In response to Sami’s post on Camera Bags …

12 Nov

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" ( ).

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!


Posted by on November 12, 2011 in Uncategorized


17 responses to “In response to Sami’s post on Camera Bags …

  1. serola

    November 14, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Oh, that looks like a treasure box to me :hat: Not just the bag but all the contents. I just love old cameras :happy: I have some more interesting camera bags as well. I try to get them "online" ASAP 😀

  2. derWandersmann

    November 14, 2011 at 9:11 am

    It's fun to look back, isn't it?

  3. serola

    November 14, 2011 at 9:11 am


  4. SittingFox

    November 20, 2011 at 3:11 am

    It's interesting for me to see some of the history of camera equipment! I keep my camera around my neck when I'm out hiking. The kind of creatures I'm after rarely give me more than few seconds' grace to get the camera sorted out.

  5. derWandersmann

    November 20, 2011 at 11:11 am

    That's why the harness arrangement is so good (in the "digital" post) … it's almost instant. The big delay is in waiting for the camera to turn on completely … the "compacts" are a bit slow. I don't know what kind of strap you're using, but the neck straps can be very uncomfortable, especially with a cam of some weight. Rockwell recommends the Leica strap, and I've found the "Luma strap" to be appealing (but expensive!). I haven't tried either, of course … I like a "hand strap", myself … my old Graphic had one, but it doesn't show in the picture … a sturdy strap, like a handle, anchored at top and bottom of the left side, through which you thrust your hand, which gripped the camera body. The strap kept your hand from slipping. Opteka (and others) make similar ones for didgies, that fit the right side of the cam. They allow your fingers to wiggle about on the controls, while keeping your grip secure.

  6. Weatherlawyer

    November 20, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I remember sitting outside my flat waiting in the car for a thief to have ago at my mailbox.I'd lathered instant glue on the letterbox and was waiting with my camera in my hand.Half an hour later my mind had wondered and I just caught a glimpse of a young man hopping in the doorway.He'd fed his palm into my box and had got it stuck.I was immediately wired on adrenaline and couldn't get the camera out the case.What a stupid idiot!By the time I had it sorted, it was over.Man!What would it have been worth to show people pictures of a lout dangling 36 square inches of 3/4 inch ply in the middle of the street with a look that said: "WTF!!" all over his weasely face.

  7. derWandersmann

    November 20, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    LOL … a nice tale of near-success.What sort of instant glue would have such a long open time?

  8. Weatherlawyer

    November 20, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Any instant glue. It is like Evostick. As long as you don't touch it it remains viable. It's a contact cement.I used some to repair the straps of my haversack ages ago and use it regularly to bike home with groceries and library books.It's amazing stuff.I chased him up the stairs but I ran out of steam and didn't want to hit him when I got to him. But I collared him. He was holding his hand like a wounded a soldier. There was a ring of dark blue paint off the box around his fingers like one of those Celtic ring designs, his finger prints -what remained of them.It must have hurt like a bugger. 😆 Later I ripped the door off his mail box and fitted it to mine. He was returning from somewhere with his girlfriend when I was doing it. He started to kick off but I just laughed at him.Aren't people like that horrible.Beats me why we don't chop their fingers off.It would get my vote.

  9. derWandersmann

    November 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Ah … an industrial contact adhesive … I was thinking of cyanocrylate instant glues … like "super glue" or similar. They are known for bonding careless people to various objects they're working on. The instant skin bond has been used in numerous comedy routines.

  10. Weatherlawyer

    November 21, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Same thing.I bought it from a local shop that sold low cost knick knacks.Contact adhesive remains viable for ages. If it doesn't get dusty you can leave a surface covered with the rubber based ones such as Evostick for daysand it will bonf formica or whateve as soon as you touch it together.Instantly.The only problem with the stuff is you only get one chance with it. You can't reposition your workpieces.It was invented by NASA looing for new bonding agents and is apparently what shellfish use to stick to rocks and ships.I poured it out like ater on the edges of the mailbox and then realised I should have waited for the postman to come first.I panicked then.So I had to stand in the foyer waiting fo him to come. Then I slavered some more on and got in the car.Try it.Better have a friend handy in case it works. 😀 It sticks that nylon type webbing to that Goretex type material they make haversacks with. I also sewed it but cotton thread has no strength whatsoever.I regularly put about 5 to 10 Kg in the pack.I've stuck both straps. When the first one parted I bought a small set of canvas eye punch thingumies but had that glue handy so I tried that first.About 6 months later it failed, so I got the eyelet kit out and was about to do a proper repair when I realised it wasn't the same strap that had failed but the other one.I have to admit something here: I used a G-clamp to make sure the material did really make contact.When that block of ice hit the Challenger on that fatal launch, it must have given those tiles one hell of a smack to release them. Either that or the tiles delaminated.

  11. Weatherlawyer

    November 21, 2011 at 3:11 am

    When that thif got stuck to my ltterbox he ripped the door off its higes in his panick and stepped out in the street wearing it like a flag.THe hinges weren't that secure but you try doing something like that when your hand is wedges in a narrow cleft.Now read this:Originally posted by Wikipedia:

    On February 1, 2003, Columbia disintegrated during re-entry, killing its crew of seven, because of damage to the carbon-carbon leading edge of the wing caused during launch. Ground control engineers had made three separate requests for high-resolution images taken by the Department of Defense that would have provided an understanding of the extent of the damage, NASA's chief thermal protection system engineer requested that astronauts on board Columbia be allowed to leave the vehicle to inspect the damage. NASA managers intervened to stop the Department of Defense's assistance and refused the request for the spacewalk and thus the feasibility of scenarios for astronaut repair or rescue by Atlantis were not considered by NASA management at the time.

    Makes you wonder.Would a repair pack have been too much to take with them?Or did NASA management know they were dead men flying?

  12. serola

    November 21, 2011 at 3:11 am

    Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    Any instant glue. It is like Evostick. As long as you don't touch it it remains viable. It's a contact cement.

    Sounds like really amazing stuff :yikes:

  13. serola

    November 21, 2011 at 4:11 am

    Someone should write a book about it, if not done already 😀 I once read very interesting book about colors.

  14. Weatherlawyer

    November 21, 2011 at 4:11 am

    Interesting subject and a roundelay too.The internet is a seriously weird place:Originally posted by about Kodak of all things serendipitous:

    Superglue or Krazy Glue is a substance called cyanoacrylate that was discovered by Dr. Harry Coover while working for Kodak Research Laboratories to develop an optically clear plastic for gunsights in 1942. Coover rejected cyanoacrylate because it was too sticky.In 1951, cyanoacrylate was rediscovered by Coover and Dr Fred Joyner. Coover was now supervising research at the Eastman Company in Tennessee. Coover and Joyner were researching a heat-resistant acrylate polymer for jet canopies when Joyner spread a film of ethyl cyanoacrylate between refractometer prisms and discovered that the prisms were glued together.Coover finally realized that cyanoacrylate was a useful product and in 1958 the Eastman compound #910 was marketed and later packaged as superglue.

  15. Weatherlawyer

    November 21, 2011 at 4:11 am

    You can get packs of 4 or 5 tubes for a quid at market stalls etc.It really is amazing. I suppose they must have had a real need for it but I can't think what.How long have they used Kevlar?

  16. Weatherlawyer

    November 21, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Nylon was discovered like that.It is called nylon after New York and London.Most inventions are like that. IBM didn't see a need for computers, Nobody had a use for silly putty but now?Ermmm… well…

  17. serola

    November 21, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    Nylon was discovered like that.It is called nylon after New York and London.

    That I did not knew :eyes:Originally posted by Weatherlawyer:

    IBM didn't see a need for computers, Nobody had a use for silly putty but now?

    Yes, just yesterday I watched a document about Apple computers. Pretty impressive success story.


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