In your bag 389, Robert Kittel (again)
Robert is back again, with another couple of bags for us. How deep does his collection go? His first set was very interesting, let’s see what else he has for us.

Today I have two more bags from my huge collection of equipment with different stories for you.

Bag #1 is from my very first beginnings, when I worked as an assistant to the well known austrian commercial photographer Hubert Urban. I bought this Cullmann bag in the age of 17, and it proofed its quality. I used it heavy and it never wore out. What I like is, that the artifical leather turned out to be water resistant. After 33 years of usage it has a nice patina. I would like to use it today for my fullframe-equipment, but over the years lenses and bodys got bigger and bigger, so they dont fit any longer.
Just look at the size of the ancient Ai-lenses – the 200 mm is smaller then a 85mm today. The bag keeps two Nikon bodys (FE and FE2) and lenses with 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 55mm, 105mm and 200mm – a pressphotographers standard setup in the 80s. I prefer the FE over the FE2, because it is more refined than the latter, silent and needs less batterys. The FE2 is very loud, but has an advantage in flash photography: 1/250 syncspeed and TTL. The flash was in that time a standard for pressphotographers: the legendary Metz 45. The CL4 unit in the picture is a more modern one, also the Quantum-battery. But I still have the original CT1 I bougth in the 80s, and it works till today (I use it with a bunch of others as slaves when I cover big industrial plants).
I always kept the Nikons, even when I was addicted to Leica, as they were better compatible to the equipment used at newsrooms I had to borrow some times, eg. long 2,8 telelenses. Today I use this bag regulary for black & white.

Bag #2 has a very emotional story. I call it “Grannnys Leicabag”. When my beloved Grandma died she left me a lot of money and told me in her testament to buy a Leica. In that time I really could not afford a Leica. The reason for her testament was told me by my mum later: My Grandpa was a very serious photographer who did color images with the first Agfa-Colorfilms in the early 1930s. In WWII he was sent as a prisoner of war to Sibiria – nobody believed in that he will come back, as they thought he died. So in the hard days after war, my Grandma traded in his Leica for potatoes – otherwise my Mum and her sister would have died of hunger. In 1955 Grandpa returned from Russia. And my Grandma told my mum, that this was the only time, he was really angry about her, when he found out that she had traded in the Leica.
So for me this Leica R4 is “Grannys Leica”. I used it more than 20 years for my work and loved it. In my opinion it is one the best film-SLR ever made. Later I also owned a Leica M6 and a R8, but this wasnt the same.
10 years ago I had to change to digital for work, but there was nothing useable from Leica then. So I sold most of the Leica-stuff. But I kept the R4 and a 50mm Summicron. I couldnt bring it over my heart to sell it. It is stored with a small Metz Flash in an original Leica leatherbag. I take it, when I’m in the mood for film and dont want to carry much. Sometimes it is very good for me to reduce myself on only one 50mm lens and this Summicron is one of the best lenses I ever used. And – when I take grannys Leica I always get a bit emotional, remembering this fantastic lady.

kind regards from Austria
Robert Kittel

An absolutely wonderful and heartbreaking story about the Leica, Robert. Thank you for sharing this very personal tale with us. And thanks again for sharing your bags. They are always nice to see.
Check out Robert’s links and 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.