In your bag No: 1414, Julián Péter
Julián Péter is a third time offender. And now he is bag with a new bag. Not sure about that typewriter though, does that get lugged around as well? Come and find out.
Dear Bellamy and all the fans of Japan Camera Hunter,
It has been more than three years since I have been last featured on this website (bags #146 and #403). Nevertheless, I always wanted to return at least once (or twice, or thrice…) more. My last bag saw me departing for a six-month contract onboard an ocean-going vessel. Since then, I have stopped going to sea, changed up my career a bit (but still in the shipping business), moved to “most beautiful city in the world” – Hamburg, Germany – and most importantly – grew up. Hell, I am an adult now: paying bills, moving apartments, buying furniture and getting married to my incredible fiancée in September! But I guess you are here to read about photography and gear, so let’s get to it.
Overall, I have streamlined my gear to pretty much once camera system. I do still have some leftovers, but I am slowly selling those in order to save up for…you guessed it…a Leica. Living in Germany comes with living the German lifestyle and to me that means “Leica Leica Leica”. :D Anyways, while not each item is always being carried, going around in a clockwise (and the correct and orderly) fashion, my bag:
As my go-to-shooting-the-streets bag, I use a black/dark brown “anti-theft” satchel from Tchibo (yes, the coffee company). I bought it for my vacation in Malaysia and Indonesia, it has a wire in the strap that should prevent it being cut by thieves. While it cannot really pack the camera itself, which I always have ready in my hand anyway, it carries everything else. Did you know Tchibo is a Hamburg brand? Represent (Hamburgers are fiercely proud of their city)!
Another mainstay is an automatic movement TAG Heuer limited Monza edition watch. It was my father’s, who flew with it as a fighter pilot for years. He agreed to give it to me, I had it fixed (all those Gs did not do the springs much good) and now run perfectly – a true family heirloom.
The camera: Pentax ME Super, coupled with my most favorite lens Helios 44-2 (the swirl!). I picked up this camera not too long ago in a secondhand shop for close to nothing in a close to mint condition. It is semi-automatic, you set the aperture and the camera does the rest, using stepless shutter speeds. However, you can still switch to full manual mode and when the battery dies the mechanical 1/125 shutter remains active. The camera is easy to load, easy to rewind and an absolute joy to use. Plus it is very small, which I appreciate as I hate lugging around heavy bricks.
Speaking of lugging, I am a brand ambassador for SailorStrap (http://sailor-strap.com/) and use a super-secret, first-of-its-kind, prototype leather camera strap. It even has protection tabs around the lugs. While stiff at the beginning, the leather becomes more pliable with wear and man, does it look good! I highly recommend you to go and check them out.
Other lenses I use are Vivitar 28-85mm f3.5-4.5 and SMC Pentax-A 50mm f1.7 with a yellow filter. Although the Helios 44-2 is my absolute favorite, it is a little bit more difficult to use due to it not having stepped aperture, meaning it gets kicked out of place quite often. However, it does have an aperture pre-set function, which I would like to explore in the next months.
As for film, bulk load mine into three types of cartridges: standard black aluminum, repurposed Efke 100 (the cartridge is easy to open and reuse for bulk loading) and a single gunmetal Asashi Pentax cartridge. The last one is much heavier than others and pure luxury.
When it gets dark, which it does quite often in Hamburg (so-called “Schietwetter”), I have a Canon Speedlite O11A and some spare batteries ready. On the side, I wrote down the guide number and the respective flash range in relation to film speed and aperture.
The trusty Computrol bulk loader was a steal! Found in what can only be described as a hermit’s storage in Cardiff, Wales, it cost 50p and works like a charm. Currently, it has almost 50m of Fomapan 100 inside. In addition to bulk loading, I also develop at home using Rodinal, Adofix, good ol’ water and a variation of the half-stand process. I usually push the film 1 or 2 stops depending on the mood and then quickly scan it in on a tiny 35mm scanner, also from Tchibo (not shown).
I am a sucker for notebooks and always buy too many, but never use them for fear of tarnishing their pristine beauty. Being an adult now, I have learned to be a little bit more economical in my thinking and actually use the items I have at home instead of always buying the next best thing. The notebook is an IKEA one, nothing too fancy, small enough and does the job. I always scribble some photography/political/philosophy thoughts or ideas down, to revisit at a later date. Just recently, I found an entry I made about the time Maidan began, still naïve and in the dark about the event that would happen shortly after. I like black ink heavy-built pens, so I prefer writing with a Faber-Castell, but since it is running out, anything that writes will do.
The usual stuff: hand sanitizer, lip balm, mints and a first aid kit which I need to update. The world has unfortunately turned ugly and now even Europe is not safe. I would rather be prepared than sorry. Therefore, I would like to refresh my skills in first aid in case of an emergency such as the attacks in Paris and Brussels.
Least, but not least is a Continental Wanderer 350 typewriter. It is hard to say when it was made, but a short search on the Internet suggests 1930-40s. It was a Christmas gift from my fiancée, who got it from an old friend of her grandmother, who completed his university on it, so that should indicate its age. I have typed many letters on it to my photography friends around the world and also use it when typing up titles and texts for my zines. My first ever zine has just become available for free download, so go check it out on my website http://strangerofuniverse.com/. Bellamy, you will be getting your own signed version as well (when I find it in the mess of boxes from the move).
As for my photography, although I did two magazine articles in the past, at the moment I just shoot whatever is around. That said, I still strive for the likes of Robert Capa (the man who inspired me to take up photography), and try to improve on my processing skills as well. Anyway, I have a lot of old prints lying around at that can only mean one thing: more zines!
Stay cool and good light,
Thanks for coming back to us, Julián. lovely setup and a beautiful watch, thanks for sharing it.
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