Need a camera

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by mintwin101, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. mintwin101

    mintwin101 TPF Noob!

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    So i am still debating between film and digital. This will be my first camera. At first i said digital because you dont have to pay for the film and getting the film developed and i thought that would be cheaper in the long run. Which may be true. Then i realized that it doesnt matter the cost in the long run if you cant afford the camera itself. So I am thinking about film now. I have no idea how much new ones cost if you can even get them new anymore. But what camera would you suggest for a beginner hopefully in the price range of under $300. If that is not possible i can probably go up to 400. thank you in advance
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Would you consider used cameras?

    You can get a good new 35mm flim SLR & lens, most likely for less than $300. Used ones can be had for much cheaper. Maybe you could even find someone who is selling a whole kit with a camera, a couple lenses and flash etc.
     
  3. mintwin101

    mintwin101 TPF Noob!

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    ya, i am bassically looking used
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are many, many options.

    Being a Canon shooter...I'll offer some Canon suggestions but other brands are good as well.

    The entry level Canon Auto Focus SLR cameras are the EOS Rebel series. The newer ones have a few more options but any of them will be able to get the job done. You can probably find them pretty cheap.

    The next level up is the EOS ELAN series. They are a bit bigger and tougher and have a few more options. They have the thumb wheel which is just great.

    There are 'pro' bodies like the EOS 3 or EOS 1 series...but that may be more than what you need.

    Practically more important than the camera is the lens...so consider that.

    You could go with something even older...you don't need to get an autofocus camera...but the advantage of going with a Canon EOS...is that the lenses will be compatible with a Canon EOS digital body, if you ever get one. The same is true of Nikon, or Pentax etc.
     
  5. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    You'll easily find a good film SLR for $50 or less. Lenses can be more expensive, especially if compatible with current digital SLRs in which case they will still be in demand. But yes $300 is easily enough for a film SLR body and a couple of pretty good lenses.
     
  6. mintwin101

    mintwin101 TPF Noob!

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    Okay, so i was looking and i found a nikon N75 body but what kind of lens should i look for
     
  7. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Well the N75 is ok. Don't feel you have to go for the first reasonably priced camera you see though. Prices of film cameras are ridiculously low and everyone's trying to offload them. If sticking with Nikon you might be able to get an F80 for the same price.

    In terms of lenses, well that's up to you. I'd usually recommend a 50mm prime, something like a 50mm f/1.7. That's generally considered a "standard" focal length on 35mm cameras. You might also want a wide-angle and/or a telephoto. You could probably get a decent zoom for not too much; maybe something like a 19-35mm for wide-angle and a 70-200mm for telephoto.
     
  8. mintwin101

    mintwin101 TPF Noob!

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    is there a big difference in quality between the F80 and the N75?
     
  9. deanimator

    deanimator TPF Noob!

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    Since this is gonna be your first camera, I would like to suggest you borrow one from a friend who can also guide you a little.
    There are a few things to find out...how photography works and what you really want for example. The practical side as well as the "mystical"...!

    Take some time before you commit your money.

    You have the right idea: the best tool to learn with is a manual film camera...
     
  10. mintwin101

    mintwin101 TPF Noob!

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    Thats my problem I dont really have any friends or know anyplace that is into photography. Most teenagers around my area are just what some call couch potatoes.
     
  11. cigrainger

    cigrainger TPF Noob!

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    Okay I'm just going to throw this out and I'll probably get yelled at for this. To initially get into photography, $300-400 isn't going to get you a dSLR. If you can't use a dSLR (which is the fastest way to learn IMO, due to being able to expose so many shots without development costs, review instantly, and see the EXIF data), don't get a film camera that's all automated. You won't be forced to *learn*, compose your shots, etc. Autofocus can be good if you're into wildlife, sports, or weddings, but IMO a fully mechanical, fully manual SLR with a meter is the way to go to learn.

    Check out the used market for cameras such as the Pentax K1000 or Nikon FM2. Both are cameras you could have for the rest of your life because they are built so well. Both have a wonderful selection of lenses. I recommend getting one or the other, a fast 50mm prime lens, and either a 35mm or 135mm lens to start off (depending on whether you like the idea of landscapes or portraits among other things).

    This will allow you to get an idea of exposure, lighting, focusing, and composition. Use some of your money to either take a photography course at your local community college or invest in a few books to get you started. The web also has a wealth of information.

    Good luck, and remember this is just the opinion of one person. The beautiful thing about photography is that the camera is a tool -- ultimately the photographer is the artist. From digital point and shoots to 35mm rangefinders to dSLRs to medium format to pinhole cameras to whatever you want, I've seen good photographers make good pictures. We all have different tastes in what tool works for us.

    It's my belief that a simple, manual/metal/mechanical 35mm SLR with a good fast 50mm prime will be a great starting point to learn about using light as an artistic medium or archiving tool. From there you can try different things as you decide where your interests lie in photography and what works for you. Specifically with the Pentax and I think the Nikon, if you continue the hobby and buy a digital SLR later, you can still use the lens(es) you have for the film SLR.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  12. deanimator

    deanimator TPF Noob!

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    There you go...my opinion as well!
     

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