Images by Jen Allan

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Me and my photography

I started to have an interest in photography more years ago than I would care to tell you! After playing around with very simple cameras, I eventually progressed to a Praktica Nova 1B SLR and learned the hard way about exposure and focusing.  After a while I moved up to an Olympus OM1 and then to an OM2N. I enjoyed many happy hours in the darkroom, although could only ever do black and white printing, on cost grounds.

 

In 1985 I got my first auto-focus camera, a Minolta Dynax 7000i followed by an 8000i. In the early nineties I bought my late father a Canon EOS 1000F because he was having trouble with his eyesight, which meant my husband wanted a similar camera. Eventually, we decided it was crazy buying both Minolta and Canon lenses so I jumped ship and went with Canon - a decision I have never since regretted.

 

I took my first steps into the digital world in 1998; initially I had an Epson 850Z.  I remember the cost of a 16MB card at that time being more than an 128GB high speed card costs now! I got a bit frustrated because I wanted to be able to control things better, having been used to 35mm photography. No way could I justify the cost of a DSLR at that time, so I got a Canon PowerShot Pro 90 IS in 2001. This was a great improvement with 10x optical zoom. Problem was that the lens reacted at 70mm focal length setting like a ........ 70mm lens, although on the Pro 90 it had the equivalent angle of view of 370mm lens. Rather like the 1.6x 'crop factor' on DSLRs today.

 

I started off with a Canon EOS D60 in December 2002, and upgraded regularly after that. I eventually got an EOS 1Ds Mk III in December 2007, which gave me back the familiar lens characteristics of 35mm photography. Because of a traffic accident in April 2009,  I had to sell the 1Ds Mk III as it was not possible for me to handle it properly - at least not for the foreseeable future. I then bought a 5D Mk II and a 7D as my cropped sensor body, there is a place for both formats - they just suit different situations in my opinion. My husband has a 5D Mk II which he likes a lot, and a 60D which is a good crop sensor camera.  For some strange reason I never forgave my 5D Mk II for not being a IDs Mk III, so I sold it and got the 60D and some cash! In 2013 I managed to get my hands on a 6D, so now I have a full frame body once more.

 

Two Fujifilm models have appeared in my bag, with the EXR sensors they are very impressive.  My prized possession is a beautiful Fuji X100T, and I also have an  XS-1 Bridge camera. My old F70 EXR is just fine for always having with you, and eBay photography.

 

I sometimes missed having a film body so I picked up a beautiful EOS3 with battery grip on eBay, and I love it. The next addition was an EOS 33V, which is very similar in design to the DSLRs. I still like to shoot some film, but always wonder why I can't check the image on an LCD screen after taking it

 

I started to regress to my younger days, and accumulated some very nice Olympus film bodies and lenses, before my accident.  I am hoping to do a lot more film photography in the future; people ask me 'why', I always reply 'because I still CAN'.

 

As an extension of my roots in black and white photography, I have branched out into infrared. I bought an EOS 30D which had been converted for infrared, which nicely gets rid of the problems associated with R72 filters. I replaced that one with a converted EOS 500D, so will probably stop at that. I have bought a couple of older digital models which work really well with infrared light, unlike most of the new ones. I believe it is connected with the modern coatings which are used on lenses these day, causing 'hot spots'. The two I have both date from around 2001/2; Nikon Coolpix 950 and Olympus C2020Z.  In 2013 I bought a Canon PowerShot A2200 with a 550nm filter fitted, and had my G9 converted to full spectrum. More recently I had a Lumix TZ30 converted to full spectrum as well, easier to carry around than the G9.