Should I get a 35mm Camera?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Hegs, May 9, 2007.

  1. Hegs

    Hegs TPF Noob!

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    Hi Im a student filmmaker (tho ive never shot a frame of celuloid in my life - Ive only ever used digital). Im wanting to get into photography, and since film is still used quite a lot in the motion picture industry, a 35mm still camera might be a good way to get a feel for film (as opposed to spending 1000$ to shoot 10 minutes of motion picture film!). But apart from that Id just like to get good at photography and takes nice photos.

    Being a poor student, what I was wondering is:
    Do you think I should get a 2nd-hand 35mm camera cheaplyoff eBay, or is it just not worth it nowadays and should I bite the bullet and save up for, say, a Nikon d80? What sort of quality 35mm camera can u get for around 150$ US on eBay and how does this compare to, for ex, the D80 range of DSLR?

    If u think 35mm is the way to go, do u have any recommendations?

    Many thx (great site btw!)
     
  2. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    If you go 35mm, find a used F80 or N80, they're cheap and not professional build, but they can do 90% of what the pro bodies can do. I'm sifting through the pawn shops here for them. Because they're so cheap, you can get prett good lenses too without going broke.

    A used N80/F80 with the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D is a little under $250 and will give you a good idea how film reacts to light in comparison to a sensor, as long as you develop and print yourself. none of that 1 hour photo junk becuase they scan the negatives and unless you get a really good loupe defeats the whole purpose.

    real Black and white film will give you the best idea, as sensors are more similar to transparency film.
     
  3. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Yeah a used F80 or something similar costs half as much as the average cheap digital point-n-shoot, and about 1/6 the cost of a D80. So even if you decide to get a digital SLR, consider a film one as well since they're so cheap; besides if you go for ones with the same lens mount (like the F80 and D80) you can use the same lenses on both.
     
  4. Hegs

    Hegs TPF Noob!

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    Hi thx for the great replies. Sw1tch could you please elaborate what you were saying about the processing because I dont really understand why that is so important? It also sounds like that would add a lot of extra expenses to the equation??

    cheers
     
  5. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You noted interest in a used camera for about $150. You should be able to get a very nice Pentax K1000 with a 50mm lens for less than that on eBay. Don't forget that you will probably also wish to add a few accessories such as a tripod, filters, lens hood and cable release, not to mention batteries and film.

    The Pentax K1000 is a rig which can easily be used in full manual mode, giving you complete control over the exposure. It's also robust in build. The older Pentax Spotmatics are also good rigs for learning to work with film. There are many lenses available for both. The K1000 uses Pentax bayonet fitting lenses while the Spotmatics use M42 screw mount lenses.

    And yes, doing your own processing with your own equipment does run up the cost. If you are doing b&w, you may still find it worth while to develop your own film. For information on the b&w process, you can check the Beginner's Guide articles on this site.

    As an aside, I still remember what it was like to be a poor student. While in graduate school, I got breakfast by standing near a bakery and breathing deeply. ;-))
     
  6. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Save up for the D80
     
  7. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi Hegs. As you expressed an interest in Nikon, let me point out an N90s. The N90s has a metal body and most importantly uses AA batterys! (the N8oo8s uses AAs too)

    I have an N90s and a brother of mine has an N80. Of the two, well I wouldn't trade cameras with him.

    If you shop you should get a used N90s for around $110 or one with a grip for around $135 (good idea). A new f1.8 50mm is around $120, a Nikon 70-210 AF (not the D) can be had for around $50 and I would suggest that you get a lens that goes to 28mm, zooms are nice but a prime is good too- and generally faster.

    You don't have to develop your own film but you will need to find a Good lab to do so and then you will want to tell them not to do any corrections so you will know what you have actually done (negative film is very forgiving) and you will want to keep a log of each shot-aperture, speed, film iso, what type/brand of film, focal length, time of day, light conditions and atmospheric conditions. All of these things are important to a photo and you need to know what you have done to understand what you are looking at when you get your photos back. (from a technical point of view)

    Good luck,

    mike
     
  8. Benjamin_T

    Benjamin_T TPF Noob!

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    How about the Nikon F100? I currently use the Nikon F100 with the NIKKOR AF 50mm F/1.8D (A very nice prime lens indeed) for B&W photography and so far...I have successfully developed "correctly" two entire rolls of B&W manual process films! (Yay!!) It can all get very fun I tell you! :D

    I used my college's darkroom and darkroom equipments, though I needed to invest in some "medias" as well.

    I have also produced many many contact prints + some full images and the quality literally blew me off! (It is soo nice!)

    You would be sure to have lots of fun! :)

    Regards.
     
  9. Benjamin_T

    Benjamin_T TPF Noob!

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  10. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    F100's are fantastic, but they're also about $700.

    nowadays, when you send in film to a 1 hour photo place, they develop the negatives, scan them, and than print the really crappy scans. It's faster and cheaper to do that since so many consumers put their negatives on CD's now. If you do that, it defeats the whole purpose of actually seeing how organic the film is and how it reacts to light, whether you're exposing or printing. Exposing, developing, and printing is a chemical process, and making it an electronic one just ruins the entire look of it.

    If you can find a B&W lab where you can develop yourself, USE IT. I've heard of labs that do that, but i've never actually seen any. Honestly, it's the only way to take advantage of film and to truly see how it works. If you're going to do the 1 hour photo thing, just get a digital camera becuase unless you just look at the processed negatives, all you're seeing is a horrible, low res scan.
     
  11. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, the F100 is a little better camera than the N90s, it's just that it's about twice as expensive is why I didn't mention it. As a matter of fact, you might just happen across an F4s in nice shape or an F5 that is scratched up but mechanically sound that would be even better. (some might argue that the F100 is better than the F4s because it's newer, but the F4s is a tank)

    mike
     
  12. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    I would go for a fully manual camera. And yes, I do think is a good idea to do it.

    The quality you can get for a $150 film camera (nowadays prices) has no limits other than your own capabilities as a photographer and the film you use, processing, etc But the camera? for that price you can get GREAT cameras. And even with not-so-great ones you can do marvellous pictures

    A film camera does not really compare with a digital. They are just two options, each one with its advantages and attractives. But don't think you'll be more quality-limited in either of them.
    Another thing is that I do think that you'll learn photography better with film. But this, of course, can be discussed
     

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