My first camera was a gift from my Uncle James. I was about 5 or 6 at the time. It was an old German 35mm, silver camera. Unfortunately I don't remember what that old camera was, but it lasted 15 years before seizing up. The cost estimates to fix it were more than buying some of the newer cameras and it was an old fixed lens camera with limited shutter speeds and f stops. When I bought a replacement camera, I took this old one apart to see what made it tick. I tried to put it back together again - but there was no hope. Fortunately I had assumed before I took it apart that I wouldn't get it back together again. It eventually went into the garbage except for a few screws and springs that "I might be able to use these some day..."

I do remember the first camera equipment I purchased with "my own money" many years ago. It was Chinon 35mm. Several years back, I gave it away, with all it's lenses, extension tubes, flash, filters to a couple that had no equipment and was trying to figure out how they could afford a small setup. I even gave them the 2x teleconverter telling them "I never used it because, by the time I put it on my big zoom, there was never enough light around to work with the resultant f stops." I had recently broken my "big zoom" for it (80-200) and I had bought all new Nikon equipment. I figured that "1 camera is all I'll ever need"<g>.  Obviously I'm a more serious amateur/partly professional now! Recently I bought a Chinon 35mm system for $25. Currently testing it out, but it looks like it takes much better photos than my old equipment did (or perhaps I'm a little better now<g>)