Using a Ricoh GRD III and a Nikon DSLR to photograph streets, people, architecture and anything else that catches my eye.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Other Cameras

Since my last post I have been racking my brains trying to remember where that old Praktica SLR went. I have realised that I made an amazingly stupid decision. It must have been the early 1980s when I sold that camera to a school mate, probably for about five quid. I wanted the latest thing, not an old manual camera that looked like it was from a museum. In the 1980's everything was becoming automatic, electronic, smaller, sleeker and sophisticated. So I saved my pocket money, and eventually bought a Minolta compact 35mm camera. I think it was quite expensive actually (around £120 new). These new machines were amazing... Just pop the roll inside, close the door, press the button and the film would automatically load! They automatically advanced after each shot. It had a built in flash. This felt like 'the future'. Amazing stuff. It had a little red light which did something. You could even imprint the date and time onto the photos. Then after the roll was finished... buzz buzz went the automatic rewind! Amazing.

Here is a picture of someone else's Minolta, from a web search. Although this was the exact model I had.

So I left the world of SLR cameras, and sleepwalked into the land of consumer compact practicality. Hindsight is a wonderful thing of course, and my hind sight tells me that I wish I had saved and bought a Nikon, Pentax or Canon SLR. I did however enjoy the Minolta, and my photos were better.

Of course, if I had any interest in 'photography', it disappeared with my new Minolta. This was also at the age where 'hobbies' are forgotten, and 'other interests' take over. Music, girls, going out, drinking, clubbing, driving etc... These are the things that became important. Even the poor old Minolta eventually got left somewhere, never to be replaced. I think I went ten years without a camera. The lack of photos from this part of my life is evident when I look through old albums and boxes of memories. Nothing.

Around the mid 1990s, I bought a new Canon pocket camera for my then partner. It was a lovely little quality camera, which I still believe to be a major influence on the style of many of today's pocket cameras. This was the Canon IXUS II. It really was one of the first times that a pocket camera looked totally desirable. The little rectangular case of satin polished stainless steel was a pleasure just to hold. It was still a 35mm roll film camera, but was now in the latest APS format (advanced photo system). It had some great features including nice wide landscape ability.  Although not a new feature for the time, I was still amazed by the zoom control. I found myself using the camera quite a lot, and wished I had bought it for myself. I felt a twinge of interest in photography again after such a long time. I still think the Ixus is a beautiful camera, and holds up well after fifteen years. That little camera is gone from me now... R.I.P. little Ixus.


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