Thread: Why??????
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Old 02-19-2019   #9
markjwyatt
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Southern California
Posts: 499
I will start my story with my dad, primarily to tie into Bill's story of starting with a Speed Graphic, but also since he was a major influence in my photography. My dad attended Fremont High in Los Angeles, graduating in 1949. Fremont High had a well known vocational photography program taught by CA Bach. The program became famous because several of the students over the years ended up as Life or Sports Illustrated photographers. To join the program, my dad had to buy a Speed graphic outfit. I like to share this picture of some of his classmates:



In any case, he became a high school photography teacher, and I started in photography by 11 years old. I bought his hand me down cameras (baby Rollei, Zeiss Icarex SLR, Mamiya TLR), and also got to play with some that the school had (including a Nikon rangefinder that really got me interested in rangefinders; though until recently I never owned one).

By the 1980s I was using Mamiya TLRs, and doing some professional work. As time moved forward and digital started to enter, I was slowing down, supplementing with PS film cameras, then digital cameras. By the early 2000s, I all but stopped using the TLRS. From then until last year I kept thinking 'I need to get a good digital camera'. With my dad's passing at the end of 2017, I finally did in early 2018- a Fujifilm XT-2. The experience of shooting the XT-2 coupled with retracing my dad's life and my involvement with him in photography really reawakened my interest in photography. The XT-2 was everything I ever hoped for in a camera and more. At the same time as I moved around the internet and thought about my film cameras, plus seeing film was still well alive, I started reshooting film also.

So the XT-2 is my main general purpose camera. It is great for travel, and just to pick-up and shoot color or B&W. For film, my current favorite is a Contax iia I picked up last year, mainly for B&W (I am also setting up to develop at home- something I have not done for a few decades). I revived the 50mm f1.8 Zeiss Ultron from my Zeiss Icarex, picked up some M42 bodies and other lenses, plus bought an adapter for my XT-2, so I have M42 capabilities. I have shot a little with my Mamiya TLR outfit also, and intend to do more once I start developing film. Finally, I have an old Speed Graphic from my dad (unfortunately not his original one) that I would like to get working to shoot some 4x5 (as well as a Graflex 4x5, but I do not have a lot of supporting supplies for it- film holders, etc., and it needs a lot more work).

At this point it is 65% XT-2, 25% Contax iia, and the rest 35mm SLRs, a Kodak Retina IV with two lenses (I also adapt them to the XT-2), and the Mamiya TLR. Sorry if it was a bit long winded!
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