on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Looking back, looking forward

A first serious dip in the digital pool

Richard Childs

Richard Childs

Richard trained as an Orchestral Percussionist in the 1980's but his true love has always been the outdoors and particularly mountain environments. Throwing in his drumsticks to become a full-time photographer in 2004 he continues to work with a large format camera alongside digital equipment and exhibits his work in solo and group exhibitions as well as at his own gallery in the Ironbridge Gorge. Links to Website and Facebook

On a now regular, long, late night drive home from Teeside I was running back through all the different combinations of camera equipment I have used since taking up photography back in 2000. Back then the options seemed quite simple but guided by a friend who worked for Pentax I didn't do any research beyond going into a Harrow camera shop and asking for a manual camera with a lens that would cover all of my needs as a hill walker who wanted to come back with some images. My first camera, a Pentax P30T was a hybrid coming as it did with a Vivitar 'pump action' zoom lens that met it's demise when coming into contact with a rock on Hall's Fell Ridge, Blencathra.


After that things got a lot simpler. I made friends with a talented and keen amateur photographer in Amersham who extolled the virtues of Nikon equipment and the use of a tripod. My Pentax had developed a problem with the back plate that put a scratch across every frame on a roll of film and heading away for a Winter mountain assessment on Cadair Idris I needed something new. The answer was a Nikon F65 kit that came with what now know was a truly awful Nikon 28-70mm zoom and a half decent Nikon 70-300, all mounted on a Manfrotto 055clb with a Manfrotto 029 head. Again the camera was fine for my needs but my interest in photography was really taking off and I wanted something more robust so I chopped in the F65 for an F100 which felt and looked like the real thing, the kind of camera that the competition winners at Amersham Photographic society (where I was a member) were using. I never upgraded the two zoom lenses I already had but added a Nikon 18-35mm zoom and a 105mm macro lens. 

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