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  1. #61

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    Good advice, there. Thanks for posting that, Les.

  2. #62
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    You can really use any small SLR system you prefer with a F2.8 or faster lens. Maybe a 50 f1.4 and 24 f2/2.8 combo. Most are quite affordable. No flash. I would suggest a OM-PC/40, they go for like $40 with 50mm lens, black, with black rubberized exterior (good grip for handling), aperture priority, small, big viewfinder. Or Olympus RC, tiny, aperture priority, 42mm F2.8 lens, extra frames since you dont need much leader, you can palm it.

    The main issue as other have pointed out is that even before they see your camera, they see you.

    Photographing crime as you intend to is quite dangerous. I don't think any criminal would want his mug in anyones camera while doing something illegal be it a film or digital camera, big or small. Some are hopped up on so many drugs just approaching them may set them off. Ive encountered this before a few times.

    General tips: Try not to look to much like a cop, dont carry anything you wouldn't mind losing. Play things cool, but stand up for yourself when need be. Get to know someone in the area, a deli owner or the like. learn to zone focus and shoot from either hanging from your neck, or with a smaller camera from your palm or rested on your side/hip. Shoot and keep moving, and try not to hesitate on shots where you stop a few paces later to turn and shoot. You can pretend to shoot things to the side or behind them with the wider angle lenses, they are none the wiser.

    Good luck

  3. #63

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    Back to The Original Post

    Quote Originally Posted by laroygreen View Post
    Good day,

    Short story: I want a small film camera, with good wide angle lenses, built-in light meter available and must be easy to focus through the viewfinder.

    Long story: I have a project that I'm working on this year that will require me to do some street shooting in a few poorer communities here, and I wanted to use a film camera primarily because I think I would be more comfortable using an old film camera than my digital slr camera (I normally don't shoot any public street scenes, mainly portrait sessions at private locations). I might be paranoid, but when I visit certain areas with my DSLR, I feel like I have a huge bullseye painted on my back as pretty much any digital slr screams "I have money, please rob me" (which I don't!).

    I don't plan to stalk the streets, and will have the camera in plain view at all times, so its important that the camera meets the following requirements:

    - Ability to take wide angle lens (24mm - 28mm). This was one of the reasons I decided against rangefinders, as using external viewfinders isn't appealing (plus they tend to be expensive).
    - Is easy to focus!
    - Has a built-in, usable and fairly accurate (in common situations) light meter.
    - Fairly cheap used, with my budget being around 500 USD.
    - Doesn't look too professional/modern, but is still functional.

    Thanks for the help!
    There's been a lot of response to this and I may have missed seeing one option in amongst all the recommendations for old SLR's.
    I wouldn't dismiss all rangefinders out of hand. I have a Bessa R4A and it would seem to meet most of your criteria.

    * It's small and light. It can be easily made less noticeable than any SLR. The lenses are smaller than SLR lenses.
    * A lot of people who don't know cameras think it's "old" and don't pay attention to it. It's not hard to conceal it under a jacket but still have it ready for quick access and use.
    * TTL metering is accurate.
    * The viewfinder has frames for 21mm, 25mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm which more than covers your preferred range and focus requirements. You don't need an external viewfinder.
    * With an LTM to M adaptor you can choose from a large array of good, fast prime lenses.
    * The AE feature makes for fast and accurate shooting but can be switched to manual if you prefer.

    Now, it probably won't meet your budget requirements but from a feature/technical standpoint I suggest it bears some consideration.
    Leica M6,
    Bessa R4A,
    Rolleiflex(s) 2.8/80, 4/135, 4/55.
    Nikkormat FTn
    Fuji X10

  4. #64

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    Thanks for all the safety tips ... I grew up in said communities, and I can fit in, and the only time that I've actually been robbed (several failed attempted robberies though) was when I went to Pakistan for a few months (by men armed with AK47s - Rather exciting ), and I was singled out because well, I certainly didn't fit in there.

    Also, as I said, I'm just there to photograph how people make a living, so I plan to hang out with fishermen, market vendors, farmers, etc. I don't plan on interacting with any gang members or photograph any crime scenes or criminal activity. Also, the crux of my documentary will be interviews with victims of violent crimes, where I can easily control the environment. The only potentially dangerous part is getting those establishing shots to go with the narrative/interview.

    Good tips though, and I do plan to get in touch with someone from a community before I go to shoot anything and I will certainly keep safety as my number one priority (and I'll just flat out avoid certain places).

    I really wanted the Bessa R4M to work for me, but it just isn't as affordable. At around $1500 for lens and camera body, it might not be that much on its own, but considering I have to buy audio equipment to conduct interviews (you think photography is expensive? Not compared to video and audio equipment it isn't), so overall, wherever I can save some money, I'll take that route (eBay - FTW!). Granted, shooting film isn't that cheap either, but the cost adds up over time, usually not upfront, which I can manage. Maybe if I see a good deal or something, but given that they are current cameras and tend to be highly regarded, it is unlikely.

  5. #65
    guitstik's Avatar
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    If you like the Bessa's then I would go for either a T with no viewfinder but it meters with lights on top or the R that does have the viewfinder and meter. Either of those with a Russian wide would be a good choice for being inconspicuous.
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  6. #66
    Rol_Lei Nut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guitstik View Post
    If you like the Bessa's then I would go for either a T with no viewfinder but it meters with lights on top or the R that does have the viewfinder and meter. Either of those with a Russian wide would be a good choice for being inconspicuous.
    I thought the Jupiter 12 (35mm) was incompatible with the Bessas because of its protruding rear element.
    That leaves a quite rare and *very* slow Soviet 28mm and the even rarer and very expensive 20mm...

    The C/V 25mm is supposed to be quite good and also cheap.
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  7. #67
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post
    Here's an even cheaper Nikon option that will get you shooting some great pictures: the little-loved FG.
    I love mine!

    Quote Originally Posted by Les Sarile View Post
    This is merely to point out that C41 film has so much latitude that you shouldn't worry about it.
    I agree. If you are shooting outside in daylight, then you should be able to set the exposure in advance. Even if you are a stop out either way, it shouldn't be a problem.


    Steve.
    Last edited by Steve Smith; 01-02-2012 at 06:45 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  8. #68
    dhosten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laroygreen View Post
    Thanks for all the safety tips ... I grew up in said communities, and I can fit in, and the only time that I've actually been robbed (several failed attempted robberies though) was when I went to Pakistan for a few months (by men armed with AK47s - Rather exciting ), and I was singled out because well, I certainly didn't fit in there.

    Also, as I said, I'm just there to photograph how people make a living, so I plan to hang out with fishermen, market vendors, farmers, etc. I don't plan on interacting with any gang members or photograph any crime scenes or criminal activity. Also, the crux of my documentary will be interviews with victims of violent crimes, where I can easily control the environment. The only potentially dangerous part is getting those establishing shots to go with the narrative/interview.

    Good tips though, and I do plan to get in touch with someone from a community before I go to shoot anything and I will certainly keep safety as my number one priority (and I'll just flat out avoid certain places).

    I really wanted the Bessa R4M to work for me, but it just isn't as affordable. At around $1500 for lens and camera body, it might not be that much on its own, but considering I have to buy audio equipment to conduct interviews (you think photography is expensive? Not compared to video and audio equipment it isn't), so overall, wherever I can save some money, I'll take that route (eBay - FTW!). Granted, shooting film isn't that cheap either, but the cost adds up over time, usually not upfront, which I can manage. Maybe if I see a good deal or something, but given that they are current cameras and tend to be highly regarded, it is unlikely.
    Hey Laroy,
    Good luck with the project, looks like you are pretty well sorted out. Don't forget a Nikon L35AW, or Canon Sureshot WP-1, a $10-30 backup option, as those might be handy if you get right in with the fishing guys. I photographed some Flying Fish in Grenada a while back and it was great until my OM-3 fell in the water. The next time I was on Grand Anse photographing fisherfolk I had a much more water resistant option available.
    Sounds like a fun project and I'd love to see results once you have it completed.
    p.s. I forgot to mention the Ricoh GR-1 and its siblings as suitable, high quality wide angle alternate cameras which would be unobtrusive. I would look for one in Ugly condition, but as long as the lens is clean and the shutter works, that's even better for you.
    Last edited by dhosten; 01-02-2012 at 07:26 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: added more camera choices

  9. #69

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    I do plan on trying to go out to sea, but not in any rough weather, and I've done it before with my DSLR and it was fine, though not with flying fish

    SO many choices with no clear consensus (people seem to prefer Nikon though) that I'll probably have to just resort to seeing what the best deals are on eBay (you can tell some of these sellers have no clue based on the spartan descriptions, so a big selling point for me is pictures and good description about shutter speeds, working meter, light seals, etc.). But, I am a lot more knowledgeable about 70s-80s SLRs than I was yesterday, very happy !

    As for the metering, thanks for the help, and maybe I am being overly concerned but I guess that is what happens when you have lcd screens and histograms

    My project may take more than a year to complete, so I'll be in it for the long run, and it has many aspects to it. I dont intend to win any awards, but it is just something I feel compelled to do.

  10. #70
    guitstik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rol_Lei Nut View Post
    I thought the Jupiter 12 (35mm) was incompatible with the Bessas because of its protruding rear element.
    That leaves a quite rare and *very* slow Soviet 28mm and the even rarer and very expensive 20mm...

    The C/V 25mm is supposed to be quite good and also cheap.
    I have the Jupiter 12 35/2,8 that I use on my Nikon S2 and my Bessa R with an LTM/Contax adapter and I haven't experienced any problems. Mind you tho, the Contax adapter set me back $200 on eBay. If I'm not mistaken, the Bessa T is a Contax mount, someone correct me if I'm wrong. The R is an LTM I know for fact because that is what my Industar 50 is. This is a top rated seller of Russian camera equipment, check this lens out 260922460333 (item #).
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com



 

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