In your bag 505, Nelson Tan
Nelson’s bag is amazing, the kind of bag that I would happily carry around myself. I must admit I have not used an SWC and I would love to carry one around for a few days. Check out this great bag.

Hello Japan camera hunters!

I’m Nelson Tan from Singapore, and I love classic cameras as much as photography itself. I’ve been doing photography for two decades now, so I started with film cameras. Given that digital has taken the world by storm, many iconic and classic film cameras that I used to drool over as a student became more affordable. And hence I was able to acquire some absolutely wonderful film cameras for a fraction of their prices in the nineties!

Although I shoot extensively in digital format, there is nothing quite like a weekend photography trip with a bag full of film cameras. There is something tactile and romantic about loading film as blank canvas into the camera, winding on to the first frame and being filled with anticipation and hope of capturing a great image on that particular roll loaded. When the shutter trips, you know the image is captured permanently, and you move on by cranking the film advance lever, once again on the hunt for the next elusive image. There is a quiet within my mind when I go out with film cameras, a zen-like state of mind that I find difficult to replicate with digital cameras.

I love mechanical cameras such as the Nikon F2, Canon F1, Leica M2, Rolleiflex and the Hasselblad 503CW.  I do enjoy using iconic models such as the Contax RX, Olympus OM4, Pentax LX, Nikon F3 even though they are not mechanical. The other favorite of mine is premium compacts such as the Contax T3, Minolta TC-1, Ricoh GR1v and of course the Konica Hexar. They are the little jewels of the camera world, delivering astounding results with their highly crafted lenses and chassis that rest in the palm of my hands.

In my Domke F2 canvas bag today, I’ve medium format cameras in the form of the Hasselblad SWC and the Rolleiflex 2.8F, to cover both wide-angle and standard focal length. Metering comes courtesy of the Minolta IV F meter, and film stock is the legendary Fujifilm Velvia RVP 50. I’ve also packed for street photography with 35mm Kodak Tri-X film, which I bulk-rolled into used film canisters. The Tri-X goes into the Minolta TC-1 (28mm), Contax T3 (35mm) and Pentax LX (50mm), and the trio allows me to shoot quickly (no need to swap lens) and unobtrusively (people don’t feel threatened by small cameras!).

If I sound like a camera collector by now, rest assured I take my photography very seriously too! I enjoy shooting a wide variety of photography genre, from street to travel photography, product and still life, macro or cityscapes. The challenge is to gain the ability to see creatively regardless of the genre, and craft beautiful images that appeal in terms of form, composition and message. And I get inspired when I create a great photo out of ordinary scenes or objects, simply because it is more difficult to do so.

You can see some of my works here: (tumblr) (website) (blog)

Best regards,


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your gear Nelson. I love the setup you have. I did the same thing, waited for the prices to drop when digital came and then got my dream cameras.
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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.