In your bag 479, Benjamin Jay Shand
It’s a bag Jim, but not as we know it captain. Benj has a case for us. Filled with interesting and retro bits and bobs. Including a Konica recorder. You don’t see many of them.
The ‘bag’ i present to you all today takes the form of a late 50s light bar case. Sourced in Williamsburg, where i’m currently based, the retrofitted case fits everything one could need – not to mention the collapsable lighting once within still functions perfectly. This kit is somewhat minimized for travel, but nevertheless has all the favourites.
The Zeiss. Purchased slightly-used from Map Camera in Shinjuku at the beginning of last year, the Voightlander 35 1.4 (s.c.) was chosen to accompany after some recommendations backed by solid reviews. Frequently buying/selling cameras, parting with the Zeiss has never been an option. The build quality is as impressive as the optics making it perfect for the urban geometries i shoot. The next, the Ricoh, is a neat little rangefinder but perhaps my least used of late. The 40 2.8 is fast and the construction surprisingly robust. It has gained the reputation as a ‘light leaks machine’ due to the disappearing interior foam but, combining this with the multi-exposure slider lends itself to some really neat images.
To the point + shoots. The Chinon Bellami, a pocketable 1981 barn-door, is perhaps the ‘more’ manual of the two with scale/zone focusing from one meter to infinity. The optics are often compared to the more-popular Lomo LC-A, however the Chinon has a side-mounted flash unit and is, in my mind, the more desirable unit. The advance is solid, the retractable lens novel but a pleasure and the images crisp. I’ve had the best results with low speed color films such as Portra – which i’ll get to later. Onto the Konica Recorder. With all of the above taken into account, this would have to be my most looked-to piece of kit. I’ve had two of these, with this particular unit sourced by Bellamy not too long ago. This was my first half-frame, with the vertical loading and niche 80s Japanese design all but selling the format to me. A 24 4.0 with film speed capped at 400 means that this is a camera for the daylight. The CDS meter alternates the shutter, it focuses and it advances for you – it’s essentially fully automated. The form is slim and the lens sharp – i’ll never let it go.
As for film, i shoot 35mm primarily, solely when travelling – and i’m Portra’s biggest fan. Although the colors/tones are orientated around the world of portraiture, i find these aspects, and the fine grain perfect for capturing architecture and built forms as the film doesn’t depend upon a studio set up. As far as my less-frequent black & white shooting is concerned, the Neopan is rich in gradation, but i’ll occasionally grab the cable release and step up to a higher speed Delta.
The notebook and 0.4mm fineliner combination is essential as is a decent lintless paper – this now-discontinued Kodak being the favorite. The A. McDonald wallet never falters, nor does the ’78 Seiko, or the Bang & Olufsen Form 2s, recently re-released after celebrating their 25th anniversary.
…and that’s the box.
Thanks Benj, it is good to see the recorder again and I am happy to know it is serving you well. Keep it up and good luck with your upcoming exhibition.
Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on Japancamerahunter.com. Send me a hi resolution image of the bag (please make sure it is horizontal) and its contents, with some details about yourself and what you shoot. Oh and don’t forget your contact details (twitter, flickr, tumbler et al). Send the bag shots here.