In your bag No: 357 – Benjamin Aw


by Bellamy /

3 min read

In your bag 357, Benjamin Aw
Now this is a whopper of a bag! The ‘frankenbag’, this one is holding just about the whole world. Well, at least Ben’s world. Come and see.

Hi JCH viewers,

I am amazed at the different configurations that ‘shooters’ have for their needs. This configuration of mine is specifically for an 8-day (purely photographic, hence you see the insane amount of film) trip to Bangladesh.

The tramatic experience of choosing which camera + lens combo for this trip could have killed me. I needed a small, easy to handle set up, without the need for battery chargers and constant fussing of menu screens.

The toss was between my trusty Nikon F100 with a 35mm or the clean and simple M-Mount. As I could only pack one bag, (yes, for 8-days) inclusive of clothes, friends say I am insane. Well, I am!

Here we go!

1. Leica M3 + 25/2.8 Zeiss Biogon

2. Leica M2 + 50/1.5 Zeiss Sonnar

3. Ricoh GRD4

4. Sekonic 308s Lightmeter

5. Notebooks/Pen/Marker + Moleskin Diary

6. iPhone with Loksak waterproof bag

7. Passport and documentation with Loksak Waterproof bag (Keep ’em safe!)

8. Film, film, and more film.

9. Travel guide by Bradt, Black Diamond headtorch, GRD4’s battery charger

10. Wallet, Crumpler pouch (GRD), LowePro (M3), Tatonka pouch (iPhone)

11. Clothes (yeah, that is all for 8 days, what can I say, I travel LIGHT.

12. Domke F2 Chocolate canvas

“Can this all fit into the Domke F2?” Sort of :)

This is really a Frankenstein of a bag as I have combined various items to make it all work for me.

Skipping the Domke 4-peice insert, I will be using a Billingham 11-18 Superflex to hold the M2 & lightmeter, with the Lowerpro 1W lens case for the M3.

The GRD is either shoved into the front pocket of the Domke or the old hardy Crumpler pouch. I enjoy being hands free while I shoot, and not bothering about balancing two bags on me, hence I came up with this setup.

I am a sucker for camera bags, and I have tried numerous brands and layouts, but the Domke F2 is always my go-to bag for serious work. Though not a great deal of configurations can be done with a DSLR set up due

to their huge lens, the F2 really delivers in speed and accessibility. It braves the weather better than me, and just keeps going while I need a nap once in a while.


I started photography with film back in 2006 with a Nikon FM2, and have since escalated to a Nikon D3s and living more dangerously, Medium Format with the Mamiya RZ67.

While this is not my daily setup, I usually carry one camera with a two lens combo, or a two camera 3 lens combo, depending the day’s work/outing.

DSLR’s may be fun and the way forward in terms of technology, but film….film presents an experience itself.


For this trip, I am packing –

  • Ilford’s Delta 400 (1 full bulk roll)
  • Fuji’s Acros 100 (15 rolls)
  • Provia 100 (5 rolls)
  • Kodak Ektachrome 100VS (5 rolls)

As you can see, I am not much a fan of colour film, but I have my GRD4 for that. Though I think I will end up finishing all that Provia and Ektachrome with all that Zeiss glass.

I store all my work at and I welcome feedback on my photography :)

Thanks for sharing your fantastic ‘Frankenbag’ with us Ben. I hope you trip was a great photographic and personal experience.
Check out the links and make sure you all come and comment.

Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on 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.


6 comments on “In your bag No: 357 – Benjamin Aw”

    ZDP-189 December 10, 2012 at 8:31 am / Reply

    Blinking Awesome!

    Jealous of your trip.

    Winston Chua December 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm / Reply

    Interesting set-up but that would kill my neck / shoulder. Having a back pack for your personal stuff and the Domke for photo stuff might work. It’s still easy to move around with, weight is distributed and your personal stuff will not be in the way of your photo stuff.

    LT December 11, 2012 at 12:12 am / Reply

    This is awesome! But I can image how you smell after 8 days…..

    Benjamin Aw December 11, 2012 at 6:45 am / Reply

    Hi guys thank you for checking out my bag via this cool blog by JCH.
    The bag was about 7.5kg in total, and I usually remove the ‘not important’ stuff while I shoot. Unless of course I am moving towns/city.

    An afternote is that I swopped out the M3 for a Voigtlander 35/1.4. It simplified the work as well as lightened my load:)

    raytoei December 11, 2012 at 6:40 pm / Reply

    steady lah! 8 days with so little clothes….and so much film.

    Benjamin Aw December 14, 2012 at 11:00 am / Reply

    LOL. Its surprising how heavy film can be if they exceed 25-30 rolls in a Ziplock.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.