Buying a 35mm for School

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by GwagDesigns, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. GwagDesigns

    GwagDesigns TPF Noob!

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    So registration for next quarter starts here pretty soon, and i've decided to take B&W film photography, so ill need a film camera. It has to be fully manual, so i was thinking something like a Canon AE-1 But would this be to manual? as it has the [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Program AE and Shutter Speed Priority AE.[/FONT]

    [​IMG]

    What would be a good online place (besides eBay) to buy, and would you recommend a different camera, i want to stay canon, because I'm biased :lol:

    Thanks.
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    I would talk to whoever is running/teaching the course and ask them if it's really essential that you have a "fully manual" camera. As you say, plenty of classic student cameras, like the Canon, have either Program or Aperture/Shutter Priority modes, so technically these are not "fully manual". By that standard, maybe any camera with a built-in light meter would be disqualified.

    Really the only thing they should insist is that the camera is capable of being used fully manual, which is to say that you control the aperture and shutter speed instead of a computer in the camera. This is of course possible on any camera which has a manual mode... which is the vast majority of SLRs.

    If they do insist that you use an older camera without autofocus and modern metering modes... We could all recommend a good student camera, unfortunately this usually means recommending whatever we learned on ;) ... but since you want to stick with Canon, you will have a good choice of fairly cheap manual focus lenses (but do bear in mind that these will not be at all compatible with EOS cameras)... the AE-1 series are ok, but personally within the Canon range I would go for an A-1 or maybe even see if you can get a bargain on an F-1.

    But personally I think you would be fine using a more modern EOS film camera, so long as you point out to the teacher/lecturer that it has a manual mode and can be controlled manually. The advantage of going with a more modern one (apart from there being less chance of having to have the camera serviced) is that the lenses, like that wonderful 50mm, would be compatible between your film and digital EOS.
     
  3. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    From a post of mine on an identical subject some time ago:

    The three classic photo student cameras would be the Canon AE-1, the Nikon FE, and the Pentax Me/Super/Program. I've shot all three on numerous occasions and must say that the Pentax Super Program is by far the best choice. It's compact, lighter weight than the other two, has the most easily readable meter, and has both shutter and aperture priority modes. I also firmly believe that it has the sharpest and best assortment of manual focus lenses (especially primes). The f1.4 and f1.7 can be had for 50 bucks on a good day, and there are several very fast longer primes, such as the 135mm f1.8.
     
  4. Bobby Ironsights

    Bobby Ironsights TPF Noob!

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    I'd take a different tack. Ask around... relatives, friends, friends of relatives, relatives of friends...etc..etc...

    You'd be suprised what people have collecting dust in their old closet.

    Here's the key, don't offer to buy it, people don't accept that what was "expensive" twenty years ago is practically worthless now.

    Just ask to BORROW it, and then give them a few matted prints.

    You just might end up with a camera for free, when people get to thinking..."Hey... I never really used that camera anymore anyway! Why not help the kid out?"

    P.S. If you do have to buy, then yes, Canon Rocks, and A-1 is A-1, except for the old ttl light meters... Which fared less well over the years, than the optics.
     
  5. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I find you stumble across things when you least need them. Once I bought my first camera, I came across another one for a fraction of the price I paid for the first one. Once I bought my medium format, I came across a TLR on the cheap. Last week a friend gave me a Nikon SLR. After I bought my enlarger, I came across a free one on Craigslist. What I'd like you to glean from this rambling is to buy something that you think's usable. Then something else'll pop up when you least expect it! :)
     
  6. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The AE-1 should serve you well enough, if you want alternitive Canons, I use a Canon EF. The EF uses the same lens mounts as the AE-1 (FD and FL) but a short production run makes these a little hard to find and might cost ones first born son to accuire as people who have them don't often part with them. If you find one cheap suck it up, I love mine.
     
  7. omtech

    omtech TPF Noob!

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    For a full manual MECHANICAL camera, try an Olympus OM-1 or 1N. These models feature a mechanical shutter which works without a battery. Perfect for photo class, where you need to know the relationship between shutter speed and f stop. Canon AE-1, Nikon FE, etc. are battery dependent, shutter will not work at all speeds without the battery. I rebuild OM-1/1N bodies and resell them. John, www.zuiko.com
     
  8. Jus7 A Phas3

    Jus7 A Phas3 TPF Noob!

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    I am in a photo class aswell, im using my N70 where i can just switch it to manual and she lets me use it. Also they have those in my class so im sure that would work
     
  9. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's funny everytime friends and family have old cameras they don't use they call me that is where I got 2 of my AE-1's. While I do agre with the guy who suggested you ask around. I wonder though what's wrong with the EOS 630 in your sig?? that is a film camera. I really don't see the point in going out and buying some manual film camera when you have a perfectly good film camera already.
     
  10. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I was just about to say the same...

    Just use the 630....
     
  11. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Some classes today require a higer level of manual controll of the camera than what the 630 may have. By requiring a camera that dose not have advanced settings keeps the students honest, they can not cheat if they don't have a camera capable of some things. You can't teach a kid how to focus a camera by them self when they can auto focus when you are not looking. Now I don't know the 630 so I have no clue as to what it has feature wise and the processes involved with settings but I am sure it is far more advanced than an AE-1.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've never heard of a class that had such requirements... kinda dumb as you can't prove either way just by looking at the negatives. I could always switch to the nicer camera when working on assignments on my own. Just sound like you were actually paying attention to exposure when the professor asks you about the details of the photo.

    If it is true that you must have a completely manual camera... then my recommendation is the ol'Pentax K1000. Takumar/pentax Kmounts are easy to find, good quality, and forward compatible with even the newest of cameras. The old fashioned matched needle TTL meter is a wonderful learning tool in of itself. Oh yeh.. you won't go broke finding a K1000 with a few lenses. ... and this is a true Manual only body.. totally mechanical with the battery only running the meter itself.

    The AE-1 program you picture does have auto-metering-goodies built in.. so at that point you might as well use the 650.
     

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