Old vs. New?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by XxMerlinxX, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. XxMerlinxX

    XxMerlinxX TPF Noob!

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    I notice that when it comes to film cameras, a lot of the guys on the board seem to go with older cameras that were produced in the late 80's or even older. What is it about the older cameras that you like more? Is it just the style/feel of the camera or do they do something better than the newer modern cameras? Just curious.
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Hey! :irked: ... Now I feel really old :lol:

    In answer to the question... well some are completely mechanical and work without batteries. Also they generally feel more solid, and often they are. Sometimes people just prefer the relative simplicity of older cameras. Maybe there's a vague sense of owning a piece of photographic history. Personally I appreciate cameras as works of design and engineering, as well as their suitability as tools, regardless of their age - but I can buy an older professional-grade camera for much less than a modern one. Of course this is when talking about film, and the body is not so important... I can't imagine too many people in 2027 choosing to use today's DSLRs.
     
  3. deanimator

    deanimator TPF Noob!

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    My mechanical Olympus cameras...lenses etc were stolen in a street attack near Times Square in New York in 1993
    I was on an assignment and had to continue working...replaced everything with top of the line EOS gear...very good equipment but I am still very sorry that I don´t still have my lovely to hold, perfectly reliable, manual old friends.

    14 years later I sometimes think I´d be quite happy to dump this gear and buy myself a set of Olympus manual cameras again...maybe I would if they were available.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For the same reasons why people like to drive old cars..

    Look, feel, simplicity,

    some enjoy it more....
     
  5. XxMerlinxX

    XxMerlinxX TPF Noob!

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    Lol, didn't mean to offend. Just in terms of technology, 20 years is a heck of a long time, and as with most things there have been leaps and bounds as far as advancement goes.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Doesn't take much to try it out yourself... in this digital world, film cameras are now easily obtainable real cheap.

    hand held meter + spotmatic + 50 f2 takumar should work out nicely.
     
  7. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    No offence taken ;)

    As for advancement, well yes and no... again talking about film cameras here... film has been continually improved. Lenses improved too, though more so with zooms - personally I've yet to be convinced that prime lenses have really improved that much. As for the cameras themselves, obviously the main advancement was autofocus... though even that is from the mid-80s. Then there's metering; yes fairly advanced matrix metering has become common in most SLRs, but it's still not infallible, and in some situations (like low-light metering) the metering systems in modern cameras are still outdone by those of some cameras over 20 years old. Technology certainly advances, but that doesn't always mean improvement... again what really matters is the film and the glass; people don't generally look at a print and say "That must have been taken with a Nikon F6" ;)
     
  8. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Personally, I like the time that it takes to set up the camera (shooting 4x5 format) and think about what I want out of that shot. The older equipment does slow me down to the point where I think a lot about the shot. I'm not saying that digital camera users don't take the time to think about the shot, this is just my personal experience with older stuff.
     
  9. spazoid1965

    spazoid1965 TPF Noob!

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    Well I guess I'm one of those you're talking about. I drive a 30 year old pick up. Still listen to vinyl albums on a 42 year old turn table. 1/2 of the telephones in my house are rotory dial phones. And I'm still shooting film with several vintage camears ( Olympus OM1 & OM10, Nikormat FT2 & EL ). I only have manual focus lenses. These things have held up well over the years. During the last 3 decades photography equipment changed drastically. The market was flooded with with cheap plastic bodied automatic cameras. These cameras were designed to be used by people who did not care to learn about exposure, apeture, shutter speed, focusing, lighting, etc. They include features like: auto focus, pop out flashes, built in auto winders, auto zoom, etc. For people who do not like or use these feature it was things we had to work around or override. These things also did not last as long. Mainly becuase the cameras would have been to heavy with these features on them. So the manufacturers had to use lighter flimsier materials. Here are somethings I've learned about most manufactured goods:

    Plastic will rot and crack before metal will.

    The fewer parts a machine has, the fewer parts that will wear out.

    A chinnese made computerized controlled electronic device will not last as long as a quality made mechanical device.

    The battery in an FT2 will last about 5-7 years. While most modern cameras need new batteries constantly.

    So why an I still ussing these older things? Becuase after several decades they still work well. And I an in total control not the computer in the camera.
     
  10. Rusty_Tripod

    Rusty_Tripod TPF Noob!

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    Some of them take darn good pictures. I had an old rangefinder that I bought for $15 that took amazing quality shots. Unfortunately, it succumbed to the monsoon rains of DaNang, Vietnam.

    My first SLR did just as well, but I sold it when I was hard up for cash.

    I use old cameras because they are affordable, manual, dependable, and they interact with me and my thinking. I get to do more than press a button and shout about my accomplishments as a photographer. They keep me in my place on many occasions and make me stretch to points no digitial where would ever take me.

    Rusty Tripod
     

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