3rd Generation Camera Enthusiast
Hello, 3rd generation camera enthusiast here.
My grandfather owned National Camera, a camera store in Bloomington Illinois, in the 1950s and early 1960s. My father worked there and became his son-in-law. We moved to Colorado Springs in 1965 and my father worked at both Stewart's Photo and Shumaker's Photo until 1968. We then moved to Pueblo, and he managed Broome Brothers camera stores until 1971 or so. My dad then set up a camera repair shop inside our house while going back to school for industrial photography. He did a lot of work for the local newspaper photographers who mostly used Nikon and Pentax SLRs. I also remember a few Speed Graflex cameras coming through. One of his friends gave him several boxes of old parts cameras - old Ansco, Argus, and Kodak 620s, a few rangefinder 35mms, and various other stuff like bulb flash units. Our family favorite, the kid's camera, was a Kodak Instamatic 100.
So I never had the need to buy a camera until I joined the Navy in 1982. The first camera I bought was a Kodak Disc 4000. They had just come out, and I felt that I would be the first in our family to own one. (As it turned out, I was also the only one to own one.) I then bought a Pentax MX around April 1983 - my first SLR. In 1985, I bought a Pentax Super Program which I still have and use. I also bought an Olympus point and shoot for quick friends and family photography.
I got into digital around 2003 and retired my film camera for a few years. Then I started seeing 35mm rangefinders and SLRs going cheap at thrift stores and started buying them. I've probably got 40 by now. A few weeks ago, I picked up a Minolta SRT 101 with 1.7 Rokkor for $30. Yesterday, I bought a working Olympus Superzoom 330 for $5. My favorite has been my Minolta HiMatic 7S that I paid $20 for. Talk about sharp photos!