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  1. #1
    roteague's Avatar
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    What was your first camera?

    I was thinking about the number of years that I have been actively involved in photography. I remember that I bought my first 35mm SLR in 1973, it was a Petri FTEE with a 50mm lens. That camera opened my eyes to the beauty of photography; I remember that after I got the camera I was transferred for a tour of duty in South Korea (my first time out of the US).

    So, I was wondering "What was your first camera?" and how did it influence your photography today.

    Thanks,
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  2. #2

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    Nikon N50.

    It did everything for me. I learned to "see" without having to worry about the other functions of a manual camera. I credit this camera with giving me the freedom I needed to begin photography easily. Everything else just came naturally.

    I remember trying to use my dad's old cannon and getting really frustrated because the metering, focusing, shutter speed, and f-stop got in the way becauce I did not have the patience to learn them. That N50 let me see success, the rest fell into place after that.

    I still use it to capture the fleeting moments of my son. He's two and there is no way I could meter focus and do everything else I need to do manually and still catch those hyper two yearold discoveries.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  3. #3

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    First camera was a shiny new Zenith EM with an additional 135mm telephoto lens. Just after I got it a friend dragged me out to shoot the milk race which had arrived in Birmingham and was the one where a day or 2 earlier a photographer had been killed getting too close trying to nail the shot when he got hit by one of the bikes racing into the home straight.

    The effect it had on me was that I always shoot with both eyes open and I had to learn the basics of light, exposure and composition as I didn't have lots of gadgets such as matrix light metering, auto-focus or a motor-drive to machine-gun off the shots. After that I moved onto the good old workhorse the Pentax LX

  4. #4
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TPPhotog
    I had to learn the basics of light, exposure and composition as I didn't have lots of gadgets such as matrix light metering, auto-focus or a motor-drive to machine-gun off the shots. After that I moved onto the good old workhorse the Pentax LX
    There is something to be said about learning how to meter the old-fashioned way. I traded in the Petri (which had auto-exposure - aperature priority I think) for a Nikon F2. I learned a lot with it. Of course, now I shoot primarily with a Toyo 45AII, so I have to do everything manually - and I love it!!!
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  5. #5
    noblebeast's Avatar
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    A 35mm non-coupled rangefinder that I cannot remember the name of. One focused by guestimation, and set the exposure by the sunny/16 chart that used to come packaged with film. It had about a 30-35mm lens and a really cool tan leather case. I made plenty of negatives that had rotten composition, but very few with poor focus or exposure. Reminiscing about that camera recently led me to fool around with some Russian rangefinders and then purchase a new Bessa-L with a 25mm lens. Getting back to the basics of non-automatic functions is making me a better photographer, at least as far as judging the light and tripping the shutter at just the right moment are concerned. I feel more confident knowing that when the batteries die and all the auto functions cease, I can still take a picture without worrying about whether it made it onto film.
    Latent Images Plastic Toy Cameras

    "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive" - Howard Thurman

  6. #6

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    Good Afternoon,

    Super Ricohflex TLR; it produced a lot of yearbook photos during my last two years in high school back in the late '50's. I still have it; I think it may still work.

    Konical

  7. #7

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    Hi Robert, Very true As someone here so rightly said in another thread, "first you learn the rules then you can break them". I think although all the latest auto-whatevers can be useful, in the end they only allow average shots if used on their own. Even though I have now gravitated to a Nikon F100 I still use a lot of manual override for shots which are important to me. If it's just for a local paper then matrix with bracketing is close enough for desaturating and being printed on toilet paper. For the richness of wet prints though metering the old way even if I use the in-camera spot meter to do it is still very important to me.

    Konical, Go on be a devil and take it out for spin and relive old times

  8. #8

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    Canon Ftb was my first camera. I learned all the ins and outs of exposure with it. I shot many rolls of b&w. Kept it till I bought an AE-1 and gave the Ftb to my sister. She used it until 1998 when it finally gave up.

  9. #9
    Les McLean's Avatar
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    Minolta Autocord with a fixed 80mm lens it was the only camera I used in the first 15 years of making photographs. The fixed lens helped teach me to "see"
    and use the elements of the landscape close to me.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  10. #10

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    Zeiss Ikon. Still have it (no longer works) - love the brown leather case.
    Francesco

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