What’s in the Broady964 camera bag?

What’s in the Broady964 camera bag?

Nikon D200, my only real DSLR in over 30 years of photography - good, but not my favourite Nikon by a long chalk.

Nikon D200, my only real DSLR in over 30 years of photography – good, but not my favourite Nikon by a long chalk.

I am a keen traveller with a rangefinder camera, always snapping and looking for interesting people in their natural habitat across the globe; nowadays I like to blog and tweet, as Broady964, but this is a relatively recent development; it’s not always been so straight forward.

So, what’s in the Broady964 camera bag?

I grew up with a love of photography that I think came from my dad and grandfather in turn – it’s been a long journey to get here, a trail littered with occasional highlights and numerous disasters, cameras opened and photos ruined, not so dark darkrooms and unfixed negatives; broken cameras, dropped lenses and many disappointments over at least 30 years.

So here are some of the heroes that have helped me along the way, the good the bad and the ugly; most I was happy to move on from, and some I really miss, even in this digital age, none more so than my amazing 18th birthday present in January 1981.

My first real camera, a black Nikon FM.

 

A Nikon FM with 50mm f1.8 Nikkor - as purchased for the (then huge) sum of £200 in 1981. I never looked back.

My prized Nikon FM with 50mm f1.8 Nikkor – as purchased for the (then huge) sum of £200 in 1981. I never looked back.

My first serious camera was a manual Nikon FM with a 50mm f1.8 Nikkor, bought after months of visits from the patient staff at Leeds Camera Centre for my 18th birthday in January 1981; a long time ago.

At £200 it was a LOT of money at the time, I went on to buy some lenses including a 300mm Nikkor f4.5 that I loved. This camera was amazing, and if we still all used film, I would want one in my bag today – it is so similar to my Leica M in many ways except for the obvious, that it is an SLR.

Ignore the shape of the camera body and concentrate on the key elements of photography – composition, exposure and what the eye focuses on; manual, precise and a solid click from thumb to finger on real metal dials and focus rings.

Magic.

The FM as great, loaded up with Ilford FP4 or HP5 I would wander off across Yorkshire and shoot some scenes in black and white, sadly most of these memories of 30 years ago are now long gone; I salvaged a couple of mono prints from a foggy day in Knaresborough with Martin Smaller and scanned them in.

Knaresorough c. 1981 Nikon FM Ilford FP4

Knaresorough c. 1981
Nikon FM
Ilford FP4

Around 1981 I went off to university – sadly I can’t find many of my original images, I have a couple of albums of negatives and quite a few slides (Kodak Tri-X) that I really should dig out and investigate. When I find them I will input them here.

Knaresorough c. 1981 Nikon FM Ilford FP4

Knaresorough c. 1981
Nikon FM
Ilford FP4

 

My Interest in photography continued with trips to Paris and other notable experiences of the time; returning from University and starting my first job in Manchester at the end of 1984.

The Nikon survived as a hobby in the background and finally left me in the summer of 1987 while asleep with the future Mrs. Broadbent at Athens airport awaiting an early flight – I suspect somebody took it out of my bag as I didn’t realise it was missing until we returned to England.

What a shame, end of an era.

While it was the end for the FM, it was not the end for film; that would be at a much later date, enter my next purchase a couple of years later

The retro themed Canon EOS 50E

Canon EOS 50E I used to think this was good. It isn't

Canon EOS 50E 1990-2005
I used to think this was good – so when asked what’s in the Broady964 camera bag? I hope this isn’t!

Armed with a pay cheque and heading for a mid-life crisis, this retro inspired piece of junk was purchased in Jessops Manchester city centre store around summer time 1990.

I don’t know why I left Nikon, but I know I regretted it fairly early on; I bought a couple of lenses and then the camera broke with the film back clip snapping and making it completely useless after only a year or two – this was certainly not the quality I was used to, the retro look not reflected in retro durability or quality of construction.

No need to worry; this was the end of the film era and with a young family and no spare time, spending half the day in a darkroom or disappearing off on an artistic mission was never an option, sadly the 50E was never going to work for me.

The digital era was upon us and it would soon be time to gift the clunky old film camera to the charity shop and get down with the digital kids…

Enter the Samsung Digimax 401, our first digital camera, and a real belter!

Samsung Digimax 401

Samsung Digimax 401
A winner in every sense!

I don’t even remember using this little chap – but seeing an image of it now I remember how a small plastic box was to transform our photography as our first digital camera (I think to be fair, my son’s Christmas present in 2004?)

The Samsung was a good little camera. It went around the world with us, and for that I am gratefull.

August 3rd, 2005 Family trip to New York, USA Samsung Digimax 401, f 2.9 5.1mm, 1/148 sec.

August 3rd, 2005
Family trip to New York, USA
Samsung Digimax 401, f 2.9 5.1mm, 1/148 sec.

 

But it was soon time to get a digital camera of our own, and a return to Nikon was on the cards, but this was to be no FM.

Enter the Nikon Coolpix L3, 2005 – 2013

Nikon Coolpix L3

Nikon Coolpix L3
This one saw some action!

Bought from Costco in Manchester for around £75, this was to be the mainstay family camera for many years and is responsible for many holiday shots on my blog including the west coast of America, a lot of Europe and Scotland between 2005-2007

This little camera gets pretty good reviews

Everything is connected in Silicon Valley. San Fransisco Bay, 2007 Nikon Coolpix L3

Everything is connected in Silicon Valley.
San Fransisco Bay, 2007
Nikon Coolpix L3

 

Kids a bit older and some money in my pocket, its time to get back to having a proper camera; my first and only DSLR in fact, so, bought in the USA I went the whole hog and purchased a Nikkor 18-200mm lens as well for good measure.

The Nikon D200 was my only real DSLR

 

Nikon D200, my only real DSLR in over 30 years of photography - good, but not my favourite Nikon by a long chalk.

Nikon D200, my only real DSLR in over 30 years of photography – good, but not my favourite Nikon by a long chalk.

Family relaxing on a very hot day Yosemite National Park, California, 25th July 2007 Nikon D40, 18-55mm, f11.0, 1/500 sec, ISO 200

Family relaxing on a very hot day
Yosemite National Park, California, 25th July 2007
Nikon D200, 18-55mm, f11.0, 1/500 sec, ISO 200

 

 

 

 

The D200 was my weapon of choice for many years 2007 to 2013 in fact – always there and producing many of the photos that are on my blog; that was until somebody stole it from my house, that put an end to a lovely relationship and it was time to move on.

It’s always good to have a more portable companion as well as the DSLR – enter my first ever Leica

Leica C-Lux 2 Loved this camera Won it in a competition, then sadly along with most f my things it was stolen in 2013

Leica C-Lux 2
Loved this camera
Won it in a competition, then sadly along with most f my things it was stolen in 2013

The amazing Leica C-Lux 2

I loved this camera every day between 2008 and 2013, when it sadly found the same fate as all my other gear.

The quality was amazing, it was so small yet delivered incredibly sharp images from a beautiful Elmarit f2.8 zoom lens, sadly it never recovered from having a load of drink spilt on it in Berkley California, 2011

So let’s celebrate the quality and joy it brought.

Stockholm Houses 31 December 2011 Leica C-Lux 2 4.6mm f2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO 100

Stockholm Houses
31 December 2011
Leica C-Lux 2
4.6mm f2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO 100

 

 

I loved this Leica so much, I saved up after the break-in and bought a propper one; a decision I would not regret.

Leica X2

May 2013 to Oct 2014

Leica X2, an amazing little camera. If only the autofocus was less annoying.

Leica X2, an amazing little camera. If only the autofocus was less annoying.

The Leica X2 was an amazing little camera; purchased in a post-robbery downsizing experiment, I left the world of DSLR’s and multiple lenses for a £1,400 Leica point and shoot coupled to a £1,000 Mac Book Air.

The best move I ever made; simple, lightweight and pure quality of image.

It's Friday lunchtime, everybody loves a cat in a basket Leica X2 f2.8 1/125 sec, ISO 1600

It’s Friday lunchtime, everybody loves a cat in a basket
Leica X2 f2.8 1/125 sec, ISO 1600

If only it had detachable lenses, a viewfinder and the autofocus had been a little less annoying; that’s why I had to trade it in after a year for my third Leica and what I hope will be my last ever camera!

Leica M & Summilux 50mm 1:1.4 ASPH

2014 – present

Leica M with 50mm f1.4 Summilux

My Leica M with 50mm f1.4 Summilux, I wish I had got it 20 years ago.

I bought my most recent Leica to celebrate moving back to Yorkshire in 2014, I wish I had owned it years ago.

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

It takes you back to that first Nikon, basic composition, manual focus and thinking about every image. I still get it wrong most of the time, but it is worth it.

An amazing camera with any lens, when you get it right, the quality of the light and colours is unsurpassed, nothing comes anywhere close.

Everyone should get out there with a camera and record some images, if you can’t write creatively or paint or make music, then a camera is a pretty good outlet for some creative angst.

On my website and blog you won’t find anything too serious or overworked in photo-shop and sent around the world, likewise there is nothing for sale, it’s more a place to keep my memories and share some of the images that have kept me travelling across the world for the last few years.

I hope you enjoy it.

A great day out, if you are prepared to queue!

Pont de l’Archeveche, Paris, 2013

The Image above was taken in Paris, a study of love-locks on the Pont de l’Archeveche, crossing from the Latin Quarter to the Cité Island and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Thanks for visiting and please contact me if you would like more information on any aspect of my blog.

Chris Broadbent