder strap is a continuous loop whose doubled adjustable portion goes over your shoulder for additional padding, and the strap itself is thick, wide, soft and flexible. The rear of the bag contains an extra layer of canvas (three total) for the right amount of rigidity, but sufficient give to shape to your body. Lastly, there’s both leather piping and a thick leather pad on the bottom (plus internal padding) to cushion your gear from the ground. It’s built to last from quality materials, which the manufacturer is standing behind with their usual 25-year warranty*.

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Rear iPad/magazine pocket – that’s a 12″ Macbook in there.

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Base leather pad: the bag sits on the rear piping and the front pad, with the majority of it actually not touching a flat surface.

Ordering details
The bag will be made by hand in very limited production, with the order books open from now until 31 October 2016, with shipping in the second half of November with orders filled continuously in small batches – the first orders should be delivered ~early Nov, and the last by 2nd week December due to strong demand. The price of the bag is US$250, payable by Paypal at the links below (credit cards work too). $15 Regular shipping takes 5-10 day via air mail (not trackable), $25 express shipping is trackable and should be 3-5 days. Bags will be sent directly from the Frankie Falcon workshop in the UK, and we will email you the tracking number once your bag ships. Each bag is handmade, so please allow time for us to clear the queue! Volume pricing is available if you are a dealer and would like to stock the bags (please send me an email to enquire further).

Please include your phone number in the comment box – this is required for the courier. If the box does not appear for you (PP has been having some issues of late) – I will have to trouble you to email it to me…thanks!

Click here to order the MT x FF Daybag with Express shipping

Click here to order the MT x FF Daybag with Regular shipping

Orders for this batch have now closed. I will likely be offering a new, smaller design in early 2017. Thanks for your support!

Specifications

  • Internal dimensions: 14x22x30cm (main compartment), 9.2L (comparison: Billingham Hadley Pro 12x28x35cm, 6L)
  • External dimensions: 16x24x31cm; total continuous strap length 1.5m measured from the top of the bag to the opposite side of the top of the bag
  • Empty weight: ~1kg
  • Materials: Double layer water-repellant canvas, Italian calf leather, black/black with grey stitching. Handle in leather, cotton webbing adjustable shoulder strap. Leather ball-and-tab front closure with two positions.
  • Construction: Handmade in England by Frankie Falcon

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Terms and conditions

  1. Orders will close at midnight on 1 November 2016
  2. Production has begun and we will continue to shipping continuously – we we expect first bags to be delivered by the end of October (depending on customs, of course), and last orders by end of November/ mid December due to demand.
  3. In the event that we are unable to fulfil your order, a full refund will be given.
  4. If you decide to cancel your order within a week of placing it, a 50% refund will be given. Cancellations after this date are not eligible for refunds.
  5. All sales are final upon shipping.
  6. *Frankie Falcon’s 25 year standard warranty applies, details of which can be found here
  7. Delivery may take longer than the stated duration; events are outside our control once the bag leaves the factory.
  8. The bags will be made and shipped directly from Frankie Falcon in the UK; the factory will send an email with the tracking number upon shipping.
  9. Buyers are responsible for any customs duties and taxes that might be levied upon import into your country.

Thank you for your support! MT x FF

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Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards. All rights reserved

Comments

  1. Please tell me this bag will be available again!!!?

  2. Finally got my bag a couple of weeks ago: it’s much heavier than I anticipated (but I was using Hubba Hubba Hiney before and probably this wasn’t very realistic on my part), and 12.7″ iPad Pro is not completely obscured by the bag: it pokes out a little when placed in the back pocket and shiny metal sides are partially visible from one of the sides when it’s in the front.

    The unexpected surprise for me were the two small side pockets: they’re perfect for spare batteries, room key and passport.

    I have a question: is it possible to close the bag single-handedly? After removing the camera from the bag I don’t always have it on a strap so one of the hands is kinda full, and there’s still some stuff inside so want to close the lid to ease my heart. But the amount of stuff inside is very little so I was unable to close it using one hand just yet. Will it become possible in the future after the leather softens up even more?

    • The 12.7″ is actually a bit bigger than the 12″ Macbook it was designed for 🙂

      Single handed closing: it’s possible; you slip your thumb under the flap and use two fingers on top to ‘squeeze’ it shut. It will get easier as the leather wears in. We didn’t want to start off loose…

      • Who knew that an iPad would be bigger than a MacBook 🙂 I was hopeful based on your 13″ remark, but I guess it’ll look kinda similar. And anyway with it and a camera it becomes pretty heavy so I don’t think I should carry it there even if it fits or I’ll crook my back even more.

        Thanks for the technique tip! Now I know what to aim for.

        • The 13″ is a tight fit and outside design parameters…

          • Yeah, I should’ve asked for an image 🙂 But probably back then I thought that it was the 13″ MacBook on the photos already.

            One other aspect I didn’t have the chance to experience yet: how does it handle under the medium to heavy rain? Doesn’t the rear pocket collect water like a water jug? It’s a minor concern, but I think if left empty it wouldn’t be a problem in real life.

            • The rear pocket is for convenience – when you need to slip papers in or something for a short time. If it’s pressed against your body, no, water doesn’t go in – though I understand your concerns and I’ll fix this if there’s a v2…

              • Rear pocket is extremely useful: it’s possible to put something there extremely quickly. I’m regularly stashing rx100 or iPhone there to free my hands.

              • And I guess even if the water will get to the rear pocket it won’t cause an internal leak (as the fabric is most likely rubberised inside), and could be dried out afterwards, so I don’t consider it to be a real problem.

              • Not to break up the Apple love, but I thought I would say that I just received my Dell XPS 13 and it is a tight, but successful, fit.

                https://goo.gl/photos/awpKKP46ok5NkTpp8

                I’d also add that there are few camera bags where the whole thing is waterproof. If I know I’m going to get wet, I’ll likely take another bag or find a rain cover just to be safe.

                • Good to know; can’t test what I don’t have handy 🙂

                  I guess the XPS13 is about the same size as the new 13MBPRTB?

                  • Comparing the XPS13 to the 13MBPRTB: looks like the width is almost identical, the Apple is about half an inch deeper (so it would stick farther out of the rear pocket, and they have about the same maximum thickness. That being said, the Dell is thinner at the bottom end (according to the specs, it goes from about 0.3 inches at the end closest to the user to 0.6 at the hinge end), which allows it to more easily slide down into the pocket. Like I said, a tight fit, but it works.

                • Looks like yours protrudes a little bit less than mine. For completeness sake here’s my 12.9″ iPad Pro:
                  https://www.flickr.com/gp/mblsha/P19k1L
                  https://www.flickr.com/gp/mblsha/DS517Z

                  Black one would be significantly stealthier 🙂

              • Update: Went through several heavy rain days with the bag and the concerns about the waterproofness of the rear pockets were completely unfounded. I had the bag pressed to my back and the paper I had in the rear pocket stayed completely dry.

                And it’s possible to fit A4 unfolded papers there as well.

                Usability of the bag when I’m just using it for normal life is stellar.

  3. Hi Ming,
    I received the bag just before Xmas and have been putting my stuff into it. The bag is well made, the side flaps are effective against rain. While it looks to me that this bag is perfect for DSLRs or MF type bodies, I wonder how good it is for smaller mirrorless system. I now have a Sony A7R2 body, A6000 body, and usually carry 5-6 prime lenses (small ones e.g. Loxia, Zeiss ZM types and the light weight Contax C/Y). With the inbuilt separator, I see that I can pack both bodies with lens fitter and just one more lens but there is a lot of room for the gear to slide around. So, does anyone complement the bag by putting your lenses in pouches? I definitely don’t want my lenses rubbing against each other “naked” leaving marks behind. In addition, how can I add separators considering the inside material is not velcro friendly?

    Last, how can I attach a tripod to the bag? I usually carry a Gitzo 1542T with Acra Swiss P0 head.

    Thx Kai

    • To be honest – it wasn’t really designed for smaller cameras (notice how none of the usage cases show it). However, since it seems most of the better lenses for these systems are also pretty huge, I’d have imagined three slots / three bodies each with a lens attached. Otherwise, I’d use pouches.

      Tripod – again, not designed for this, but the easiest way would be to hook a leg over the strap behind. I’m working on a separate tripod harness though.

  4. PraneethRS says:

    Ming,

    I waited a while to post my thoughts on the bag as I wanted to use it as extensively as I could.

    I think the people before me have best summarized the excellent build quality and the initial issue with the leather tabs (which goes away within a day of use). I’ve used the bag on several trips and pushed it to it’s limits on one trip by packing:

    1) Nikon D610 + Nikon 50/1.8G + Contax 85 MMG + Voigtlander 180/4 APO
    2) Oly EM-5.2 + 45/1.8 + 25/1.8 + G-M43 Adaptor
    3) Ricoh GR
    4) Macbook Pro Retina 13″ (2014 model)
    5) The usual assortment of cables, chargers, spare batteries and cards
    6) The usual collection of travel documents, my travel audio kit and miscellaneous items.

    The fit was… tight. But then again I never expected the bag to pack that much of gear or to be used while flying from place A to B. On my current trip I only bought the Olympus kit and have ample space for a change of clothes and my duty free purchases. 😛

    I left the best bit for the last and for me that’s the comfort of the bag strap and my ability to shoot it in rain or snow. I shot with it during a say of steady rain and snow in Chicago and didn’t face any issues. Gear remained nice and dry and the bag didn’t acquire any odd color spots or any other issues.

    Thanks to the lack of padding and simple divider system, I regularly use this as a non-photography day bag as well. In summary, if it isn’t obvious, I’m very happy with the bag and would happily recommend it to anyone.

    Cheers!

  5. Finally received my bag yesterday, despite UPS’s best efforts to ensure it never got anywhere. I am impressed with the quality of the materials and construction. When I unpacked it I said to myself, “Oh boy, this is pretty small.” Then I started putting stuff in it. It does really hold a lot of stuff. Now I need to retrain my brain to pack in a different way. For example, to use my lens bags for padding where necessary. The one thing I would say (and it applicable to all messenger style camera bags so it is a very small nit) is that I wish someone would figure out a design that lets you lift the bag by the handle when the top is unlatched and not make you feel like everything will spill out. Overall, I am very impressed with this ting!

    • Firstly, please allow me to apologize again for the logistics – we were somewhat locked in for this round, but have vowed never to see them again. I’m just glad it got there in the end 🙂

      Handle and open: you can if the handle is attached to the back/frame, but the center of gravity is off and the front kinda spills out anyway. You could have two handles, one on either side of the bag, but they get in the way of accessing the contents and require a central zip or flap. I did consider these things but couldn’t find a solution…

  6. I got mine a few weeks ago, but haven’t had a chance to use it much yet, but it’s very impressive how much they bag can hold. When I first got it, I was a little nonplussed by the size of the box and then the bag when it came out of the box: it’s so small! But then the thing starts swallowing equipment like a little black hole. I couldn’t believe I could fit two gripped DSLRs in it too. Here’s a photo of a Nikon D810 and D500 with their battery grips, along with the Nikkor 24/1.8G and Tamron 85/1.8 lenses mounted. I don’t think I could put more stuff in the bag beyond batteries, but even then the bag makes those cameras look small!

    As Kai mentions below, the leather straps’ buttonholes are a little stiff at first, but they soften up pretty quickly: about 2-3 unbuttonings in my case.

    Hope these image embeds work!


  7. Mini first impressions Review of the MT X FF bag
    I am writing this mini-review from the perspective of an enthusiast photographer, who uses a full frame dSLR set up and already has experience using a range of camera bags from shoulder bags (Billingham Hadley Pro, Crumpler), sling bags (Lowepro) and half day backpacks (Lowepro, Manfrotto).
    Unboxing experience:
    I was immediately struck by the quality of the design, materials and workmanship. In my opinion, it is peerless and a step up from the already excellent Hadley Pro. The attention to detail can be seen in the beautiful stitching and how the materials have been trimmed and cut perfectly inside as well as outside the bag. The inner divider design is genius: efficient, effective and elegant are the words that spring to mind. The only thing I had difficulty was, was the stiffness of the buckle –strap attachment. I suspect this just takes time to wear in, so no biggie. The main strap is perfectly judged for material, width and thickness, and the bag somehow holds its shape despite the intended limited padding. In contrast, the Hadley Pro’s bottom is horribly floppy without the padded insert and so it doesn’t really make for a nice shoulder bag on its own, plus the strap is too thin. The MT x FF fixes all that.
    In use:
    Well, I put my D3s with 24-70mm, 70-200mm f4 and Zeiss 18mm prime inside, and had a lot of room to spare. The Hadley Pro cannot fit the D3s with any lens attach without creating an unslightly bulge.
    Conclusion:
    I’m really pleased with the MT x FF bag. It’s beautifully designed and constructed, and allows me to carry relatively large camera gear in a quality small and stylish package.
    PS: This is the third attempt at posting this review, I wouldn’t normally bother, but wanted to persevere as I thought it might be helpful. Will try to post a link to a photo of my gear inside the bag.

  8. Hi…the bag finally arrived 2 days ago…First I have to say this is a bag that has Excellent build quality.

    I do have a question. In the pics you posted of the bag it shows various configurations of the camera/lenses (at least from what I can tell) fitting in the bag. Well it works fine when I have my H6D + 80mm sense. However I use the H6 + 35-90mm as a go to lens when traveling. One of the pics that you posted above shows the camera H+35-90mm sitting on the bag. However when I tried putting the camera + Lens in the bag it does not fit.

    See attached pics. Am I doing something wrong 😦

    Please advise.




    • Thanks. The 35-90 mounted won’t fit unless you put it in without the divider and nothing else – it wasn’t designed for that.

      • Thanks for clarifying that the 35-90 mounted will not fit. Showing a picture of the 35-90 mounted on the camera sitting on the bag is a little misleading, as this was the main reason why I bought this bag. At this point it is a very expensive day bag sitting on my desk that I truly can’t use 😦

        What is your return policy?

        • It does fit if you choose not to put anything else in the main compartment, and both components will fit if separated, so it’s not misleading. You also didn’t ask before ordering.

          Return policy is clearly stated in the T&C at the bottom of the post: all sales are final.

          • Ming Thein…there are times when you have to ask yourself am I doing the customer justice? If I can afford a $27,000 camera and another $10,000+ of lenses, I can surely afford to eat the cost of your case. However it is a matter of principle Sir. I bought it based on the description and Photographs you provided in your post. Ask anyone here and they will tell you by showing the camera with the larger lens on it is misleading. You accept this or not is another question.You could have quite easily corrected this issue but you chose not to.

            I was going to buy some additional items from you but based on your handling of this, I am having second thoughts.

            • I’m sorry, but I still fail to see what the problem is.

              You insist a H5/6 and 35-90 attached will not fit in the bag. It is not physically possible to put it in vertically as the dimension of the bag is smaller than the length of the camera, and no amount of clever design can change the laws of physics. However, I have said three times: remove the divider and it will fit horizontally – as you can see from the attached image. You can also see there is still space for other items behind it and underneath or on top of it, in addition to the front pocket, rear pocket and internal side pockets. Please explain how this is misrepresentation. Finally, the terms of sale were clearly stated.

              Untitled

              • Thanks for sharing the picture…If I force it in, it fits…it is a very tight fit, with the rubber eye piece rubbing against the side of the bag, front of the lens obviously against the other side. If I take the UV filter off the lens, I gain 2-3mm, but its still tight and needs a little adjustment to put the camera/lens back in again.

                Here is a simple use-case/scenario. I am walking down the street in some city and see something interesting that I want to take a picture of, I reach into my bag and pull the camera out, take a picture and then slip the camera discreetly back into the bag, without creating any attention (as least amount as possible with a Hasselblad :-))

                I tried this use case in the house, and what I am finding is that if I am able to get the camera out of the bag, I can definitely not put it back in as easily, without having to use both hands and fiddle with the bag/camera to get it in. Remember I am on the street and I will not have a nice table/sofa on which I can place the bag first totally flat, and then slide the camera in! My hope was to use this bag on shorter casual trips and not have to pull out the Pelican case.

                Bottom line is the bag is useful within a certain usage scenario. Maybe a 80mm + one other smallish lens, then you are good to go with this bag. If you want any long lens then my opinion is this bag is not the right choice.

                As for build quality I cannot fault the bag, it is still the best looking, feeling, smelling (yes the leather) bag I have owned, but I wish it was even an inch longer and all this would have been a no issue for me.

                I still stand by what I said, that showing the camera sitting on the bag infers that the camera will fit. Now is pushing it in regarded as fits? debatable. You may disagree, and some of your loyal followers may agree with you, and that OK. They can argue all day long on your behalf, but it still does not make the bag any bigger, or take away the fact that maybe showing the H5+35-90 may have misguided someone like me. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes. End of the day that is my opinion and I wanted to share with others so that the correct expectations are set.

                I will say that you could have easily not published my comments but you did and I commend you for that.

                • I assume you’re removing the velcro divider piece entirely? I just tried what you described: it still fits, and it still goes in easily without squishing the eyecup. I’ve used it in the field on many assignments with two H bodies with lenses attached (up to 150mm) without issues. Note that the 35-90 is the largest of all of the H lenses, too.

                  • Just to provide an update. The H6D did eventually fit in as Ming mentions. It took a little breaking into the bag. At the time of writing the above comments I was planning a trip to UK and UAE over the Christmas/New Year period. Everything went well for the first 8 days. I had the bag and camera on my shoulder all the time. One camera buff even recognized the bag on my shoulder at London’s Heathrow Airport :-). I was however finding the front tie straps to be extremely difficult to take off and put on. I contributed this to the newness of the bag, and over time they did get easier to use.

                    This morning whilst sitting in my hotel room in Dubai, I was about to load my camera into the bag I noticed something disturbing. One of the leather straps at the front of the bag has started to come apart at the stitching after less than 2 weeks of travel, I also noticed a slight tear on the leather piping (less concern) at the moment. I have tried to include some pictures here, but in case I am unable to embed I am also attaching direct links too.

                    As soon as I get back I will be contacting the manufacturer for warranty repair. Given I am in the USA and it will need to be sent back to the UK when I only just received it less than a month ago is not a good sign. Now I am going to be spending more money on shipping, and I will be out of a bag for a good amount of time while it is being repaired.

                    Just wanted to share my personal experience.





                    Direct Image links (incase pictures are not embedded above)

                    Image 1 – http://i.imgur.com/fN8ehin.jpg
                    Image 2 – http://i.imgur.com/Kg35Uwl.jpg
                    Image 3 (tear in piping) – http://i.imgur.com/OYI8Fau.jpg
                    Image 4 – (Stitching becoming undone) – http://i.imgur.com/iYaVqI9.jpg
                    Image 5 – http://i.imgur.com/mc68eGf.jpg

                    • Hi Max, I’ve just sent you an email – that should NOT happen at all (and you’re the first, so I am confident it’s an exception). Don’t worry, we’ll take care of it. 🙂

                    • Just to put closure to this. A brand new bag was shipped to me and it arrived early last week. I have been away on business and had not opened the parcel till recently.

                      First things first. EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT customer service. Thank You Ming for addressing this issue in an expedited fashion.

                      Second, as the bag started to get used during my trip, the H6D+35-90 did fit comfortably in the bag, and was as easy to take out as any other camera. My initial observations were with a new bag, and even though were true at the time, I will say I have zero issue with the bag’s fit etc at this stage.

                      Lastly, and I have said this before, Ming’s/FF product is top notch. So the million dollar question is would I buy it again from Ming if a future opportunity presented itself? The answer is 100% YES.

                      So there you have it. Again Ming Thank You for being open to listening to your customers and being a gentleman about feedback 🙂

                      Regards
                      Max
                      Florida, USA

                    • Glad to hear it 🙂 Strange anomaly with the first one, but these things do happen and it’s our job to sort out as best we can. Enjoy!
                      MT

            • Praneeth Raj Singh says:

              Max,

              I must be missing something because I don’t see anywhere in the text or images Ming stating or showing that a 35-90+H6/5 will fit in the bag in addition to other gear. That combo sitting on top of the empty bag doesn’t automatically suggest it’ll fit in any orientation, that’s extrapolating far too much from a single image.

              But even if I go by that logic, he only shows the H6+35-90 and nothing else on the bag and the H6+35-90 will still fit in the bag as shown by Ming above.

              Also if you take time to read the comments below, many people who were unsure asked Ming for their specific needs and were given detailed and specific answers. And the return policy was very clearly stated in the post too.

              I don’t think it’s fair to Ming to say he has mislead you or is acting inappropriately. Honest mistakes do happen. I’ve purchased products without asking the right questions before and if a return is not possible, then I accept that there was an oversight on my part.

              Regards,
              PraneethRS

  9. Hi Ming, I ordered mine on Oct 12. Any idea when it will be shipped?
    Thanks Kai

  10. Hi Ming! Any updates on the shipping schedule? I feel like a kid at Christmas waiting for it…..hoping to be able to get it while here in the US before I head back to India…..

  11. I took delivery of my bag today and let me just say WoW! 🙂 It is truly a quality item, no doubt about it, and it looks gorgeous. The most important factor, however, is how much stuff I can fit in it. When I first handled it I was doubtful since it looked so small, but then I started putting stuff in. Let me tell you, it eats cameras and lenses like a black hole.

    – E-M1 fitted with battery grip plus 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO with lens hood in the middle compartment
    – FL-600R flash, Zuiko 50mm f/2 Macro and 1.4x tele converter on the left side compartment
    – Zuiko 14-35mm f/2, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8 and Pana-Leica 15mm f/1.7 on the right side compartment (crazy)
    – CPL and ND filters on the left and right side internal pockets
    – Step down rings, spare lens caps, spare SD cards, small tools, flashlight, charger, extra batteries and some other bits and pieces in the front pocket

    And this isn’t even stretching it, I could easily secure the flap using the bottom holes and not the top holes, with all this stuff inside. I will probably never carry all this stuff at once, especially not that huuuuuge Zuiko 14-35mm f/2 together with all the primes. But it is good to know I could if I wanted to. This bag will feel positively empty if I set out the way I usually do with just the 15mm f/1.7, 25mm f/1.8, 40-150mm f/2.8 and a flash. That will leave me one whole empty compartment. I guess I’ll use that for spare clothes then. 🙂

    • That’s great news – thanks for the feedback, and glad it’s working out for you 🙂

      Empty compartment: use it as a lens change hole; just drop the old lens in and pull the new one out. I find it faster working in the field this way.

  12. Brian Nicol says:

    This is exactly what I have been looking for. I have a Billingham 307 and Billingham 555 and other bags. I have gone to photography stores with my equipment and there is never the right bag and the inserts/dividers never suit. I have a Leica system and a Sony A7r system with GM zoom lens and I see this as the perfect solution in this bag size range. I have ordered one and cannot wait. Ming – come up with a smaller size and I will be in heaven. More colllaberation on product development of cameras and accessories needs to be done with competent photographers such as Ming to make them fit like a glove. Many Thanks to Kim!, Brian

  13. Hi Ming. I procrastinated for a while, but finally pulled the trigger last night and bought one. My question though is, how do you carry your tripod when you’re on the move?

  14. $362 in Australia.. just slightly too much for me right now. But I’ll be all over the next one.
    (15% smaller, a different, more secure main closing mechanism maybe) but everything else the same. Well done . It’s a great bag for sure..

  15. Lovely bag! So stylish and I admire the design ethos. I have two questions:

    1) my typical set up would be a d700 or d3s with a 24-70 2.8 and 70-200 f4 with one of the lens attached, plus a Zeiss 18mm prime; how would that combo fit, in terms of placement/configuration?
    2) when travelling on budget airlines and packing down/flattening the bag to put in a suitcase, how do you pack your camera gear? Easy jet in the uk only allow one carry on as free, any else checked in or otherwise is charged. That’s where I have found the padding on a Hadley pro useful, but is does occupy half my carry on suitcase! Would I get a space advantage with the MT x FF by flattening the bag and wrapping the camera and lens in soft clothes?

    • 1. 70-200 left compartment, 24-70 and body attached centre, 18mm prim right. Lots of extra space.
      2. I will take a large think tank roller on board, and put the day bag in my suitcase. You can’t flatten the bag if it’s full.

      • Thanks Ming. I’ve just tested the Hadley Pro and it can fit the D700 with the 24-70 and 70-400 f4 plus a 18mm prime, but it’s very tight. But, it can’t fit the D3s unless I detach the lenses, and I can’t use it as a day/camera bag. Looking at the MT x FF, I expect it will give me the option of a shoulder bag that I can carry a large DSLR with one or two lenses plus documents, diaries, etc, something I can’t currently do with the Hadley Pro….so despite having plenty of camera bags, I eventually decided to take the plunge and ordered 🙂

        • Thanks! Just sent you a confirmation/clarification email 🙂

          The inner compartment of our bag definitely is deep enough for a D3 body (the H bodies have a similar square cross section) with lens attached; it was designed for this.

  16. John Prosper says:

    I placed my order, Ming, but I had too follow up with an email correcting the proper delivery address. I do not know why the Paypal system did not select my default address with my post office box number.

    • Thanks John – received, noted and replied.

      • John Prosper says:

        I actually received my bag on 17 December 2016; so I am nearly two weeks late on feedback due to a very busy holiday season. The main problem with this bag is that it is so elegant, so rugged, so flexible, and yet so understated that it seems to deserve only the very best tenants. A veritable black stealth mobile home for prestige optics, indeed!!! 😉 If the plan to produce the smaller version of the bag is still ongoing, I’m going to have to get one of those as well for a more compact camera system. What’s a boy to do? 😉

        • Haha, well, there’s always the option of buying more gear 😉

          But yes, the smaller bag is still in the works. A little more challenging to make it small but still ‘big enough’ to be useful for a wide range of gear…

  17. Ron Weissman says:

    Is it a fantasy to assume that the bag would hold a Leica SL with a 24-90 attached and 90-280 in a side compartment? Have found no day bag that will do this comfortably.

  18. Peter Atkinson says:

    Quick question – I live in the UK where the bag is made; if I order one will it be sent to me directly from the UK? If so I’ll go for it, but if it goes to the States to come back then I won’t – hope that makes sense.
    Many thanks
    Pete

  19. Roger Abbott says:

    I just happen to be in the market for a bag right now. When I”m travelling, I usually carry around an LX100, OMD with several lenses, a sweater, water bottle, and small umbrella. Maybe a small a guidebook as well. Sometimes an iPad or laptop, but I usually keep that in the hotel. Would this bag work or would the size be overkill? Also, I like bags that can do double duty as non-camera bags. Would this work? Presumably, I could stick in a laptop, a book or papers, a sweater, and water bottle.

    On another note, just wondering what you do about water bottles when working in the field. Very few camera bags have a place for one. Obviously you have to get something that seals tightly to avoid a costly spill. Do you just keep drinks in a separate bag?

    • I think it’d be too big for just that use, unless your M4/3 lenses are the f2.8 pro zooms – in which case, the size is ideal (Robin Wong tried it for this configuration). You can remove the internal divider and use it as a general purpose bag – no problem. (My dad even uses one as his travel bag without divider, and he’s not a photographer; we use one of the early prototypes as a diaper bag for our 18 month old.) If I’m not shooting with it, I usually have it configured with the single silo for a camera/lens and the rest for general stuff.

      Water: I don’t carry it. It adds far too much weight and bulk, not to mention putting liquids inside a bag of electronics and optics is a really, really bad idea. Plus, if I carried my own I’d never stop to sample the local cafes 🙂

  20. Looks interesting. This would solve my main problem with other bags, that they are not collapsable in order to transport them empty in my main luggage.

    One doubt: I would use it with my Leica S with a lens attached in the middle (long-side as in the photo with the Nikon) and two other lenses in the left and right compartments. This should work but I wonder if it is not a little bit uncomfortable for the hips to have a body banging around in the centre of the bag. I ask because of the minimum padding.

    • I do this with my Hasselblad H – no problem. There isn’t so much empty space inside with lenses that big that there’s room to move; the bag pulls itself flat and compresses the contents anyway if you wear it cross body.

      FYI, it will fit the SL-24-90 attached and 90-280 in another pocket with still some room left over. I had another customer who wanted to know, so I simulated it and measured.

  21. Looks great! You need female models and a drawing for this elegant daybag for students who bought your videos 😉

  22. This looks like a sublimely beautiful bag, from every angle you look at it – but in the day and age of kick-starters and collaborations I just can’t help feeling that the Peak Design Everyday messenger bag wipes the floor with this for features and innovations – despite it’s obvious shortcomings aesthetically. I guess this is just another one of those Leica v Sony arguments where one is the technological marvel, and the other is the suave and classy contender.

    • And that’s why we have options. At the same time, I know of several people who either cancelled their Peak orders in favour of this, or regretted buying the Peak after seeing this. So, you pay your money and take your choice…

    • Praneeth Raj Singh says:

      To add a little context Chris, I have a couple of friends who have the PD Everyday Messenger and have personally used the H5-D for an extended period previously. Based on Ming’s sample images above, I’m quite confident he has PD beat easily for practicality in field and storage space.

      Finally, and this is extremely subjective, having bought most of PD’s past products I find most features to be more troublesome in the long run. I’ll be happy to reconfirm this once I receive my unit of Ming’s bag.

    • I haven’t seen either bag in person, only online… But the Sony-Leica analogy might be apt in that the PD seems to aim at ticking all the possible boxes for broad on-paper technical appeal with neat new features everyone thinks they want. Ming’s design is of the much more difficult to quantify ‘less is more’ philosophy. I was quite tempted by PD’s new sling on Kickstarter (they’ve raised $6.5M in their latest campaign!), but just couldn’t determine how rigid it would be when not fully loaded. Plus IMO it’s somewhat ugly and impractical as a ‘lens changer’ type of bag. Ming’s design eschews rigidity and padding, allowing the bag to conform to the body and adapt to how much or how little is in it at a given time. That’s exactly what I want in a camera bag.

  23. Hi, this looks like a great bag…if you have big cameras. I want to love this bag, as I agree with you on everything you mention, I just wish it was 12 cm wide (i.e. less boxy and more suitable to mirrorless), had just a little more interior organisation (where do I stick all my everyday, “little crap”, like usb drives, wallet, tissues, etc without it pooling at the bottom of the main compartment?), and was under 1kg…I know, everyone has their own dream bag and this is yours 🙂
    I think I can make it work, though, if I insert a less wide bottom pad – it should then scrunch up to be less boxy, right? I can add stick on velcro loop to the inside of the bag (the horror, I know!) and attach some classy organiser such as these http://compagnon-bags.com/en/product/memory-card-holder-slide-in
    ok, off to count pennies 🙂

    • The bottom pad is soft and flexible, and it does squash up if you don’t fill it. You could fold it in half if it’s really an issue.

      As for smaller – it requires a completely different internal organisation concept because the dividers would waste too much space. I think we’ll eventually do one, but right now – still very much the midst of the thinking process… 🙂

      MT

      • Oh no, don’t make it smaller 🙂 just less deep (ok, so that IS a little smaller, but only in one direction!). My usual problem is that mainstream camera bag makers often forget that users might do other things as well – i.e. go to work where they need to carry around stacks of A4 paper or books (but still want their camera and an extra lens with them), or on holiday where they want 1 camera with a couple of lenses and then the assorted holiday day trip things (e.g. souvenirs, sun glasses, phone, etc.). though, on the upside, there do seem to be more bag makers cottoning on to this with a variety of backpacks more suited to this kind of daytripping. I do love the look of your bag! And thanks for getting back to me so quickly!

  24. Looks really perfect for street photography. But during a long day with your equipment I think a padding of the strap would be very helpful to avoid pressure on the shoulder

    • I thought so too, but tried it both with and without during my usual 10h+ assignments and outings; worn cross body, the shoulder pad cuts into you, but the webbing is soft and doesn’t.

  25. Praneeth Raj Singh says:

    Talk about big things coming in small packages. Robin Wong has a nice video over on his blog showing how much the bag can actually pack. Wow! https://robinwong.blogspot.com/2016/10/shutter-therapy-with-ming-thein-x.html

  26. thankyouforhearingme says:

    Well done Ming! A well thought out and stylish product. Great to see your brand expanding. Order placed. For anyone working with smaller primes, any ideas on how to subdivide one of the three compartments so that it would hold perhaps 2 lenses without clanging together? Foam cutouts perhaps?
    Can’t wait for my shipment.
    Dave

  27. An iPad pro 13″ doesn’t fit in it ?

    • I honestly don’t know and have no way to test it as I haven’t got one. However, as noted in the post, a 13″ Macbook Pro Retina will fit. Looking up the dimensions, the 13″ MBPR is 314x220x18mm and the 12″ iPad pro is 306x221x7mm, so the naked iPad will fit, but your case may make a difference.

      • Bag looks interesting. I currently use a ThinkTank Retrospect 5 on a daily basis, and a Retrospect 7 when I travel/work. In my R 5, I have an OM-D E-M1 w/ 12-40/2.8, a couple of small lenses (17/1.8, or something), Kindle, reading glasses, sun glasses, music player, headphones, extra batteries, micro cloth, etc. When I use the 40-150/2.8, the R5 is really too low — but this combo fits better in the R7. If I’d like to bring my laptop (work, or editing photos using Lightroom), the R7 barely fits this + 1-2 more lenses. When on vacation, I often walk 15-30 km/day — taking photos, stopping in a cafe to read, etc. With the Retrospect 5, this is no problem. If I add the laptop, I can still walk quite a few km, but that is too heavy for a really long hike.

        I have been considering the Retrospect 6 to have more space, but it doesn’t really fit my needs: (i) won’t hold the camera + 40-150 lens, and (ii) won’t hold a laptop. Below is a size comparison of the bags I’m mentioning — internal space, in cm:

        Retrospect 5 11.5 x 19.5 x 24.0
        Retrospect 6 13.5 x 19.0 x 33.0
        Retrospect 7 12.7 x 22.4 x 31.8
        MT x FF 14.0 x 22.0 x 30.0

        Overall, the MT x FF is almost as tall as the Retrospect 7. The width of MT x FF is actually mid way between R 5 and R 6/7 — when looking at external dimension.

        The Retrospect 7 holds both a MS Surface Pro 4 (29.3 x 20.2 x 1) or a Dell XPS 13 (30.4 x 20.0 x 1.5) — both are slightly smaller than a MacBook Pro 13; I don’t know whether a MacBook Pro 13 fits in a Retrospect 7. A couple of alternative laptops: an HP Spectre 360 (32.5 x 22.9 x 1.1) and a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga (33.3 x 22.9 x 1.7) are slightly larger than a MacBook Pro 13. They won’t fit in a Retrospect 7.

        So … it looks like the MT x FF will be able to replace my Retrospect 7 + be slightly less wide and thus easier to carry. One thing I don’t like with the Retrospect series, is the dividers… they are slightly clumsy to adjust (like most camera bags…) It looks like the MT x FF dividers are simpler to use while maintaining flexibility.

        (Btw: Robin Wong has published 2 videos (from different angles) of packing his gear into the MT x FF.)

        • That sounds about right, thanks for the detailed comparison. I’ve seen the bag next to the R6/7 used by some of my students – it looks quite a bit smaller, probably because of color, and as you point out – will still hold a laptop of your choice. Note: MBP13 used for comparison was the thinner Retina model.

  28. Max Shafiq says:

    Just placed an order. Let’s see how quick I get it and if it lives up to its expectations 🙂

  29. Congratulations on your product launch! I hope you will consider applying the same design and thoughts to a slightly taller bag. I’d like to carry two cameras, with lenses mounted, to events and in general reportage type scenarios. have you considered making one just a bit taller that could carry a 70-200 f/2.8 mounted upright on one side and a 16-35 or 24-70 f/2.8 mounted upright on the other side, both on a couple of d810 or 5D sized bodies?

    • Thanks. A bag like that would be too big to fit under an airplane seat. When shooting reportage I’d rather have the cameras out and over my shoulder or around my neck for fastest response anyway; in any case, the setup you suggest will tear down and fit into this bag fine with the 24-70 still attached and the 70-200 and remaining body separate.

      • True enough regarding reportage and events. Most of the time I end up with a camera over each shoulder, but there are some instances where I prefer a bit of discretion, still wanting quick access to one of two cameras, but without looking like a paparazzo. Regarding the under-seat, I’m sure airlines all differ, but that’s not my experience with North American and trans-Atlantic flights at least, where Thinktank’s Retrospective 20 seems to fit just fine. That bag’s dimensions – 33×31.7×17.8cm – are fairly similar to yours – 34x24x16. I had to check their site, to me it just feels like a big canvass square though it turns out it’s not quite as tall as it is wide, there’s just enough height two swallow a D810 and 70-200 f/2.8 vertically. It works, but doesn’t have the same niceties as yours – clog ball closures, water-proof canvass, aesthetics, finish…

        I’ll also add that though a taller bag can carry this long lens combination mounted, I wouldn’t personally transport that way – I think that’s asking for mount torquing impact damage. I’ll only keep both lenses mounted while shooting with the bag over my shoulder. For transport, I break the kit down, and wedge one body in the small centre section, 70-200 to right slot, and mounted 24-70 on the other. If I break both down, I can stack the bodies in the centre slot, with a padded cloth between them. I don’t carry much in the front pockets, at most two flashes, though you can stuff them until the bag becomes much larger.

        • Then I think we have the same solution, and I’d suggest again we don’t need a taller version: this one works just fine. Three slots, body and 24-70 in one, 70-200 in another, second body and spares in the last one. 🙂

  30. Placed an order but did not see any comment box to put in my phone number?

  31. Hmm everything looks perfect for me Ming, except I love the tanned/rough leather look eg the more expensive ONA bags. Any plans for a more bourgeois version? 😛

  32. Hi Ming –

    Just wanted to let you know that I ordered one as well. I have a Billingham which is huge and have been using a vertical messenger bag as a day bag to reduce the size and also mold better to my body. How do you suggest carrying a water bottle since I don’t see a pocket or external pouch for one? I would prefer not to tie up my hands and it gets hot here in India just as it does in Malaysia.

    I am really, really excited by the design and am looking forward to using it regularly. I hope that I end up being in the first batch as the expected delivery would coincide with a trip back to the US for me and I could bring it back with me. Having it sent home as opposed to India since things have a habit of disappearing here at times…..;)

    • Thank you. Water bottle – short answer, I buy rather than carry because a) it can be nice to sit down, and b) I want to cut carried weight as much as possible. 🙂

  33. Nice looking bag. I would order one but I am not fortunate to have a Hasselblad. I am one of those photographers you mentioned who “think wielding something expensive but not necessarily an optimal tool for the money sends very mixed signals: yes, you’re ‘serious’, but it might also mean you’re using money to make up for something else that’s missing.” So I will just continue to place my Leica SL and the questionable 24-90mm zoom in a brown paper bag.

    • Hasselblad not required. I use one of the prototypes for my daughter’s diapers, too. You may want to watch that paper bag though…I don’t think they’re strong enough to hold the SL/24-90 🙂

      In all seriousness, I had a conversation with Jono Slack who also shoots with an SL and both zooms – he wanted to know if the monster 90-280 would fit; it does, along with an SL and 24-90 mounted – I simulated it with similar-sized hardware. He subsequently ordered one, so there you go…

  34. david wootton says:

    The Billingham is essentially a traditional canvas fishing bag with added padding — you can still buy the fishing bags from various suppliers (Hardys, Chapman — some made in England, some not) if you want a Billingham-type bag without padding, and that’s what I’ve been using until very recently, when the rubberised treatment which makes the bag fairly waterproof perished… The fishing bags traditionally have one big compartment and two pouch pockets on the front. This bag is shorter and wider, and (at least with stuff in it) it stands up while the traditional bags lie flat… and it doesn’t have the pouch pockets on the outside, but you make their equivalent on the inside. The length and depth seem to me perfect as I am a Macbook user; I hesitate over the width, simply because I am used to bags which are 10/12cm wide (though wider if you stuff the outside pockets), but the only way to find out I guess is by buying it and trying it! Bags are a nightmare — one that fits you and suits you becomes an extension of your presence in the world; one that doesn’t makes you feel clumsy, awkward, and foolish…

    • Indeed – the problem I’ve had with those is the lack of structure, both internal and external. We need that for our equipment, and this is reflected in the way this bag has been put together. My bag is the reverse: thinner if you don’t fill it, because if you wear it cross body it’s flexible and pliant enough to squash itself a bit. But it will accommodate 14cm+ if necessary.

  35. Looks like s nice bag. Now, does that there rear pocket take an A4 sketchbook?

  36. Gene Sweeney says:

    Fantastic looking bag. Well thought out, and appears it will be well made judging by the FF web site.

    Ordered, and looking forward to putting to use

  37. Looks good, just ordered one!
    I too would also like to see one smaller. Maybe not as tall for us Leica users with the smaller lenses.
    Thanks Ming!

    • Thanks – we’ll be working on it, judging by the demand. I think it will drop the laptop pocket and be much smaller…think two fully rigged mirrorless bodies with lenses attached, plus some accessories.

      • Excellent!
        A bag for a day out shooting.
        Not all of us need any devices larger than a phone whilst we’re out and about, just space for a 2nd body and two or three lenses.

        • Depends on how big your second body is, and your lenses…the existing bag is perfect if you happen to be shooting MF or Otuses 😛

          • Err… edit to say “space for a 2nd Leica-sized body and two or three small lenses”… 😉

            • That would be the mirrorless bag I seem to have inadvertently committed to developing, then 😛

              • No rush, but looking forward to it! 🙂

                That said, my ideal Leica/mirrorless bag probably wouldn’t be far from this bag’s current on-paper dimensions. Just not quite as tall and thick. I’m just having difficulty correlating the stated dimensions with the photos. The dimensions seem on the small side but it looks bigger in the photos!

                • Actually, it’ll be a bit smaller – I just did some rough mockups…

                  This bag is a chameleon. It’s physically small but has huge volume…looks larger as the surface is plan and not broken up by details.

      • Robert E Good says:

        Sounds good. Fairly thin but deep enough for G Master zooms attached to A7R2 I hope or at least 85mm Batis attached. Thanks.

        • Err…I think you’ll need the existing bag for the G Master lenses – they’re huge. If I was to reduce size to accommodate only that, it wouldn’t be much smaller.

  38. HI Ming. This does look wonderful. For buyers in the UK — does sales tax get added at some point in the purchase process, or is UK sales tax included in the price? (Which would be a bargain!)

  39. Looks the business Ming, the cat’s whiskers!

  40. Just ordered the bag! I hope this is the last bag I will be buying in a while. Adding to my Billingham, Domke, Lowepro, and Crumpler collection. If this does not work, then it’s time to get the Danish Souper bag!

  41. L. Ron Hubbard says:

    Very nice looking bag. It looks like it will hold the gear that I normally carry, but I’m not sure how much film it can carry. I carry 3 film cameras and so have plenty of 120 film with me too. My Billingham can carry close to 10 rolls of 120 film in the pockets. Any ideas what this bag can carry? Thanks.

    • Assuming you’re not using the front pocket for a laptop, three 5-packs (i.e. 15) will fit with plenty of room to spare. Significantly more if you discard the boxes. My guess, without box, 20 if just in wrappers?

      • L. Ron Hubbard says:

        Thank you very much. My current bag is a Billingham Hadley Large. My guess is that Falcon bag is substantially smaller. Would you agree?

        • The one with no handle, I assume. I looked at that too but the lack of a handle made it very difficult to manage in the store, let alone in the field. The bag has 8.5x25x36cm internal dimensions, giving 7.6L capacity. Mine is 14x22x30cm, giving 9.2L capacity – so it looks physically smaller, but holds quite a bit more. External is 13x27x38cm (13.4L) against 16x24x31cm (11.9L); you’re losing nearly 6L of capacity to the bag and padding in the Billingham, vs 2.7L for mine. We of course designed it this way on purpose…

  42. Michiel953 says:

    Interesting and laudable initiative Ming; makes one think… Another vote for a smaller version, although I’d probably stick with my Tumi messenger bag (not a photography bag at all) with Billingham insert. Waterproof, lots of zippered pockets for assorted stuff, stores a 13″ laptop next to a D810 with a 1.4 prime. It gets used five days a week.

  43. As someone who has to carry their gear around all day,this bag could of been made just me for me.The design is perfect,you can see the thought that has gone into it.The colour & stitching looks great too.I will be selling my 2 Think Tank Retrospectives and ordering this later today.

  44. Like the styling – professional without being pretentious 🙂
    Another vote for a smaller bag if this one works out – something like the size of a Crumpler Dry Red boarding bag. It’s mainly around the thickness- with small cameras and lenses, I find everything rolls together in a thick bag. An alternative would be to fit some kind of long divider down the the middle – cameras and lenses on one side, jacket on the other.
    Incidentally I’d be a little wary of the pocket at the back not having any cover, I had a problem with a previous bag where if it rained even a little, the water tended to roll off the top, into the back pocket and pool there.
    Definitely agree with you about the padding – most camera bags have far too much padding – I don’t need to stop a bullet with the thing….

    • Thanks. Noted on the smaller one, and back pocket. It’s separate from the inside, so it can’t leak in.

      • ….but the pocket can fill with water, thus ruining whatever’s in it. It doesn’t have to be rain, it can be a spilt drink. It also puts your tablet ‘on display’ and renders it easy to pickpocket.
        Is it washable? i.e. can you put it in the machine when something really bad happens to it (like a milk drink put inside leaks).
        Aside from that, it looks good and well thought-out. I had kittens when I saw the price, but I assume it’s ballpark for something bespoke like that.

        • It’s washable. The back pocket is intended for convenience (magazine, tickets, newspaper, scarf, gloves etc.), not storage (there’s a front pocket for that). We could have closed it but it would have been a pain to access, which defeats the point – I don’t think there is actually any physical solution to this. Can’t imagine why anybody would put a milk drink (or liquids of any sort) inside a bag full of expensive precision electronics and then complain about leaks and damage, but hey…

          It’s actually cheaper than a comparable mass-produced Billingham. Each bag is handmade. To do this, there’s basically almost no profit margin in the price. I’m doing it as a service to the photographic community rather than a profit making exercise.

          • Jeffrey van Dijk says:

            Wow, awesome! Thanks for doing this, Ming. I’ve already ordered mine. I hope the attractiveness of the price/quality ratio won’t impede Frankie Falcon’s business, I’m wondering how many have already been ordered.

            • Thanks – completely different product; the others are bespoke one-offs and use a lot more leather and hardware (which puts price up considerably). We’ve sold a reasonable number, but I’m not going to get rich or retire (or even buy a month off, for that matter). I think of it as a public service to every frustrated photographer out there who’s done the same thing as me and bought dozens of ‘not right’ bags…

  45. Robert E Good says:

    Ordered one. The water resistance will be welcome in the Oregon rain. So glad it is not over padded and not festooned with lots of pockets and zippers. The design and size trade offs look to just about right for my purposes. I love thoughtful design.

  46. Manos Troulinos says:

    Hi Ming,
    I really hope your bag can do as Billinghams do here:

    🙂

    Regards
    Manos

  47. Max Shafiq says:

    Very minimalist looking bag. Is there a short video of this bag? I am on the verge of placing an order just need that little push over the edge…lol

    I have been looking for a simple yet effective bag for my H6 to be carried around that can fit on an aircraft overhead or under seat and this size seems like it will work well for me, and if overhead compartment space is full, they will not take away from me 🙂

    I only wish the bag would fit a 15″ Macbook Pro but can’t have it all.

    • Sorry, no video – anything you need to see specifically? (the bag doesn’t move that much, of course 🙂 )

      If it were to fit a 15″ laptop, it wouldn’t fit under the seat and it’d still count as a separate piece of luggage – just too big. No way to physically make it any smaller since the minimum dimensions are set by the laptop. When travelling light, I use it with the H5 or H6 and 100mm attached, my cable bag of spares, another lens and a laptop.

  48. Could I fit a Rolleiflex TLR, a Leica M6 (with a Summilux 50) and a Leica Q in the bag? Or am I being too greedy! 😉

  49. Hugh Rigley says:

    Ahh! Very good point.

    All the Best

  50. Hugh Rigley says:

    Hi Ming,

    Just for reference re. bigger bags. I own both the Filson David Allan Harvey and the Steve McCurry bags (and sadly, many others) They are definitely a very, very different design, however, they are somewhat big (DAH) and very big (SMc) and they have one strap. If I was a two strap bag buyer (whew! say that ten times.) I would order the Ming Thein immediately. It appears awesome. Like all things photography this is just my humble opinion. I am happy to know that you are considering a future camera bag with a single front strap no matter what the size.

    Cheers

  51. The more I come back to this the more I think you’ve nailed the design. The Billingham/Domke influence is clear and to my eye you’ve picked the best of both.

    That said, I’d like to put forward one for vote for a RF sized version (say similar sized to a Hadley Small) 🙂

  52. Ordered.

  53. Hugh Rigley says:

    Hi Ming,

    Like the bag very much. It appears to be beautifully made with the best materials and the price is very very enticing. I have reached a point in photography, although, I have many bags, I always reach for and subsequently now purchase bags with only one front strap and not two. My favourite bag, at this time, is my Hadley digital. However it is quite small and I am not a pro, so my photography is not demanding in that way. Bags with two straps definitely have their place. Please consider in a bag in future with one front strap. It may give the bag a smiley face though? Still I would like to own it.

    Bags, as with all gear, are subject to the photographers greatest fear: that when photographers pass away their wives will sell off their gear at the price they were told was paid for it.

    Cheers

    • Will do – one strap is preferable for smaller bags as it’s much faster to work with (I have a Hadley Digital too, with padding removed) but doesn’t hold closed properly for larger ones.

      That last problem: a) we’re dead, it doesn’t matter, and b) at least this one may be declared at full price 🙂

  54. Hi Ming, must say the bag looks fantastic! Will it fit a D800 with Otus attached, and still accommodate another Otus in one of the other compartments?

  55. Hello: Is there any extra padding for the bag’s strap? It seems that carrying a full frame or medium format camera/lenses would be cause the strap to really cut into one’s body. Otherwise, the bag looks great!

  56. Are there any life samples to check out locally? Well, more precisely any available to see/feel for the Singapore market?
    Or.. any local retailers looking to stock it in Sg currently.
    As good as it looks, I’m still old fashion and prefer to kick the tyres so to speak.

  57. I’ll second an interest in a smaller version more suitable to Leica M cameras and lenses (or other mirrorless of similar dimensions). As it is now, it appears to be too cavernous for my preferences. But it’s still very tempting to try out and the price seems reasonable. If the desire was stealthiness, then wondering why the accent stitching in a light shade (you indicate it’s grey, yet in the photos it looks more like white), which IMO does look nice, but makes the bag seem a bit more flashy. I guess no custom option for black stitching? 🙂 Might have to resort to a sharpie or shoe polish…

    Anyway, I’m wondering if the flap will flip back fully against the back of the bag (sandwiched between bag and body) so that one can walk around with easy access to the fully open internal compartment for grabbing lenses while on the go at events, etc..

    Also, how abrasive is the canvas material? I’ve had bad luck with some nylon bag material causing nasty abrasion damage to wool dress pants over a relatively short period. I’m guessing it’s softer…?

    • If the demand is there – we’ll do it, though personally I think you can always use this one but not fill it 🙂

      Stitching on final bags is a dark grey – there are a few more tweaks that will make it to the production bags (my last prototype one is light grey). It didn’t make sense to hold things just for a thread color.

      The flap can be ‘popped’ inside out and tucked inside the back pocket for this purpose. I sometimes use it this way if I’m parked at a single location for a while.

      This canvas (cotton based) is pretty soft; matte but smooth, fine weave. Similar to Billingham in texture actually.

      • Yes, I don’t have to fill it, but then it’s more bag than needed. 🙂 Somewhat narrower and I would be happier. I wonder how well it handles small M lenses floating around inside? My usual M kit is a body and five lenses (yeah, I’m not a typical M minimalist in respect to lenses in my go-to configuration) in a customized XS CourierWare messenger…

        Thanks for the quick clarification and additional info. That all sounds good. BTW, I strongly agree with your bag philosophy regarding padding and ability to conform around the body. I also shoot a DSLR system and currently use a Shootsac for events, in part for its minimalism. But it’s not perfect, particularly with shorter, fatter lenses like Canon’s 85L that gets wedged into the Shootsac too tightly. Here your bag might be better in some respects and also look a bit more classy at more formal events, like weddings, corporate receptions, etc.. Glad to know the flap can be tucked in the back pocket to make it more of a ‘lens changer’ type bag.

        • Actually, it was designed originally as a lens changer – I usually have the camera around my neck – but landed up being more flexible without compromise, so why not? 🙂

          • OK, order placed. I must have skipped past the area where I could leave a phone number. I’ve emailed it to you… Looking forward to receiving the bag. Still interested in a narrower, perhaps slightly shallower version more geared towards a rangefinder (or similar size) system…

  58. William Royer says:

    The more I look at and study your bag, the more I like it. Two more questions, please: 1) Does the strap have a shoulder pad? And, 2) Does the shoulder strap have any ‘anti-slip’ qualities — such as the Domke or UP straps — to help prevent it from sliding down on your shoulder?

    Thanks again,
    Bill

    • No shoulder pad, but compatible with the wide Billingham and Domke pads. In practice it didn’t prove necessary. The cotton webbing is rough enough that it doesn’t slide off.

  59. Hello Ming:

    Is there an additional pad for the strap? Looking at the strap, and based on my own experience with similar straps, I would think that we weight of a full frame/medium format camera/lenses would easily have the strap cut into one’s skin. Anyway, just checking.

    Regards,

    • No pad as it’s impossible to design one that works both shoulder and cross body without moving about too much; I tried it with both Domke and Billingham pads, but in the end it was better without. The strap itself is very thick and double layered over the shoulder portion, which means it doesn’t cut in. (Bad shoulder straps are one of my pet peeves too, and one of the reasons I don’t like the Katas despite their otherwise great design features – their straps are just too thin and sharp).

  60. I love so much about this bag. It’s clear that you’ve road tested it. Minimal padding (“in the right places”) leads to a deceptively large internal volume, incredible configurability with limited Velcro (and no zips!), light and collapsible, and I also agree that it’s good looking. Sounds — and looks — great.

    What kills me is the size. I don’t shoot medium format, but Micro 4/3 and I prefer small prime lenses when shooting 35mm film.

    Would you consider doing one more of the size of the Billingham Hadley Digital? So, 21x13x21cm externally would seem to make it 19x11x20cm internally, which would be fantastic.

    I guess what I’m really asking for is that you folks who need bags this size all
    buy one (or two). That may encourage Ming to experiment with a smaller size (and maybe some other colors!)

    (And I think those are the Billingham Hadley Pro external dimensions there. The internal dimensions are listed as 8cm x 27cm x 34cm for 6L.)

    • Thanks – yes, we’re considering others if a) demand is there and b) I can see a usage case. A smaller one and a larger one as the ‘master travel bag’ are definitely possible – along with a couple of other things 😉

      Hadley Pro – I think one dimension has the padding in, and one doesn’t.

    • The Asking Project says:

      That’s funny, I shoot exclusively in mu43 and thought this bag was perfect for all my bodies and lenses v but I guess i didn’t think about how the lenses would be deducted in the bag. Think this is big enough to use as a mu43 camera bag plus a diaper bag? I’ve got my first on the way!

  61. farah ali says:

    Hey Ming!
    Do you think it’s too big for me? i’m only 5 feet 2. 🙂
    I have been saving for an ONA Prince Street, and then I saw this!

    • I’m not a giant either, and it sits fine. Remember there are physical limits beyond which the gear won’t fit in the bag, and this is about the absolute minimum. 🙂

  62. scott devitte says:

    Bought a Red Helium s35 8k Stormtrooper to go along with this beautiful bag, having walked around Havana and Venice with the Ming I can attest that this will the most thought out, minimalist but fully functional, stylish stills/cine bag on the planet. And…it will match that cool Venetian Fedora he has.

    • Heh. Thanks Scott – waiting for that movie we’re supposed to be shooting in Venice. I can use the 4K RAW video mode of the 100MP Hasselblad for B-roll… 🙂

  63. Kenneth Voigt says:

    Really nice. This may be your legacy.

  64. This looks great: I agree with the sentiments re. too much padding (for instance, I frequently currently carry the XPan and the D800E with lenses attached in two of Thinktank’s original skin pouches, with minimal padding and just a shoulder strap attached): your bag seems to be a nicer-looking and streamlined version of the already excellent Hadley Pro.

    While I’m not currently in the market for (yet another) new bag, I wish you well in this enterprise: success will be well deserved.

  65. Jan-Peter says:

    Looks great! From the dimensions, my 200-500/5.6 should fit but if you have one around to check…

  66. I think comparing this to the Hadley Pro may not be doing this bag justice. I’ve been using a Hadley Small for quite some time and really do love it, but I just wish it was ~1″ bigger on the long edge and ~1.5-2″ deeper on the shortest edge. This is pretty much what you’ve done here in my opinion. Overall great looking bag. Just ordered one.

    Any chance we could request a bag without the top grab handle? While I enjoy them sometimes, to me, it’s just one more thing that isnt needed, provides just one more thing to snag/get in the way, another way for a thief to get a secure grip on the bag, and also provides a way to potentially pickup the bag and drop all of your stuff inside on the floor if the lid latches arent secured.

    • Thanks Phil. It’s an easy point of reference.

      No handle – this one is so low profile it doesn’t get in the way, and when you have it – it’s there. Location is closer to the back side, so even if you pick it up unsecured, it won’t belch the contents out (I tried).

  67. Well done, Sir. Now I must convince the wife to let me get one.

  68. Michael T says:

    Looks very nice, unfortunately as someone with a shoulder injury, if i put my 500cm, D800, 2 lens an a tablet, I shudder at that weight on a single strap.

  69. Evan McKnight says:

    It looks great! Can’t wait to get mine.

    • Thanks – we’ll be producing and shipping in small batches instead, so the first ones should be delivered hopefully by end October or early November instead 🙂

  70. Ordered! I’ve been looking for a shoulder bag for a while and I’m willing to give this a shot, it looks great! The “continuous loop” divider is genius. You should patent that!

  71. “sweaty camera strap” Mmmm, nice.

    This has to be the handsomest camera bag I’ve ever seen, Ming. All the best with your venture.

  72. Hmm.. Seriously need to count the pennies to see if I can afford it right now, just went and bought a ThinkTank bag, but but… Love the look of the bag and I think it would fit my needs very well. I am especially fond of bags which form around the body, I despise bags that bounce on the back and scream camera bag!

  73. Ming, this bag looks graet – I will need to check out and consider it seriously. I currently have Wotancraft Avenger which is a great bag (unfortunately I had to send it for some warranty repair … to Taiwan). M question is – if this bag would need a warranty repair – where would one be sending it to?

    Also – does a hardcover A4 notebook (like Moleskine or similar) fit in the back pocket?

    Thank you, Matus

    • Thanks Matus. Production and warranty are handled by Frankie Falcon in the UK.

      Just checked – it will fit an A4 notebook in either back or front pocket (the front is obviously deeper, and more comfortable to carry as you don’t have a board against your back). I can easily get an 80 page soft Moleskine A4 plus my 12″ Macbook in the front.

      • Thank you Ming. One more question. From the photos posted I do not see any pockets where one could safely store stuff like wallet, documents, keys, etc. Is there some intermal pocket of some kind that could offer this functionality? I have found over time that a zipper equipped pocket to be invaluable for this purpose – in particular when bag tipps over by accident and stuff starts to roll out (this was also one of the main aruments for me the get the Avenger). Or in other words – how do you carry such personal items in this bag? Thanks again. Matus

        • The two side accessory pockets are tighter at the mouth than the bottom, and the lid flaps cover them over – stuff doesn’t fall out of there, plus it’s pretty snug.

  74. Handsome bag and the internal volume is shockingly big for the size. I have been using a Lowepro bag that is externally bigger but has about 6 liters volume. With your bag I can potentially fit my entire system in just one bag. Judging from the images, E-M1, two zooms and three primes will fit easy with room for two flashes and assorted filter and other small stuff. Order placed, this looks like a bargain especially when it is shipping from EU.

    • Thanks Mikko 🙂

      For M4/3 system: it’ll fit the three Oly f2.8 zooms (7-14, 12-40, 40-150) each with a body attached.

      The secret is eliminating the padding you don’t need.

      • John Prosper says:

        That’s pretty sweet, especially for one who wants to employ multiple systems. I have been researching multiple bags to suit a µ4:3 system and a Nikon full frame system. Now I only have to consider tripod bags and more rigid system containers with foam for maximum security. A practical bag from a hardworking pro!

        I already have my cologne/perfume needs covered by designer Karl Lagerfeld (who’s quite a fashion photographer himself) with his Photo cologne created a few decades ago and is still my favorite cologne. I recall an early user jokingly asserted it smelled like Kodak’s old Dextol paper developer. ;-).

        • Thanks John – yes, it was developed with my MF and Nikon use in mind, but is just as happy with a smaller system 🙂

          ‘Overheated Silicon’ and ‘Long Exposure’ can be the follow up fragrances to ‘Sweaty Neckstrap’!

  75. Such a practical design and doesn’t compromised on look. Order placed!

  76. William Royer says:

    Two quick points/questions: 1- Maybe it’s just me, but I have an aversion to black camera bags — for several reasons, including that it always seem to advertise ‘camera inside’. I’ve worn my old Domke dark/forest/olive green until it’s about in need of replacement. So, do you plan to offer this bag in any other colors?
    2 — Like your design a lot, for the reasons you mention. Seems to have many of the advantages I look for, plus a little more usable space than my Domke or Billingham. I usually like a ‘day kit’ of my D810 plus 4 prime lens — including 1 attached to camera. My two favorite bags only have room for the body with one mounted lens + 2 extra, without stacking — which I don’t like to do. Do you think your bag would work for my D810 + 3 extra without stacking?
    Thanks,
    Bill

    • Colors: not for the moment. Black is visually smaller and stealthier, which is why I chose it…also, lower maintenance as it shows less dirt, too.

      Volume: depends on the size of your lenses. If they’re thin, you could either put one at one corner in the front compartment and have it poke into the rear, with camera mounted in the centre – or you could add a pouch to put them side by side. The inner compartment is actually about 14cm deep. We didn’t design it for infinite numbers of divider combinations as that just tends to waste space (and velcro is annoying).

  77. gnarlydognews says:

    all you need now is your own name on a perfume and you truly are a celebrity 🙂
    nice bag BTW, I would not be embarrassed sporting one…

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