My Navy-issued 1968 Nikon F. This was the same model that, with a 250-exposure back, was carried by the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs. The camera I carried was used by Navy Journalists during Vietnam. It served me well and is still part of my collection, I shot with it from 1981 to 1998. I figured that I'd retire my old friend and upgrade to one of the newer SLRs by Nikon.
That year I picked up an N50, which was already replaced by the N60/70s, so I got it used on eBay and it served me pretty well. With more digital features, it was a good step toward what would become a digital revolution in the next 10 years. I could still work it manually but it had some automatic features that I was shook my head at. With these auto features, anyone could become a photographer with virtually no training. . . the camera could do it all. For old photographers like me, this wasn't a good sign for professional photographers.
It seemed technology was working against me everywhere. In as much as cameras were becoming dumbed-down for the average photographer and in turn, making the photos taken much better via said technology, it was also happening in the publication world.
By 1998 it was also obvious that anyone with a good Macintosh could become a "graphic designer" with virtually no real art training, as the software was doing all the work. I had already become adept at Adobe's Photoshop, in fact I was a beta-tester for version 1.4 and was invited (and attended) the big Mac/Adobe conference in Jacksonville, FL of 2000.
I'd turn a corner at the turn of the century moving into a digital world with the artistic experience of a film photographer. You need a phototgrapher with grass roots experience, Vulpes Noir is your only choice in this age of "drive-by" photographers.