Wednesday, 20 July 2011

My Life in Cameras ...

Yes, this is me when I had a studio of my own filled with toys from the pre-digital era. There is even a hand-held light-meter sitting there - anyone remember those strange things? Anyway, listed below is a list of the cameras I grew up with. It seems I've always had a camera in my hand. I held on to almost all my cameras even though they were almost never used in the last ten years or so. Then I came over all practical and sold most of them off a couple of years ago. I thought at the time I'd regret the decision. I do in a way, but not really. It means they are being used by someone, and that's good. 

This box brownie was my first camera and it was this little plastic fantastic that inspired me aged about 10.

Next up was this beauty with (gasp) flash! Aged 13 I was the star cub-reporter for the Daily Planet.

There was a long gap after that until this classic piece of machinery, the Nikon F, fell into my hands in 1970. I still have it, and it still works.


A really long gap after that came the F3 in 1981 when I at last could afford to buy this expensive top of the range pro-kit. (Before that, I simply borrowed the studio's kit).



I then added the Nikon FE & FM2 to the range, both beautifully competent cameras. I still have the FE.

My workhorse though was the Hassleblad 500CM which was so rugged it never failed in some really exacting places like deserts. I did kill one by throwing it down a flight of steel steps though ...


My favourite 'Blad was this Ultra Wide SWC. Small and with a stunningly sharp lens it produced exceptional images. All my 'Blad gear has now been sold, and for peanuts. 


For more precise work I used large format technical cameras like this small Sinar F 5x4 which I have also sold on. In the studios I'd use their Sinar P 8x10 cameras for same-size magazine work. I learnt about the techniques of these behemoths at college using cameras like this wooden Gandolfi. Which I believe are still made!


Digital made its impact for me in the shape of the Nikon D70 in 2005 which despite only having 6mp produced excellent pictures. 


I still have this D70, though I've now upgraded to the D90 which I won't show here as it is almost identical to this D70 above.


My favourite camera has to be this little Leica M6 that I bought back in 1987. I no longer have it anymore as I decided to trade it in for the full frame digital version M9 last year. I still use the same old lenses and, even though they are twenty-four years old, they still produce sparkling results. The M9 has proved to be the one I use nearly all of the time these days. This small unobtrusive camera and a couple of lenses fit into a tiny shoulder bag and weighs nothing at all. No more photographers limp for me! I love the fact people don't notice the camera or if they do they assume it's a snap shot camera and I'm not a 'real' photographer. Perfect!


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