As a kid my first cameras were either disposable things or this really late model kodak instamatic 110. The first time I owned a 35mm camera, it was a Canon Rebel 2000. I bought it as a kit with a cheap Sigma 28-80 and a 70-300. Obviously I came in very late in the film era, but that camera really sparked my interest in photography. So much so that I still have that camera and those lenses today. I don't know if it is just that I can't bring myself to sell them or if I haven't been able justify replacing the 70-300, but I still manage to find a use for both.
My film Rebel still finds a place in my bag most days, at least until I find a fun 35mm Rangefinder to take its spot.
Yashica Lynx 14E
A neighbor had it, the shutter failed, and he chose to replace with with a new Minolta SRT-101, and gave me the broken Lynx. I was 10 years old. My parents paid $33 to have the shutter fixed.
I shot about 10 rolls in it - no two the same emulsion, as trying different films was, to me, part of the fun. Many of my pictures were shaken, poorly composed, or just uninteresting. Had far too many pictures where the subject was too far away from the camera to be prominent in the picture.
Then I went to take a picture of the twilight over a small lake. I was using a little telescope tripod for the time exposure. One bolt came out of the tripod, sending the unusual fixed-lens camera with an f1.4 lens into a wet death in Little Platte Lake.
I had much more success with a Ricoh 500G I bought 7 years later, shot about 50 rolls on it, still have it, still works.
I still get a gleam in my eye whenever I see a fast-lensed Japanese rangefinder camera of the era (Many Yashica models, Konica Auto-S, Minolta Hi-Matic 7, etc). They all have one thing in common - the shutters NEVER work!
Last edited by 1L6E6VHF; 06-16-2014 at 09:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Forgot to add comment on broken fast lens rfdrs.
first used. Contaflex Rapid ( my father used it for 25 years, still working, but needs CLA)
first owned: Canon A-1 w. 1.4/50 New bought 1988 (Camera built in 1985), still have it, works, no asthma. Not used anymore because of F1/ F1n/T90
A Nikon EM that I ended up building up with assorted lenses, filters, motor drive, flashes, etc.
It was fun to learn on and produced some wonderful pics of my children growing up until I became tired of living my life watching through a viewfinder.
Now, with children grown and gone, I have gone back to film and a slower way of doing and appreciating things. About a month ago, I picked up an old Nikon EM for sentimental reasons although I rarely ever shoot 35mm. I've been thinking of using it as an IR camera. With IR, the fewer controls and 'automatics' I have to contend with the better. I have been using an Argus A2B with a fixed focus but the glass on the Nikon would be better.
I graduated college in 1962. I took some of my gift money and bought a used Graphic 35 with an f3.5 lens. It had a rapid advance lever that I thought would make me into a sports photographer
I used it for a few years.
Unforunatel, My younger brother managed to lose it!.
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I think it was a "Vivitar" I had gotten from Ritz in the late 80's. Horrible camera, like my 1st wife at the time, wouldn't work right, cheap, took a horrible picture, worthless, always disappointed with it, while on vacation, usually wished I'd left it home.....
Mine could be considered a toy camera (o.k. having had a variable aperture it made it a "prosumer" to camera ). Yet it has been enough to sparkle photography in me:
What a delightful thread! Thanks for the welcome opportunity to look back at the equipment that launched me on my journey into photography.
Actually I didn't start out with 35mm. I shot my very first pictures way back in the late 1960s with an honourable Kodak Junior Six-20. It had been sitting, in absolutely pristine condition, at a junk shop, and I picked it up for literally next to nothing, intending to use it for study decor only; I wasn't interested in photography - yet. But the pretty little thing with its chrome fittings might as well have had a label with the words TRY ME around its lens like the potion Alice discovered down the rabbit hole, for I soon found myself running films through the camera and actually enjoying it. I was smitten, and I never found an antidote.
The range of 620 films being limited, I soon felt the need for a 35mm camera, and on my student budget I could just afford a pre-war Kodak Retina with a fabulously sharp 50 mm f/3.5 Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar lens and a compur shutter. No rangefinder, of course, so I learned a lot about judging distances and DOF, and it was a real joy to shoot with this handy little camera.
BTW, both Kodaks continue to give good service today.
The next and definitive step forward, cementing my addiction, was an SLR - a classic Contaflex I from 1953, bought second-hand and newly CLA'd in 1976. Fully mechanical and built like a tank, it served me very well for about 20 years, and I have yet to find a prime lens to match the sharply defined DOF of its glorious Tessar. I loved that camera and was extremely sad to retire it when the shutter finally became unreliable; an expert CLA might have extended its lease of life, but few repair shops would tackle a synchro-compur shutter by then, and with growing children to feed I really couldn't justify the quite considerable expense.
Its successor as my general purpose camera was an Olympus OM10 which after 25 years of continuous use still obstinately refuses to fall apart or develop other ills, happily oblivious of what its many detractors say about it (see www.apug.org/forums/forum231/111667-lesser-om-family-member.html). And as luck would have it, I just bought a Contaflex Super B in mint condition for $10 at a jumble sale, so I shan't want for a fully mechanical SLR. Automatics are allright, but on revient toujours a son premier amour.
In 1972 I bought my first 35mm, the Canon F1, after reading the very comprehensive review by Geoffrey Crawley in the BJP.
My first 35mm camera was a Minolta Hi Matic 7S. (sp?) That camera taught me a lot about "equivalent exposure". It was simple and rugged - I wish I still had it. Next came a Canon Ftb in August, 1973. I still have that camera. It has had a CLA twice since I bought it, and I still use it.