Good camera to start in 35mm with

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by lorirfrommontana, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. lorirfrommontana

    lorirfrommontana Member

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    Hi all,
    Wow, I've learned so much from this group! Today my oldest daughter and I went to a used camera shop in Billings. What a treasure trove! We walked in and were greated from back in the corner with "What are you looking for". I said lenses for my Nikon. "Digital?" was his gruff answer. He was very plesant when I answerd no and told him what camera I had. I will have to get back there soon. There was lots of darkroom equitment, cameras and stacks of everything. I found a 70-200mm lens for my Nikon FM2 for $50. Its not the best but will work for me learning.

    My question is about a camera for my Daughter. My 20 y.o. daughter has never seemed all that interested in photography. She has a p&S digital. She went over to the shelves of camera bodies and said, "wich one should I look for for my Alaska trip." I love my Nikon but many of the other brands seemed to have more lenses and such to choose from than the Nikons (at least at this place). She said she wants one that she can take great scenery with. She really likes how my film pics turn out. She did pick up a newer Nikon with a decent looking lens on it (sorry, don't remember the model #), and another lens behind it that looked like it went with it. She wants to know what the best bet would be for her before she picks the first one that comes along though. She wants to learn some about a camera but would like some auto functions. She is a full time student so dosn't have a lot of time right now to learn to operate a fully manuel camera.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated! My enthusiasm for this hobby must have rubbed off!:smile:
    Lori
     
  2. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    I'm sure you're going to get lots of opinions, but I would go with the same camera you have, the FM2. She should be able to pick one up very reasonably, along with any Nikon 50 mm lens, or a 35 if she prefers a wider angle. You can teach her all she needs to know about the camera. If she wants real auto, I'd look for an F80, which can also be found very reasonably priced. It's a little more complicated to learn all that it will do, but if you just leave it on Program, it will act like a point and shoot.
     
  3. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    There is an incredible selection of used Nikon lenses because Nikon is one of only a couple DSLR manufacturers that hasn't changed their mount since their first 35mm SLR's hit the market back in the 70's. I would suggest staying with Nikon if only for this reason, otherwise the difference between manufacturers' cameras are generally negligible. I wouldn't suggest the FM2, however, since it's not really an automatic camera. I suggest the FG (manual focus), which I have seen selling on this website for under $30, or the F90, which is an autofocus camera. The F80 is good too.
     
  4. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    The FM2 is just about perfect for a starter camera. Being fully manual isn't a problem at all. It's just as easy if not easier to use than a fully automatic camera. It's only slower to use as you have to spend time focusing and and setting the exposure.
     
  5. Mark Fisher

    Mark Fisher Subscriber

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    Here are a few thoughts....Nikon has the most used equipment out there and you have that system. It sounds like the best bet. If she wants to use it on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, I'd say get it serviced (CLAed) and shoot a few rolls of film after the servicing.
     
  6. lorirfrommontana

    lorirfrommontana Member

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    Sounds good all. I passed along your info to her. If she goes Nikon we can mabey share some lenses! She'll have to try out a few and see what she likes. Thanks Lori
     
  7. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    All in the family works well. Then you don't have to duplicate seldom used but neato doodads.
     
  8. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    What they all said.
     
  9. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Poohblah;

    The Nikon SLR camera is a bit older than "back in the '70's." The original Nikon F actually hit the United States in 1959. Erhrenreich Photo-Optical Industries (EPOI) caused the great earthquake that led to the shift in photojournalism from usually range finder cameras (mainly Nikon SP and Leica, with an occasional Graphlex holdout) to single lens reflex cameras when they handed to every major news photographer a Nikon F with lenses "to try out."
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    1959 on the Nikon F

    This would be a good choice for travel as it is light and has good metering abilities.



    Steve.
     
  11. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I think being able to handle the camera and feeling it in the hand should answer alot of questions. The rest you or the shop owner should be able to answer as concerning functions and abilities. If her previous experience is with a P&S digital, the question is if she'll be inclined to use the larger heavier film camera. So something small with a decent telephoto with maybe a popup flash would be the best bet, and there are plenty to choose from in any major brand.
    Just watch out for battery hogs, check the light seals and test the meter if possible with a short roll or get a return policy.
     
  12. Poohblah

    Poohblah Member

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    My mistake. For whatever reason I thought it was 1969 with the F2 following shortly after.
     
  13. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Member

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    I can also recommend Nikon, which is easy to find used but in great shape. This web-site includes a lot of information on the different models:

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/photography.htm

    An FG with a couple of the so-called E-series lenses is a decent light wheight choice, although the combination lacks autofocus. Myself, I use an F3 which is an old pro model. It is heavier but suits me perfect, although it doesn't work with modern flashes like the FG (without special adapters). As others have said there are also autofocus models with pop-up flash.

    Of course there are several very good brands besides Nikon.
     
  14. Katier

    Katier Member

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    I agree I'd go for Nikon.. if you were not already using Nikon I'd suggest Pentax ( for the same reason as Poohblah mentioned - the mount is the same since they went bayonet ) but as you have nikons makes sense to stick with them.
     
  15. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I use the N80 (F80 in europe). I wouldn't go anywhere without it. If you're shooting outdoor the 35-80 nikkor that came with it should work wonders. It's not made anymore but is sold with lots of those older cameras. Indoors try the 50mm F1.8D for a cheap fast lens.
     
  16. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    +1 to what Eric wrote.

    I suspect your daughter might prefer having a camera of her own. The FG is really a pretty nice little camera, and can be used in manual mode as well as Program. She could pick up a 50/1.8 lens for low light stuff and a good quality 28-85 (or so) zoom, preferably a Nikkor, but the old Vivitar Series 1 28-90 zooms were tack sharp and well made. 28mm is a lot more useful for general scenic photography than a 35mm is, I've found. It's also more convenient for group shots. You also might want to consider adding a good 80-200 or 70-210 to the stable, if you don't already have one. Then the both of you will have a decent assortment of lenses that will handle most photo situations.

    Best,

    Michael
     
  17. ibraz

    ibraz Member

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    I think that you should think of the weather there too, if temerature is extremely low, cameras that use a lot of power may not work properly (batteries die with low temperatures), the less battery dependent you are, the less you have problemes in extreme low temperatures.
    that's why i recomend mechanical shutter cameras, that will allow her to shoot even if her batteries die because of the low temp.

    +1 with cooltouch, wide angle lenses are very useful in many situations (allows you to capture a scenery, even when you're close to your subject).
    zooms are useful when you travel, but they'll not provide the best picture quality, so i think that in addition to a wide angle/short telephoto (28-80 or so) a 50mm and 28 or shorter fixed focal lenght lenses are a good thing for good landscape pictures and low light conditions.
     
  18. lorirfrommontana

    lorirfrommontana Member

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    Thanks a lot for all of your advice. We will probebly get to go shopping for her "new" camera in a week or two and all of your advise will come in handy!
    Lori
     
  19. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    It's great to have the choice, Lori. When I received my first camera as a 13 year old in 1974, the choice was much more restricted, especially by price. Anything with a meter in it was usually expensive and I had to 'make do' with an Edixaflex 35mm with a 50mm/f2 lens.

    However, that was probably the best thing that could have happened as it forced me to use a hand-held meter (my dad's Weston that he used with his Rolleiflex) and to learn about the relationship between shutter speed and aperture and the effect of that relationship on depth of field.

    What I'm saying, I suppose, is that a 'manual only' camera would be my choice for anyone I was giving a camera to as it makes them grasp the basics. I can understand that composition and the final image is what we're really all after but I suspect that starting off with an advanced metering syste, programme modes and auto focus can be a disincentive to learning how to control light for yourself.

    I hope your little 'un really enjoys her photography - whatever the camera - and look forward to seeing some images posted.