As others say, if you've never shot film, definitely start with 35mm for the convenience, ubiquity and compatibility with your current equipment. While MF will give you more resolution, it is a bunch of extra stuff to learn. I paid GBP10 ($15) for my Dynax 5 (I got lucky) and you could get a basic Minolta AF camera to play with for about $50. Once you're used to the different ways of exposing compared to digital, used to developing your own B&W and maybe printing it, only then move to an MF system where the costs are higher and the hardware is less automated and much less forgiving of mistakes. I spent about 6 months learning 35mm film and then bought an RZ. Haven't looked back (though my A700 still gets a lot of use, including as a spotmeter), but doing your conversion to film in two stages makes it much easier because when something goes wrong, you can isolate the problem more easily.
If you don't have any full-frame glass, I recommend getting something like the Minolta 50/1.7 ($100) or 50/1.4 ($250) - it will not only be a perfect lens for your first film SLR, it is also a fantastic portrait lens on your DSLR. Don't begrudge the $20-$50 you spend on a film SLR ($200 if you get a 7) that you'll maybe only use for a while: you can sell it for about the same amount and when you realise that a pack of paper costs the same or much much more, the cost of a body becomes irrelevant.
For Architecture you may actually want to consider 4x5. It has nothing to do with film size. Movements, swing and tilt of the back and front, may be a huge advantage to you. Basically you can make straight lines look straight and control focus better. Most MF cameras don't have any movement ability.
For moving things lighter cameras rock!
For things that will stand still MF can give you a nice bump in quality over 35mm, think Brides and studio work. For things that will not stand still, like kids, street shoots, and athletes, lighter cameras again rule the roost.
Originally Posted by FruitRevolver
Last edited by markbarendt; 08-31-2009 at 12:06 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Another vote for the Minolta 7. I actually got the a-7 earlier this year from KEH, and I love it so far. I'd say if you're going to stay w/ Minolta, bo with the 7 or the 9, and not mess with any of the lower models. I started out with a 400si, and did a bunch of comparing of the other models before the 7 purchase. It seems like most of the Minolta SLR's have one thing or another that they are missing, iwth the exception of the 7 and 9, which pretty much have it all. I also got the vertical grip for the 7, and the balance feels great with any lens on it. I might search out the Japanese a-9 in a few years since it's at the top and has the weather sealing, but for now the 7 does the job perfectly.
Another Vote for Maxxum 7
It is a great starter camera. It has everything you will want or need in a film body, except it is not built like the F5/F6 or Maxxum 9 (I don't know Canon). For landscape and portrait shooters you can't go wrong. If you shoot archtitecture you might have trouble with tilt/shift lenses, but other than that Minolta/Sony have the glass you want. Fast, beautifully matched with the Minolta bodies.
I still have a film body because my wife shoots with Sony, but I love the Maxxum 7. I compare it to my N90s and F100. It is not the F4s, for sure, but focus is fast and accurate and exposures are dead on.
There is a Yahoo group devoted to Minolta that can give you additional information and Hohner's site is essential.
To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage.
Yet another vote for the Minolta 7 or 9; if you have the lenses already, you may as well take advantage of them. Remember, photography is a life-long hobby, there's no hurry for you to track down the perfect system this week, let alone this year. A few years from now you can scratch that Nikon itch, or start to invest in medium format. No rush at all.
Peter Marshall: When you pat a dog on its head he will usually wag his tail. What will a goose do?
Paul Lynde: Make him bark.
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Today I Bought....
Well today I took the plunge...
I decided not to spend to much for my first purchase and I opted for a Minolta SRT101 which is in very good condition apart from the metering system does not work, so only manual use which I dont mind (Im not 100% fluent in Japanese but this is what I gathered from the conversation, is this correct?)
Along with the camera I also bought a Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4 Which is in good condition apart from the odd dust spec inside.
I have been out tonight and taken around 15 shots, a very refreshing experience! The shutter sound I must admit after most of the photos I took I checked the back of the camera...... Oh yeah no digital screen!
I dont even know what my photos look like or what they will end up like something I find quite exciting.
The film I am using is Kodak Professional ULTRA COLOR 36EXP 100uc.
Which was the first film I ever loaded!
Am I right in thinking my camera does not have a lock for the winder?
Does anybody know an internet source where I can read the manual of the SRT101?
Thanks again for all your info you have posted I had fun today.
This link might help:
Note that I didn't try downloading the zip file.
Originally Posted by FruitRevolver
Good choice, I always liked the SR101 and rokkor. If you want to go AF, then I can recommend the 800si, good thing is you can use the minolta glass you have from the A100/7D. I have found the 800si to be good to use and handle, great solid feel from it.
In the all film days many people were attracted to 35mm cameras base on the price of a whole system. With pro quality medium format cameras flooding the market, it's possible to go either way for similar money. For those who already have an investment in 35mm gear they have a reason to stick, but for those who are starting out fresh you could inexpensively go either way. If I was starting out again, I would try to research both options with equal vigor and then make a decision. Reduce your search to one of each and then make a choice.
Originally Posted by Jeff Kubach
BTW, I'm not trying to sell you on medium format as almost all of my camera gear is either 35 or LF. Think of it like getting married, where many have felt they should have spent more time playing the field.