Many years ago, I was a student. No great shock there. For five years I was at the College of Further Education in Lincoln, England that was part of the city's Technical College. The Park Street Annex was for general studies students, those people not doing strictly engineering courses. During the mid to late 70's, I carted my camera about and took numerous photos. Recently, while visiting the UK I found that the Park Street building was shuttered. Its memories will no longer be shared. I brought the negatives from those snap happy days back from my mothers house and started to look at them in the slide scanner. Here is what I found.Park Street, 1975 - 1979.
After my years at the tech college, I progressed to Portsmouth Polytechnic, to do a degree in somthing or other, and got waylaid by camera's, motorcycles, women, and beer. The photo history is lnked to from here:Portsmouth Poly, the Eighties.
My first camera was a Kodak Brownie 127. This black Bakelite box had a shutter and winder. The shutter was not connected to the winder, and the shutter had only one speed. Focusing was by dead reckoning, otherwise known as a guess. The optic was ground out of bottle bottoms, but it took GREAT images - for an eight year old anyway.
Many years later, after I got my first summer job, I bought myself firstly an Halina camera, (simple range finder model) then a Zenit E SLR camera. The Zenit was a Russian camera that had a shutter action so violent it measured on the Richter scale, but it was extremely sturdy and took the old Pentax screw threaded lenses. I set about doing my own photographs with several cheap lenses, a supply of cheap bulk Black & White film, and a small cheap Russian enlarger. I even read up on the chemistry of developing and made my own reversing solution - a potent brew of Potassium Permanganate and Sulphuric Acid.
With better jobs came more money. More money purchased better cameras. The first was a Fuji F605, which took those same threaded Pentax lenses that fit the Zenit, but was a more sophisticated camera. The Fuji was a characterless camera though, and was quickly replaced by my first "Camera System", an Olympus OM-1MD. I still use this 25 year old OM-1, but now generally it plays second fiddle to others. I had at one time supplemented this camera with an OM-10 - oh, what a mistake!
I was laid-off from work at the end of the 80's, with the severance money I decided to get a new camera system - I was still young free and single, it helped! I purchased a Nikon F801. This was a shocking revelation. It was an auto-focus camera. It was all electronic. It was so big! The first one was stolen 14 days after I arrived in the USA. A replacement N8008 was obtained.
The 8008 lasted me till 1999 when various strange things that were going on with the camera (including double exposures, reluctance to focus, slowness of focusing, etc) had me look at some new models. It's a Siren song. No sooner had I started to look than I was dragging around a new Nikon F100. It has been a spectacular tool. It's not too big and heavy, has a zillion features and is easy to setup for great shots. Now if only I were as good a photographer as it is a camera!
Electronics had to come my way sometime, so recently I splurged on a Fuji 2400 Z Digital camera. The salesman warned me the thing eats batteries; he was not wrong. It has a USB interface, the software working well even on Windows 2000, making the process of downloading images idiotically simple - i.e., easy enough for me. The camera has a little screen on the back to review the 2.1 mega pixel images. It was cheap by the way these things go at about $399, and so far seems to be working just fine.
Digital cameras are pretty slick things. I realized a while back that the slide scanning was not getting the most out of the pictures taken using the other cameras, and worse, the slide scanner was not supported on Windows XP (hadn't been supported on anything other than Win98, so I was working on borrowed time). Most of the Nikon range had been expensive or low Megapixel range cameras, I was seriously looking around when the Nikon D200 was announced. Ducking and diving, bobbing and weaving, I managed to get my hands on one. It's a whole different world.
Acouple of years ago I obtained a slide scanner made by Olympus (ES-10), this has allowed me to scan in slides and negatives, and subject you to many new images; a few older ones too.Wander the searchable gallery.
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