What was your first camera ever that sparked your interest in photography?

Started Oct 16, 2013 | Discussions
Paphios Regular Member • Posts: 395
Kodak 35 rangefinder

This Kodak 35 rangefinder was a camera purchased by my father while he was in the US military in World War II.  When he moved on to SLR's he passed this camera down to me (before that I used a box camera).  It had an incredible steampunk contraption of cogs and wheels on the front that were part of the focusing mechanism.

The most moving pictures from this camera were taken by my father of the ruins of Manila in the aftermath of the 1945 battle.  The images of desolation are still burned into my memory.  My main use was to take pictures while away at college to send home to my family.

Alohaman Contributing Member • Posts: 576
Re: What was your first camera ever that sparked your interest in photography?

Kodak Instamatic 500, the best Instamatic Kodak ever made. Got the Instamatic as a graduation present in 1966 and used it until until I got a Miranda Sensorex in 1972. I still have both cameras in my collection!

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JTC111 Contributing Member • Posts: 505
Re: What was your first camera ever that sparked your interest in photography?

For me it was two cameras... The first was an old twin lens 120mm with the flip up top. I have no recollection of the brand because it didn't really matter to me. It was my grandfather's camera but he kinda put my in charge of taking pictures. I remember mailing out the rolls of film in those very busy film mailer envelopes and waiting for what felt like forever for the pictures to come back.

The second camera was an accordion Polaroid. This was my grandfather's also but I'm pretty sure he mostly bought it for me to use. I don't remember him taking very many pictures with it but I used it all the time.

I don't think the photography bug really hit my grandfather but I know his father took lots of photographs, many of which I have framed and hanging on my walls. I had a really wonderful grandfather. I was closer with him than either of my parents despite the fact that we didn't have a whole lot of common interests. As I'm getting older though, I'm realizing that my great grandfather and I shared many common interests. I lost him when I was 11 but I had my grandfather until I was 41.

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borno
borno Senior Member • Posts: 1,205
Re: What was your first camera ever that sparked your interest in photography?

I got a minolta srt-100 christmas of 1993 (I think) and just as important to me was my first enlarger I got later. Durst m301 or something like that. I used to love working in the basement darkroom. : )

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sensible Junior Member • Posts: 40
Re: What was your first camera ever that sparked your interest in photography?

minolta himatic 7s.

still have one

OP Norge65 New Member • Posts: 2
Re: What was your first camera ever that sparked your interest in photography?

Thanks for your replies.  It was fun reading about the things that inspired your interest in photography.  I got the bug back in the 60s, when I, at the age of  10 or so, sold garden seed.  When I sent the seed orders in, I got to choose a price or award from a list of  merchandise.  I picked a cheap box type camera.  I don't remember the company I sold for,  but I do remember how excited I got when it arrived in the mail.

harrygilbert Senior Member • Posts: 2,799
Re: What was your first camera ever that sparked your interest in photography?

Speed Graphic.

Started out loading 4x5" film holders for a Wedding Photography back in the early 1950's. Moved up to darkroom work, then actual photography.

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Phil Hill Senior Member • Posts: 2,757
Argus C3 (n/t)

Norge65 wrote:

RUcrAZ
RUcrAZ Veteran Member • Posts: 5,458
Re: Kodak 1937 +/-

Trafford wrote:

RUcrAZ wrote:

Note the neat flip-up, lie-flat viewfinder; the prominent shutter button; the red exposure counter (8 exposures per roll!) and the folding carrying handle. Also, the compactness via use of extension bellows.

RUcrAZ

Did the shutter unscrew in order to use a remote type of cable? The red counter was a
strip of transparent red material to avoid fogging the paper backed film. The viewfinder
is very neat, could use something similar in some of today's compacts to supplement
the LCD on a bright day.

The features on this camera are truly amazing, and many should be imitated today.

The shutter button (the big one on a stalk) could be pushed/locked down so it would not be damaged. It would operate the shutter via a lever arrangement (the shutter was in the lens/aperture/shutter group in front of the bellows.) There is a socket for a screw-on cable release at the group. There is a tripod socket, but larger than the eventually standardized "1/4-20". There is a flip-out little metal shim which acts to hold the camera upright on a flat surface. And it has a self-timer as well. I quite agree that such a folding viewfinder would be great for modern cameras - I personally cannot "see" any LCD in broad daylight, and would never own a camera without a viewfinder (except for my cellphone, which I can only aim in the general direction, and hope to crop later.)

Kodak 1937 +/- vintage. Still works, but has been retired - too much hassle to find, load, process film.

Ian Stuart Forsyth
Ian Stuart Forsyth Veteran Member • Posts: 3,325
was given a Brownie
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The Camera is only a tool, photography is deciding how to use it.
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panamforeman
panamforeman Senior Member • Posts: 1,207
Re: Argus C3 (n/t)

Argus C44R

My first real camera purchased in Gitmo (Guantanamo Bay Cuba) at the Navy Exchange store in 1957. This is the original camera and I still have it.

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JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 45,438
Re: Kodak 1937 +/-

RUcrAZ wrote:

Trafford wrote:

RUcrAZ wrote:

Note the neat flip-up, lie-flat viewfinder; the prominent shutter button; the red exposure counter (8 exposures per roll!) and the folding carrying handle. Also, the compactness via use of extension bellows.

RUcrAZ

Did the shutter unscrew in order to use a remote type of cable? The red counter was a
strip of transparent red material to avoid fogging the paper backed film. The viewfinder
is very neat, could use something similar in some of today's compacts to supplement
the LCD on a bright day.

The features on this camera are truly amazing, and many should be imitated today.

The shutter button (the big one on a stalk) could be pushed/locked down so it would not be damaged. It would operate the shutter via a lever arrangement (the shutter was in the lens/aperture/shutter group in front of the bellows.) There is a socket for a screw-on cable release at the group. There is a tripod socket, but larger than the eventually standardized "1/4-20". There is a flip-out little metal shim which acts to hold the camera upright on a flat surface. And it has a self-timer as well. I quite agree that such a folding viewfinder would be great for modern cameras - I personally cannot "see" any LCD in broad daylight, and would never own a camera without a viewfinder (except for my cellphone, which I can only aim in the general direction, and hope to crop later.)

Kodak 1937 +/- vintage. Still works, but has been retired - too much hassle to find, load, process film.

I agree, these old cameras had just about everything you needed. The modern DSLR gives you an instant image to look at, but not much else really except bells and whistles!

jules

ryansholl Contributing Member • Posts: 623
Taking photos sparked my interest in photography (nt)

blah blah blah

Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 41,310
Canon G1

I still remember debating between it and the Nikon 990.

Daro31 Forum Member • Posts: 97
Re: What was your first camera ever that sparked your interest in photography?

My Dad's Rolleiflex, 2.8. What a piece of machinery, 8 years old and my Dad showed me how to use it, after a light metre reading you could lock the aperture and shutter together and change them together. Even had an accessory to put a roll of 35mm. through it. Also you did not have to watch the film leader for an arrow to see how to wind when you loaded the film; it felt the thickness of the film and started counting from there.  Dad let me use it for high school photography yearbook when everyone else was using Kodak Brownie Starflash with 127 film. Traded it in when I bought my Mamiya RB67 Pro-S. Sure wish I still had the Rollie.  Oh and it was fast to, 1/2 a crank and you could wind the film and I almost forgot the sports finder which was built in. I actually shot indoor basketball with this camera.

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Dave_K Regular Member • Posts: 425
4x5 Speed Graphic - in 1965 (nt)

No text.

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Daro31 Forum Member • Posts: 97
Re: Kodak 35 rangefinder

It was my first 35 mm. Dad gave it to me when he got his Rolleiflex, but I like the Rollei better for darkroom work with the big negs. I still have this camera and it still works 53 years later. Bet I won't be able to say that for my 5D MKII.

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Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 19,658
Re: My first colonoscopy camera...

Beach Bum wrote:

After I saw it in action, I couldn't help but fall in love. It touched me and reached me in ways that even my girlfriend can't.

I'm sure it's the professionalism you admire. . .

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macmaven Contributing Member • Posts: 915
Galaxy 35mm

Galaxy 2.8

I was 14.  I shot High-Speed Ektachrome.  I learned to use a hand-held lightmeter.

It was 1963.

macmaven

drusus Contributing Member • Posts: 745
Re: What was your first camera ever that sparked your interest in photography?

Canonet G-III

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