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  1. #91
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Blockend, many automated features are less than full auto, let the camera do all the thinking, modes.

    For example the F5 and F100 can be programmed to use a button on the back of the camera to autofocus. When this is set it will only autofocus while the button is being pushed. I can get the accuracy and speed of AF and the predictability of manual.

    Similarly a half push of the shutter button can be programmed to lock exposure and that can be done with matrix, center weighted or spot metering. It can be done with aperture or speed priority.

    For you it may be quite true that automation gets in the way. I'm not asking you to change.

    What I'm suggesting is that those of us who have taken the time to learn, understand, and pick the automated tools we want to use know darn well that automation doesn't get in our way.

  2. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    I'm sorry you've chosen to frame your reply as an insult, but I stand by my original statement. There are certainly situations where automated metering can help, shooting fast moving sports under changing light for example, but most of the time correctly metering for the subject and having the experience to know how a particular film and developer will render it, will knock your matrix metered all-seeing-eye into cocked hat. I have twenty+ years experience of various zone metering algorithmic systems, so I know their advantages and their limitations.

    How does your system know I want to crush all the shadows to black and leave the lady's white hat as the sole highlight? And when will it anticipate that I want the backlit man as a light grey with the rest of the scene bleached out? No meter is that smart. If average is your thing, automatic metering is fine.
    I don't shoot negative film much, but some of that can be handled at the printing stage. If you're shooting slide film, which I am more familiar with, it's easy. In the first scenario, underexpose 2-3 stops. In the second, overexpose by a similar amount. This is what exposure compensation is for, and it's remarkably easy to apply, provided you remember to do it. Use of your brain is required whether you're shooting fully automatic, semi-automatic, or completely manual.
    ME Super

    Shoot more film.
    There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.

  3. #93

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    I was talking specifically about metering exposure, not AF, though that too has its pluses and minuses. I'm totally familiar with a variety of manual and multi-mode automated cameras, and appreciate what they offer. Some devices are more useful than others, spot metering for example, and in some situations more than others, sports or studio flash for instance. However, none are a substitute for pre-visualising the image, and the majority are set up for a particular film, often slides.

    There's also the question of how easy it is, relatively speaking to control say, exposure compensation via a needle in the viewfinder or a dial and an LCD? In my experience every additional gimmick a camera offers takes extra buttons, dials, LEDs, LCDs and complicates what is essentially a simple operation, simple once you know how you want the image to look that is. Most people use a small fraction of the automation offered (let's say aperture priority, matrix/zone metered) but are encumbered with menus for and viewfinder information corresponding to a heap of stuff they probably never used since they first tested the camera.

    On the subject of AF I have never found a remotely foolproof automated system - even less so in film era autofocus - that is shoot and forget. Compared to setting hyperfocal distances, focus speed is in the dark ages for film cameras. Automation is largely a case of one step forward, two steps backwards. ME Super, if you really think the scenario I suggested can be reproduced as a fine print by tweaking at the printing stage, you haven't spent much time in the darkroom or we have different ideas of what constitutes a fine print. If you're a jobbing pro shooting college football games to newspaper reproduction standard, automation is your friend - but you'd have gone digital long before. If you're a street shooter or some other kind of photographer who has to think on his feet, automation is just more stuff to get in your way. One way automation can work is by bracketing exposure, but do that on a 36 exposure roll and you'll spend more time reloading that shooting. Film just wasn't suited to the level of automation and disposability digital enjoys. It's a finite medium that requires planning and thinking.
    Last edited by blockend; 02-02-2014 at 05:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  4. #94
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    blockend,

    I do agree that there are less than stellar cameras out there but most film based cameras don't have deep menus like digital cameras do and I have no idea why someone would choose to use a less than stellar camera these days. Really, nice cameras are selling at give away prices. There's an F5 in APUG's classified ads today for $180 http://www.apug.org/forums/forum379/...-nikon-f5.html , I bought mine for under $300. An F100 can be had just over a hundred and an N90s, which only lacks the back button focus vs the F100 in terms of features, can be had for $20-30.

    I also agree that most people use only a very limited number of the options available, with good reason. I've probably been in the custom setup menu for the F5 and F100 maybe twice each. There are maybe 20-30 possible options total. They are generally things like the assignment of buttons as I described above and as on the F5 if I want it to rewind the film after frame 35 or 36. These menus aren't for things that normally get messed with daily. The N90s doesn't even have menus unless you buy the digital back for it.

    As to focus speed I'm going to assume that you haven't played with an F5 and a really nice modern AF lens. The big thing on AF speed is generally the lens, not the body. These cameras are no slouch with the old screwdriver drive but throw a modern lens with silent wave focussing on that F5, F100, or even the N90s and you get a really fast snap into focus.

    I also agree that visualization of a shot is important, that is true for landscapes, journalism, weddings, and portraits. If one knows how to control their camera, it is completely irrelevant whether those controls are knobs or buttons, automatic or manual.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

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  5. #95

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    I never said the whole thing could be handled in the printing stage. I'm a get it right in the camera kind of guy because I shoot slides. There's no post processing if you shoot slides for projection, you either get it right in-camera or you don't get it right at all. If you read what I said, you still have to use your brain, even if you're shooting negative film. Exposure compensation can do a lot, if you know how much compensation a particular scene needs to give you the look you want. It's about knowing your equipment and your film.

    If I'm shooting B&W infrared, it's 100% manual, all the way. The TTL meter gives me guidance but I set shutter speed, aperture, and focus all manually. Then I screw on the filter and take the shot. This means I have to use a tripod, because I can't see through both the viewfinder with the filter on the lens.

    As for AF vs MF, I agree. Just last week I had to turn the AF off and focus manually to get a photo of my son. It wasn't that he was moving too quickly for the camera, there just wasn't enough contrast in the light he was in for the AF system to get the focus locked in. Flipped one switch (no menu!) and presto, I had full manual control of the focus. I like automation, but I also know how to turn it all off and get what I want.
    ME Super

    Shoot more film.
    There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by ME Super View Post
    I like automation, but I also know how to turn it all off and get what I want.
    This is a great point. Every tool has its limits, we each find different ways to deal with these challenges. While you're turning off AF I might be installing my speed light.

    Both options are perfectly valid.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Sorry blockend but that statement is pure BS.

    I'd pit the speed & accuracy of me & my F5 or F100 against any manual system.

    LOL! Really, sir.

    Blockend actually made a salient statement or two which does hold true among traditional practitioners in photography. Automation and a relentless "refinement" of technology in cameras has led to a derangement in the effective fundamental skills required for photography. As a teacher I see people being hobbled by these very cameras, even those with seemingly advanced skills, and opportunities lost and foregone — because of the camera. Shit is everywhere on Flickr produced by digital "photographers" who have lost completely the route to control and composition, instead handing everything to the camera. We really need to get back to basics, full manual with no intrusion of technology whatsoever — that is is needed and "invaluable" is a furphy. Whether the camera is a F5 of F100 I couldn't give two shakes of a lamb's tail — these are over-flossed and hyped and not the right tools for considered photography. For sports action, photojournalism et al, probably so (I used a Nikon F3, F90X and FA in my student days before I migrated to landscape).


  8. #98
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisson Du Jour View Post
    LOL! Really, sir.

    Blockend actually made a salient statement or two which does hold true among traditional practitioners in photography. Automation and a relentless "refinement" of technology in cameras has led to a derangement in the effective fundamental skills required for photography. As a teacher I see people being hobbled by these very cameras, even those with seemingly advanced skills, and opportunities lost and foregone — because of the camera. Shit is everywhere on Flickr produced by digital "photographers" who have lost completely the route to control and composition, instead handing everything to the camera. We really need to get back to basics, full manual with no intrusion of technology whatsoever — that is is needed and "invaluable" is a furphy. Whether the camera is a F5 of F100 I couldn't give two shakes of a lamb's tail — these are over-flossed and hyped and not the right tools for considered photography. For sports action, photojournalism et al, probably so (I used a Nikon F3, F90X and FA in my student days before I migrated to landscape).
    Yes really Poisson Du Jour,

    You are looking at the problem from a perspective which only holds true among traditional practitioners in photography.

    With regard to Blockend's comments, I picked on a very specific point:

    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    If you understand how a camera works, every form of automation will get in the way and/or slow you down.
    That statement is simply false.

    The real issue is that many, if not most people, have not taken the time nor made a real effort to really get to know the tool in their hands, in the case of many cheap digital cameras I don't blame them for being frustrated with the tool. Not so cheap digitals though aren't hard to learn and much of the stuff in the menus doesn't need to be messed with. If they are willing to learn their camera I'm willing to help. If they can't be bothered with learning their tool (or replacing it) I don't feel much pity for them.

    As to your assertion that a nice relatively modern Nikon (or by inference similar Canon or whatever) isn't an appropriate tool for considered photography is silly at best. They do manual just fine, and can do landscapes just as well as any full manual 35mm camera.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  9. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    The real issue is that many, if not most people, have not taken the time nor made a real effort to really get to know the tool in their hands,
    I don't believe there's any evidence for that, and if there is it leads to point two...

    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    They do manual just fine, and can do landscapes just as well as any full manual 35mm camera.
    ...If manual works, why put electronic hurdles in your way? People work in one or two ways, for the most part. Offering cameras with fifty combinations does not reflect how the tool is used. When I used an unmetered Nikon F in the 80s my exposures were no worse (and were often better) than when I adopted Nikon's automated system in the 90s.

  10. #100
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    ...If manual works, why put electronic hurdles in your way?
    If a student has a camera that can be set to manual, and they can (or have figured out how to) set aperture and speed, how is that a hurdle?
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin



 

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