Photography class in the fall

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by beingme, May 26, 2007.

  1. beingme macrumors member

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    #1
    I'm taking a photography class in the fall. And the class requires me to have a "Manual SLR camera (not digital)". Although this a digital forum I hope you guys can still give me advice. bhphotos has some reasonably price 35mm film cameras however I am not sure whether "Manual SLR" means just film or one without autofocus or something like that. "Manual SLR camera" means just a slr film camera, am I right?
     
  2. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #2
    I assume that they want a camera with control over aperture, shutter speed, focus, etc.

    Internal light meters, autofocus, etc. I would think must be appropriate.
     
  3. phuong macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    manual means manual controls, not film.
    so something like a Sony V3, Canon G7 or the just-released Ricoh GX100 would be sufficient.
     
  4. phuong macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    ok if "Manual SLR camera (not digital)" is exactly what they said then you must get a film d-slr. in that case, a Canon elan 7 series or a Nikon F80.

    but remember, initial brand choice is important. you'll stick to it for the rest of your life. almost.
     
  5. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #5
    Most introductory photography courses I've seen at colleges are dealing with film, more specifically, 35mm and black and white.

    OP, do you know if your class will be requiring film cameras?

    And I disagree, most intro photography classes don't even really begin to get into using different lenses. So I don't think this intitial camera is all that important. The program at both schools I've been to both preferred beginners use a standard lens (approximately 50mm focal length).
     
  6. beingme thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    they require film and they are asking me to get some black and white t-max film also.
     
  7. phuong macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    hmm, never taken a photo class so i dont really understand why they ask you to buy film (dying technology). but i guess they want you to know fundamental photography techniques since it'll make more sense to you when you go digital later (most people who go straight digital have a hard time at getting it. things like dodge & burn & sharpening etc...)

    nontheless, my point stands correct. manual means manual settings on camera controls. but doesn't mean you can't get an autofocus lens.
    and i said initial brand choice is important because when your lens collection builds up, it will be costly to make a switch. that's why i said "almost".
     
  8. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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  9. jlcharles macrumors 6502

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    #9
    The d in dslr is digital, there is no such thing as a film dslr.

    Go to keh.com and get a camera like an Olympus OM-2 with a 50mm lens. all manual everything. Or a manual Nikon or something. I would ask if they want autofocus, but my hunch is no.

    There's a big reason to use film since you'll most likely learn the ins and outs of printing as well which is fun as all hell. I just wish i had a darkroom of my own or a place to do it.
     
  10. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #10
    seconded!
     
  11. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #11
    while I have no desire to learn film, I've always felt that I should, if only to fully grasp the basics of photography. either way, decide what brand you want based on your future film or digital choices. As far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong), but won't all modern Canon film camera lenses (for example) work on Canon dSLR's (excluding of course the FF cameras)? If I'm right, then think of whatever digital SLR you have now or want to eventually get and buy the film camera that would be appropriate.
     
  12. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #12
    Yes, but the point I made in my post still stands true-- for an intro photography course, most teachers and programs prefer that the students use a standard lens first and for most of the course (to better see how each student's "eye" is different, to fully appreciate and understand the different camera controls without dealing with lenses, etc.) and in fact, a lot of schools even have older film SLRs for rent. The OP could even go that route-- figure out the ins and outs of photography, then decide if s/he really wants to invest in an DSLR and all that.

    Shrug.
     
  13. epicwelshman macrumors 6502a

    epicwelshman

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    #13
    Oh i don't mean to dispute your original point at all, and I'm sorry if it came out that way. If the OP did manage to find a free/cheap/rented/borrowed film SLR then they should go that route. However, if they do already own a DSLR or want to, and are going to end up buying a brand new film camera then it would make sense (for the long term) to buy into a brand that they'd stick with.
     
  14. jlcharles macrumors 6502

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    #14
    All Canon modern film lenses (EF) work on all Canon dSLRs. It's those pesky EF-s lenses that don't work on the FF cameras and the film cameras.

    But, that's assuming that the teacher wants autofocus or even allows it. The manual focus FL and FD lenses from Canon have a different mount than EF, unlike the manual focus Nikons which fit on the new cameras.
     
  15. beingme thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    My class allows me to rent a slr for $300 for the year and $90 for any accidently damage, which isn't bad but I was just hoping I could get a better deal if I bought one myself.
     
  16. seenew macrumors 68000

    seenew

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    #16
    That's a terrible "deal." I got my Canon Elan 7E for $150 on eBay. Used, but in pristine condition.
     
  17. jlcharles macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Do you know what camera they are going to rent you? Have you figured out how manual they want to you to go? Manual focus? Just manual controls?
     
  18. beingme thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    the list of required materials did not specify the camera model they were going to rent us, just the cost of it. and i believe when they said manual it was just to help the students understand not to get a digital slr.
     
  19. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #19

    Here is the test: "Does the camera still work after you remove the battery?"

    If it does then it is a 100% manual camera. The shutter is spring driven with a clockwork. the film is advanced by a thumb lever and the user must rotate a ring to focus the lens.

    You have two options (1) buy a new low-end 35mm SLR or (2) Get a used camera that was once a near top of the line. I'd say that if you can find a good used Nikon from a local camera shop get it. Get one new enough that it canuse AI-S lenses. But you need to buy locally. As for a lens, as a student you will want a 50mm lens.

    The classic student camera is the Pentax K1000. You can pick these up dirt cheap (saw one for $20 the other day) but the quality does not approach that of a Nikon of the same age. I've taken a few apart, Nikon would use machined brass while the cheaper brands would have stamped sheet metal or plastic and now both cameras are selling 10 cents on the dollar.

    You might want to use the camera after the class. Film camera can still do things digital can't. Buy a brand that has a large used market. Nikon is good that way, every camera store has a large selection of used Nikon gear. Just tell the guy at the store "50mm AI-S lens and a body to fit and then have him remove the battery and verift yhr film advance and shutter still work. (Of course the light meter will not work without a battery.)
     
  20. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #20
    Rent for $300?? You can buy a good used SLR system for 1/2 that price.
    You can buy a fully usable "student quality" SLR for under $100. No way would I rent a camera at that price.
     
  21. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #21
    I use to shoot miles of this stuff. First tri-x and plus-x then later Tmax. I'd buy film on 100 foot rolls and re-spool it onto those reloadable 35mm cartridges. "freestyle" in Hollywood http://www.freestylephoto.biz/sc_main.php sells these supplies at student prices. I see they are have a deal right now 50 rolls for $12. The processing equipment is very lw priced (just a stainless tank and reels) The cost was nearly free or at least well within a 13 year old's budget. Now a "few" decades later I've not given up B&W film. I'm just "between" cameras. Looking to get a 4x5 system as I've just sold a medium format system.

    I don't see much reason for using 35mm film anymore not when the larger formats are affordable now. Just get a big computer, scanned film frames are _huge_ 100MP images.
     
  22. beingme thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    i emailed my teacher and she said i needed a fully manual camera that focuses manually. i was hoping to buy the Canon K2 but it has autofocus. Can I somehow turn the autofocus off and manually adjust the focus.
     
  23. jlcharles macrumors 6502

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    #23
    You don't want a K2. The film rebel line is junk. I have a Ti. You can get much better cameras than that. And the thing with autofocus cameras is they usually don't have focus prisms or whatever they are called that help you focus.

    If you get a manual focus Nikon, the lenses will work on any Nikon body, even the digitals.

    Or get a classic Olympus OM2 or something. Cheap, good lenses. Check Keh.
     
  24. beingme thread starter macrumors member

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    #24
  25. shieldyoureyes macrumors 6502

    shieldyoureyes

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    #25
    The FM10 is a great cheap camera for starting out, but I would highly recommend picking up a used manual focus body.

    KEH is extremely reputable and has very fair prices Here are all of there manual focus Nikon bodies

    Most of the older bodies will have better build quality than the FM10 as well as automatic aperture priority exposure as well and completely manual controls. On top of that, they will be cheaper.

    If you can afford it, the Nikon F3 is just about the best manual focus Nikon you can buy.

    Also, look into getting a 50mm f/1.8 instead of a zoom. I have a feeling you would have much more fun with it, as you can get a very shallow DoF and use it in very low light. Also, you can get a 'Series E' which is still amazing, just has a little plastic for under $50.

    Good luck with the class, and beware...film is addicting. I took a class just to learn the basics of film (I had been using only dslr's) and now I shoot film 90% of the time. I think you'll have a lot of fun!
     

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