In your bag No: 1460, Brent Liebenberg
Brent is a bit of a cheat. He isn’t sharing one bag, or even two bags. But three and a bit bags. that has to be some kind of record. Check it out.

Hi Bellamy. I’m a huge fan of the site, and I’ve been meaning to submit a bag for over a year now but the problem has always been, which one? Ultimately I decided that since I have different bags for different moods, and I use all of my cameras on rotation, I’d group them together and submit the whole lot. I know that’s not strictly within the rules, but I’d like to think it’s within the spirit of JCH. So here they are, in no particular order.

The Never Leave Home Without It Bag

I got into photography somewhere around 1980 when my granddad gave me a Trip 35. I was 6, and it wasn’t actually my first camera (first was a Kodak Ektra 100, 110 format), but it was my first real camera and I absolutely loved it. Processing film was expensive, so I had to make 24 exposures last for months – but I was no less fascinated with the camera when it was filmless. I credit that little Trip for the thrill I get to this day every time I load a new roll of film. My first bag is my Don’t Leave Home Without It Bag, and naturally it features a Trip 35. These little cameras have fantastic lenses, and if you’ve never owned one you really should. Other items in this bag include:

No Name Generic Bag – came with an eBay purchase. It’s a small bag, with a zip and compartments, that doesn’t smell like a retirement home, so why not?

Pentax Espio 120Mi point and shoot – metal body, flash, matrix-type metering, a handy zoom range and an excellent lens. This camera takes over everyday duties from the Trip when I need a zoom, but I much prefer the Trip as a walkaround camera. The Espio has a tiny aperture at the wide, and a really tiny aperture when zoomed, so I almost exclusively shoot Fuji Natura 1600 in it. $5 charity bin find.

National auto flash – Solid flash, does the job, hardly ever gets used. National became Panasonic later in life, so these dime a dozen flashes were actually quite well designed and built. High trigger voltage of around 120v means they’re unsuitable for modern DSLRs, but great for your old knockabout.

Blower & Lens Pen – I’m a fastidious pain in the arse when it comes to my cameras, and you’ll notice a pattern here. I haven’t seen many Lens Pens in bag submissions, which is weird, because I swear by them and I find them completely non-destructive if used lightly.

Silica Gel – Desiccant is a must in a bag, as I found out as a teenager with mushrooms growing in my Minolta 50mm Rokkor. I live in Melbourne, Australia, where humidity really isn’t an issue, but I still swear by silica gel.

Red & Yellow filters, Lens Hood – The standard R&Y filters for the Trip, which meters through the filters and adjusts accordingly. I give the film an extra stop via the ISO dial when using the red.

JCH Streetpan – Love it. Love the thin base. Love the easy scanning. Love the beautiful mids. Love the grain that looks more 100 than 400. Hate loading it onto my Patterson reels, because they just don’t get along. I’ve ordered a Kalt tank and reel to overcome this issue.

Sunnies – because, you know. Sun.

The 42 And Never Owned a Nikon Bag

I blame this bag almost entirely on your regular contributor Dan K, whose articles I absolutely love. His passion for the FM3A is contagious, so I had to have one. Needless to say, I love it. As the name suggests, I’ve never owned a Nikon before these two, being a Canon sort of guy, and I find them absolutely brilliant.

Weird-ass Civica Bag – I bought this from a funny little shop in Bahrain about 10 years ago, and it does everything it needs to do. Namely, be a receptacle with pockets and zips. I like that it’s totally non-flash, and you’d expect to find a 10 year old 3mp point and shoot with no lens cap in it, next to a half-eaten Lunchbar and maybe some ants.

Nikon FM3A with 50mm 1.8E – Beautiful camera, unexpectedly good lens, with a yellow filter for B&W. The camera oozes quality, and it feels so good in my hand. Every time I pick it up, it makes me frown at my other manual bodies and wonder what the manufacturers were thinking. I’ll never use the clever trick part of the hybrid shutter, because I always have batteries with me, but it’s nice to know it’s there. Kinda like owning a car that can go over 50km/h in Melbourne. Pointless, but comforting.

Nikon F6 with 50mm 1.8D – Have you held an F6? Someone somewhere described it as a rubber-covered brick, and that’s pretty accurate. This camera is an order of magnitude above my ability, but it’s the last great film SLR and as a film fan I felt I should own one. My embarrassing confession is that I was well into the process of buying one through Bellamy when a guy at a local camera club answered an old notice I’d stuck up, and I got it from him for a very reasonable price. Sorry Bellamy, JCH is brilliant and I promise to keep supporting you in every way I can.

Nikon SB28 Speedlight – a great flash, in anyone’s books, that fully exploits the abilities of both cameras.

Lens Pen, Blower, Cleaning Fluid – Fastidious. Pain in the arse. Me.

The Look At Me I Have A Huge Lens Bag

This is my Canon bag. I’ve been a Canon fanboy for a very, very long time, and this is the culmination of all of that. Funny thing is, as I’ve gone back to analogue over the last few years, my only gripe with Canon is that it’s so good, it feels almost clinical.

LowePro Backpack – Not as sexy as the Bellingham Hadley Pros and things regularly featured here, but I love it. I do a lot of commuting by bike and this backpack holds a ton of gear while remaining comfortable on the back, and offering enough padding that I wouldn’t be petrified of a small crash.

Canon EOS 5D Mk. III – Best DSLR I’ve ever owned. It can do so much more than I have the imagination to ask it, and it’s beautifully built, beautifully laid out and feels great in the hand. I suspect that these will be considered classics one day, and many of them will still be around because they’re very tough. Mine lives a pampered existence and will likely still be around in 3035.

Canon EOS 1V – O.M.G. This is a magnificent camera. A number of people have asked me which is better, having used both the F6 and the 1V, and the answer is that they’re completely different beasts. Sounds like a copout, I know, but it’s a dead heat between two very different manufacturers at the top of their game. What I will hand to the 1V is that it gets completely out of your way and just lets you shoot. Admittedly this could have a lot to do with me just being very comfortable with Canon bodies, but for all it’s technical wizardry, the 1V seems to vanish when you use it. Wouldn’t trade mine for anything.

16-35 2.8 II, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8 II – Canon’s holy trinity. Faultless lenses, except that the Mk 1 24-70 has a surprising amount of distortion that you only notice when you correct it in Lightroom.

85mm 1.2L II – Bought this when my daughter was born. It’s a spectacular lens, particularly good wide open, and it’s one of the few lenses that you can easily recognise from the its shots. I’m uncomfortable with this focal length, so I try force myself to use it as much as possible, and it pretty much lives on the 5D.

Yongnuo Flash Triggers – Hands up who got into The Strobist? Yep, me too. I love off-camera flash, and these cheap Yongnuo triggers have performed faultlessly for 5 years, randomly flashing LEDs aside.

Speedlights – 2 Yongnuo, 1 EX430 II. All great, although the Yongnuos underexpose on-camera using E-TTL. Not sure why, but they’re great off-camera in manual.

Tripod – a crappy tripod that does the job. It’s weird, I’ve never been able to bring myself to spend money on a good tripod. It’s one of those things that either does the job or doesn’t in my books. Happy to be convinced otherwise – your comments please.

Macbook – just the stock standard 2016 Macbook. Small, light, great screen, more than powerful enough to run Lightroom and PS, and the battery lasts forever. USB-C is a pain in the arse until you buy an adaptor. I suspect Apple may be overplaying their hand with proprietary adaptors and wireless earbuds and stuff.

The Grab One On Your Way Out Bag

So this is where I feel I may be breaking the rules of the site a bit. But maybe not, because I honestly use each of these bodies at least once a fortnight, and each lens at least once a month.

Random Camera Holster – It goes like this; I think about where I’m going and what I feel like shooting, I grab a lens and a body, and I stuff them into this camera holster. I’m not a fan of camera holsters – they always make me feel like a middle-aged man with my shirt tucked into my pants – but there’s no denying they’re handy.

Canon T90 – Love, love, love, love my T90. Ohhhh boy. This is such a good camera to hold and use, and this one’s a pampered beauty. I had it completely overhauled by Steve Swerington in the US, so the shutter doesn’t have any of the EEEE problems that these are known for. I’m super careful to keep it out of the sun when not in use, because once the LCD fails it’s all over, and sunlight apparently eats them for breakfast.

Canon AE1 Program – Also overhauled by Steve and a great user, but I’m probably going to give it to someone pretty soon since it’s near the bottom of my pile of favourite cameras to use. Can’t say enough good things about its program mode though. Real class act that somehow never seems to get it wrong.

Minolta XD-s / XD7 – these are my all-time favourite bodies. Not as tough or well-built as the Nikons, not as advanced as the T90, prone to dirty rheostats, and somewhat fragile, but there’s just something about them. My first SLR was a Minolta SRT-101, and I’ve always loved the brand. Such good lenses, so satisfying to use. The XD just has an X-Factor.

Minolta X-700s – When I’m going on a trip, and I want quality gear I can rely on, and I don’t want to worry about the camera getting nicked or breaking down, I grab an X-700. It’s a great camera, and I had these overhauled by John Titterington in the US, who really knows his Minoltas from his bananas. There’s nothing special about them, except that like most Minoltas, they’re somehow a bit special. Magic company back in the day.

Lenses – I’ve got pretty much every worthwhile FD and MD lens from the manufacturers, as well as the mysterious Vivitar #28 Komine lenses, which truly are excellent (135mm 2.8 is a standout portrait lens). I’ve collected these over many years, before film started getting popular again, and many of them are perfect but cost less than a hamburger. Buying today I’d avoid eBay, where prices are high and QC is suspect at best. Most of these came from garage sales and thrift stores.

Finally, what I shoot. Well, I mostly shoot my wife and daughter, my pet dog, family portrait sessions for my friends, my kid’s parties, their kids’ parties, and a whole lot of random crap besides. Truth is, I’m not a very good photographer – and I’m okay with that. It’s a hobby, and despite all the gear, I just have fun when I shoot. I love taking photos, I love the mechanics of a well-made camera, I love the design philosophies of lenses and I love sending people good photos of an event that they’d otherwise have almost no record of. I never post photos of people, for privacy sake, so my Flickr is pretty limited, but here it is for what it’s worth.

Thanks for sharing your bag with us, Brent. Haha, yeah that is kind of cheating, but since you have so many bags it gets a feature. Well done.
Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on
Send me a high resolution image of the bag. Optimum size is 1500px 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. Snapshots of your gear with a camera phone and no words will not be featured.

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.