The Pentax P30T, attached to a lens from a Vivitar v4000 that suffered a sad fate.
I didn't know much about the Pentax P30T when I saw it pop up on a Craigslist ad for $30. Of course, I looked it up before sending out the email, but there wasn't much to say, it seemed. It was the pictures that drew me in. It just felt so... 1980's. All of the controls flush against the top panel. The pewter colored body. The big "P30" etched vertically into the hand grip rubber in that TV interlaced style that was so common back then.
This camera looked like something from Blade Runner.
There seems to be a presumption, growing in popularity, that film photography is somehow more pure than digital photography. It's the idea that doing any processing on an image after scanning it from the negative is considered "cheating" because you're altering the image from its original, physical source. I'd like to try to clear up this misconception in my usual long-winded and rambling style.
Released in 1978, the Canon A-1 was the first SLR in history to offer a full Program mode, allowing the camera to choose both the shutter speed and aperture and thus allowing the user to concentrate completely on getting the shot. I like historically significant cameras, so this one was on my list. I considered myself lucky when one popped up on Craigslist for a good price.
I was thinking about what a great deal I had gotten as I was driving home after buying my Canon A-1. I suppose I did get a good deal, although it wasn't quite the deal it seemed. The body came with the "Action Grip", three lenses, a generic flash, a cable release, user manual, and a camera bag that held everything. All of this for $60. I had noticed that the battery door was cracked, but replacement doors are cheap and this is a common issue, so I didn't worry too much about it.
The Nikon FM2n entered the world as a minor update to the groundbreaking FM2 in 1984. With an all-mechanical shutter reaching unheard-of speeds of 1/4000s, the FM2 is a camera that is already unique enough to be on my "want" list.
Early FM2n models saw only a couple of changes over the FM2, the most obvious being an update to the maximum flash sync speed from 1/200s to 1/250s. A new mirror stop was also added to the FM2n, as well as an extra light trap in the mirror box. Later FM2n's (from 1989 onward) also saw the titanium honeycomb-patterned shutter replaced with a smooth aluminum one.