View Full Version : Do you know where your cameras are?

Roger Hicks
07-19-2009, 08:20
Not necessarily all of them; just the more important ones? I just wondered where the M8.2 was, and thought, "I must have left it on the sofa downstairs." (Fortunately I had, but there have been moments when it has taken an unconscionably long and nerve-wracking time to find something valuable.) What's your worst story of mislaying something, then finding it again?

Or do you always put your cameras away in the same place? Just idle curiosity, killing time before we go to hospital for a cataract operation for Frances, who has just been talking on the phone to her 95-year-old namesake in Rochester, her mother's first cousin. Back Tuesday, ish'Allah.



07-19-2009, 08:34
At home my two Leicas are on my desk. At work they're secured when I roam the bldg. My MF gear is in a Lowepro mini pack ready to go. Otherwise, I dont set my Leica down least I'll have a brain freeze and leave it behind.

Wishing Frances buena salud.

Al Kaplan
07-19-2009, 08:35
I try to always put them back in the same place on the foot stool or the dining room table. My brain has gotten to that stage where I'll walk by something three or four times and still not "see" it, then suddenly there it is right where I thought it was. Frustrating!

07-19-2009, 08:35
I store my equipment and supplies in the same place; after use, the stuff goes back to its 'place' again. It makes finding what I want to use a no-brainer. That said, I married a lovely wife from Hungary and I have found sometimes that she works to undo this simple order by moving things around almost randomly. Where this tendency is most brutal, however, is within her own kitchen. It can take me a few minutes to locate a spatula.

Al Patterson
07-19-2009, 08:49
Most of my backups are in a cabinet in my dining room. The ones I use are in camera bags in the closet. Well, one that needs repair is sitting on a desk, but it will likely go back in the cabinet until I get it fixed.

07-19-2009, 09:00
Last year I drove home from where I was shooting, which was a somewhat derelict and seedy part of town, about a 20 minute drive. The moment I got home I wondered to myself, "Where is my meter?" It's a little Sekonic 308 that I depend on greatly.

All at once it dawned on me that I left it on the back of my car as I was taking one last shot and I drove away without grabbing it. Damn! (also sitting there was a dark slide from my Bronica.)

I knew the exact spot where it was and drove immediately there. Alas, no meter, no people around, nothing. :( I doubt someone who may have picked it up would even know what the heck it was. I wonder if it just got tossed in a dumpster somewhere.

PS. So if anyone has a Sekonic L-308s with a red strap that says Kansas City Cancer Center on it, please let me know! :)

07-19-2009, 09:10
Seemingly unlike a lot of people here, I only have two cameras* (three if you include my phone), so yes! :)

*Leica M8 and Certo Six. I know, a strange pair - I bought the latter on impulse after seeing Lee Miller's house (she shot 6x6)! I haven't used the Certo yet: first, I need to get my head round the concept of film, which I've never used before! Using film seems a bit complicated, arbitrary and long winded compared with digital, so I keep putting off trying it...

Nick De Marco
07-19-2009, 09:14
I keep most of them in a couple of large glass cabinets (not especially elegant but at least I know where they are). Most of my digital SLR stuff stays in a closed cupboard in another room or in camera bags ready for use or on my computer desk. A few lenses tend to get confused all over the place. I do have moments wherev I imagine I either own a particular camera or lens which I don't (maybe never bought it, maybe sold it) and moments where I think I don't have things I do (must be careful not to buy the same again).

One thing that bothers me more than the clutter of the stuff is keeping good useable equipment in boxes and not using it. I've decided when I go to my house in Italy next week to take my mamiya 7 and lenses with me and keep it there, instead of in London. That way I hope to use it every time I go there, often instead of and sometimes alongside a DSLR, but always alongside a 35mm RF. Otherwsie it just would not come out of the box which is a shame as it is a beautiful camera.

Pickett Wilson
07-19-2009, 09:34
In bags ready to go, or in my equipment cabinet if it's stuff I don't use every day...old cameras, Pocket Wizard's, strobes, etc. I do keep an M6 on a table by the front door, though, for the occasional grab shot. I've never forgotten equipment anywhere, but like Nick, I sometimes think I have something I sold or traded long ago. ;)

07-19-2009, 09:36
Yes. They're either heaped on my desk or piled in the cabinet opposite. The whereabouts of my marbles, on the other hand, is a complete mystery to me.

Oculus Sinister
07-19-2009, 09:43
I live in a very humid climate so my cameras are always in my Ampro dry cabinet when not in use, lest fungi grow on them :)

07-19-2009, 09:46
While in Rome the first time, I carried a good size Domke bag with some travel documents, my FE2, my Leica with three lenses, some traveler's checks, + film-- some exposed.

At dinner, the waiter evidently pushed it under the table which had a table cloth to the floor, and I left without it.

About midnight I started looking for it, -- it took me until the next afternoon to eliminate all the places I could have left it, and I called the restaurant. They had the bag hanging on a hook in the coat room. I gave the guy $20 for taking care of it, (it was 20 years ago, he was quite happy, and a cheap price for my lapse in memory), got a taxi to do a tour of Rome in 30 minutes (for Rome taxi drivers, traffic lights are decoration), and returned to the hotel.

When I am on a travel day, I try to limit the bags, and remember the number of them with me at any given time so I can limit my memory and physical losses. Much easier when traveling with friends.

Around the house I have things I have looked for now and again for 20 years ;-) I know there is a rare print somewhere in the attic made by my Uncle Semo of Irina Baranova in the 1940's, , and now, those negatives of a couple of my better shots?

I have enough camera bags, many acquired in various trades or actually quite nice freebies from the junk bin at my long time camera shop, -- to keep certain kit together, such as my M8 and the preferred lenses of the moment, my Contax G series bodies and lenses, wedding kits, or the Xpan. It gives me a bigger target to look for, and confusion to any burglars ;-)

I used to put my name on Dymo tape inside of the battery compartment of some equipment, and got a light meter and calculator back that way. A sharpie to write your email on a battery today might enable someone to return lost equipment, perhaps a dymo label inside the bottom cover of a Leica? Perhaps the first shot on every memory card should be of you holding a sign pleading for the camera's return, or I suppose an identity file in its own folder.

I used Kodachrome, posted to Kodak labs at one time all over the world to be home when I got there, but put printed stickers with my address on each cartridge before I posted them. ;-)

My friend found an M3 on the bench at an airport, left his name with lost and found, -- no one called, so he could keep it with a clear conscience.

Another category is the lens you put down after changing to another while shooting something of interest.

Finally, I never looked for any of the idiots who engraved their SS# or names in the top covers of any Leica equipment I may have acquired.

Regards, John

le vrai rdu
07-19-2009, 09:48
encore un topic fascinant :)

Nick De Marco
07-19-2009, 09:56
Good story about Rome (and lucky too)

Reminds me last year I was checking out of a hotel in Bangkok, off to Burma. I had packed everything carefull, especially my 5D Mark II and all its lenses, which I had stuffed in the room safe.

What I forgot was the little M6 and Summicron lens, tucked so far back in the dark part of the safe. I had just finished checking out and was leaving when reception told me the cleaner had discovered I had left a camera in my room. When the receptionist saw the camera (he must have know what it is) he scalded me and told me if I really did not want it he would be very happy to have it.

Since then I have shown it more love

07-19-2009, 09:59
I haven't lost a camera and then refound it, I do seem to misplace tripods and flash guns. I then tear the place apart.

07-19-2009, 10:07
he scalded me
Reasonable punishment for leaving an M6, methinks. :)

07-19-2009, 10:09
I always know where my cameras are. My Hasselblad kit is in my Lowepro backpack, my M6 is in my Fotima bag and my digital camera ( dont have one at this momment but will get another one next week) is most of the time next to my computer. My lightmeter on the other hand is a gadget Im always looking for, never lost it for longer then 10 min though.

07-19-2009, 10:18
Well I spent a good half hour looking for a protractor type square the other day, not photo related, so I tend to have no idea where that kind of stuff ends up. Never did find it, but found another tool that did the job, albeit less easily.

Cameras are always in the same place, filters too even. Studio stairs has shelves for all of it, and filters are in boxes at the darkroom desk. I am about to get a cabinet delivered that will get everything into one place and will allow for some humidity control, something I've been wanting to do for a while now.

07-19-2009, 10:28
I once left a lght meter in a winter coat and didn't find it again until the following winter. Nice surprise, like finding $20 in your pocket you didn't know was there.

07-19-2009, 10:58
I always now where my MP is. A few weeks back I couldn't find my Nikon D40. I thought it was telling that I didn't really care if I lost it or not.

I did find it though, stuffed under a pillow on the couch.

Jim B.

07-19-2009, 10:58
I have a secure steel cabinet in my study, fastened to the wall, to contain my photo equipment. However...

My two Leicas (M2 and M6) are sitting on a shelf in the bedroom, my Bessas (R3 and R4) are in a photo bag on the floor in front of the TV after I used them yesterday, and my OMs are in various places around the house - I'd have to search around to find any specific body/lens combo.

I've got some gear actually in the cabinet - some older cameras mainly, Olympus and Bronica lenses - and my ETRSi sitting on top of the cabinet. Oh, and the cabinet is unlocked.

Michael Markey
07-19-2009, 11:09
I try to always put them back in the same place on the foot stool or the dining room table. My brain has gotten to that stage where I'll walk by something three or four times and still not "see" it, then suddenly there it is right where I thought it was. Frustrating!
Same problem. It`s a nightmare sometimes. I just try and keep it simple ,everything in the same place ,or the daughter will be signing those papers and I will be taking my place at the staring window.

back alley
07-19-2009, 11:41
my goal is to have all my gear in camera bags each night so if there is a fire i can just grab them and run.
these days that's a simple task...the zi, 2 rd1 bodies and all lenses fit into a domke f6, the g1 and 2 lenses fit in another domke f6.

07-19-2009, 12:00
Don't even start with tripods-- I may have one in several countries and continents. Left one in a church in the choir loft.

In Vallarta the manager at the hotel was quizzing a guy on the contents of a backpack, turns out he had a few too many the night before and left it on the beach, with his Macbook -- one of the employees brought it to the desk.

Guy did not even ask the employee's name for a thank you.

Maybe he was in shock, I know I was in shock in Rome.

If something happens to the house, I hope the insurance company is kind, would hate to get scolded. ;-)

I guess I have to be more careful of my cell phone, now it has a "camera". ;-), perhaps the M9 will make calls, at least you could call it from a land line to see where you put it.

Regards, John

07-19-2009, 12:04
Roger: Best wishes to Frances. Hope all goes well!

My Main Axe kit–a pair of Hexar RFs and three lenses–permanently resides in The Domke 803 bag I bought for it, making it (1) easy to find, and (2) ready to go at literally a moment's notice.

As for other stuff: the Leica M2 hangs on the wall in my small digital atelier; The Olympus OM-2n with Sigma UW zoom is currently atop thebig flatbed scanner, along with the Olympus C-8080 digital and Konica Auto S3. The chandelier above all this (this was once the dining room...been wanting to get rid of this thing) has become something of a photo-gear mobile, with a Holga 135, Ricoh GR-1 (still broken), Casio EX850 digital, Canon PowerShot 320 digital (from a client, and occasionally works), and black Konica POP.

(Maybe I should keep that chandelier after all.)

- Barrett

07-19-2009, 13:08
My cameras are almost always in the same spots - except in those days that the cleaning lady has a burst of creativity and decides to place them in different places...

07-19-2009, 14:07
i keep most of my cameras in those white boxes on the lower shelf with a little bag of silicant(SP?) my M7 is always ready to go, usually on top of the cabinet amongst the mess. my m6 is always ready to go, but on the top shelf of the cabinet and it usually has a different kind of film in it.
the boxes on the right are full of lenses, so they're easy to get to. there is an M3 in the red box, another in the leather leitz bag on top, a 'spare' M6 in the white box on top, an M2 somewhere in there and a lot of stereo cameras down below. my black paint M3 is at the bank in a safety deposit box. and my black paint m4 is on it's way back from Solms right now.
this cabinet is the only place in the house i can keep curious toddler paws off of them. it's also the only place that is this messy, my wife is pretty tidy...


07-19-2009, 16:37
In my BOXX gun cabinet (no guns in it, just cameras :-) )



07-19-2009, 16:46
Mine are always kept (when not being used) in a cupboard that has a low wattage bulb burning permanently in the bottom. I had a lens fungus issue with a couple of TLR cameras a while ago and read about this tip for high humidity areas and fingers crossed it seems to have made a difference!

07-19-2009, 16:51
Most are a few feet away from me in my home office. Two are in a bag, ready to go out with me tomorrow (An Iskra and a Yashicamat 124G).

I lost a Hexar AF last year on vacation. Left it in a rented RV and it was somehow never found. (Bought a replacement right away.)

07-19-2009, 18:42
My Leica kit is always in a bag ready to go. Others are in a clear plastic multi-drawer storage rack. Leica kit comprises two M2s, Ultron 35 1.7, APO Lanthar, DR Summicron, Sekonic Digilite and 10 rolls of film. This is my doomsday kit and is usually next to me in the bedroom as well. If the big one hits, I will sling the bag bandolier style, carry my daughter out on one arm and drag the wife out with the other. :)

07-19-2009, 19:25
Thought I lost my M mount 50 2.8 Elmar last year. Was taking pictures of sailboats at a harbor in upstate NY, remembered switching to my 35 Summaron. Got back home, couldn't find the Elmar anyplace. Gave it up for lost. Fast forward to last May, fumbling around in a closet looking for an old jacket, felt something heavy in a pocket--surpise! Elmar has returned. Love that little lens. Lost but never found--my trusty Metrastar meter at a photo shoot at a church. Never saw it again. The moral to all of this-- hold on to what you have, it's hard to replace.

07-19-2009, 19:47
I've misplaced a Contessa-Nettel Piccolette. I've been looking for the camera for about two weeks.

And I've also misplaced an Agfa Optima Paramat-I, and I've been looking for that one for nearly two months!

07-19-2009, 20:12
OK, just found the Paramat. One down, one to go.

07-19-2009, 20:38
in order of searching:

1. Steel Craftsman tool cabinet in my basement.

2. Coffee table in basement.

3. computer and slide projector desk in basement.

4. Sidebar table in the dining room.

5. If all else fails: the one I'm hunting for will be in a camera bag.

07-19-2009, 20:49
I always know where my cameras are. I'd have to be a complete moron if I didnt. ;) Funny, I'm going through some remodeling and house is a mess, but of all things, - I know where all my cameras are. But thats just me.

07-19-2009, 21:46
All my cameras and lenses are stored in 7 metal, suitcase type, foam lined w/ movable dividers cases in my small, one room apt. w/ accessories nearby in a plastic (standard Korean discount house issue) chest. The cases are all stored and lined up in a (METAL) rack. My bags are stored on a plastic (same origin) hat/ coat rack near the door.

The cases (bought from a street vendor in a used camera- rich store area) are heavy, not air-tight but dust and light-proof and cost me about $40 each.

07-20-2009, 04:05
I know where all of mine are except for one. I built some book shelves and use those.
The one I can't find is my Agat 18k 1/2 frame. It is small, I know but haven't seen hide nor hair of it for about a year. Since I moved last year, in fact. I suspect it got left behind.:bang:
When I'm out shooting, I don't worry too much as I don't tend to carry a lot with me. Typically one body, sometimes two lenses but generally just the one on the camera, some film and maybe a filter--almost always on the lens.
Two jacket pockets take care of all that and the camera is on a strap over my shoulder.

07-20-2009, 05:53
My gear sits in two or sometimes three Billingham bags stacked next to the desk where I'm typing this - all except two lenses which are large (AF-Zoom-Nikkor 80-200/2.8D, in a cylindrical case) or awkwardly shaped (Elmarit-M 135/2.8, in its dedicated triangular-shaped leather pouch). And the Nikonos-V could be anywhere: if it is happy in sand, snow, mud, and water it shouldn't mind a bit of house dust.

A long time ago my heart nearly stopped when I realized I'd lost my brand-new, first SLR and two slow consumer zooms at Heathrow Airport and been unaware of it for the best part of an hour and a half. Bear in mind that airports attract criminal elements, and how large Heathrow was even then. I tracked back mentally and realized I'd probably left the Photax bag in the gents' loo.

I knew it wouldn't be there any more - and it wasn't. But I still asked at reception, whereupon it was returned to me immediately and on trust - no questions, no forms to fill in.

For this reason I will never indulge in Britain's favourite national pastime: knocking our own country. There are many annoying things about it, but to live in a place where I've repeatedly come up against such honest behaviour is a privilege. Granted that the person who handed in the gear may well have been a foreign worker or tourist!

One more example: last year I lost my mobile phone yet again (with Carl Zeiss 3.2Mp lens if you wonder what this has to do with cameras!) and didn't even start to think about it seriously for nearly a week; you see, I'm always losing it or at least misplacing it at work or at home. Eventually I tracked it down to the Field and Trek outdoor pursuits/clothing shop. The phone had lain on the windowsill undisturbed for the best part of 5 days. Again, this speaks volumes for British or visitors to Britain's honesty, as well as for the frequency of cleaning in the changing rooms!

Sorry, what started as a reply to Roger's post has turned into an advertisement for Britain. Perhaps you can guess I'm only half British myself!


07-20-2009, 05:57
We would like to thank all members for this thread full of great information. It will surely make our work easier next time we visit.

The ITA Board (International Thieves Association)

07-20-2009, 06:04
Thought I lost my M mount 50 2.8 Elmar last year. Was taking pictures of sailboats at a harbor in upstate NY, remembered switching to my 35 Summaron. Got back home, couldn't find the Elmar anyplace. Gave it up for lost. Fast forward to last May, fumbling around in a closet looking for an old jacket, felt something heavy in a pocket--surpise! Elmar has returned. Love that little lens. Lost but never found--my trusty Metrastar meter at a photo shoot at a church. Never saw it again. The moral to all of this-- hold on to what you have, it's hard to replace.

After the Great War my Church of England grandfather and his young bride converted to Roman Catholicism. When they left the church after their first Mass the priest saw grandfather take his coat down from the pegs in the porch.

" I wouldn't leave it there, sir; you don't know the flock very well yet, I can see."

Things haven't got any worse.

07-20-2009, 06:06
With my dealer or in hock.

Wes Medlin
07-20-2009, 08:22
Well, I always know where A camera is. I might not be able to find them all at a moment's notice, but I can quickly put my hand on the one I'm shooting with.

Good luck to Francis.


07-20-2009, 09:03
I usually have a rough idea where most of my cameras are BUT I always know where my towel is...........
Give Frances a kiss from me,see you guys soon!

07-22-2009, 07:35
What's your worst story of mislaying something, then finding it again?

My story doesn't qualify a hundred per cent as an answer.

In the early 70s I was given a handful of "classic" cameras, among them a IIIc with a Canon 50mm lens. About ten years later I had been out and about, and carrying the IIIc, when I remembered I had to make a phone call. I found a callbox (one of the old, red, Giles Gilbert Scott-designed ones that we common in the UK), made my call (which turned out to be stressful), and then left. Less than 30 seconds and a hundred yards later I realised the IIIc in its case, complete with lens and exposed roll of film, was still on the shelf inside the callbox. Wrong!

CK Dexter Haven
07-22-2009, 08:09
Living in a tiny, albeit ridiculously expensive Manhattan apartment, we don't have such problems. Everything you own is easily in view, all the time.... No pesky upstairs/downstairs issues to deal with. No clumsy walls, or spare rooms to worry about....

Robin Harrison
07-24-2009, 09:04
I always have one lens whose lens is an entire mystery to me. By the time that turns up, another is hiding. I just last night found my CV 28/3.5 that had been missing for weeks. Before that it was my Angenieux 12.5mm f1.3.

I'm a bit of a sucker for asapters (M-micro 4/3, Nikon-C mount, CY-M, Adaptall-II etc etc), and one consequence of that is there are many bodies that a lens could have been mounted on last. And I have multiple bags/boxes for gear at home. Plus at least three or four 'standard' flat surface locations gear often ends up in.

07-25-2009, 05:13
I have one ready next to the entry door and one by the bed........... oh wait did you say cameras? not guns? ...... oh sorry :)