First Camera

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    Topic: First Camera Read 244 Times
  • Bob Bergey
    Bob Bergey
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    Posts: 3
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    on: August 29, 2023 at 7:09 pm

    This article/video brought back good memories! My first camera was a very inexpensive Kodak box camera — I don’t remember the name at the moment — but I got it when I was in 6th grade (1964) and that’s when I fell in love with photography. The first camera I used seriously was the Argus C3! I was the “offical” yearbook photographer in Junior High School and the school owned a C3 that I was allowed to sign out and use anytime I wanted. I used it a lot. I didn’t own my own C3 until years later when I bought one to add to my camera collection, and I still have it to this day.

    My first serious camera that I owned I bought in high school — a used Minolta SRT101 — which is also part of my collection now. I only ever had one lens, 50mm, although it was an interchangeable lens camera. By my senior year in high school I knew I wanted to study photography and make it my career. My freshman year in college (RIT) I bought a Hasselblad 500CM which became the foundation for my professional photography career for the next 20 years. I still have that in my collection, too, including three lenses and numerous other accessories.

    Thanks for the memories!

    Mark D Segal
    Mark D Segal
    Silver Member
    Posts: 928
    Re: First Camera
    Reply #1 on: August 29, 2023 at 8:48 pm

    Hi Kevin,

    Fun article, and nostalgic to think back. From the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s I worked part time in photographic retail during some summers and holidays. Well, it was great experience learning how to handle cantankerous customers and learning all the gear they bought so I could convincingly sell it to them. When I started, apart from Argus and a few Kodak models, it really was only German cameras. The Japanese cameras came in with a vengeance by the mid-1950s. The first entrants were Minolta with the Minolta-A for $49.95 and Yashica with the Yashikaflex, the poor man’s Rollei, also performed very well and also really cheap. The Minolta beat the pants off anything from Germany price-wise and the image quality with those Minolta Rokkor lenses was terrific. The Canadian importer was Anglophoto, a pioneering distributor for Japanese gear. They really did well on it, as did we. Soon after, they brought in Nikonto fill-in the higher end, giving Contax a real run for its money. Nothing touched Leica though because that was and remains in a class by itself. So that was it, the Japanese camera revolution in Canada from the mid-50s.

    In the early ’50s, my first camera was a Brownie something or other, but that lasted a really short time, and I made a big leap when my Dad gave me his Kodak Retina IIa 35mm, made in Germany with a Schneider Xenon f/2 lens. It had a little bellows and could fold-up to put in your pocket. It was a fabulous little camera. Once I decided I needed interchangeable lenses I traded that in for a used Contax but equipped it with Nikon lenses which fit perfectly, and that did me fine till I decided I needed an SLR, and then I was hooked on Nikon till the onset of the digital era. I lusted after an Alpa all those years during the film era, but it was just too darn expensive because it was a small-scale operation with each camera hand-made and tested before it left its factory in Ballaigues, and when people bought them they kept them – that was back then. Even into the mid-1990s, very few of us had a clue where digital photography would be taking us, and it’s been quite a ride over the past quarter-century.

    Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.

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