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My Cameras

My first camera was a funny old thing that my Granddad Tuijl found in his fish pond! He cleaned it up and found it worked. It only took black and white film. There was a screen on top that you looked down on and the image showed there. Holding the camera near your tummy. Then the shutter release was by the lens. After this you wound the film on and saw a little number in a little red perspex hole at the back for the next frame. I wish I had kept it but film was no longer made for it, though it should have been kept as a curiosity. The pictures were quite effective and stylised.

I looked into it and it was known as a Twin-lens reflex camera wiki mine wasn't quite as groovy as the picture:
"Rolleiflex camera" by Juhanson
After that I had a more conventional camera that was my Dad's. It was done in grey plastic with a big silver flash mirror which would kill the bulb with each flash. It was designed to do that. It did take colour pictures. Eventually film was no longer made, it had always been expensive film.

I made this page as many people have asked me what camera I used for the pictures on this site. The original pictures were mostly taken with my trusty old Pentax SFX-n (35mm) SLR. My job used to be scanning and I have scanned about 90.000 images in my time, so I know a few tricks. Yes the older pics on this site were scanned in!

My first decent camera was about £250 from Argos in 1990/1, an Olympus, this was a compact camera with a lot of bells and whistles, it actually looked like an SLR. It was stolen when my car was broken into in Norwich. Then I got the SFX, it was a shop display item, I offered them cash, and initially they said no, but finally gave in. That was on 29/4/92 for £245

Pentax SFX-n SLR
It went with me to many locations not to mention taking it around India and to Hong Kong.

The scanner was a cheapie and cost £20-30 as I say I know a few tricks to get the best out of it. I used to scan straight into Photoshop. They were all saved for web on medium quality setting. Then I had a new scanner Cannon Canoscan 3200F which provided some great results.

The switch to digital 2004

Fuji Finepix M603
In May 2004 I got digital camera: Fuji Finepix M603 for £220 and the poor old SFX had took a back seat. I sold it on ebay for £32.55(!) After this the Fuji got broken and I had a couple more cheapish compact digital cameras.

Nikon D40 Digital SLR Camera (18-55mm Lens) 2007

On 23/07/07 I got this for £320: much better having a 'real' camera again. I still have this camera and a 3 in 1 printer/scanner. Mainly I use my mobile phone camera for snaps and the Nikon for more serious stuff. I am really impressed with the Nikon and the phone. The Nikon takes great pics and the phone is a most impressive camera and takes the worry out of taking the Nikon places if it is not needed. The Nikon is a 6 megapixel and I have the image setting on max and fine. I know the D40 is getting a bit old, but I have no plans (and funds!) to upgrade.
Nikon D40
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR Lens 2011

In Ecuador when I was volunteering in the rainforest I was tortured by not being able to photograph wildlife very well, it was a big step but I invested in a 300mm zoom lens (Nov 2011 for £255.99) I hope if I can sell some photos it will pay for itself, though it is of such a benefit to conservation to have the lens. I find 300mm fine, without the bulk in my luggage and the worry of a bigger lens. It has image stabilising built in so no need to carry a tripod around. As the camera is set to max quality I can then zoom in / crop to an area on the computer if the subject was too far away. It is heaven to get the results.

Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-300mm
Obviously I am always petrified that either the camera or the lens will get broken or stolen.

My Google Earth Photos

My Picasa photos


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My stereos - a history

My Stereo(s) (Hi-fi) The rise and fall and rise again. A History of my stereo endeavours.

Part 1 - from a radio to the Pioneer

Part 1 | Part 2 | My stereo in June 2015

This is no boast but I love my stereo. Having a good stereo is the centre of my life and my only essential possession for someone who is not really into possessions.

Early days

I started my stereo life with a radio my Grandad gave me. Then I got my Dad's old setup (record deck and Sinclair System 2000 compact amp) which I added another one of my Grandads radio's to.

My Dad's amp was like this only black:

The Pioneer compact hi-fi

When I got a proper job I was able to start saving for something better and I bought a Pioneer compact Hi-fi which after a time I really started to hate. The Pioneer quality was lacking from this unit and really a lot of it was for show, like the twin display spectrum analyser. I hated the way the cassette and cd decks clunked about. Many things frustrated me with it, like th…