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Thread: 35mm SLR - why?

  1. #11

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    Why still use a 35mm you ask?

    I think that for some people a 35mm would be a better choice because I have heard that they are more rugged than digitals. If you are taking one camping or hiking, I have read where a camera repair place suggested using a film camera. I'll admit that there are improvements coming along those lines so that may not be as important today as in years past. Also, you can get a 35mm for $200 or so, where as a good digital is still around $400. Then you have the arguments that I won't waste time with, such as some people will say that b/w is better in film or that colors are more natural. When my x-700's no longer are working, I will probably either stay with MF or get that manual Nikon. I don't think that will be happening for a few years so who knows where we (or I) will be then. It is getting so that there are less and less reasons not to go digital, but that is great in a way. As long as photography improves be it digital or film, it is to the photographers benefit.

  2. #12

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    I'm with the OP. Since I got my Bessa R, I never use the SLRs anymore. The only things I find the SLRs do better than rangefinders are automation and things that require really fast action, like sports. I don't need the automation unless I also need speed. In the case of fast action, I'm more likely to have to shoot more to get a good picture because I have less control over the image. That means burning through lots of film. Because of this, I pretty much stick to the DSLR when I need that kind of speed, which is not often. I'd rather waste electricity than film and I don't want to miss the action while I'm changing the roll, so I don't use film in action situations.

    The only case where I can imagine really needing the 35mm SLR is as a special purpose body to complement the digital setup. I might take one along when shooting a sporting event just for fun. I could imagine using one on a film set where I'm shooting a movie with my DSLR and have my lenses handy. Otherwise, they pretty much sit on the shelf at home.

  3. #13

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    Thanks everyone. Just to clarify, I don't have a "position" on this. I'm not asking "why the heck would anyone use an F6??!" I want to know why people who *do* use an F6/EOS-1 like those cameras? I think I've got some of the answers here. More camera for the money compared to a dSLR, film exposure latitude, and perhaps legacy (what you've been using for the longest time, works for you etc).

    One question: are film SLR viewfinders inherently brighter than dSLRs? If so, why is that? Or is it just a more-camera-for-money thing? (Cheap-ish film SLRs have viewfinders comparable to high end dSLRS)

    Oh and I can see the argument for a full-manual or even older battery-operated film SLR for camping, long travel, situations where electricity might be difficult to find. Does that argument work for the EOS-1/F6/full-auto SLR? Those CR123/CR5 batteries last a reasonably long time, I would guess. I know I'd be happy to haul my N90s and a bunch of AA batteries off into the hills for a few weeks (although I'm not sure I'd actually go off into the hills for a few weeks, camera or not!). My dSLRs would only last a few days.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WetMogwai View Post
    I'm with the OP. Since I got my Bessa R, I never use the SLRs anymore. The only things I find the SLRs do better than rangefinders are automation and things that require really fast action, like sports. I don't need the automation unless I also need speed. In the case of fast action, I'm more likely to have to shoot more to get a good picture because I have less control over the image. That means burning through lots of film. Because of this, I pretty much stick to the DSLR when I need that kind of speed, which is not often. I'd rather waste electricity than film and I don't want to miss the action while I'm changing the roll, so I don't use film in action situations.

    The only case where I can imagine really needing the 35mm SLR is as a special purpose body to complement the digital setup. I might take one along when shooting a sporting event just for fun. I could imagine using one on a film set where I'm shooting a movie with my DSLR and have my lenses handy. Otherwise, they pretty much sit on the shelf at home.
    Equally, I know people who just cannot grasp the rangefinder concept, they really want to see through the lens. So its a matter of how one works.

    I own both kinds cause I'm moody My most "fancy" SLR is a Canon Elan 7e, and its the one I use less often ... I like it because its relatively quiet and I can use my lenses in exchange with my 5D, but I generally use it in Manual mode anyhow.

    Now I think I'll shoot with it this week Good thread! hehe

  5. #15

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    I still like doing film. I like doing things by hand than by computer. I'm weird!

    Jeff

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rippo View Post
    why, in a digital age, would a photographer specifically choose a modern film SLR camera such as those mentioned above?
    Uhhm, to be able to use film, have a wider choice of lenses, cost of rangefinders.

    Nice meters and some automation doesn't define "the digital experience" for me.

    I have a stable full of N90s's that I use regularly when fast shooting, fast loading, snapshots, scouting, or flash is needed.

    The N90s is also truly a great light meter and very much a compliment to my RB or 4x5 even if the shutter doesn't drop.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  7. #17

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    What rangefinder system has an affordable range of lenses to handle the range of photography an slr covers (including macro, long zooms, etc). Medium format system cameras can compete to a degree but are significantly less portable than a 35mm slr.

    How do you use polarizers on a rangefinder? Maybe I'm doing it wrong with the slr, but I orient it by looking at the result. I'm not sure how that translates to a rangefinder.

  8. #18
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    I don't covet the F6, but I sure would like an F5 sometime to replace/supplement my F4s. They all have fantastic meters which can make a rolls of film contact print with great consistency between images, even as scenes change.

    It's the ultimate in film SLRs, and we like our film. Digital folks covet up to date DSLRs.

    Nikon/Canon SLRs are good for people wanting to use a large variety of modern lenses, want autofocus and motor drive for fast candids or sports. If you snub them because they are not chrome/brass/100% mechanical, they can do the same things in the same manner, just as long as it's not -30f which would kill the battery. If you have just one style of photography you like to practice, get a simple tool that does the job. If you want a variety of photographic challenges and don't mind learning complicated equipment, a newish SLR can be a very versatile tool.

  9. #19

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    Not that i have a full featured film SLR, but i guess that the advantage of the late-model full-featured film SLR has, over its digital equivalent, is that it loads film. Ya cant shoot film in a digital camera..

    But compared to a bit older manual focus and mechanical SLR we are talking about something different. Compared to those i find that "full-featured" in newer cameras almost revolting. Counting from now and one year back i have barely touched my DSLR, but my two old Chinons (Pentax-K mount) is at use almost every day. I have actually bought my last digital SLR, i wont buy one again, unless some manufacturer makes a manual focus DSLR without all those revolting features demanding a 300 page manual, features that just distracts and get in my way.

  10. #20
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I have a Canon New F-1 and a 5D MKII, and I find I use the F-1 when I want the results on film, because I like the look of film for B&W and have no interest in any kind of digital B&W prints (though in general I shoot mostly medium or large format for B&W) and I usually prefer the look of color slides and the ease of editing slides (mostly for bird photography, where a larger format or RF aren't options). I'm more likely to shoot digital when I'm shooting for someone else who needs a digital file, or for copy work where I'm essentially using the camera as a scanner, and sometimes for family photos where relatives want images right away via e-mail. Most of my lenses are interchangeable or convertable between FD and EF mount, and I own no autofocus lenses.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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