Home Cameras/Lenses Leica Brooklands emerges from lockdown lighter and better for it

Brooklands emerges from lockdown lighter and better for it


In late March, I paid a gloomy last visit to Brooklands just before the museum closed for the Great Lockdown. Today, though, was an altogether happier occasion as the old race track opened its gates again after all these months. Dozens of major revenue-raising events fell by the wayside and, in common with all similar organisations, Brooklands has felt the financial pressure of this prolonged closure. Let’s hope the situation will now start to improve.

Member preview

Today was a members’ preview, and I couldn’t wait to put my name down for an entry slot, observing all the new etiquette of social distancing. I’m even prepared to endure prune-like hands with all the washing and sanitising.

It’s a different Brooklands, thanks to Covid-19. During the lockdown, there has been a lot of work underway. Some of the tired exhibits have been moved out to allow for more SD (social distancing) space and to permit the now-obligatory one-way systems. In many ways, though, this is an improvement since some of the older tableaux were getting slightly faded. Instead, we can now get a bit closer to those fabulous racing and sports cars of yesteryear.

Sadly, the bus museum remains closed for the time being, but everything else is up and running, including the Concorde tours. Brooklands is just 25 miles from home and it is a pleasant enough drive with a hearty welcome at the end. I’ve missed my weekly visits and I have certainly missed the photo opportunities that invariably arise. In the main, given that the exhibits are familiar, this new interest comes from the wide variety of classic and vintage vehicles that members and visitors bring to the site every day. There’s always something new.

Today I took out the Leica SL2 with my trusted Panasonic “kit” zoom, the rather talented Panasonic Lumix S 24-105mm f/4 Macro OIS. It’s nice to be back on the road again with something interesting to see.

Full details on the Brooklands public reopening here

Read more stories about Brooklands on Macfilos


  1. Happy for you and all that can attend. Morgan has to be an all time favorite. Enjoy yourself in the coming openings!

  2. You caught the Lagonda at the perfect moment – I love everything about the image. I cannot wait to get my second Panasonic 24-105. I loved the first one but had the G9 with the marvellous Oly 12-100/4 pro lens making it redundant. I am in the process of selling off my M4/3 system and other stuff to simply down to a M9 and SL2 system. I really missed the lovely 24-105 and wished I had never sold it as it was so light yet sharp and an unusually smooth out of focus rendering for a zoom.
    I am delighted that outing opportunities are opening up for you.

    • Thanks. Brian. I wasn’t sure whether to use a 35mm lens or the 24-105 but, in the end, that range of the Panasonic is near perfect for a bit of car photography combined with some track shots. I used it last year at a Brooklands event and was impressed be the results.

  3. Even in face masks this looks fun, Mike. It is the start of the return, unless an inconvenient second spike arrives. I feel happy looking at this thinking I could be back in events at some point in the near future – seeing people dressed up in face masks. could be fun.

    Hopefully you will be able to show off more, as they get more of it open, and more stuff going on.

  4. Glad you can go back into your regular visits to Brooklands. Your capture of the lights in the garage is great. Last time I shot a Lagonda was on a a parking at a cross-channel ferry. Really a beautiful car.

    • Yes, I love that interior shot of the old spanners. Beautiful mixed lighting too. Good to know you can get out and enjoy one of your favourite places, Mike.

      • It’s odd. That was just a quick makeweight snap and I really didn’t think it would be any good. Indeed, when I looked at it in Lightroom it was virtually a black 3×2. Fortunately, lots of dynamic range from the SL2.

    • I would certainly like to try that as an alternative to the 24-105. It’s a lot smaller and the 20 to 60 range is unusual and, I suspect, very useful.


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