October 24, 2008

What's in my bag UPDATED...


So, a while back, Natalie Norton interviewed me for her "What's in your bag?" feature on her blog.

Well, after packing this morning for a wedding I am leaving for in 2 hours, I thought I would update it and be completely specific about what is in there and why.

Here goes.

I used to have 2 bags, 1 for medium format and 1 for 35mm. That got just too crazy carrying on planes and always worrying if they were going to make me check the bags. I ALWAYS fly Southwest (unless it is just not humanly possible...hello Michigan!) and their overhead space is constant. There are no surprises getting on one of the matchbox planes other airlines use. Needless to say, I ditched having 2 bags and went to 1 bag. The bag I use is the:

Tamrac CyberPro Express

I can fit everything I had in those 2 bags (which were really big mind you) all in this bag. It has room for a laptop but I don't EVER bring a laptop with me where I go so that is where I store all my film and film inserts backs.

So, lets get down to it, what's inside?

When you open up the bag, it is split into 2 sides. Let's start with side 1.

Here is where I have my Contax 645 which consists of the body, prism, back, 80mm lens and strap. PS. This camera is not in production so you have to buy it used. I also have the compendium shade for the Contax (not a fan of their lens hoods and this shade collapses to save space). I also have my Sekonic L508 which has a neck strap in side 1 along with (2) pocket wizards. There is enough space as well to put my Sigma 20mm 1.8 lens on that side along with a Gary Fong Lightsphere diffuser (though I am hoping to rid myself of such an apparatus as quickly as possible).

Side 2 contains (2) Nikon F5 bodies which have a Zeiss 50mm 1.4 lens on one body and a 35mm f2 lens on the other body. Each camera has straps, one gold with the Nikon logo the other gray. I do this so I know which body has color and which has b/w film in it. Obviously, the color strap is color and the gray strap is b/w. Also on this side, I have an additional Nikon 50mm 1.4 lens and a Nikon 85mm 1.8 lens. My Holga from Holgamods is also in there.

On top of both side 1 and 2 is a stroboframe flip which has a Nikon SC-28 flash cord on it.

The bag has 2 side pockets and in each pocket is a flash. On the left is a Nikon SB-80DX and on the right is a Nikon SB-800. The 80 is used as my second light and the 800 as my main because it recycles a lot faster with the extra battery compartment that the 80 does not have.

I mentioned there is a space for a laptop. Again, I don't use it for that. Here is where I store 6 120/220 inserts for my Contax. They are in black cases. These backs are always loaded with film and never empty to preserve space. All cameras also have new rolls in them at every event. If I am on frame 15, 35, or even 2 and I am heading to a new event, I empty that film so events don't get crossed over. I hate getting a wedding back and finding new images from a wedding a couple weeks prior. Also, I have 3 separate Ziploc bags. The first bag has all of my color 35mm film in it. I usually bring about 30 rolls of film to a wedding (always more than needed). A mixture of Fuji 400H and Fuji 800Z. The second bag has all my 120/220 film in it. This film is Fuji 400H in 220, Kodak E100VS in 120 and some Fuji 800Z in 120. I have about 15 rolls of 400H in 220, 5-7 rolls of 800Z in 120 and depending on where I am going and the season 5-15 rolls of the Kodak E100VS. The third bag is full of Kodak BW400CN which is a C-41 (color neg) bw film. This also has 30 rolls of film in it.

In front of this pocket is a smaller pocket which contains a copy of my liability insurance from Hill and Usher, a small allan wrench and small phillips screw driver in the case that my flash cord comes loose off the stroboframe.

When the bag zips close, there is also another compartment/zipper bag on top of that. Inside here I have black electrical tape, gum (usually some fruity Orbit), and if I am traveling, my Garmin StreePilot 550C with the car charger cord. If I am in UT, it stays home unless the venue is at a place I am not familiar with. Also here in a Ziploc bag as well is Kodak TMZ 3200 speed film and Fuji Neopan 1600. I have this in this part of the bag so it is easily accessible as this film CAN NOT be scanned at the airport and always must be hand checked by security. I usually carry anywhere from 4-8 rolls of this film.

In my regular suitcase, I will carry on my battery charger. I do not use regular batteries, everything is rechargeable. I also have 4 extra batteries. I charge everything the day before and have NEVER had a problem with batteries dying except on my Contax on larger weddings/events where I shoot more than 15 rolls of 220. Thus the extra 4 charged batteries.

So that is it. That is what accompanies me to every wedding. For family/engagements/bridals, it is a stripped down version of that consisting of the Contax, (1) Nikon F5 with the Ziess 50mm 1.4 and the Nikon 35mm f2 lens.

There you have it. Still got questions? Leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer it...


Reif said...

Jonathan - Thank you veeery much for sharing this! wow!

I have three questions :)

1) Do you mean that all film except the Kodak TMZ 3200 and the Neopan CAN be scanned with x-rays? If true that's very cool! I read in the packaging of Kodak BW400CN "keep away from x-rays", so I was worried about taking that film on vacations.

2) Is the 800Z grainy in the 35mm format?

3) What film would you use if you were to take photos of a party at night? The Neopan?

Thank youuuu!

Michelle said...

Wow, that was actually really interesting to me. I might just be turning into a photographer nerd. Awesome.

Jonathan Canlas said...

sorry for the delayed response, just got back from Oakland from the wedding...

let me answer the questions.

1. yes, you can send ALL film that is 800iso or lower in any US security screening. i've had film get scanned through multiple trips and it is fine. 1600iso or higher needs to be hand checked ALWAYS.

2. i don't think it is grainy at all. to me, it is just like the 400h but with more pop to it. one of the most recent family sessions i posted was shot on 800z. you can check it HERE. you kind of have to look for it, but the 4x6 format that is in color was shot on 800z.

3. for photos at night i do a couple different things. for example at the wedding i just shot yesterday i had one body loaded with fujineopan 1600. and i was shooting available light with that. shooting 100% wide open on 1.4 lenses. the other times i am using the fuji 400h and i am double lighting the scenes 99% of the time. i have a sb800 on a stroboframe on my camera and an assistant who is light on a stick with an sb80.

i hope this helps!