New to Film

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the APUG Community' started by Ibiza19, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Ibiza19

    Ibiza19 Member

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    Hello Everyone

    Not sure if i posted this in the right section if not im sorry. Well im new here and I have been shooting digital SLR for more than a year now. I finally decided to start shooting some film at the same time and learn how film cameras work.

    I have no information about film cameras and I don’t even know how to work with one. So that’s why im here to get some tips and information from you guys.

    Well I have been searching around Flickr and have found many film cameras that seem interesting both SLR and non SLR. Here is a list I made of the cameras I can afford and seem to be the best ones. I might be wrong and you guys might have something better in mind for me.


    Canon AE-1
    Canon EOS 500
    Canon A-1
    Nikon FM2

    Olympus OM-1
    Holga 120cfn
    Canonet G-III, QL-17
    FED 2 Leica
    Pentax Spotmatic

    I was also searching around the web I found a beauty. The Mamiya C330. I’m not sure if that’s a good option for me or not but I just love those shots that are taken by this camera. So right now im thinking of Mamiya as my first option. If not I would go with the small films from the list above. But I have no idea how the Mamiya C330 works, well not that I do know anything about other film cameras.

    I’m gonna start with couple of questions

    1- From the list which camera do you think is the best? Do you think the Mamiya C330 is a good option for me or is it just to professional and hard to work with as a beginner.
    2- I’m NOT planning on printing my rolls. I just want to upload them on CD so I can give it a nice touch using photoshop and upload it on my photography photostream. I’m not planning to print any rolls mainly because it costs a lot. Is it possible to have your rolls only uploaded on a CD? Is the quality going to be any good like same quality as the Digital SLR shots?
    3- I have heard there are scanners that can scan your film if I’m not wrong. How does a scanner work? Like lets say the Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner. Do you just put the roll inside and it scans it for you? Sorry I just don’t know anything about film so my bad if the questions sounds stupid

    Also this will be my first time using a film camera. Is there any articles i can start reading until i receive the camera? I dont know anything about rewinding the film and i have heard that you can ruin the film if you expose it to light and some other things and im not sure how you work with one properly to avoid any problems. I also have no idea how the focusing on a film works and as for the aperture and everything i have always been using digital and well with SLR the camera does it all but with film is different. I need to know what im doing so i guess i need some reading to do.
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    There is no "best", they are all very capable cameras with different modes of use and strengths. But yes, the C330 is a very good option, because...

    .,..if you are going to scan and don't want to spend a lot of money on a scanner then I would shoot medium format, and...

    ... a flatbed scanner such as the epson will do much better with medium format film than 35mm. You just load the film into a holder and scan away, very easy. Note that the old 4990 will do just about as well.

    You'll find absolutely everything you need right here, and you can probably find a local expert by searching for one on APUG. You can get a very fast start if you spend a few minutes with an experienced film user.

    Do consider doing your own printing. If nothing else, you could shoot medium format and make your own cyanotypes. It's quick, inexpensive, a lot of fun, can be done without an enlarger, and at the very least it gives you quick "proofs" for b&w negatives that you can develop in plain water. Consider also the hybrid / digital neg approach if you don't want to enlarge... you can learn about that on APUG's sister site, hybridphoto.
     
  3. Ibiza19

    Ibiza19 Member

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    thank you keithwms for the response..very helpful

    some questions after reading your response..

    - how much does a flatbed scanner like epson costs? if i dont get the scanner how much would it be to scan these pictures outside? no prints just the roll being uploaded on a CD? any difference in picture quality comparing these two methods?

    - the C330 seems very hard to work with. Is this true? I have heard that you can expose your film to light and ruin the rolls and everything. And im scared i might screw up my camera or my rolls when i get the camera at the beginning. (sorry if this is a stupid questions :D im just dont know anything about film)

    - i live in canada, is there a list for local experts in Canada as well here?

    - and i didnt get anything about the last part :rolleyes:
     
  4. Flea77

    Flea77 Member

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    1 - From the list I would go with the Nikon FM2, solid, reliable, tons of lenses etc for it. The C330 is a larger format and will produce nicer pics, but is more difficult/expensive to get processed and scanned if you are not doing it yourself.
    2 - Yes, several places can develop/scan B&W, most places can develop/scan color.
    3 - Yes, you can get scanners like the V500 you mention which are flatbeds which happen to scan negatives/slides too, or if you go 35mm you can get a dedicated film scanner like a PlusTek 7200. You put in the cut negatives (or mounted slides) and go to town.

    Most of the older 35mm cameras will have an owner's manual, including some online, so I would start there. If you can not find one for the FM2 specifically, the rewind procedure for the FG, FA, FM, FM2, FG20, EM, etc are all the same.

    Allan
     
  5. Ibiza19

    Ibiza19 Member

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    1- Why is it more expensive? doesn't it use the same set of rolls as the other film cameras?
    2- Sounds good
    3- how do these scanners work? do i have to take the roll apart? or do i just put it inside the scanner and the scanner does the job for me? like if im supposed to take the roll apart wouldn't it get ruined because its exposed to light?
     
  6. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Ibiza,

    Welcome to APUG.

    The C330 shoots 120 (medium format) film, a larger format than 35mm with fewer exposures per sqi inch of film, but higher quality, so it is more expensive because it uses more film per image.

    We aren't really in to discussing scanning here, but all your questions about film and cameras etc. are very on topic.

    Scanning details are discussed by many very talented and experienced photographers on our sister site hybridphoto.com

    We are an all analog discussion here.
     
  7. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Ibiza, wherever you are situated, there is a good chance to get hold of some second hand basic techniques books on photography from the pre-digital era. Two authors of several wide spread books are Freeman and Langford.
     
  8. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Since your questions are fairly broad, I've moved this thread from the rangefinder forum to the Introductions forum. Welcome to APUG, ask questions, use the search function... you'll find it a very helpful community.
     
  9. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)

    Go for the Mamiya. It's a great camera and I think fantastic for a starter. If nothing else, just staring at it should serve to inspire you. Start reading the magazine. The link is below. Start with the May issue. And welcome to APUG.
     
  10. Prest_400

    Prest_400 Member

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    Welcome to APUG. Nice to see more new people here. You've came to the right place.

    Jason answered the first one. Just because it uses 120 film. The ones eveyone is used to see is 135/35mm film.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium_format_(film)
    There you can see the difference of size, and here, there's a roll of this film:
    http://www.danmassey.co.uk/theoryimages/120film.JPG
    The film is spooled on a spool, and has a backing paper that protects it from light.

    If you get a medium format camera, you won't have to worry about starting MF. I'd go for it.

    A flatbed scanner that scans film works just like your office or the one you use with your computer. But it's got a back lit that lights the film for scanning.

    No, you scan after develop, when the film is no more light sensitive. Developing the film, fixes the "latent image" that got exposed in the camera.
    Let me explain further; Film, basically has got silver crystals that when exposed to light, they react, making a latent image (that can be modified, if exposed to light it will change). Processing the film, changes the silver crystals for metallic silver, which is permanent and doesn't react to light. This would be in B&W, color is a much more complex process, which I don't know and results in dyes.

    It's a bit hard to explain all the concepts, because it's simply a lot of stuff. I believe that I'm even confusing more. :rolleyes:
     
  11. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    An old epson 4990 should run you a few hundred bucks. A 4490 would be less. The newer flatbeds will be more.

    Do not expect great results from a flatbed scanner with 35mm film. Those who do scan 35mm film usually use a dedicated film scanner (not a flatbed) or get the scans done by a lab.... which is an expensive route. For my 35mm film, I seldom scan it, I prefer to go purely analogue with it. That will probably be too pricey for you, hence my advice to go ahead and do medium format. More expensive per shot, yes, but you can get excellent results with a low-cost scanner and you can make very satisfying little contact prints at home with no darkroom (see below). It's fun.

    Nah, it's easy. All photo gear is easy. Really. How hard can it be, even if you manually focus and meter manually??? The technical sh*t is very quickly learned. The non-trivial thing in photography is composing effective photographs.

    You should have no problem finding some Canadian film photographers to give you a bit of assistance. Just look around, there are many Canadians here.

    Cyanotype is a very easy way to print your own b&w negatives. You can just paint some stuff on a piece of paper, dry it, put the negative on there, put it in the sun for a few minutes, then run some water over it and voila, you'll have a print. As easy as it comes and often giving very unique results. You absolutely do not need a darkroom or any chemistry expertise to do cyanos. It's about as easy as making toast.
     
  12. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Hello from Richmond Va! A lot of questions, but this is a good place to start.

    Jeff
     
  13. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Get the FM2. You won't be dissapointed.
     
  14. lorirfrommontana

    lorirfrommontana Member

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    Welcome to APUG! I love my FM2 but medium format is great. Get an older photography book. A used book store should have some at a reasonable price. They really help answer a lot of questions. (Beware, they tend to accumulate just like the camera gear!) Ask questions. You'll love film. It's not scary!
    -Lori
     
  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I inherited a Mamiya C330 with the lens pairs and lots of goodies. The prism is good for eliminating the right-left image reversal. It has an indicator to tell you the parallax correction when you get close up and it has built in bellows for close up work.

    That said, I did not like the camera when I was growing up. When I inherited it, I used it heavily for several months and I found, for myself, the fiddle factor too high for me. There are others here that love the camera. This is a personal decision.

    As for scanners, I brought a recondition Epson 4490 Photo scanner from the Epson website for under $100 including shipping a couple of years ago. I am sure that they have similar deals on the newer equipment now.

    Steve
     
  16. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Member

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    Medium format and 35 mm means different shooting styles which are effective for different types of photos. Most people start with 35 mm as it is very cheap and used to be the most widespread amateur format before digital came. It is still capable of very high quality photos. They are smaller than medium format and easier to carry everywhere. Medium format gives even higher quality but the cameras are larger and heavier. Try to handle a few cameras before you choose.
     
  17. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Hi , and welcome -- I have just what you need "PHOTOGRAPHY" by Barbara London and John Upton. I'll be more than happy to send you one of my coppies(I use these to teach a course). I think you will find it more than helpful.
    Rick
     
  18. Herzeleid

    Herzeleid Member

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    I believe Canon AE-1 or Nikon FM2 will be good choice for starters and relatively simpler to handle than any medium format camera. And both of those cameras rock.
    I started using MF cameras a few months back and they are somewhat different and absolutely not as easy to use as 35mm cameras. You can shoot 10, 12 or 16 frames per roll but with 35mm cameras you can shoot 36 frames, that might give you more opportunity to work with film at a cheaper cost. MF image quality is superior to 35mm.

    If you are not going to develop films yourself you can get them scanned at photo labs or you can develop them and the labs can do the scanning for you. Epson V500 is a really good scanner and a considerably pricier. Like one of the guys said, epson 4490 is a cheaper and equally good option. If you are not going to commit into film stuff you might consider it.

    I totally agree with this "Photography" book. It is the best and most detailed introduction and fundamentals books I've seen. It has information on every film formats, digital and digital retouching, developing, bw printing, alternative print processes and info on every type of camera available. It is one of the must have books.
     
  19. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Welcome, Ibiza.
     
  20. Chaplain Jeff

    Chaplain Jeff Member

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    Off your list, here's what I'd get in the order of preference:

    Canon A-1
    Nikon FM2
    Olympus OM-1
    Pentax Spotmatic

    My choices have more to do with my preferences than any quality issue - these are all great cameras. The A1 is a camera I was always interested in, but never got into Canon - as I already was shooting Nikon and Minolta. In grad school my best friend had one and it was a very nice camera and he shot some really nice photos using a standard Canon 50mm lens.

    The FM2 is a camera I've owned and shot with for over a decade. Can't go wrong with this one and it'll last forever.

    My grandfather shot with an OM-1. Zuiko is awesome glass!

    The Pentax is a legend. Tons of glass around for it too.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.

    The Pentax probably has the most affordable glass and the Nikon and Canon glass is probably the highest. All four brands have incredible glass, so you're fine image-wise with any of these.
     
  21. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    In my opinion, I would avoid starting with a C330. yes, it is a wonderful camera with some great lenses, and it is one of the only TLRs that have interchangeable lenses, if that means something to you, but it is gigantic, and if you are as brand spanking new to film as you say, i would go with a manual focus 35mm SLR. I'm a bit of a Canon person (its pointless to ask the Nikon vs. Canon question, its all personal choice), and therefore would recommend either an A-1 or AE-1 (get the program version). They are both ideal cameras to dip your toes into film, and test the water. Both have several AE modes, so if you are completely clueless, they will do everything but focus. As you get more advanced, turn off the AE modes and you have great manual cameras. Also, with film, a camera is a lot more of a black box than digital, since there is no worry of the quality of the digital sensor, so cameras are only as good as the lenses and film you put in, and FD lenses kick a$$, and happen to be cheap on the used market, seeing as they are not compatible with EOS cameras.

    Still, I also really respect the FM2, its a great camera, and you can use the lenses on DSLRs.

    All the cameras you mention are great though, so you can't really go wrong.

    P.S. - After you fall in love with film, skip the medium format stuff and go get a Speed Graphic! :tongue:
     
  22. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's funny. Mine is the second smallest camera I own. :tongue::tongue::tongue: