Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by Jeffrey L.T. von Glück, Feb 10, 2021.

  1. My first camera was a Kodak X-15 Instamatic. I took it on our family vacation to Europe and packed a total of three 126 cartridges for the trip which, at the time, seemed like more film than anyone could possibly use in one trip--72 shots!! I still have many of the pictures. My first serious camera was a Pentax ME Super that a very good friend 'loaned' me back in 1989 but said that I didn't need to give it back anytime soon. He just asked me a couple of months ago if I still had it (I do!) and said that he still didn't need it back.
  2. My very first camera was a "Beau Brownie" box camera my father had had. For the time it was a pretty advanced box camera, with as I recall, a doublet lens, three waterhouse stops, and a carry case. It was all done in art deco blue. For all that it did not make very sharp pictures. The next was a plastic Imperial flash 127 job. My sister and I both got these, which were free premiums my parents got for opening bank accounts. A terrible little thing, it actually took tolerably sharp pictures and its built-in flash worked.

    My first serious camera I got when I was 12, about to go to a Boy Scout Jamboree in Colorado: a Sawyer's Mark IV TLR. A relabeled Topcon, it used 127 film, had a really nice 2.8 Topcor lens, and took quite good pictures. The viewfinder, with a flip-up magnifier, was decently sharp too. It was stolen a few years later. But it was a pretty nice machine while it lasted. The square 127 "super slides" fit in a regular slide projector, which was a nice bonus. I couldn't afford as much film as I'd have liked, but for a few years, Christmas and birthday presents were taken care of. It was LP records and Ektachrome ...and flash bulbs. It had a neat flash that attached to a bayoneted bracket on a lens, and it made amazingly good exposures. I still have a lot of slides, but alas, old Ektachrome does not age very well. Here's a link to that camera. It really was beautifully made:

    The Sawyer’s Mark IV – A Miniature Rolleiflex 2.8 - Casual Photophile
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  3. Kodak Instamatic 25. First "real" camera Zenit B and 58mm Helios
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  4. The very first camera I used (once) was my aunt's,4,5x6 folder. I still remember it in my hands at 7-8, but not the brand
    or model.
    My first camera immediately afterwards (around 1954-55) was a Bencini Comet 3. Unfortunately I no longer have it, although I do have my brother's Comet 2.
    The first camera I purchased (1965) was a Vöigtlander Vito CLR. I still have it, but it no longer works.
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  5. My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic 104 that I got in 1966 not long after getting married and starting college. It documented plenty of family events, trips and good times together. Those flash cubes sure seemed expensive. Sometime I either figured out or was told that leaving an expended flash cube in would slow the shutter speed enough to improve exposure on back-lit pictures. I suspect that was what triggered an interest in photography that carried forward. My second camera was a Pentax KX acquired in Japan during a visit with my brother-in-law in 1976. I so enjoyed the pictures and slides he created with a Pentax K2 that I took a step up from that Instamatic.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021 at 1:24 PM
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