Options for a new camera?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by New Hampshire, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Goffstown, NH
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ok, I know you guys must get this a lot, but thats why you are here, right!? :mrgreen: :lol:

    I will be totally honest in that as of right now I am only LOOKING at options. Eventually I know I am going to want to move up past my old Manual Focus 35mm SLR (a Pentax K1000.) Now, my general concern is pretty much geared towards landscape photography. Not professional, but I really am looking at turning this into a "serious" hobby. But I am also a man of meager means which means the budget....to put it flatly....is pretty sucky. How bad? Well, I am thinking I might be able to swing $500 for a body and lens combo. Obviously I am a filme user, and while I prefer film I also use a digital point-and-shot, so am not TOTALLY adverse to that. The problem is most digital SLRs (and indeed if I go digital thats what I would do...PERIOD...) START at that price, and do not usually include a lens. Im a little (ok, VERY) weary about buying a used digital, so Im not sure thats a route I would want to go. But I am open to suggestions in that department.

    Next option is moving into an Auto Focus 35mm SLR, which would be a big improvement over the manual, should I choose to later delve into other different photography styles (I learned long ago that all manual cameras and fast action can be a harrowing test of ones photography skills :lmao: !!!) And whats nice is that a decent 35mm AF SLR is VERY reasonable to get into. I see B&H and Best Buy have a Cannon Rebel T2 combo for less than $300. Any comments here? Other suggestions?

    And my last option is to move up to the granddaddy of Landscape Film cameras.....Medium format. Of course, I realize that to get into medium format on my budget I have absolutely NO choice but to buy used (or do I?) New systems on B&H and a couple of other sites I browsed show costs more than DOUBLE my set budget. However, browsing e-bay I see used body/lens combos at VERY affordable prices. Just as an example, I see a Bronica GS-1 on there right now with 2 lenses (one perfect for Landscape photography) at $1!!!! Yes, I know by the time is all said and done the bids will get to be a couple hundred, but there are others on there that fall safely into the set budget range. Of course, the only down side to this system is that, like my Manual SLR right now, it would not really be ideal for if I decided to move into some other fields of interest with fast action. So, is buying used Medium Format gear a relatively safe proposition? Again, Comments and reccomendations are welcome.

    Again, I want to state I'm just exploring options right now. Nothing more. But I do anticipate upgrading equipment in the near future (perhaps with the next year.)

    So, what have you got for advice :thumbup:

    Brian
     
  2. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1,314
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Steventon, Oxfordshire, UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Hi Brian,

    Obviously I do not know what your complete camera setup is but I feel you need to think about what you want from a new camera that your Pentax K1000 does not offer.

    If you are after better quality landscape pictures, I am not sure that buying an AF film SLR will do it. Pentax used to make very good prime lenses for the K1000 and similar quality lenses for a more moderm AF SLR will cost money. Moreover, some AF lenses don't have distance scales on them, which makes them tricky to use for hypercocal focussing.

    On the other hand, medium format would be a massive improvement over your K1000 in terms of image quality. As you said yourself, you can buy them fairly cheaply nowadays. There are 3 types of MF cameras: SLR (Bronica, Hasselblad, Pentax, Mamiya...), TLR (older Yashicas, Rollei...) and rangefinders (Fuji, Mamiya, Bronica...). For me, SLRs are the most suitable for landscape photogaphy as it is easier to use filters with them. However, they are quite big and heavy and cannot reasonably be used without a tripod.

    If you want to do action/sport shots an AF 35mm SLR is probaly a much better idea as it is more versatile.

    To summarise, I would personnaly go for a MF SLR (somthing like a Bronica ETRs or Mamiya equivalent) with a standard and wide angle lens, a sturdy tripod and maybe a couple of filters (ND grads and polarisers) and also a handheld light metre as many MF cameras don't have any built in light meters. That would probably stretch your $500 budget depending on what you already have. Alternatively, I would keep the K1000 and woul buy good quality lenses for it (something like a 24mm for example).

    I did not comment on the digital route as I exclusively shoot film and I am not quite familiar with what the options are within your budget. I am sure plenty of other people will be able to help you woth that.
     
  3. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Messages:
    2,484
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello there. There is nothing wrong with only looking at options, it certainly makes a change from the specific "Camera A or Camera B" questions.

    If you like shooting film then keep shooting film. Now as Steph has said, think about in what way you want to "move up" from the K1000. For example why would a 35mm autofocus SLR be a "big improvement"? Good film is good film and having more electronic bits in the camera doesn't give the film any special quality... lenses are what count. Autofocus doesn't really do a lot for landscape photography. As you said you might want to get into other types of photography later, but if it's later then why worry about it now? In any case, if you do decide to go down that route, autofocus 35mm SLRs are indeed available at very reasonable prices... much more reasonable than $300 in fact. When you see the prices of used 35mm SLRs I'd say it makes very little sense to buy them new. Not to knock the Canon, but $300 these days can easily buy you a more 'serious' body than the T2.

    Personally I agree medium format is probably the best choice. 6x6 TLRs are wonderful for their square negative and fairly reasonable size, and are likely to be found cheaper than a medium format SLR. On the other hand the fixed lens may be limiting... although there is an alternative in the form of the few TLRs that take interchangeable lenses, namely the Mamiya C series. An MF SLR may be preferable (especially if you don't like being stuck with a reversed-image waist-level viewfinder) but it's generally more expensive. Either way as Steph says you should definitely budget for a good tripod. Finally, with medium format as with 35mm cameras, even if buying used is not the only option, it's probably the best in terms of value for money.
     
  4. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Goffstown, NH
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thank you very much for the replies!

    You both are right in that I don't really see upgrading to an AF 35mm would be much of an improvement for landscapes. I guess I am mostly thinking about something I have not even moved into yet (i.e. other areas of photography.) Perhaps, Steph, your idea of thinking about better glass is the ticket for the current plan. I have been looking at getting a new 24mm lens anyways (I currently use a 35-80mm zoom) and perhaps this is a good enough excuse to spend a few more dollars for good quality.

    And the thing with Medium format that keeps getting me going in circles is what you two keep mentioning....extra accessories, weight (carrying gear up mountains is tough enough already! :mrgreen: ) and the fact that action photography pretty much becomes negated (which is what basically started this quest for options). Cost has a big thing too......film cost and Im sure developing the prints can't be cheap.

    Hmmmm, so the more I think about this the more I believe what I will do is get a good prime lens for the K1000.....and when I decide I want to move into more "action" type photography THEN I will then buy a new AF 35mm. The K1000 can still make for a GREAT back-up at that point.

    Wow, that was not as painfull as I thought! Thanks!!!! :hail:

    Brian
     
  5. myopia

    myopia TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2005
    Messages:
    920
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    MA and CO
    sounds like u made your decision. when u look into getting an AF 35mm system, the nikon F5 would be ill. that is my next camera purchase (after a rangefinder, lol). it is a very solid/well-built body with an amazing meter system and fast AF which u can get great glass for without emptying yer pockets. that's all u should ever need in a body basically. awsome for all around color stuff and sports, etc- although on the heavier side (MF weight)

    u can also pick up a used MF package for cheapo. i got a mamiya 645 +80mm lens for under $200 (it works too!). a great landscape system.
     
  6. New Hampshire

    New Hampshire TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2007
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Goffstown, NH
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks for the suggestion Myopia. Well built, solid and rugged are things I can admire in equipment :mrgreen: .

    Brian
     
  7. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,171
    Likes Received:
    31
    Location:
    Chicago burbs
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Brian, I'm going to send you a PM. Check in a few minutes.
     
  8. ladyphotog

    ladyphotog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Georgia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If what you want to do is landscape why not go large format. You could get a 4x5 with a 135mm or 90mm setup for under 500. There is nothing like it for landscapes.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

options for new camera for photograph