I've always enjoyed photography. I haven't often had the money to do it as well as I've wanted to. My first camera was some kind of plastic off -brand 127 film camera in about 1957 or so. (I would have been 7, if you're keeping track.) We couldn't really afford to buy film much, so I was told to only shoot "special" stuff. My grandfather, W.K. Seward, had previously had a hobby of photography, even had his own darkroom set up in an old smokehouse on the property. The equipment had aged a lot by then, but I actually got to use some of it eventually. Somewhere I still have his Kodak, complete with flash.
That Swinger I mentioned (and pictured) above? I got one just before graduation in 1968. It was black and white. I still have some of those shots I took on my senior trip to New Orleans. You had to coat each print with the fixer chemical with a swiper brush from a black tube. Wherever the coating missed, it faded away. By now, even some of the places I didn't miss have faded. Oh well.
|Kodak Brownie 2A|
|Realist Stereo 3D|
Finally, after several years, I got a bit more serious and traded for a nice 35 mm SLR back at the pawn shop. There was an Exakta in the display case, and I went for it. Still not an automatic camera, but it was an SLR, meaning what you see is actually through the lens so you actually see what you are picturing. The Exakta was made in Germany before and during WWII.
I next traded up to a Mamiya-Sekor 1000DTL. Another 35mm SLR. This one had a lot going for it, including an inner light meter. Even better, it came with an extra lens, and the lens mount was a bit more standard, being a screw-thread mount common to the Pentax and other cameras. I picked up several different lenses at the pawn shop and I thought I was in heaven! It was actually made in the late 60's, so it was about 20 years old when I picked it up. That didn't matter, though!
|Mamiy Sekor 1000DTL|
I actually regressed a bit after that, went through a few 35mm rangefinder snapshot cameras of various types. I was always finding them at garage sales and Goodwill. Most served me well until I took the plunge and went digital.
My first digital camera was a really cheap one that worked, ummmmmmmmm, okay, I guess. Nothing to brag about. I finally got a Kodak Easy Share C533 a couple of years ago, my first really new camera since that one when I was 7!
|Kodak EasyShare C533|
I enjoy the heft and feel of those SLR's. I admit, the heavier cameras are steadier in my hands as well. It's much to easy to shake the camera when it's so small and light. Somehow the view on the digital display on the back of the Kodak just doesn't feel right. The camera's viewfinder is often faster and more exact, but the lag time between pressing the button and the picture actually shooting sometimes causes problems. If you're shooting a moving target, you often miss, unless you're foresighted enough to press the shutter a second or so before you actually want the shot. Not easy!
Anyway, if you do email, or blogging, or use the computer much at all, the digital is the way to go.
I did come across a nice Olympus OM-1 SLR a while back at a Goodwill auction.