I began photography, or at least began to take it more seriously, in 1979 while at school. I was struggling to find an arts subject at which I wasn't terrible and had eliminated any form of drawing, painting or ceramics from the list. Photography combine a geekish interest in mechanical contraptions with an attempt at artistic expression, and then threw in a dose of chemistry and physics. I was hooked.
I started collecting old cameras for several reasons:
- Many of them were things I coveted as a youth but could never afford
- Several of them I owned at one time or another, and had fond memories of them
- Some were, to me, historically significant and lay on a path to where photography is today
- They're relatively cheap as a way of admiring engineering triumphs
My slowly growing collection isn't particularly methodical, nor is it especially thorough. There are several brands that are significantly underrepresented merely because they never interested me much. It's my collection, so I get to be as random as I choose :-)
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My first digital camera, and the beginning of the end for Kodak
Olympus AF-10 Quartz
Topcon RE Super
Pentax Spotmatic ES
Although introduced 40 years after the 500C, the 501CM looks very similar and is interchangeable with many parts.
From about 1980 onwards I always wanted a Hasselblad; everything about them was appealing: preferred camera (later in life) of Ansel Adams, camera chosen by NASA for space and lunar photography. Oh, and then of course there was the legendary longevity and Carl Zeiss lenses!