Your first camera (of each format you shoot if applicable)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by EASmithV, May 18, 2009.

  1. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Multi Format
    Well, I have seen these a lot for 35mm cameras, and sometimes for MF and LF, but I wanted to make one that combined them all. And to be perfectly honest, I love loking at other peoples gear. So, I you shoot enough of something to condiser yourself a shooter of that format, post up your first camera. Include pics if you have them. I will start;

    My first ever camera of my own was a little Vivitar APS camera. The first ever picture I took with it was a shot into my face by accident. I got it whan I was about 6, if memory serves.

    My first 35mm camera was technically a litle rangefinder (I beleive it is an Agfa Silette?) I ran one roll of film through it, my first roll of non APS film. The facet that I was arbitrariall;y setting the exposure settings and ended up with most of a roll is amazing. Even if it has a little motion blur. I was about 9 years old.

    My first film camera I took seriously was my Nikon F. For about 4 years it was the only camera I used, and Tri-x was the only thing it ate, as I had long forgotten about my little rangefinder. That Nikon went to many places in many undesirable enviromental conditions, and served, and continues to serve me faithfully. There is no question it is one of my favorites.

    My first large format camera was my Speed Graphic. Used for many uears hung upside down in my grandfather's darkroom as a copy camera and for making printed circut boards, it got very light use. When I recieved it, it was in excellent (near mint) condition. Since then it has recieved a few love dents, but that is fine with me. While I avoid dinging it as much as possible, I know the camera can and will take it, and these minor damages are the soul of the camera. Definately second only to my Nikon F (and it's a very close second). If there is one camera to define me, it is probably this one.

    Finally, the big guns. If I had never inherited the Speed Graphic from my grandfather I would never have gotten started in large format. I realize how luck I am, and every day I promote film and large format, to try and get others to discover it's wonders. After shooting for about 3 years with my Speed Graphic, I thought it might be fun to have a larger machine. So, I thought abiot 8x10.

    This camera has a little bit of history to it. It used to be used as a portrait camera at a Old Time Photo studio on the boardwalk in Ocean City, New Jersey. When I found it, it was just sitting there under a bunch of props, so I contacted the manager and bought the frame. Then I went on the long road of trying to get pieces for it. I bought a lens off of the auction site. It turned out that the lens, while possibly having proper coverage, was massive, weighing about 32 pounds, and it was probably an Aireal photography lens from a B-29 or something. Well, I laerned. My second lens was a Fujinon-W 300mm f5.6. I love this lens, probably one of the most satisfying buys I have ever made. Then there was the problem of making the back. The lens board was easily fabricated out of three sheets of mountig board, rubber cement, and gaffing tape, but the back was a different story. I bought some Ground glass in the glass holders off of that auction site. I had a friend who had a machine shop, so using (and greatly learning in the process) my slightly limited knowledge of machine shop tools, I fabricated a camera back. Needless to say, It took a dremel to get it quite right. I had to attach it using Gaffing tape (I love that stuff) and I had a working camera.

    I cristened it "Fluffy".
    Meet Fluffy;

    I will be shooting film for the rest of my life.
    Viva La Resistance!
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    May 3, 2006
    Ryde, Isle o
    Medium Format
    First ever camera - Agfa Isolette I 6x6 about 1974
    First 35mm - Halina 3000
    First 35mm SLR - Edixa Prismaflex about 1980 (still got it)
    First 5x4 - Home made non folding camera

  3. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

    Jun 13, 2006
    SE Pennsylvania
    Multi Format
    I've been slowly assembling a set of pages on my motley collection in a corner of my PBase galleries.

    The first that was mine, all mine! was a Brownie Target Six-20, prior to that I used a couple of folders, one 127 (I think) and one 620 that were my parents' cameras from the late 1930s.

  4. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

    Dec 13, 2006
    Humboldt Co.
    8x10 Format
    First Camera (~1974) -- Rolleiflex 3.5 MX-EVS
    First small format (1975) -- Kodak Instamatic 304 (while attending university in New Zealand)
    First shots with 4x5 (1978) -- the university's monorails -- Linhof, Graphic View and Calumet
    My first 4x5 (1981) -- Raja, an Indian knock-off of a Deardorf Special -- with a massive light leak in the camera back
    Next 4x5 (1983) -- Gowland Pocket View
    First 5x7 (~1991) -- the above Raja with a Deardorf 5x7 back
    First 8x10 (1995) - Zone VI (bought with insurance money from stolen 5x7, Rolleiflex, etc)

    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2009
  5. jgjbowen

    jgjbowen Member

    Oct 13, 2003
    Richmond, VA
    Large Format
    First Camera = Kodak Instamatic 126
    First 35mm = Konica TC, followed by Fujica Ax-3, then a few p&s, now Nikon FM3A
    First 4x5 = Crown Graphic, followed by a Cambo 4x5 SX, now a Zone VI 4x5
    First 8x10 = Wisner, followed by a Zone VI, now a Ritter 8x10 (with 5x7 reducing back)
    First 7x17 = Ritter

    I HOPE I'm done buying film cameras....
  6. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Jan 2, 2005
    North East U.S.
    Multi Format
    First camera, Brownie 127
    Then a Kodak Tourister
    First owned 35 Nikkormat
    First MF 2 1/4 3 1/4 Crown Graphic, followed by a Linhof baby Technica, Hasselblads, and some Rollei's, Graflex XL's and Koni-Omegas supplied by employers
    First 4x5 Calumet view
    First 5x7 Rochester Optical
    First 8x10 (borrowed) Calumet

    I've concluded it's not possible to stop buying film cameras, or else, they reproduce.
  7. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

    Dec 30, 2005
    Two inches to the left
    Multi Format
    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/ Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/

    Mini - had a Kodak disc camera back in '85
    35mm - XG-M in 97, shot my Mom's X370 for ten years before that
    MF - had an old box camera, maybe a Brownie, in 82
    LF - erie made an Alleta design view camera, I got it last year
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

    Feb 25, 2007
    Midwest USA
    Multi Format
    First instamatic = Kodak Instamatic 100 (1968)
    First 127 = Anscoflex (1972)
    First 35mm SLR = Zenit-E (1973)
    First 620 = Kodak Model 1 (1973)
    First 16mm = Minolta-P (1974)
    First 6x6 = Yashica 124G (1975)
    First Rolleiflex = 2.8F (1985)
    First 8mm Cine = Bolex H8 (1991)
    First Minox = LX (2002)
    First 6x9 = Horseman VH-R (2006)
    First 4x5 = Horseman FA (2007)
    First 35mm Rangefinder = Zorki-4 (2008)
    First 8x10 = Century (2008)
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    Los Angeles,
    Multi Format
    My childhood cameras were Instamatic 126s, and after they became pretty much obsolete, various 110 cameras.
    My first 35mm camera: Canon point and shoot (age 15)

    My first "actual" camera: Canon FTb/50mm f/1.4, received as a giveaway at age 23. I never shot the Canon shot it until age 26, when I had the time and money to go to school. I never had a real interest in the camera until I was forced to take a photo class as part of a journalism degree.

    Within half a year of that class, I had procured:

    My first 4x5: Graphic View II (now sold)
    My first medium format: Mamiya Super 23/100mm f/3.5
    My first 4x5 press camera: Pacemaker Speed Graphic/127mm Ektar

    My favorite cameras for 35mm are still the Canon FD system. My Mamiya M645 and RZ have become the favorites for medium format, and the Sinar for large format.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2009
  10. rcoda

    rcoda Member

    Dec 19, 2006
    Large Format
    1. Kodak 110
    2. Yashica 35G Rangefinder ?
    3. Minolta XG1 35mm SLR
    4. Omega 45D 4x5"
    5. Kodak 2D 8x10"
    6. custom hybrid Arca/Canham 11x14 back for my Arca 8x10"
    These are my "firsts". I now use Arca 4x5 Field, 8x10 F-metric and the 11x14 for film exclusively, except for a digital SLR.
  11. ChrisC

    ChrisC Member

    Sep 22, 2004
    4x5 Format
    My first ever camera was a little toy 35mm camera that looked and from what I remembered, functioned like a 35mm SLR. It had a chrome body and everything. I don't remember what happened to it, nor if I've got any photos I took with it. I still remember they day I bought it from the toy store though.

    From there, my first real camera was a 35mm Minolta zoom point and shoot when I was about 12. I saved up all the money I got from doing chores for about 2 years before buying it. I also have no idea what happened to it (though I think my brother took it when he moved to London). It served me well and I've still got some good shots from a trip I went to New York in 2000 taken on it.

    Then there were the dark digital years which I won't mention, because thankfully I only bought two of them.

    After I got sick of my snappy snappy ways of digital (after coming home from a trip to Europe with stacks of unimpressive shots), I decided I wanted to slow down and think more carefully. I jumped straight into my first 120 camera with a Yashica 635 TLR. Loved it and I took some great photos with it.

    Then I really jumped in deep with my first (and still only) LF camera. Went straight for a Shen Hao 4x5 with some money I received for my 21st birthday. Since buying it has spent extended time in it's bag, but I've started using it a lot more lately and loving it all over again.

    Have since bought another 35mm (EOS 30) and 120 (Mamiya 645 Pro). I haven't owned many cameras, and what I've got now covers almost everything I shoot so I've found a happy constant, for now.
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Apr 24, 2005
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Multi Format
    First camera - 127: Brownie Starlite
    First used 35mm camera: Kodak 35
    First medium format camera (actually a "miniature" camera, in it's time): Kodak SIX-16 folder, circa 1934 (the camera, not me);
    First new 35mm camera: Retina S1
    First 35mm SLR: Olympus OM1
    First modern medium format (6x6) camera: Mamiya C330
    First medium format (6x4.5) SLR: Mamiya 645 Super
    First (reasonably) modern medium format (6x7) rangefinder: Koni-Omega M
    First digital!! (cel phones don't count): Kodak DC4800 (7 years old when purchased - but it does have a PC socket, manual aperture, and a whopping 3.1 megapixel sensor!)

    Last edited by a moderator: May 18, 2009
  13. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

    May 22, 2007
    Sub 35mm
    My first 110 camera was a Pentax Auto 110. My grandfather gave it to my mother, she never used it so I took it.
    My first 35mm was a Carena 35F that my mom bought me (my first camera ever.) I promptly dropped it down the stairs within an hour of getting it, but it still worked :wink: I still have it.
    My first 120 camera was an old Ricohflex TLR. It broke within an hour of buying it (shutter was gummed up.) I got a refund and bought a Primoflex instead.

    I haven't tried LF yet, but there's always a chance :smile:
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  15. pgomena

    pgomena Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    Portland, Or
    First camera: Kodak Brownie World's Fair Flash Camera, a 127 shooter.
    First SLR: Minolta SRT 102.
    First MF: Rolleiflex 2.8C (Still have it.) Have added a Fuji 6x9 and a Hasselblad since.
    First LF: Calumet 4x5, the old cast-iron beast. Replaced 4 times, most recently with a Zone VI.
    First (and last, probably) 8x10: Late 1920s Korona.

    Peter Gomena
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Jun 21, 2003
    Multi Format
    first cameras hmmm
    mickey mouse camera that took 126 cartridges 1970ish
    hawkeye flashfun (127 ) 1973ish
    pentax k1000 1981
    yashica 124mat g 1984 ( sold 1991 )
    speed graphic ( pacemaker ) 1988
    szabad 5x7 1995 ?
    pentax auto110 2000
    szabad 8x10 2004
    centuray 8a ( 11x14 ) 2007ish
  17. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

    Jan 1, 2009
    Med. Format RF
    First camera I took a photo: Minolta AF101
    First camera of my own: Digital "compact" brick
    First SLR I shot on: Nikon F401s
    First SLR of mine: Olympus OM-1
    First MF: Still not arrived here, I pretend it to be a rolleicord or low end 'flex.
    First LF: still far of here, but I have wishes of getting a 4x5 in one of the far next years
    First ULF: Still got no plans, I don't think I will arrive here, but who knows.

    What I did, and some plans:
    1997-8: Minolta Af101
    2003: The digi brick
    2007: upgraded to another compact (digi...)
    2008: Took the Nikon on a family celebration, loved the results, bought OM1
    2010/11: Plans for starting medium format
    2015: Large format
    2020: Might have a nice darkroom
  18. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

    Apr 25, 2005
    Grand Valley, Ontario
    35mm RF
    In grade 9 I bought a Kodak X15.

    By grade 11 I had a Pentax Spotmatic F, then a Nikon FM, FE, F3,F4,F5,F90x, F100 (also some other Pentax models in the mix)... and I just bought a used Minolta to use my Sony Zeiss lenses with.

    Mamiya 645 was first 120 camera... then a Pentax 645, Rollei T, Rollei 6008, 4 blads, Rollei GT and now a Pentax 645AF. Holga is next... or maybe the Bessa III.

    Arca Swiss was first 4x5... then a Zone VI, then a Wisner, then Ebony... now I don't shoot 4x5.

    M6 was first rangefinder... had four of them but now I use the Zeiss Ikon's.

    Deardorff was first 8x10, then Wisner, now I shoot with an Ebony and will never sell it.

    PhaseOne was first real digital on the blad

    Nikon D1x was first 35mm style digi, then a Canon Mark II, now I use the Sony A900 full frame.

    I think I've switched too many times but always felt the need to up-date because of the hyper-competitive area of photography I was shooting in. In the future I plan to shoot film with the Zeiss rangefinders, portraits with the Pentax 645AF and still life and landscapes with the 8x10. I'll continue to up-grade the digi for the stuff that has to be done that way.

    Interestingly none of my personal work is ever digi.

    For what it's worth.

  19. E76

    E76 Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    Baltimore, MD
    Medium Format
    I've borrowed and used many cameras over the years, but in terms of cameras I actually own(ed), the list is as follows:

    First Camera: Olympus OM-1 (35mm, previously used by my father)
    First Medium Format Camera: Hasselblad 500C/M
    First Polaroid Camera: SX-70 Alpha 1 Model 2

    Looking at this list, I'd say I've made out pretty well. Maybe I'll start getting into LF soon... :D
  20. Fred De Van

    Fred De Van Member

    Jan 22, 2004
    Upstate New
    Medium Format
    My first camera of each type...(in order of appearance more or less)

    Toy Camera - My very first camera was something called a Universal 16. 16MM movie film, lever film advance wire view finder

    35MM fixed lens - Minolta A (Terrific little gem)

    Medium Format SLR - Reflex Korelle, 6X6 (the granddaddy of them all)

    Roll film rangefinder - Kodak Medalist II (the brick)

    35MM SLR - Practika FX

    Press Camera - 6X9 Speed Graphic

    View Camera - 8X10 Gundlack w/4X5 back

    Rangefinder (interchangable lenses) - Leica IIIc

    6X6 TLR - Minolta Autocord

    4X5 SLR - Graphlex Super D

    Camera System - Sinar Norma 4X5, 5X7, 8X10 (finest camera ever made)

    Polaroid - 110B

    Panoramic Camera - Widelux VII

    Underwater - Nikonos/Calypso

    Motion - Bolex H-16 REX

    Video - SONY Betamax portable (I did the first Ads)

    Digital (sort of) - Canon RC-250 Disc camera

    4X5/6X12 Point and Shoot - GranView

    Digital - Kodak PRO/14n

    All Time favorites - Hasselblad 1000f, Canon IVS2, Szabad 8X10, Kiev 88C/M , Leica M2 MOT, Leica M5, Leica SL2, Minolta XD-11, Minolta XK/M, Alpa 11, Horseman 450, Linhof Teknica V, Rollei SLX
  21. bdilgard

    bdilgard Subscriber

    Jan 7, 2006
    Dayton, Ohio
    Multi Format
    First Camera - Kodak Hawkeye Flashfun II (127) - my grandmother got this for me by saving breakfast cereal box tops
    First 126 - Keystone Everflash
    First 35mm - used Olympus RC
    First 35mm SLR - new Vivitar 220SL screw mount
    First medium format - damaged Yashica 124 G from a garage sale, ample use of black tape required.
    First large format - Leonardo pinhole
  22. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Oct 14, 2006
    Multi Format
    35 mm: throwaway
    Med. format: yashica tlr
    4x5: crown graphic
    5x7 / 8x10: cambo
  23. nyoung

    nyoung Subscriber

    Dec 10, 2006
    Medium Format
    First MF - Kodak Brownie Flash Six-Twenty - hand me down from my mother - early 60s
    Polaroids - Swinger and another all plastic model that shot the regular pack film - late 60s early 70s
    First 35mm - Olympus auto range finder in the mid 70s, don't recall the model number
    4x5 -Super Speed Graphic
  24. panchro-press

    panchro-press Member

    Nov 25, 2007
    Large Format
    1st camera: 31/4 X 41/4 C.P. Goerz.
  25. gerryyaum

    gerryyaum Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    Med. Format Pan
    First 35mm Canon AE-1 (when I was 15)
    First Medium- Mamiya RB67
    First 4x5- Sinar F
    First 8x10- Winser
  26. Wyno

    Wyno Member

    Jun 12, 2005
    Gerelong, Au
    8x10 Format
    Praktica 35mm
    Bronica ETRS