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  1. #11
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    bettonbaby;

    My dad taught me to use a 35mm camera when I was 10 years old.
    I had my first official photography class where I developed my own film and printed my own images when I was in high school.

    If a 10 year old kid can learn to do it, any adult who puts his mind can learn to do it.

    To be honest, it's not hard. I would say that photography is more "detail oriented."
    The process of photography isn't hard to learn. It is that attention to detail which turns mere snapshots into works of art.

    The first camera I ever used by myself was a Pentax K-1000.
    It's just a basic, manual model. I still have it. As others have said, a K-1000 would be a good choice.

    Basically, just study up a little, get a camera and go burn some film. 90% of photography is learned by experience.
    You can read books all day long but book learning won't do you any good until you get your a$$ outside and take some pictures!

    Just do it!

    You'll be fine!
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  2. #12

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    I'll get crucified for this, but I'll throw it out there -

    1) Many film cameras which have automation also have the option to have manual control (manual focusing, manual exposure settings, etc). For a first film camera, particularly if you don't have someone around who will help you out, I'd suggest something that gives you both auto exposure and manual exposure. That could help you ease in to it a bit more, particularly if you don't have people around who can help out.

    2) If the main thing you want is an optical finder and if you don't have any film background or interest, I'd suggest looking at a digital SLR. This would be significantly more expensive than a film camera and can be a cheaper way to learn about manual control of a camera (ie turn off automatic features, take a shot, review it to see what you did wrong, figure out what to change, try again, etc).


    Don't get me wrong, I love shooting film. I use my digital camera about 5% of the time at this point. And I learned on film. Over all though, I have to imagine it being something of a harsh transition going from a digital point and shoot to a film SLR (particularly an all manual one). A digital SLR could be a good transition and most of those lessons learned using it in complete manual mode could be applied to a film camera should you decide that is for you.

    All that said, film is definitely cheap to try. Quality film SLRs are dirt cheap right now - you could probably find one for $50 or less - so there is no harm in experimenting.

    More specifically, what is it that you want out of this new camera? If you could toss an optical finder on your current camera and be perfectly happy, I'd suggest looking for something along those lines. If you want an SLR specifically (ability to change lenses, opportunity for manual control, etc) there are a huge number of options both film and digital you could explore, If film is appealing, by all means buy a film camera.

    If you know some friends with different types of cameras, I'd suggest seeing if you could handle or borrow them for a day to give you a sense of the range of options (and because those people my be able to help you get started if you buy a similar camera)
    Last edited by Brian Legge; 11-20-2010 at 01:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #13

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    My word, you all given me a lot to think about. Very sound advice too, I can see that. I'll now settle down and read up on the specs of all the cameras you've kindly mentioned and then search ebay and used camera sites for the best deal.

    I particularly like the idea of using a digital camera with fully manual settings so I can practice and then review the results immediately. Dunno why I didn't think of that myself....

    I'm very grateful to everybody. I'll post again when I've decided and got something.

  4. #14
    flatulent1's Avatar
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    Brian, I have timber and nails in the truck. What's your address again?

    Fred Latchaw
    Seattle WA


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

  5. #15
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kisatchie View Post
    You should be aware that many classic film cameras require a mercury battery, which is no longer available. All Nikon cameras I am aware of (except the Nikkormat / Nikomat series, which I'm not familiar with) take readily available batteries (MS-76 or equivalent). Some Nikons are the FM, FM2, FM2n, FE, FE2, F2, and F3.
    Thanks for raising the merc battery issue. Apart general decrepitude, many of the old SLRs mentioned above are a no-go because they need mercury oxide batteries--banned in 2000. For someone just starting out, AF Nikon bodies like the N90x(N90s) or cheaper 801s/8008s work beautifully as MF cameras: great viewfinders, centre-weighted/spot/matrix(with AF lenses) metering,motorized film advance. They're also years newer than the holy relics of SLR-dom that can be 40+ years old. I bought my last N90s in EXC+ shape in 2009 for $50.

  6. #16
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    N80 N75 good autofocus good exposure control and manual or program. I have 2 each of these and like them very much. The Matrix metering is right on and autofocus can track race cars on the track. Get the battery grips and they will run on AA batteries.

  7. #17
    M.A.Longmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flatulent1 View Post
    Brian, I have timber and nails in the truck. What's your address again?

    .
    Fred, save the nails.
    I have a Remington Nail Gun that I haven't used in years.
    This would be the perfect occasion to get it out of the basement !
    We'll just need ear plugs, and safety glasses. Send me his address.


    Ron
    .



  8. #18

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    CGW and Marvin, thank you for mentioning those cameras. I wanted to recommend one of those nikons in particular as they are incredibly cheap for what you get and they provide a wide range of 'easing in to film' options in my opinion. I just wasn't familiar with with them to recommend specific models.

    Edit: And I consider helping anyone from point and shoot to SLR (of any kind) a good step. Once people are over the hump of understanding exposure, shooting in manual, etc I think film becomes harder to resist - particularly as there is no affordable digital equivalent of medium format, large format, TLRs, etc. Its only a matter of time.

  9. #19

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    Pentax K1000 and later Pentax SLRs use widely available silver oxide (SR44/E357/S76) batteries. The ME Super, Super Program, Program Plus, P30t, and P3n all have aperture preferred and manual modes. There are a ton of very good K-mount lenses out there.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron LarFor4X5 View Post
    .
    Fred, save the nails.
    I have a Remington Nail Gun that I haven't used in years.
    This would be the perfect occasion to get it out of the basement !
    We'll just need ear plugs, and safety glasses. Send me his address.


    Ron
    .
    Ooh, I like it. Give him less opportunity for escape.
    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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