View Full Version : Anyone join in; My First Camera

08-25-2003, 02:11 AM
After reading the profile of one of our young members, I was set to pondering. His remarks reminded of when I got my first camera.

I remember it well because I worked hard to buy it back in 1964. I was an military brat and I would shine shoes to make some spending money. Each day I would station myself at the entrance to the Base Exhange (for those not familiar, the equivelent of a deptment store, but way smaller) I had spied this camera outfit one day and decided that was what I really wanted. I had been reading National Geographic magazines and fancied that one day that would be something I would like to do. So with visions of grandure I set about earning this camera.

It was a Ansco flash camera. No adjustments, just a veiwfinder and attachable flash unit. It came with a roll of film and box of flash bulbs and the deluxe strap. Batteries not included. This outfit sold for about 10 dollars US which was a fortune for a 11 yr old sargents kid. I figured that at 10 cents each, I was gonna need over 100 shines just for the camera and then about 20 shines for each roll of film and developing... oops.. batteries not included.. more shoes... more spit shines... more work. But I kept at it and one day I became the proud owner of my own camera.

My first attempts were humbling.. to say the least. Headless relatives, invisisble monsters, mysterious blurry creatures all appeared. Black and white film was mostly all one could afford. In the early days of consumer color film, it was not too cheap for everything or anything.. like blue dot flash bulbs.. why?.... and as always.. batteries not included.

Funny how many things change so much and how they at the same time, change so little...

Batteries Not Included

08-25-2003, 02:47 AM
My first camera was bought for me by my parents - a wonderful Kodak Disc camera. Results bad, guaranteed, or your money back ;-)

08-25-2003, 02:54 AM
Oh yeah.. forgot to mention. This was a roll film camera where the film came wound on a spool. No canister, just unroll a bit, wind it onto the takeup spool and hope no body turned on the lights, or that you didn't slip.. or Poof.. 10 or 20 more shoe shines...

08-25-2003, 03:58 AM
The first camera I used was a Minolta 110 camera that belonged to my dad. Then, as a junior high graduation present, he got me my own first camera -- a brand new Canon AF35M 35mm autofocus camera -- one of the first of it's kind. It absolutely ate AA batteries, but it was a start. I still have some pictures taken with that camera...

My first SLR was my dad's old Konica (forget the model). Then I started working at a photo store and bought a used Nikon FE2 with an MD2 autowider and a Tamron 60-300mm lens -- what a great outfit for a kid in highschool/college! Having low priced film and processing, and plenty of time on my hands, helped. Then traded on a used Canon EOS 620 (still have it) then Olympus C2100UZ (used for some of the shots here on TE) and Canon EOS D30.

Sorry -- not just "first" camera, but it was fun remembering....


08-25-2003, 07:40 AM
My first camera was a hand-me-down from my aunt. It was a Kodak, brown case about the size of a VCR tape. Open the case and the front opened down and the lens extended on rails with a bellows shielding the film from light. Used roll film, tear the package open, tear off the end of the roll and wind it as you shot. You held it at waist level and looked down into a viewfinder/mirror/lens arrangement.

After that a Hawkeye (?). Plastic box. Roll film.

Then my first 35mm SLR. It had a built-in light meter. The problem was that the light meter had its own lens. It was worthless if you changed lenses or added a filter. That was in the mid-60s and I paid the equivalent of $2,500-3,000 for it in today's dollars. (And I smile when I hear people complain about how expensive digitals are.)

08-25-2003, 08:12 AM
Oh yeah...flash bulbs... how fast can you change a flash bulb without blistering your fingers.

08-25-2003, 09:10 AM
I had some little Kodak cartridge type camera. I guess it was a 110 style. I remember when I had it(I was only about or 9), I thought it took the best photos in the world. I am sure I would cringe if I now came across any of the prints.

08-25-2003, 05:02 PM
First camera was a little Kodak Brownie given to me by my dad. Loading the film was easy... hand it to dad to do. First real camera was a Pentax K1000

08-26-2003, 09:59 PM
I was playing with cameras since very little as many of my family members were passionate & professional photographers. Finally my father brought me a Olympus something, a point & shoot SLR, that he bought in Japan 1977. I took this to Senegal that year. See 'AM chores' image on Trek Earth as it came from this little camera.
I then graduated from the family's had-me downs and gave the Olympus back to the next youngin as I then recieved a Nikon FE which I consider my truer first camera. That is after every one in the family got to play with it first.;-) It still works even after being dropped in a lake, sat on & crushed housing, lost & retrieved at the dump of Mnt. Everest base camp. That was a long find.
PS. If you ever drop your camera in a lake, retrive quickly and stick it in a freezer till you can get it to the shop where they open & air dry. It works, really. Cant claim the same for digital cameras.

08-28-2003, 08:14 PM
I was 12 years old and managed to get a second hand halina, I remember I thought it was the bees knees.

Shortly after this I tried to dev my first film, I mean how hard could it be. I had no guidance, no dev tank, I just bought some dev and tried to dev it in a tray by pulling it back and forwards through the dev. Of course the big mistake was that the room was less than light tight, lovely black film. LOL.


08-30-2003, 01:32 AM
First camera I used was my mums BOX BROWNIE, box being the opperative word with a roll of film in it, still got a fuzzy photo of 1st girl friend some where. 1st own camera Practica SLR with carl ziese lens had great fun with it when I could afford the 35mm film.

08-31-2003, 05:42 AM
mine was a minolta srt-101 that my dad loaned me for a photography class a million years ago. the only working lens i have is a 50mm, and i still use it and love it.

08-31-2003, 06:42 AM
I don't remember the make or model of my first camera. I was 15 and bought it with my holiday money from Dad while on a holiday in Wales, England. It was about 12 pounds sterling if I remember rightly. I'd toyed with Dad's Polaroid for the few previous years but film was so expensive that he stopped buying it, so the fun stopped. Anyway, the camera I bought was a simple 110mm cartridge film camera with built in flash. I remember getting quite "arty" with it while on holiday and it sparked my passion for photography.
I the got my first 35mm camera when I was 22. It was pretty much just a plastic box with a lens. A friend gave it to me. I think it came free with some film. I took some pretty good pictures with it though while hiking around the Pennines in Derbyshire, but I lost them all.
Two years later, early in 1991 I came to Japan, that's when I started to get some proper equipment. My first camera was a Canon Autoboy Jet, looking something like a telescope. This was dropped by someone during a holiday in Greece and broke, so when I returned to Japan, I bought the Canon EOS 650, my first SLR. I sold that to a friend within months to enable me to buy the Canon EOS 100 that was making some noise here in Japan. I still have and use this camera sometimes now. It's uses belts to drive internal mechanisms instead of cogs, so it's very quiet. It was very popular for weddings and nature photography.
The EOS 100 remained my main camera until 2000 when I moved to digital with the Canon PowerShot S10. I bought the EOS D30 a year or so later so that I could continue to use my old EF lenses, then sold that to buy my current Canon EOS 10D.
Great to recall all of these cameras, but I feel very humbled having read Ned's original post. Thanks for putting things in perspective and making me feel even more grateful than I already do for being able to buy this stuff now.