When I was very young my father showed me his camera, a Nikon S-2 rangefinder that he had bought in Japan in 1955. I remember thinking it was really neat but I was just a little kid. I later used it when I took my first black and white photography class in the eleventh grade (1976-77). Although at the time, I really wanted to have a Nikon F SLR, that is, a through-the-lens camera.
By 1994, when I started studying black and white photography again, I treasured the Nikon S-2. I used it to shoot the photos from Amsterdam (right) and Grand Central Station but soon learned that no matter how good it was, I needed a medium format camera to get the quality I desired.
I purchased a Mamiya C330 twin lens reflex and used it to shoot S.L.Avery but almost immediately came upon the opportunity to purchase a Graflex XL rangefinger/view camera with two very sharp Zeiss lenses (80mm and 150mm). The XL was created to compete with the SLRs of the early sixties but was bulky and hard to use. Still I made some great photos with it, even the portraits from Butler, Georgia, including that of Poppa Dad which remains incredibly sharp even when enlarged much larger than life size.
Alas, everything comes to an end and I gave up the compromise and bought a Graflex Crown Graphic view camera and a Plaubel Makina 67 with a fixed 80mm lens. For the most part, I used these, respectively, for buildings/scenes and for portraits. The photos from Cuba and Jamaica were made with these cameras, as well as some from Atlanta, Mechanicsville and other parts of Georgia. Eventually, I purchased a Graflex Century Graphic view camera to replace the Crown Graphic but, as they are essentially the same in form and function, only the Century Graphic is shown. I finally purchased a Mamiya 7II 6×7 system with three lenses to replace the single lens Plaubel Makina and a Plaubel 69W for wide angle applications. You see them all on this page.
You also see a Graflex Super Speed Graphic 4×5, essentially the 4×5 version of the Crown and Century Graphics. I used it to do all the historic recordations I completed between 1997 and 2002.