Best Cameras for the New User, My Opinions

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Ted Azito, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. Ted Azito

    Ted Azito Guest

    THese are my opinions and they are backed up by discussions with many
    Repairmen and Repair Authors and reading good books, such as
    Lippincott's, Tomosy's, and especially by the Dean of Hobby Camera
    Educators, Ed Romney...


    Many TLRS, Rollei, Yashica:

    Most manual focus mechanical SLR 35mm from major manufacturers that
    are made of metal and not thermoplastics or thermosets:

    Leica 35mm RF, if price were no object:

    Mamiya Universal Press, a great MF system:

    Some better rollfilm cameras, some folders and the Medalist if
    converted to 120:

    There are others.
     
    Ted Azito, Jul 18, 2004
    #1
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  2. At this point, I just can't see inflicting a film camera on a new
    user, unless they had specific goals requiring film use and were
    *very* motivated and focused. The ability to get instant feedback in
    the field is worth *so much* educationally that it pretty much swamps
    everything else IMHO.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jul 18, 2004
    #2
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  3. I don't seem to remember people using Polaroids to learn photography...
     
    Chris Loffredo, Jul 18, 2004
    #3
  4. I used to get very fast results by developing the film myself.
    Usually E6.
    Maybe its old hat now, but there was a certain amoutnof pleasure tro be
    gained in seeing the images appear on the film when yout ook it out of the
    developing tank and opnce you had the tank etc it was cheaper than paying to
    get it done.
    You could shoot a roll during the day, be home at 3pm and have the photos
    projecting at tea time.
    When i was at college we all had to do a tape slide presentaton and most of
    them left it till the last minute 9as students do).
    I made a fortune doing same day E6 for them :)

    Gordon

    http://www.leica-gallery.net/gordon/index.html
     
    Gordon Hudson, Jul 18, 2004
    #4
  5. I would suggest that repairmen are not the best source. Frankly I
    believe that good sales people would be the best source. They deal with new
    photographers and get their feedback. They see not only those that are
    interested enough to buy a book or attend a class on the subject, but
    everyone. They see which cameras they sell that people do well with and
    which they don't. Hopefully they learn to judge their customers to help
    them choose the camera that will suite their needs.
     
    Joseph Meehan, Jul 18, 2004
    #5
  6. I do remember pros using Polaroid FILM to check exposure.

    Stop being stupid - a Polaroid instant-camera is NOT the same as a mid-
    level digital point and shoot or a entry-level dSLR.
     
    Brian C. Baird, Jul 18, 2004
    #6
  7. It was very expensive, most available Polaroid cameras didn't have
    much control, and, most important, the material didn't behave anything
    like real film so it took quite a lot of training/experience to use it
    as a valid preview.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jul 18, 2004
    #7
  8. I'd agree that doing your own darkroom work was an important part of
    the learning process then. A lot of it was because of the speed of
    seeing results, and also the cost (most people learning photography
    aren't terribly well-financed). And because it was the only way to
    get decent prints that anybody beginning could afford. In my case it
    was entirely B&W; bulk-loaded TRI-X and Plus-X at about a penny a
    frame. (I've developed probably hundreds of rolls of E-6 myself, but
    rather later, and mostly with friends who felt it was worth the
    trouble; I think that E-6 and C-41 are ideally suited for
    commercial-scale automated machinery.)
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jul 18, 2004
    #8
  9. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
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    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    You're an idiot.
     
    Michael Scarpitti, Jul 18, 2004
    #9
  10. Ted Azito

    Sander Vesik Guest

    Present market trends indicate that a *LOT* of people rather get a
    disposable 35mm camera on a "as needed" basis instead of any kind of
    point and shoot camera. I wonder how much this has to do with quality
    from 800 speed film vs use of grain-sized sensor of a digital P&S
    in similar conditions?
     
    Sander Vesik, Jul 18, 2004
    #10
  11. Ted Azito

    Dr. Slick Guest


    The instant feedback really IS one of the best things about my
    Canon G3...let's you know if you really got the shot or not.

    From an educationaly point of view, it's only really educational
    if you do some of the functions manually, like setting your own
    aperture or shutter speed or both, and seeing what the results are on the
    screen. You don't learn much if you are always in Full-Auto mode.

    But 4 megapixels is just not enough for an artist's portfolio.
    The "specific goal requiring film use" would be the huge amount of
    megapixels required to match the grain of 35mm, and even then, the
    grain of 35mm is more acceptable than digital blocks.

    I mean, even an amateur might one day wanna blow a pic up to
    a huge size, and 4 megapixels won't go past 11"x14" IMNSHO.


    Slick
     
    Dr. Slick, Jul 18, 2004
    #11
  12. I absolutely agree. And full manual control is available down to the
    $200 price-point in digital cameras -- the Canon A60, I know.
    Ah, "digital blocks". That's a dead giveaway. You've never seen a
    print made from a digital image, have you? I've never seen one with
    "blocks" on it.
    Sure, they might. But their first student camera doesn't necessarily
    have to support it.

    I'm also not arguing that film is dead, has no place, etc. Since I
    don't teach photography, I haven't had to decide (or cope with the
    decisions of the hypothetical institution at which I taught) what mix
    of digital and film technology I'd teach students today. I still use
    film myself for some purposes, and of course there are many realms of
    photography I rarely or never go into.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Jul 19, 2004
    #12
  13. And you're not?
     
    Brian C. Baird, Jul 19, 2004
    #13
  14. OR is it people don't want to lose an expensive camera?

    Disposable aside - digital point and shoots are the bread and butter of
    the camera manufacturers. Seeing as they are selling record numbers, I
    would say the disposable market caters to a different kind of shooter -
    one that doesn't want much control over their images and/or doesn't want
    to lose their "real" camera at the amusement park or on vacation.
     
    Brian C. Baird, Jul 19, 2004
    #14
  15. And 35mm doesn't look good past a certain point either.

    Digital will increase in terms of resolution and quality. It's a matter
    of time. Until then, the skills learned with a digital camera - be they
    compositional, mechanical or otherwise - will apply to the next
    generation, as well as back to film.
     
    Brian C. Baird, Jul 19, 2004
    #15
  16. Ted Azito

    Jeremy Guest

    It has to do with the fact that millions of casual users really don't care
    much about the quality of their images--or even of owning a camera. They
    buy disposables for events, as they need them, and they have little interest
    in progressing with the hobby. They want snapshots, that are well-enough
    exposed to produce viewable images, and they make no pretense about being
    able to take photos that look professional. They just want to take mundane
    images that document mileposts in their lives.

    Kodak made millions serving this market for decades, with their slogan "You
    push the button, we do the rest." We may turn our noses up at that market,
    but there is money to be made in it, and some small percentage of those
    casual users do ultimately decide to pursue photography more seriously and
    to buy better equipment. So it is a spawning ground for more advanced
    amateurs.

    We all have to start somewhere. How many of us were given Leicas when we
    were seven years old . . . ?

    The often overlooked aspect of this is that there are millions of families
    that would not have otherwise had access to photos of their family events,
    had it not been for those endless cheap cameras and consumer film formats
    that have been available over the decades. I am the family genealogist, and
    I have scanned many such photos of my ancestors. They were badly posed,
    poorly lighted, printed in very small sizes, sometimes out of focus, but
    they all are precious because they are the only pictorial representations
    available of my ancestors--many of whom died before I was born.

    I am sure that, at the time the photos were taken, nobody thought that they
    would be handed down and cherished as important family photo heirlooms. Yet
    millions of us possess such photos today, and I am grateful for all those
    Brownies and Instamatics (and, now, disposables) that have produced them.
     
    Jeremy, Jul 19, 2004
    #16
  17. Ted Azito

    Jeremy Guest

    If you want to learn photo skills, get a manual camera and a plain old
    normal lens. Doesn't even have to be 35mm. A Rolleiflex or other MF clone
    would do fine.
     
    Jeremy, Jul 19, 2004
    #17
  18. That sounds like a great way to become frustrated if you're not into
    taking meticulous notes.

    Instant feedback does have it's place - even if it clashes with the way
    you learned photography.
     
    Brian C. Baird, Jul 19, 2004
    #18
  19. Ted Azito

    Sander Vesik Guest

    How does dcamera give teh user any extra control?
     
    Sander Vesik, Jul 19, 2004
    #19
  20. Ted Azito

    Jeremy Guest

    ht sounds good--at least in theory. But nearly everyone that learned on a
    manual camera can function ok with an automatic camera. What percentage of
    people that have always learned to rely upon automation can operate well
    with a manual camera?

    The best automatic cameras always have manual overrides. Why is that?

    Why is it that virtually every photography school requires students to use a
    manual camera, or one that can be manually overridden?
     
    Jeremy, Jul 19, 2004
    #20
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