I've been half-heartedly looking for a small camera bag to hold one body (with an attached lens) and maybe two more lenses. I already have a small Domke which I like but find to be difficult to work out of, at least the way I'm using it. When I wear it on or over my shoulder, the straps press in on the sides of the bag and cover over the inside pockets. All I can get into is the large middle compartment. I want to have a couple of slots to put lenses and such without just throwing them into the middle. I guess I'm looking for a little more structure.

Some of the candidates include the Billingham Alice/L2, and the Domke 803 satchel (I already own a Domke, but have mixed feelings about it). Other companies include Fogg, Filson, Brady (click and then search for “Brady”), Timbuk2 Designs, and Crumpler USA. There are also lots of cool bag companies listed here on a web site for bike messengers. Another resource for bags is a list compiled by Kinesis Photo Gear. Their stuff looks excellent, and they are so confident in it that they have put an annotated list of competitors on their web site. I didn't even look at “normal” camera bags, such as those by Tenba or LowePro. Perhaps I should.


I like cameras for their own sake and would enjoy having a collection of different kinds. In addition to the 35mm bodies I have, it would be fun to have a Mamiya 6 or 7, a Rollei SL66, or a Hasselblad 500. Since buying camera equipment is a low priority at the moment, I am pleased to say that I am pretty content with my little collection and am not burning up with inadequacy.


My two Nikon bodies are an F3HP and an FM2n. I would hate to give up either body; I don't think I could choose one over the other. Unfortunately, the FM2n is messed up, so I don't use it at all. I'm saving up for a repair, although for what it might cost to repair mine, I could get a nice used one. So, I use my F3 exclusively.


On July 1, 2002, my wife Anne (who was my fiancée at the time) gave me a Leica M4 with a 50mm Summicron-M (black, with the focusing tab, made in the early 90s I believe). I couldn't believe I actually owned a Leica. I may never get over the shock. Although I had used a Leica M3 briefly, the new camera was something I had to get used to. Everything was (literally) opposite to the Nikon. The aperture and focusing rings turn in the opposite direction, and the position of the rings is reversed with the aperture ring on the outside.

I had the camera for a couple of weeks before I had the opportunity to give it a real workout, although I enjoyed just tripping the shutter just to hear that satisfying "snick." When you're just holding the camera and contemplating taking the pictures you marvel at the how quiet the shutter is and how little vibration there is. On the street, you don't feel like anything is happening.

The first real opportunity to use the camera came on a trip to New York to attend Macworld at the Javits Center. I took a few shots inside the Javits Center and realized if I didn't want to attract attention I would have to change my technique. Part of this will improve as I become used to the Leica. I tried to teach myself various focusing distances based on the position of the focusing tab, but that didn't go smoothly. I also am not used to keeping the image within the frame lines. Besides that I am usually very deliberate about framing so I will have the camera up to my eye for a good fifteen to twenty seconds before I trip the shutter. That day on the street I took a few shots where I stopped and deliberately took a picture, but for the most part I prefocused (1/125 at f/16 of 1/250 at f/11) and shot from the hip without looking through the viewfinder. It will be interesting to see what I get. [they sucked]

I am using the Leica almost exclusively and it is becoming much more comfortable to use.

Also in PhotographyRandom musings on photography by an enthusiastic amateur.