I now understand why my father - my first photography teacher - gladly gave his 35mm equipment to me and sang the praises of his Minolta Autocord. He said it was the only camera he would ever use again. When he died I discovered its joys, and would still be today if some a**hole hadn't broken into my home and stolen it.

Your father was a wise man. I started my photography nearly 30 years ago using LF and after less that 1 year I purchased my first Autocord for 10 sterling followed by a second within 2 years for 35 sterling and used them for the first 15 years of my photographic life. All of my friends had Hassleblads and Bronicas and we couldn't see a great difference in the quality of the final prints we made. Eventually one of my Autocords gave up and I used it for spares for the other until I felt that I needed the facility of interchangeable lens and purchased a Mamiya 645 and a range of lens that I still use today.

The Autocord is safely tucked away in my house and is considered a trusted friend, having shared some wonderful times with me. Not wishing to sound morbid, I intend to go to meet my maker with my friend, and yes there will be a roll of my favourite black and white film in it.