In your bag No: 1420, Justus True Waldron
Justus has a lot of stuff in his bag, I really do mean a lot. Safe to say there is a bit of a love affair with Pentax going on here. Come and have a look wonderful bag of classic delights.
Greetings from Saratoga, New York! I’ve been enjoying your site massively over the past several months as I’ve recently returned to shooting film. I’m excited to be shooting film again, and I’m excited about this bag I’ve put together. Hopefully somebody else can enjoy it too!
My earliest memories of photography are of my mom taking pictures with her camera, which I believe was a Pentax ME Super. I remember being fascinated with it and the various lenses and pieces of kit. I decided I wanted to be a weather photographer and chase tornadoes… which never came to be. However, I somehow saved up and convinced my mom to help me get a Pentax ZX-M body when I was 12. Combined with the lenses from her camera (she eventually dropped and broke hers) this was my introduction to photography. Digital cameras existed at that point, but were merely a dream on a 12 year old’s budget! I still think it worked out for the best.
I learned to operate that camera and used it through a couple of trips to Europe and a family trip across the US one summer. I took a few pictures I was proud of and decided I loved photography. Most of the money I worked for back then went into film and drugstore developing, but eventually I bought a digital point and shoot and sort of moved on. I’m not sure at which point the fun was lost, but taking pictures stopped being a thing I did for enjoyment and became something done just to retain memories. My camera started collecting dust under my bed…
That changed a while back thanks to another girl… this time one I was looking for a chance to spend more time with. She mentioned in passing that she had an old camera from her dad and wanted to see if it worked, but had no idea how to use it or where to start. I happily volunteered to help, and it turned out her dad’s camera was a nice old Pentax K1000! I quickly dug out mine and loaded up some expired film I found in my bag. We went to work taking pictures and I haven’t stopped since.
It didn’t take very long before I decided I wanted an older camera too… my ZX-M had never let me down, but compared to the K1000 it was cheap and plastic feeling in my hands. The K1000 reminded me of playing with my mom’s camera as a kid, so I found a clean one for a song and got my own. Shooting film these days is a purposeful decision, so I wanted something mechanical and vintage to go with the analog. Things have just continued on from there, and craigslist and flea markets have been pretty good to me. I had never tried developing my film when I was a kid, but decided to get into it now. I read about the crazy coffee and vitamin C concoction known as Caffenol and decided to try it out. So far I’m about 25 rolls in and I’m really liking the results. TriX is my emulsion of choice.
Enough about me, here is the breakdown of the gear:
- K1000 – my main camera. Pretty much always loaded with Tri-X and running the Takumar 50mm with an adapter
- ZX-M – The OG. I keep it set up with the one lens I bought as a teenager, an 18-35mm pentax zoom. Designed for early crop sensor digitals, it’s massively wide on full frame. The lack of an aperture ring though means it only works on this body. I run Tri-X in this as well, and lately I’ve been experimenting some with color slide film.
- Spotmatic – The latest addition to the bag. I actually bought this for the lens, it had the super takumar 50 f1.4 and was $30 for the whole thing. It’s extremely clean, but the light meter is dead. No worries, this is my long exposure camera. I’ve got a 35mm lens on here now with an ND1000 filter living on the end. I feed this one Acros 100.
- Canonet QL17 GIII – I had no idea how popular this little guy is. I wanted a rangefinder and found this for $20 at a flea market. Some new light seals and cleaning was all it needed. This generally lives around my neck at all times while the other cameras wait in the bag.
- Super Takumar 50 f1.4 (7 element) – Radioactive, yellow, and I don’t care
- Pentax 18-35mm – Create space where there is no space
- Tamron 135mm f2.8 – My only telephoto and the one lens left from my mom’s original kit She bought it new in NYC, and it was my favorite lens when I was younger. I have yet to really go back to it lately, but it is in my bag waiting with all it’s creamy bokeh goodness.
- Avanar 35mm f2.8 – I don’t have much to say about this lens… I just wanted a semi-wide m42 mount for long exposure landscapes and it fit the bill. This stays mounted on my spotmatic
- Vivitar 283 – I believe this was the kit flash for the K1000? It works but I almost never use it. It’s on my list of things to practice with…
- Generic bendy tripod – fits in my bag, does it’s job
- JCH film case – Since finding this site I’ve been a big fan, and wanted to get something from Japan. As a Pentax nerd I’m sure I’ll be wanting one of their medium format cameras someday… and I know who I’ll be talking to. Until then, I have this case. And it’s quite a nice case!
- Flashlight – I figured this might be nice for illuminating foreground things in night time shots. It’s also nice in abandoned buildings…
- Cleaning supplies – gotta keep things clean!
- Remote shutter cable – this is also left from my mom’s kit. I was fascinated by it as a kid, thinking it looked like some kind of spy device. Now I actually put it to use…
- The bag itself – Some kind of messenger bag from the thrift store. Fits a bag liner and all my cameras pretty perfectly!
That’s really about it… probably way more information than anyone cares to know really. I’m just a self taught student that has a lot of fun with this stuff. Oh, and as for the girl, we’re both still out shooting film together whenever we can!
Instagram – @thejustache
Thanks a lot for checking out this setup, and putting up with such a long winded description. Also thanks Bellamy for your work and for this highly enjoyable website!
Justus True Waldron
Thanks for sharing your bag with us, Justus. That is a hell of a lot of gear, you are definitely stronger than me.
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