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  1. #1

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    Camera for student

    In the old days, photo instructors would advise students to get themselves a Pentax K1000 to learn the basics of photography.

    These days, a lot of photo students were spoilt by digicams, green box mode and wunderplastik in general. They seems to have very little patience to adapt to the slow working needed for K1000 like cameras.

    So what is your opinion of a suitable for a starter film camera these days? I am thinking something that has a aperture priority mode and uses readily available battery. Pentax ME Super for instance.

    What would you recommend?

  2. #2
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    An Olympus OM2 (or OM2N) fits the bill nicely. A depth of field preview is also a good learning tool especially if they are allowed to use aperture priority mode.

  3. #3
    Rick A's Avatar
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    How about a Yashica TLR (or any other)with a hand held meter-- makes you think about what you are doing. The grid in the viewfinder helps with composition, large negative aids in printing.No motor drives,no auto exposure, work at your craft one exposure at a time.
    Rick

  4. #4
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    A Nikon FM10 would probably be the standard Nikon option now, but... actually, I got several students started on an F100 and they took to it like fish to water.

    The culture of learning is quite different now: back "in the day" new students weren't accustomed to all the electronics menus and auto functions... the conventional wisdom was that less is more. Today it is quite different- students not only tolerate a lot of gadgetry but they actually expect it and soon miss it because they are probably shooting a DSLR in tandem.
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  5. #5
    Krzys's Avatar
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    Canon AE-1 has shutter priority.

  6. #6
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    There are many...and they are all cheap these days.

    I would not personally include A-Priority mode as an important feature of a beginner camera.

    Some of the ones I know and love are: Canon FT-b, or anything in the F series, except the F-1, which is more expensive.

    Pentax K-1000 or Spotmatic.

    Minolta SRT.

    I don't know all the Nikon equivalents of the Canons I mentioned, but they do exist.

    Olympus also has many good options.

    I personally prefer the Canon and Nikon lens selection over all the others.

    Forget the batteries, IMO. An incident meter will make for better exposures, and for better learnin'. One old manual camera for $100 or so, a brand-new under-$200 Sekonic Studio, and a copy of "Photography" by London and Upton is the way to go for a beginner, IMO. Give them something with an idiot mode, and they won't be able to help themselves from using it!

    If A priority really must be there, I like the options in the Canon A series: AV-1 and A-1.
    Last edited by 2F/2F; 07-23-2009 at 08:08 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

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  7. #7
    Nikanon's Avatar
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    Ditch the auto modes and get a full manual , that's the only way to learn, then you decide what best suits your needs. Nikon f, nikon f2, or canon ae-1 I recommend

  8. #8
    2F/2F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikanon View Post
    Ditch the auto modes and get a full manual , that's the only way to learn, then you decide what best suits your needs. Nikon f, nikon f2, or canon ae-1 I recommend
    Weird list considering your first sentence. Two Nikon pro bodies with manual metering...good...but then a low-end Canon whose initials stand for "Auto Exposure"? The Canons closest to the two Nikons you mentioned are the F-1 and the FTb.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  9. #9
    Michael Slade's Avatar
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    We still use 45 K1000's in my program. The digi-kids love them.

  10. #10

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    I would get a fully manual film camera - but I don't have any qualms about a camera also having auto exposure control, so long as it has a good metered manual mode. There are lots of them - including the Pentax K1000, but the K1000 has become wildly over-priced in the market by people dutifully following that advice. It actually costs more than the KM and KX, which are the two models that were above it in the Pentax Product line when they came out, and which are better cameras. Here's my list - all should cost well under $100, and getting one in good condition is the key:

    Pentax K-mount: Pentax KX, Pentax KM, Ricoh KR-5 (any version) Pentax K1000 (but it's over-priced vs. other choices)

    Canon FD mount: Canon FTb, Canon TX, Canon AT-1

    Minolta MC/MD mount: Minolta SRT any model, Minolta X-570 (my favorite of the whole bunch)

    Nikon F mount: Nikon FM, Nikon FE, Nikon FG, Nikon FM-10

    Olympus OM mount: Olympus OM-1 or OM-1n, Olympus OM-2 or OM-2n

    Any of these could and should be gotten with a 50mm lens having a maximum aperture of between f1.4 and f2.0

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