The F301 (right) was the first serious camera I ever owned. I blew pretty much all of my first pay cheque on it. I went to Jessops and asked to look at all the cameras under £250. I saw Canon, Pentax, Miranda and all the others. I picked up the 301 and its rubberised body and metal frame just exuded quality. I initially said that I wouldn’t be able to afford a Nikon but the Jessops bloke said it was £249.99 with a 50mm lens. SOLD.
This camera is now twenty six years old and still works perfectly. It went with me all over Europe stuffed in a rucksack. I personally believe that if I bought a camera that cannot take the rough and tumble of life then I bought the wrong camera. It goes where I go with little protection and despite all this abuse the automatic film load only missed a beat once.
Digital has reduced the amount of time I use this camera but I did run a couple of rolls of Kodachrome 64 through it recently. I’ve always disliked Kodachrome but I read that Kodachromes days were numbered so used a couple of rolls for sentimental reasons.