My first camera was a Cosmic Symbol. Direct vision with a 3 element 50mm f4 lens and leaf shutter (1/30 to 1/250) if I recall. It was a gift from a colleague at work who also gave me my first lesson in developing and printing. What did it do for my photography? Well two things a) it began my love affair with taking pictures, something I had no interest in until he gave it to me. It also made me eternally grateful for the Zenith E I bought six months later (will Leningrad light meter). After that a series of Canon SLRs that started with an FX and ended with a F1. Interestling I have only ever disposed of three pieces of equipment. Two I sold and one I wore out. So here I am with nine Canon bodies. Ah well it pays to have a backup or two. 35mm taught me to be careful. It is very easy to mess up such a small negative. When the MF bug bit I got a Pentacon Six. When it really bit I got a mamiya 645. To stop it chewing my leg off I bought an Exakta 66. You've guessed it folks, I'm single and have a very limited wardrobe. My latest buy was a Linhof Kardan GT with Technica adapter. Before you think I spend my time buying cameras, this little lot took nearly 30 years to accumulate. I got that cosmic symbol when I was 17.
What a great thread!
My first camera was a twinlens box camera - a Japanese plastic clone of some unknown brand. My grandfather rewarded me for my interest in photography by passing along his old Kodak Tourist folder with three shutter speeds and a "fast" f/8 lens. Later Dad got me a used Argus C-3, the one I think of as the "classic" before they tried to meter it up or streamline its bricklike form.
My first SLR was an old Practika that I bought from Altman's in Chicago by mail order with my high school bag boy earnings, followed shortly thereafter by a TLR Richoflex with a gawdawful shutter but decent optics (as long as you stopped down below the theoretical maximum of f/3.5). My first larger format was a 3 1/4 by 4 1/4 Speed Graphic that cost me all of 20 bucks completed with holders, a wooden carrying case and a couple of packs of out of code Tri X.
Thanks to all of you for reminding me of what a long strange photographic trip it's been. :)
First Camera ever used - Dad's Brownie, then Mom's Minolta SR201
First Camera I purchased - Minolta X700 with 50mm lens (1984ish), sunpak flash. still works and gets used for 35mm slides.
First Digital Camera - Olympus C700UZ (2mp) Now upgraded to Canon 10D.
First LF camera - 4x5 Calumet CC400 recently acquired from Ebay.
Plus a few polaroid and P&S cameras along the way, and some collectibles which never got used.
Next Camera - homemade pinhole 4x5 or 8x10.
First camera: a Praktica with MF 50mm 1:2.4 (the lens is the only thing that works now ;)
metering was not very precise too...
First camera I bought myself: Nikon F55 with kit lens :s, 50mm 1.8 (next one 105 MF I think....)
Next camera: 35mm Nikon F100 or F5 (if it becomes cheaper) or a medium format...
The first camera that was actually mine was an old Polaroid when I was 9. I don't remember the model but it was a solid plastic box. Then in Junior high I started shooting for the yearbook. My teacher let us use his Pentax K1000. My first real camera was my Sears (Ricoh) KS-2. It is my primary camera to this day. It came with an automatic exposure that I really have never had any use for. I also picked up a couple of antique cameras, an Ikonta 521/16 (6x6) that I have recently been experimenting with and a Retina 35mm. And just last week I got my Mamiya RB67 Pro 6x7. I put my first roll through it yesterday and I can tell it is going to take some getting use to! What a heavy tank!
As a nipper I had a 126 kodak instamatic, I had a Praktica super tl2 for my 13th birthday, I sold this about 11 years later to part fund a Nikon F301, which I still have, it looks a bit worse for wear but still works a treat.
There's been quite a few in the following years, all sold but with a hint of sadness.
My first camera I ever used was a 126 Kodak Instamatic also. I was shooting my first or second grade classes trip to Philadelphia. Hard to remember that far back.
First camera that was mine for good, a Yashica 35mm rangefinder. A hand-me-down from my older brother.
First camera I ever bought, a Speed Graphic the Summer before my senior year of High School.
My first, first camera was a kodak Instamatic to take to the Boy Scout World Jamboree more years ago than I care to disclose! ;) My first real camera wasn't really mine, but my high school's! It was a funky, well used Speed Graphic with inoperable range finder and no cams - all focusing on the ground glass or WAG & shoot. Although I drifted to 35mm/mid format, from large format, during college, I am back to 4x5 today.
A Minolta Minox knockoff around age 11, followed by a Konica II and then an Argus C-3 and then up to a Nikon F. But the 8mm Bolex preceded all of them.
First camera was a Kodak Instamatic (126 film I guess), was an Ok camera for a 6 year old.
After a year or 2 my dad let me use his Zeiss Ikon Contessa, since he could process the 35mm bulk loaded film himself and teach me how to do it