The Cameras

In 1993, I bought a Pentax K1000 with a Takamura 28-80mm zoom lens. I bought it as a combination college graduation/22nd birthday gift for myself. I have always loved being behind, not in front, of a camera and I wanted to learn how to take really good pictures. What I did not want was a camera that would take good pictures for me, so of course, I looked for something completely manual and bare bones. Eighteen years later, I still love my Pentax and think of it as my primary camera.

My second camera came to me in the late 90s. It is a Mamiya 645 Pro TL medium-format camera with a fixed 80mm lens and a 120mm macro lens. This camera was remarkably a gift from two very kind people who saw my pictures and thought they were good enough that I needed a serious camera. I’m still working out how I want to use it in a way to expand my range and differentiate it from the Pentax, but it sure is fun to play with.

My last two film cameras are recent additions. For a number of years, I was distracted from my photo hobby by…well, life mostly, and in this past year as I’ve been rediscovering it, I’ve also realized that I want to continue pushing what I can do with a camera, rather than letting the camera simply do the work for me. I still resist cameras with automatic options, and so I decided to go to older cameras when my attention was brought to the existence of what are known as Former Soviet Union cameras. They are essentially Russian-made reproductions of cameras such as Leicas and Voigtlanders and have a bit of a cult following. I got my Zorki-6 – a 35mm range finder – as a 40th birthday present this past week, and my Lubitel-166B – a twin lens reflex medium-format camera – came about 2 weeks ago. The latter is to satisfy my urge to try my hand at lomography.

And speaking of which, my final camera for the moment was not so much acquired as it was rediscovered. While cleaning the house a few weeks ago, I came across an old Konica C35 EFP that had probably been sitting in a drawer for 20 or more years. It is completely automatic, a pure point and shoot camera. It does, however, have eroding light seals and is in perfect working order, so with a few modifications, it may be a perfect experiment in lomography!

About a year ago, I broke down and bought a digital camera, whose pictures may make an appearance from time to time. It’s a GE E1235, 12.1 megapixel, 3X 7.5-22.5mm lens. I used it to take the pictures of all the film cameras above. It’s not too bad for an entry-level digital, though if I do continue to become more serious about my photographs and expanding my range, I will probably upgrade.

So there it is.

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