1965 Nikkormat FT
This 35mm Nikkormat FT was one of the first real cameras I ever used. My father bought it when he was in college. He took it with him all over the West and the Midwest. It has captured the Colorado River at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and the top of Long's Peak. And thousands of miles in between. Dad gave it to me when I was fourteen and I carried it with me throughout high school and college-- including my year abroad to Europe.
It has dings and scratches on it from banging against rocks and trains and backpacks.These do not seem to matter. They do not affect the quality of the images it can still take. The camera is incredibly durable.
I learned almost everything I know about photography while shooting with this camera. My production workflow has changed since then. When I was a kid, Dad converted a spare bathroom in our house into a full darkroom with second-hand enlargers and a reworked plumbing system for the various chemical baths. He bought film in bulk. I learned how to use a changing bag by touch and develop my own film. Today I do almost all of that same work on a laptop. Still there are moments when I'm working on a picture that I can remember the particular smell of stop bath and the eerie cast of the redlight.