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  1. #1

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    All this automation is a little creepy

    Well, I went and bought an EOS body. See, I've got EOS lenses for the DSLR, but all my film bodies are highly manual---the built-in meter in my Bessa-R seems like a pretty decadent convenience, and I feel like I'm cheating when I put the AE-1 in auto. But it seems a shame to have nice lenses that I can't put film behind, and a 35mm body that can do TTL flash would be convenient, and KEH had a Rebel X for the absurd price of *six* dollars...so I threw it in with my last order and I've been working on shooting a smoke-test roll today.

    The whole experience is just weird. I spent forever trying to figure out how to attach the film to the take-up spool; oh, I see, *it* does that. Close the back and it mysteriously goes whir-whir-whir, counting exposures as it goes and ending by telling me how many frames I have left. OK, set the ASA---no, I see, *it* does that. Oh, yeah, that's what the whole "DX coding" business is about. So I need to cock---no, *it* does that.

    All right, mode, frame, and I need to foc---no, *it* does that. Click. Ack, it's alive! More noise and vibration as it advances the film for me. So for the next exposure to be set up I need to do...um...nothing. Wait, what?

    All this assistance is completely fouling up my rhythm. I see, intellectually, where it's useful to get the mechanical crud out of the way and free yourself up to concentrate on the image---but advancing the film is what my right hand expects to be doing while I'm concentrating on the image!

    Not to mention that autofocus is itself pretty disconcerting. Unfortunately EOS lenses tend to have poor manual-focus ergonomics. I suppose I'll get used to it, but it just feels wrong to have a focus ring under my fingers that's a skinny little plastic thing.

    Oh, and of course the darn thing is going to auto-rewind when I finish the roll, and I bet it won't leave me a leader to grab onto, will it? Well, it won't be the first cassette I've opened with a bottle opener in the dark.

    None of this is actually *bad* (OK, except for the leader-in rewind), it's just a complete reordering of the photographic world to which I'm accustomed, and I felt the need to rant about it. I think I'm gonna go finish up the roll, then realign my brain by shooting a plate camera for a while.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  2. #2
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    You might be able to set the camera to leave some leader out with a custom function, if your camera can do it.
    Charles Hohenstein

  3. #3

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    Hi there,
    Your post made me laugh - in a good way though. Yep, the EOS can "take over" as you put it, but that is no different to your digital bodies. Think of how you work with the digi bodies rather than the Bessas.
    Don't know the rebel body (UK names were different) but the EOS 1's have custom functions to disable the auto ISO DX coding, disable the auto rewind, disable the auto leader retraction etc.
    There must be an instruction manual online somewhere that can give all the CF fuctions and settings.
    Btw, enjoy the camera!

    Sim2.

  4. #4

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    I'm sure it can leave the leader out. I have a 630 and an Elan 2e. Both can leave the leader out. See if you can find a manual for your camera. It will tell you the custom function to set.

  5. #5
    jp498's Avatar
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    The easy loading and auto advance is 1. what most people need. 2. very hand when you're doing sports and have to get a new roll going when you should be either shooting or maintaining situational awareness. 3. loading at night by the light of your cell phone.

    Lacking a bottle opener in the darkroom, you can use the edge of a pair of sturdy scissors as well. Hold the roll in your fist with the end of the roll's metal lip caught behind the outside edge of the scissor blade. (Scissors fully closed), you can rip the metal end of very easily.

    I went through a similar change in 1989 going from an traditional Olympus OM body to the Nikon f4s.

    Fortunately the f4s does not rewind automatically. You have to pull a lever to do that and rewind with the crank, or pull two levers and it will do it for you.

  6. #6

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    I checked and it really can't be set to leave the leader out. This is a REALLY low-end camera---by modern standards, anyway. (It's the EOS 500/Kiss without the built-in flash.) It's OK; I can do the bottle-opener thing.

    I'm mostly just amused at how thrown I am by what are theoretically conveniences. It's just a whole different world out there, and I wonder how those of you who shoot these things figure out what to do with your hands in between shots!

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  7. #7
    phaedrus's Avatar
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    You didn't even mention the modal buttons, i.e. buttons with more than one function that have to be pressed in different combinations to achieve some setting. That is the one thing that annoys me most on Canon bodies and made me change to Nikon.

  8. #8
    tiberiustibz's Avatar
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    View camera.
    --Nicholas Andre

  9. #9
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    I got a giggle about the *it* reference.
    Low-end EOS bodies will be pretty much auto-everything and that automation can be a major hindrance if you are a skilled photographer used to getting your own way (hmm, aren't we all!?). Conversely, the high end (pro level, e.g. EOS 1n, V, 3 et al) EOS bodies are highly customisable to not do any of what you griped with. Even ubiquitous AF can be rearranged or stopped entirely.

    I share some concerns about multi-modal and split-mode selection using buttons on the pro EOS bodies, but one that I relish is the AEB shortcut: a three-fingered squirrel press of three buttons and it's instantly engaged. Others, though, have hissed and snarled with such minor gymnastics as resetting the ISO (a two-fingered op.).
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  10. #10
    flatulent1's Avatar
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    Oh, piffle. You guys just need to get used to the damn things, that's all. I've been using nothing but the button/wheel interface since the T90 came out (until my current acquisition binge started five years ago ), and it's second nature. The Rebel line of cameras is another story; they're intended to be idiot-proof, so there's little/no customization and you have to learn the way it does things. If you really want a great EOS film camera for little money, get yourself a 1N; second generation Pro model, plenty customizable, going for not much more than $100 these days.

    But then, for six dollars, you've got yourself a nice little point-n-shoot that takes L-series lenses.
    Fred Latchaw
    Seattle WA


    I am beginning to resent being referred to as 'half-fast'.
    Whatever that's supposed to mean.

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