but if you are a snob- like me- those older cameras are just gorgeous. Appealing, even.
The best way to learn how to meter, if you ask me, (which nobody did), is to get a camera with no meter at all. Even with a hand-held to complement an in-camera, I find I get lazy. I learned more about exposure in a few weeks that way than I did for years using a center-weighted. Now I find I don't even need a meter anymore for most outdoor situations. Which is pleasant.
Last edited by laverdure; 05-06-2007 at 10:48 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Switching from Canon to Nikon wouldn't be a problem. Besides a 50mm 1.8 Canon lens, I have mostly M42 lenses, including Takumars, that I mount on the EOS thanks to an adapter. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but from the little I know about Nikon cameras it's possible to use a wide range of "old" manual lenses on newer bodies. I have the impression this is not the case with Canon bodies (??), where your choices are fewer.This flexibility is drawing me towards a Nikon body. Being able to buy older manual lenses would be nice, considering my rather tight budget.
You are correct that you can't mount old Canon manual focus lenses on the modern EOS system bodies - when Canon came out with an autofocus system, they decided to design their lens mount and lens system to be ideal for autofocus, and not keep any backward compatibility with their FD bayonet-mount system. This caused a major uproar in their ownership community at the time, but it paid off because their autofocus system proved to be superior - the big advantage for them is most obvious with the large telephoto lenses, because they have a drive motor in each lens that is properly sized for the lens, meaning the big 500mm F4 lenses will focus as fast as the 50mm F1.8 lens will, which until fairly recently was not true of the Nikon big glass.
Originally Posted by Edimilson
I totally love old cameras too! Whenever I stop by camera stores here in Rio de Janeiro I spend a lot of time drooling over old cameras. D***** bodies really don´t catch my fancy at all. Curiously, they look all the same to me. Old cameras, on the other hand, seem to have a personality of their own, so to speak.
I also like the idea of being able to determine exposure without the help of a meter. I think I'll try to acquire this ability when I finally get my hands on a Bessa R. I intend to use one for street photography.
Last edited by Edimilson; 05-06-2007 at 10:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.
I use old cameras because I can spread out the pourchasing of equipment of months, years if need be. But I would use the older one alot to learn the ins and out of exposure. Maybe even pick up a prcieless book like Ansel Adams' 'The Negative'. A can't miss that should be in every photographer's library. In my humble opinion, that is.
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Hold your open palm in front of the lens, out of focus, unshadowed, in the light you want to meter. Add one stop (e.g., if you got 1/60 at f/5.6, open it to f/4).
There, you now have an incident light meter.
If you have a zoom lens, you can also use that as a spot meter (most (all?) commercial standalone spot meters have zoom lenses these days). Zoom in, meter, zoom out.
The human brain can make decisions a camera's processor can't. What is 'correct' exposure? You may want to grossly over- or under-expose on purpose to get a certain effect. That's when the spot meter comes in handy. That's real freedom.
I love my old clunker cameras where I use a separate meter. I measure at the point where I want the exposure to reveal a certain tone, and then I let the light through to make the exposure. The autofocus function can never interpret creatively, it will always strive to make a perfect grayscale exposure, to capture detail from black to white. That's incredibly limiting.
I have both older gear and modern too.
My Nikon's "range" from a S2 to a F5. With various (many) lenses to fit the same.
I even have a couple of CV R2S bodies which add a TTL-meter to a S3 type body.
The point of all this? Not to brag - but to point out that there are no "absolutes".
Shoot what makes you happy and - provided it's a film-based piece of gear - tell us all here about your adventures!
I agree with George, use the equipment which makes you happy as a shooter. With the digital boom, tons of people are getting rid of their perfectly good analog equipment ranging from old but reliable manual focus rangefinders to newer AF SLRs with so many custom functions you need to read the manual anytime you need something changed.
My advice to you is buy the best equipment you can afford, instead of buying something cheap which you'll regret after.
I use old cameras and new cameras. Either way, I only meter when the light changes. Meter and pop the camer into manual mode and shoot away. I can do an entire shoot based on one meter reading. In variable light, (clouds drifting across the sun and then bright sun again) however, I'll use auto modes.