past

My first camera, the one I bought with my own money in 1968, was a Russian Zorki with a Jupiter f2 50mm lens.

In 1970 I purchased a Pentax SL, the meter-less model of the Pentax Spotmatic. As funds increased I added a 35mm and 135mm lenses to the Super-Takuma 55mm f1.8. The SL had a slot on the shutter speed dial to allow it to accept clip on meters, but I preferred to use a hand-held meter.

In mid ’72 I sold my Pentax and Zorki and I bought a Nikon F2 Photomic with a Nikkor 50mm f1.4: for the next eight years, this was my ‘weapon’ of choice. During that time I added Nikon’s woefully soft 43-86mm zoom (despite this, at the time my favourite lens), a wonderful pin-sharp Nikkor 28mm f3.5 and a Nikkor 200mm f4, together with Nikon’s bomb-proof FM as second body, for colour slides.

My affair with the F2 Photomic didn’t start at all well: a month after purchase, on holiday in Scotland, the meter readings went haywire, and the camera had to be returned to Nikon for repair. Afterwards it worked faultlessly, despite all that was thrown at it.

In 1979, when it was first released, I bought the Olympus XA and A11 flash. I have this brilliant little gem still, but its shutter release is temperamental – no doubt due to being lugged about for years in a rucksac around the mountains of North Wales in all weather.

By chance in 1980 whilst buying filters at Morgan Camera, Tottenham Court Road, London, I was shown the newly released Minolta CLE: fatal! My true love of rangefinders was resurrected, and subsquently I sold all of my Nikon gear and bought the camera and its three lenses: the M-Rokkor 28mm f2.8 wide-angle, the M-Rokkor 40mm f2 standard and the M-Rokkor 90mm f4 tele, also adding a Metz flashgun.

Around 1983 I purchased a Leica M4-P with a 50mm f2 Summicron and MC meter, which was used extensively. However, my real preference was the Minolta CLE, so the Leica saw less and less use. Not being one to keep cameras just for show or idle, it was sold in 1987, the funds were used to buy a Cyrus Mission Hifi system.

At the beginning of 2013 I bought an Olympus OM 2 with 50mm f1.4 and 28mm f2.8 Zuikos. Having had a brief flirtation with this wonderful camera, it and the lenses have been sold on to a photography student friend who is just getting into film.

2016: sold my Nikon D90 with a AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f3.5-5.6G ED VR II lens and purchased a Fuji X-Pro2 with Fujinon 23mm and 35mm lenses.

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