Greeting all! I found this site a few months ago when looking into rumours of Sony's bringing out a FF camera, and finally started to register.
I got my photographic start at 8, when my oldest sister broke the rules and spent more than allotted for the Christmas exchange and gave me a Kodak Instamatic. I immediately became the family photographer. When we went out west on our big vacation to Yellowstone a few years later, Pop got out the Argus C3 he'd bought in Japan, while on leave from Korea, and had it tuned up. Boy was I hooked on the better quality photos!
Around 1980 I decided to go SLR, and asked a Pro friend for advise. I told him I wanted a good yet affordable SLR that, should I get the bug, I could build into a Pro system. His response, Minolta XGM. I've been a Minolta Man ever since.
Next came the X700, X 570, another XGM that Kmart had lost in a storeroom and gave away new for practically nothing. I added a couple of SRTs after I had a battery failure - with no spare - in the middle of the Brazilian Rain Forrest.
And lenses! More that I ever thought I'd need. From a 20mm to a 500, I've run the gamut. Most of them not Minolta, as I was always on a tight budget, but they did fine.
When my brother and sister were looking to get SLRs, it was AF only, so they have a Maxxums - a 7000 and a 9000. I always stuck with the manual focus, and started going the other way - to simpler cameras, and larger formats. Yashica TLRs for weddings, and a Crown Graphic for family reunions, great landscapes and special weddings.
Along the way I occasionally employed my gear to do weddings or a little photo-journalism, but most of my pics were just for family, friends or myself.
Last April, an old friend asked me to cover his daughters June wedding, and I agreed to do so. I went down to the pro shop I always used for proofing and printing, only to discover that they no longer touched film! So.... Off I went to find a digital SLR to do the work.
I ended up with an A350, and I hope to build out from there. My biggest disappointment with it is that there's no X-sync terminal. I don't think I should have to step up to an A700 or buy an adapter for something so basic!
So, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!
An a700 and couple of a580s, plus even more lenses.