In your bag No: 1664 – Neil Walker

Neil has re-contracted that analog bug and hauls this comprehensive kit for daily enjoyment.

I love digital…or so I thought…I’ve had a long and winding history of shooting on film, with a decade gap in the middle….

I shot on film for a few years as a photographer before going digital, spending my fair share of time in labs and darkrooms with peeling fingers from the chemicals….I thought I was done with film. It seems not….about a year ago I found my old Olympus XA and decided to give it a go again. I absolutely love, not only the shots I got from it, but also the process I had to go through to get decent images. I’d forgotten how much more studied shooting on film is. After spending my days shooting on digital, it’s a pleasure to take a film camera out on a walk or day out.

My first camera was a Canon AE-1 which I loved. At 14 it was the absolute best camera you could own…until I came across the Canon F1. I had one of those for many years, in the days when you’d keep a camera for at least five years or so. After becoming a professional I sometimes shot 5×4, but mostly on a Mamiya RZ67. While most photographers favoured the Hasselblad, I was shooting a lot for magazines and they needed rectangular shots, not the square format you got from the Hasselblad. Although the quality of the Hasselblad was easily good enough to crop to a rectangle, shooting to a rectangle was far more satisfying.

Then along came digital and I embraced it wholeheartedly. Gone were the days of hanging around labs waiting for my film to process, in came control of the final image. Being able to see the image instantly on the back of the camera was liberating. Commercially it made sense, but it’s interesting how much shooting on digital changes the way you work. I now enjoy both, though shooting on film is limited by what film I can get hold of.

I had a Rolleiflex when I was younger, which I regret selling when I was particularly hard up! So when I managed to get hold of a Yashica I was really chuffed. It’s not as nice to use as I remember the Rollei being, but it does have a built in light meter, which is useful. Though to be honest I really enjoy using the Weston Master light meter to really get the full film experience!

I also managed to get hold of a Pentax Auto 110 with a couple of lenses. It’s great fun to use. I find that part of the fun of shooting film is the different discipline you have to use for different formats and films. I sometimes take more than one of my film cameras out with me, but usually I take whichever suits my mood or the conditions.

What’s in my bag….

  • Olympus XA
  • Yashica Mat-124
  • Pentax Auto 110 with a 24mm f2.8 and a 50mm f2.8 lens
  • Weston Master III

All in my trusty Billingham which I’ve had for at least twenty years

Website –


Thanks for sharing with us your bag shot Bill. Lovely collection of Zeiss glass.

Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on

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