Getting Started in Film

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by addies, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. addies

    addies TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys,

    So I've been wanting to get into photography for a fairly long time and up until this point I've been using a seven year old point and shoot, digital camera. I've been looking into SLR photography and I figured that the best (i.e. cheapest) way to get into it is via Film SLR Camera's. I've been browsing Craigslist, Kijiji, etc in hopes of finding some and I've come across a couple:

    1. Yashica FX-D for $45 with a lens that has a focal zoom range of 35 to 200 and macro close up. The lens has F4 to F22 aperture range. ​

    2. Nikon Pronea S for $20 with standard lens.​

    3. Minolta Dimage 7i for $25 (not film I know but for $25?)​

    Any of these deals seem worth it?
    I'm kind of leaning towards the FX-D.

    Thanks In Advance!
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  2. stephen

    stephen TPF Noob!

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    If you are buying old cameras it may be the less electronics the better. I'm hearing from people in the business that they don't like the old electronic systems because they break down and are too costly to repair as compared to the more mechanical models that seem to go on forever and cost less to repair.

    Film, can cost you a lot. You will find that if you are scanning the film that one hour places may tend to give you junk. And that finding a lab that does good work is difficult and expensive and maybe impossible in the end. Lets say you buy a 40 dollar camera then add a few lenses, buy a scanner, and shoot a number of rolls of film. In one year you could easily approach the cost of a several year old consumer grade digital SLR camera with a kit lens.

    Me? I"m using Minolta 35mm cameras bought on EBay. Ebay is a hot bed of cheap old cameras. And God help me to never buy more glass, I've got a ton of Minolta and third party glass. I've had an old X-700 refurbished and have been shooting with it for a year. Also just had my old Minolta XG-M refurbished. I've been out shooting with a Pentax K1000 someone gave me. And for medium format I have four different Mamiya cameras my best condition is a 645E that was a display model and never used. I've used it quite a bit and it takes great images.

    I've spent so much money on film, 50 dollars just to get 6 rolls developed at a good lab last week, that I'm now starting to shoot with black and white and preparing to develop my own black and white film.

    IN the end I'll wind up doing most of my color work on a nice prosumer digital and use my old film cameras for fun with black and white.

    I scan all the film into the computer then work it in Elements and Lightroom.

    I think considering digital is a good thing because in the end, it will cost you a lot less than film. I play with old film cameras because I have the money and the time and it's my hobby.
     
  3. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The Nikon Pronea is not a 35mm camera -- it uses APS film. It's easy to use
    but not so easy if you get to the point of wanting to develop and print your
    own images. I would not recommend it for someone who wants to explore film.

    The Yashica is fine (assuming it is in good condition and working properly of
    course).
     
  4. addies

    addies TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice!

    My main idea was to shoot in black and white for the film camera because I've always been interested in developing the film myself, my school has a darkroom so I believe I can use that. Because of the lens which the Yashica comes with, I wasn't planning on getting any new ones soon, so hopefully that won't rack the cost up.

    Any tips for inspecting a camera before buying?
     
  5. addies

    addies TPF Noob!

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    Quick Update:

    Just found a Yashica FX-2 for $30, this one is a full manual with the stock lens. Is it worth the extra $15 for the FX-D? I'm on a pretty small budget.
     
  6. stephen

    stephen TPF Noob!

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    How does the lens compare? The macro feature can be nice. Here is a link to a macro I shot the other day with an old zoom lens.

    http://home.comcast.net/~disposable12/macrolimb.jpg

    I can't help you on the cameras but I should think if your budget is so limited the lens would be more important than the model. 35 to 200 is a very good range. Almost wide angle all the way out to a longer telephoto and macro work to boot.

    Does the other camera have that good a lens on it?
     
  7. Hamtastic

    Hamtastic TPF Noob!

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    Go to Ebay and look for a Ricoh KR-5. It's a wonderful 35mm SLR that uses Pentax mount lenses. It will cost you maybe $25.
     
  8. compur

    compur No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The FX-2 is fine if in good condition. Probably better as a starter camera
    then the FX-D as it is simpler. It's also more rugged with a lot less
    electronics to go haywire with age. And, the FX-2's basic 50mm lens is
    probably better to learn on than the huge zoom on the FX-D that you were
    looking at. The FX-2 was Yashica's last "heavy metal" 35mm SLR and is
    built like a tank.
     
  9. SilverUser

    SilverUser TPF Noob!

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    I would buy a used pro top-of-the-line SLR from Nikon or Canon; their latest. They sell for a song, and are bullet proof, and their electronics will last a heck of a lot longer then mechanical mechanisms of old. Buy a grip for them that takes AA batteries and your set. These latest bodies handle their respective proprietery flashing TTL logic which is exceedingly good. They are cheap! They are the best.
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just what is your budget?

    Not to be nosy or anything but it makes a difference on how you get from where you are to where you want to be.

    An old Nikon would be useful if you see yourself going into DSLRs and want to be able to use the lenses that you aquire in the meantime.

    If you are really strapped and look to be for a while (sux but is Nothing to feel too bad about in this economy) How about a nice rangefinder? Yashica makes one and Canon made one called a Canonet QL17 that is a great performer.

    The thing with rangefinders is that you can do great work and not have to have a LOT of money tied up in extra lenses.

    Plus if you want to have fun along with making great images, look for an older Kodak Retina or even an older Russian camera?
     
  11. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yeah - what he said.

    Unless there is some specific reason you want an old manual-everything camera, I see no reason to go with anything but the best...

    The top-of-the-line 35mm SLRs from 10 or 15 years ago sell for pennies now...

    I paid $200 for a near perfect 1N RS... Digital is just now catching up with the frame rate in RS mode (10 FPS ... 6 millisecond shutter lag)...

    That's pretty much my main camera now - I hardly shoot any digital at all these days...
     
  12. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can definitely manage the cost of your film.

    First off, get yourself a film scanner. If you're shooting 35mm you shouldn't have trouble finding a used one on ebay, or a new one for not a lot of money

    If you don't want to develop photos yourself, just ask for "developing only" when you bring in your film. You should be able to do this quite inexpensively because it's printing and scanning that's really expensive

    Second: Shop around for film. Expired film can be very cheap and will significantly reduce your costs.

    And if you find a deal (sometimes the online shops will cut the price of film to move about to expire film), take advantage of it! Buy in bulk when you find cheap film..

    Third: consider developing your own -- expired B+W + self developed film + self scanning won't run you that much

    Fourth: one of the posters on this forum said something I thought was very true digital cameras still have a per shot cost -- you'll need to replace them more often then film cameras, and you'll need to spend money on other things -- like storage, a backup solution, memory for your camera, etc., so film vs. digital is not so cut and dried as "buy a digital camera never pay any money again"
     

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