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  1. #91
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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

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

  2. #92

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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.

  3. #93
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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

  4. #94

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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).

  5. #95
    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

  6. #96

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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.

  7. #97
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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

  8. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    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?
    Because the camera is likely to be larger, heavier, and festooned with additional dials, buttons and superfluous information. The only variables necessary for making an exposure are shutter speed and aperture, and the capacity to wind on the film. Everything beyond that hands some aspect of your photography to a technical designer. That's okay if you want your photography to be a collaboration rather than a personal decision, but I don't trust electronic engineers or software designers to know how I want my negative to come out, and experience has shown I'm correct to entertain that suspicion.

    Film photography can be as complicated or a simple as you want to make it. Most film packets still have Sunny 16 info, and with a little experience even that will give you consistently exposed negatives. If your idea of fun is setting exposure bracketing for 1/2 or 1/3 stop increments, or spot metering for five different areas and letting the camera work out the average, you'll enjoy 1990s cameras. If you want street photography negatives that contain identical density, day after day and in all conditions, you shouldn't put your trust in automation.

  9. #99
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    Because the camera is likely to be larger, heavier, and festooned with additional dials, buttons and superfluous information. The only variables necessary for making an exposure are shutter speed and aperture, and the capacity to wind on the film. Everything beyond that hands some aspect of your photography to a technical designer. That's okay if you want your photography to be a collaboration rather than a personal decision, but I don't trust electronic engineers or software designers to know how I want my negative to come out, and experience has shown I'm correct to entertain that suspicion.

    Film photography can be as complicated or a simple as you want to make it. Most film packets still have Sunny 16 info, and with a little experience even that will give you consistently exposed negatives. If your idea of fun is setting exposure bracketing for 1/2 or 1/3 stop increments, or spot metering for five different areas and letting the camera work out the average, you'll enjoy 1990s cameras. If you want street photography negatives that contain identical density, day after day and in all conditions, you shouldn't put your trust in automation.
    Yes, my F100 is larger and heavier than my old FM2 was, yep more controls too, but it is also much easier to hold and adjust (even in manual mode) because of it's shape and the placement of the controls. I don't have to reach up on top of the camera to find the time wheel (my fingers are already where they need to be), and I don't have to stroke the advance lever (my fingers stay where they belong).

    It is also has a much better meter in every mode, whether I'm using that to set the camera before the shoot or during.

    When I finish a roll it automatically rewinds, pop the door and I'm ready to switch cassettes. When I load the film I pull the end of the film to the red dot, shut the camera, and push the shutter button. I don't have to roll the take-up reel to find the slot, then get the film in the slot, then roll the take-up reel, then shut the camera, then crank through the first 2-3 frames.

    If I decide to switch films, the camera can (but doesn't have to) automatically set the ISO, this is really cool because if I grabbed a roll of FP4 by mistake in the dark when I was trying to grab a roll of D3200, or the opposite in the middle of a sunny day, at least the meter will give me data that is indexed to the film in the camera. The FM2 (like many older cameras) doesn't even have a window to let me see what I have in the camera.

    Photography has a long history of automating tasks. Sheet film replaced poured plates, so we no longer had to make our own film. Roll film allowed us to advance the film rather than flip the holder. Automatic shutters allowed us to get past using a hat or cap hung on the lens to control time. There are hundreds of examples of things that have been automated.

    The argument for using a camera without automation is an arbitrary and subjective decision about where to draw the line in time.

    Automation is a good thing, so is learning to use dark slides as a shutter, pouring your own plates, and making carbon tissue.

    I don't sense that you are suggesting we pour our own plates.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

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

  10. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    Because the camera is likely to be larger, heavier, and festooned with additional dials, buttons and superfluous information. The only variables necessary for making an exposure are shutter speed and aperture, and the capacity to wind on the film. Everything beyond that hands some aspect of your photography to a technical designer. That's okay if you want your photography to be a collaboration rather than a personal decision, but I don't trust electronic engineers or software designers to know how I want my negative to come out, and experience has shown I'm correct to entertain that suspicion.

    Film photography can be as complicated or a simple as you want to make it. Most film packets still have Sunny 16 info, and with a little experience even that will give you consistently exposed negatives. If your idea of fun is setting exposure bracketing for 1/2 or 1/3 stop increments, or spot metering for five different areas and letting the camera work out the average, you'll enjoy 1990s cameras. If you want street photography negatives that contain identical density, day after day and in all conditions, you shouldn't put your trust in automation.
    I disagree strongly with this attitude. The camera is only a tool. Blaming the camera for my failure would just be silly. This is like saying "The Devil made me do it." The automatic features in cameras can be used or not used in any way that the photographer wants. Your theory is that my use of an in-camera meter is bad and I should just use "Sunny 16". You do not give the photographer any credit for controlling the features of the tool at his disposal.
    Dave

    "She's always out making pictures, She's always out making scenes.
    She's always out the window, When it comes to making Dreams.

    It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up."

    From It's All Mixed Up by The Cars



 

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