My History with Photograpy

My first camera in the late 80's was a blue and yellow Fisher-Price that shot 110 film. I recently reacquired a copy of this camera. In the 80s and 90s, I dabbled with my fathers Canon AE-1 and had a few point-and-shoot cameras myself. 

In the 2000s, I jumped into digital with a Canon PowerShot SD630. I quickly felt limited by the capabilities of that camera and even installed CHDK to expand its abilities. It did work quite well in an underwater housing while scuba diving in Hawaii.

On a trip to Seattle in 2010, I upgraded to interchangeable lens cameras but decided to go to mirrorless rather than the DSLRs that were predominant at the time. I went with Micro Four Thirds and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1. I loved that camera and I took it all over the place. I eventually upgraded to the Olympus OM-D E-M1.

As I became more experienced, I looked to upgrade to full-frame. When the Sony a7R III came out in 2017, I jumped on it. I later upgraded to Sony a7R IV and then Sony a7R V when they were released. 

In 2023, I had my Sony a7R IV converted to full-spectrum and plan on shooting some IR-photography. 


All the while, I had a sense of nostalgia towards film. This was rekindled when I found a Canon FTb QL with a 50mm f/1.8 in a box of free stuff at a yard sale. After replacing the battery and light seals, it worked like a charm. I loved the simplicity and craftsmanship of a purely analog camera. After this I was on the look out for interesting film cameras. I read about Jeff Bridges shooting with a Widelux Panoramic camera and I started researching. The Widelux was a little expensive so I looked into cheaper swing-lens options. I settled for a Horizon S3 Pro for a few hundred bucks. I found the design of that camera to be extremely interesting but its quirks meant less than stellar image quality.

Later in 2016 , I lucked out and found a great deal on a complete Hasselblad XPan kit. The prestige of the Hasselblad name is well known and justified. The extremely wide negatives exposures are amazing but bring their own challenges.

I began developing and scanning my own negatives (Canon CanoScan 9000f Mark II)

Around the same time as getting the Hasselblad, I was reading about medium-format film. To marry the idea of medium format and panoramic cameras, I bought a Pinhole Printed Clipper 6x18. The negatives on this camera are huge. But being a pinhole camera, the photos were not sharp and the exposure times were very long.

After researching many options, I settled on the Mamiya RB67 as a good quality option that is widely available so the prices are reasonable. 

The RB67 took good photos and I particularly like the interchangeable rotating film backs. Nobody would call it portable. This is a studio camera. For a more manageable travel camera, I picked up a Mamiya 6 MF in 2021. It has a collapsing lens mount which makes it easier to pack yet it still has a large 6x6 negative.

I still liked panoramic film and wanted to have a medium format option that produced larger negatives than the XPan, and sharper results than a pinhole. In 2023 I got a Nobel Design 6x17 with Schneider 90mm f/8 Super Angulon.