The picture left shows the first camera in our family. My father bought it during our first holiday in Holland when I was very young. More than 50 years ago. I believe he paid about 10 Euro for it. It was a very simple basic black box. You had to make a choice whether it was a sunny day or a cloudy day. And two choices for the distance. Of course it was for roll film. When you made a photo you rally heard “clack”. In our family albums we still have old black & white pictures of these early days. It was my first experience with photography and I found it magic.
Agfa Iso Rapid – my first camera
This was my first camera. I am not sure how old I was when I got it, but I believe I was about 10-11 years old. My first pictures were made during a school trip on a boat. It had even less options than the Agfa Clack. Is it a sunny day or a cloudy day? That was it. Life was easy that time. Recommended film was the isopan.
I asked my family, in case they wanted to throw away old camera’s, to think of me. I started to collect them. I do not buy them, because I prefer to get an old camera of an old aunt or a grandfather of a friend. Over the years I have collected quite some nice old camera’s. Not a lot of money involved, but camera’s with a story.
The Hasselblad experience
Just before the digital age really started I bought this Hasselblad 501 C. It was an occasion of course . But it was a dream to have one day a Hasselblad camera. I was very proud. And to develop these big medium format negatives was great. I still have the camera and now and then I buy a roll film. To make good pictures with a camera like this is something else than pressing the button on my Canon 5D camera.
The Hasselblad camera that I owned as well was the XPAN. The XPAN is a 35mm, manual focus, rangefinder camera with an aperture priority/ exposure compensation mode and all manual exposure option. It shoots a wide-format or ‘panoramic’ negative. Rather than producing the classic 24mmx36mm (2:3) frame, it shoots an almost double frame – 24mmx65mm to be precise. There are only three lenses available for the camera system: 30mm, 45mm and a 90mm. Aperture is controlled by a ring with all three lenses. I sold it two years ago for a good price, in order to buy my new Canon camera. I should not have done it. This was the camera that gave me the wow factor at that time. The panorama pictures were so amazingly beautiful. When there would be a digital XPAN I would sell all my other stuff.