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My journey to Micro 4/3 photography.

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jhawk1000, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. jhawk1000

    jhawk1000 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 30, 2013
    My father never had much money but he had a keen interest in photography. He came home from WWII and brought with him some folding cameras which I suspect he liberated from someone as a spoil of battle. He would look for sales on outdated 120 and 620 film and would develop his film with a plastic light-tight developer and he was always trying to ensure a dark room and I recall his irritation when someone turned on a light anywhere near he was working. I learned about fogged film and lots of curse words. He had an old enlarger with a regular light bulb and he would sometimes let me go in his dark area if I promised not to move and block his way and I always promptly seemed to do that. He would drag me off to photograph models at a local swim park on a nice summer day and never seemed to be embarrassed by his lack of a new camera. I had a Christmas when I was maybe 12 and I opened the package and it was a used Argus C-3 with case and flash. I was in heaven. He later swapped something for an Argus C-4 which he used until his untimely death at age 49. The bug had been planted in my mind and the C-3 was followed by an Astroflex FX which was a store-branded Praktica FX with waist level finder and a Meyer f1.9 Preset lens. I carried that camera with me when I was stationed in Germany by the Army Security Agency and I used it all over Europe, Africa and everywhere I went. I saved and bought a Yashica Penta J with 50mm 1.8 lens which still sits on my shelves in my office. Around 1972, I started selling for Ehrenreich Photo which was the Nikon distributor to industrial accounts and they furnished me with a Nikkormat FTN, a Nikon FTN an assortment of lenses. In 1973, I started law school and continued part-time selling and did freelance portraiture and aerial photography for a real estate company. I had bought a Philips Color enlarger with a color analyzer and did much of my own work in enlarging photos. I then added a Nikon scanner for slides and negatives. After graduation from law school, I devoted quite a few years to start my career so photography was just a thought. I did get a Nikon F3, followed by F4, F5 and with a Nikon F8008, F8008s, F90, F90s, along with some Nikon FEs and FMs thrown in for good measure. I decided underwater was a thing so I got a Nikonos III, then a V with flash gear and dove for several years. Then came digital and my journey started with a D-1, then a Fuji S2, S3, S5, D70, D200, D2x, D 600, D610, D700, D800, D750. Couple this with a studio owning wife with all her lenses and we had more than our share. I bought a Panasonic G5 in 2013 and while I liked it, it was just okay. Bought a few lenses and then before a trip to Ireland, I bought a used OM D EM 10, added a 25mm 1.7, Sigma 60mm 2.8 and I was hooked. In just a few months, I bought an Olympus OMD EM 5ii, then a used EM 1, a 40-150 2.8, a 12-40mm 2,8, a Godox flash and other things. Am I happy I have changed to 43? I would say delighted. I have several 16 X 20s and 20 X30s of the Ireland trip on my office walls and they were taken by the underrated EM10. I keep telling myself to sell some of the Nikon bodies, lenses and flashes but I have a tough time selling anything as many of the cameras of my past are on shelves in my office including an old Contax IIIA and Leica IIIf. I even dabbled with MF for awhile with Mamiyas but the 645 was not that bigger and the Mamiya RB 67 was a beast. How about your journey from then to now?
    • Like Like x 9
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Nice read - but boy, a few paragraphs would make it easier to read!! ;) 
    • Agree Agree x 8
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  3. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 24, 2018
    • Kodak "Starmate" (I think)
    • Kodak "Instamatics" of a few models.
    • In 9th grade I got to use my father's Exakta; 50 + 135 preset lenses. No metering, exposure was by using the guide printed on the paper with the film. I did surprisingly well without a meter.
    • High school-1; Mamiya/Sekor 1000DTL. Great camera, but for one problem. The lens mount was the Pentax screw mount. That was not good, because in high school yearbook we changed lenses often, and a screw mount was difficult to use in that situation. Sold it to someone who did not change lenses much.
    • High school-2; Nikkormat Ftn. The Nikon F mount was much easier and faster to change lenses.
    • College, upgraded to a Nikon F2.
    • Early work years, a Nikon L35AF. A film P&S. This is a type of camera that I should have had MANY years before. Small and easy to use as a 'grab and shoot camera.' Since using a 35mm SLR, I had forgotten the function and usefulness of this type of camera. Lesson learned.
    Then work got in the way.

    Many years later I forked to digital and MF and LF film.
    I tested the digital waters with a Canon A series P&S. Really nice as it used AA batteries, so batteries were not an issue. I was sad when it died.
    1st dSLR was a Nikon D70, soon upgraded to a D70S (had a wired remote).
    The IR remote was a PiA to use, so to me the wired remote was a major enhancement.
    It produced a 16x20 for my wife's office, so plenty good enough.​
    12 years later, when the D70s died, I got a D7200.
    At the time, I did not see the added value in a FX/FF camera, for me.
    That 18-140 lens was and still is a really nice GP zoom range.
    The major improvement for me was the HIGH ISO. The D70 capped at 1,600, with the D7200 I can and have gone up to 25,600 (4 stops faster).​
    Then my 1st pro lens, the Nikon 70-200/4. WOW. I knew it would be better, but actually seeing the results was still impressive.
    That lens showed me that optics was the limiting factor, not the camera sensor.
    There are times when I use the 70-200 instead of the more flexible 18-140, just because I like the better IQ.​
    As I am getting older (a senior citizen), kit weight became an issue. So last year I switched to m4/3, Olympus EM1.
    At about half the weight of my D7200 kit, I was sold. :yahoo:
    The EM1 does many of the stuff that I do, except for fast sports. I tried HARD to make it work, but it just did not work for me. So for fast sports, I still use my D7200.​
    Then I got an EM10 + 14-42EZ, to use as a compact easy to carry companion camera to the EM1. :) 

    What I learned from switching to m4/3 was how much my senior citizen body appreciated the weight reduction of my kit. Even more so after I injured my knee, and could not carry the kit load I used to. So given a choice, I will grab one of the Olympus rather than the Nikon.
    The Nikon has become a specialty camera for fast sports, which since I shoot for the local high school, I do a lot of.
    But, running two systems IS expensive. Upgrading to a FX D750 or used D810 would pay for an EM1-mk2 or a 40-150/2.8, which way to go??? :confused: 
    If the EM1-mk3 gets some of the AF and EVF capabilities of the EM1X, that would be a hard camera to resist. Fingers crossed to see what that camera has.​
    • MF Hasselblad 500c/m. I got this used for less than I paid for my D70 kit. It was the camera that I could not even dream about when I first started photography.
    • LF 4x5 view camera. This was more to "scratch my itch" than to do large format seriously. I still have my eye on a Crown Graphic, as the monorail is really a studio camera and difficult to use in the field.
    • I am in the LONG process of building a wet darkroom with 4x5 enlarger. I find a darkroom is so much more calming than working on a computer.
    BTW, @pdk42@pdk42 , I am a bullet/list guy from my past profession. I used to have arguments with the editors who wanted paragraphs and sentences.
    • Like Like x 3
  4. Junior school - Kodak 110 of some sort + my mum's Kodak 127 (should not have bothered with the 110!)
    Senior school - Halina 3000
    Still at senior school - Agfa Optima 335 Sensor
    Got a job - Pentax ME Super, Pentax MX
    Got a better job - Minolta XD7
    Nikon FM
    Mamiya 645J
    Mamiya C220
    Mamiya C330S
    Got job a photography studio - Bronica SQA
    Bronica SQAi
    Hasselblad SWC
    Nikon FE2
    Pentax LX
    Started selling online full time.....
    Canon Powershot compact
    Canon G7
    Canon 300D
    Nikon D100
    Olympus Pen Lite EPL3 (started buying lenses about now)
    Olympus OMD EM10
    Olympus OMD EM5
    Olympus OMD EM1
    Olympus OMD EM1 Mk2

    I miss the Pentax LX
    • Like Like x 1
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    My history:

    - Kodak Instamatic
    - Practika L
    - Pentax SPII
    - Pentax ME
    - Canon EOS 50n

    Digital pre-m43:
    - Canon 350D
    - Canon 40D
    - Canon 5dii

    M43 prior models (mostly bought used and sold on!):
    - Olympus E-PL5 (what got me into m43)
    - Olympus E-P5, E-M5, E-M1, E-M10, E-M10ii, E-M5ii
    - Panasonic GX7, GM5

    Other digital cameras I've owned but now sold:
    - Fuji XE1
    - Sony A7Rii
    - Sony RX100iii

    My current cameras:
    - Olympus E-M1ii and Pen-F
    - Panasonic LX100
    • Like Like x 2
  6. ToxicTabasco

    ToxicTabasco Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 2, 2018
    South West USA
    What a trip down memory lane. I have a short list.

    P&S Film cameras: various disposable 110 film cameras from Kodak and Fuji.
    35mm film cameras: Old Minolta rangefinder (used), Pentax K1000, Canon Eos.
    Digital P&S: several Sony, Fuji, and Canon.
    Underwater Digital: Canon A75 with underwater housing.
    Digital Bridge: Fuji S602z (still works)
    Camcorder: JVC
    Of all the cameras above, the only one that did not break down is the Fuji S602z which I still have.
    DSLR: Nikon DX, D3200, D3300, D7100, D5500, D7200
    Micro 4/3: Lumix LX100, GX85, G9.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Think my time line goes something like this

    Box Brownie
    An instamatic
    My Fathers Pen F
    another Pen... maybe an EE
    Zenith EM bought with first student grant
    Practika L ?
    Nikon EM
    Nikon FG 20
    Canon Ixus
    Nikon E5700
    Canon 10D
    A Sony w something compact
    Canon G9
    Olympus E-510
    Leica CL
    OLympus E-1
    Canon 5Dmk2
    Olympus E-P1
    Lumix GH2
    Olympus OMD EM5
    Olympus OMD EM1
    Olympus E-PL6
    Olympus OMD EM1 mk2

    • Like Like x 2
  8. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again and again Subscribing Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    My journey..

    Fascination with my uncles Pentax 645 and my sixth grade teacher's Rollei.
    My mom's Polaroids and instant 35s
    Her APS instant.

    My digital Fuji 1.3MP?
    Fuji 2.3mp
    Fuji 4.7mp
    Canon G5

    December 2005?
    Nikon D50, D80, D200, D300, D2H
    Canon 40D, 5D
    Nikon D700

    PM1, PL2, P3, G3, GX1, GH2, G5

    Nikon D7000, Nikon1

    Fuji X-E1

    GR, Coolpix A in here somewhere.

    Sony A6000, A7.1, A7.2

    Fuji X-E2, X-70, X-T2, X-E3

    GX85, EM10ii, EM1.1
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Armand Di Meo

    Armand Di Meo Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 28, 2018
    I started with a Canon TL in 1969 (at age 14) and then upgraded to a Canon FT after the TL was stolen. I stuck with the Canon FD system until 1999, using AE-1P, T-90, and A-1 bodies. Canon stopped supporting the FD system in the late 1990s. Consequently, I switched to Nikon. I still have and use my FM2n bodies. I still shoot a lot of film and did not buy a digital camera until 2016. I did not know that much about Micro 4/3 but I saw a great offer for an Olympus Pen E-PL 7 and snatched it up. I have a few Olympus film point and shoots and was always impressed with the brand. I acquired an E-M 10 mark iii last year. I now have four Olympus lenses plus the body cap fish eye. I also use my Nikon AI-S and D lenses with an adapter. Oh, I forgot to mention that I have two Mamiya C-330 and a Yashicamat 124G medium format film cameras.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Tenpenny

    Tenpenny Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 16, 2015
    Nampa, Idaho
    Brent Watkins
    Wonderful story about your introduction to photography! I thoroughly enjoyed the read :) 
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
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