newbie here... looking for 1st SLR... need help

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by matson, Jul 7, 2004.

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What camera do you have? (if more than one, pick fav)

  1. Nikon

    35.0%
  2. Canon

    45.0%
  3. Minolta

    10.0%
  4. Pentax

    10.0%
  5. Other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. matson

    matson TPF Noob!

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    hey, i'm new to the forum, but not to SLR's... i've borrowed them from others for years... but i'm horrible... dad was good, very good, but i never wanted to learn... now i'm in my 30's and want to learn...

    i would love to have the convenience of being able to see my results on the back screen immediately, like on the D70 camera, but when i calculate how many shots i assume i would take a week on a [film] SLR, and do the math, a dSLR would not pay off for 2yrs for me... so it would be MORE than worth it for me to get used to a SLR (thinking of the N75) for a year or two... i mean, i could get new model (n75?) for less than $150, use it for 1-2yrs, sell it with much less loss (from what i see on eBay) than dSLR's have to deal with, then have a few lenses that i can use on the new D7000 (or whatever they call what is out in 2yrs...)... besides.. i don't have the cash to spend on a good dSLR right now, even if my math IS wrong...

    so sorry for the novel.. i guess that's my intro... as for me, i'm a perfectly normal bloke just like everyone else.... but what i want from you is what you think of the n75? if i can get the n75 or the canon rebel Ti, which should i get? or something else in that price range? i have to have full manual controls and full auto controls... so no FM10's... and yes, i'm partial to the nikon n75... just after handling it at RitzCamera, here in California. anyone want to sway me away from getting a nikon without getting into a conversation about how the canon (or whatever) is superior to the nikon once you get into the super-$1000 level range... i want to know for $300, my needs (auto+man, low budget, plus i'm a gadget freak), what is best? I only want the 50mm lens at first (it's all i'm really used to using), so my 1st lens is not going to be too pricey... i'm just worried about which camera system i should subscribe to... sorry for the novel again.. thx ahead of time for the help... and hey, don't rip me apart...
     
  2. matson

    matson TPF Noob!

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    not getting much response here (except the poll... thx for that...)
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok... I'll drop my two cents....

    I started out with my fathers Minolta 7000 and loved it. I borrowed ( stole ) it throughout college but quickly got turned on to the Canon after I graduated. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it even though its quite outdated now. I currently own a d30 and an Elan IIe. I really enjoy both the cameras. I have to say that the D30 has really pushed me to experiment more. The canon 50mm f1.8 is only about $60 bucks

    Most of my acquaintences shoot with Nikon and are really big fans of that branding. IMO, you can't go wrong with either line. There's a lot of personal preferences involved. All I can say is head out and try them for size at the local shops.

    I know you said you wanted full auto too but if I were to do it all over again, I would probably have bought a mid-70s manual SLR. Canon AE-1, Nikon FE, Pentad K-mounts... I would require that it has in-camera metering. There is a lot of great manual glass out there at rock bottom prices. In fact, I just purchased a Pentax Spotmatic with a Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 lens for about $80 bucks. Bang for buck, you can't beat that with modern camera systems.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    When you calculated how much film you think you would shoot and then converted it to time/money...you are forgetting the best part of digital. You can & will shoot more shots. You can try different things, experiment or just keep shooting until you get one that you like.

    So if you think of it in reverse...you will probably take so many more shots with a digital that the extra cost of the camera vs film & developing will most likely be eaten up a matter of weeks or months.



    I have heard people say...

    Nikon makes the best lenses, Minolta makes the best bodies and Canon make the best compromise.

    I'm a Canon guy so I'll vote for that...but you really can't go wrong either way.
     
  5. matson

    matson TPF Noob!

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    some great advice there! thx... really making me think about getting some good deal on an old manual due to the cheap lens prices... but the camera would be shared by wife & i, and not only would i enjoy the gadgetry, but wife wouldn't use a manual camera... but it's nice to hear that someone has good stuff to say about the canon end of things... most people have been saying something like this, "if i was you and had $$$, i would get the whatever-whatever, but in that price range, i'd recommend the n75 over the rebel Ti"...

    i read that the n75 cannot adjust the DX setting manually... but the Ti can...
    i read that people feel like the Ti is more rugged, with it's larger lens mount...
    i read that nikons have lots of backwards compatability...

    ... man, it's still confusing to me... going to go to another camera shop tonight and see what the salesman tries to sell me... see what i can learn... :)
     
  6. matson

    matson TPF Noob!

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    oops, i replied to usayit, btw... just read big mike's comments...

    you're right mike, but the truth is that i should calculate how much of a cost both choices would be for me (i.e.: how I, with my own habits, would use both products)... over a time period that i find acceptable.. ..

    (comparing a n80 to a d70... no lenses)
    so that means me calculating what i would spend with a n80 in one year to a d70 in one year (because after 1yr, i may decide to sell!... i know how i am. :) ... i do that)..
    price of d70 + price of medium (cheap 512mb card?) = maybe $1000?
    price of n80 + (film + processing)x #of rolls/yr = ...
    $250 + $10 x 50 = $250 + 500 = $750

    bottom line... with film, i can spend the money in shifts and spend less up front... like a car loan... $2k down, $200/mo..., instead of $30,000 all up front... i don't have $1000 and won't for another 6mo even with saving.... i don't feel comfortable with the digital camera's that are out there right now... I want one... but i need a camera now (school) that can do film. my budget & time constraints point towards film for me...

    as a side note, i do not consider the d70 an acceptable replacement of a film camera, and the n80 camera is 2x the cost of the camera i'm looking at: the n75... but it still shows where i'm coming from...
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here's another compromise you might not have considered.

    Before I got my D30, I got an good ( 2400dpi ) film scanner for under $100. Refurbished used on ebay. After shooting a roll, I would get it developed for about $2.50 at my local photo lab and they would provide just the index print. No prints. I would take those negatives and examine them using my scanner. Sometimes I would actually take the time and get a really good scan to play with on photoshop. If I found a print I really liked, I would get them enlarged back at the lab using the 35mm negatives. Kinda a middle route keeping one hand with 35mm and the other in digital. Cost is kept down mainly because you are not paying for prints for every roll processed and you still have the option to get good enlargements directly from negative.

    Sounds like your wife would enjoy a good 35mm point and shoot rather than manipulate any type of SLR; auto or manual. For the price of many manual cameras, you should have a little bit left over to get a good ( perhaps used ) point and shoot ( perhaps in the near future ). My wife was more happy snapping away with disposables than using my Elan in full auto. On vacation, it was also cumbersome passing the camera back and forth. Two years ago, I got her a Minolta point and shoot with zoom... been happy ever since.

    You mentioned school... will you be studying photography? If so, perhaps you should consider what your professor's opinons on a good student camera. Some say the Pentax K1000 is the classic student camera. I chose the spotmatic for its M42 screw mounted lenses.
     
  8. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    My opinion is this: go with a film camera from the manufacturer of the DSLR you want. Get the cheapest body available that has all the features you need.

    Spend the extra money on good quality glass. in-camera bells and whistles are nice, but they do not impact image quality nearly as much as the quality of the lens you snap on.

    I'm a Canon guy, and I own a Ti and an EOS 5. If I ever go digital, I can get a Canon and have 5 lenses ready to go.
     
  9. matson

    matson TPF Noob!

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    usayit... aren't film negative scanners really expenisve? i'm just asking, because if i'm thinking about what you're talking about, then you got a once-in-a-lifetime deal... or, maybe i just need to look up prices again...

    but that sounds like a great way to go.. sounds like your processing was at least ½-off when you don't do prints... i've never requested just developing before...

    and as far as school is concerned... i just need something that is capable of a full-manual operation... recommended a FM-10, but i'm a gadget freak and would really enjoy learning a new-fangled camera with all the acoutrements. i also think that it would be great sometimes to just have the camera work in some idiot-proof mode, when I just want a quick shot and don't have time to "get it right".. summary: i think i would enjoy a camera that has both manual and auto controls more than the manual ones i'm used to (mainly a ae-1)...

    as for drylnn's comments... sounds like you've been talking to some of the people i've been talking to... i've been hearing that a lot... I don't mean to offend anyone, but i REALLY don't like the digital Rebel, but i've been interested in the D70 since it came out... I also like the feel of the N80 and the D70 feels like the same camera... I think that if they could get the sensor to full 35mm frame (34x26mm[?]), and the price halved, i would go for that in a second... I'm thinking in 2-3yrs that there will be a camera that is really cheap, has a film-sized sensor (having lenses work just as they would on a film camera is a BIG priority to me), and that i like... When my friends found out that i really liked the feel of the D70 over the Digital Rebel they said to go with a N80, but i can save $100 with a N75 and I don't think that i'm going to miss the few extra features and slightly larger body..

    Because of class, my 1st lens will be a 50mm lens and they are fairly cheap, so i'm not too worried about the lens costs... i will get more over time, but it will be over time... i'm thinking of following a plan like you suggested and by the time i have 3 good lenses, i think that the market will have a DSLR in my range with the features i want. :) sorry for the novel again... :)
     
  10. voodoocat

    voodoocat ))<>(( Supporting Member

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    Good plan. Personally I couldn't live w/o a manual ISO setting but is that worth an extra $100 to you?...
     
  11. matson

    matson TPF Noob!

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    hey, i'm going to throw a screwdriver in the works here...

    i just found out that my dad's old camera (ae-1, i think) did full auto exposure, and that some all manual cameras will have full auto exposure, aperature priority, and shutter priority! man, that's the main stuff i've been wanting in a camera...

    so now i'm thinking that i could save a LOT of $$$ get a much cheaper semi-auto older camera that has been kept up well, and sell it after photo classes if i decide i really want to go with something gadgety like a n75 or n80... any faults in this logic? thanks so much for all the help, btw
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you look really hard, you can find a scanner real cheap. I had a HP photosmart S20 that lasted a few years that I bought for under $100. Absolutely had great results from it until it stopped working a few months ago. I'm not talking the newest and greatest technologies that cost anywhere from $400 ( minolta dimage IV - one on my wish list ) to the pros that cost thousands. Look for older technologies that were pretty good for amateur photo fun. A few years ago, I heard some people raving abou the Epson photo flatbed scanners that have slide and 35mm adapters. Perhaps a little research is in order on those. Bad thing about technology is that its expensive new.... good thing about it... its value depreciates fast when other new technologies fall in to replace them. My point is that you want to mainly use the scanner to review your photos from negative and perhaps have some digital capability for posting online or photoshopping. In the end, your prints will always be done by the lab ( or you in darkroom ) from negative.

    drlynn is suggesting a path that makes most sense for many photographer's who have an income to pull from. Cheap body, good glass, upgrade the body ( perhaps DLSR ) in the future. Thats exactly what I did after I graduated and started getting income. ( Remember, I stole my father's minolta 7000 and had it throughout my years in college. ) The feeling I'm getting from your initial post was that even nice glass for current auto everything cameras still might be out of your price range. After all, you are going to school ( a very good thing ). I still remember how hard it was making ends meet in college.

    When you say "full-manual" do you also mean "manual focus" or just "manual exposure"? Another point to consider is that most present day auto SLRs really are a pain when switched to manual focus. They have no form of focus assist at all in the viewfinder as do older manual focus cameras.

    Most of your late 60s to resent manual cameras will be shutter priority, aperature priority, both, or both + program. In general, they will be center average, in-camera metering. I would not recommend getting a camera so old that it will require a handheld or shoe mounted external meter. Some newer ( more expensive models ) have shutter priority, aperature priority, program mode exposure, center average metering, and spot metering. Thats practically 80+% of the functionality present day full auto SLRs have. The Canon AE-1 is shutter priority. There is a Canon AE-1 program that has a program exposure mode.

    Now consider cost. Typical Canon AE-1 on ebay with a 50mm f1.8 is going between $50-$90 bucks. A quick ebay search revealed a Canon FD 135mm f2.5 SC lens with a buy it now price of $135 and I bet you can get it cheaper. It will be tough to find a similar deal on the Canon eos line.

    As I said, I have I purchased the spotmatic for $77. I could probably get a 135mm lens f2.0 lens for under $100. I'm discovering lots of options for a camera that has m42 screwmount.

    So in summary.. no ... there's no fault in your logic. I bet if you went that route, you'll end up keeping your manual system after graduation. By then, you'll have some income to just start a new auto SLR system.

    BTW... here's a link that you migh like,

    http://www.photoethnography.com/equipment.html
     

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