History of My Cameras

The History of my Cameras.

Most people that know me, know I am somewhat of a pack rat. I keep everything. Too much of everything. I am not a collector by any means, but I have some collectible items. I built a display case for the cameras just to get them out of the closets. The shelf includes a Kodak Duaflex II, an Olympus, my Swinger a Brownie and a Kodak Instamatic 100. I picked up the Kodak Duaflex, Olympus and Kodak Instamatic 100 at Garage sales and Flea Markets. The Brownie has been in my family for years and is believed to be my Great Grandmothers. I think the display looks pretty cool!Camera Display_20170124_003


I got my first camera in the late 60’s early 70’s, a Polaroid Swinger. It was black and white film and used the Polaroid cartridge. Look through the view finder and turn the red know till it said “YES”, press the button. It was a Christmas gift. I remember saving my pennies and other change to buy the film! It only took 8 pictures but produced them in an instant.

My mother got a color version called the SX-70. I remember shooting, then shaking the picture in hopes of it drying faster. Wow, times have changed.Polaroid Swinger_20170123_003


Like many others I took Photography in High School. I can’t remember most of what I learned back then, but none the less it was an experience. We used Box Type cameras, similar to this Kodak (can’t remember the name). We shot black and white and developed the film and prints in class. I remember it was fun though.

Kodak Box_20170124_004

My second camera was a Kodak 110. For the life of me I don’t know that happened to that camera. Normally I wouldn’t get rid of something like this but who knows since it’s been over 25 years ago. In some old shoe-boxes I still have the negatives. Me being the pack rat that I am, I have a few rolls of film that have not been developed yet. Hmm, wonder what is on these guys?

110 Film_20170123_002

My first REAL camera was a Minolta X-700 35mm I purchased in the mid 80’s. It was an awesome camera although I never really conquered everything about the camera. It mostly stayed in the “P” program mode. I purchased a Power Winder that would shoot 2.5 frames per second. Of course that’s much faster than I can press the winder myself. I got my first taste of the interchangeable lens. It came with a 50mm standard lens. Later I purchased an 80-200mm telephoto. Then a 2x converter, so in essence I had a 100mm and 160-400mm lens.


I tried all the normal shooting like, double exposure, long exposure etc. I got some good pictures and plenty of bad ones. My biggest problem was my budget and the fact I had to buy a roll of film, around $5.00 to $7.00 for 24 or 36 shots, have them developed for another $5 to 7 dollars to find maybe 10 keepers. I’m exaggerating about the keepers but invariably there were more than a few bad ones, especially when I added the 2x converter to the 200mm lens. My worst scenario was I was photographing a wedding and apparently the winder did not attach to the film correctly. I thought I was taking some really good shots and development time came with not even one single frame was exposed. Wow! Talk about a lesson in humility. Thank goodness I wasn’t being paid. Besides other things in life, out of frustration, I did not shoot with it much afterwards.

Minolta X-700_20170123_003Minolta X-700_20170123_004


We moved to Dallas in February 1996. We decided to take a trip to Shreveport and go to the River Boats. Crap, I forgot my camera. We stopped at a Best Buy and purchased a Minolta Freedom Action Zoom 35mm camera. Basically a point and shoot 35mm camera but it worked pretty well. We captured many shots. Again, buy film, take to develop and $14.00 later we had some pictures to put in an album or the proverbial shoe box. So were the days of film cameras. I actually took it to New York in 1999 on a business trip. I came back with some nice shots.Minolta Freedom_20170123_001


The Digital Era

In 2003 I decided to go digital with the purchase of a Nikon 4300 Point and shoot camera. A 4 megapixel and 3x optical zoom, and a 1.5″ LCD screen. This camera has video as well but strangely enough, no sound. I actually got some really good shots with this camera. In turn got the creative juices flowing in the world of digital photography. I HAD to get Photoshop. On a trip to New Mexico, I filled up every compact flash card I had. I had about 4 cards, of course they were only 128mb each. After a few years of this camera and several thousand shots I decided it was time to go bigger and better.Nikon 4300_20170123_003


In 2007, we were going on a trip to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Enter the Canon S3 IS – 12 megapixel, 2″ articulating LCD screen, 12x optical zoom. Now this was a camera, at least I thought. I took well over 550 shots of balloons, architecture, landscape and people. Next year we went to South Padre Island. 600 shots. It is a fantastic camera in the point and shoot world with a big zoom. I have taken several thousand pictures with this camera. The manual modes were fantastic as far as I am concerned. In some ways, I could operate this camera better than what I have now. I guess that was from experience and trying to emulate the better photographers I have seen and known. It also was easy to carry around and I took it everywhere too.Canon S3IS_20170124_004


In December of 2013, for our anniversary, my wonderful wife got me a Canon T3i DSLR, 18 megapixels, interchangeable lens, and 3” articulating screen. Although I am not much of a videographer, is has pretty good video with sound as well. This camera will be with me for a long time and has helped me produce some really good images. I take it everywhere.

Now I have a list of lenses and accessories to boot.
Canon 24mm f2.8
Canon 50mm f1.8
Canon 18-135 f3.5-5.6 Standard zoom
Sigma 17-50 f2.8 Standard zoom
Tamron 70-300 f4-5.6 Telephoto zoom
Yongnuo 565EX flash
I have a remote shutter release to use while on a tripod plus much more.Canon T3i_20170123_005Canon T3i_20170123_002


The bag keeps getting smaller and heavier! I love this camera and I am trying to keep G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) out of my system but the Canon 80D has surfaced. Here we go again, but this time I’ll wait because I need to get much, much better before I can justify spending that much on a new camera.

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Thanks for reading and looking!


It’s all about the light!


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