In your bag No: 1264, Derren Poole
Derren is a musician who has applied his experience in lugging around instruments to help minimise his GAS and keep his bag simple enough for his needs. Check out this beauty.

Anyone who knows me well, will tell you I’m all about the ‘small’! It’s a bit of a running joke with me and my friends. For twenty five years (and counting) I’ve been a musician playing bass guitar in various bands in the UK. I’ve spent countless amounts of money chasing an illusory dream of perfect tone in expensive, quite often heavy and bulky gear. A painful back injury approximately ten years ago forced me to rethink this approach, and now I’m a much happier musician (not) lugging around a small little amp and a ukelele bass!

What does this have to do with cameras and photography I hear you ask? For me, everything. When I started to venture out more seriously into the world of photographic possibilities over seven years ago, I was acutely aware of how easy it is to be suckered into buying gear for the sake of it. The lessons I learned as a musician about gear choices, and how expensive it can get, has served me well as a photographer. Many new photographers when starting out, probably rush headlong into purchases and gear acquisition unwisely. For me, every piece of gear bought is carefully considered. So, when I talk about the ‘small’ in the first paragraph, what I’m really talking about is very calculated and well researched purchases that best serve my particular needs, tastes and photographic style.

I’ve always been aware of cameras from a young age and have always enjoyed photography. I have very specific memories of my father’s Olympus OM10 camera… being fascinated by what it was, what it did, the look, the feel. I don’t think I’ve ever lost that initial wonder, and may explain why I now have a love affair with Olympus cameras. Yep, I’m an Olympus fanboy! Owning as I do an EM5, OM1, OM10, Trip 35, EPL1, PEN etc etc…..

As a photographer, I do a lot of gigs and events in my locality of Lancashire in the UK. Some of my clients include Blackburn With Darwen Borough Council, Blackburn Is Open, Gypsy Carrot Productions, The Soul Convicts, Sky Valley Mistress….. I primarily us an Olympus EM5 with manual focus OM Zuiko lenses. As mentioned above, I also have the 35mm OM1, so the two cameras compliment each other well as all my lenses work on each camera. These two cameras are perfectly formed and very well engineered bits of kit that just work brilliantly. They don’t get in the way of me doing what I need to do. That to me, is the essence of exceptionally good design. I like these setups as they’re comfortable to work with over long periods of time. The weight is good, the small form factor allows me to get in and out of areas easily, the image quality is fantastic.

The bag presented here obviously is an extension of what I’m describing above, a continuation of that desire/need/compulsion to get even smaller and even lighter. This setup is my ‘holiday/travel bag’. Every year I go away for a break, take my digital camera with all sorts of lenses and gizmos, snap away hundreds of photos and then spend a week editing them upon my return, only for them to sit on a hard drive, barely looked at. Not this year! This is something I’ve put together to allow me to just enjoy talking photographs while away, without the need to worry about editing later. The plan is to travel light and comfortably and capture memories that can printed out and enjoyed. (I’m also planning on developing some of my own 120 films while away using a little travel developing kit I’ve put together, just don’t tell my partner!). On to the camera bag…..

– Lowepro Adventura 170 camera bag. A small shoulder bag that is quite deep. Plenty of storage for such a small bag. To give you some idea, the bag will hold a Bronica Zenza with spare film back and a few rolls of 120. The original shoulder strap is utter rubbish though – it’s thin and cuts into the shoulder, even with minimal weight. I bought a replacement Op/Tech neoprene padded strap which is much better (which you can’t see!). £20.00 for the bag, £12.00 for the strap.

– Voigtlander Perkeo I medium format folding camera. This is probably one of the smallest 120 cameras you can get. Built c1951 – 55, this is a zone focus camera with no meter or TTL focusing. The lens is just superb, really sharp with good contrast. The whole camera is comparable in size to the body of an Olympus OM1, just slightly taller. The half-frame case is actually from the original full leather case that fell apart. I paid £30.00 for the camera.

– Voigtlander Rangefinder. This sits in the flash hotshoe and is useful for close focusing work. Annoyingly the rangefinder scale is indicated in metres, the camera scale is indicated in feet! £25.00.

– Olympus XA2. Everything they say about this camera is true. This camera is freaking awesome! Not sure how it’s possible to get such superb image quality from such small package. The building quality, the tiny size, the ease of use… everything is just perfect! Purchased this complete with original case, manual and flash all for £15.00!

– Weston Euro Master light meter. A beautifully designed and crafted vintage meter from about c1972 ish. I have the Invercone for incident metering too from another unit. Free.

– Films. Anything I can get cheap. I often look out for bundled 120 deals and recently scored five rolls of Shanghai GP3 for £12.00. In the UK, we have Poundland shops, some of which stock Agfa Vista 200 35mm film for a quid a roll! I quite often bulk buy twenty rolls at a time. Not the best film, but underrated to 100 asa and you get quite good results. Quite cheap to use for cross processing experiments and messing about.

– Manfrotto Mini Tripod. A really nice, very well made and very small little tripod. Perfect for just sitting in the bag and not getting in the way. £16.00.

– Ancillary stuff. Moleskin note book and pen. Not shown is a Moleskin zipped velcro pouch that sits inside the camera bag and holds the rangerfinder, invercone and cable shutter release.

– Flask of tea. By far the most important bit of kit for any photographic excursion.

That’s it. Hoped you enjoyed it! You can see my film only work on Flickr: I can also be found on my official website (Format), Exposure, Facebook or Twitter by searching for #phunkography.

I’m off to test this bag at Beatherder Music Festival in Beatherdershire (nr Clitheroe), as I’m the official photographer at The Perfumed Garden Stage.

Herd ’em up!!!! …..Derren Lee Poole.

That’s it buddy. Hope it’s good enough to get in. Keep up the great work on your site.

Regards, Derren.

Thanks for sharing your bag with us, Derren. It is lovely to see that Voigtlander, you don’t see many people shooting them anymore.
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