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  1. #31
    gnashings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T42
    Hello Folks.

    Is depth of field preview important to a student of photography? Should a "student camera" have this capability?

    Some basic fundamentals centric cameras, and a lot of modern plastic ones, do not have this capability. Some now have no way whatsoever to determine or see DoF.

    The Pentax K1000 does not have DoF preview, but its lenses will have DoF scales.

    For the same money, I think I would seek out a solid metal SLR with the feature.
    DOF preview is a very useful feature. I would go as far as saying it is more important to a student than anyone as it will help you visualize (or rather have visual evidence) of the effects your chosen settings have. It takes a little practice to get used to the information it actually gives you (at first it just seems like your viewfinder gets dimmer... but keep looking - the info is there!). I would not go as far as saying its crucial and dismissing any camera without it, but I would definitely give preference to those that do have it.

  2. #32
    esanford's Avatar
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    Cloud9,

    Welcome to APUG.org the one place where you will ask a straight forward question and receive an abundance of confusing answers and a plethora of useless debate about anything and everything. You will find that this organization is populated by very well meaning opinonated individuals with only one thing in common...They are dedicated to the craft of analog photography. It pretty much ends there.

    I am sure that this experience has taught you to never again ask a wide open question on this or any other forum. Just go buy any 35mm camera that you can afford and then go out and take pictures and have fun.... Any camera that you buy will have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes you just have to pick a spot in the water and just dive in...

  3. #33
    gnashings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by esanford
    ... Just go buy any 35mm camera that you can afford and then go out and take pictures and have fun.... Any camera that you buy will have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes you just have to pick a spot in the water and just dive in...
    Basically, that is really the wisest advice on this matter.

    I would not go as far as condmening the APUG community, though. Like you said, it is a rather broad question, and this is a rather broad community. Perhaps in the process of the discussion our new friend will come across points that they were not initially taking into consideration. I look at this kind of thread as more of a brain storm/sounding board - especially since the question simply does not have a one right answer beyond the one that you provided and I quoted here.

    I think some of us like to "bench race" their gear - its part of the fun

  4. #34
    esanford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnashings
    I would not go as far as condmening the APUG community,
    For goodness sakes.... Please don't confuse sarcasm with condemnation. What I did was to read this entire thread and it was downright funny. A new member asks a simple question, and he gets sprayed with a fire hose of answers. I mentally placed myself in his position and I became hopelessly confused. However, it is typical of every thread in APUG. None of us are short on opinions; and we can't just let anything go (I am guilty of this in this response). We are all loveable/laughable people who can't shut up. The first couple of answers were sufficient, but no.... everyone had to weigh-in and then start a debate. I love APUGERs, but none of us ever met a debate that we can stay out of... or have an opinion that we can keep to ourselves. Man, I hope some kid joins and asks about the facts of life... it would be absolutely hilarious and mindboggling....
    Often wrong, but never in doubt!

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnashings

    I think some of us like to "bench race" their gear - its part of the fun
    Gentlemen, start your motordrives NOW!

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by gnashings
    I own some Nikon gear, have shot Minolta, Zenit, etc. - and frankly, I have made great pictures with all of them, my favourite being with... the Zenit. So it really does not matter Just get one and go out and use it.
    Just to explain this minor point to the (probably by now) confused newbie, Zenit is a Soviet/Russian camera brand. Zenits are known for being simple and very basic cameras (although a few have features like auto exposure and even motor winders). They're also known for being, shall we say, quirky. Some people love them but most photographers wouldn't pick them above other brands, all other things being equal. Most Zenits use M42 lenses, but very old ones use M39 and a few modern ones use K-mount lenses. Gnashing's point, I think, is that you can take great photos even with very oddball and basic gear. (FWIW, I've also got a few photos taken with Zenits that are near the top of my personal favorites list.)

  7. #37
    gnashings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srs5694
    (snip!)...Gnashing's point, I think, is that you can take great photos even with very oddball and basic gear. (FWIW, I've also got a few photos taken with Zenits that are near the top of my personal favorites list.)
    EXACTLY.

    And esanford, sorry if I seemed like I jumped down your throat - I think I misplaced an emoticon or something Damn computers!

    Cheers everyone,

    Peter.

  8. #38
    esanford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnashings
    EXACTLY.

    And esanford, sorry if I seemed like I jumped down your throat - I think I misplaced an emoticon or something Damn computers!
    Cheers everyone,
    Peter.
    No offense taken... My point is that we need to stop and look at our behavior now and then. And most importantly, we need to learn to laugh at the absurdity that we create when we go overboard with knowledge sharing and useless debate... Most people here are experienced photographers. Most of us have owned a number of cameras and we have likes and dislikes. When a Newbie asks a question, we should be straight forward and concise. Most of all, we should read the other posts before jumping in and adding to the confusion. That is my point....
    Often wrong, but never in doubt!

  9. #39
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by esanford
    No offense taken... My point is that we need to stop and look at our behavior now and then. And most importantly, we need to learn to laugh at the absurdity that we create when we go overboard with knowledge sharing and useless debate... Most people here are experienced photographers. Most of us have owned a number of cameras and we have likes and dislikes. When a Newbie asks a question, we should be straight forward and concise. Most of all, we should read the other posts before jumping in and adding to the confusion. That is my point....
    There has certainly been some information overload here, but the fact remains that making high-quality sharp prints with good tonality from 35 mm at sizes larger than 8x10" is one of the hardest and technically most demanding tasks in photography and that some cameras are better tools to this end than others. Simple test - take any of the "great" pictures that you have taken with a cheap camera and make a 5x7" print. A neg from almost any 35 will look great enlarged to this size. Then make a 12x16" and look at the two prints SIDE BY SIDE. There will inevitably be some sharpness loss and also a rise in contrast due to reciprocity law failure of the printing paper. Ask yourself - can I live with this quality? The simple fact is that the answer is more likely to be "no" if you used a Zenith or Praktika or a worn-out example of any other make.

  10. #40
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    Here are a handful of my thoughts on the subject, from a fellow SLR beginner, in no particular order.

    1. It doesn't matter what camera you start on, since you have no previous experience on which to form a meaningful opinion about what you want.
    Be sure to feel comfortable with your purchase, but get what you can and begin the learning/experience process.

    2. Buy used only if you are comfortable with the buying used process. Otherwise avoid the potential ripoff and buy new. I spent about a month and a half with the SLR camera that I bought for my mother for this past Christmas. It is/was the Nikon N75/F75. I bought it new and I bought a 50mm 1.8 af lens for it, new, plus a bag, for $300. It's a good little camera and would be perfectly fine to start out on. Surely Canon and every other worthwhile 35mm SLR manufacturer offer something similar at this price point.

    3. Don't fret about getting all the features ever offered into one body. Not going to happen (at least not until you are ready to pay several grand). If you are really into this hobby/craft, you will grow out of your first body AND/OR you will want a second body for various reasons AND/OR you will crave more cameras because cameras are very, very cool. There are PJs and artists out there using cameras that would make you laugh a little and smile in the other direction. Just get one and begin enabling your personal VISION, the point of it all?

    4. I prefer fixed focal length lenses over zooms, and for beginners with limited budgets this seems like the most cost effective way to get good glass while also getting good visual training. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law, but EVERYBODY makes a cheap 50mm lense that stands among their better lenses.

    Good luck!

    Shawn

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