Cameras

The first camera I ever owned was an Ilford Sprite.

It took 127 roll film, had a switch on the front for colour or black and white and was very basic. It took good pictures and I still have some.

You took the roll film to Walkers in Scarborough and asked for enprints. I remember on my first visit, maybe I was 10, I asked for H prints and was corrected.

Working in a camera shop gave me an opportunity to buy something better, a Praktica L.

It was a real tank of a camera. Totally mechanical, no batteries, no light metering but it did have interchangeable screw thread lenses. The clunk it made when taking a shot was quite deafening.

But it worked, and its basic nature meant you really had to know what you were doing.

Of course, this 35mm camera used film. 24 or 36 exposure prints or slides. It was an expensive business, so you thought carefully about every picture. It also taught patience – sending off a roll of transparency film and waiting for a week until they came back…

I moved on to Olympus, first the OM1N and then the 2SP.

Olympus set the trend for smaller and lighter cameras, battery powered of course and beautiful to handle. I used mine until decent digital came along.