Lenses: ummm... help

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by hanaa, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. hanaa

    hanaa Member

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    Hi everyone. I have a question about lenses. I have a manual camera and i know everything about it (almost)... but now i'm buying my husband a camera and i just have no clue about auto focus cameras. My husband has his eye on a canon autofocus camera (rebel something). Just a basic camera so he can learn from. but he wants to put a manual focus on it. Now of course all what i can find are autofocus lenses that say its for that specific camera. I guess what i'm getting at is: do all lenses that are marked to fit canon (despite the model) fit all canon cameras -- can i put a manual lense on the autofocus camera? or do lenses come in certain sizes for each model? I hope this made sense. thank you so much from your input. I'm learning so much since i joined this site. Everyone has been a great deal of help!

    --Hanaa
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    There are very few manual focus lenses made for the EOS mount, Tamron lenses are around in which you purchase the correct adaptall mount, and there are a couple of after market inexpensive telephoto lenses, but the rebal allows you to switch to manual focus mode and use the autofocus lens in manual focuse mode, there have been different canon mounts over the years, but the only ones that will fit the rebel are the EOS designated lenses, the FD and such even though a canon mount will not fit on the rebel, unless you find a adapter mount(expensive), then you will loose different features of the newer body, the Rebel models are actually pretty sophisticated cameras and have a lot of features available on them.

    Dave
     
  3. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Every one of my Canon lenses has a small switch to allow for manual focusing. As far as which lenses fit which cameras, any lens marked 'EOS' will fit the Rebel line of cameras as long as it is not made specificaly for the digital camera bodies (bears the 'EF-S' designation rather than just 'EF') unless they have changed it since I bought a new lens. Any reputable camera shop will be able to ensure that you get the proper lens for the camera body you choose.

    Lenses now days are mostly zooms that cover from focal length A to focal length B, for example 80mm to 200mm. Most Canon bodies come with a standard range zoom lens which should be fine for your purposes. I would suggest something on the order of either 28mm-80mm or 80mm-200mm, either of which should be a standard option if you buy the kit (i.e. camera and lens combo). Hope this helps.

    - Randy
     
  4. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    This may seem silly, but if he wants to focus manually, why not by a nice used manual camera (Canon AE's, Minolta X's, Pentax K, etc.)??? Many of the later model manual cameras had plenty of exposure and metering features, but used manual focusing lenses...

    Now, I'm cheap, so take this next part with a grain of salt. The autofocus Minolta and Sigma lenses that I've been buying and using for about 15 years or so, can't hold a candle to a couple of manual focus Rokkors that I picked up and use on my Minolta X700. It may be a zoom v prime issue, but the difference in sharpness can be seen in the viewfinder!

    If, as you say, he's just starting out, being a little more slow and deliberate with a more manual camera may be just the thing. But if he wants to use it for grab shots at family get togethers and such, a quick to use auto focus may be more to his liking...

    ...just some thoughts...
     
  5. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I agree, the Minolta XD-11 was one of the best cameras ever made and the manual focus glass from that period is fantanstic and one of the un-sung bargins in the used market, I shot one for almost 20 years in my business and never once had a complaint about it, good camera, good glass and just a plain joy to use, if I remember right the XD-11 was also the basis for one of the Leica series of SLR's

    Dave
     
  6. skahde

    skahde Member

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    It is hard to make a good recommendation based on so little facts. I would look for a nice prime lens as this might be the closest thing to what he probably needs, but what is your budget? What is already in his bag and what are his favorite photographic subjects and does he aim at slides, CN or b+w and/or what is his favorite print-size? As a gift I'd consider something like a 1,8/85mm or a 1,4/50mm or the alike (something impressive and shiny :wink: ) but this may be far away from what he has in mind.

    best

    Stefan
     
  7. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    There are even a few manual focus bodies available new. I've not studied the market extensively, particularly not in Canon mount, so I don't know how common these are, or if the big names (Canon, Minolta, Nikon, Pentax, etc.) still make them, or just the lesser or secondary brands (Vivitar, Phoenix, Zenit, etc.). Is your (hanaa's) husband set on Canon for some reason?
     
  8. hanaa

    hanaa Member

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    Thank you everyone for your input.

    in addition to my previous post: my husband wants to eventually do portrait photography using medium format. I would eventually like to upgrade into medium format myself. but first thing is first and that is learning the basics about photography. I use a minolta X-700, very good camera, and i don't work with anything other than manual. my husband wants an easy camera to learn from and eyed the canon. I don't know much about autofocus at all (and quite frankly, refuse too) but i'm looking at the newer canons and i can't figure out what my options are. My budget is $200. I havn't bought anything yet, i want to make sure it will work for what he wants and will want in the future. He wants to do portraits mainly and many little tidbits here and there. to start out anyway. we live in a rural area and there are no camera shops or any resourses to go to (other than the class at the community college) .

    So, we're learning on our own, trying to figure everything out. I recently bought an elarger and planning putting together so sort of darkroom. (tired of having my pictures developed at wal-mart)

    okay well thank you so much for your input. everyone has been a lot of help, i'm so glad i found this website!

    Hanaa
     
  9. hanaa

    hanaa Member

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    He's not "stuck" on canon. just happened to eye that one... plus it's a familiar name to him. but he'll take any brand-- he's just not sure what yet. it's new. and I've had the same camera for so long i'm new to it too.
     
  10. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I'd buy a nikon and have 40+ years worth of manual and auto focus lenses.

    I also owned a Minolta and can atest to the quality of the camera and the glass (there are, i think, 3 different minolta lens mounts though)
     
  11. djkloss

    djkloss Subscriber

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    Hello Hanaa,
    IMHO - I would highly recommend the Nikon F100 for starters. It's just a great camera and you can shoot in auto or manual.

    Dorothy
     
  12. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    The Rebel series, despite being the low-end of the Canon range have all the features you could want: fully programmed OR aperture priority OR shutter priority OR fully manual modes... You can set the ISO manually (it does not insist on using the film can's DX coding). It also has +/- exposure adjustment. They are arguably the best bang per buck cameras around. The battery lasts a reasonable time. It is not usable without the battery so always have a spare. It is 100% plastic so light, but not as robust as the heavier metal chassis Pro models.

    One odd thing about them is that when you load the film it immediately winds on all the way to the LAST position. As you take the pictures, it winds itself back to the beginning. This does mean that your 1st image is at position 36, the second at position 35, etc... They also use an infrared sprocket counter that can cause problems if you use infrared film: typically 1 to 3 mm of the edge of the film is fogged by the sprocket counter. This does not effect normal film - only IR. Many other cameras use the same method, so if it is important, check first.

    Problem #1 is that although you can always switch the lens to manual focus, the viewfinder does not have a split-image area to help with manual focussing, and the finder is not changeable. Some high end Canon models do have interchangeable finders I believe.

    For portrait work you are probably looking for something in the 90mm range so a 70-200mm zoom would suit, although a 28-80mm or similar will probably come with the camera. I wouldn't recommend the 28-200mm zooms (like I'm some kind of expert!) - the more the zoom covers, the lower the overall quality as the more compromises are made in its construction.

    Hope this helps rather than adds to the confusion.... :wink:

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  13. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    Hanaa-

    In the $200 range you're going to be getting a consumer-grade camera and lens sold together as a kit (assuming you want to purchase new equipment). Most manufacturers have a starter set like this (Nikon N55 with a 28-80mm lens, Canon EOS Rebel K2 with a 28-90mm lens, Konica-Minolta Maxxum 50 QD with 28-100mm lens, etc.). With every autofocus lens I'm aware of, you can turn off the autofocus and manually focus the lens. These are not the most robust cameras in the world, but with proper care they should provide years of service.

    You should be aware that the viewfinders on newer consumer-grade cameras are not the best for manual focusing. With the introduction of autofocus lenses, the manufacturers have saved money by simplifying the viewfinder because most people just use the autofocus...no need to spend more money on a high quality viewfinder if the camera is focusing for you. So your husband will be able to manually focus the camera, but it won't be the easiest thing in the world. It may take some practice, and it will add some frustration to the learning process, but if your husband's seriously interested then he'll learn how to do it (or he'll just rely on autofocus).

    As others have stated, any Canon EF lens can be used on any Canon EOS body, including all Canon cameras with the name "Rebel". (EF-S lenses cannot be used on Canon film cameras.)

    Which brand of camera you buy at this time isn't all that important. I would recommend that you buy either Canon or Nikon because they are healthy companies, they make lots of different camera accessories, and chances are good that you'll be able to buy anything you need in the future to build the camera into a full system capable of any type of photography that your husband might become interested in. This is not to say that other brands are not good (many are excellent), but (this is just my opinion!) I'm fairly certain that both Canon and Nikon will still be making lenses and accessories in 10 years time that share some level of compatibility with the cameras they sell today.

    If you can convince your husband that an old manual focus camera is a better way to learn (personally I think it is, but I won't argue if people tell me I'm wrong...I'm tired of having that particular argument), then you can get him a camera that's compatible with your equipment. You'll both automatically have a backup camera available, and instead of buying him a "starter" lens you can share lenses and buy a more interesting lens when you buy "his" camera. Minolta made a lot of excellent cameras over the years (my girlfriend has an SRT-201 that I'm sure will outlive me) and they made many excellent lenses.

    Best of luck with your decision, and I hope that your husband enjoys photography. (It's always nice to have a shared avocation.)

    Be well.
    Dave
     
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  15. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Actually there are two manual focus mounts that are interchangeable and the A mount for the auto focus cameras, so in essence there are two mounts for the Minolta cameras, the A mount will not interchange with the two manual focus mounts and the two manual focus mounts will interchange and the only difference is some of the metering modes, but they do work together.

    Dave
     
  16. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    The F100 is indeed a great camera and would be the one I would buy if I did not have so much invested in Minolta equipment, but it is far above the $200.00 budget she said she had.

    Dave
     
  17. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    In the $200 range I would recommend a Sigma SA 7, good value for the money, after my F3 was stolden from my checked baggage at 9/11 I dither from a couple of years then on impusle I bought a SA 7 with 2 lens. I use mine in manual focus without any issues, has lots of feature. The one draw back is that you can only use Sigma lens, but I liked the SA 7 so much I bought the SA 9 body. Having said all of that if you afford an entry level Nikon or Canon I would highly recommend a camera that you build a system around.
     
  18. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I would buy a Pentax.

    Just about any Pentax - since they are all compatible with all older lenses. Even the latest d*g*t*l Pentax can use any Pentax lens all the way back to the beginning!

    I have an Mz-5n (which is called something different in the US), which I use with autofocus and manual lenses. The AF can be switched off, or even switched on with non-AF lenses. In that case you can hold the shutter down and twiddle the focus ring and the camera will take the picture when it thinks it's in focus.

    I was seriously considering switching to C/N a few years back, then I discovered the total compatibility of Pentax cameras and lenses. That made my choise easy.
     
  19. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Subscriber

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    One other thing about manually focusing Af lenses is that the cheaper lenses that are made, the ones that you will get with a kit in your price range, have extremely small focus rings and are tough to use for that reason. Unless AF is a priority, and it sure doesn't sound that way from your description, I would consider a good used manual focus camera. If simplicity of use is an issue, than I would probably recommend the Nikon FE2, FG, or FA, they all have auto exposure capabilities. I don't know the Minoltas as well, but I would certainly trust the opinions of those around here who do. Of course, one advantage there would be sharing lenses with each other. (Unless part of the idea is to keep him from your lenses. :smile:)
     
  20. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Why autofocus ?
    If you both want to go to MF why not give him one right now. He could also borrow your 35mm or you could buy one more body for your system so you could share lenses.
    MF cameras like the Minolta Autocord, Yashica Mat (pick a number) or the Rolleicord shouldn't break the bank. You may also want to look at the Mamiya TLR's
    Regards Søren
     
  21. skahde

    skahde Member

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    hanaa,

    if 35mm is just a transitional step to MF for you I would build up the system you have and buy another Minolta for him, preferably another X700 or the XD11 (XD7 in Europe) Dave mentionend. Add to that a 100mm 2.5 MD lens and a winder and you can get away for under 200$. For portraits in 35mm things hardly get any better than that.

    Here is an example as an MC-lens which shouldn't be used in P-mode, otherwise ist is just as good as the MD. This one seems to have some coating defects, though: http://cgi.ebay.de/Minolta-100mm-f2...Z7546317343QQcategoryZ707QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    I'd ask the seller and if he says it is ok. I'd grab it. They don't show up to often.
     
  22. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Hanaa,

    I think there is a lot of good advice here - but I would chime in with this:
    Buy used, and you will have more camera for your money. I use the FD mount (manual) Canon gear - but am not one of the brand nazis - you will be happy with any reputable camera, I also own Nikon and have no complains about that either. I am more familiar with Canon though, so my two cents will centre on that. I would strongly suggest looking to a older Elan II, or a newer Elan 7. I think that in that particular price/market segment, these two Canons offer a little more per dollar than eqivalent Nikon models (the mirror lock up as one example). Apparently the Nikons have their adventages - no doubts there - but feature per dollar, I think the Elans are realy stand outs.
    But is he really that set on AF? It would really be great if he could get a camera that the two of you could share lenses for. And also, I suspect he can get more camera for the $200 that way.

    And just as an aside - those canons are apparently able to be retrofitted with the T90 focusing screen, which is split view with a misroprism ring. I know this has been done, but I understand its quite involved and would require a professional with the right tools and know how (or so I am told - please correct me if I am wrong). The T90 was the last manual focus Canon - basically a prototype of their new line with the old manual lens mount - hence the screen, and the ability to fit one to a new camera.

    Best of luck with whatever choice you make,

    Peter.
     
  23. unohuu

    unohuu Member

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    if he wants MF with an AF body his choices are limited to Pentax (complete retrofit) to limited with Nikon. Some of the newer bodies can't be set as the aperture control is on camera vs on lens.
     
  24. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    My vote is for giving your husband your 35mm SLR to practice and learn. Use the $200 to buy a previously owned medium format camera. Prices have dropped so low recently that you should be able to find a good one that fits within your budget.
     
  25. hanaa

    hanaa Member

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    Thank you so much everyone for your input. I'm still deciding exactly what i will do... but the AF canon is definetly out of the running. i'm going to try and just buy a medium format if i stumble on one with a reasonable price i can afford. You all had great ideas, and i looked into everyone of them. :smile: thank you again.
     
  26. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I rarely buy new anymore. The prices of MF have plummeted so much that in my mind there are few reasons to buy new. Now, if you're going MF, you have to decide which size. 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7...