What was your first camera?

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roteague

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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,
 

mark

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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.
 

TPPhotog

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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 :smile:
 
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roteague

roteague

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TPPhotog said:
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 :smile:

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!!!
 

noblebeast

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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.
 

Konical

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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
 

TPPhotog

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Hi Robert, Very true :wink: 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 :smile:
 

kchittenden

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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.
 

Les McLean

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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.
 
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roteague

roteague

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Les McLean said:
The fixed lens helped teach me to "see"
and use the elements of the landscape close to me.

Quite right. I've learned more in the last two years about composition, using only two lenses - a Nikkor 90mm and a Schneider 135mm. I think I have learned more with them than the previous 30 years of using Nikons/Zoom lenses.
 

clogz

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The first picture I took with my uncle's Agfa box camera when I was four. I still have the print.
When I was ten: Kodak Instamatic but no money for dev.& print
Then, 24 years old, a Rollei 35, the first camera that offered full control. Lovely sharp lens. After that Olympus OM-1 and so on etc.
 

Flotsam

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My Dad gave me his old "Made in USSR Occupied Germany" Exakta VX1000 with Travemat meter prism and a wonderful Zeiss Jena 50mm. I shot Ektachrome X and processed it in Stainless steel tanks in Kodak's E-4 kit. (Which was a perpetual item on my Xmas and B-day present lists). Later, I decided that I wanted a sexier, more modern camera, I lusted for a Nikon F but it was miles outside my teenaged budget so I got a Minolta SRT 101 and stuck with that system for many years.

P.S. I finally got my Nikon F from Keh a couple of years ago. I was out just this morning burning some Tri X in it. Better 30 years late than never :smile:
 

photomc

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Frist camera hmmmmm!!! Well the first one I used was an old brown Kodak, used 620 films that was Mom's - like a Hawkeye, sans flash. The one of the Kodak 127 cameras.

First "serious" camera was a Canon TLb, was quite nice bought at the PX will in the Army. Went all the way up to an F-1, but now seem to be going backwards, with the older Mamiya 645 and Crown Graphic - and Loving it I might add.
 

rbiemer

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My first cameras was an Argus C3. My father bought it when he was in college. The kit had a flash, lightmeter and some other bits and pieces. The instructions were gone by then so it took me a while to figure out how to advance the film. I never did use the light meter(it may not have been working I don't recall). Nut the info in the film boxes worked out pretty well. Then in the late seventies(my last two years in high school) I used a Pentax k1000. That was a joy but it belonged to the school. For a long time after that I didn't do any photography. About 15 years ago when I need Photography as a creative outlet, I couldn't afford a camera so I got into pinhole. Now I'm using Kiev 35 4a and K-60 systems(budget is still tight).
Rob
 

rjs003

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When I was in my pre teens my sister gave me a plastic point and shoot as a christmas gift. That hooked me. In high school I used a Polaroid for the yearbook candids. Then in the Navy I was given a Graflex to use while working for Shore Patrol investigations. When I left the Navy it was aYashica Tlr; and now I have several different cameras that serve several different purposes. Use my TLR most of the time.
 
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1969.... my sister gave me a Kodak Instamatic (I think) as a I was going away to join the Air Force.... been hooked to the medium ever since.
 

Shesh

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First one I used was a Olympus half frame (when my age could be represented accurately with my fingers), followed by a Canonet QL17 (I still have this). The first one that was officially mine to start with was a Yashica electro 35 followed by a Canon A1. Migrated to Nikon equipment in my 20s.
 

matt miller

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Christmas 2000, my wife bought me a Canon Rebel with a kit zoom lens and some black & white film. I took an intro darkroom class and fell in love. Sold the Rebel about 6 months ago to buy film for my 8x10 obsession.
 

Nige

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I got a Ricoh KR10 (well I paid for halfish from paper round earnings) for a birthday when I was about 12 or 13. One day while in the garden taking pics of flowers or something I knocked my camera and tripod over and it ripped the baseplate half off the camera. Surprisingly, it still worked but Dad claimed it on he household insurance. We received a KR-10 Super as a replacement but in the intervening claim/replacement period I'd decided I wanted a Nikon FE, so Dad did a deal with me and kept the Ricoh to use himself and I bought a FE ($$ topped up with more paper round savings). I still have that camera and use it regularly. That would have been 1982 or 1983 I think.
 

papagene

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Minolta SRT 101 in 1974, gave me a new way of looking at the world around me. In 1985 got a Yashica Mat 124G and loved the bigger negative. 1988 got a "cheap" Calumet Woodfield 4x5 and really love the even bigger negative. Have a Calumet Cadet now for 4x5. But Francesco's wonderful work is tempting me to somehow figure out how to afford an 8x10. Someday...
 
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My first was a Cannon AE1 program with a 28 to 80 zoom. I knew nothing tecknical then just that I liked shooting. It seems to me those pictures are the most creative I've ever taken. Then I signed up for this do it at home course for "making good pictures". The program was a rip off but I was addicted anyway and went back to college. That camera lasted a really long time.
 

Shmoo

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Ah, the Canon AE-1! Wonderful camera, and the first one I ever purchased for myself. My brother swore I'd use it forever...hate to admit it, but he was right. It still works, and I still use it, though not as often as it deserves.
 

brimc76

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My first camera was an Agfa Click 120 which I still have and use. The first camera I bought for myself was a Canon FTb which I learned the basics with.
 

fingel

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the first camera that was actually mine was a little Kodak instamatic 110 camera. But I was allowed to borrow my moms Instamatic 126, or my dads Yashica mat 124. Then when I was in JR High I got an Argus 35mm SLR with a Mamyia M42 lens. Since then I have had a number of cameras from Leica to Deardorff and love using them all.
 
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