What camera really got you going with photography?

Camera Fun

Senior Member
Just for fun, what camera really got you going with photography? Doesn't have to be the first camera; just the one you fell stands out as making a difference. Mine was a Minolta XD5 that I bought from a friend in college. Had a couple of lenses, a flash, autowinder, bag, etc. Used it for about 15 years before it just finally wore out. Took a lot of great pictures with it.
 

Dangerspouse

Senior Member
An Olympus OM-2s Program! My dad got me interested in photography very young, sticking a Brownie in my hands and letting me follow him around on his shoots. But in college I fell head over heels for a Pretty Young Thing who was a film major, and had an entire Olympus setup. I went out and got the same brand so I could join her - and use her lenses, lol. I also started to more seriously learn, and appreciate, the finer points of "photgraphy" as opposed to just taking snapshots. She eventually wised up and left me, but my interest in cameras stuck around longer. And now, here I am :)

I still have that Olympus by the way, and it still works great.

OM-2 Low Key Nov.2 (1 of 1).jpg
 

Clovishound

Senior Member
My dad was into photography, and I became mildly interested in college, so he gave me his old Argus C-4. After I got married the bug bit me hard and I didn't have much money. I bought a used Practica SLR, don't remember the model. Just a basic manual 35mm SLR that took the Pentax universal screw mount lenses. That really got me going. Ended up buying an enlarger and doing B&W.

Fell out of the hobby in the 90s when I started diving the local rivers. Finally returned to it last year after getting my daughter's hand be down D3400 and we took a class together and started making photo outing together.

As much as I look back on my film days with nostalgia, I'm taking better pictures now with digital, and enjoying the experience more.

The old Argus is the rangefinder camera on the far right. The Pentax in the foreground was probably the most used film camera I had. The Rollei in the back was my dad's, and undoubtedly has the most sentimental value to me. I gave it to my niece last year when she got interested in film photography. I felt it would be better for someone in the family to actually use it, rather than gather dust in a drawer at my house. Sorry for the poor picture quality. The only print of this I could find was an overexposed print I never threw away. I have a better print of it somewhere.


Photo_2021-07-20_171407.jpg
 

Bikerbrent

Senior Member
I got started in photography with my father’s Argus C3 (in 1962) while in high school (manual everything, did not even have built in light meter).

(Why only 1 credit point for this listing! :mad:)
 
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desmobob

Senior Member
When I was 13 or 14, I saved up money from working at my dad's little seasonal general store to buy a Polaroid 420.

It was a big, fold-out camera that featured a "focused flash" unit that took the common-at-the-time Flash Cubes and had a linkage connected to the focusing rack that adjusted louvers on the flash head to adjust the flash output for distance. From then on, a lot of my pay and allowance went towards the pricey Polaroid instant film.

My older sister later got the stainless-steel-and-leather Polaroid SX-70 for Christmas and I was very jealous. A few years later, I bought a more automated Kodak brand instant camera. I used it quite a bit until a lawsuit from Polaroid forced the instant Kodak, and the film for them, off the market. If I remember correctly, Kodak sent me a check to reimburse me for the camera as part of the settlement.

At that point, I moved up to my first SLR... a Yashica FRII. I had the classic 1970's kit: 28, 50 and 135mm lenses and a big Sunpak 411 flash. :cool:
 
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Sandpatch

Senior Member
Nikkormat FTn and 50mm Nikkor lens. My brother and I had a basement darkroom and I can't begin to estimate how many thousands of frames of Plus-X and Tri-X I ran through that camera. My brother has it now, still works fine.
 

Clovishound

Senior Member
I got started in photography with my father’s Argus C3 (in 1962) while in high school (manual everything, did not even have built in light meter).

My C-4 was the follow on model to the C-3 "brick". It still didn't have a built in light meter. My dad gave me a small selenium cell meter (no battery needed) that would fit on the flash shoe on top of the camera. Neither of them were bad starter cameras for the day. Going to an SLR was a huge upgrade, however, even the East German made Praktica. I remember drooling over the Nikon Fs at the time. No way I had the money to afford one of those back then. When I finally was able to afford to buy a new camera, I went with Pentax. They were an excellent bang for the buck at the time.
 

desmobob

Senior Member
Nikkormat FTn and 50mm Nikkor lens. My brother and I had a basement darkroom and I can't begin to estimate how many thousands of frames of Plus-X and Tri-X I ran through that camera. My brother has it now, still works fine.

An older friend of mine still mentions the much-loved but long-gone Nikkormat he had in his younger days. He always says it was the best camera he ever had...
 

hark

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
Mine was a Minolta XG-M. It came with a 50mm f/2.0 lens. Manual focus with Aperture Priority and Manual Modes. Center-weighted metering. The owner's manual was smaller than a printed Nikon manual and maybe just 25 pages in length. It completely explained metering and the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ASA film speed. It's shown here on a piece of mylar. It was my first SLR.

Minolta XG-M.jpg
 

BF Hammer

Senior Member
My mother picked up a Kodak Bulls-Eye that shot medium-format 620 film from a rummage sale for me to use. I think I was in 4th grade at the time. My parents did not really put limits on me other than only sending the film to be processed in lab about 2-3 times a year.

I took photography class for a semester in high school. I think that was Pentax K1000 they had for us to use.

Had a string of point-n-shoot film cameras during the 1980's and 1990's. Then about 1996 I was at a sheriff auction, and there was a fairly complete kit with Minolta xd-11, Tokina zoom lens, Sunpak thyrister flash, and an auto-winder, all in a bag. I made several people mad at me bidding it up to $250, but they were only interested in the lens. I wanted the entire kit. I am going to call this the camera where I finally got more serious with photography. I still have it also. I added a 45mm prime lens in short order.

il_fullxfull.2184011396_j1tk.jpg

But my next camera was a digital Nikon Coolpix 995 and my work took another step forward. Then 6 years later a D80 also created a situation where I got a lot more prolific in taking photos. Either of those cameras could qualify also for this thread.
 

BF Hammer

Senior Member
My older sister later got the stainless-steel-and-leather Polaroid SX-70 for Christmas and I was very jealous. A few years later, I bought a more automated Kodak brand instant camera. I used it quite a bit until a lawsuit from Polaroid forced the instant Kodak, and the film for them, off the market. If I remember correctly, Kodak sent me a check to reimburse me for the camera as part of the settlement.

I remember the Kodak instant camera. My oldest brother one year gave them as Christmas presents to brothers and sisters (but not me being a lot younger). They were not usable within 2 years.
 

BF Hammer

Senior Member
Fred, what is that large round thing on top of your FTn? Mine didn't have that, nor a hot shoe either. I love your photo! :encouragement:

I don't know if that is a cold-shoe or a hot-shoe on the camera body, but the round thing sure looks like a light meter.
 

Fred Kingston

Senior Member
@Sandpatch... That's a Sekonic Twinmate L-208 light meter... slightly more accurate than the battery-killer light meter in the Nikkormat... Mikkon made an accessory hot shoe that screwed on the Nikkormats via the eye piece screw...

BTW... I regularly use the Nikkortmat... and it currently has film in it as we speak... :encouragement:
 

Woodyg3

Senior Member
Contributor
The cameras that I used most: At 7 I had a Kodak Brownie. A little older and I had a Kodak instamatic with "flashcubes", Argus C3 in High School. Konica Autoreflex in college where I made some money with sports photography. Stayed with Konica quite a while, then Nikon D70 was my first digital SLR. Current D500 is the best camera I've had by far, and mirrorless is going to have to progress more and cost less before I will consider replacing my two D500s.
 

Peter7100

Senior Member
Contributor
When I was about 10 years old my grandparents gave me their Kodak Instamatic which they weren't using. From there I really started with a Zenith, moving on to a Pentax MX, then a few Minolta's. When digital came along I switched to Canon(several bodies and lenses) and finaly a few years ago I saw the light and switched to Nikon :cool:
 
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