I've been interested in photography my whole life. In fact I can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in photography. My family always loved to take photos and my dad took a lot of 8mm videos when we were kids. When I got to High School I wanted my own camera so once I got a job stacking shelves at a local grocery store I saved my money until I could afford one. I really didn't know what kind of camera I wanted but I had a friend named Ted Krebs who already owned his own camera and he seemed really happy with it. He could also take great photos with it. When I saw some of his photos I knew I wanted a camera just like his.
I bought a Nikormat FT, just like the one pictured above for my first SLR camera. I even owned the lens pictured above. It was a great camera and I used it for years. In fact the lenses that worked on that camera will still work on today's digital cameras. That Nikormat FT was a great camera and I learned everything that I know about photography from that one camera. I lugged that camera around everywhere and took thousands of photographs with it. You can still find that camera on eBay and if you have a working version I'm sure it still takes great photos.
In those days everyone shot everything on film and I too shot a lot of film in those days. But somewhere around 1967 or 1968 I was talking to some professional photographers and they told me that prints would eventually fade over time and that most people lost their negatives so eventually the photo would be faded or even disappear altogether. If I wanted to really preserve my images then I should be shooting slides instead. Thankfully I did start shooting slides and years later I had some of them transferred over to a digital format and they were as clear as the day they were taken. I was amazed. That was obviously great advice.
Over the years photography has been in and out of my life. Like most people it took on a greater portion of my life during vacations and then went dormant for lengthy periods of time. The invention of digital camera has really put energy in the photography market. The availability of mirror less camera found in almost every smartphone today has eliminated the desire of normal everyday individuals to buy the better cameras and has pushed the serious amateur up a notch in the kinds of photos he takes. Today's smart phone is the point and shoot camera of yesteryear.
Today I use both a Nikon D7100 and a D5000 as well as my iPhone 5 for taking photographs The Nikons obviously take better photographs but i just can't beat the convenience of always having a camera on me with the iPhone. Now I can't imagine not owning a Nikon but my intent is to use the Nikon for taking photographs that i want to take rather than the photographs that simply present themselves to me at inopportune moments.
The ability to control Aperture, Shutter speed, ISO and lens is what makes the Nikon such a great camera. It allows me to create any of the images on digits that I can dream up in my mind. And no other camera can do that like a Nikon can.