In your bag 388, Lars Heidemann
We have a lovely double bag for you from Germany today. Lars has some pretty interesting kit in two different set ups. Come and have a look.

My name is Lars Heidemann and I’m a 24 year-old student from Greifswald in the very northeast of Germany. Photography and analog cameras have become a pretty extensive hobby of mine. My first “real” camera that got me started with photography was actually a digital Canon EOS 300D that I bought for a decent price of a colleague of my Dad’s. That was in 2008. After a while I had bought a few different EF-lenses and the 300D’s “analog brother” – a brand-new Canon EOS 300 for only 5 Euros on ebay. It is a very light and small camera with quick autofocus and it would fit my other lenses. Getting more and more into film photography and especially documentary and street photography, I decided to sell my digital Canon 300D. I bought a few other nice analog cameras (Olympus, Yashica, Zorki, Zeiss Ikon and others) and a lot of film .

Today, I shoot film only, mostly 35mm colour film, but also black and white and medium format. Photographs taken with film seem to interest me much more than digital images and I personally don’t see a point in making digital photos look like they were shot on film. Here in Germany we are very lucky to get film and get it developed for relatively cheap (compared to other countries), so I don’t totally agree to people who say that digital photography is cheaper than analog.

Normally, when I just walk to school or go grocery shopping, I just carry one a little rangefinder or small SLR camera (Olympus 35RC, Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 or Minolta XG2…) and couple of rolls of film. That is light weight and I won’t miss a good shot just because I forgot my camera at home. I always go by the principle: “The best camera is always the one you carry with you”. A top-of-the-line Leica with some high-class lens is not worth a penny, if you see a brilliant scene and you cannot take a picture, because your camera sits at home on your desk.

The two bags I want to share with you are meant for two different applications. The first and bigger one I always put in my car when I shoot in villages and little towns that I come across. Currently I shoot quite a bit in low populated areas, so I drive more and stop at places that interest me.

– Bag: B&W Outdoor Cases (Type 80) – It comes with waterproof hard case inside, which I have taken out (it’s very good for expeditions but not very practical for average use). The bag itself is very tough and will not let any rain or dirt touch the gear. It also has several compartments on the inside and outside for stuff like film, flash etc.

– Canon EOS 30 (Elan 7e) analog SLR with metal body (partly) and eye-focusing

– Canon EF 50mm/f1.8 lens: This setup I use most of the time. The camera is very accurate and trusty and the lens is very sharp

– EF 28-90mm/f3.5-5.6 lens that I only use in situations where I have to go wider or a little bit closer. Usually, I just move instead of changing lenses. Most of the time I shoot at high aperture numbers with a tripod and the cable release, so the kit lens can give good results, too.

I was never a big fan of tele lenses, so I leave those to the sports and wildlife guys.

– Flash: In case I need flash, I bring a 1980’s Braun 2000/28BVC automatic flash.

– Yashica Mat 124G: A great medium format camera that produces very good results and is a lot of fun to use. This camera I also use on a tripod with the cable release and the lens shade for better contrast.

Other stuff:

– Film (!). You never want to be out of film when shooting. So I bring a variety of films in both formats (35mm and 120), expired and new, colour and black and white.

– extra light meter (for double checking with built-in meter of the Yashica Mat)

– notebook and pen

– lens pen and a bunch of glasses cleaning cloth

– LED-headlamp: comes in very handy when working in the dark and you still got both of your hands free to operate the camera

– Multi-Tool: Hey, I’m a MacGyver fan ;)

Bag No. 2:

My Street Photography Bag. Whenever I am in larger urban areas, I take some extra time for street shooting. I like street photography, because it has something adventurous and unpredictable to it. You never know what happens around the next corner, the next moment. Maybe nothing, maybe you get a great shot.

My first rule for Street photography is: Pack light. My second one is: Keep it simple. And that is how I pack my bag, too. I usually bring two cameras at a time (one loaded with colour film, the other one with black and white film) or sometimes just one camera.

Bag: Eastpak Delegate Messenger Bag. Water resistant, very light and tough material. It has a zipper that can extend the size, if I need more room. Another reason why I like it is that it does not look like a photographer’s bag at all, which is perfect if you do not want to be recognized.

The camera I always put in the bag is my trusty 1970s Olympus 35RC. It is very small, very quiet, relatively light and you can shoot it in shutter priority and fully manual. The 42mm/f2.8 lens is very sharp. And again, the camera is very unobtrusive. I have put a Matin leather strap on it, which feels and looks really nice.

As a second rangefinder, I often bring my Minolta Hi-Matic AF2, which is more of a point and shoot than it is a rangefinder camera. Nevertheless, it has a pretty sharp 38mm/f2.8 Rokkor lens and a pop-up flash that in low light situations helps a lot (although not everyone likes the “trashy” look of these built-in flash pictures).

A third camera that is a lot of fun, but not very easy to use, is my Czechoslovakian Meopta Flexaret IIa TLR camera (80mm/f3.5), a fully manual medium format camera from the 1940s. This camera I bought in one of the awesome used camera stores in Prague (If anyone of you ever has the chance to go to Prague, go and check for used cameras. They have a huge selection of mostly Soviet and Eastern European cameras, but also Japanese, German etc.). The Flexaret can be hard to focus in low light, so I use it more for shots for which I can take my time. The results with black and white film are very good. One advantage of the Flexarette over the Yashica Mat 124G is definitely its weight. I believe that parts of the Flexarette are made of aluminum, which makes it really light and good for travelling.

Thank you, Bellamy for this great site. It is a lot of fun to read the articles and also to see that there are so many people from all over the world with the same interest in photography. 

Best regards! Lars.

My flickr:

Thanks to you Lars for sharing your bags with us. It is nice to see such a different range of cameras, and cameras that don’t break the bank.
Check out Lars’ flickr and make sure you 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.