The camera I learned on was a wonderful Nikon n60 with a Tameron 28-200 lens. Some folks aren't in love with the n60, but I thought (think) it was great - I loved the way it felt in my hands and I really learned how to take pictures with the n60. The second camera I owned was the Nikon f10, which is a fully manual camera with an old 35-70 lense on it. This camera really took nice pictures; it was great in the mountains, i couldn't break it, etc. It just lacked some conveniences and was a little harder to take pictures with. I moved from this to a FM-2n that I really love for fully manual (it really works in the cold too) stuff.