In your bag No: 1195, Chad Ivan
Now here is a camera we don’t see enough of. The wonderfully underrated Contax Aria. Oh, and a rather dangerous looking knife. Check this one out.

“Hello” from San Diego, California!

I’m Chad Ivan and enjoy reading the ‘In Your Bag’ section of your site. I love seeing what everyone carries with them while on the go, whether on an assignment or just for leisure. I do photography as a hobby and photograph things that interest me.

I am a bit of a bag otaku (among other things) and have collected quite a few bags since I decided to drop some serious cash on the hobby back in 2008 starting with my old Canon 400D/Rebel XTi. I have found that I prefer a messenger bag style as opposed to shoulder slings or backpack-type designs. It doesn’t matter if the messenger bag is meant for carrying a camera just as long as it can fit the insert for one. My current “daily” bag is a Lowepro Passport Sling III. Not quite the messenger bag, but it does the job nicely and can hold quite a bit of stuff without becoming too bulky in size.

I started out with digital format cameras. From point and shoots to D-SLRs, I’ve collected quite a few. After picking up the Canon 400D I started checking out Craigslist to see what interesting goodies I could find and stumbled upon a low priced Canon 20D. I bought a Canon 5D Mark II from Best Buy and fell in love. I even managed to find a used Canon 50D (which I have designated to be my main cropped sensor camera) on Craigslist for an insanely low price and it came with a lot of extras.
I love the satisfaction from digital format: shooting RAW, being able to post process to one’s taste, and most of all it was instant… then one day I found an old Mamiya ZE in my sister’s room. I had no clue at the time where it came from or why she had it, but I took it. It was in pristine condition despite the decrepit leather case. I didn’t know if it worked so I bought a roll of film from the local pharmacy and gave her a test run.

Split focus screens were new to me. It made sense after a while, but the downside was that there is no auto-focus, no confirmation beep, and most of all it required me to have either my glasses or contact lenses on at all times while using the camera. Despite all of that I began to fall in love with analog photography. There was so much more effort involved in taking a shot. I shot mainly in M mode on my D-SLRs so nothing was new there, but for some reason it became vital that everything was measured correctly before pressing that shutter button otherwise I was wasting film. “Were my measurements correct? What about my focusing?” Anticipation about how a shot came out renewed my interest in photography and lit a new passion for analog photography. I fell head over heels in love with film. Lots of new factors to play with, including film itself.
To this day I am shooting any type of 35mm film I can get my grubby hands on, be it color or black and white. I love to see which film offers a certain types of grain, contrast, and color saturation. I am currently trying to piece together the necessary tools needed to develop my own film. That would be the height of this passion. From the Mamiya ZE I managed to pick up a few more SLRs (all 35mm’s): a Canon A-1 plus extras that was given to me by a coworker, a Contax RTS II body that was given to me by my work (they used to use film cameras in the O.R. decades ago and even had their own dark room to develop photos for the surgeons), a Rollei 35 SE, and my latest addition a Contax Aria.

Enough with my ramblings and onto the main course – what’s in my bag?
Starting from the top and then left to right:
-Lowepro Passport Sling III: it’s got an expandable zippered section that adds to the overall storage capacity. I can easily stow my Canon 5D Mark II with 28-70mm f/2.8 L lens along with what’s pictured, but I don’t because I don’t like toting around a heavy bag. (I must not forget about my awesome Kill la Kill anime buttons. My bag’s bling! haha)

-Tiffen ND filters 0.6 and 0.9: I sometimes like to take long exposures and these are great tools in doing so!

-55mm lens hood: Purchased off of Amazon. It’s a metal screw-in type and matches the finish of my camera nicely.

-Contax Aria with Zeiss 50/1.4 lens: I love it. It’s lightweight, auto film advanced with “burst” modes, and compact while offering lots of options. The lens is sharp and is perfect as a general ‘walk around’ lens. I won the Aria from a seller on eBay for $144-shipped! I picked up the 50mm lens from a Craigslist seller.

-Spare batteries. Without them I’d be wasting a trip. They’re equally as important as having extra rolls of film!

-Contax Zeiss 100/3.5: I keep this with me just in case I need that extra zoom.

-A book. What I like about my setup is that it’s more than just a camera bag – it’s a media bag. I enjoy reading and coffee shops. The two go hand in hand.

-JCH 135 half case: I recall seeing a picture of these and was able to follow the image back to the source – Japan Camera Hunter. From there I found the shop and blogs and have been hooked ever since! These are awesome! They’re slim and don’t take up much space. Heck, they are in the same pocket I keep my 100mm lens in. I currently have stored in it Kodak Portra 400, Kodak Ektar 100, Fujifilm Superia Xtra 400, Agfaphoto APX 100 and 400 film rolls. Thank you for this – it is a GREAT addition to my set up!

-Google Nexus 7 (2013): Again, media bag. I take my bag with me on every outing no matter how menial it is. If I have the opportunity to take photos then I take the bag. If I happen to not be in a reading mood then I’ll watch a movie or watch anime on the tablet.

-Contax TLA 280 flash. It’s come in handy several times and it fits nicely in my bag. I had some great results with this flash. Very easy to operate!

-Lens wipe. (Pretty self-explanatory.)

-LensPen: I don’t use the end that’s capped off; I don’t trust it. I’m sure many of you have seen one of these. I use this mainly for the brush. The design for the brush is nifty, but flawed, big time. It could really benefit from having a cap for the brush end as well. Anything could fall into it so I take my time shaking it off before using it. I also tend to accidentally touch the bristles so I get oil streaks once in a while. :( Contax lens caps are pretty flimsy, to be honest, and don’t provide a tight seal. I end up having dust specs accumulate on the lens if it sits in the bag for a few days.

-A pen. You’ll never know when you might need one!

-A pocket knife. I use it to cut things and for self-defense (where I’ll pretty much use it to cut things.) haha!

Lastly, another tool I keep with me at all times is my Google Nexus 6 phone. I really like the camera on it and it has taken some really wonderful photos so far. Not bad for a phone camera. The photo I submitted was taken with it. ^__^

I upload my stuff on Flickr:


Thanks for sharing your bag with us, Chad. And thanks for the kind words on the film cases, I worked really hard on them so it makes me happy to hear you are enjoying them.
Check out the links and make sure you come and comment.

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Send me a hi resolution image of the bag. Optimum size is 1500 across. Please ensure there is a bag in the shot, unless you don’t use one. The more you can write about yourself the better, make it appealing and tell us a story.

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