In your bag No: 1509 – Sander Abernathy

Sander gives us a different take on “What’s in your bag?” and shares an interesting story on how he got the film camera bug.

I thought I’d send you a different sort of “What’s In My Bag” submission.

People send photos of the bag they put their gear in and the gear they put in the bag. This isn’t one of those submissions.

I’ve been wanting a film camera for a while and was fixated on buying an M3 or M6. I still might, but honestly I couldn’t justify the cost and settled on a Nikon FE or FE2 for a starter. I saw one listed on Craigslist with a bunch of accessories for $350 and waited a week so the seller would be willing to negotiate. He showed up with literally a garbage bag of camera stuff. You see it all arrayed on the garbage bag in the photo. It was so heavy I was afraid the bag would break and carried it to the car like a baby after we struck a deal.

The camera was disappointing initially. Paint was a little rough and the mirror was locked up. The rest of it seemed like a good deal so I offered him $280 thinking the lenses would be worth that even if the camera was a total loss. He agreed. I took it all home, googled “FE2 mirror locked”, turned the shutter dial to M250 so the mirror would drop and it started functioning again. Replaced the batteries and I had a working camera. Sent it off to the shop for a CLA and got a great functioning camera back. The chipped paint and brassing look like patina to me now rather than wear.

The guy that brought the bag-full-o-camera-and-bits was selling it for his father who was apparently a pre-AI model that started with a Nikon F or Nikormat and upgraded to the new fangled FE2. Three of the five lenses have been AI’d and a lot of the boxes feature Nikon F or Nikormat logos on them.

The lenses all had caps on both ends and UV filters installed just to be safe. The lenses include Nikon 50MM f/1.4 AF, an AI’d 105/2.5, an AI’d 24/2.8, and Vivitar Series 1 28-105 macro and a 70-210 f/3.5 macro. In addition to all of the above, I now have more lens hoods and filters than I’ll use in a lifetime. 

With this haul of lenses and other parts to get me started and a camera that was disappointing initially, I enlisted Bellamy’s assistance and he found and delivered a black FE2 in excellent condition door-to-door in less than 10 days. Many thanks for taking care of me on that front. The camera buying bug is tough. At this point I’m up to two FE2s, an FM2 (non-N) and an FM that looks like it just came out of the box the factory put it in. All needed a service but after that they all function great. My only complaint is that the shutter dial on the FM2 doesn’t have the nice positive clicks it is supposed to. 

Now I just need to shoot some film.   


Instagram: @sanderabernathy

Thanks for sharing your “bag” with us, Sander. Best of luck to you and happy film shooting!

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.