Thursday, 14 February 2008

C Is For Cameras


Yes, that's plural!

Cameras are important to me. I have been taking photos since I was a kid, and that’s too many years ago!


My dad always had good cameras: I remember a Rolleiflex; but we didn’t, and we weren’t allowed to touch his. I started off with a Brownie. It wasn’t mine, it was a family camera.


The first camera which I bought for myself in 1974 was a 35mm SLR Soligor. Soligor is better known as a lens maker, but they had a brief foray into making cameras. I still have that camera. It works without batteries – can you imagine that!
It actually does have a battery-powered exposure meter, but that battery went flat decades ago and I didn’t replace it. By then, I pretty well knew what settings to use under what conditions. And I usually got it right – no checking the image on the back of the camera in those days.

Here is a rogues’ gallery of cameras lurking around my place. The old ones were picked up in a job lot at auction, when no-one was bidding on them. They just had to go to a good home – mine! Besides which, I had in mind to use them as part of a shop window display at work. I never did.

The big old wooden one at the top is a Thornton Pickard, English, circa 1905. It comes with a couple of extra lenses. I don’t know how to use it.

The bellows camera above is an Eastman-Kodak, circa 1917-23. I closed it up after taking this photo and now I can’t get it open again. Sigh.

From left to right in the photo above:

The one on the left is another English camera, a pop-top Ensign. The best dating I can find for it is circa WW2.

Next is a baby Brownie, age unknown.

Then the Soligor, mentioned above. On the right is an Olympus 35mm zoom camera.
I got this about 2001-2002, but I'm not sure how old it was before I got it. it was my first "automatic" camera. Motorised film winding - sheer luxury!

In this photo, from left to right, a disposable underwater camera, film half used - there's probably dolphins and stingrays cavorting unseen on there. One day I'll finish off that roll of film.

Next is my Nikon F55, a 35mm SLR. I got this some time after the Olympus film camera. This one came with a couple of lenses, and I just love the 300mm zoom!
Those lenses were the main reason I went for the Nikon D70 digital SLR, which I bought in 2004. I was a late starter in the digital camera game. It's the D70 which took these photos, so it doesn't appear.

Then there's the JVC video camera. Although it's quite compact, it's definitely "old school" with a tape inside, not a hard drive. I haven't done much with it, as some parts of it don't seem to work well. Or it could be the operator, getting too old to learn all this new-fangled technology.

Last but not least, my baby digital Olympus with 10x optical zoom (love that zoom!).
This was a necessity when it became obvious that lugging around the big SLR digital was not always easy, or possible.

I use the D70 and the Olympus mostly, but I have been known to grab whichever camera is closest, including Mr M's Canon (formerly a Sony, till it got dropped once too often) and JJ's Canon. They use my cameras too, if it suits them. Especially with the big lens on, for getting up close and personal.

I've never been too techie about cameras and settings, all that f-stop stuff. I'm more about getting the look I want. I do remember enough to know what 'depth-of-field' is, and I like to play with that.

If I didn't already have a suite of lenses for the Nikon, and was buying a digital SLR from scratch, I'd probably get a Canon.

The urge to take photos comes and goes - it got a huge boost when I bought my digital SLR. I love photographing waves at the beach.
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1 comment:

2paw said...

Oh this says February!! What a lot of cameras you have. I have one and I love taking photos, but I am not in any way capable!!
I remember we had a Box Brownie (sp?) when I was little!!!