My very first camera was a disposable camera out of slot machine (I kid you not!) when I was on holiday at Skegness with my father. I can't remember what happened to those pictures but I do remember the excitement of taking photos and looking forward to seeing the prints. Whether I did get them back from the chemists and if they were any good, I can't remember (it was over 50 years ago!). I do know that I had the caught the photography bug and so it was, aged 10, that when asked what I'd like for Christmas (1967), I replied "a camera".
So it was, in 1967 I got my first proper camera, a Halina Paulette Electric (see below), along with a flashgun (bulb, of course), a camera case, a roll of film (Kodachrome 25) and a slide viewer, complete with battery!
It was a great little camera and I had much enjoyment from it, and I still have the slides I took with it all those decades ago. They were mostly Kodachrome 25 and 64 ASA, along with some Agfachrome and, occasionally, some colour and black & white negative films. In the early days of my photography I mainly used colour reversal (slide) film. It was only later, when I started using SLRs with interchangeable lenses, that I started to explore printing my own prints, that I switched to using mainly black and white and colour negative film. Later on, when I was working as a freelance, I reverted back to shooting mainly colour reversal, as magazine publishers preferred that.
Over the decades I have owned and used various film cameras including the Yashica FRII, Canon EOS 620, EOS650, Contax 139 and Mamiya C330. I also got to use the Pentax 6X7 and the Mamiya RB67. I also still own a few, bought mainly, I have to say, for their lenses to use with adapters on my digital camera bodies.
I actually won my very first digital camera in a competition. It was a Samsung Digimax 130. Here are its specs:
- Max resolution: 1280 x 960
- Effective pixels: 1 megapixels
- Sensor size: 1/3.2 inches
- ISO settings: Auto (100, 200 and 400)
- Focal length equivalent: 43mm
- Max aperture: F2.8 - F8
- Screen size: 1.6 inches
- Max shutter speed: 1/520 sec
- Storage: 8MB
Amazing to think that to buy the camera back in 2002 you would have to pay @ £100 for it! I have to say though, at the time, I was quite pleased with the images it took. I remember a holiday we took in Weymouth and I was pleased with the images taken with the camera. I probably still have them filed away on a CD or DVD. I must look for them and add them to this page if I do.
Of course, now we all expect our cameras to have a resolution above 14 megapixels and you easily buy a camera today with 24 MP resolution for an affordable amount. Currently, my kit is a Fuji X-T2, 50-140mm lens and 1.4x Teleconverter. Granted, it's a pro camera and cost an arm and a leg. Its has a resolution of 24.3-million-pixel with it's APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor. It's ISO range is ISO 200-12,800 (100-51,200 extended) and it can shoot (with the booster grip) at 14fps continuous shooting. We have come so far in relatively little time. Remember too that currently you can but a camera with @ 50 MP resolution. Nikon have just released their D850 with it's 45.7 MP sensor and Canon have their Canon EOS 5DS, with its 50.2 MP sensor, which they released back in 2015.
Anyway, lets leave the technical stuff behind for now. After all, this page is meant to be about me! So, I am now semi-retired and have more time available to devote to my photography. As already mentioned, I now own the Fuji X-T2 and a 50-140mm lens plus 1.4x T/C and the booster grip. Not a very light kit, I admit, but well-suited to sport and wildlife photography. Although I enjoy all sorts of subject matter I have always wanted to have the right kit to do sport and wildlife photography. If you peruse the posts on this very blog you will quickly find images taken on the X-T2 that fall into those two categories. Its fair to say that I will be spending a lot of time on taking sports and wildlife images in the future. I do however intend to carry on with street photography and landscape photography. I will, however, be using my two beautiful Carl Zeiss lenses (28mm and 90mm) with an adapter for those two subjects. They are very sharp lenses, originally made for the Contax G camera, a classic if ever there was one.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you find my blog posts equally of interest and hopefully, of some practical use.