I don’t know which came first – my interest in Astronomy or in photography. I guess it was around the same time. But unlike Astronomy, my passion in photography remained just a hobby.
While I never had the luxury to buy the equipment I wanted, I’ve always had access to more photo gadgets than I could ever dream of – from various cameras and lenses to film developers and dark rooms. I was pretty lucky I suppose.
I got my first camera in 1990. I was eight years old. It was SMENA 8M – the 80s Eastern European must-have for every tourist 🙂 . It was a very basic camera, and the quality was not that great, but it worked flawlessly for many years. It was a good learning tool for an eight year old.
In the late 90s I got my second camera – Zenit E. Its design was twofold – a camera first, and a deadly flail weapon latter. Or the other way around. I still can’t figure that out. The default lens wasn’t of high quality (or even average for that matter), but the body was a solid block of metal. It probably weighted at least twice your average camera, and, I suspected, made out of decommissioned Russian tank. On the bright side, it wouldn’t let you down regardless of the weather conditions – from freezing winter months to scorching summers, and high humidity.
I purchased my next camera in 2001. It was Praktica LTL. A piece of art compared to what I previously owned. Nothing beats German quality. It had more options than my Zenit, and the lens quality was light-years ahead of my old camera. You can never go wrong with Carl Zeiss Jena optics.
As the new century progressed I decided it was finally time for me to get into the digital world. Short on cash, in 2004 I purchased the point-and-shoot HP M20 (4 Mpix!!!). It was one of the cheapest entry-level cameras, but it was worth every penny. Meaning, I saved a lot on films. And it still works… kinda.
The newest addition is Olympus E-510 DSLR, which I got in mid 2007. I’ve been pretty pleased with it so far, but in the last few years I haven’t gotten the time to use it as much as I would have liked to. Though that’s hardly the camera’s fault 🙂 .
All in all this is the short list of all the cameras I’ve owned. Some worked better than others, but overall I can’t complain. I’ve always been able to enjoy capturing interesting moments whether on a film or on a memory card.