In your bag No: 482 – Calvin Lee


by Bellamy /

3 min read

In your bag 482, Calvin Lee
Looks like we have a very professional studio type shot today. Calvin brings us his street bag, all the way from Toronto. Check it out.

My name is Calvin Lee, I graduated from design and ended up in photography somehow and I am loving it!!
I was born in Hong Kong and am currently based in Toronto. I have been very fortunate to be able to connect to many well known artists in Hong Kong & Toronto which have opened windows of opportunities for me to enter into the lives of these artists. I have taken this opportunity to photograph their studios, document their artworks, portraits as well as shots of them working.

I mainly use digital gear on jobs, but have always had the passion for anything analogue. The rawness of film and instant films just feels primal and connects with my emotions on a different level.

The M9 is a tool that I have acquired after tasting the emotional connection I was getting with my subjects (whether alive or not) with my first digital rangefinder, the M8.
Capturing “emotions” has become the focus of my work and the corevalue in everything I shoot.

The bag shot I am sharing here is mainly for available light situations and street purposes. My work gear for events is with the Canon 5D3 which we can take a look at another time.

Gear shown:

1. Leica M9 with Zeiss 50mm 1.5 zm – an amazing camera that I find helps me express myself the most. The Zeiss performs best at F2 with balance of bokeh & sharpness.

2. Voigtlander Bessa R2 with Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 mc – the body works great with accurate meter and adequate frames but its a bit light in weight IMO, the VC 35 is bang for the buck, just don’t seek sharpness from it.

3. Olympus OM-D E-M5 with Panasonic 20mm 1.7 – the omd is an amazing camera for all situations, especially the built in IS, the 20 1.7 is crazy sharp at 1.7 and fast.

4. Polaroid SX-70 type II – a small learning curve with exposure adjustment control which differs for each type of film, but produces beautiful authentic vintage looking images with such a simple operation. I get great responses from artists when I use this for their portraits.

5. Billingham Hadley Pro – love this bag, you get what you pay for.

6. IPad Original – mainly used for showing portfolio

Panasonic 14mm 2.5 – small, light, fast, with moderate sharpness and at a good price.

Voigtlander 15mm 4.5 mk I – the sharpest lens i have used, unbeatable on film but will have color casts on M8 & M9.

Films: Recent members of the family Impossible Mission films “assorted”
Portra 400
Neopan 400

Please feel free to have a look at some of my work.
Direct link to Artists:

Hope this sharing is bag shot worthy!

Thanks for sharing your bag with us Calvin. A nice mix of gear that you have there.
Check out the links 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.


2 comments on “In your bag No: 482 – Calvin Lee”

    Mark wylie April 15, 2013 at 4:01 am / Reply

    Hmm, the comment about subjects being alive or not… I assume you aren’t photographing zombies?! Although, lovely kit to shoot them with but I would probably prefer a shotgun to an M9! :)

      Calvin April 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm /

      I was referring to human subjects vs still life, since I try to evoke/impose a mood or emotion towards even a shadow for example. Which in this case is the subject, and not the live person creating the shadow.

      As for the camera of choice, that would really be a personal choice. For me, each camera has its place and depending on the situation that I may foresee, I would bring a different camera. The M9 is for sure a camera that many seek after and for good reasons, but once you understand its limits, you learn to respect what it can do in situations that it will shine in, while other cameras has other areas that the M9 needs to admit defeat on.

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