beginner in need of help with film SLRs

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by feiticeria, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. feiticeria

    feiticeria TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking into buying a film SLR, I've looked into a few, but since i have no clue about the features, I'm hoping some of you can help me out. I don't have any previous experience with film SLRs, just experience with P&S and digital cameras. I've set my budget at $430 CDN ($310 US). Right now, my short list ncludes:
    - Nikon N75
    - Nikon N65 &
    - Canon EOS Rebel Ti
    ...is there any others similar to these I should look into? the Minoltas? Pentax? I'm most likely going to upgrade to one of the DSLRs after a while, so thats why I've kept my list betwen the Nikons & Canon.
    Is there any major differences between the N65 & N75?

    I haven't checked out the cameras at a shop yet, but I was hoping to broaden my list before I go down to the store. My last question is for those who shop online, I'm planning on buying the camera from B&H Photo-Video online store www.bhphotovideo.com, would it be a good place to buy? Or have any of had bad experiences buying from the online store?
     
  2. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Well if you are going to go with the Nikon, I would get the N80 or higher. The lower ones leave out the manual ISO setting, which I feel is a must for an SLR.

    You can't really go wrong with Canon or Nikon. Canon has more lenses, but Nikon has all the lenses I would ever need.

    Don't discount Minolta from the list yet. They will be releasing a DSLR later this year. It will have Image Stabilization built into the camera eliminating the need for expensive lenses with that feature.
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As already mentioned, you can't go wrong with either Nikon or Canon. Both Nikon and Canon lenses can be shared between film and digital slrs.

    Is your budget of $430 for just the body, body+lens, or entire system? If its just for the camera body, you definitely can afford better than the ones listed.

    At least around my parts, good conditioned used Canon equipment is easier to find than Nikon. I've bought mostly used equipment. Will you consider used? More bang for your buck. Perhaps you can afford more goodies along with your newish camera. Flash? Prime Lens? Bag? IMO, a tripod is a must.

    My mother in law has the Nikon N75. She loves it and has no complaints. Voodoocats' advice on the manual ISO is good advice so I would go with the N80 or better. ( Not all that familiar with Nikon line )

    Assuming $430 is the budget for a ~new~ camera body, I would pull for a step up from the Rebel. I'd consider the Elan 7E or 7N. Eye Control feature really is~not~ necessary but some like it. You should still have a little money left over for other stuff.

    Assuming $430 for a new camera+lens, I'd first focus on the lens. I would probably end up with a Canon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 II USM lens and seach for an Elan series canon used. My Elan IIe has serviced me well for years.

    One example, I would consider if I were in your shoes using B&H's used online catalog:

    Canon Zoom Wide Angle-Tele 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 EF USM Auto Focus Lens $149 cond: 9
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=800367421&is=USE

    Canon EOS Elan IIe 35mm SLR Autofocus Camera Body with Eye Control $199 cond: 9
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=800367379&is=USE

    Thats a total of about $350. Which would have left me enough to buy a (manfrotto/bogen? ) tripod and head from ebay and such. BTW, This is exactly what my cousin has been shooting with for years.

    I've bought from and B&H photo many many times. I have never had any problems. BTW, B&H store should be on your list of to visit places if you are ever in NYC. Entire city block.... simply amazing.
     
  4. feiticeria

    feiticeria TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the help!
    My budget of $430 is Canadian money, I'm hoping to buy a package, but I would be willing to look into just the body and lense either used or new.
    If I were to buy online and from B&H, I would probably go with something new, I personally think its too risky to buy something used online. Because I live in Canada, the shipping cost is nearly $30, plus with the conversion rate to Canadian money, I would probably have to set a limit at $270 American. I'm also going to checkout a local camera shop for some used equipment, unfortunatly, there aren't any massive, block-long camera stores in Toronto. It would be great to get some used equipment tho, so I can spend some money on a few filters or better lense.

    Can someone please explain what ISO is and its importance? I've noticed the complaints about the lack of manual ISO setting on the Nikons, does the Rebel Ti offer this option? The N80 is outside my limits :(

    Is there any Minolta Maxxum series cameras that I should look into?

    Right now, I'm strongly leaning towards buying this, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...ail&Q=&sku=284409&is=USA&si=acc#goto_itemInfo
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ooops perhaps I should have read your original post more closely... :oops:

    ISO is a number that rates the relative speed of a film or how sensitive it is to light. Modern cameras and film have encoding that automatically sets the camera ISO. Manually being able to set the ISO on your camera can allow you to either pull or even more importantly push film. If you are ever in a low - light condition and don't have fast film, you can manually set the camera to shoot at a "faster" ISO. Then notify your film developer to push the film. If you don't see yourself pulling or pushing film, I wouldn't make "manual ISO" feature a high requirement for your purchase.

    Sorry I can't comment too much on Minolta nor Pentax. Local camera stores around here do carry less equipment from both those manufacturers. Both will or do have DSLR offerings. At this point, it would be best for you to try out all at a store and see which one feels comfortable to you ( including navigation through settings/features ). If you are going to completely eval all the manufacturers' offerings, don't forget Sigma.
     
  6. feiticeria

    feiticeria TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the help!
    I'm going to have to find some time this monday to take a look at the cameras, I talked to a salesperson today and he mentioned there isn't much fo a difference between the F65 and F75, so who knows, maybe I can save some money with the F65 and buy some filters.
     
  7. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    Even if you don't want to experiment with push-processing, manual ISO setting is nice to have. Many films perform better at a different ISO than their stated rating.

    Some films, such as Kodak Technical Pan aren't ISO coded, so if you don't have the ability to set the ISO yourself, you can't use them.

    For most people it probably isn't a problem. But if you want to learn and push your limits, it's a nice feature to have.
     
  8. SLR_GUY

    SLR_GUY TPF Noob!

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    Minolta Release a DSLR? Awesome! Maybe I'll check it out instead of a Rebel K2.
     
  9. feiticeria

    feiticeria TPF Noob!

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    yea, they've mentioned it on the Minolta website, its suppose to be a 5 MP DSLR.......speaking of which, I'm suddenly looking into the Maxxum 5 & Maxxum 70...any Minolta people around for advice?
     
  10. havoc

    havoc Jedi something or other

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    You might wanna look at www.keh.com for used camera gear. All their stuff is coded by condition, and you never get crap for them. I bought a "bargin" lens from them and it looked brand new. Works great as well. Also before they sell it they test it to make sure its working properly. That should get you alittle better camera and lens then buying new at B&H, assuming that $360 canadian is around 240 US dollars.
     
  11. telex95

    telex95 TPF Noob!

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    hi feiticeria,

    I'm a beginner to manual cameras, and I also live in the toronto area. I bought a used Nikon FE2 from Henrys for $319, body only. The condition is like brand new. Though Henrys normally charges a higher price, but I think their used cameras are in better condition, that is if you are looking to buy a used one. I went in originally thinking about buying a minolta or a nikon fm, but the sales rep convinced me to buy a used Nikon FE. The price for a used minolta tends to be lower. The one that the sales rep recommanded was around $235, however, she said she would go for a Nikon because new nikon lens can fit in an old model nikon body; whereas for a Minolta, you won't be able to use a new lens with an old model body. Another reason, why I bought a used body is because of the material, it's metal as oposed to plastic in the new cameras.

    I like Maxxum 5, I think that is a good buy.
     
  12. feiticeria

    feiticeria TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for all the help and advice, I've thought about the comments left and read a few reviews from some photography magazines, and I've decided to go with a Minolta Maxxum 5.

    I checked out Henrys and a few other stores, I personally find their prices waaay to high, I found a little store called Downtown Camera, its on Queen st. E, a block east of Yonge...their a great store, really helpful, and you can bargain with them. I'm going to buy my camera on ebay though, the difference in money is worth the risk for me, even if its a refurbished, but I'll probably check out Downtown Camera for any future purchases.

    As for lens, from what I've heard, the Maxxum line of cameras have been around for a decade and their lense fit each other.
     

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