I have enjoyed Photography since my early teen years. At 14 years old, my dad let me use his 35mm camera, a German Voightlander TTL. I loved using Kodachrome film to take slides (remember the little 2×2 cardboard squares). I purchased my first Canon, an FTb, while visiting Tokyo in 1969. I remember my choices, a Nikon F for $125, or the Canon FTb for $100. Considering I was spending almost my whole allowance for our 2 month trip around the world, I went for the lower cost and bought the FTb!
Sadly, within a year, the FTb was stolen from my car trunk, because my brother left the car trunk open at school! I always wondered what happened to it. Years later my brother told me the story of the open car trunk!
In the summer of 1974, my cousin Lemuelle, while stationed in Korea, purchased a Canon A1, which he sold me when he got back. Incredibly, less than two months later, my wonderful wife, threw out the box I had stored the camera to the dumpster! Yes, she did! She thought it was an empty box! Unbelievable.
The Nikon Years (1976-2009)
- My first Nikon. In 1974 I purchased my first Nikon, a Nikon F2 Photomic with a 50mm f1.4 Nikkor lens in St. Thomas. I still have the F2, in perfect working condition. I had a blast taking photos in St. Thomas while on a “weekend” honeymoon trip. It was my main camera for years! 10 years later I purchased an N4004s in Chicago, while attending a SoftSel conference with my friend Nick. With an electronic motor to load and advance film, it was a great camera. Still works!
- My first digital camera. In 1999 I bought an Epson Photo PC 800. With a 2 megapixel sensor, it captured great photos during a month long business trip to Buenos Aires. I still have the camera, but the internal capacitors do not hold a charge and only takes about 2 photos on a fresh set of batteries!
- My first digital SLR was a Nikon D70, purchased in 2005, followed by a D70s in 2006. Used these during my 2 years of contract work in Central & South America. Upgraded to a D200 in 2008 followed by a D300 in 2009, right before our 35th wedding anniversary cruise to Alaska! I sold the D200 but still have the D300 with the 24-120 mm FX lens.
The Canon Years (2009-2016)
- Returned to Canon equipment with a T2i, followed by the faster 7D . My favorite everyday lens was Canon’s 15-85mm zoom lens! in July 2013 I entered the “full frame” world, with a Canon 6D & 24-105mm f4 lens. The 6D is an amazing camera, particularly if you are into landscapes!
Return to Nikon! (2016-)
- In 2013 my dad asked me to buy a Nikon D800 at Amazon. My friend Chris, got to play with it before I sent it to dad. He was so impressed with the 36 megapixel sensor, he purchased a D810. Afterwards he kept asking me when I was going to come back to Nikon gear.
- After seeing reviews on Nikon’s Coolpix P900 I bought one in May 2015 and was amazed at its incredible zoom range, 24mm-2000mm! No, it is not a DSLR, but this camera is great for distant wildlife shots!
- In May 2016, I bought a D750 with 24-120mm f4.0 FX kit lens. It was a tough decision, as the APS-C sensor D500 had just been released with incredible specifications. Considering my passion is landscapes and travel, I opted for the full frame. I love the D750!!!
- What is next on my wish list, Nikon’s 14-24mm f/2.8G. Playing the lotto now!
Copyright 2017, Ralph Quiñones. All rights reserved.