MY CAMERA HISTORY

Below is a chronological list of my history with cameras (Film / Digital) & photography. These mini sotries are a journey through my passion of these marvelous mechanical and electronic light boxes that immortalize the world as I seen it.

 

1984: Pentax MX

I grew up borrowing this camera from my Dad. According to my parents I took photos from the age of 6. This was a beautifully small a solidly built SLR. Although the meter stopped working a decade or so ago, its mechanics soldier on to this day.

1994: Pentax K1000

I used to borrow this camera from my college photography class. This classic educational tool, which was still built in this period, was often chosen due to it's reputation for robustness. It's still easy to find them today in fully working order.

1995: Pentax P30n

Not wanting to borrow the college camera forever, I asked my parents to buy me a camera for my 17th birthday. My father drove me to a camera shop in a nearby village, gave me a budget and I picked out a Pentax P30n. Although I no longer have the 28-80 zoom lens it came with I do still have this camera. Unlike the MX, this camera relies on electronics to function, but it still works.

1998: Pentax MZ5n

During my time at university I found a Pentax MZ-5 (with 24-50mm f/4 AF lens) in great condition, at a Cash Converters near London. This was my first experience with a fully automatic film camera (aperture, shutter speed and film wind). As premium as it felt to me at the time, Its lightness was matched only by its plasticy feeling.

2001/10: Fuji 6900z

With money from my new job burning a hole in my pocket, my inner gadget freak's attention was drawn to digital cameras. My excuse? Create textures for 3D models. This unwittingly, but slowly rekindled my interest in photography. The convenience of digital was undeniable. However, I really didn't enjoy the controls of early digital bridge cameras, so...

2002/11: Fuji S2 Pro

This is when I really started to get into photography. I still wasn't any good, but I practiced a lot!. The S2 Pro was a huge improvement over the compact Fuji. The controls and lenses were much better. Although the image quality was also improved, Fuji's horrible pixel interpolation eventually pushed me away. Now that I owned a few Nikkor lenses, switching to a Nikon DSLR was an easy choice...

2005/2: Nikon D2H

I bought this from banker in London. Trading from a messy 12 megapixels down to a pristine 4 developed an appreciation for image processing as well as the ergonomics, high-speed and advanced auto focus of Nikon's professional cameras.

2006/7: Nikon D200

As much as I loved the D2H it was a little on the bulky side. When the D200 emerged as the first semi professional with a normal sized body from Nikon I jumped at the chance. I mostly enjoyed using this camera.

2007/5Nikon F100

I was fully invested in digital photography tech at this time, so I have to give Cesare huge credit for encouraging me back into the world of film photography. It was actually Cesare's idea that we try an F100. For me this was easier as I was using the D2H at the time, so I had several nice lenses to use on it, including the Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D AF. I adored this combo walking the streets of Amsterdam!

2007/10: Ricoh GRD

This little digital compact was a short distraction for me. I wasn't convinced that it was able to deliver the quality I wanted, but I loved the idea of a simple compact that didn't need film.

2007/11: Hasselblad 500 C/M

Fully back into film and now collecting cameras as well, my attention turned to medium format and I managed to find a pristine 500 C/M for €900. This camera was insanely enjoyable to use and stunning to use for street photography in Amsterdam.

2007/11: Ricoh GR1s

Fully back into film and now collecting cameras as well, my attention turned to medium format and I managed to find a pristine 500 C/M for €900. This camera was insanely enjoyable to use and stunning to use for street photography in Amsterdam.

2007/11Canon G9 (720nm IR Convertion)

After seeing infrared photography for the first time at a Lakeland Photographic Holidays (2005) trip I wanted to be able to shoot IR more easily than with an external filter over a non-converted DLSR. 

2007/11: Canon 40D (720nm IR Conversion)

After my second experience with a digital compact was rather disappointing I once again switched back to an SLR. This time also with Canon. Image quality and ergonomics didn't blow me away here compared to what I was used to with Nikon, although I wasn't sure if it was infrared or the conversion itself that was damaging my experience.

2008/5: Canon 5D

Like many other photographers of the time I was not keen on the crop factor of early DSLRs, so when I got an offer to swap my Hasselblad for a Canon 5D I jumped at the chance. I loved being able to use lenses to their full potential. Gaining another stop of shallow depth of field got me addicted to fast primes. This also got me in to adapting lenses on the Canon EF mount. I started to use Pentax lenses again. However I was not keen on the ergonomics and handling of Canon DSLRs and the 5D nailed that home for me.

2008/7: Nikon D3 [REVIEW]

As much as I enjoyed using the Canon for it's proper 35mm sensor and superior depth of field, the grip and handling were not on the same level as that Nikon's I was used to. So soon after the Nikon D3 was released I sold everything I had to switch back to Nikon and I was not disappointed! This was my main camera for 6 years, longer than any other camera in my history...

2008/12: Zero 2000

My friends gave me this beautiful pinhole camera as a leaving gift in Amsterdam. I haven't used it as much as I should, but it has always been a proud part of my camera collection.

2009/9: Panasonic LX3

My third and final attempt with compact digital cameras.

2010/5: Mamiya C300f

After missing shooting medium format film, now that the Hasselblad had been gone for a while, I decided to pick up something cheaper. yeah, it's not the same and didn't get much use.

20011/6: Nikon D70s

My wife inherited this old camera from my Dad and I would borrow it from time to time. Still not a bad machine today!

2013/3: Fuji X100

This stunning little compact was something that I loved the idea of. A sturdy metal digital compact, with a fixed fast 35mm focal length and both an electronic and optical viewfinder. It could even be used for hand-held infrared in a pinch.

2013/7: Nikon D600

I bought my wife this camera as she was starting to outgrow the old D70s. From time to time I would borrow it and I thought it was a great little camera compared to my hulking D3!

2014/3: Sony A7 (Full Spectrum Conversion[REVIEW]

As I started to get interested more in infrared photography I decided to convert a camera so I could shoot more easily, not requiring a tripod. I started with a pre-converted Canon G9 and then later bought an Canon 450D and sent it off to Germany for conversion to 720nm. Shooting both colour and IR meant carrying around two cameras, so I started to look for a solution to this...

2015/11: Sony A7 mkII 

As I transitioned over to Sony lenses it made sense that my wife was on the same system so I convinced her to get this... and I would borrow it from time to time :)

2017/6: Canon A1

I bought this so that I could use my Canon FD lenses on film. It was nice to be able to do that but I really didn't like the fiddly controls of the camera compared to Pentax and Nikon.

2017/7: Nikon FM3A [REVIEW]

My second return to film photography was in the form of this amazing hybrid shutter mechanism, fully mechanical beast.

2017/9: Konica C35

I found this cheap old film camera in great condition in a second hand store in a lonely seaside town and couldn't resist it. I think my first roll of film cost me more to develop than the camera did, but it was a lot of fun!

2018/7: Nikon F

Bought online from a shop in Copenhagen. They sent it in a jiffy bag to Sweden, with no other protection (I shit you not). I mean the camera seemed to survive ok (although I have no idea which marks and issues are related to this stupidity). It's built like a tank, but that was really taking the piss!

2018/8: Canon P (original blackpaint)

When I came across this original black camera with black Canon LTM 50mm f/1.2 in a shop in Copenhagen I couldn't resist it. I knew how rare they were, but the film I ran through it was unusable and the lens had some issues, so I swapped it for...

2018/8: Sony A7 III (Full Spectrum Conversion)

My attempt to upgrade my main full spectrum camera to the latest Sony A7 series was a very mixed bag. On one hand the operation and focus was much improved, but the PDAF sensors causing striping issues in high wavelength infrared was just too annoying for me to live with and I ended selling it. This was after the shutter suffered from the common splitting issue which I was very lucky to get fixed under warranty since the conversion usually nullifies that.

2020/1: Canon P (black re-paint[REVIEW]

After regretting selling the original black Canon P, I decided to get a repainted one from Sheuido Camera. I also commissioned a Canon LTM 50mm f/1.4 lens to be repainted to match.

2020/5: Sony A7R (Full Spectrum Conversion)

With my original converted Sony A7 starting to fail after over 100k actuations it seemed time to get a new one. I knew that converting a newer Sony A7 would cause me problems with infrared so I decided to save some cash and go for the safer option with the A7R. The higher resolution was nice, but the shutter shock was a real issue, so I have regreted not just choosing another A7.

2020/8: Nikon D1 [REVIEW]

My love of Nikon design meant I'd been looking for one of these in nice condition for a while. Eventually finding one sparked at interest in retro digital cameras that is possibly even stronger. This milestone in digital photography is marred mostly by a poor battery life that stops me taking it outside for long periods. 

2020/9: Sony RX1 (Full Spectrum Conversion[REVIEW]

This amazing little compact might not be the most comfortable, functional or user friendly camera, but it makes up for that in sensor & lens quality as well as infrared performance. It is by my best choice as a travel camera since I love the focal length and weight, but it absolutely needs the optional EVF for use in pretty much any conditions.

2021/2: Sony A9 [REVIEW]

My main camera finally switched to a non-converted model with this awesome professional mirrorless machine. It beats every pro DSLR in almost every way, for a fraction of the cost and size. As a tool this thing constantly blows me away. I just wish it was physically more than just a lackluster A7 design with an extra dial.

2021/3: Sony Mavica FD7 [REVIEW]

I felt like playing with an even older retro digital camera after the Nikon D1. This model, from two years earlier (1997), wrote images to floppy disks from an old (even at the time) interlaced video sensor that was smaller than a modern smart phone's. I'm not exaggerating when I say the image quality is too poor, even for thumbnails, but it's a blast to hear floppy writes in the field.

2021/4: Kodak DCS 760 [REVIEW]

My second retro digital SLR used an actual film SLR. Although bigger and less elegant than the Nikon D1 this was actually a newer camera, with a much nicer sensor. You can see why Kodak didn't succeed with this camera series, but in today's context having an actual & capable digital Nikon F5 is an absolute blast!

2021/4: Minolta RD 175

The oldest of my Digital SLR's yet (1995) and for the cheapest price. It looks to be in great condition and it powers up but I am having issues getting a memory card formatted properly so that the camera works, but it looks hopeful with the contacts I have made so far.

2021/4: Lytro

I saw this camera for a very low price to jumped on it so that I can finally play with the weird tech inside this thing, even thought the company is long dead and I know it's a bit silly.

2021/4: Pentax MZ-3

My return to Pentax film cameras felt inevitable at some stage. This slightly unusual version of the MZ-5 with 1/4000th shutter speed is an amazingly small and light fully auto camera that almost everything can be set to manual if you so desire. I only wish you could set it to leave the film leader in when it rewinds.

2021/5: Canon D30

My retro digital project continues with a look at the first ever DSLR from Canon. Like the Fuji S1 Pro from earlier in the year, this was a 3mp, $3000, standard size body prosumer DSLR. The Fuji was a modified Nikon F60 film camera, but the D30 was a purpose built DSLR that could shoot RAW files and introduced the world to high megapixel CMOS sensors. 

2021/5: Nikon F5

After getting the Kodak DCS 760 I was even more tempted to see what the camera it was based on was like to use. This last professional workhorse film camera from Nikon is legendary. Although usually considered to be a huge tank of a film camera it'll seem small and light compared to the Kodak, so let's see how I get on with it...

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