Just Starting...Do I have a decent camera?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dmmackey91, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. dmmackey91

    dmmackey91 TPF Noob!

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    I am just starting out in photography...Its incredibly fun and a great way to be creative. I just have a couple of questions. I got the camera from my dad...its a Sears KS500. Is it a good camera?? And what kind of Macro lens would you recommend? Thanks everyone for your input! :D
     
  2. ksmattfish

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

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    It's pretty old, but there's nothing wrong with that. It has everything you need to learn photography. It uses K-mount lenses, which is the lens mount for Pentax lenses. Other lens manufacturers also make K-mount lenses.

    To me macro means you can get a 1:1 ratio. This means if you photograph a coin it will be actual size on the negative. Many lens manufacturers claim that their lenses are macro lenses, but they aren't 1:1. Make sure you are getting a lens that will do what you want.
     
  3. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I think in your case, if you have a 50mm for the camera, I would look for first, K mount extension tubes which would help make your 50mm a macro lens, or try some of the magnifying filters before investing in a macro lense.
     
  4. DepthAfield

    DepthAfield TPF Noob!

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    As long as your old KS500 operates properly, it will serve you well.

    In fact, when asked by friends about what type of film SLR I recommend for learning photography… I typically suggest the purchase of a camera like yours. More specifically, of the same vintage.

    My logic behind this recommendation?

    1. Older film SLR’s of this type are relatively inexpensive to purchase on the used market. Ebay is chock full of these older cameras (often with a nice selection of lenses), for a few hundred bucks. If the “photography bug” withers and dies, a ton of money is not lost to the dust collecting top shelf of a junk closet.

    2. These older cameras force the would-be photographer to actually think about the results of chosen aperture and shutter speed. The difference between MAKING a photograph, and taking a SNAPSHOT, is the thought process involved prior to pushing the magic button. Along with the advent of low-cost digitals, has come a huge influx of people who will never understand anything other than “Full Auto” mode. Are these people making photographs? Nope! Are they taking snapshots? Yep! There is certainly more to making a photograph than just the operation of the camera of course, but learning the basics of exposure is first on the list.

    3. I cut my SLR “teeth” on a mid-seventies Fuji ST-605 with goofy matchstick metering… Everyone should share the pain that came with that camera!!:wink:
     
  5. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Your Sears KS500 was manufactured by Ricoh. Its K mount gives you access to a whole range of lenses, many of which are excellent by any standard. The 35mm rigs from that time period were built like tanks. My own 35mm system, based on similar bodies, was purchased new in the 70's and continues to function beautifully to this day.

    For really exploring macro, I agree with the extension tube recommendation. Macro work usually means dealing with a very shallow depth of focus. Much of it is best done from a tripod. Extension tubes often include a lens-reversing ring. You can use this ring and the tubes to get an image on the negative that is larger than the original. There are exposure corrections involved. But that's something for you to learn about later on.

    If you don't have a manual for your camera, you can download one for the KS100 from:

    http://www.butkus.org/chinon/sears_ks-1000/sears_ks-1000-splash.htm
     
  6. LWW

    LWW TPF Noob!

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    What camera body to have is the most overrated thing in photography. The most useful and important tools are:

    -Your mind.
    -Experience.

    I could, and sometimes still do, take as good a photo with my old Nikon F manual everything and a handheld meter. The newer gee whiz cameras allow me to do the same thing only faster...and sometimes that can only be a hindrance.

    The appeal of modern cams to beginners is that you can take decent pics as soon as you put batteries in it. The downside is that most newbs never sharpen their skills to take GREAT pics.

    I encourage everyone to begin with an older MF camera like yours. You will make plenty of mistakes learning...but you will learn. If you stick with it even those mistakes will teach you that it could be used creatively under another circumstance.

    LWW
     
  7. dmmackey91

    dmmackey91 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks to everyone for the input! I really appreciate it! I have one more question...what about a flash? Right now I'm working with no flash and honestly its getting quite annoying at sometimes. Thanks again
     
  8. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I believe your camera has a hot shoe. There are many flash units which will work. You might consider a plug-in, bracket-mounted flash, though. These give you all sorts of freedom for positioning, including off-camera. I've used both, and prefer the bracket-mounted unit.
     
  9. Luke

    Luke TPF Noob!

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    HERE HERE!!
     
  10. ksmattfish

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

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    It's even a better camera than I thought! My first 35mm SLR was a Ricoh KR-5. Probably very similar to this one.
     

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