In your bag No: 1595 – Alan Wang
Alan manages to pack 3 different camera formats in his bag when chasing cherry blossoms in Japan. Check out that crazy self-timer!
My name is Alan Wang, a 35-year old amateur film photographer based in Taipei, Taiwan. Today I want to show you the bag and cameras I actually brought for my trip in northern Kyushu, Japan, during the cherry blossom season in early April 2018.
I owned many different cameras, including some Nikon manual SLRs with E series lenses – my first “real” film camera is my father’s Nikon EM. (I shot a lot of disposable cameras in my youth.) I’ve already brought some of the SLRs to Kyoto and Osaka – so I wanted to try something different this time. I had never shot medium format in Japan before.
These cameras are:
1. Fujifilm X100S
Bought it two years ago; I have a Canon EOS M with several lenses (it still functions pretty well), but they are not easy to carry when I want to bring one or two film cameras. Also, at that time the agency of Fujifilm in Taiwan apparently imported too many of these, they were selling them for almost half of original price. They sold out shortly after I bought my copy. Despite some drawbacks (very soft image quality when you focus at stuff less than a meter with aperture wide open; not really built for shooting videos), it is a fantastic travel camera for me. I love it. Very easy to carry. It does not really feel like a film camera, though.
2. Mamiya Six IV
Bought it last year, very affordable for budget shooters like me. I have a Yashica Mat-124G with a working light meter, but it takes a lot of space in the bag, and personally I think TLRs are harder to compose. You’ll also have to keep very still to avoid camera shaking , due to the shutter button’s location.
The Mamiya Six has a small viewfinder (not easy to use for people with glasses) with slightly longer close focus (3.5 feet); otherwise it is pretty easy to use, with a super sharp Olympus Zuiko lens. (Bokeh is a bit ugly, though.) It takes a lot less space folding up. I use my phone app as light meter. I usually use Kodak Ektar 100 or Fujifilm Pro 160 NS. I also bought a external self-timer for it (it works), in case I have to shoot in low light on the little tripod and avoid camera shaking. I also have a leather case with straps, but didn’t bring it.
3. Olympus XA2
Had it for about 2 years, also a very good travel camera, small and simple, not aggressive at all. With ISO 400 films (usually Fujifilm Superia X-Tra 400 or Kodak Ultramax 400) under good sunlight. the little lens may bring you awesome results.
So during the trip I carry my X100S on my shoulder (I put it in the bag in airports), used it for all general purposes, also a digital backup for some of the film shots. I used Mamiya Six for important locations (especially cherry blossom spots), and use XA2 for general street/architecture/landscape shots, which I may need to take the shot quickly, as well as a backup whenever I finished a 120 roll and had no time to reload it. Overall, the shooting experience was pretty good. For five days I shot 7 rolls of 120 and 5 rolls of 135 film, with less than 200 digital shots.
I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for reading. Thanks for Japan Camera Hunter for featuring my bag.
Thanks for sending us your bag shot, Alan. Love that timer you picked up for the Mamiya Six.
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