Although we all try to deny it, all photographers are hoarders. Every cupboard is filled with old lenses, for which we no longer
own a camera that will fit it. Flashguns sit, unused for decades in a drawer. We search for the perfect old film cameras, despite
having £5k digital ones. Those of us who are lucky find our soulmates, the cameras that we just love to use. For work, I’m a
Nikon guy. I know Canons are great, some will argue better, but all my gear has been Nikon since about 1985 so I’m not about
to change. The area where we do have the flexibility to be a little more choosy is with the kit that we take out when we’re
shooting for pleasure. I’m one of the lucky ones. I have my soulmate, The Fuji XPro1. I love Chokichi (that’s right, he has
a name!) & he loves me right back. We enjoy working with each other.
The big question is, with such camera’s, what do you carry them round in? I’ve spoken to many photographers on the subject
and it seems that the hardest bit of kit to get just right, is the camera bag. It has to be protective, but for the photographer who
likes to stray from the beaten path a bit, it has to not scream “Camera bag !!! Expensive kit!!!”. It has to be a little bit stylish as
you never know where you’re going to take it and wandering in for a few drinks with friends with a smelly, dirty old bag that looks
like one of Indiana Jones’ cast-offs just won’t do. I’m sure that I speak for nearly every photographer when I say that we all go
through many bags before we finally stumble on the perfect one. The one that looks how we want it to, and protects our favourite
bit of kit.
That’s the purpose of this post. It’s a celebration. I’ve found my perfect bag, hiding away in the corner of a second hand shop in
Leeds. It’s a Belstaff 556 colonial apparently and it’s looks fantastic. I took it home, gave it a bit of a clean up and put an insert
from a Billingham Hadley bag in it. The insert fits perfectly and now my new camera bag is complete. I introduced it to Chokichi,
they get on like a house on fire.
I wasn’t even aware of these bags until I saw it and brought it home. Since I bought it, it turns out that I managed to find a ‘unicorn
horn’ of a bag as they haven’t made them for about 3 years and people are starting to pay silly money for them on the internet,
especially the ones with the proper buckles rather than the the magnetic fastenings which the later ones had.
I just need to name it now…