In your bag No: 1682 – Mike Lechter

Nostalgia abounds for Mike in these tools of the trade that he lovingly carries in his daily bag

This is my camera bag and my three usual carries… as a father of two daughters under five, I only take one camera out whenever I go places with the family, so this little bag is quite spacious – for my modest needs. 

I got into photography when I was 13. My dad bought me my first real camera that you see in the photo, the Olympus Stylus Epic (or Mju II), which I’ve managed to hang onto these past 22 years, and I shoot it pretty regularly. Last month, I took it to Disney World with a few rolls of Portra 400 and took snapshots of my two daughters with it. For its age, it’s in great shape. This camera went to college with me, and then spent a few lonely years on a dusty shelf at my parent’s house, but that was the dark ages, before film had come back into vogue. I love its simple point-and-shoot nature, and it has an incredible keeper rate. Most often it’ll have a roll of Tri-X or Portra loaded.

The Yashica 12 is my trusty TLR that I inherited it from my dad when he passed away. The 124G hogs the internet spotlight today, but this was its very close predecessor – it only shoots 120 film, but in a world without 220, that’s perfectly fine. It’s really different to use a TLR and it reminds me of my dad – it always starts a conversation and disarms people on the street, young and old alike. Medium format teaches me to slow down, think about composition, see the world in a square, wait for the decisive moment. I was born in 1984, by then TLRs were fast becoming a thing of the past and I have no conscious memories of my dad ever shooting this – only the square photos of a time before me to prove he did. Thus it lived in my dad’s attic for many years – I love the old school, manual experience I get with this camera. It takes phenomenal photos but demands your full attention, unlike say, most any camera today.

My digital is the venerable Fuji X100F, the closest digital camera to the film experience, some might say.  In a world of cameras that live in iPhones and are basically computers, this is the digi I can tolerate most, we’re even in love often. I tend to shoot JPEGs and minimally tweak my daytime work, but at night I shoot it in on the tripod for long exposures in raw. Most casual folks would assume the X100 is an older camera than my Epic, nope.

At any given time, I will usually have my tripod in the car, sometimes a 10 stop ND filter for daytime long exposures, lens wipes, and some Tri-X or HP5 depending on my mood. Color film I’m fond of Kodak Gold 200 and Portra 400 when I can afford it. I home process my black and white film, but I leave the color work to one of the last local labs around here, mostly to support them, and because I have little patience for heating chemicals and working with blix.

Have a great day!

Mike L


Thanks for sending us your bag shot Mike. “Demands your full attention” is a great way to put it.

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.
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