Advice for Student

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by zioxide, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #1
    So I just finished my registration for the fall semester and I'm taking Photography I. I'm a film/video major so I know some things about shot composition, lighting, etc, so I figured this class would be fun and would help me with these skills. For this class, I'll need a 35mm film SLR camera. However, I really have no idea about cameras, lenses, film, etc. So basically I need to find a camera. I'd like to get it within the next 2 months so I'll have time to play with it over the summer and get used to it.

    Eventually I'm hoping to get a Canon Digital Rebel XTi because I really want to start doing digital photography, but for this class I need a film one. I'd really like to stay under $250, but would probably be willing to go up to $300 if necessary. I was just browsing B&H looking for fairly cheap SLR cameras and I found the Canon Rebel T2. Its $259 which seems like a decent price, but I don't know about the lens or anything. I'd like to stick to Canon and I think Rebel would be nice because when I finally get the Rebel XTi, many of the things would be similar.

    However, I don't know if that's a good deal or if theres something better. I also have no idea about the lens and what types of lenses I would need. Can you use the same lenses for a SLR and a DSLR, because that would save me having to buy more lenses when I eventually get a digital.

    Also, what kind of film should I be using? (what brand, etc)

    Thanks :)
     
  2. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #2
    I don't know much about gear so I'll let someone else talk about that... as for what sorts of film, your teacher should go over that with you because it depends on what your class will be focusing on as well as the chemical that your school's in-house lab has available.
     
  3. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #3
    Well, welcome to the wonderful world of stillness. In your position I'd probably opt for something used. There is a great little website called KEH http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/home.aspx They are honest, and everything is fairly conservatively marked, so you can trust that and EX+ lens, comes in a "like new" condition. The T2 was an alright camera, and much alike the curent lineup of Rebels (XT, XTi), was designed as a consumer camera. Given the drastic drop in prices since the advent of digital, you can get your hands on something like the Elan 7 (which is much better quality than the T2) for about $200. This, however, doesn't solve your issue of lenses, and in photography, that's where the big money is spent.

    Good news is that if you take care of the lenses, then you will have them for quite a while. Anything that fits on a Canon EF- mount will work on a Canon dSLR. For your class you'd want to look at something in the 20-80 range, and given your budget, you'd want to go for a cheap zoom. In your range, you might want to go for the 24-85 f/3.5-4.5, or the 28-105 f/3.5-4.5.

    While getting a Rebel would make for an easy transition when you go digital, the Elan is more likely to help you learn photography and make it enjoyable. Then again, you might get the bug, and decide that you need a 5D, like I did. Good luck.
     
  4. zioxide thread starter macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #4
    Hmm.. So I should get something like this: Used ELAN 7
    Used Canon Wide Angle Zoom Lens 24-85 f/3.5-4.5

    Also for film, I know I'll have to wait and see what we'll be using for the class, but what about just for messing around and taking pictures this summer?

    Thanks for the quick replies. :)
     
  5. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #5
    If you feel that this isn't too much out of your price range, then that's a very decent starter. In terms of film, it really is a matter of taste, and needs. First decide whether to go with negatives or slides. Slides will give you more saturated colors and more contrast, but they are certainly less forgiving than film. You should then decide if you want to try B&W or straight into color. B&W has advantages, and is generally more "artsy."

    Speed of the film is also an important feature to consider. An ISO 50 film will give you really nice detailed image with little to no grain, but it's useful only in daylight. An ISO 800 or 1600 film will give you handheld images in the dark, at the expense of grain.

    I'd start with 200 negative film and work my way down and then up the sensitivity range. Also, you might want to check out Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure. That book is a godsend.
    http://www.amazon.com/Understanding...4791827?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176796038&sr=8-1

    PS- Stick with some of the better known brands- Kodak, Fuji, Agfa (if they still exist). It will make the learning experience that much better.
     
  6. crazydreaming macrumors 6502a

    crazydreaming

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT -Westminster College
    #6
    Hey,

    I took a black and white photography class in college, and loved it. Since then I've moved on to digital and have gotten more and more serious, with more and more pro equipment.

    Anyway, I used a Canon Rebel T2 with the kit lens for the class. Worked great, got some great shots with it. I still have it and am looking to sell it. Paid over $300 for it brand new, trying to get $150 for it. I'll throw in about 50 sheets (approx) of printing paper I have left and I also have some slide film I could send with it. I have the original box, manuals, and to sweeten the deal, can add a polarizer filter, a uv filter, and another novelty type filter. The Elan camera you are talking about definately is a better camera, but the T2 would still be a great starter camera to learn photography. My T2 turned out to be the nicest and newer camera out of everyone else in my particular class. With the extra $100 you'd save from buying a T2 over the Elan you could purchase a 50mm f 1.8 lens which would be awesome for B+W photos and would give you a lot more flexibility in terms of Depth of field and low-light shooting capability. It would also be a lens that you could hold onto when you do upgrade to a different canon body, even a digital, later on.

    e-mail me if interested: cjc0115@westminstercollege.edu
     

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