The first camera I remember was my grandfather’s Ikoflex 1A 854/16
This is a very cool camera which I never really mastered. I now have this as a memory of my grandfather but after reading Ivor Matanle’s article on the history and use of the Ikoflex TLRs Classics to Use (Amateur Photographer, 29 October 2005) I have been inspired to test the camera.
My first camera was nothing this complex. I was eventually given a Kodak Instamatic with a cubeflash. I used this to take my first pictures.
There was an especially long gap between the Instamatic and my next camera. With my first paycheck I bought a Nikon F-301, a really cool toy which I used to experiment with. I tried out different lenses and external flashes. The only drawback was that I did not develop my own photos so experiments were slow and expensive. So I really did not make much progress. Eventually I dropped photography.
My hobby came back when I bought a Canon EOS 30 which was a really cool camera but still had the main drawback in that I needed to develop the photographs before I could analyze the mistakes I had made. Actually I should have gone straight to a digital version but due to some misguided snobbery I chose not to go digital.
Finally, I made the move to digital and got a Canon EOS 400D. Now I am happily taking photos, attempting to understand the results and develop what I see and learn. In addition to this, thanks to my Flickr account I am able to easily upload and share my photographs.
So by going digital I was able to develop my hobby to the extent that it actually can be called a hobby.