Upload & Sell: Off
| p.3 #12 · your photography gear journey |
First camera was borrowing my dad's ME super for a couple of trips, Galapagos and Australia, used some old lens like a 35-70mm and a 50-135mm they were pentax fixed f4s I think. Fell in love with 800MAX Kodak film that I could buy 5 rolls for 6-7$, hated paying to develop even at something like $1.70 a roll. This camera just felt so fun to use and hung around my life between middle school and high school (mid-late 90s early naughts). My dad had gone digital but not DSLR, some strange casio with a microdrive, and later a funny fuji with the multiple sensor sites.
Graduated High School, went to university where I worked a summer building control systems for a bunch of triangulation cameras. These were new nikon D1's I think, maybe they were D1x but I wasn't looking at the numbers. They were cool because we used 35mm f1.4s on them I think (we were taking a pictures of air patters illuminated by rockets that spouted TMA into the sky) and they were MF lenses and it was just right again. We dicked around in the lab and treated them just like every other digital camera we knew about. Basically our generation's polariods.
Switched majors, got my BS in physics, went to grad school (Materials Science??!!), dated a freshman with a digital rebel and kit lens. The rebel was cool since it was a real camera and was digital and was something she had bought herself so I could conceivably afford it. Never used the AF since all the pictures we took were in the dark. Bought a pentax ist* because it had a prism finder and 1 tamron film kit lens. Also got a tokina 28-75mm mf lens with an f2.8 at the wide end! Also because the camera arrived before the lenses i bought a used 135mm f2.8 soligor to use waiting for the other lenses. I used the tamron 3 times. All of this cost less than a set of tires for my VFR at the time.
Christmas came, so I bought a couple of russian fisheyes 8mm and 16mm. The 16mm was pretty much glued to the camera after that. Got a second bike, lost the freshman, photography was still the cheap hobby.
Crashed the second bike due to inexperience and bad weather, fixed that bike and got a 3rd bike.
Rationalized that at my current rate I would quickly exceed the shutter count for the ist* (60,000), so i bought a SD14 for the strange sensor and the (120,000) more robust shutter. Discovered that the SD14 got speckles over 400 iso so bought 4 DG500 Super flashes and a ring flash and shot at iso 50. Also bought a 50mm macro and a 28mm f1.8 for all of $1000 (all sigma gear). Fell in love with the finder and ergonomics even though the sensor was super slow. Sold the 2nd bike sometime that summer. Bought an e420 and 25mm pancake to have an always with me camera.
That fall I moved to China for a year, in HangZhou, which is a short train ride from Shanghai and supposedly has about 8mil people. It was my first city, I got my colleagues from work to take me to the electronics and camera malls. On the first trip I bought a cheap tripod to replace the cheap one that I didn't want to carry on the plane, accidentally handled an A900. I didn't think they would actually let me play with it but the guy took it out of the case and put a 35mm f1.4 on it and I was in trouble.
Kept searching for SA mount lenses in china and they cost more than double the American prices. Tried to buy a bike in china to realize that motorcycles were banned in my city. Started spending free money on photographic gear, got a RB67 with a polaroid back and a 150mm f4 and a 250mm f4.5. Learned to shoot without a light meter. Sold the 1st bike to a professor buddy. Bought the A900 and a 50mm f1.4.
Discovered with the A900 the joys of useable iso 1250! Also SSS for low shutter speeds. Took another trip to Shanghai with some strange foreigner, came back with a beercan 80-210 f4. Saved up a month and went back to buy the 16mm f2.8 fisheye. Bought a 80-400mm tokina in HangZhou, traded that for a 400mm f5.6 sigma, then later traded the beercan for a minolta 135mm f2.8.
Returned to the states, where I bought a minolta 28mm f2.8 with visible fungus scaring and later a minolta 100-300mm to justify the shipping of body caps and end caps after a hotel cleaning lady threw mine away. (I carried the A900 in the breast pocket of my motorcycle jacket and the lenses in the other pockets) Also that year I picked up the 90mm vivitar macro f3.2, plasticy as hell but my favorite protest lens.
At the next summer I moved to Vienna, Austria to 'hang out' with that foreign girl whom I'd travelled with to Shanghai the year before. Sold the final bike started a PHD in Austria, and applied for my work permit. Discovered the work permit would take 5 weeks to process and my visa waver was only valid for another 3.5 weeks. Travelled to England to leave 'Europe' with time on my visa, bought a minolta 200mm f2.8 HS. Returned to Austria and studied and worked but there were few used minolta lenses to be had short of the internet.
Income was rather tight for the first 6mo living in Austria so I felt overly exposed with the A900 that I could not replace if it was stolen so I started thinking about something disposable and mirrorless. Saw a nex3+16mm kit for 300Ä in a store and bought it then and traded all my old equipment that I could (400mm sigma, russian fisheyes, e420+pancake) to get a OM 35mm f2 and a OM 85mm f2. Received a OM 50mm f1.8 as a gift a few days later with an OM-1 attached.
Thoroughly enjoyed my pocket camera! Tried using the A900 and decided I loved the files but hated the "ok" focus that I could get with AF (mostly due to field curvature... I think. stop down focusing is awesome). Decided I would sell the A900 when a more sonyesque sensor was released for e-mount, the nex3's colors never sang to me. Nex 7 was announced so I decided to sell the A900 after seeing the dxo scores. Bought many CV lenses on a trip to the US expecting that the nex7 would also be available during the trip (compared 950Ä to 1300Ä at the time) except the floods hit and there were none to be had without pre-orders. Enjoyed the 28mm f2, 35mm f1.2 v1, 40mm f1.4, 50mm f1.1, 75mm f1.8, and 90mm f3.5 on the nex3. Kept checking the Austrian shops until May for the nex7 but none were available. Passed by my favorite dealer who had an m8 for cheap. Bought that with the nex7 budget and played with an m8 for a while. Took the m8 to the US and sent the nex3 to china with that foreign girl. Played with all of the Canon TS lenses in the US and left ready to buy an old 5D.
Came back to Austria and bought a nex7 as a lark. Was quite satisfied and decided to sell back the m8 (fun camera lovely B&W, completely useless for concert photography as I could never tell from the back screen if things were perfectly sharp.) Sold it to my dealer for about twice what I was expecting (I'm hard on gear) so I got a nice wooden tripod and a FD 200mm f4 macro, to push the karma back. Bought a second nex7 (dumb idea but I wanted two matching bodies for a long while... never again) and a green FD 300mm f2.8, and a Zeiss 180mm f2.8.
Currently I'm saving up for a VG900, though if I don't get enough money fast enough it will probably turn into an A99 + samyang kit + Kiev TS lenses. ( I do miss SSS)
I'm a complete EVF convert and will never go back, I don't even miss AF.
I'd love to build a cheap digital rangefinder because the abstraction of the m8 was beautiful to me but I really hated the electronics.