My very first camera was an Argus Seventy-Five (manufactured 1949-1958) shown here. Basically, it was a box camera with a twin lens reflex viewfinder that loaded the now extinct 620 type film. For you 620 fanatics, yes the spool is still in the camera. They know what I’m talking about. My paternal grandmother gave me this camera and I still have it today. Grandma really didn’t want to part with that camera, but how could she refuse her first-born six year old grandson.
So began my photographic journey. I still have some of the photos that I made when I was six years old. I used to spend a lot of time with my grandparents at their Miami home and fishing with my grandfather, father and cousin in the Florida Keys.
The next donated (commandeered) camera was my Uncle Angelo’s Contax or Pentax, I can never remember which one it was. I bought a few lenses for it and I do know that they were screw mounts. It was a good camera and I was able to learn a lot about 35mm photography through that camera, shooting in mostly B&W. I only had it a few years and when I upgraded to Nikon, my Uncle asked me to return it. This is probably the only camera I used that is not in my collection.
Armed with a 35mm camera, I purchased the Time-Life Library of Photography, and read each volume about a thousand times. When my thirst for knowledge increased I fed my habit by purchasing the Encyclopedia of Photography, all volumes, and anything else I could get my hands on to read. These were the days before personal computer, or the Internet. People actually had to read books to gain knowledge! Imagine that; how we suffered. (more…)