New to Photography(its not digital, but...)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Sammis89, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Sammis89 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #1
    I am getting my first SLR ever this week. It is a 100% manual Minolta, from the 1970's. I love photograpy, and have used my friends slr's before, but have never owned a good camera myself. I was wondering what acccessories i need ( It's coming with a basic lens, but nothing else, i think), and how i should get instruction(Books, Websites, etc.) I plan on taking photography my senior year( I am a sophmore now), but want to learn as much as I can because i think it is such an awesome art form. Any advice?
     
  2. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #2
    XD or XE series? I remember having an XD 700 or something like that.... Didn't ever get around to buying too many lenses for it and eventually moved on to Nikon, but I really loved my Minolta. Accessories may be hard to come by but then again maybe not because there's always eBay.... I'd check out eBay and see what they've got in the way of various accessories and lenses. One nice thing is that back in the old days you bought a cable release for only a few bucks, it screwed right into the top of the shutter button and, voila! Put the thing on a tripod and you were ready to shoot remotely. No fuss,no muss as far as a lot of other things are concerned, either, as the manual SLRs of yore were significantly less complicated in terms of things that could go wrong when compared to today's digital cameras.

    This will be a great learning tool for you and if you're taking photography classes you'll be shooting b&W film and processing it yourself, so no worries about a lot of additional processing expenses. Can't remember now if cameras back then had accurate metering but you might want to invest in an external meter just to be on the safe side. You can use this to check both reflective light metering and incident light metering.

    Go to the library and pick up a few books on basic photography techniques and also check online resources such as luminous landscape to learn more about this wonderful art. Although much of what you will find these days is geared towards digital imaging, the basics of photography remain the same, regardless of the tools used.
     
  3. Sammis89 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2005
    #3
    Thanks for the advice; I won't know untill i get it what it is; its a gift from my uncle, as he knows im interested in photograpy.

    For now, I am going to be getting things developed at somewhere like walgreens, but I was going to get them put on a CD so that i could put them on my computer. Has anyone done that and had any problems?

    Also, I know that im going to need a case and a strap, and I was wondering how to go about getting those. I want as minimal a case as possible, , like something that just covers the body and a short lense.
     
  4. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #4

    Ehhhh..... I think you'll find that you'll be spending a lot of money on film and processing; this is one of the valuable things about shooting with a digital camera, that there is no huge ongoing cost for film and processing. Yes, you can get the film developed and put on to CD but you may or may not be happy with what you see and it may be tricky to work with the images further in post-processing. You'll need an editing program such as Photoshop Elements or something because iPhoto doesn't quite meet up to the task in some regards, especially when it comes to resizing.

    As far as the case: take my word for it, you DON'T want a small, form-fitting case that works for the camera only. These are useless. What is far more practical is a large enough case to carry and protect the camera and lense(s) and other gear that you'll accumulate, and one which is easy to reach into when you've got the camera on the strap around your neck and need to quickly change lenses or other things in a hurry. I have used Domke bags for fifteen or more years because they work really well for me. I have the camera around my neck, I have the bag hanging off one shoulder, I shoot.... and when I need to quickly change a lens, battery or CF card (in your case, film) it is quick and easy to reach into the bag and grab what I need.
     
  5. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #5
    A good way to start. THat is what I did before I went more towards digital, and still do when I shoot film. The only suggestion I have is to get the highest resolution scans that you can afford. 16Base scans (2000x3000 in size) is a good balance between cost and printing needs for most.

    I think camera bags are like woman's shoes, one can never have too many. :) (Just a joke folks!). I like some of the smaller Domke bags, since they don't look like camera bags.
     
  6. Sammis89 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2005
    #6
    I looked at those Domke bags, and they look awesome, just what I'm looking for
    (except for the price)


    Thanks for the help you guys(and girls)!
     
  7. Lau Guest

    #7
    Just wanted to say I hope you enjoy it, Sammis89. I started with an old Praktika from the 70s, and it's by far the best way to learn and great fun. I've since killed that Praktika, but now have a Pentax also from the 70s, and it's also great.

    Also, I don't know how much putting photos on a CD costs, but you could look into scanners with negative scanning capabilty once you get going as it may save you money in the long run - we have these sort of scanners at college and they're fine for scanning 35 mm film.

    Anyway, have fun, ask any questions you like, and post some pictures!
     
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #8
    You are welcome.

    Look at the price of the Domke bags as being the entrance to a bag that will last you many years.
     
  9. Sammis89 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2005
    #9
    I just have one more question...

    What should i get in terms of accessories, and what books are good for starting off? In termes of accessories, they have to be durable, but i dont know what they are, so i cant make a decision.

    Thanks in advance!!!
     
  10. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #10
    I'll attest to that! I still am happily using my very first Domke bag, one which I bought at least fifteen or sixteen years ago, and it still looks good and performs perfectly, does exactly what I need and want, even though the cameras I tote around today are digital rather than 35mm SLRs....
     
  11. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #11
    Maybe you need to see what your Uncle sends you first. And not that we don't/won't answer this question; but what better way to thank your Uncle by asking him what you might need to get on your own? If I were your Uncle this could be the biggest thanks. Just my two cents. :)
     
  12. Lau Guest

    #12
    I found second hand bookshops (and similar) to be quite useful for photography books. Because you're using an old camera, older books about the basics of SLR photography haven't gone out of date at all, and you can pick them up really cheaply. For instance, I got this book for 65p at a library sale and it definitely covers the basics and goes into some depth. Not that that one is anything special, but there's plenty of similar good basic camera manuals you can pick up second hand.

    You can always splash out later on more specialised books when you know where you're going. I'd say the same for accessories - learn the basics and start taking some photos, and you'll start to know out what you need or want to try out.
     
  13. Sammis89 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2005
    #13

    I think that you're right... I hadn't thought about that.

    I guess now i just have to wait untill it arrrives in the mail!!!
     
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #14
    If it's the 70's it's likey and SRT100 or a related model. If it has the Minolta "Rokkor" lens ithen the camera is capable of profesinal quality work. The built-in meters were not as smart as they are now so you have to think. For example if the image includes a lot of bright sky and you care about exposing the darker forground correctly then you have to aim the camera down slightly to take the exposure so the more of what you want exposed correctly is "seen" by the meter. Little stuff like that. But the camera has so few controls that you don't ned an instruction manual. I've still got a Minolta SRT that I bought new when I was in the 9th grade. The meter no longer works but just remember "Sunny 16" and you're set. The camera is ompletely mechanical and will work fine with no batery installed.

    In 2006, I think the best acessory for a camera like this is a film scanner. And maybe a second or third Lens. Stick with _prime_ lens. That mean non-zooms. The zooms of that day were not very good most were poor opticaly. The primes were very good and can be bought today used for very little money. COmputer aided design and exotic glass formulations have made zooms usable they didn't have this 35 years ago. Engineers used slide rules back then.
     
  15. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Dec 25, 2003
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    Northern Virginia
    #15
    One book I can heartedly recommend is Photography by Barbara London. Really expensive, but then it is used by many high schools and colleges. Excellent well described and illustrated sections on all matters of photography. Does not have to read like a book, but can be used like an encyclopedia on topics of interest.
     
  16. Sammis89 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 30, 2005
    #16
    Allright... still waiting for the camera... but thanks for all the suggestions!!!
     

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