In your bag No: 623 – Peter Russell


by Bellamy /

4 min read

Nikon Fs and Domke Special F2 bag
In your bag No: 623, Peter Russell
This is probably one of the biggest sets we have had on In Your Bag. Two really amazing bags from a professional photographer. Peter shares with us his love of Nikon. Check it out.

My name is Peter Russell and I’ve been a professional photographer in the UK since 1971. I’m now based in Somerset in the south-west of England, surrounded by miles of nothing but fields and woods – brilliant!
Whilst I’ve used everything from Hasselblad, Bronica, Horseman and Sinar P throughout my career, the one system that I stuck to religiously, through thick and thin, is Nikon.
I began in 1971 with a 1968 Nikon F and, like most young photographers, had to sell one to buy the next, progressing through to the Nikon F4S before I could afford not to sell the previous generation!
When I look back and work out what I have owned, but had to sell, it makes me weep! However, I recently started to replace some of my early Nikon kit before it became really too expensive.

Nikon Fs and Domke Special F2 bag

Here, in my special Domke F2 bag that I have never seen anywhere else, are a pair of black 1967 Nikon F bodies. One is fitted with an F-36 Electric Motor Drive and Cordless Battery Power Pack and a NIKKOR-S 50mm f/1.4, the other with a NIKKOR-O 35mm f/2. Alongside is a NIKKOR-Q 20cm f/4, a Nikon Right Angle Viewing Attachment, which is a brilliant bit of kit, and my second most favourite film these days, Fuji Sensia. I didn’t have any colour negative for this shot I’m afraid! The Nikons have all been completely overhauled and work perfectly, allowing me to slow down the pace of my pleasure photography. My early grounding in photography means that I can still work out the exposure to better than ½ stop without an exposure meter, hence my choice of colour neg rather than tranny!

Nikon Fs and Domke Special F2 bag

The Domke bag came courtesy of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondent’s Club I believe. I was over there in ’96 or ’97, prior to the end of British rule, to shoot the British Army’s drawdown.

Nikon Fs and Domke Special F2 bag

Much of what I have done in the past, and indeed do today, is related to the military and the defence industry where having a robust camera is vital! Whilst today my work is done with a Nikon D3S it’s really great to step back to more considered photography using film. These days one has to take what is offered as age and experience seem to be no substitute for youth and enthusiasm!

Nikons and Think Tank Airport Acceleration 2.0

My second bag is what I call my ‘Overseas’ bag. It’s a Think Tank Airport Acceleration 2.0, bought specifically to take as carry-on luggage from my great friends in London, Grays of Westminster. This bag is packed for my trip last week to Nijmegen in the Netherlands where I covered the Nijmegen Four Day Marches – the world’s longest, hardest and most popular march, with over 43,000 entrants.

Nikons and Think Tank Airport Acceleration 2.0

Packed in the bag is a Nikon D3S body, two Nikon D300 bodies, a NIKKOR AF-S 12-24mm f/4G DX, Fisheye-NIKKOR AF 16mm f/2.8D,  NIKKOR AF-S 16-35mm F/4G VR, NIKKOR AF 50mm f/1.4D, NIKKOR AF 85mm f/1.8 and a Zoom-NIKKOR AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8D. Nikon SB800 and SB900 Speedlights, Calumet Flash Triggers, a microphone, brushes, spare CF cards, batteries, carabiner for clipping the bag to anything solid, mains adaptors, passport, boiled sweets and iPhone fill the bag. Sadly there is no room for my NIKKOR AF-S 200-400mm F/4G – a lovely lens, but sometimes too heavy or too unwieldy to take!

Nikons and Think Tank Airport Acceleration 2.0

You can find more of my work at:

I hope that you enjoy them, and the nostalgia.

Best wishes,
Peter Russell LBIPP
Peter Russell Photography 
(incorporating the Military Picture Library)

Thanks for sharing your bag with us Peter. That Domke and the Nikon F’s, oh man. A thing of beauty.
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. Please understand that there is a long wait now as there is a backlog of submissions. Not all make the cut, so make sure yours is funny/interesting/quirky. And please make sure the shot is of good quality, as the ones that are not do not go up.


6 comments on “In your bag No: 623 – Peter Russell”

    ZDP-189 September 3, 2013 at 8:24 am / Reply

    What In incredible bag! I’d love to own either/both the analogue or digital versions.

    “my great friends in London, Grays of Westminster” – I have zero doubt that they consider you their BFF

    Ani September 3, 2013 at 11:49 am / Reply

    Yup that’s a great bag. I thought I had alot of Nikon bodies but digital and analog but he’s got me beat :)

    Jukka Watanen September 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm / Reply

    Great stuff those “F”`s… Would it be great if somebody said to you, Peter:
    Do a story to us in Black & White with film… I had the luck a few times to that happen with my Leicas.

    Richard September 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm / Reply

    I just admire people who are able to carry the whole bag’s worth of digital gears like this one here, and still feel fine after that. My back would have been snapped into 2 if I carried gears this heavy.

    Peter Russell September 6, 2013 at 3:59 am / Reply

    Just so you guys don’t have any illusions about this superman carrying a huge bag everywhere, I tend to pack a smaller, but empty bag and then transfer kit from my main bags once I get to a location. When I was a young, hungry photographer I used to dream about having loads of kit. When I eventually achieved that nirvana I discovered that I couldn’t easily carry it without damaging my back! The subsequent years have been spent slimming down the kit by firstly getting a smaller bag. Then, even if I do manage to fill it, it’s still lighter! Sadly the move to digital has mean a return to the good old bad old days. If I’m away for more than a day or so I have also got to pack my MacBook Pro and all the leads and other bits of crap that mean the difference between working and having an embarrassingly expensive paperweight.

    Ani, in answer to your point, having all this kit is not as great as it sounds! My wife can’t understand why I ‘need’ another couple of F bodies as spares, my children are hoping I’ll die soon so that they can inherit my collection, although they’ll have to wait at least ten years to really start seeing a profit, and my shelves are groaning under the weight. Oh, and the film bodies don’t actually earn me anything – that’s for the digital side! I guess the only other person who really loves these is my repair man who has a whole bunch to wave his magic fingers over.

    David Murray October 13, 2014 at 2:21 am / Reply

    I’m delighted to find another keen Nikon F user. I started out with a chrome F Photomic FTN circa 1970, metering head not working, told some parts removed.
    Later spotted a Nikon F sans head, but with screen on eBay but 12 miles away.
    Arranged to drive over on a Sunday morning to check it over. Later bought a WLF first as a top cap, then found it useful for discreet street shooting. Metering by Weston V but some quick estimation. My partner bought me a Billingham 335 about 15 years ago and it houses the Fs. Lenses, I mainly use the 35 f2 O & 85 f1.8 H, but have 20/28/50/105/135/200/300. 1 zoom – the 43-86 f3.5. My beloved Fs attract much comment, especially the one with Photomic finder.

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