What was your first camera ever that sparked your interest in photography?
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tex_andrews, co-founder and webmaster of The LightZone Project, an all-volunteer group providing the free and open source LightZone photo editing software.
"Photography is the product of complete alienation" Marcel Proust
"I would like to see photography make people despise painting until something else will make photography unbearable." Marcel Duchamp
My Dad's Kodak Instamatic (126 cartridge camera).
It was awesome ! It was kept in a plastic hard shell case with red flocking. It had a big knob on the top that you'd wind up for spring loaded film advance that sounded so cool after each shot. And flash cubes ! It didn't get any better than that.
Then I bought my own camera. A Kodak 110 with a dual lens - move a slide to switch between wide angle and tele. And instead of rotating flash bulbs, it used flash strips with 10 flashes per strip !
The gold old days
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Minolta SRT-101 in 1975.
Never ask a man where he's from. If he is from Texas, he'll tell you. Otherwise, don't embarrass him.
My Dad's nameless 4" x 5" ("Quarter-plate"), glass negatives, along with a wooden tripod and black cloth to put over head & camera. World War II was still on, so it was probably difficult to obtain some supplies. But I found enough to learn developing and occasionally (contact) printing.
Larry Berman wrote:
Yes, my first camera sparked my interest in photography.
You either didn't understand or didn't finish answering the question. What was that first camera that sparked your interest in photography?
Who comes up with these inane questions and surveys anyway. Doesn't anyone work or take pictures?
I'm enjoying reading about people's first cameras. You're a veteran member with over 3500 posts to your credit--surely by now you've learned how to avoid threads that aren't of interest to you.
My grandmother bought these for me and my brothers, thinking they were just toy cameras. She was surprised to find out you could actually load film into them and take pictures. Part of the fun for me was being able to have some measure of control over the output by varying the focus and aperture. Later on, I wanted a camera with more precision and control than the Diana offered, but this was the camera that sparked my interest in photography.
A bakelite 120 film camera in the early 1940s, bought from the English Woolworths.
It was a 3d and 6d store, the camera cost 1s6d, so it was split into three 6d parts,
the camera front with lens, the back cover and a roll of film.
My first serious camera was this Ensign Butcher Reflex, acquired two years later.
I think I had owned a couple of cheap cameras prior to my little Olympus, but I came across this little gem in my uncle's drugstore around 1964 or 1965, and I had to have it. It was the first 35mm camera I owned, as well as the first which allowed me control over aperture and shutter speed. I was on the high school track team at the time, and enjoyed using it to shoot meets. I can still clearly remember a couple of shots of team mates: one was leaping over a high hurdle, and you could clearly see the spikes of his shoes (remarkable resolution to me at that time). The other showed a good friend going over the bar in pole vaulting. I don't know that I could find prints of either shot today, but they're engraved in my memory forever.
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The interest came first then I got the camera.
But it was a Canon AE-1 and an A-1..
Oh, and a home made pinhole camera even before that, projecting the image onto an A4 piece of paper with a 36 hour exposure.
oh come on lighten up its fun reminiscing about such things. don't be such a stick in the mud
bosjohn aka John Shick firstname.lastname@example.org
The model just below the one with auto film advance. But it used flash cubes, and had a selenium light sensor, although I wonder how much it was adjusting anything...
But it was better than my Brownie Starmite !
What really got me started though was the Kodak book "How to Make Good Pictures".
A late-50's edition, it was filled with good- better- best photos of numerous subjects. It was my first "tutorial" for composition, cropping, exposure, and basic photography. From age ten, I'm still at it.
Those were the days !
Mine was a Kodak Starflash, a derivation of the Brownie concept, about 1958.
It had a 'meniscus' lens, two apertures, one shutter speed, a flashbulb socket in a reflector, and it used roll film for 4x4cm square camera originals.
I played with an old Zenit as a youngster with mixed results and just being happy if a shot was vaguely what could be considered properly exposed. I then had various compact film and digital cameras.
A family friend then lent me a fuji S2 Pro DSLR and the instant feedback digital provides got me hooked, being able to blur background with a 50mm 1.8 lens and the APS C sensor of the camera got me hooked even more as i realised i could take photos like i would see in magazines with lovely bright vibrant colour and pleasingly out of focus rendered backgrounds.
I grew up in the 1960's, and I don't think it was the objects of technology that moved kids of that era. I think it was the concept of using photography to communicate ideas that moved us. For many of us, it was the desire for change and influencing that change through media that came first. Some of us drifted to movies, some to books, and some to photography. At that time we knew a new technological world was coming, but we had no idea what it would look like so we concentrated on ideas. Changing the world was our goal instead.
For those inclined to photography, it was the photo magazines printed on high quality paper that inspired us. Life Magazine, The Saturday evening Post, Newsweek, and Nat Geo. NO magazine could survive in those days if they couldn't offer superb, rich photographs.
I see the concentration of my generation on the "meaning" of photos as being a bit on the other side of a fence from younger people. Sometimes when someone asks for C&C, I will ask them "What does it MEAN?" Often times I will get back an angry response along the lines of, "What does your shXt mean?!?!", or "Why does it have to mean anything?". This confuses me since my only response is, "How can it NOT mean something? How can you be unable to peel the layers from my photos and not see the meaning?"
I'm not complaining about young people, mind you. We are all the product of our respective environments. I accept what is happening, but that doesn't mean I fully understand it.
. . . Sorry for the digression, I'll pick the Canon FT-QL and my beloved Yashica Mat 124.
I still like soup. . .
Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos. . .
My grandfather bought me a Kodak Instamatic 110 when I was about 8 years old.
My first 'real' camera was a Canon AE1 Program my father bought me when I was 14.
Sunny 16 was it.