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50 years on...........

Discussion in 'Introductions...' started by Martyn Whiteley, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. Martyn Whiteley

    Martyn Whiteley New Member

    Hello all, I've just joined the forum and thought I'd introduce myself by inflicting 50 years of my photo history on your good-selves. Well it's over 30 years since I once had a letter printed in the AP magazine, so some catching up to do!

    Like a few teenagers growing up in the 70's at the time, my first venture into serious photography was to buy one of those Russian Zenit SLR's, having moved on from the family's Kodak Instamatic. Always keen to spend money on gadgets, by the time I hit Uni, I had a few lenses and a full (b/w) darkroom setup. It was certainly a good grounding for the basics in manual photography.

    More funds in the pocket following education, and the advent of cameras from Japan and the like becoming 'intelligent', I settled for a while on the Konica brand, ending up with 2 bodies and some lenses. Now I'd established myself as the 'photographer' within the extended family and friends, and the inevitable wedding, children, and pet photo requests kept coming. So I upgraded to Nikon.

    The FE2 became a loyal servant for the rest of the 80's and early 90's. I had a pair of bodies and mainly Tamron lenses.

    As the 90's progressed, the digital age crept in, and so did the demand for wedding videos that kept my attention for a while. However once every uncle owned a camcorder, and my own professional engineering career became more demanding, my regular Saturday pocket-money ventures ceased.

    Perhaps the saddest day of all was when I arrived at a camera shop in Scunthorpe, with a silver case full of all my Nikon gear, and got about £300 for it all, trading it in for a 'budget range' 4MP digital pocket camera, that would soon be worth less than a tenner. Oh boy do I wish I still had those FE2's now!.

    My hobby time (and spare cash!) all went in the direction of motor boats from 2,000 until 2017, when I sold was what by then my fifth motor boat. Sure I'd always had a camera, helped out at a few weddings, but for the last 6-7 years, the smartphone had become my only travel camera.

    I'd experimented with a decent 4K drone towards the end of 2017 after selling the boat, only for the photo/video aspects, but soon realised it was 'a younger man's game' and duly passed it on to my stepson.

    So in the Summer of 2018, having done much research into the current 'hobbyist' gear, I treat myself to a Sony a6000 APSC with both kit zoom and a 1.8 prime. My love affair with this little marvel was short lived, when I had it stolen after we had just arrived in Porto for our main holiday. Again it was my smartphone that had to capture both this wonderful city and the enticing Douro valley. I guess it was luck it was stolen on day 1 not day 7.

    I struggled to know how to replace the a6000. in the Autumn the £100 cash back deal had ended and I just couldn't bring myself to pay out the full price for all the same gear. After waiting a week or two, Argos for some reason lowered the price of the a5100 to £279 from £400, and I was now aware of both the advantages of the 5100 over the 6000, namely touch screen focusing and reversible lcd. I convinced myself I could live without the EVF!

    All was now well until my wife decided she wanted a camera to take close up photos of the wildlife now entering our new back garden. Thinking a Sony superzoom would be ideal, I ordered a WX350, only to find it so small that she couldn't use the controls properly so I sent it back. A bit more research suggested that a bridge camera was the best choice, and having become a Sony owner myself, I found the RX10 take the same batteries as the a5100, so that became a target for my wife.

    I managed to pick up a mint Mk1 RX10 off eBay for less than £300. The one with the 24-200 Zeiss constant 2.8 lens. Wow, what a camera! I've got so excited about it I think I may have to treat myself to the RX10 M4 as soon as I can afford.
    peterba likes this.
  2. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome to the forum. It's a fun place, with lots of 'erudite' discussion. (On second thoughts... perhaps the latter, not so much! ;))

    I've had an RX10 Mk1 almost since that model was first released, and I agree that it's an excellent all-round photographic tool. I've seen it described as a "Swiss-army knife" camera - it might not the best at anything, but it does everything very well. I've never used the Mk4, but presumably, it's better still - and IIRC, it has the longer zoom range?

    Anyway, good luck with your decision on switching to the Mk4, if that's what you decide. :)
  3. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you'll fit right in around here! :D

    I've got a collection of Tamron lenses that I was using occasionally on my full frame Canons. Since I sold the Canon outfit and went mostly M43 I only have a couple of Canon film bodies to host them but I paid so little for the lenses (and they're so good) I'm hanging on to them until I can work up the enthusiasm to use some film.

    Panasonic GM5_black 8GB 07 _1050343.JPG
  4. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Go for it, Andrew! You know it makes sense. (Well, it doesn't really... but, so what? :))
    Andrew Flannigan likes this.
  5. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member


    The RX 10 mk III is very good so the IV should also be. The main problem we had was finding one on demo for my wife to try out because it wasn't widely stocked when new. I was a bit concerned that it would be too big/heavy. We finally tracked one down to try and she loves it. I stick to my, much more expensive and heavier, Canon gear but the difference in results between it and the Sony is surprisingly small.
  6. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Come to the dark s(l)ide. We have cookies!

    Welcome to the madhouse, Martyn, you sound like you'll fit right in!

    Lindsay Pennell, Geren and peterba like this.
  7. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    Oh yes - good one, Adrian! :)
    Geren likes this.
  8. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Hello! Welcome! I enjoyed your brief photo-bio very much.
  9. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Desr Martyn,

    Welcome, but here's an even longer story, albeit slightly more condensed.

    My paternal grandfather was a keen amateur photographer but was killed when HMS Gloucester was sunk off Crete during WW2. His widow just left his camera gear in the roof when she moved slightly afterwards. His son Billy was about 14 at the time but nevertheless joined the Navy straight from school during WW2. When I expressed an interest in photography, Billy, by then about 40, had two sons: I was the older. He bought me a second-hand Pentax SV, and all that I needed for a darkroom.

    Since then I have always had cameras that were good enough to take pictures for publication, and have almost always had a darkroom. Details of exactly which cameras are unimportant, except perhaps to say that the vast majority were bought second hand. In the 1970s I tried accountancy but couldn't take the excitement; became a qualified teacher (secondary school); started writing photo books; and eventually went freelance at the end of 1980.

    When I was younger, I used to get REALLY pissed off with old farts who said, "The equipment doesn't matter." Well, of course it doesn't -- as long as it's good enough to produce pictures of adequate quality. Which cheap'n'nasty cameras still don't. Cheap'n'nasty lenses are even worse. The kit zoom on my first DSLR (Nikon D70) was at best adequate: when I put good Zeiss prime lenses on it, I was astonished at how good the D70 actually was.

    The moral? Decent kit costs money. Nothing like as much as it used to, but it's still a false economy to buy anything less than equipment above the quality threshold/ quality plateau.


    IvorCamera likes this.
  10. Lindsay Pennell

    Lindsay Pennell Well-Known Member

    I'll second Roger's point about kit - especially lenses. That is my current bugbear and something I want to put right this year (ie get a couple of really good lenses for my Nikon bodies).
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  11. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera In the Stop Bath

    Your Welcome Martyn......enjoy!

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