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A history of the Cameras that I Have Owned

Argus C2

Praktica ML5
This circa 1938 rangefinder camera was my first 35mm camera, and was given to me by my grandfather in the early 1970s. I owned a cheap Kodak Instamatic camera, but this camera brought me into the world of 35mm.

The camera had external gears that coupled the lens to the focus knob. It actually had interchangeable lenses (but I didn't have any).

At the time ARGUS was known as the "Ann Arbor Research Group of the US" (as in Ann Arbor, Mi), before it became the Asian company of the same name.

Made in East Germany, this was the first 35mm SLR that I owned. It was a manual camera, and used the Pentax screw-mount, so many lenses were available for it. I purchased it around 1975, and obtained a couple of additional lenses for it.

Canon FTb-N

New Canonet 28
The first "name brand" camera that I owned, I purchased this in 1978, about the time they were going out of production with this model (got it for a good discount). It was a manual camera, and it became my standard camera in the early years. I actually bought this camera for my wife. It was an aperture priority automatic camera, as at the time, I never thought anyone might need anything but a manual camera.

YashicaMat 124G

Canon Sureshot Max
In the 1980s, I bought this camera to do weddings. I did a couple of them, a few portraits, then essentially lost interest and moved on. The camera took incredible photos as it used a medium format film, either 120 or 220 RollFilm. I bought this camera in 1991 when I took a trip for work to Arizona. I didn't bring a camera with me, and since my family was home and I didn’t have anything else to do, I bought this camera and spent the week taking photos.

It was a 35mm rangefinder camera with Aperture, Shutter, and Program modes.

Nikon N6006

Nikon Pronea S
In the early 1990s, I wanted to upgrade my Canon FTb manual camera to one that had some automatic functions. Unfortunately, Canon changed the mount, and none of the lenses I had would fit their newer automatic cameras.

For the new camera, I would have to buy new lenses again, Given this is the last time I wanted to do that, I swapped brands and went with this Nikon N6006 fully automatic film camera.

I purchased this camera in 2000, as at the time, the Advantax APS format was popular, and I did like the idea of being able to shoot in a 3:1 landscape.

This was an interchangeable lens SLR that could use the lenses from my N6006. With the APS film being smaller, the image quality may not be as good, but at least I could use good glass

Canon PowerShot A40

Nikon D70
In 2002 I started down the path of Digital Camera ownership with this Canon PowerShot A40. At the time, most digital cameras were not very "camera-like", but when this camera became available, it looked like what a camera should look like.

It also featured manual control and an optical viewfinder. With its 2.1 MegaPixel sensor, it took decent enough photos to post on the Web.

In 2004, the Nikon D70 made its debut. At the time, it was regarded as a great camera. Since I owned a N6006 35mm camera, all of my lenses were still compatible.

This was a 6 MegaPixel camera, and although by today's standards it is all but obsolete, I put my film cameras in storage and used this camera and my Canon PS A40 from this point forward.

Nikon Coolpix S200

Nikon CoolPix S560
In 2007, my wife presented me with this camera for a Christmas present. Although the camera did not have much control over exposure and other settings, it was nice that it could fit in my pocket.

It has a 7 MegaPixel sensor size, and the first digital camera I owned to have SD cards (my two previous digital cameras used CF cards).

Having purchased a FantaSea underwater housing for my S200, I bought this 10 MegaPixel camera so that I still could have a "pocket" camera without having to constantly swap the S200 in and out of the underwater housing.

Unfortunately, this camera met an early demise when I left it in my pocket and went swimming in the Bahamas. Salt-Water and cameras do not mix.

Nikon D90

Nikon CoolPix S570
In early 2010, I upgraded my camera to a D90. Since 6 years had passed since my first DSLR, and since the technology is still rapidly advancing, I felt it was time for a new camera. This is a 12 MegaPixel camera, and I gave my D70 to my youngest son. After ruining my S560 in the Bahamas, I replaced it with this camera in 2010 so that I could still enjoy a “pocket” camera. Since the initial purchase of this camera, I have given it to my wife for her to carry around in her purse.

Nikon CoolPix P7000

Olympus Stylus Tough 8010
Seems as if I never have enough cameras. I liked this camera as it was a Point & Shoot for serious photographers. Ten MegaPixels, but also full automatic and manual control, and RAW file capability.

We do a lot of cruising in the Caribbean, and I take this camera on shore when it’s too difficult to lug around my DSLR. It is my backup camera.

Also because of the Caribbean cruising necessity, I bought this 14 MegaPixel waterproof camera (good to 33ft) to replace the S200 and FantaSea housing, as this camera is a lot easier to carry.

And while it is my current "pocket" camera, I don't have to worry about inadvertently taking it swimming again.

FujiFilm FinePix S2950

Canon SX130 IS
I bought this camera for a single purpose - to keep in my car. I don't know how many times we found ourselves in a photogenic place without a camera. My main purpose for such a camera was to be inexpensive, have manual controls, and have AA batteries. Batteries are important as if the camera stays in the car, the battery won't stay charged as it should.

The $200 camera you have with you will capture better photos than the $2,000 camera you left at home. And a camera with AA Alkaline batteries will work better than a camera with a dead battery.

I sold this camera within 2 months of purchase as it had a horrendous shutter delay - almost a full second. That, coupled with the poor optical quality was just too much bad camera for me.

This Canon SX130 replaced the Fuji S2950 for my "car camera". It was about the same price and it is the one I should have purchased in the first place. Lot nicer photos, and better shutter response. Like the Fuji, this camera has AA battery capability, as well as manual as well as automatic exposure modes. And with a street price of under $200, it is the only camera I know of in this price range with manual focus capability.

Nikon V1

Nikon P310
When Nikon put V1s on sale for $299 in the fall of 2012, I finally decided it was time to buy one. And as I was able to sell my P7000 for $200, this camera cost me all of $100. It will be replacing my P7000 for my secondary/backup camera.

While some attributes of this camera are outstanding, there are a few things I do dislike - namely the hiding of PSAM.

Otherwise it is a significant upgrade of the P7000, from the larger sensor to the ability to use F-mount lenses, and given the original selling price of this camera was $899, it was a bargain I could not pass up.

After my last vacation, I realized that you always need a pocket camera, as you never know when a photo opportunity might present itself.

In that regard, I own a Nikon Coolpix P310, which in my view is only one of the few compact cameras worthy of owning. It has a fast f/1.8 lens (although it is a variable aperture), a 4.5x zoom, and perhaps most important - PSAM exposure modes.

Nikon D7100

Nikon D3000
Although my D90 has served me well, it was time for a new DSLR. So I bought the Nikon D7100 in the spring of 2013. I am not so much about the 24 Megapixel sensor as I think sometimes they are overkill, but I did like the idea of the removal of the anti-aliasing filter. That, coupled with the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 lens I bought for this camera, I get very sharp photos.

In one sense, I kind of hated to see the D90 to go, but I gave it to my eldest son, so it did not go far.

I became the owner of this sightly used Nikon D3000 when I gave my son my Nikon D90 after I bought the D7100. I am not sure what to do with it. It is a nice camera, but it cannot autofocus my AF lenses.

Anyone want to buy a slightly used DSLR?

Lens Farm
(Fertilize with money)

Back Row (left to right): Nikkor AF-S 18~200mm DX f/3.5~5.6 Multi-purpose Zoom, Tokina 80-400mm f/4.5~5.6 Telphoto Zoom, Nikkor AF 80-200mm f/2.8 Telephoto Zoom, Nikkor AF-S 70~300mm f/4.5~5.6 Telephoto Zoom, Tokina 100mm f/2.8 Prime Macro lens;

Third Row (left to right): Nikkor CX 10-100 f/4.5~5.6 Power Zoom, Sigma 17-50mm DX f/2.8 Normal Zoom, Tokina DX 11~16mm f/2.8 Super-Wide Zoom, Nikkor AF-S 28mm f/1.8 Prime, Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8 Prime;

Second Row (left to right): Nikkor AF 10.5mm f/2.8 DX Fisheye Prime, Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.4 Prime, Nikkor AF-S 40mm DX f/2.8 Macro, Nikkor CX 30-110mm f/3.8~5.6 Telephoto Zoom;

Front Row (left to right): Nikkor CX 18-5mm f/1.8 Prime, Nikkor CX 10mm f/2.8 Pancake Prime, Nikkor CX 10-30mm f/3.5~5.6 Wide Angle Zoom.

Why all the lenses?

I have separated the various lenses into "lens kits", consisting of several lenses I use for a particular function. Some lenses are used in more than one kit.

Everyday use kit:

  • Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 - super wide angle for landscape and inside builting photography.
  • Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 - most often used zoom lens.
  • Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8 - sports and action photogaphy.

Low light kit:

  • Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.8 prime.
  • Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4 prime.
  • Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8 prime - portraiture.

Macro kit:

  • Nikon AF-S 40mm f/2.8 micro - everything but bugs.
  • Tokina 100mm f/2.8 macro - bugs mostly.

Extreme telephoto kit:

  • Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5~5.6
  • Tokina 80-400mm f/4.5~5.6

Vacation and travel kit:

  • Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 super wide angle - shipboard use.
  • Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 normal zoom - also for shipboard use.
  • Nikon AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5~5.6 - excursion all-in-one lens.
  • Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5~5.6 - optional for Alaskan cruises, etc.
  • Nikon 28mm f/1.8 - optional low light lens.

Fun kit:

  • Nikon AF 10.5mm f/2.8 fisheye

Birding kit:

  • Nikon V1, FT-1 adapter, and Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5~5.6


  • Nikon V1, Nikon 10-100mm f/4.5~5.6 power zoom

CX (Nikon V1) kit:

  • Nikon 10-30mm f/3.5~5.6 - everyday zoom.
  • Nikon 30-100mm f/3.8~5.6 - everyday telephoto.
  • Nikon 10mm f/2.8 prime - pancake - minimum profile lens.
  • Nikon 18.5mm f/1.8 prime - low light lens.