A Speedbag in 15 Years


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A Speedbag in 15 Years

5 Feb 2020 4:13PM   Views : 574 Unique : 349

I always thought one of the best designs of camera bag ever devised was the Pentax Speedbag. The original is from the Spotmatic era, the Speedbag M is from the M series era and the Speedbag 110, respeldent in brown leatherette finish, is needless to say from the 110 era. The main features are a hard case with some inserts and foam lining (hardly thick enough to be described as padding) and a hinged lid to give immediate access to the contents. The original I never owned, the Speedbag M was stolen from my car and the 110 version I regret letting go with a Pentax 110 kit. So it was 15 years ago that I lamented the difficulty of finding these on the Pentax User forum and it was a month or so ago that someone pointed out one for sale on eBay. The asking price was 20, I offered 10 and they counter-offered 12, which I duly paid. So now I had a rather neglected but fundamentally undamaged Speedbag of the original type. Regrettably I neglected to take "before" shots to show you (Doh!) but all that was amiss was a rotted shoulder pad, which I discarded, general dust (but no musty dampness), some faulty stitching and totally disintegrated foam linings. That sort of foam just turns to dust, so the overall mess can be imagined well enough!

The whole was cleaned, cleaned and cleaned again until it was fresh and....clean. Then it was wiped down to ready the surfaces for new foam. I bought a roll of 3mm thick high density foam with an adhesive back and Sue found some salmon coloured Sylko thread, which was as close as we could match from stock. I cut the foam and stuck it on, using a rotary cutter for the sizing. And then it was done!

The bag has a substantial strap, but the shoulder pad was too far gone to use.

Opening the bag gives instant access to the interior.

The interior has padded compartments for lenses or cameras. Cameras would be placed in the compartment face down, the sides resting on top of the internal box.

The interior box fits securely in place but can easily be removed if required.

The elasticated pouches in the lid can hold small accessories.

Pentax have produced quite a few interesting bags and cases over the years, but one of my favourites for a small day bag when travelling, with ease of access as well as protecting the kit, has to be any of the Pentax Speedbag variants.


5 Feb 2020 5:02PM
Lovely, I regret chucking mine out because it was so worn, especially the edges of the lid where the strap had been chaffing it. Any I have seen on eBay have been minus the interior. Never figured why a wooden box was called a bag!

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thewilliam2 2 1.4k
6 Feb 2020 5:25PM
I had one of the first vinyl speedbags but, eventually, it fell to pieces. Although designed for the Spotmatic series that I used when I bought the bag, it was perfect for Nikon FE cameras.

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