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CCS - Camera Care Systems discontinue bag manufacture

Discussion in 'News - Discussion' started by Tacitus, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. Tacitus

    Tacitus Well-Known Member

    I missed this news and in case anyone else did ...

    CCS - Camera Care Systems have discontinued the manufacture of camera bags in all ranges: Heritage, Classic and Freestyle. The factory in the Midlands has closed down. CCS say they are now focussing on importing photo accessories.

    Stocks of CCS bags may remain on dealers' shelves, but CCS apparently no longer have stocks of some items.

    Source: telephone call to CCS 10 October 2006

    Personally, I feel this is a shame. I believe CCS manufactured some excellent bags and cases. The Classic range offered a higher degree of all-round protection to equipment (in terms of padding) than LowePro and several other brands, including the popular,weird (and often impractical) Crumpler range. The CCS Heritage offered a significantly cheaper alternative to Billinghams and often with a few more features and models, and for me, every bit as good.

  2. Iloca

    Iloca Well-Known Member

    Unfortunate, I personally like CCS products.

  3. scm

    scm Well-Known Member

    Did they give a reason for their decision?
  4. Tacitus

    Tacitus Well-Known Member

    Re: CCS - Did they give a reason for their decision?

    Well, I spoke to Andrew Wood (I believe) at Fotolynx Limited (CCS) and he said that the UK cost-base compared to manufacturing in the far-east was the major factor.

    We had a bit of a chat and I detected quite a bit of disappointment in some of his comments, though he was fairly reserved about matters.

    I guess that if our Gary is browsing he may wish to pick it up as a future news item for AP, with a more formal interview/statement.

    My personal view is equivocal: I'm sad that a British firm with a good traditional product has to pull out of manufacture in the UK and thereby end all production; but it's a difficult commercial environment and business is business. It seems to suggest that CCS were not selling enough 'units' to warrant manufacture moving overseas.

    I feel that CCS Heritage products could have stood a price increase and still be competitive with Billingham, but maybe that particular range was not their main business compared to the Classic & Adventure range. The Classic range has possibly been affected crucially by the Crumpler products which are manufactured in the far east. (I have tried several Crumplers and have a low opinion of them in hard practical outdoor use, especially their lack of resistance to rainwater ingress).

    It doesn't bode too well for Billingham: they may be relieved that CCS are no longer 'stealing' customers, but can they survive without a bit more innovation and cost/price cutting? Hmmm

  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Re: CCS - Did they give a reason for their decision?

    I have two CCS bags and a number of pouches but it is the pouches I really associate with CCS. Nobody else makes anything like them and they are/were good value. It really is a shame that they will no longer be available.
  6. Iloca

    Iloca Well-Known Member

    Re: CCS - Did they give a reason for their decision?

    I used/use 2 Warthog SLR pouches and a recently purchased Kangaroo pouch together with 2 lens pouches. The quality was always good, IMO, but they weren't exactly feature rich, especially compared to Lowepro. I guess you need features these days. :(

  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Re: CCS - Did they give a reason for their decision?

    The bag I use most is some CCS thing, as I posted only earlier today. It replaced another CCS small bag that I wrecked through abuse over 15 years. I also use a couple of their compact pouches - there's nothing better.
  8. TerryS

    TerryS Well-Known Member

    That's a great shame because I always thought that CCS bags were very well made and of good quality - I have a few of their smaller bags which I use for compact cameras, binoculars and similar. Although in recent years I must admit that I have bought more Lowepro since their product range is so much greater. I always thought that CCS bags were made in Bristol (rather than the Midlands) - did they move factory at some point?

  9. Tacitus

    Tacitus Well-Known Member

    CCS are based in Corsham, Wiltshire, between Chippenham and Bath. I don't know just where the factory was but from comments it appears to have been in a different location (possibly even just down the road). Hopefully AP will carry some official news next week.

    Apologies to folks from north Wilts., I know it ain't really the Midlands.

    I have a prototype of the CCS Brownstone bought at Focus last year which must now be a "Collector's item" (Ha!). I feel it's time to buy a new one in a different colour scheme: I have looked around for a nice CCS Tudor or York bag in black (tan trim) but haven't found one (apart from Warehouseexpress) - any sightings would be much appreciated. Alan.
  10. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    That's a real shame.

    I've got a 'warthog' type bag which I bought in 1989 and still use today :(
  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    And therein lies the problem - their stuff was just too good.
  12. SteveEM

    SteveEM Well-Known Member


    CCS made superb bags. They were/are just as good if not better than Billingham.

    The reason they are now defunct is because the same people who think only Nikon & Canon make good cameras are the same people who think only Lowepro & Billingham make good camera bags...
  13. Alex1994

    Alex1994 Well-Known Member

    I have owned a couple of CCS bags and the quality was excellent.

    However, distribution of their bags seemed to be very poor in recent years. About 20 years ago my local camera store in Liverpool (where I then lived) had lots of CCS on the shelves. These days I hardly saw them anywhere; even very few of the dealers in AP seemed to advertise them.

    I agree that LowePro etc are good, although personally I think some of the features are too gimmicky. Unfortunately, although people may moan about jobs in the U.K. being relocated off-shore, most of these people probably still buy cheap imports rather than high-quality, more expensive, U.K. produced goods.

    I currently have a couple of Billingham bags, also excellent although very different. Personally, I don't think Billingham will go the same way as CCS, as they have a much higher profile and a longer history.

    The Team Direct bags that CCS took over were, of course, 'inspired' by Billingham. It used to amuse me that although TD's brochure banged on about buying their high-quality British bags rather than cheaper imported bags they only - if my memory serves me right - offered a one-year guarantee!.

  14. scm

    scm Well-Known Member

    Well, if the quality (and quality control) was that good, you wouldn't need a guarantee at all!
  15. hardtop4x4

    hardtop4x4 New Member

    I bought my CCS bag back in '82/'83. They were the bee's knees. At the time, they were the only manufacturer offering 'waterproof' not just water resistant bags. My version floats too! I've used mine on many an occasion in torrential rain. Never got inside - not once! And to keep it that way - water proof silicone tent/canvass sprayed along the seams and zips now and again. Many of the bags (mine included) had no studs underneath which meant zero damage to car roofs, bonnet wings etc. Generous flaps covered all the zips and one all around the main compartment which could be folded back on itself for quick access when not raining. A blinding bag, looking faded but doing the job as from new. It cost me £72 even then, but at only £5 per year so far, it was a good call. Don't know what the outgoing prices were, but I'd have paid a couple of hundred if that's what was required for the same quality. Perhaps they were just too well made! LOWEPRO and others should take note - for me, their bags don't seem very substantial, little to no zip coverage, not much padding. Perhaps, like many manufacturers nowadays from brown goods to cars to camera bags, they have been costed down for materials and manufacture, even at the premium end - but they still charge high. Probably excellent bags for 90% of the time - but I guess wouldn't protect in extreme conditions as the CCS products did. Maybe there are bags out there which would handle extreme conditions, but they certainly 'aint in the shops. Internet descriptions are very scant and I wouldn't fancy buying 'blind'. Thassit. I found this link because I was up for another CCS bag. Too late. Great shame.
  16. Tacitus

    Tacitus Well-Known Member

    Hi Hardtop4x4

    Some CCS bags can still be found online in the usual places, and the website is still working. I believe that the warehouse still has stocks of some items too. I wonder if they will have a presence at Focus in February. I'm still buying good ones as they appear here and there - it's a bag fetish! .... .A.
  17. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I think that's a bit harsh on LowePro. I've been using my MiniTrekker for well over 10 years, and it's been through the mill - taken far more abuse than it would appear to be designed for - it certainly has kept my gear drier than I thought possible. It still works fine and has years more use in it - probably decades. I am not gentle with my photo gear, and this pack has spent an awful lot of time on mountains, as well as in rainforest, desert, and just about every other environment I can think of.
  18. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    Funny how we can differ. There's far too much padding in most camera bags for my liking. :)
  19. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Sorry I raised it.
  20. Iloca

    Iloca Well-Known Member

    Raised What?

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