MY first camera was a brand-new Kodak Hawkeye II, with built in peanut flash. The kit came with one roll of Pan-X and a dozen flashbulbs. Got it for Christmas, so I'd keep my hands off the Father's Argus DLR.
I ran hundreds of rolls through that magic box, learned how to read light by eye, lusted after the abilities described in Adams' books. Then Dad got a Kodak Pony IV 35mm rangefinder, used it some but decided he liked the Argus better. Wow! Focus! Shutter speed! Aperture! I bought a ten-dollar light meter.
Does anybody but me remember the thrill of Anscochrome 400? Five whole stops faster than Kodachrome? And you could home-process? Six solutions, as I recall. Ah, those were the days. Shot football for the school paper (with Tri-x, not Anscochrome).
First camera I bought for myself was a Mamiya/Sekor 500DTL, from an Army PX in 1970. Utter heaven: Focal-plane shutter with built-in Aperture Priority metering and interchangeable lenses! Still the best metering system I've ever used, because it was both precise and easily controllable. I went hog-wild, but wished for the Nikon F or Olympus OM-1, because the lenses sorta snapped on, quickly, instead of the slow agony of the screw-mount. Never did get either, but used the Mamiya until it died on me. Next up was a Contax 139q and the magic of Zeiss lenses. Not over that addiction; instead I'm mainlining with a Hasselblad.
Have not yet gone digital. Spend 45 years learning film and p-f-f-t, they want me to trust my stuff to magnetic domains in bits? Yeah, guess I'll have to since they're taking my Kodachrome away, along with all the others, type by type. Besides, I ruined two rolls just last week. Forgot to zip up the changing bag before loading the processing drum... A-r-r-r-gh!