All this automation is a little creepy

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by ntenny, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    Well, I went and bought an EOS body. See, I've got EOS lenses for the DSLR, but all my film bodies are highly manual---the built-in meter in my Bessa-R seems like a pretty decadent convenience, and I feel like I'm cheating when I put the AE-1 in auto. But it seems a shame to have nice lenses that I can't put film behind, and a 35mm body that can do TTL flash would be convenient, and KEH had a Rebel X for the absurd price of *six* dollars...so I threw it in with my last order and I've been working on shooting a smoke-test roll today.

    The whole experience is just weird. I spent forever trying to figure out how to attach the film to the take-up spool; oh, I see, *it* does that. Close the back and it mysteriously goes whir-whir-whir, counting exposures as it goes and ending by telling me how many frames I have left. OK, set the ASA---no, I see, *it* does that. Oh, yeah, that's what the whole "DX coding" business is about. So I need to cock---no, *it* does that.

    All right, mode, frame, and I need to foc---no, *it* does that. Click. Ack, it's alive! More noise and vibration as it advances the film for me. So for the next exposure to be set up I need to do...um...nothing. Wait, what?

    All this assistance is completely fouling up my rhythm. I see, intellectually, where it's useful to get the mechanical crud out of the way and free yourself up to concentrate on the image---but advancing the film is what my right hand expects to be doing while I'm concentrating on the image!

    Not to mention that autofocus is itself pretty disconcerting. Unfortunately EOS lenses tend to have poor manual-focus ergonomics. I suppose I'll get used to it, but it just feels wrong to have a focus ring under my fingers that's a skinny little plastic thing.

    Oh, and of course the darn thing is going to auto-rewind when I finish the roll, and I bet it won't leave me a leader to grab onto, will it? Well, it won't be the first cassette I've opened with a bottle opener in the dark.

    None of this is actually *bad* (OK, except for the leader-in rewind), it's just a complete reordering of the photographic world to which I'm accustomed, and I felt the need to rant about it. I think I'm gonna go finish up the roll, then realign my brain by shooting a plate camera for a while.

    -NT
     
  2. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    You might be able to set the camera to leave some leader out with a custom function, if your camera can do it.
     
  3. Sim2

    Sim2 Subscriber

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    Hi there,
    Your post made me laugh - in a good way though. Yep, the EOS can "take over" as you put it, but that is no different to your digital bodies. Think of how you work with the digi bodies rather than the Bessas.
    Don't know the rebel body (UK names were different) but the EOS 1's have custom functions to disable the auto ISO DX coding, disable the auto rewind, disable the auto leader retraction etc.
    There must be an instruction manual online somewhere that can give all the CF fuctions and settings.
    Btw, enjoy the camera!

    Sim2.
     
  4. WetMogwai

    WetMogwai Member

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    I'm sure it can leave the leader out. I have a 630 and an Elan 2e. Both can leave the leader out. See if you can find a manual for your camera. It will tell you the custom function to set.
     
  5. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    The easy loading and auto advance is 1. what most people need. 2. very hand when you're doing sports and have to get a new roll going when you should be either shooting or maintaining situational awareness. 3. loading at night by the light of your cell phone.

    Lacking a bottle opener in the darkroom, you can use the edge of a pair of sturdy scissors as well. Hold the roll in your fist with the end of the roll's metal lip caught behind the outside edge of the scissor blade. (Scissors fully closed), you can rip the metal end of very easily.

    I went through a similar change in 1989 going from an traditional Olympus OM body to the Nikon f4s.

    Fortunately the f4s does not rewind automatically. You have to pull a lever to do that and rewind with the crank, or pull two levers and it will do it for you.
     
  6. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    I checked and it really can't be set to leave the leader out. This is a REALLY low-end camera---by modern standards, anyway. (It's the EOS 500/Kiss without the built-in flash.) It's OK; I can do the bottle-opener thing.

    I'm mostly just amused at how thrown I am by what are theoretically conveniences. It's just a whole different world out there, and I wonder how those of you who shoot these things figure out what to do with your hands in between shots!

    -NT
     
  7. phaedrus

    phaedrus Member

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    You didn't even mention the modal buttons, i.e. buttons with more than one function that have to be pressed in different combinations to achieve some setting. That is the one thing that annoys me most on Canon bodies and made me change to Nikon.
     
  8. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    View camera.
     
  9. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    I got a giggle about the *it* reference.
    Low-end EOS bodies will be pretty much auto-everything and that automation can be a major hindrance if you are a skilled photographer used to getting your own way (hmm, aren't we all!?). Conversely, the high end (pro level, e.g. EOS 1n, V, 3 et al) EOS bodies are highly customisable to not do any of what you griped with. Even ubiquitous AF can be rearranged or stopped entirely.

    I share some concerns about multi-modal and split-mode selection using buttons on the pro EOS bodies, but one that I relish is the AEB shortcut: a three-fingered squirrel press of three buttons and it's instantly engaged. Others, though, have hissed and snarled with such minor gymnastics as resetting the ISO (a two-fingered op.).
     
  10. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    Oh, piffle. You guys just need to get used to the damn things, that's all. I've been using nothing but the button/wheel interface since the T90 came out (until my current acquisition binge started five years ago :errm:), and it's second nature. The Rebel line of cameras is another story; they're intended to be idiot-proof, so there's little/no customization and you have to learn the way it does things. If you really want a great EOS film camera for little money, get yourself a 1N; second generation Pro model, plenty customizable, going for not much more than $100 these days.

    But then, for six dollars, you've got yourself a nice little point-n-shoot that takes L-series lenses. :laugh:
     
  11. blockend

    blockend Member

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    By the time matrix metering came along the game was up for any kind of meaningful user control. Just go with the buzzes and beeps... and keep a real camera for when things get too hectic.
     
  12. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    The Canon T90 is about as Hi-Tech as i wish to go, and I don't use half of it's facility s, I don't like cameras to do my thinking for me or I don't feel that I have created the image it's like painting by numbers.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2010
  13. CanonShot

    CanonShot Member

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    Film Leader Retrieval:

    http://people.rit.edu/andpph/text-retriever.html
     
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  15. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I never thought that I would like automation in a 35mm camera. I used to shoot with a Minolta SRT-201 and a couple of X-700's.
    Before those I shot with Exakta VX's which are still very nice manual cameras to use.
    Then a few months ago I bought a Maxxum 8000i and was blown away by the technology. Quick to load, fast metering, AF and custom cards for different scenes. Total automation of picture taking.
    Of course the automation can be turned off and the camera used in manual mode but why bother. The pictures I've taken so far are outstanding.
    I use only B&W film and print them myself so no lab is involved to mess things up.
    Have fun with your new automatic camera!
     
  16. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Yep. New cameras certainly feel foreign, and they do a lot of useless shit. I cannot pull from my memory any print in which using my EOS film camera has made the print any better than what I would have made with one of my F-1's.

    So, why have the EOS camera? Well, it is nice and newish, very reliable, and it allows me to be exceedingly lazy with all of the details, like film winding, changing shutters and apertures, etc. In other words, it is great for shooting things that I don't really care too much about; kind of like a point and shoot. It was very cheap for such a nice and reliable camera. I paid $180 shipped for an EOS 3.
     
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  17. lns

    lns Member

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    Six dollars???? Six dollars!!!!

    I'm sorry, I can't get past that. :smile: You got a (nice) camera for six dollars! That is so cool.

    I paid $4.50 for a medium soy latte the other day.

    Six dollars! It's your I-don't-care, take-it-anywhere, camera. Embrace it!

    -Laura
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Hey you guys cool it with the bitchin' about the automation! You will need the automation when you become senile! :tongue:
     
  19. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    I love this. Can't wait till they release that new Technika with the auto darkcloth feature. It's gonna revolutionize the industry.
     
  20. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    A SINAR with the DB system features auto aperture (meaning that you don't need to stop down lens after composing and focusing), auto shutter cocking, and automatic closing of the shutter upon insertion of the film holder (meaning that you cannot forget to do this, which would ruin a sheet of film). The only things you need to do after deciding to take the shot are to insert the film holder, pull the dark slide, hit the cable release, and reinsert the dark slide. You never need to look around to the front of the camera for any reason during shooting, as apertures and shutter speeds are selectable from behind the camera.

    Of course, there were the Graflex RB cameras as well........
     
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  21. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I was on KEH's site yesterday and was flabbergasted at the price of some 35mm bodies. Never mind the $6 Rebels, there are some pretty decent cameras for less than $20.

    I want to buy several, but then I barely use the ones I have! :blink:
     
  22. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    This is a persistent problem with me. I usually give in.:w00t:
     
  23. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I still love my manual cameras but the new one is so cool. For rapid shooting at airshows and sports events it lets me concentrate on the action without worrying about the settings. For slower more purposeful shooting the manual cameras still win the day for me.:smile:
     
  24. ntenny

    ntenny Member

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    That's actually one of the virtues of the bottom-of-the-barrel models like my Rebel: Most of the features that are missing that relegate them to bottom-of-the-barrel status are the useless shit!

    For all my complainin', I actually think the Rebel X has a pretty decent feature set. Aperture-priority, shutter-priority, full-manual, full-auto; TTL flash; seemingly a reasonably competent meter; will autofocus if you want it to; keeps the dark in. The IR film sensor is a minus in theory, but who shoots IR with an SLR anyway?

    Just from eyeballing the negatives, the smoke-test roll looks good. I think it'll make a perfectly good little snapshot camera. And as someone noted it can take L-series lenses---though if I could afford L-series lenses I wouldn't need a six-dollar body to hold them! :smile:

    -NT
     
  25. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    It's all a ghost in the machine that makes decisions for us. If we allow machines to do it all for us, our bodies become atrophied and our brains becomes mush. According to the commercials, we end up happier :wink:
     
  26. R gould

    R gould Member

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    I simply don't like to much automation, thats one reason I use cameras that are 50 or more years old, no electronics, no batteries,you have to do everything yourself,in fact I only recently sold my last 2 ''modern'' cameras, a couple of pentax autofocus jobs, in favor of a 60 year old Ensign commando, and I am getting more fun out of the commando than i did the pentax's,Richard