I thought I'd reminisce a bit … having started well before the digital era, I had rather different choices available to me … I'll start with the cameras shown in my post "Memory Lane" ( http://my.opera.com/derWandersmann/blog/2009/01/30/memory-lane ).
I can't show you the case for the Kodak Brownie 3A, because there wasn't one, nor do I think there ever was one. It's a matter of some wonderment to me that these monsters were called "Pocket Cameras" in their day … perhaps the outside pocket of a greatcoat was what was meant. At any rate, I carried mine by the little handle at one end. Luckily, I was a kid, and didn't have much else to carry.
The Anniversary Graphic, on the other hand, had a case that stayed in the car, unless you were some kind of nut. You took out what you needed when you got out of the car. But I drew up the plans, and my dad made the case from 3/8" plywood. It had appropriately-sized compartments for all the gear … the camera (closed), a bunch of two-sided film holders, the flashgun (detached), a supply of various sheet films, a changing bag, a bunch of filters and adapters, and various miscellaneous things … including a sandwich if I needed one, and, squirreled away at the bottom, a 1 oz. bottle of paregoric. Well, sometimes the motion of a boat can get to you, if you're down below.
Then came the Mirandas … that's the big outfit you see in the aforementioned post … I once had a case that would take both bodies and all the lenses, and everything else, too. It was made in Germany and was really quite efficient, except for two things: 1)When you grabbed something out of it, generally the clips that held it would come with it, and 2) It was bloody huge! No picnic to carry around, that's for sure. I finally settled on this little gem, from Accura (Are they still in business?). I show it in some detail, because it was unusual even when I bought it; it's even more unusual now. It's a hard case, covered in black leather, and the shoulder strap is missing … it broke, but it could be replaced.
This is what it looks like opened, the Miranda G with the 35mm Steinheil Macro mounted, the 50mm Soligor in the well on the right, the folding viewfinder just behind it, and the cap of the 135mm Steinheil Macro in the hole through the top board on the left.
This next is all the gear on the top level removed and spread out, along with the top board, so you can see down into the bottom of the case:
And here's a detail of the top board, so you can see how it's made:
Notice the little "wall" to keep the camera body from shifting about, and the cradle for the lens. There originally was an elastic strap with a snap fastener on one end to retain the lens, but it's long gone. It was amusing to me to see the flakes of tobacco in the little corners … I was once a pipe-smoker, and there was usually a pouch of burley in the case, too.
And here's a look into the bottom of the case; it looks chaotic, but it wasn't. The big grey thing is a 1° spotmeter, the 135mm lens is the other main item. There are: a polariser (in the box), a body cap, a rear lens cap, and a couple of cable releases.
And here's all those goodies spread out, and the case empty.
It was not the easiest sort of case to carry 'round, but it wasn't all that bad, either. Fully loaded, it weighed a few pounds, but the strap held the weight well, and there was no slipping. I could generally perform any operations needed without looking, which pleased me.
NEXT: My newer bags; don't touch that dial!