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Your camera history, or: How did you get to the NEX?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Salander, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Salander

    Salander New to TalkEmount

    8
    Sep 1, 2011
    Hello everyone, I am always curious to read about people's "camera careers", i.e. which cameras they used over the years, what they liked about them and what they missed. And also, why did you choose (or are considering) a NEX? Is it your only camera or do you have others besides it? Etc....

    I will start with my camera history, even if it is quite... uhm, short.

    As a kid, I had various cheap compacts and so-called "pocket cameras". (Dating myself here.) I was fascinated by older cameras, like Leicas, but alas... In my last year at school, I bought a Yashica SLR (with a 50 mm) which I really, really liked. Unfortunately, it got stolen on a weekend trip to Amsterdam. I then got an Olympus XA-something but never quite warmed to it... a bit too automatic, I guess... It must still be somewhere in my possession, in pristine condition.

    A couple of years later during my university education, I freelanced for a newspaper and needed a camera. Upon the advice of the paper's photographer I bought a used, very old SLR (Nikon FM) and a 35-135 zoom. It was all right, but I missed Av.

    Then I didn't take photographs for a long time, not even with a mobile phone, even though I was still interested in photography, art etc. A couple of years ago, I was asked to volunteer for a small local magazine. So I needed a camera. As serious compacts with a viewfinder seemed nowhere in sight (actually, people in technology-savvy forums seemed quite amused about the very idea), I went for a used Pentax K100Ds. Fine camera, but I find it too heavy/ bulky, so it remains in the cupboard unless I need it for the occasional newspaper work. That also means I am not getting much badly needed practice.

    Last year I had the chance to play with the LX3 of a friend. Great little cam.

    Of course the recent developments are very exciting. Small, serious "prosumer" compacts, and compact big-sensor EVILS AND now, even with viewfinders!

    For budgetary reasons I consider getting a used GRD I or II for now and see what happens in the market... I'd like a camera I can take with me all the time, mainly for b&w images. If I could have my way, I'd love to try the NEX-5n (and NEX-7, and X100, and GXR)... I like the IQ of the NEX images I see on the net, also the high iso capabilities.

    ADDING: Oh, and I forgot: the flipscreen, of course!!

    Until then, I live vicariously through others, like photos and discussions on internet forums. :)

    Wow, few cameras, long rant!

    So what cameras have you used?
     
  2. Melv

    Melv TalkEmount Regular

    56
    Aug 13, 2011
    Rotherham, U.K.
    Let me think.......

    Kodak Instamatic, Zenith E, Fujica ST705, Contax 139, Bronica ETRS, Nikon 801, Yashica Mat 124, an unknown Konica APS camera, Minolta S404 digital, Nikon D200 digital and most recently a Sony NEX 5.
     
  3. macjim

    macjim TalkEmount Regular

    158
    Aug 10, 2011
    Hmm well, my first camera was a
    Russian made rangefinder but I can't
    Remember the brand. I moved onto the olympus OM-1n (had two as first was stolen) then I won a Kodak 4mp early digital; a DX4000 or something like that. Next came an olympus Digital camera (camedia something or other) then a Nikon D50, a D90 followed that and a Leica d-lux 5 (still use every day) and then traded in the D90 to get the NEX-5N.

    PS. The Leica stays as my every day camera and as I can't afford an M9, that's the nearest to the M9 I'll get for now.
    Cheers, Macjim.
     
  4. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    I just got coaxed back into photography after a very long hiatus, after seeing how chunky modern dslrs areI decided to purchase a rangefinder instead, but upon seeing the limited number of choices as well as the expensive price tag I decided to get a small camera with a decent sensor that I can mount prime lenses on.

    My Camera History is as follows
    Nikon F2 ( was my very first camera), Nikon F-301, Nikon F3, Nikon F-601M (my most favourite model), Nikon FM3A, and now a Sony NEX-5 (c-c-c-c-combo breaker!!). I’ll be getting a NEX-7 when it gets released.

    Minolta Rokkor Lenses
    My love affair with Minolta Rokkor glass started back when I used to work for Konica Minolta and being exposed (pardon the pun) to information such as elements used in manufacturing, Q.C. , image comparisons, price tag, etc...suffice to say that to this day, I am still a very big fan of these lenses.






    P.S. This probably belongs to the classified's section (which I'll post shortly) but it is a part of my camera history, I still have my Minolta SRT 100X 35mm that is free to a good home (just pay for the shipping cost).
     
  5. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    Film: Smena-8m -> Zorki 4K -> Canon A-1 + Canon EF + Canonet QL17 GIII
    Digital: Casio QV-3000EX -> Sony DSC-R1 (still going strong) -> Pentax K-m -> Pentax K-x -> Olympus E-P1 -> Panasonic G2 + Samsung EX1

    Panasonic G2 was sold recently. I'm waiting for the NEX-7 to appear...
     
  6. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto TalkEmount Regular

    116
    Aug 8, 2011
    In the order I owned them:

    Cheap film cameras from my family -> Pentax ME with motor winder and 50mm f/1.7 -> Leica M2 with 40mm Summicron-C -> Olympus IS-3 DLX (fixed-lens 35mm SLR that was the grandfather to the Olympus E-10/E-20) -> Pentax PZ-1 with multiple AF zooms -> a couple of random compact point-and-shoot digital cameras -> Fujifilm S2 (my first DSLR) -> Nikon D1X -> Nikon D70 -> Canon 20D -> Canon 1Ds mkII -> Pentax K10D -> Pentax K20D -> a few more modern compact digital cameras -> Nikon D90 -> Olympus E-330 -> Olympus E-3 -> Sony DSC-R1 (horribly slow AF and noisy high ISO but a WONDERFUL camera) -> Canon 50D -> Olympus E-PL1 -> Olympus E-1 (I will continue to use this camera for portraits until it breaks ... then I'll try to find another E-1 that still works) -> Olympus E-PL1s (updated version of the E-PL1 sold only in Japan ... or in my case from a Japanese ebay seller) -> Sony NEX-3

    As insane as that list sounds, I neglected to mention my various medium format film cameras ... probably because I loved the quality but hated EVERYTHING else about shooting medium format film.

    I'm now waiting on the NEX-7 and several other pre-ordered lenses.
     
  7. Alowisney

    Alowisney TalkEmount Regular

    49
    Sep 1, 2011
    Macon, GA USA
    I started off shooting my mom's 110 Kodak to take pictures of people when I was about 7 or 8. I always liked taking pictures when they didn't know I was doing it. My parents finally got a Minolta X-370 with the 50mm f/1.7 and shot with that camera a ton in my teens. I bought various point and shoots when my folks stopped letting me use the Minolta (afraid I'd lose or break it). I got an APS camera at one point and thought it was cool that I could shoot the different print formats APS would let you shoot.

    My first digital camera was an Olympus D220L and I loved it at the time. We upgraded to an Olympus Stylus 400 and it was great. I've still got it in the original packaging stored away. A few years later, we upgraded to a Canon Powershot A560 which I still use as a backup. We started feeling limited by the Canon and, after a lot of research, we bought a Sony Alpha 350. We got the kit lens with it and a Tamron 70-300mm zoom. We picked up a Sony 50mm f/1.8 and recently a Minolta 24 f/2.8.

    I started getting more interested in getting back to film after we got the d-SLR, so I picked up a Yahshica LM TLR. I love that camera but 120mm film is so expensive, so I bought a Yashica Electro 35 GSN. It had the "pad of death" issue, so I tried to fix it myself. In the process, I broke a wire in the camera in a place that I couldn't get to to splice, so I bought another one. I mated parts off of both and got a working camera that is fantastic.

    I was bitten by the rangefinder bug, so I got a Fed 2 I bought from a Ukrainian eBay seller. Before I could put a roll of film in it the shutter ribbon broke. Having not learned from my mistakes, I took the camera apart to repair this myself. I ordered 2 sets of shutters, both were the wrong size, even though I ordered the correct size. I gave up and sent it to Fedka to have the camera repaired and CLA'd along with the Industar-61 lens it came with. That camera is my favorite camera now! I absolutely love to shoot it and after the CLA, the lens and camera are as good as new.

    I wanted to pick up a film SLR. My parents would rather the X-370 sit and collect dust rather than give it to me for some reason so I bought a Fujica AX-3 from shopgoodwill.com - Welcome. It came with a few lenses and a teleconverter. It's a really small SLR, so I get a good bit of use out of it when I particularly need an SLR and it doesn't take up a ton of bag space with the 50mm attached.

    I was going along happily with my film cameras but then I got the itch for the instant gratification of digital again. I looked for something with good image quality but not a great deal of size. I wanted good low light performance because I take a lot of shots in dim settings. The NEX 5 was the only camera that really fit the bill. I got it with the 18-55mm kit zoom and 16mm prime as a kit. I've been really happy with it, but the NEX 7 is really starting to catch my eye!
     
  8. Salander

    Salander New to TalkEmount

    8
    Sep 1, 2011
    Quite fascinating "histories" so far...
    Ah yes, I researched this camera quite a bit, until I realised that analog wouldn't make much sense for me. Still, they must be great shooters. I was particularly interested in the smaller versions (CC and GX).

    Phoenix,

    I've seen a bunch of very good images taken with these lenses adapted to NEX or mFT. (Another favorite were photos taken with the Konica Hexanon 40) Are these the lenses that went with th Minolta CLE?

    Btw., I checked out your flicks stream. Lovely b & w pictures!
     
  9. stratokaster

    stratokaster TalkEmount Regular

    54
    Aug 27, 2011
    If you need a great fixed-lens film rangefinder, Canonet QL17 GIII is hard to beat. They are very robust and abundant on the second hand market.
     
  10. Phoenix

    Phoenix TalkEmount Top Veteran

    859
    Aug 25, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Phoenix Gonzales
    Thanks Salander!

    I'm happy you like them

    It was the Rokkor-M series that were the native lenses on the Minolta CLE, They were the Rokkor lenses that had M mounts (hence the M suffix) and were designed to fit Leica M mount bodies. As opposed to the majority of Rokkor lenses (save the Shift CA and the 58mm 1.2 PG) this lens still commands an expensive price tag even to this day, while never really being able to use one the photos I've seen (taken on Ilford Delta 100 film used) are really beautiful.
     
  11. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    my sorted history

    My first camera was this Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80 that I bought around the time I graduated High School. It was a fairly nice camera and took some great shots. I had it for several years and was sad when the zoom broke. The repair guy told me it would take more than I paid for the camera to fix it.

    [​IMG]

    When the Olympus broke I picked up my first digital camera, the Kodak Easyshare C180. Not the best camera, and actually was less impressed than my previous 35mm. It had very few features and the flash was awful.

    [​IMG]

    I quickly decided to scrap the Kodak and got a Canon Powershot SX-10 due to the recommendation of a good friend

    [​IMG]

    I really liked it, and loved the features. I used this camera for quite a while and gave it to my mother when I bought my NEX. However as I was learning more and more about photography, I wanted more.

    Finally I now own my NEX-3, three manual focus lenses and a collection of accessories.

    IMAG0082.

    For me it is the perfect combination of size and capability.
     
  12. Salander

    Salander New to TalkEmount

    8
    Sep 1, 2011
    I'm sure it is. There are some others, e.g. by Olympus that seem interesting... I also fancy they are wonderfully simple in terms of handling.

    But I don't think I will go down that route, at least not soon. I have no space for (nor knowledge of) developing film myself.

    Also, digital seems better for learning/ re-learning photography (instant checking of the results). The other day I tried to take a picture on the pavement (of a flower growing on the concrete) with my dslr, blindly aiming, as I am too old to crawl on the floor... :D A flipscreen would sure have come in handy!

    Yes, the NEX-7 sure looks nice from the specs and reviews, even though the MP count would probably be overkill for me.

    PS: Dave, a unique succession of cameras... and quite some big lenses to got with your NEX!
     
  13. adanac

    adanac TalkEmount Regular

    51
    Sep 30, 2011
    Interesting thread!

    The very first camera I used all on my own was a Kodak Hawkeye Brownie Box Camera - the one with the flash accessory - as a kid. Those old enough to remember this camera when they were still somewhat current can now date me, and that's going back some time I am shocked to realize now. I recall taking some fun photos with it, and also having a blast popping blue flash bulbs if memory serves me correctly. Nothing like that smell... it was intoxicating to me then.
    27.
    Later I also got to use the family's Yashica TLR until one of my siblines hucked it in the swimming pool. I really liked the waist level finder on the thing and the weird twisty way you had to think to align the camera for an image. We had a set of lens adaptors for it. Too bad the camera went for a swim, I've no idea where it ended up after that.

    Some anonymous point and shoot film cameras followed. By 1979ish I had a bit of money from working summers and after high school and bought into the Contax family based on advice from a friend of mine who had also adopted serious photography. I also had a cheaper Yashica SLR briefly but ended up owning two Contax 139's for a while, one of which I still have and it still works marvellously. That camera probably more than most of mine saw a ton of use in the thirty some odd years since. I logged a lot of kilometers (and meters - height) hiking and mountaineering throughout western Canada with that camera in tow. Eventually I replaced some of my Yashica glass with Zeiss but liked them both in fact.

    In the 80's I developed an interest in medium format cameras - mostly due to garage sale and flea market shopping - so a few Zeiss Ikonta folders of various types came home with me. I had a very nice darkroom at that time and did some catalogue work for a local business, using both the Ikonta and Contax. A happy Zeiss family.

    Eventually thanks to my marriage I gained a Rollei 35TE which I love to use even now, although I don't often shoot 35mm very much right now. My wife had it given to her when she left home for university and not being a photographer, its charms were lost on her so I was happy to adopt it into my stable. I tried a variety of cameras including a fairly easy to use Nikon film SLR and zoom lens combo for her - that worked, in a manner of speaking, but a SLR wasn't really for her and in the end the lens was destroyed while swining from her neck into a student desk. A Leica Minilux followed for her and in fact was the best film camera for her despite some of its flaws (tiny viewfinder). Good exposure control and nice looking photos, what more can you ask for. She ended up going digital via a succession of Canon point and shoots which worked well for her but I resisted for a long, long time. For most of the last 15 years I've been shooting medium format film, and the odd digital grudgingly (foolishly for me). My favorite MF camera is the Rollei 6008i. This is a powerhouse of a 6x6 SLR and I very much enjoy shooting with it, slow and contemplative although for a while I did some reportage projects of my own with the very nice Schneider 40mm I have. Fast and pretty. The main problem with this system is portability. An Olympus digital followed for the family in the hopes that I might like it enough to, but I didn't (no surprise) for quality and portability reasons. If I was going to go digital I wanted quality and portability. Enter the X100 this year and now I've come to love serious compacts and want more. I miss manual focus capability; the X100 isn't very satisfying in this regard although you can make it liveable. Pre-ordering a NEX 7 seems like the next logical step for me; I also want to figure out the best strategy for using legacy glass that I own or could accumulate in support of this platform and of course I'll also want at least one general purpose slightly wide AF lens in the kit.
     
  14. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    so true

    I agree that digital is such a great medium as far as instant results. You can tell right away if you need to re-shoot a scene. I know with film I would develop the film and have 1/3 be trash right away.

    My progression to my current camera is one of progression towards better and better. Who know what the next few years will bring.
     
  15. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Wow, you have been shooting for quite a while and probably have some great experiences/knowledge to go with it.
     
  16. adanac

    adanac TalkEmount Regular

    51
    Sep 30, 2011
    Dave that's a very polite way of saying "man, are you ever old"! :) (joking!) I'm getting there but isn't 50 the new 30? ;)
     
  17. Salander

    Salander New to TalkEmount

    8
    Sep 1, 2011
    Oh, I almost missed the brownie box post. This camera looks really funky... it could have been used in a late 60s German science fiction tv show ;) Must have been fun to use as a child. Hmm... plus intoxicating fumes... only in a metaphorical sense, I'm assuming...
     
  18. adanac

    adanac TalkEmount Regular

    51
    Sep 30, 2011
    Blue flashbulbs had a certain smell right after they went off. Hot glass or something, difficult to describe. I can still "smell" it in my imagination.

    It's hard to imagine one-time use bulbs these days, even if some of us lived through that era.
     
  19. Knikki

    Knikki TalkEmount Rookie

    Journey to the Nex system?

    Well mine started with a Zenit EM which, dispite its Russian heratige and questionable build quality, was a realy good camera.

    Then got an Olympus OM4 for my 21st birthady which I still have and use.

    Decided I really did need a Nikon F4s whihc I got and I still use.

    First digital was an Olympus E20 and I can get some really nice A2 size prints from.

    Then I descovered EBay and bought loads of film gear Nikons, Pentax, Bronica, Canons, Leica in fact to much stuff :). Upgraded my digital gear to an Olympus E3 which I really like and after a while my shoulders started to play up (Pentax 67 to blame for that) so started looking around at a compact but decided that the mirror less system was the one to go for and bought a Sony Nex C3 which I really like.

    Now thinking of trading all my digital gear to get either a Sony A77 or a Nex 7. Decisions decsions :eek:

    (However over the past 3 years I think I have shot 90% film which I still enjoy using)
     
  20. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    ya

    I was trying to be nice. :p