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  1. #81
    MDR
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    Depends on the manual camera can't get much easier than a Box camera or a Toycamera (Holga, Diana, etc...). I believe that some automation is ok just not auto everything. In fact a camera with AE and might be good tool to teach the basics. You change the aperture and then you see a change in the exposure time. So the camera basically shows the user the relation of aperture and exposure time. Something that I believe is necessary is a stop down preview lever to see the relation of aperture and depth of field. Auto everything cameras can be used to teach people how to concentrate on composition and on the image, this should be done at a later stage though.
    Also I've never heard that fully auto cameras were good for beginners.

  2. #82
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    At the beginning of using an all manual camera it might be a bit difficult. As one makes progress in photography and becomes more and more demanding in terms of control over the camera, this is when all manual becomes a real comfort. After a while and before you know it, it becomes a second nature.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by zanxion72 View Post
    At the beginning of using an all manual camera it might be a bit difficult. As one makes progress in photography and becomes more and more demanding in terms of control over the camera, this is when all manual becomes a real comfort. After a while and before you know it, it becomes a second nature.
    I agree with this but there are a number of ways to exercise manual control. These can range all the way from all manual requiring the setting of all settings to using Program and then adjusting via exposure compensation or exposing in one area of the scene and locking exposure. I frequently use my PZ1p in Program and use the Hyper Program setting to adjust based on whether depth of field is important or shutter speed. These all require you to understand photography and understand what you are trying to achieve with your photograph. Just arbitrarily using manual settings is fine, but not the be-all, end-all of photography.

    As is often true in photography, there are not any easy, pat answers, just different techniques.

    As for the original question, it can be quite easy to use a camera in manual, even if you are not that interested in picking your own shutter speed and aperture manually. Modern cameras provide many options to achieve your vision and it only takes a little time on your part to become relatively competent with the options you wish to use. Be aware though, it can take a lifetime to really FEEL competent with those choices.
    Dan

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  4. #84

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    +1. Case in point: The ME Super. It has two exposure modes - aperture priority and manual. When I knew I wanted a certain shutter speed, I'd let the camera meter the scene and pick the shutter based on the light and the aperture the lens was set at. If it wasn't the shutter speed I wanted, I'd simply adjust the aperture until I saw the shutter speed I wanted in the viewfinder. If I wanted a given aperture, then I'd set it and just let the camera pick the shutter speed.

    Like Pioneer said, you don't always have to go completely manual in order to have sufficient control to get the result you want. Now if I'm shooting B&W infrared with an IR filter, yeah, I go completely manual. Even manual focus. But otherwise, 90% of the time, the camera's in some sort of AE mode that will give me enough manual control to get either the shutter speed or aperture I want, and those are two of the most important controls in photography.
    ME Super

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  5. #85

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    If you understand how a camera works, every form of automation will get in the way and/or slow you down. If you don't know how a camera works, innovations like Program mode are a God-send.

    The trouble is automatic-worship has reached insane levels. I recently spoke to someone who believed focusing a digital camera by eye was no longer possible because people had lost the skills, and they found chasing a focus point cursor round a screen quicker than turning a ring on the lens. After a moment's cognitive dissonance, I suspect he is probably correct.

    My experience of a few digital cameras is they operate more like slide film (meter for the highlights) than print film. Full auto tends to provide mediocre results on film and digital.

  6. #86
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    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.
    Sorry blockend but that statement is pure BS.

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

  7. #87

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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.
    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.
    Last edited by blockend; 02-02-2014 at 02:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #88
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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.

  9. #89

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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

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  10. #90

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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 04:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.



 

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