In your bag No: 1533 – K. Adam White
K. Adam has a comprehensive kit that includes some Magnum hand-me-downs, check it out.
Hello! My name is K. Adam White, and I’m a web application programmer based in Boston in the US. Photography was the one visual medium I never really understood or practiced while growing up, but my fiancée’s grandfather had been a Magnum photojournalist and her family was thoroughly steeped in the art. While I never got to meet him, as I started to hang out with her in our college’s darkroom ages back I became curious myself. About five years ago I finally got a decent digital camera of my own, and rapidly became hooked; then as her family began to clear out cabinets of some of her grandfather’s film cameras I got the opportunity to experiment with those as well.
I just returned from two weeks in Paris, where I presented a talk at the WordCamp Europe conference for WordPress developers and users: WordPress is one of the projects I help to maintain, so thanks for using it to run Japan Camera Hunter! I’ve always enjoyed following this blog and I’m excited to send in my first contribution of my own, with the camera bag I used for a week of overdue vacation we took in the city following the end of the conference.
The bag is a Frankie Falcon x Ming Thein “Ultimate Photographer’s Daybag.” “Ultimate” is relative, and a strong claim, but this bag won a place on the trip over my Think Tank Retrospective 7 for a few reasons: it’s just as comfortable, it is more convenient to open and close on the go, I didn’t need the Retrospective’s extra carrying capacity, and — most important in a city like Paris — the black leather bag is a lot more fashionable than my beat-up and oft-patched Think Tank :)
My main camera for the trip was an Olympus OM2 given to me by my fiancée’s parents. It had belonged to her grandfather and it came to me pretty beat up, but after some cleaning, new batteries and a new red leatherette from Aki Asahi, it was as good as new and ready for the trip.
For most of the trip my OM 40mm f/2 stayed glued to the lens mount, but a 28mm borrowed from family made a few appearances. Most excitingly, in a tiny camera shop near the Place de la Bastille I finally tracked down my long-coveted OM 85mm f/2! It is in superb condition and the price was better than I’d seen in the US, so it joined my bag and took over as my favorite lens for the last days of the trip. 40mm and 85mm are my two favorite focal lengths, so my OM kit is finally complete.
The OM2 was loaded with Fujicolor Superia Xtra 400, so the XA (another hand-me-down from my partner’s grandparents) came along for the ride with an assortment of HP5 and Street Pan 400. All these 400 ASA films got a lot more mileage than I’d expected because it stayed light until almost 11pm each night. I’ve not forsaken digital, however, so for evening events like last week’s incredible Fête de la Musique I usually turned to the RX100m3, and my iPhone SE (with an Olympus XA-styled phone case) stayed in my pocket the whole trip as my go-to point-and-shoot.
Filling out the bag we have a nifty USB charger with interchangeable world outlet adapters; then batteries for all the cameras, and a power brick and charging cables for the phones. An inexpensive, unlocked Android phone with a French SIM card kept us connected during our trip, and the passport and band-aids stayed tucked away in case of accidents or emergencies. The art book by 36RECYCLAB is a souvenir from an incredible gallery show we found in Beaubourg.
The sketchbook and pencil case didn’t see as much use as my cameras, but I’m glad I brought them — though not half as glad as I was to have the sunglasses, water, sunblock, and folding fan! It was HOT, regularly breaking 35/36 degrees centigrade, and staying cool was essential.
I’ve done a few trips with film cameras before, but this was by far the most fun. Incredible weather (aside from the heat), beautiful summer evenings, lovely dinners with friends from around the world, and brilliant museums and parks made for a pretty excellent trip. I can’t wait to get back the prints from that full JCH case of film there in the middle!
Thanks for sharing your bag shot with us K. Adam, as well as a detailed write-up. Hope you got some sweet shots on that Streetpan!
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