Saturday, 31 August 2013

Packing A Camera Bag

For a number of years, whenever I've had the good fortune and finances to travel abroad, I've taken more than one film camera to cater for what I want to achieve in my photographs. I did go through a number of trips when I deliberately restricted myself to just one camera, and, eccentrically, chose the Stereocrafters Videon to make stereo shots, but more recently I've always taken a 6x9 folding camera, the perfect combination of portability and negative size for landscape shots (which for a time was my Agfa Record I), and, for 'snapshots', a half-frame camera to get the most out of a roll of 35mm. However, I've since added a 35mm folding camera to my bag for general photography.

On a forthcoming trip to St Petersburg by train and boat, I'm taking three cameras I've written blog posts about: the Zodel Baldalux, Kodak Retina IIa and my Olympus Pen EE3. For film, I am taking: 5 rolls of HP5 Plus medium format; 3 rolls in 35mm; 3 rolls of Ilford Delta 3200 in medium format; Ilford Delta 100, also medium format, 4 rolls; 3 rolls FP4 Plus in 35mm, 1 roll medium format; 2 rolls of Ilfodata HS23; my last roll of Kodak Tech Pan; and some vintage film in 620 format to use in the Zodel Baldalux (which also requires taking a few spare 120 spools, as the 620 spools won't fit in the take up side of the Baldalux), which are: 2 rolls of Verichrome, with 'develop before' dates of October 1948 and May 1949; 1 roll of Verichrome Pan, (March 1986) and 1 roll of Ilford Selochrome (March 1950).

1940s vintage Kodak Verichrome
Although I very rarely shoot colour, I'm also packing a couple of rolls of recently expired Fuji medium format colour film. This may be an excessive amount of film for an eleven day trip. Additional equipment includes: a Weston II lightmeter; a yellow filter to get the most from skies such as in this shot (which happens to be a 32mm push-on filter, which fits the 50mm f2 lens on the Retina, and rather conveniently, the 105mm f4.5 lens on the Baldalux); and gelatin tricolour filters if I want to attempt three-colour composites. I may also take the Mamiya-16 Automatic as it doesn't take up very much space.


  1. "This may be an excessive amount of film for an eleven day trip." -- Bite your tongue! :-)

    1. I shot all the 35mm film, all the Delta 3200 and HP5 and colour medium format. I didn't use a couple of the Delta 100, and I was wrong about the 620 spools in the Baldalux as it turns out.

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