I guess you could say I started collecting vintage cameras 35 years or so ago when my dad, after I showed an interest in photography, gave me my first camera in 1975. It was his old 35mm Voigtlander Vito II he got at the PX while he was in the Air Force in the 50's. I recently learned it was made in 1949, I still have it and it still works great!
In high school I was on the school newspaper and the "Yearbook" staff as a photographer. My first camera I bought was a GAF 35mm SLR in 1975. I later traded it in on a Fujica ST 601 SLR around 1977. My final purchase, until recently, was an Olympus OM-1n 35mm SLR in 1979 with the 'winder-1'. While stationed in Germany in 1983, I bought a nice little zoom lens at the PX, stationed at Fort Ord in 1985, a trip to San Francisco bagged a 2x tele converter.
While in High school we got to use a Pentax K1000 35mm SLR and my favorite, a Yashica D TLR. It took the greatest shots, and they blew up great because of the larger film size. We developed and printed our own photos at my buddies house who had a decent enlarger and chemicals, all in a funky old trailer out back of his folks house.
After my stint in the Army, I lost interest in my old hobby. Workin' and a playin'. I even almost traded my Olympus in on a new fangeled plastic Olympus thing I thought was cool at the time. Thank God the store guy talked me out of it. Those types of cameras are piles of junk today and fetch pennies at yard sales.
Now at 50+ yrs young, my new re-found love is vintage rangefinder cameras and light meters. I wish I had not thought that they were "inferior to SLR's" back in the day, because they are by far superior. And the older mechanical, all metal cameras are still, for the most part, hanging in there and still taking pictures after 50, 60, and 70 years.
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Also, check out my new site with some images taken with these cameras
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