My first camera

Here’s your chance to tell us about your first camera. Get technical. Get nostalgic. Embelish! What was it called? Give us a link to a picture of it. Do you still have it? What kind of film did it use (or how many megapixels)? How did you acquire it (gift, purchase, hand-me-down)? What did it mean to you? Is there a path between this camera and the one you shoot now (we know that Park still uses a fifty year old lens)? Or, perhaps, do you not remember or not care? I’ll start it off with my own in the comments below (hint: that’s it above).

3 thoughts on “My first camera

  1. My first camera was a Kodak Brownie Super 27, a Christmas gift from my parents when I was 13 years old in 1963. What really appealed to me about this camera was the flash compartment for AG-1 bulbs (this was pre-flashcubes) with a pop-open door – much like the hidden Corvette headlights which I also thought were very cool at the time. The Brownie Super 27 was a viewfinder camera taking square images on 127 film (hence the 27 in its name). It was made in the USA from 1961 through 1965. The Kodar lens had two apertures – “SUNNY” / “FLASH” (f13.5) and “CL’DY BR’T” (f8). There were two focus zones, “CLOSE-UPS” (3½-6 feet) and “BEYOND 6FT”. The shutter had two speeds, 1/80 when the flash door was closed, and 1/40 when open. Winding the film cocked the shutter, preventing double-exposures. I only used black & white film because color was too expensive for my allowance – until my family took a vacation to Crater Lake in Oregon and I was amazed by the deep blue of the water, so I had to go to the gift shop and buy some color film. I did my first panorama, three shots that I later overlapped in my photo album and I still have somewhere around here. The camera disappeared sometime during the next few years when I moved up to 35mm. I picked up another Super 27 at a garage sale and it holds a proud place in my camera collection.


  2. Nice story, Tom. You’ve obviously had a love of photography for many years. I don’t have that connection of remembering the details of an early camera. I’ve always been more interested in the outcome than in the technical details, which gets in the way of my progress. Perhaps I borrowed a camera from my dad for my photography class in Chico during the 60’s when my focus was documentation of people in Greyhound bus stations, but again, I don’t remember the camera specifics.

    I got a nice hand me down camera from Jack early in our marriage and much to his disappointment, I stopped using it when we had kids. There wasn’t an automatic focus and I couldn’t focus it fast enough for kids in motion. I used an auto-focus point and shoot for family shots and didn’t upgrade to Canon SLR’s, a string of great hand-me downs from Jack, until I started documenting farmers markets for promotional purposed in the 90’s.


  3. My first camera was also an old Kodak, similar to yours, Tom, but with a flash cube attachment. I thought it was the most sophisticated piece of equipment on the planet.


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