A review of the Millican and Fuji Camera insert collaboration...
Recently I started looking for a new camera bag and came across one in John Lewis for £199.99. It's a nice bag but not what I needed, however I was intrigued by the removable insert shown in the photos. I called Millican and spoke to a very pleasant person who told me they'd had several requests for the insert and were looking to produce it as a stand-alone product. I made them aware that I was due to go on my travels soon and therefore I was pleasantly surprised when I received a phone call out of the blue the other day to tell me that the product was "due to be released shortly, but as you're going away soon, would you like to purchase one today?". The price was £60 which compared to a similar but less functional product from ONA that I'd seen, seems like great value.
I wasn't sure what to expect but it arrived this morning and I am certainly impressed. Firstly, there was a hand-written letter in the package thanking me for my purchase, and secondly, the bag itself is instantly identifiable as a high quality product. I believe they're hand-sewn by Millican and the level of craftsmanship is far beyond my expectations at this price-point. The material used is very soft but as you'll see below, it's sturdy enough to take the weight of a Leica M9 (mostly brass) and stand up without deforming. The button closure is real wood with a strong loop to secure it.
Basically, this is perfect for me as I have a messenger bag I regularly use and this will just sit inside nicely, keeping my camera and spare lens etc secure.
Here's the insert itself:
(iPhone below for size comparison)
The insert has a hole for the lens to fit through. I found this to fit a 60mm fuji lens without the hood, and even an 18-55 fuji lens without the hood. The hood for the 60mm will fit in one of the lower sections, but the 18-55 being a petal type, will just rest in the top section over a camera body as you will see below, leaving both lower sections free. I'm sure if you wanted, you could increase the size of the hole to fit a hood as well, but I won't need to.
Enough storage for several memory cards and a battery or two...
Some quick combinations I tried:
Top section: Fuji X-T1 with 18-55 lens, plus hood resting on top
Lower section: Fuji 60mm lens and X-T1 battery grip (this protrudes a little but the case is soft enough to still close securely
X-M1 on the left without a lens, and X-T1 battery grip on the right...
Top section: Leica M9 with 35mm lens
Lower section: 50mm Zeiss lens plus 60mm fuji lens on right for demonstration
Top section: Fuji X-Pro1 in leather half case with 60mm lens
Lower section: 60mm lens hood on left and 55-200mm fuji lens on the right... again, this protrudes but the case can still be closed (although it's a little fiddly with this setup but could work if it had to)
So, overall this is a very well made, and well thought out case for anyone with a CSC setup. It's perfect for the Fuji X system of course but as demonstrated, it works perfectly well with other cameras from various manufacturers. I personally think £60 is an excellent price due to the quality and also the effort by Millican who are clearly a fantastic company to deal with.
The bag is available here: Messenger bags, Canvas bags & Shoulder bags from Millican (it's not appearing on the site right now so you may need to call... I'm unsure of stock levels)
(I assure you, I have absolutely nothing to do with the company... I just felt this is something that most people won't know about but it could be a real help for some, as it is for me :-))
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