I confess that I am surprised to be somewhat of an anomaly in relation to my photographer friends, who, while acknowledging that a camera bag is important, don’t obsess over it like I do.
I have found solace in the myriad of You Tubers who profess to the world their camera bag addictions, toting personal or affiliated recommendations on their channels. ..of which I am a sucker for.
I own bags by Lowepro, Crumpler, Ona, Thinktank, and perhaps my favourite bag, Wotancraft. For my professional gear I sport Thinktank bags for their ruggedness, service and reliability. I have nothing but the deepest respect for their gear and highly recommend them to everyone! I have even permanently lent one of my Thinktank bags to a fellow photographer who I shoot weddings with.
Despite the Thinktank bags being my go to for pro work, my street photography gear has nestled comfortably in the luxurious pockets of a Wotancraft Ryker. It has served my needs perfectly for a couple of years and still looks as pristine and as luxurious as the day it arrived, despite having almost daily use here in my backwater city as well as interstate. It can hold a vast amount of Leica lenses, Leica’s, film, and the various periphery that I like to carry with me.
I have moved on to a new bag, one that isn’t even a camera bag, but manages to suit my needs perfectly.
I do admit to having an adversity to decision making in regards to clothes and gear. I own mostly black T-shirt’s all purchased from the same store. I tend to use and wear one pair of shoes. I only choose one brand of socks so I don’t have to match pairs, and yet I have found that when I use the incredible Wotancraft bag, I pack a bunch of lenses which causes me to be indecisive when out and about.
My solution is the Pacsafe Vibe 150. It is versatile enough to hold one Leica, two lenses, film, a Peak design leash camera strap, notebook, pen, phone and a few other small bits. It is light, relatively cheap, and perfect for a walk on the streets. It also has the most secure anti-theft features that ensure a peace of mind while coddling my camera investment.
So what’s in it?
Coddled securely within its protective innards is essentially one camera and a couple of lenses. My Leica M6 has been my main camera for street, however notable appearances from my M7, and M3 have been known to occur.
I usually sport two lenses on an outing, when travelling out of town it’s my Zeiss Biogon 21mm f4.5 and Summicron 50mm f2. When capturing locally, I may swap out the 50mm for the Leitz Elmar collapsible 90mm f4.
No 35mm however. I find that I go a little too Goldilocks with its focal length on the street, with it being just a little too short, or just a little two wide.
Not featured is the Leica 21mm viewfinder that I use when the Zeiss is camera equipped. For some reason I didn’t have it in my bag when I crafted this shot.
I have been using either Fujifilm Acros pushed to 400 which has amazing contrast with smooth mid greys, as well as Kodak TriX pushes to 800 which is my preferred film. Despite the production canister pictured, I actually prefer to bulk roll my TriX.. despite not finding it that cost effect, it does provide a subliminal payoff.
I do on occasion use Ilford HP5+ pushed to 1600, but despite the added contrast I always wish I had put in TriX instead.
Peak Design strap, thanks to the recommendation of a good friend and shooter Simon Ankor.
A Jackery charger which gives me a couple of phone charges in a compact size as recommended by Zack Arias a number of years ago, some Instagram handle cards from Moo and my trusty Field Notes notebook full of thoughts, stories and ideas penned by one of my fountain pens. Featured here is my Platinum #3776 EF nib using Diamine Graphite ink.
Is it the perfect bag?