I’m sure many of us photographers have over the years seen camera equipment come and go as we have moved with the times. I’ve found it enlightening to revisit the dark corners of my camera bag and remember the ghosts from the past. Rather than give away my ghostly age, I can tell you that it all started when I was 15 with the gift of an Ilford Sporti 35mm camera. I had very little idea of how to put together an acceptable photo so I plodded along for most of my teenage years thinking I was the ‘dogs nuts’. I assume that mummy and daddy paid for all the films I wasted however, it did come with me on a school trip to Italy; oh was I ‘bees knees’. I’ve tried to recall how my hard-earned cash was spent over the years so read on and compare.
Not much changed until after I got wed. Not sure where the money came from but I arrived at desk of Nikon. Yes, in came a Nikkormat FTN (black body would you mind), together with a Nikkor 135mm and a 35mm Nikkor; my god had I arrived? Starting to think I was becoming a professional (ha-ha), I convinced myself that a medium format was needed however, as Hasselblad was a World away, I settled for a Zenith 80; the poor man’s copy; still didn’t get me very far.
Darkroom skills started to progress at this point and a dear friend took me through the process. I assume that it was normal to load a 35mm film into a Paterson developing tank under the bed cloths wasn’t it?, such was life with a temporary darkroom. While the pleasure of seeing a print arrive in a tray of liquid, the smell and mess is not missed.
I’ve lost track of some of the years but I do remember staying with Nikon for a long time. I think more time was spent admiring my kit than learning how to produce it. At some time a whenever, Nikon F2 Photomic arrived which helped to build up my arm muscles until my dream camera arrived; the wonderful Nikon F3. A fantastic camera which introduced the start of automatic exposure; what an experience. Brief ownership of a Nikon F4 and then the Nikon F5 started to take the process of photography more towards ownership and away from any artistic achievement; not a good time. This caused the camera bag to be zipped up for a long period of time. Not even joining the local camera club sparked enthusiasm and children started to take over an idea of maintaining a hobby.
My interest in photography did not start to resurrect until ownership of the dreaded digital (as it was seen then) came along. I became the point of interest (and envy I’ll have you know) with my 1inch square LCD when on holiday as I used my Fuji 1.3 mg of which the name eludes me. Not having a PC at home slowed down the process of advancement but with a change in employment in came to the need to change all that.
Now 1.3 megabytes does not do a great deal of recording your renewed enthusiasm so a series of ‘point & shoot’ cameras came and went as did the enthusiasm. At this point I had to decide, get to grips with this new technology or stick with buying post cards when on holiday; I’m pleased now that I chose the forma. From that point I seem to have moved towards Fujifilm cameras and lenses but the big plunge came with the purchase of the Fuji X-Pro 1. This camera with its brilliant 60mm and 18-55mm lenses sent me on the path to improvement. A slight hitch took place when, thinking that my kit was too heavy, I changed to Panasonic micro four thirds… total disaster. After seeing sense again my bag played host to a Fuji XT-1 and the great kit lens. Various Fuji XF lenses have come and gone each being brilliant in doing what it says on the tin.
Which brings me somewhat up to date; what’s in the bag now? Well. I am finding it hard to find a camera better suited to my needs that the Fuji XH-1 and the Fuji 16-55mm lens. In other compartments in the bag lives two Infrared converted Fuji XE-1s; one for colour and one B&W. All the usual filters fill in the gaps as does too many SD cards and batteries but I still keep a brilliant Panasonic 24 mega point & shoot for light trips etc. So, now in retirement, all this has led me to become an Associate member of the Royal Photographic Society and the irony is that I have a pending application to be submitted to hopefully become a Fellow of the RPS as well What camera have I used for that?
All of the required 21 Images can you believe have been created by the use of a FLAT-BED SCANNER; now that’s just silly ain't it. Which takes me finally to my dream outfit when the ‘numbers come up’. A Hasselblad X2D together with the 3 new lenses, the 38, 55 & 90 mm only about £18,000…. It never stops, so keep dreaming.
Thanks for reading
Terence Jones ARPS
A photography enthusiast with a long and varied interest in taking pictures.
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