My first SLR: Nikon F100...helpful tips?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by staphkills, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. staphkills

    staphkills Member

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    Hi All,

    I've always been interested in photography, but always never had a chance to buying a slr since I thought they were so expensive. But I've recently bought a Nikon F100 with a Nikkor 50mm AF f1.8D! I'm pretty excited about it as it's coming in the mail in a few days. A few questions:

    -Is there any basic film slr books you guys recommend? (i need something that will teach me about the iso, different films to use, how to change the film canister)!

    -What about any good online articles on film slrs in general? I've found alot on dslrs but barely any on film slrs!

    -Since I'm going to buy it used, how should I test the slr for any problems? Are there any specific things I should test on the camera?

    -How do you guys process your film the cheapest? I was thinking of just having my film developed and getting the digital copy of it for now.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Hello- Welcolme to the world of photography with an SLR...and with film no less! The benefits of a camera like this one are really, really, amazing. You best ways to test the camera would be to shoot a roll of film through it and see how it comes out :smile:....If there huge problems with the camera, it should be evident in the images that it gives. I would reccomend finding a copy of the camera manual since the F100 is a pretty advanced camera. As far as procssing goes, you may want to check the local telephone book to see if any photo labs are around. If not, there are plenty of reccomendations that I as well as others on here would have as to good mail oder labs. If you are trying to keep costs down then I suppose that developing and having scans made would be a good way to go. Have fun and feel free to come back with specific camera questions. We are here to help each other out. I can't seem to think of any great articles for you off hand but I just found this. http://www.guidetofilmphotography.com/ I hope it is helpful.
     
  3. Mats_A

    Mats_A Member

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    Welcome to APUG and congratulations on a fine camera.

    You really should start by reading the manual, cover to cover. You can find onehere

    If you are not going to develope your own film then start with color negative films. Ie "normal films".

    Regarding handling and general camera usage a digital camera functions the same way as an analog regarding shutter, aperture lenses and so on. So read any article you want. You always learn something.
    And take pictures, lot of them.
    And have fun.

    r

    Mats
     
  4. haplo602

    haplo602 Member

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    Get the book from Thom Hogan. Get a cheap film scanner for 35mm. Get the battery grip :smile:

    I had this camera for a few years and it's an excelent piece of kit. Do watch how you close the film back, the latches tend to break if not carefull.
     
  5. film_man

    film_man Member

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    The National Geographic Photography Field Guide is one of the best introductions to photography I've read. It covers pretty much everything and the rest of the book has some good articles on different styles and types of shooting.

    In any case, everything you read online or in print about ISO, f-stops, aperture, shutter speeds and all the principles of photography is valid for any camera, be it film, digital, large format and compact.

    Also, if you are going to get film processed, cheap is not always the best, it can make a huge difference on the prints where you get them processed. So take your time and be prepared to spend a bit of money until you try different labs and find one you like.
     
  6. andrewkirkby

    andrewkirkby Member

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    Read Galen Rowell's books. He was a pioneer of 35mm landscape photography and i have learnt quite a lot from his books. His earlier book "Mountain Light" is probably the most informative.

    He also used the F100 extensively in his later years, preferring it to heavier, more advanced cameras (F5)

    Try a roll of slide film and have it processed at a pro lab. You will never look back!
     
  7. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Congratulations!

    Just stick around here and you will learn everything you need to know about using the F100, minor repairs and to whom to send it if it needs a CLA [Clear Lubricate and Adjust] or a bigger repair.

    Steve
     
  8. vedmak

    vedmak Subscriber

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    F100 is a great camera, I am particulary interested in black and white film since you can have control over the entire process, it is inexpensive, and more forgiving than slides, although with nikon metering system exposure errors are not as common. My library consists of just 8 books, 5 of those are by Ansel Adams (the saint), 2 from Carson Graves -> zone system for 35mm photographers, The elements of black-and-white printing, and last but not least The Darkroom Cookbook, Third Edition by Stephen G. Anchell - make sure you do get third edition, it has some interesting articles about developing black and white slides out of negative film and pyro developers.
     
  9. TSSPro

    TSSPro Member

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    After my FM10, the F100 was my first "professional looking" camera. I hope that you enjoy it, beacuse after years of owning mine, I know I still get great use out of it.

    I second getting the battery grip, it is a very useful item for adding some weight and stability in your hands.

    Books: There are a lot fo them. The NatGeo guide is great, that was my first book and it served me well. Another great book that you will learn from to no end is "Photography" by John Upton, Barbara London, and Jim Stone. I have a 'pre-jim stone' 6th edition, they are currently on the 9th edition, but whichever you choose, you will get a lot of information out of it.

    Oh- If you havent gotten idea to do this yet, start now, but shoot as many types of films as you can-- There will probably never be as many films available on the market now as there will be in the future.

    All the best
     
  10. ruilourosa

    ruilourosa Member

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    basic photography, read it... not just download it...
     
  11. dpurdy

    dpurdy Subscriber

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    I like the magic lantern user guides and I got one for my F100. Once you get all the options figured out it is a very simple camera that has a great meter.
     
  12. totalmotard

    totalmotard Member

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    I suggest the Tao of Photography as a book about the philosophy of photography rather than the nuts and bolts. You can learn more about the technicalities of photography as you go. Put your F100 in program "P" mode and just shoot. I love my 50 1.8 on my N80. It's very sharp.

    My local lab will process a roll for me for $6 and put it on disk for $3 and they do a very good job. Don't take your film to 1 hour places unless you like scratched negatives.
     
  13. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Hi staphkills and welcome to APUG. You can send the F100 to me and I will check it out for you:D. Anyway, nice start.
     
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  15. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I would suggest downloading the manual and go through it with camera in your hand. Downloadables are available from Nikon itself. I also recommend you'll do a RESET before doing anything else. This is a complex camera with lots of customizable options. You'll want to have it in default option and make changes the way you want it. There are two reset for this camera. See page 76...
     
  16. bblhed

    bblhed Member

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    Put it in program and shoot a roll or two and try to pay attention to what is going on. You bought the camera to have fun, that will be fun. Then buckle down and hit the books. From my point of view I have read all kinds of stuff from digital guides from last month, to Kodak's Kodakery monthly publications from the teens and even underwater photography guides. What have I learned from all that is that capturing an image is the same no mater what and where you are shooting, digital or film the basic operation, tips and tricks are all the same so read what appeals to you, you will learn better that way. On the down side of that, finding what appeals to you may involve a lot of reading of dry boring stuff, remember it's all useful.

    Enjoy the new camera, that is a really a great set up you have there.
     
  17. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    Welcome Home Staphkills,

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
    You are very well prepared to begin your photographic journey.
    But, It is a neverending journey !

    BTW ; What's your real name, and age ?
    I'm not feeling the love with your userID.


    Ron

    From The Long Island Of New York, and the
    Long Island @ Large Format Group, right here on APUG
    .
     
  18. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Probably in a medical field.
     
  19. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    That's what I was thinking.
    Just had to tease the new guy a wee bit.
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Always fun to jerk someone's chain! :D
     
  21. Ap507b

    Ap507b Member

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    Maybe try & find a copy of the Nikon & Nikkormat Way by Herbert Kepler. It dates from the 70's and talks mostly about the F & F2. but from a basics point of view I found it very useful. The book is long out of print but comes up on ebay from time to time. I paid around £10 for mine. Think it is a late edition with a rather lovely looking lady on the cover and some green pages that cover the then brand new Nikon F3.
     
  22. rthomas

    rthomas Member

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    Great camera! If I got an AF Nikon again, it would be this camera. The battery grip (MB-15) is nice and gives you the option of using dedicated rechargeable batteries, plus vertical controls. Definitely download a manual. A suggestion - put in fresh batteries, then before you put any film in, test the shutter by firing the camera at all shutter speeds from one second to about 1/250th. You should be able to hear the difference in the length of the shutter speeds in this range (if it all sounds the same, something is wrong). Also, again before loading the camera, check that the lens stops down by repeatedly shooting with the aperture set to the various f-stops from f/1.8 all the way through f/22. Then do the same thing with a roll of film, trying various combinations. You want visual, auditory, and on-film confirmation that the mechanics are working.
     
  23. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    LikeVedmak I found the the "Zone System for 35mm Photographers" by Carson Graves to be a very readable book and it will tell you a lot in a simple way. Can be bought secondhand quite cheaply.

    pentaxuser
     
  24. staphkills

    staphkills Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the helpful and welcoming responses!

    I'm actually a undergrad studying in California (but currently in Massachusetts for the summer).

    hahahaa, yeah, I usually hate creating usernames so I just typed the first thing that popped into my mind.


    So I've downloaded and looked over the user manual and I think I have a basic understanding of the camera now. I will also be going to a library to check out some of the books that you guys have mentioned.

    As for the film, the more I look into the different types of film rolls, the more I'm uncertain as to which type of film I should get or where I should get them from. Can anyone recommend me a affordable but OK quality film? I was thinking of buying bulk, maybe from amazon?

    Thanks!

    -Jeff
     
  25. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Film: Are you thinking prints or slides? Black and White or Colour?
     
  26. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Film:
    First of all there are no bad choices.
    Black & white Kodak Tri-X or Ilford HP5+
    Color print Kodak NC 400 [Normal Color]
    Color slides ... Im not current enough to suggest one over another. See line 2.

    Steve