In your bag 472, Paul Schofield
Todays bag contains my favourite SLR of all time. Paul has been kind enough to send in a really lovely purist bag and a brilliant description of his process. Come and see.

My name’s Paul Schofield and I’m a forestry manager based near Perth in central Scotland.  I’ve been taking pictures on and off for 25 years and if I’m honest most of them have been garbage with no real sense of direction. At the age of 43, I’ve decided that this needs to change – it’s time to stop pissing around.

My solution is to be more project orientated and make photography a part of my everyday life rather than something I just do at weekends. To begin with, I’ve set myself the task of photographing the people I encounter at work. This has taken me right out of my comfort zone and some days I don’t have the bottle to ask. Street photography doesn’t come naturally either but I love the way it makes you really look at what’s going on.

I’ve used digital since about 2005 and have a Nikon D90 that I now use mainly for family shots. With a 35mm 1.8 it’s great for available light and means that I avoid using a flash completely and still get most of what I want. Despite its advantages, though, using digital doesn’t really switch me on in the way that it used too.

Compared to just shooting digital to begin with, there is no doubt that getting a 35mm negative onto the computer is a huge hassle and whatever anyone says the cost associated with film is a disincentive. Regardless of all that, though, I find myself wanting to shoot with film almost exclusively these days. The appeal is very basic for me; I’ve missed loading film into the back of a camera. A new roll of film is full of exiting possibilities in the way that a clean SD card just isn’t.

So this is the set up that I use for film. At the moment I don’t have a proper camera bag. I tend to just take a camera, choose a lens and stuff my pockets with whatever else I need. The ever-ready case fits with any of my lenses and is good for keeping the dust off in the car. If I need to bring a spare lens it travels in one of the old Nikon cases I picked up. I never feel the need to walk around with more than one camera and lens.

Nikon F3 – This is a great camera – I love its simplicity and solid build quality. It feels indestructible compared to the plastic D90. I’ve got two bodies, one in more or less mint condition and the other slightly tatty. It’s a fairly compact camera without the motor drive, particularly with the lower profile DE-2 viewfinder. The shutter isn’t exactly quiet but the sound is reasonably smooth and unobtrusive. When I’m carrying an F3 I don’t worry too much about it getting knocked because they’re so cheap to replace. I would worry more about a Leica.

Nikon 50mm f1.8 – I’ve somehow ended up with two of these, one a Nikkor and the other a Series E. Pre-focused these work great for point and shoot, particularly the ‘pancake’ size Series E. Both are very good lenses indeed and cost around £40 each.

Nikkor 85mm f2 – I got this for portraits but enjoy using it on the street too.

Nikkor 24mm f2.8 – I just got this the other day so haven’t tried it yet. These three lenses pretty much cover the range that I want. The quality of Nikkor AIS manual lenses is fantastic (the 85 made me gasp when I took it out of the box) and most are relatively inexpensive.

Film – I like the versatility of HP5 and use short rolls so I’m not stuck with the same one for too long. I haven’t tried any Delta 3200 yet but the possibilities are interesting. I’ve started to wonder if there’s any advantage to using slide film anymore so at the moment I’m trying out Portra 400 and Fujicolour 400.

Other stuff – Yellow and orange filters, lens cloth, Nikon lens pen, notebook and pencil.

Any ideas about what kind of bag might suit this set-up would be gratefully received.


Thanks for sharing this setup with us Paul. I love the F3’s. I am sure that there will be plenty of suggestions as to what bag to use.
I would say check out the links, but there are none. Paul, if you have some, please send them.

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.