New to photography, have some questions.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by stephenk, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. stephenk

    stephenk TPF Noob!

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    I am new to photography. I recently picked up a used Canon EOS Rebel 2000 35mm Film SLR with a 20-80mm lens. I've never used an SLR camera or done much photography, but I'd really like to learn using my film SLR before I invest in a good dSLR. I've decided I would practice for a while on color film (I picked up some ISO 200 color film since I'm mostly interested in outdoor photography) and have those processed at a photo lab. Once I learn the ins and outs of the camera and have a bit more experience shooting in this way, I'd like to buy some dark room equipment and B&W film and learn to develop and print my own B&W photos. Once I become accustomed to that, I'd like to buy a DSLR. I have the following questions:

    1. What are some needed accessories for the camera I listed above?
    2. What are some good books, video series, etc that teach basic film photography and B&W developing and printing ( I don't have any classes in my area)
    3. What is a good budget to lay out for a home dark room and what sort of materials should I look into and learn about?
    4. Will lenses I purchase for my canon EOS rebel 2000 work with other Canon cameras for when I am ready to upgrade to a DSLR?
    5. How do I know when I'm ready to go for a DSLR?
    6. Where do you find B&W film? I've had trouble actually locating it.
    7. How is the process for developing and printing black and white photographs different from the process of doing the same with color?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2010
  2. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Hello Stephen and welcome to the forum.

    I would say you are taking a different journey than most who come to this site.
    You have some interesting questions and I am looking forward to those who know more about this than I, for the answers.
     
  3. stephenk

    stephenk TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! Is different a bad thing? :lmao: How exactly is my approach different?
     
  4. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    1) Lens cleaning device, UV filter, polarizing filter, tripod, flash - in that order.
    2) Kodak's "Joy of Photography" (if it's still around) Tom Ang's "Fundamentals of Photography" - both give a great overall view.
    3) Go to B and H or adorama to see the prices.
    4) Maybe, I'll let Canon people answer that.
    5) In my opinion, play around with the film camera, don't waste too much money on it or developing equipment and just take photos, you'll be up to speed quickly.
    6) Kodak, Agfa and Fuji are the major film producers - I would go to their websites and see if they list where to buy it.
    7) From what I remember reading about it - similar but require different chemicals.

    Honestly, anybody is ready for a DSLR. Using a film camera is great, I have a film SLR and loved using it but could never find decent local processing places. Once the negative is developed, you can only get that quality out. Film has merits but so does digital. I think for most non professional people digital is the way to go these days. If you're lucky enough to be around a film processing place that has good technique - that is fantastic but you may find a lot of bad places. Developing yourself will eliminate that but it can get somewhat expensive IMO for all the chemicals and papers that may be needed.
     
  5. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    I wouldn't say different, but in today's world, very un-economical.... unless you have lots of money to toss. If you went with a dslr first, that is your only real expenditure. After that, you can learn for free by shooting all you want and see your results (mistakes) instantly. Being someone who learned on film, it can be very expensive to shoot a bunch of rolls just to see a couple of pics that came out halfway OK, and not even remember your settings. Digitals capture what's called EXIF data so you can look up what settings were used for each shot. IMO, I have learned far more in the past few years of digital than 15 years of film.
     
  6. JasonLambert

    JasonLambert TPF Noob!

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    I am new also and I believe I did it the way most newbies do it. I went out and bought a decent DSLR and a couple of used lenses. Depending on how much you are going to shoot this could end up being cheaper than buying film and developing just to see you didn't get the shot that you thought you would.

    I have had my DSLR for just about three months and have shot well over 5,000 shots. Out of them I have kept on my computers hard drive about 200 and have only printed 7. I'm getting better at getting the shot I am looking for but I still have to tweak my settings a bit and am able to do that while I have the chance to retake the shot (God Willing) instead of having to remember what I did hours or even days ago.

    I don't think that there is anything wrong with the way you are starting. As long as you are having a good time!
     
  7. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Stephen
    Im relatively new to photography and I initailly went with a dslr primarily because the cost of film. I can simply take mutiple pictures with my dslr and delete those that dont meet expectations before I save them. Adjust their appearance on the computer and before I print anything I know what Im getting.
    Now having said that, most schools still teach film and developing as basic course work, my daughter just went through it for her graphic art requirements.
     
  8. stephenk

    stephenk TPF Noob!

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    As far as economically viable goes, I don't mind investing in both, really. I think I'd just like to be able to know how to do these things. Anyway, for me, dSLR would be a much more expensive option since I am a technophile and would want to buy the most expensive stuff I could possibly afford. With an SLR, I can sort of learn my way for a bit and just buy a really nice and shiny expensive system when I get better at it. I don't plan to stay on film for very long, but I think that I should have some exposure (no pun intended) to the medium. I may just try and see if there is a dark room for rent somewhere near just so I can learn the process and get a nice dSLR in a few months. My main concern is learning techniques. I'll take a look at some of the books you've suggested in this post. Are there any other good ones that deserve a look?
     
  9. vtf

    vtf No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Because you'll learn the patience needed for a great shot with film, you may have a better shot at perfecting your skills in a greater sense than those of us who click 100 shots for 2 pictures worth. Or maybe its just my adhd that is the reason for buying a dslr. :lol:
     
  10. Vinny

    Vinny TPF Noob!

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    Film photographers do go through a lot of film to get "THAT SHOT". I have a huge book of slides that I took back in the good old days and I have a page of about 20 that are my best shots. What you have now is the fact you can delete anything that you don't like. Back then you would bracket for aperture and shutter speed depending on what you want the photo to look like. So you may take 3 or 4 shots of the same thing and hope you got it right. I remember trying to get a certain look with a fountain and took a whole roll of B&W film of that stupid fountain hoping that one of the photos came out correctly. Today you will shoot and delete until you get the look you want.

     
  11. tom beard

    tom beard TPF Noob!

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    I've had a camera in my hand for much of my life, and learned with an SLR. There are three basic things you need to master. The speed or sensitivity to light of the film (ISO), the aperture which is the amount of light you allow through the lens to expose the film (the aperture or f stop also controls the depth of field. A low number such as f1.8 will narrow the depth of field so the foreground and background can be out of focus while the mid ground will be sharp. A high f stop such as f22 can make everything, foreground, mid range and back ground in focus. The third thing is the shutter speed which allows the amount of time the light can strike the film. A low shutter speed (say 1/30 sec) can be used for static or non moving photos where as a faster speed (1/500 sec) can stop a flying bird and the photo of the bird will be sharp. This is simplified, but once you master these three elements and how they work together and it becomes second nature, you have the basics of photography.

    When you go to DSLR, these three things still apply except you have an infinite variety of adjustments you can use to control the basics. The sensor replaces the film, so you can switch from B&W to color without changing film. Also you can change the film speed (ISO) without changing film. Also, extraordinarily expensive dark room equipment can be replaced with an inexpensive computer program that will accomplish most of what you can do in the darkroom in a fraction of the time and cost.

    I recently got a good DSLR, and there are so many choices, it's taking me time to get used to what the camera can do, but without the basic background with the SLR, learning the more sophisticated DSLR would be confusing and frustrating.

    Best of luck, Tom Beard
     

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