XA: Too unprofessional?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Markok765, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I'm doing a paid band shoot in a few days, and was thinking to shoot it all with the Gitzo tripod/XA/Kodak Portra 160VC as my Nikons acting up regarding batteries, and I don't want a dead camera when I need it. The XA doesn't look very professional, though the results out of it to, and I'm wondering if look is important at all? Also, the only problem I can foresee with the XA is no exposure lock, which is fine, I'll just move around so the meter doesn't get fooled.
     
  2. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    To some people looks are all important, so yes it can matter.
    On the other hand the quality of your pictures should tell them that you are a Pro.
    It depends on how much you are getting paid for the shots too.

    I never did an asignment with 35mm, some MF and mostly LF (weddings/portraits and architecture respectively).

    If you can not borrow a TLR or any MF, have at least a seperate lightmeter with you......

    Peter
     
  3. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I wouldn't use an XA. It's aperture priority with a meter than can be easily fooled by stage lighting.

    Plus, it's just too small, and I agree with you that it looks unprofessional.

    Show up with that, and it will be your first and last shoot. It doesn't matter how good the photos are. News travels quickly among bands. Bad news travels even faster.

    Borrow a real camera -- or at least one that looks real in the eyes of the non-photographer.

    When I was shooting semi-pro, I always showed up with at least two bodies.
     
  4. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I'll be shooting in an abandoned building, so no difficult lighting there for the meter to be fooled by. It does look unprofessional, but the look of the lens is unique and awesome. I also have a Leica, but I need a wide lens for indoor photos. I wonder if the pro tripod will make up for the non-pro look of the camera...
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    If you cannot borrow a suitable replacement for your F5 ...

    Take your F5 and use it. Take your XA as well - use it for unusual angles close-up (assuming you have access close up).

    As noted above, the XA's metering isn't well suited to stage lighting, unless you are essentially on the stage with the band.

    Matt
     
  6. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I agree with Matt King, but will add to use the little lever under the camera, to alter the exposure setting for a backlight situation, that, plus changing the ASA setting to a slower or faster setting to get the shutter speed/aperture combination you require.

    It is a very good camera, you just need to know how to stretch it's capabilities to the limit!

    Mick.
     
  7. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Mick, I totally forgot about all that! If its a harder lighting situation, I think I'll spotmeter and change the XA until it matches the meter, though I don't think I'll come into difficult situations. That's pretty much the only thing I prefer on the Stylus epic to the XA, meter lock!
     
  8. ajuk

    ajuk Member

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    If they are after a particular look and you explain that that is the camera to give them it then I can see them understanding. Personally if I wanted a compact camera for a job I would use my Canonet not my XA2.
     
  9. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I think the highly saturated film combined with the vignetting of the lens will give a awesome look. I'll be sure to tell them that! I don't have a Canonet though, the closest thing I have is a Leica, and a wide lens is more fitting for this.
     
  10. winjeel

    winjeel Member

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    Wow. I hope I'm not going to be seen as rude, but I had to look up "XA" (showing my youthfulness I suppose). I'd probably feel pretty naked using such a camera. I think the best bet is, as MattKing says, take your F5, get as much use out of it anyway, and I'm sure you'll get a handle on the kind of exposure settings anyway. If it does go dead, I assume that you can still manually wind the film... Maybe not. But use the XA for "unusual" angles and for "experimenting", and for getting "proofs" and for "calibrating", because you're a perfectionist. :wink: Any chance of picking up new batteries or another Nikon? I saw on some website that the XA is a 35mm focal length camera, which wouldn't give you much range or scope.

    I'd be interested in hearing how it went.
     
  11. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    a big tripod and an XA!? now that's a dorky combo if I ever saw one. If you are getting paid use pro gear. add the funky effects in PS. At least you are starting off with a good neg.
     
  12. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I'm 16 and i know what a XA is :tongue: Of course, I own one :wink: The F5 is totally dead without batteries, all I can do is wind the film back into the canister. It shows newish[1 week in camera] batteries as low, and I tried borrowing a N90s, but was not able to. I don't really feel naked with the XA, it has the perfect combo, manual focus and aperture priority autoexp! The 35mm lens is not a problem, I shoot wide/normal with more wide usage, so I'm totally comfortable with that focal length. I'll def have a write up on how it went. The XA looks interesting on a pro tripod as well.

    Added: Well I have no other tripod, and XA gives pro results, so I guess its pro gear!
     
  13. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    If you are a professional, and I really mean a professional; one who was hired for your pictures, not some guy just doing an odd job for pay, and an XA does the job for you, then don't worry about anything else. Use the tool you deem best for the job. They are the ones who sought you out and hired you, so you do it your way. Despite what lots of photographers think, having better equipment than the client is a non concern if your pictures are any good. It is up to you to determine if the XA will be the best tool at your disposal for this particular situation. If you can't decide that, then you have more to worry about than what the thing looks like.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2009
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  15. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Rent the Nikon bodies you need. You will have more control and have a better chance in controlling the out come. If its not paying enough to do this, skip it until you get your Nikon bodies repaired. Odd that all of your Nikon bodies are acting up at once.:surprised:
     
  16. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    I actually only have one Nikon body, and no rental place nearby. I have a ton of control over the XA, enough that I can take a good shot in almost any conditions.
    2F/2F: I know the XA will give me the results I want, I was just worried about the client seeing me as a non serious photographer.
     
  17. 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)

    Looks go a long way, Marko. However, so does the way you carry yourself. You could show up with a Brownie Bullseye or a Holga. You might get some looks with a 'lesserl camera such as the XA but if you know what you're doing and you project that attitude into the crowd then you will be perceived as a photographer who knows what he's doing. The quality of the work will be remembered long after the appearance of the gear. Just make sure you are familiar with whatever you chose to use. Good luck. Keep us posted.
     
  18. Ian Tindale

    Ian Tindale Member

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    Simply get some cardboard tubes of various diameters, in various colours such as black, dark black, light black, silver and grey, and glue them together to make a suitable decoy lens sticking out the front - if it's huge enough it'll still allow the full 35mm field of view and look exactly like a grown-up camera while acting as a jolly good lens shade.
     
  19. reiki_

    reiki_ Member

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    Do use XA. And show us some of your work later.
     
  20. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    If the results from the XA mets the standards use it. I have read about a profesional children photographer who, using her OMs at a job, was told by an amateur with some big highend something that she shouldn't worry if her pics didn't turn out, his would :rolleyes:
    One of our own once used a Diana to shoot a wedding.
    The best shot I ever made of my wive was done with a Pentax Zoom 105 P&S.
    Best regards
     
  21. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Marko- I've seen your work, just go in there with cameras blazing, and grab all the angles you can. Don't worry about your equiptment. I used to take every camera I owned to jobs and used them for what they did best. Most of my early work was with an Arguc C-3, a Yashica D, and an Olympus FTLwith borrowed lenses(so much for the stuff I shot in the '60's). As I made a reputation and money, I bought and used Kowa Super 66's , andOM-1's and OM-4's. These days, I'm happy with a Yash D, a Duaflex II, and a home made 5x4 (my wife and daughter shoot my 35's). Point being--USE WHAT YOU HAVE AND BE PROUD OF IT--Its your attitude and ability that will sell your work.
    Rick
     
  22. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    I think you answer your own question - you're only using the XA because your Nikon's 'acting up' and you're tacitly acknowledging to yourself that you're planning to use a camera that wouldn't normally be your first choice for the job. As has been said, your results should speak for themselves but if you show up brandishing what some will perceive to be a Mickey Mouse camera (I know XAs are better than that - I have a couple) you may not get the co-operation or respect at the time of taking the photos and hence may not get the same opportunities to produce your best work.

    Steve
     
  23. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    Do post your results.
     
  24. raphaelaaron

    raphaelaaron Member

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    I would say use the XA. I also had to look it up.

    I know a pro fashion photog that still uses an old Hi-Matic 7 for his images, including strobes. And they come out spectacular. Lighting with the look of some good portra film is always a good outcome.

    If looks are everything, bring that other camera, and at least pretend to take pictures. :tongue:
     
  25. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    If the XA will do the job you need to do there is no reason to not use it.

    If the client is both knowledgeable enough about cameras to know the difference between the cameras and cares about those sort of things then hang your Nikon around your neck an bring that too, but don't shoot with it if it is unreliable.

    Also, if necessary you can explain to the client that you are planning to use the XA as your primary camera for the shoot, and you can explain the advantages of the XA for the task (better mobility, faster shooting, top quality lens, or whatever.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2009
  26. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i've got friends who use a yashica t4 for restaurant/food photography,
    i am sure there are people who use toy cameras and the photos are published in time magazine &C ...
    when i was shooting for a newspaper in the 90s, from time to time i used a speed graphic,
    instead of my pentax ...

    as long as you know how to operate your camera and you won't be fumbling around, marko, and
    YOU feel comfortable using it, and think the images it makes will 'work', by all means use it ..
    if not ..... use a different rig ... it is just a tool like anything else ...

    good luck!
    john
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 10, 2009