In your bag No: 1175, Daniel Sawyer Schaefer
Daniel has shared with us a few articles before and a couple of bag shots (check here for more). And now he is back with another one for you all to drool over.

It’s always satisfying when a plan comes together.

For a long time now, my kit has had an almost constantly changing face, there was always some degree of compromise or sacrifice made when it came to my gear, but with a recent slew of trades, sales, and just dumb luck, I can honestly say my carry kit is exactly what I’ve wanted, with not a piece out of place.

I’ve always been one to prefer compact cameras, so when the digital world started embracing slim silhouettes with pro level stats, I was especially excited because so much of my time is spent traveling, and checking my gear is something that always makes me nervous. Shooting with these compact bodies allowed me to embrace beautiful primes, and use the two body approach I always prefer when shooting specific targets.

So my gear, somewhat in order of usage is as follows. –

Cameras –

Leica M9 – A former coworker referred to my camera as “the road warrior”, and with the new Lenny Kravitz nonsense out there, I’m still damn proud of my hard use brassed camera. a tried and true gem of the digital age, the only digital camera I’ve owned that still allows me to shoot the same way I did when shooting portray 400 in my M4. While I am a firm lover of film, the work I do and the speed with which I work sadly no longer lends itself to shooting one roll for two weeks, and then waiting a month or so to develop & scan. I’m a firm believer in my portraits belonging just as much to the subject as to the shooter, and being able to turn around files quickly, either into an email or even a print has become very important to me, and the M9 is the camera that allows me to still shoot the way I love, and yet have that rapid turnaround if need be. Strapped with what has become by far my favorite camera strap, the Cura Sanada in black & red.

Sony A7s – I’ve been a long time low light shooter, in fact I would estimate at least half, if not more than half of my work has been shot in after dark conditions. So when I first handled the A7s and saw just what it’s sensor was capable of, I saw a tool that for me would truly be game changing. I’ve only had the camera for a week so far, but being able to shoot subtly lit, lovely portraits in a midnight dark bar a ISO 64,000, I’ve gotta say, I’m excited to see what this camera allows me to do.

Yashicamat 124G – (not pictured) A long time favorite in my kit, this is easily my most used camera over the past five years, there’s something about the tank like body and beautifully swirling Bokeh that makes this far and above my favorite camera to create with. (Currently on loan to a friend who had to sell off his gear, but sorely missed shooting)

(Bonus) Canon Demi – A lucky half frame find from a recent run to the flea market, I’m still on my first roll, but the satisfaction of having 70+ shots on a single roll of 35mm has it’s charms for casual shooting when out to dinner with friends and family.

Lenses –

For anyone who read my article “The Storytellers Kit” my choice in lenses should come across in a familiar fashion, a three lens core kit, Scene, Subject, and Detail.

Scene – 28mm Voigtlander Ultron f/2 – A recent acquisition, but I’m already in love. This lens offers tack sharp focus, and truly incredible color. Very thick, almost gouache like in it’s rendering of tone, making for really dense black and white’s and punchy colors.

Subject – 40mm Leitz-Minolta Rokkor f/2 – My personal favorite lens for almost any situation, the 40mm gives a perfect field of view for someone looking for a naturalistic feel to their frame. Handles especially well on the A7s.

Detail – 8.5cm Nippon Kogaku f/2 – Whenever anyone asks why I prefer vintage glass, all I have to do is show them a single image from this lens. Stunningly detailed rendering, sharp isn’t the right word, there’s no edge to the point of focus, but there is an almost unnatural clarity to any image I’ve shot with this lens. It also falls out of focus in a shockingly pleasant way, the bokeh an odd mix of neutral softness, and bright edged swirl that makes this lens almost feel like large format glass.

(Bonus) Subject – 3.5cm Nippon Kogaku f/1.8 – This lens was the product of a custom job for a client of mine a few months back, A beautiful classic optic to begin with, he needed it customized for cinema use, looking to get a really unique feeling optic for his mirrorless Sony cinema setup. This sample has had the helical replaced with the typically tense Nippon Kogaku throw, and now has a silk smooth brand new brass helical that has made it one of the smoothest lenses I’ve ever shot with. In addition, we re-calibrated the optics to ensure no vignetting or color fringing at all on the Sony A7s sensor. In the end, the client finally shifted over into an Arri-centric PL-Mount kit, so much of his gear came back to me for re-sale. This particular lens caught my heart and I decided to hold onto it for myself. (that being said, if someone has a Leitz 35mm f/1.4 Pre-ASPH they’d like to part with, they should drop me a line ;^)

Accessories –
Fuji ef-x20 flash w/ FlashCube wireless triggers (not pictured)
Fenix PD20 flashlight
Leatherman Skeletool
Spyderco Baliyo
Moo Minicards holder w/ one of a kind cards. Card holder
Samsung Solid State drives w/ inatek dock (not pictured)
SD card reader from Anker

Apple 11in Macbook Air – Easily the biggest game changer I’ve added to the kit in the past few years, professionally I’m well known for my fast file turnaround, and now being able to carry my whole kit in a single bag, processing and exporting ability included has allowed me to work infinitely faster.

Duluth pack, Shooters Haversack. – While not a camera bag per se, this is definitely my favorite bag I’ve owned to date. the vertical design means it rests nicely at my back or belly when i’m shooting in tight situations, weaving through a crowd mid protest, a crowded kitchen, or behind the scenes on a tightly run set. the abundance of pockets is appreciated, allowing me to keep things organized and easily reachable at any given moment. For the sake of padding, bodies and lenses are kept in a Tenba BYOB insert that rests perfectly into the large chamber of the bag, which will fit two inserts if need be. (for when i’m carrying both still and cinema kits) Handmade in the USA, and by far the most durable bag i’ve owned so far.

Thanks so much for taking a look through, for anyone in the LA/Boston/NYC area, i’m booking a limited number of my custom tailored one on one workshops between now and April 21st, follow the link to my site below, and drop me a line to set up some time!

Daniel Sawyer Schaefer
Photographer and Cinematographer
New York / Los Angeles / Firenze

Thanks for sharing your bag with us again, Daniel. Nice to see you rocking that Canon Demi, you don’t see many of them anymore.
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