What and when was your first serious camera?

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Alf
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#43
I got an Olympus OM10 with a 50mm lens for my 18th birthday
 
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Robert
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#44
A Canon D600 with kit lens, about 5 - 6 years ago now. I only bought it for the video function, but realised that I enjoyed taking photos more.
There is no such camera that I can find. The Canon 600D was released in February, 2011. The Nikon D600 would have been a current model camera at about the time you are referring to. What camera are you referring to? A Nikon or a Canon?
 
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Andy
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#45
There is no such camera that I can find. The Canon 600D was released in February, 2011. The Nikon D600 would have been a current model camera at about the time you are referring to. What camera are you referring to? A Nikon or a Canon?
It was the Canon 600D.
 
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#46
One of the early Yashica TLR's in the late 1950's, the exact model escapes me now as I only had it for a short while but in 1966 I bought a Yashica Mat and a Pentax SV with a 50mm f1.8 Super Takumar lens.
 
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Richard
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#47
I started using one of my dad's old Chinon 35mm film SLRs when I was about 11. Manual everything, didn't have a clue what I was doing but it got me interested. Then received a Canon EOS 300N 35mm film SLR as a Christmas present when I was about 15, used that for a few years and then bought an EOS 400D DSLR in 2008 and started taking photography more seriously.
 
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#48
Voightlander Vito b (it was my dads and he still has it) to learn with and then one of the first Canon AE-1s in the country (bought in Japan before it was launched here).
 
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Mike
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#51
My first camera was a 6x6 box camera of some type that I had around the age of 10. It never told any jokes or caused me to laugh so might be considered serious.
It was followed by several 126 instamatics (which were more of a joke perhaps)

My first real camera was a Pentax ME (with 50mm/1.7) One of the shots I got from the first roll of film I put through it later won a competition at work. :D
I've just about had that camera for 25 years now, it was definitely the thing that started my love for photography.
 
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Doug
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#52
Mine was a Zenith EM in the late 70's followed by a couple of wonderful Pentax MX. They were a fantastic camera a I learned a lot with them. Now a Canon user with a eos 70d. How things have changed!
 
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Conrad
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#55
Praktica MTL3 in around 1980.

I had a Canonette Junior 35mm compact before that but it was always having issues with the metering, and I got sick of getting the prints and slides back with the whole film under or over exposed. It could have put me off photography for good, but fortunately I was too stubborn and instead saved up for the Praktica, which actually was very reliable for quite a few years until I saved up for a Minolta 7000 in late 1985.
 
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#56
Pentax MX 1980.

Worked on the roads with Tarmac 7 days a week so easily saved the cash to buy it, traded up to the LX 6 months later.
 
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Mike
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#57
Olympus XA2; 1981, it was my eleventh birthday present.

I chose it from a selection offered to me in the camera shop that included the Pentax 110 SLR, that I think my Dad wanted, because it was an SLR and diddy, and I think it there was the the first Auto-Focus compact Minolta. I picked the Olympus because it had a removable flash!!! Which seems like a pretty wiered criteria now, but still.
One of the most compact full-frame 35mm film cameras ever made, it was just oh-so-pocket-able, and on the mantra that the 'best' camera is the one in your hand at the time, it went just about everywhere with me for the next two decades. I still have it, and it was only retired because of a rather nasty scratch on the lens, but it WAS after twenty years of teen abuse rather battered!!

Can a point-and-shoot 'compact' be considered a 'serious' camera?

Well, that that begs a lot of ponderation of the question. What I never realised until much later, was that that XA2, in the shop, was actually as or more expensive than an awful lot of what would be considered 'serious' SLR cameras of the time. I recall that, with flash, it was actually a few quid more than the Olympus OM10 my Dad had at the time (Which he later bequeathed to me when I went to uni circa 1990!) It was, by a long way, NOT a 'cheap' camera. When I started to get more 'in' to this photography lark, I discovered that it was actually oft vaunted by many professionals for it's compact size and pocketability, and discreetness, especially for candid and early paperatsi shots. But, because of it's marketing, it sold mostly to non-enthusiasts, and particularly women, wanting something 'good' but not as complicated to try use, as an SLR, and in pretty large numbers, putting it squarely amongst the throng of 'un-serious' point and press compacts. It's lens, though was good, and it's coupled 'automatic' metering system, for the day was very very good, and it could deliver SLR rivalling results, and show how much was in the hands of the operator 'seeing' a photo, not in the mechanics of the machine in their mitts.

My first 'lesson' in photography, then, came circa 1982, I think, when I first went skiing, and the bright white back-ground of the ski-slope 'fooled' the camera's meter, expecting an 'average' 18% grey scene, so it under-exposed everything by a couple of stops. Chap in the mini-lab I went to get my pictures developed then explained, and asked me to show him the camera I was using, and was rather non-condescending about it being a 'P&S' compact, and explained how for such bright conditions I could 'fool' the meter into thinking it was darker than it was, setting the ASA selector to a faster film speed; I think he suggested using the 200ASA setting for 100ASA film.... and unlike my fathers's attempts to 'teach' me photography, and oft sneering at the little XA2, I think still some-what piqued I didn't choose the Pentax 110SLR 'he' had wanted to play with... actually learned me something. Over the following decade, I found more of the cameras inherent 'buffers', like close focus for small-scale models in museums and such, that begged more learning, and eventually my Dad giving me his, by then, 'old' OM10, to extend capability.... but that little XA2 stayed in my pocket another decade.... GREAT little camera, and for 90% of situations, well within its comfort zone.

As said; that first well travelled and teen abused example died of terminal lens scratch some-time just before the millennium, and I was given another, I also still have, by a women in the family who had bought the then 'new' Olympus Mjui, with inbuilt flash, DX coding and motor-wind.... which I am still not convinced was 'progress', but still. Yet another, almost pristine, unused example, was given me by another women , some years later, who had had it in her desk draw a decade or more, when she was raving about these new fangled 'widgetal' thingies, having just spent a ridiculous amount of money on something with the sort of resolution of a petrol-station-disposable, 'cos convenient'?!?!? Which foreshadows internet euphoria fore the things in modern times, presented as 'LOMO', pretty much because they are, now' so often found so cheap in second hand, junk and charity shops, along-side wobbly plastic lens catalogue 'gifts'!!!! Again, showing the common snobery that if it aint an SLR it can't be a 'serious' camera.... but ironically proving how it can still take very 'serious' and oft laudable photographs....

Sort of begs mention of the Voiglander TLR, too. A camera my Grandad bought second hand in a bizarre in Palestine, circa 1946, when he was in the RAF, to take his wedding photo's with, that was subsequently, and I assume, unceremoniously dumped in my mother and uncle & aunt's toy-box for them, and later me, to 'play' with.... that one was pulled down off a shelf where it had been an ornament for many years, when I was in my mid 20's and had a 'junk-shop' camera challenge for night-school, and proved to have very rusty roller's that scratched the film emulsion like a Charlie Chaplin movie, but still. Now, 120 medium format cameras, and the Voiglander name are oft revered, but.... that very serious camera of its era was given to a toddler to 'play' with... and left to rust in a toy-box for thirty years or so, because things with electrickery in them had come along.... and you thunked that that was a 'new' phenomina, with widegetal!

And having mentioned it, the Olympus OM10, as so many other's 'My First SLR' with interchangeable lenses. About the same age as my XA2, it was ten years old when I was given it. Hmmm... JUST because lenses could be swapped, did that make it a 'serious' camera? To many, I suppose the answer is yes; and these days looking like what so many presume a 'serious' camera should, they oft command far better prices, than the humble little XA2 may. With it's Meter-Coupled Automatic Exposure system though, it was, in it's day' not a lot more than a Point & Press you could change lenses on..... much was, and still is, made of the optional 'manual adaptor' to let user manually select the shutter-speed, which IME is actually less refined than leaving the job to the electrickery that can do it in 1/3 stop increments and a lot faster than the user can using the plug-in... but still. It's 50mm f1.8 lens was cracking, and another now revered bit of kit, especially among the MFT adaptor brigade, but in its own era so often swapped out very quickly for a 'zoom'... which 'sort' of begs the conundrum, why buy an interchangeable lens camera, you DON'T actually interchange lenses on, using a one-size fits all 'zoom' permanently stick on the front? Does this oh-so-oft redundant user twidle-ability make it a 'more seriouse' camera? ..... or just more twidle-able? Hmmmm..... like I said, the question begs some ponderation!

Getting precious about the twiddle-ability, some-time in the mid 90's I was given, when it fell out of an attic clearance, a Sigma Mk1, Ricchoc 'copy' M42 SLR. All metal, all manual, with the only 'easement' a through-talking-lens, swing needle light meter. This, is probably, after the XA2 my 'favourite' camera. Old, unloved, and difficult to use, in the mid-90's, it was given to me, because I knew how to set the shutter and aperture on the thing! The fixed, screw-in primes were awkward to a zoom-lens user and again, seemed old fashioned not being quick-detach bayonet fit. Very very much more 'fidle-ability' to exploit, the M42 screw lenses were also incredibly 'rigid' and robust, and at the time, I could, and oft did, pick up different, often great, lenses for the thing, in the camera shop for less than the roll of film I went in for, building up an 'all-prime' period outfit around it, to get precious about..

And there in lies the query... what's a 'Serious' camera?

That little XA2 is oft derided and ridiculed by so many because it was not an SLR, yet it was far from a 'cheap' camera, or an unsophisticated one. It just doesn't beg a lot of user involvement. The OM10, 'could' but oft doesn't actually beg any more thought to use it, and doesn't do much that the little XA2 wont, probably far more easily. The all manual Sigma, begs a lot more user 'faff' to take a photo, and the lack of convenience of prime lenses that are that much more awkward to swap, makes it a very 'serious' bit of kit you HAVE to apply a lot more effort and thought to using... yet it is likely one of the least expensive cameras I have ever had. Queue mention of the electric-Picture-Maker, the Nikon D3200.... bought about half a decade ago, it IS 'the' most expensive camera I have ever handed over cash money for! Even MORE forked out to get the same sort of range of lens coverage I have for old film cameras; A-N-D astounding amount of intricacy in its electrickery, its like every toy on the shop from the days of film, in your hand, today..... and Oh-So-Easy to use and begs so little user involvement....... Seriously 'expensive', and oh-so-easy to get oh-so precious NOT using all that electrik-easement, trying to 'go manual' and use it like my old clock-work Sigma..... does THIS make it 'more' or 'less' serious?

It is, I think all in the eye of the beholder...... which IS photography as a rule, if there ever is one.
 
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David
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#58
Zenit E back in 1969. This was built like a tank (T34?), had a manual lens and a totally inaccurate exposure meter. I lusted after an Asahi Pentax for a while. When I could actually afford one, it seemed cheap and nasty, so graduated to a Canon F1 instead.
 
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Mike
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#59
Zenit E bought in 1979 in Gibraltar the year my son was born, as above meter was useless worked it out by the second roll of film though (y)
 

MartynK

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Martyn
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#61
A Kodak folding camera that took 120 film, probably a Kodak 66. My old man gave it to me when I was about 9 or 10, so that was in the very early 1960s. Completely manual, right down to the shutter cocking lever, and I hadn't a clue how to use it. The owner of the local camera shop took pity on me and explained the basics of what we call the exposure triangle, Sunny 16 (maybe Sunny 11 in the UK?) and how to focus. The camera took good photographs and I started developing my own films shortly after that, but never got into printing because I didn't have access to an enlarger. My first SLR was a Zenith, and my first good SLR was a Nikon F2. Still the best camera I've ever used!
 
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Mike
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#62
The owner of the local camera shop took pity on me and explained the basics of what we call the exposure triangle,
{Bisto-Ahhhhhhh} That's like the chap-in the mini-lab explaining ASA dial, exposure compensation to me for the ski-slope shots; It does make you wonder how much we have lost, compared to gained, with tinternet, and on-line buying.......

But then, last time I went into a camera shop, I was confronted by a fourteen year old (well, he SEEMED no older to me!) sales 'expert', who had ALL the answers when I asked "So, err, what do I do when the battery goes flat?", who could not even imagine not being within 3 feet of a USB port!!!! ISTR he said, "well, you can get this widget here to plug into the cigarette lighter socket in 'the' car", and was even more confounded when I said "But I ride a motorbike" begging the query, "Well, don't they have cigarette lighters?!?"...... which begs another anecdote of an earlier era, when I popped into a petrol station, on the bike, for a packet of cigarettes..... and a light-bulb coming on over McJob attendant, saying "Oh! I didn't think you could smoke on a motorbike!".. and being completely taken in when I decided to string him along, poking a fag through one of the vents in the front of my crash-hat... which he was utterly convinced by, until I added, "Yeah, but its a bit of a booga trying to get the matches to not blow out trying to light it!" lol 14 Y/O Camera Sales expert, probably has kids of his own now..... who might work in a camera shop.... only there don't seem to be any left!!!! Maybe his embyo is creating the listings on e-bay!!Lol!!

and I started developing my own films shortly after that, but never got into printing because I didn't have access to an enlarger.
But with 120 MF you don't really need one!

It was actually perennial argy-bargy between my Granddad and his Brother-in-law at family gatherings for many years, when my Grandad would comment on Uncle John still using 'That old antique' (A Ziess Ikonta 120 folder, now actually in my collection of heirlooms!) and offering the merits of his Kodak Retinette (also in the Heirloom collection!), 35mm film, Colour, and Slides...... and Uncle John always replying "Yes, but we actually get to look at MY photographs!", because he'd been a spotter during WWII and trained to develop film and make contact prints, which was why he had bought a 6x9cm 120 folder, that made near post-card sized negs he could contact print in the kitchen window, after developing the film at the kitchen sink, and deliver ready to view photo's, probably faster than I can clear down an SD card of the Electric-Picture-Maker of today!!!!
 
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Phil
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#63
What are we calling a ‘serious’ camera?

I’ve owned more ‘fun’ or hobby cameras than serious ones. I’d say my first ‘serious’ camera was the Bronica ETRS, but I’d owned a few SLR’s before I bought that.
 
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Chenti
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#64
EOS 5 35mm. Cost me a ton of cash in 1992. Well above my abilities... spent a fortune on film and developing... moved to a EOS 350D in early 2010’s. Now have a 70D and finally getting to grips with it all. Still have the 5 and 350D in the cupboard
 

West Camera

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frank west
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#65
My first serious camera was the Nikon Nikkormat FTn which I bought new in 1969. Afterwards I made a promise to myself to never buy another 'serious' camera again. GAS nearly drove me to the poor house. Went through hundreds of rolls of film. Set up my own darkroom. It was like the plague that reached into all corners of my life. And, did I mention lenses, tripods, filters, speed lights, etc.? I kicked the 'habit' and got the 'monkey' off my back. My cameras today are fixed lens point and shoots. No chance of that happening with these cameras.
 
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David
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#66
I bought a Nikon FE + nifty 50 from a mate in the early 80s. I still have it ... at my sister-in-law's place in Lisbon. I had a lot of fun with that, didn't get my first DSLR until 2009.

My first digital camera experience was in 2000, a poxy little plastic Fuji that gobbled AA batteries.
 
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#68
1978, lusted after a Fujica (as they called them then) but could only afford a Zenit E 'used' in Chas Eagles window. Three years later when I had a little more money I bought a Pentax ME Super. Seemed to be a common route into cameras in those times.
 
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David
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#69
I suppose it would have to be the Exakta Varex IIB that I bought in the late 1960s. If the word had been in use then I suppose it would have been described as a bit of a 'geeks' camera what with the multi-exposure facility, cassette to cassette film loading and the knife to cut the film mid roll not to mention the big range of dedicated accessories.
Soon after that I started working in photographic retail, sold the Exakta, bought a Leica M3 and never looked back.
 
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David
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#70
1978, lusted after a Fujica (as they called them then) but could only afford a Zenit E 'used' in Chas Eagles window. Three years later when I had a little more money I bought a Pentax ME Super. Seemed to be a common route into cameras in those times.
Chas Eagles.
Now there's a name I haven't heard for well over 40 years. From Sunderland if I remember correctly.
In the 1970s I worked for a deep discount photo retailer and we occasionally sold cameras to him. I suppose it was cheaper for him to buy from us than get one offs from the UK distributor.
 
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Darren Russell
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#72
Canon 350d then moved to a second hand 1dmk2 now the 1dx mk2
 
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#74
Chas Eagles.
Now there's a name I haven't heard for well over 40 years. From Sunderland if I remember correctly.
In the 1970s I worked for a deep discount photo retailer and we occasionally sold cameras to him. I suppose it was cheaper for him to buy from us than get one offs from the UK distributor.
Great traditional photography shop, bought fair bit of stuff from him and his sons over the years. Sadly he passed away earlier this year, canny innings though.
 
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Malc
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#76
Canon T70, bought second-hand in 1989. From there progressed via a Canon Ixus pocket camera to a 50D, 7D, then 5Dii and 5Diii before switching to Fuji, where I am today.
 
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#77
Canon A1 in 1978. I asked my brother to buy it for me when he was visiting the Far East before it was released here in the UK. Still got it and in working order too.
Worked in Greens Cameras in Stockport for a summer job and sold their first A1 on the day it came in. Used to sell shed loads of Zenit E’s too
 
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George.
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#79
Nikon F with a 50mm F2 Nikkor lens. Can’t remember when I bought it (many moons ago) but I’ve still got it and it still works perfectly.

George.
 
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