Because I had expressed an interest in photography as a child, my parents gave me a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye box camera. I remember using this camera to take photos of historic Pennsylvania Railroad steam engines in the roundhouse at the PRR Northumberland yards in the 1950s and then having problems with photos of a diesel engine on the turntable immediately afterward.
Sometime after that I got my first 35mm camera: an Argus C3. For me, this was a wonderful camera with adjustable exposure and I used it with both negative and slide film for many years.
In High School, I was the photographer for the yearbook using a 4×5 speed graphic with an electronic flash. The Speed Graphic was made by Graflex Inc. of Rochester, NY. When I started college, there was a yearbook and newspaper photographer at the Men’s Freshman Camp with a 4×5 speed graphic so I introduced myself and summarized my experience with that camera. Once school started I became a member of the newspaper and yearbook photography staff, which numbered about 4 or 5 people. Staff numbers varied as the school was a co-op school and some students were working while others were in school. There I also used a 2-1/4 x 2-1/4 Mamiya C3 Twin Lens Reflex frequently.
During my college years, I bought a used 4×5 speed graphic for personal use and took many railroad photos in black and white plus a few in color transparencies.
After college I purchased a Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic 35mm camera, which was made for them by the Asahi Optical Co. Ltd. of Japan. This camera allowed the user to focus the lens at maximum aperture with a bright viewfinder image. After focusing, a switch on the side of the lens mount stopped the lens down and switched on the internal light meter, which was much easier to use than an external light meter. The internal stop-down light meter was revolutionary at that time.
In the 1990’s, I moved up to a Nikon N6006 35mm camera with more features (autofocus and built-in flash) and interchangeable lenses. I remember having both normal and wide angle lenses, and probably a telephoto lens (I do not remember a zoom lens for that camera but that doesn’t mean the telephoto wasn’t a zoom). I shot 20 rolls of film during a 10-day vacation in Alaska in the late 1990’s, just before scanned digital images of processed film came down in price.
In the mid-2000’s, dealing with film was becoming a hassle and digital cameras were common, so in 2004 I bought a Canon PowerShot A75 for digital snapshots. The camera provided a 3.2 Megapixel image with an image size of 2048 x 1536 pixels. I used that camera almost exclusively until it failed while we were on vacation in 2009. (Interestingly, I later read that Canon had had a defect in the sensor used in the A75 so I returned the camera to Canon and they replaced the sensor at no cost, 5 years out of warranty.)
I replaced the failed Canon A75 with a Canon EOS Rebel T1i in 2009 since I wanted a camera with interchangeable lenses and a larger image. The T1i has a 15.1-megapixel APS-C sensor with an image size of 4752 x 3168 px. The T1i came with an EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens and I added an EF-S 55-250 mm f/4-5.6 IS telephoto zoom lens. I took about 5800 photos with the T1i until I replaced it in 2017; during an 18-day vacation visiting national parks out west in 2015, I took more than 2000 photos.
In 2017 I bought a Canon EOS 77D, which is basically an upgraded version of the Rebel T7i. The EOS 77D has a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor with an image size of 6000 x 4000 px and has ISO speeds up to 51,200. I bought an EF-S 17-55 mm f/2.8 IS lens instead of the EF-S 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens normally provided in the camera kit. I added a EF-S 55-250 mm f/4-5.6 IS STM telephoto zoom lens – the sole advantage of this lens is that the front element doesn’t rotate as the lens zooms or focuses, so that a circular polarizing filter doesn’t have to be constantly readjusted when framing a photo. I have added a Kenko 1.4x teleconverter to get a longer focal length with my existing lenses. I have also rented telephoto and macro lenses for specific needs and in 2019 I bought a Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens (equivalent to 168mm) for close-up photography.
Although I have used a number of film and digital point-and-shoot cameras and then smartphones for snapshots, I was never a serious photographer. Even though I love the beauty of nature, I never progressed past snapshots to capture those moments.
After Laurie bought the 77D he was going to sell the T1i but I decided to try using it. I have enjoyed accompanying Laurie on some of his photo outings. It is nice to have a common interest and to get out and enjoy the natural beauty that is all around us.
Though I know very little about cameras, I have a patient husband to help me along the way. With his guidance, I have been able to take some nice photos.