35mm SLR versus Digital SLR?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by biguniverse, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. biguniverse

    biguniverse TPF Noob!

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    I've been using point-and-shoot digital cameras for the past 4+ years now. However, I'm getting ready to take a Basic Photography course and they require a 35mm camera.

    My question is, should I borrow a 35mm from someone for this course instead of investing a new 35mm camera (e.g. Canon Rebel)? Or, will I need the 35mm for anything? My interest is in nature photography and possibly selling large pictures (e.g. 20" x 24").

    My fear is that I won't be using a 35mm beyond this course because I'm really interested in digital much more.
     
  2. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    Do they want you to use a 35mm camera because you will be doing darkroom work? If so, yeah, you will need a film camera. If you are planning on staying digital, I would borrow rather than buy. If all they want is for you to have some manual control, a digital with manual overrides should work fine. You best bet is to call them and ask.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You could borrow or buy an old used 35mm SLR. It's often said that learning photography on an older manual camera is preferred to learning on a camera with all the bells & whistles. Who knows, you may even like it just as much as your digital.

    Think about where you plan to go with digital. If you want to make 20 x 24 pictures, you will most likely want a camera with a larger sensor than you will find in a point & shoot digi cam. You might want to move up to a digital SLR. If you plan to go that route, think about getting a film SLR that will be compatible with the DSLR that you will be using.

    For example. If you get a Canon Rebel (or other EOS) 35mm film camera for your course. You will be able to use the lens or lenses on a Canon DSLR like the D-Rebel or 10D.
     
  4. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Well neither DSLR's or 35mm SLR's are going to give you a great 20x24" print. But it all depends on what is acceptable to you. To get that big, you have to enlarge it significantly so details are going to be fuzzy. Any movement caused by a mirror or camera shake will be amplified quite a bit.

    If you get an Autofocus SLR like Nikon, Sigma, Canon or Pentax you can use the lenses when you get yourself a DSLR.
     
  5. biguniverse

    biguniverse TPF Noob!

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    Hi, markc. Thanks for the quick response.

    There is no dark room exercise (see description below). However, I was wondering beyond the class itself, if I want to print large landscape pictures, are today's digital cameras and printers good enough to print large pictures in color (e.g. 20x24") or will the 35mm come in handy for something else (other than this class)?

    ---

    Basic Photography: Four Week Learn the basics of photography in this
    course. A 35 mm SLR camera with manual controls is required. This class is
    designed for the beginner who wants to go beyond “point and shoot” photography. Students will learn the basics of light and composition, as well as an introduction to rules of proper exposure. There will be one class devoted to photographing in the field.
     
  6. biguniverse

    biguniverse TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, Big Mike and voodoocat. I appreciate it.
     
  7. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hi Biguniverse, this kind of basic class is more than likely requiring a 35mm film cam because you'll be asked to run slide film through it. It's the quickest way to have students get their work up on screen where assignments can be critiqued. And I would agree that it IS important to learn to use the manual cameras, especially after 4 years of "point & shoot" photography. You will be amazed at what you've been missing.

    If you really believe digital will ultimately be for you, you'd be well served to borrow a manual if you can, or one that can go completely manual. Don't be too anxious to toss the idea of sticking with 35mm for a while, though. No offense meant here, but if you're just getting into Photo 101, you're still a long way from having customers who want 20x24 prints of your work. You can pick up an excellent 35mm system from ebay with a variety of lenses. You will soon be learning to use low-speed film that can give you high-quality enlargements up to 16x20, while you practice your craft and watch today's higher-priced digicams come down in price. Just something to consider. Have fun! :D
     
  8. biguniverse

    biguniverse TPF Noob!

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    Hi, Theresa. Very good advise -- thank you!

    Also, no offense taken on the "long ways to go", that is my thinking exactly, so by the time I start getting any good, the price difference of D-SLRs today versus in the future will probably make up for whatever I buy now (if I don't borrow, that is).

    Thanks again.
     
  9. markc

    markc TPF Noob!

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    That's what I was thinking. Also no offense meant.

    Learning how to use a film camera is a really good idea, even if you plan to stick with digital. It usually takes a person a while (like years) to get to the point that they are selling prints, epecially if they are learning in their spare time. I don't think there's a need to choose one or the other yet. You have dabbled in digital, so if you give film a try you will get a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each. What you learn about exposure and composition will apply to both equally.
     
  10. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    You can get a Ricoh KR5 w/50mm lens on Ebay for about $15. It got me started.
     
  11. Walt

    Walt TPF Noob!

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    Just a suggestion, give the instructor or the school a call and see why they are asking for a 35mm camera. It may be to teach concepts with the controls; shutter and aperture, etc.. They may find a digital with these features acceptable.
     
  12. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I had to get a camera for my class as well, and I went with the Canon Rebel 2000 figuring what ever I got for it I could use on a future Digital rebel that I got, but if you dont plan to use the 35mm camera after the class, I would suggest trying to borrow one.

    I do miss the manual stuff on my digital camera, which is making me want to get the digital rebel. With my digital I cant manually focus, control the shutter speed, and the way it feels in my hands.

    I also still take some pictures with my slr but im not always happy with the pictures, mostly thinking the $$$ for film and $$$ for the prints to get back a few pictures that I like. :0) Digital is so much cheaper taht way.

    As for the 20" by 24", once youve taken the class, you may want to try medium or large format photography.
     

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