IN YOUR POCKET: 1739 – Paolo Ernesto – Japan Camera Hunter | Episode Movies

For this week’s In Your Bag we have Paolo and his M4 cameras!

Hello, my name is Paolo Ernesto and I am a successful IT Manager for a well-known global car brand. I am also a freelance journalist, an avid photographer and most importantly an Italian man married to a wonderful German woman.

This is my camera bag

For many years I only took photos with digital cameras. However, a few years ago my German father-in-law gave me a Leica M4 that previously belonged to his German father-in-law.

I was born in the early 80’s and grew up in a high tech era with lots of electronic devices, also my photography was mostly digital. Nikon has always been a passion of mine and I own many DSRLs. I was looking for higher megapixels, for more detailed sensors, always looking for the latest model. In 2014, after I received the Leica M 4 and shot the first roll, something changed. I was fascinated by the slowness of analog photography, by not being able to take tons of photos and then pick the best.

I had to think, compose the scene, take a shot and that was it. Oh yeah, one shot because, as you know, camera film only has 24 or 36 shots, so it’s impossible to take tons of pictures every time. I had a hard time with the analog camera at the beginning. I found the rangefinder focus difficult to get used to and the results were not convincing at all.

Disappointed with my first attempts, I put the Leica M 4 in a drawer and forgot about it. Two years later I found myself in a camera shop and bought Ilford hp5 film with 36 exposures. I dusted off the Leica and decided to try and get some pictures. That moment was the beginning of the end, a game changer. In 2017 I decided to sell all my digital SRL gear and started shooting almost exclusively analogue. During my business trips to Detroit and Paris or during my several trips to Japan, the Leica M4 was and is always by my side.

Then came the first Covid lockdown, the second lockdown, the third and the fourth and now we are in 2022. I have been very active on social media during the various lockdowns. I have started several successful artistic initiatives, both privately and with the University of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany, where I am completing my art studies. Recently, however, I’ve decided to change my approach to life, much like I did with photography a few years ago.

Since it took time, passion and dedication to learn how the M4’s manual focus, rangefinder and exposure work, I’ve decided to focus on the important things in life and appreciate them the most. That’s why I closed almost all of my social media accounts. Goodbye Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Telegram and TikTok. All instantaneous and temporary, slowly but surely stealing my time. Only LinkedIn remains active for obvious professional reasons. I also own a digital bridge camera these days, which I sporadically don’t use, but overall I use what you see in the bag the most.

After this very long presentation here is my bag

BAG: Thompson Small Camera Bag by Coach
FILTERS: Yellow, Green and UVs
FILM CASE: 2 x Japan Camera Hunter film case currently mainly filled with JCH Streetpan 400, Ilford HP5 and Rollei RPX 400
CAMERA: Leica M4 and Leica M4-P
LENSES: Summaron 35mm f2.8 and Elmar 50mm f2.8
EXPOSURE METER: 2 x Leicameter MR 4
EXTRA: A small notebook with a pen to write down thoughts and ideas.

Of course that’s not all, because I also have my work station where I scan the negatives with an Epson Perfection V600 Photo, an Ars Imago Lab Box to develop my films and several Adox binders where I archive the developed negatives. Well, that’s all.

Paul Ernesto


Send me a high resolution picture of the bag. The optimal size is 1500 pixels in diameter. Please make sure there is a bag in the receptacle unless you are not using it. The more you can write about yourself the better, make it engaging and tell us a story. Snapshots of your gear with a camera phone and no words will not be shown.
Oh and don’t forget your contact details (Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Grainery et al). Submit the bag shots here. Not all make it, so make sure yours is funny/interesting/quirky. And please make sure the shot is of good quality, after all you are a photographer.


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