In your bag No: 1272, Nick Bax
Young Nick may come from an obscure southern town in the UK, with nothing going on, but he has managed to survive this and take a picture of his bag for all of us. Check it out.
Hey there JCH, I’m Nick Bax, a 17 year old hobbyist from a town called Reading, in the depths of southern England.
I’m currently studying Advanced Level photography at school, and I have been passionate about it since I received my first ever camera when I was 13, a not-so-magnificent Casio compact camera.
Since then I have managed to amass a moderate collection of gear; the focal point of which (excuse the pun) is my ‘film bag’, the whole set of which I take out for fun, casual shoots; as I normally only use digital for my studies.
Ironically, most of my film equipment was discovered by me at school. I was nosing around the store room of the art & photography department one Wednesday evening, when I stumbled across what I thought was something from a dream; a vintage Miranda shoulder bag, full to the brim of beautiful Japanese glass.
The layer of dust on the bag spoke of its abandonment, and despite the temptation to make off with it there and there, I decided to claim it honestly. After making a deal with my photography tutor, he examined the camera and lenses for imperfections (of which there were very little), and offered me £40 for the set. I duly accepted (you would have to be pretty stupid not to).
So here it is: A Pentax P50 with an SMC Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, a Prinzgalaxy 3x teleconverter, a 35mm Optomax f/2.8, and a venerable 105mm Takumar f/2.8; the latter two of which I mount to an M42 Pentax bayonet. When I go out for shoots, I also like to bring my Muji notepad and a good pen for jotting down thoughts and potential compositions, and my phone and headphones to give me some music for inspiration. I also quite like the effects on photos that expired film has, so I always drag along some old Fujifilm 100 in colour, and a roll of black and white never goes amiss.
Despite the usefulness of my 50mm f/1.4, the two M42 lenses are far more of a joy to use. Like all obscure 70’s Japanese lenses, they are both fully metal, exceptionally well made, and the moving parts are oh-so-smooth. I tend not to use the teleconverter unless I need to, as it slows down the attached lens by about 2/2 stops, enough to darken my split image and microprism considerably on the smaller apertures.
In the long term, I’ve been seriously considering going into photography as a full time career. I wouldn’t want to start out as the usual landscape or wedding photographer though, I would much rather go into the more art focused side like the great William Eggleston or Hiroshi Sugimoto, as I’ve always felt that somebody who has the ability to spot incredible compositions in everyday situations such as Eggleston, or someone who can manipulate light in the manner that Sugimoto does is someone born of extraordinary talent. But (in slight contradiction to my previous point) I have also considered fashion photography, and maybe even the long term goal of taking photos for National Geographic.
I also plan to most certainly step up my film game. I have done several shoots with film, with mixed results, although I’m far more experienced with digital. But I enjoyed the difficulty of both shooting and developing film much more than I did digital, so hopefully I’ll be able to gain much more experience with the latter medium, maybe even experiment with alchemical processes during the development phase.
But my next goal is to find the original owner of my equipment. The Miranda bag had a name tag inserted in it, apparently it used to belong to a certain Jung Woo Kim, who apparently attended the school about 30 years ago. If I can track him down, then hopefully I can find out the full story of my film camera and lenses.
If anyone wants to check out my work, it can be found on my Instagram @nostalgva
Thanks for sharing your bag with us, Nick. That is a very interesting story about the provenance of your gear. I hope you can get the story.
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