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  1. #101

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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.

  2. #102
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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

  3. #103

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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

  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by mopar_guy View Post
    ... You do not give the photographer any credit for controlling the features of the tool at his disposal.
    Nor is proper credit being given for the engineers and marketting people. They do not work in a vacuum. They work with people like us to determine what is value-added as well as determining what will sell.

  5. #105

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post

    I don't sense that you are suggesting we pour our own plates.
    That's up to the individual, and I welcome the return of historic processes like wet plate collodion for its unique look. I'm talking about the evolution of the miniature camera, specifically the 35mm SLR, from poor design and inappropriate materials, through various useful innovations, to overblown, indulgent, gimmick ridden plastic brick that was mostly about selling novelty in a saturated and jaded camera market.

    Can you use such objects for making photographs? Of course. As a kid I had shoes with a compass in the heel, but they wouldn't be my first choice for finding my way home.

  6. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by mopar_guy View Post
    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.
    I'm suggesting that photography is a simple medium made complicated with the aim of selling people more cameras. Would you teach a newcomer the basics using a Spotmatic or an EOS1v? I'm betting the Pentax (or any other match needle manual SLR) will tell them what they need to know more quickly, and focus their mind on taking consistently better photographs instead of learning optical computer programming.

  7. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    I'm suggesting that photography is a simple medium made complicated with the aim of selling people more cameras. Would you teach a newcomer the basics using a Spotmatic or an EOS1v? I'm betting the Pentax (or any other match needle manual SLR) will tell them what they need to know more quickly, and focus their mind on taking consistently better photographs instead of learning optical computer programming.
    That answer is a smoke screen and is evasive. Nobody stays a beginner forever. People are capable of learning to use modern cameras and obtaining great results.
    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

  8. #108

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    there's a lot of straw men in this thread

  9. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by mopar_guy View Post
    That answer is a smoke screen and is evasive. Nobody stays a beginner forever. People are capable of learning to use modern cameras and obtaining great results.
    Nobody has questioned that. By the same token Ansel Adams and Gary Winogrand shot some of the finest landscapes and street photographs without even a light meter in their cameras.

  10. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by blockend View Post
    Nobody has questioned that. By the same token Ansel Adams and Gary Winogrand shot some of the finest landscapes and street photographs without even a light meter in their cameras.
    Agreed, and Press photographers used to use Speed Graphics and flash bulbs. Ansel Adams would have been hard pressed to cover a Sporting event with his view camera.
    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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