Broken Camera or Photographer?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by rickyg, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. rickyg

    rickyg TPF Noob!

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    I've been trying to get used to my camera, but It's been very frustrating. It's a Minolta Maxxum 7000 AF. My pictures are constantly underexposed at development, even though I have rarely used a speed over 300 and usually with a very wide aperture and a 400 film. Most pictures are taken between Noon and 1pm, or 5-7 pm.

    Could this possibly be a mechanical failure in the camera or lens, or is it just a matter of further adjusting the the aperture/speed settings?

    To give you an idea, only about 25 of my past 100 fotos have resulted in any prints at all, and of those perhaps 5 were properly exposed.

    If it's a matter of myself being a total n00b, what would you recommend to help fix this matter, or get accustomed to the use of a camera?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    -rickyg
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is really no way to determine over the internet if the camera or the photographer are underexposing your photos. Even your lab might be the culprit (although other's using the lab would be complaining as well).

    My suggestion.... find a light meter and or another camera. Take a few readings with the meter or another camera. Then compare it with the exposure the meter in your minolta returns.

    Your minolta 7000 was the SLR I learned off... it was my father's and I stole er. borrowed it through 4 years of college. It is considered the first successfully marketed autofocus 35mm SLR.

    Good luck.
     
  3. niccig

    niccig TPF Noob!

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    What mode are you using it in (program, aperture-priority, shutter priority, manual)? Are you following the suggestions of the meter, if you're in manual?
     
  4. ksmattfish

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

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    Put the camera on full program (full auto), and shoot a roll of print film. If you don't get photos the camera is broken.
     
  5. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I would say to check the camera meter against a hand held meter or another camera. The local camera store can do that for you. From there you can decide what you want to do.

    If the meter is off on full auto you will still get the same over exposed pics. Best to check it against a known meter.
     
  6. ksmattfish

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

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    If you are using print film, and you aren't getting pics at all from 75% of the shots, I think it's something other than a messed up meter. Any lab can make prints from negs that are up to 4 or 5 stops off normal; they won't look so hot, but they should be able to print something. I suggested shooting a roll on full program to rule out operator error or not. If the film comes out close to okay on full program, we know it's the operator.
     
  7. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    As suggested above, set the camera to full auto. (Green 'P' surrounded by the green box).
    Second, shoot one roll of film (12 exp. will work fine for this.) and shoot the camera in various lighting conditions.
    RECORD all of the settings BEFORE you take the picture, and keep track of the settings to each exposure.
    After you get the images developed, check them against the readings you took. If they look good, then its the settings on the camera.
    if they look bad, the two items will either be the lab, or the camera.
    The camera's shutter may be off, or moving too slowly, or too quickly for the setting you put it on. If you can, have the images burned to a CD and post them in order along with the settings you wrote down. Then we can best determine what is wrong.
    Good luck.
     
  8. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I understood him to say they were consistantly underexposed not totally not there. If that is the case I wouldnt think it was the meter.

    Obviously I didn't read it closely enough sorry for the poor advice.
     
  9. rickyg

    rickyg TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for all the tips guys. I was extraordinarily frustrated when I made this post because I just can't seem to get it. Usually when I don't get something right away I either give up, or get obsessive until I get it right. I think photography is well within the obsessive category :D .

    I haven't gotten them put on a CD because it seems like a waste of money when only 1/3rd are even printing anything at all. I might scan some and see what you guys think.

    I'll try out a couple of the suggestions here and hopefully I'll figure something out. Thanks!
     
  10. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    This may sound retarded but I figured I'd add it just in case. Is your camera set to use 400 ISO film? could it possibly be set to something higher such as 1600 which results in the underexposure?
     

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