Beginner SLR Camera: suggestions, points, and tips needed

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by E.lynn.h, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. E.lynn.h

    E.lynn.h TPF Noob!

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    I currently am in a highschool vocational program for photography, and looking to purchase my first SLR (I am currently using a digital and a pinpoint).

    If anyone would offer help, I am open to suggestions on lenses, cameras, etc.

    Edit info: My digital photography (2 years) is usually of nature, still, or children.
     
  2. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    I'm new here and so don't know what the standard is, but I would think we first need to know what kind of price range you're looking at, and if you'd be willing to buy used.
     
  3. E.lynn.h

    E.lynn.h TPF Noob!

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    Absolutely looking at used, most likely going to buy from ebay. I'm looking for less than $300
     
  4. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    I assume you mean film slr, right? I use a Nikon F80 (it's branded as the N80 in the US, I have the international version) and I love it! It has all the features I think I'll ever want. The body alone goes for about $100-150 on ebay, so I bet you could get one and a lens for less than $300. Several others that are often recommended for beginners are the Minolta x700, Pentax K1000 and Nikon FM2n. Those are all old cameras (think 1970's or 80's) that do absolutely everything manually except meter. I think the fact that they're recommended so much artificially inflates the price a bit though (I've seen the FM2n at as much as $400 on the 'bay). Many film bodies you can get for under $100 on ebay, like the Nikon N50 (can you tell I'm a Nikon girl?). It sounds like you'll probably be doing many different types of subjects, so it might be a good idea to get an autofocus body with a manual focus option, so you'll be able to use it for action shots and whatever else. My favorite lens so far is the Nikkor 50mm 1.8D - it's sharp and really cheap ($110 new).
     
  5. chakalakasp

    chakalakasp TPF Noob!

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    Pick up a Pentax K-1000. Manual, cheap, and just about every photographer worth their salt these days has used one or something similar at one time or another. They're great to learn on because, metering aside, there are no electronics involved at all. Just you and the shutter and all the mechanical energy you put into it. An Olympus OM-1 is similar and is what I learned on.

    There are a plethora of good, cheap lenses out there for the Pentax K-1000. Flashes are pretty cheap too. You should be able to get a workable camera setup for $300. You won't get any decent telephoto, but hell, you can easily end up spending more than $300 on a single telephoto lens, even an old one for an old camera.
     
  6. jwkwd

    jwkwd TPF Noob!

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    Olympus is a good choice, also Canon AE-1's can be found very cheap as well as Nikon FE's or FM's. If you look at *bay, you can probably find anyone of them with a couple of lenses easily for less than $300.00
     
  7. Frequent Traveler

    Frequent Traveler TPF Noob!

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    If you are looking for an all manual film camera, my personal, all-time favorites (and get my highest recommendation) are the Minolta srT102's and later srT202's. There are HUNDRED's available on the e Bay. Both camera models are all manual except the light meter and are simply a pleasure to use. For me, using them always brings me back to the essentials for composition and light use.

    I too could recommend the Pentax K1000 (it was my first "studying photography" camera as well). They can do most everything you would want a camera for and an excellent brand for lenses, but my fav's are the Minoltas - most of their lenses reproduce colors in a way i really like.

    The great news is that these manual film cams can be picked up cheaply - at least for Minolta, Olympus, and Pentax and their respective lenses .

    I am not meaning to flame or troll here. I don't mean to exclude Canon or Nikon - both have excellent models as well, but prices tend to be a bit higher and in manual film cameras there is little true quality superiority - despite all the spamming reply's this comment may generate. Again, i am not meaning to flame!!! Excellent photo's can be taken with nearly any "modern" camera.

    Enjoy your new adventure!

    fm
     
  8. ksmattfish

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

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    First I'd decide if you want an older, manual focus, mostly mechanical, metal body 35mm SLR, or a modern, auto-focus, mostly electronic, plastic body 35mm SLR. After that as long as you go with one of the well known brands (and even some not so well known brands) you probably can't go wrong. People have their pet brands, but overall they all make very good cameras, and they are all really very similar (although the advertising departments at the manufacturers don't want you to think that, but it's true).
     
  9. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    If you are in the US, I would suggest you buy through KEH.com. They are very reliable, and their used equipment is always arrives as advertised.
     
  10. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I suggest going with Nikon or Canon becuase they have an extremly wide variety of lenses.

    I use my Nikon FE all the time for night photography, it can PERFECTLY meter and expose shots for hours on end. granted I have a motor drive on it (IMO this is a MUST) but it's a real brick of a body. It's old (1977) and it still works like it's brand new even though it's been dropped a couple dozen times. The viewfinder is huge (i can't see the whole thing when i wear my eyeglasses) and bright. For someone who hasn't used an SLR before, I wouldnt suggest anything else but the FE, FE-2, FM, and nikon's of the like.
     
  11. dharma

    dharma TPF Noob!

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    my first slr is a Zenit E that i got for cheap off ebay. do you think its a good camera. the lens is helios-44
     
  12. ksmattfish

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

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    I've never used one, but the reviews I've seen usually say it's a great camera for the money. Built like a tank, decent lenses, and simple operations with no fancy features to speak of (some folks might not like this, but I do). The only complaint seems to be that the meters tend to fail. Oh well, if that happens get a hand held meter or use Sunny 16. None of the meters in my Pentax Spotmatics (very similar to the Zenit) work either.
     

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