Starter equipment for student

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by skbrook, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. skbrook

    skbrook TPF Noob!

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    Our daughter is taking photography classes in high school in the fall and is required to provide her own 35 mm film camera. As this is an interest at this point, we don't plan to buy anything really expensive, but would like to get her a good quality camera to use for class that she could maybe expand the use of with additional lenses and equipment if she decides to continue beyond this next school year. Any recommendations for models or starter kits that would be good for a beginning student or just any tips on what to look for?
     
  2. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The teacher of the course would be a good place to start for recommendations. If you want a fully manual camera (which is probably better to learn the basics) have a look at the Nikon FM/FM2, Pentax K1000, Olympus OM1 or similar cameras form the same area. These are older cameras but were built to last and if you buy a good one it should serve your daughter well through her course. The selection of lenses is quite large for those cameras and they are relatively inexpensive.
     
  3. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Film or Digital?

    If its film, you could litterally go on ebay and get a camera, flash, and a lens for under $150 maybe less. Could probably do the same at a local camera store as well. Very good bodies are selling all the time for $50 even advanced AF bodies like 8008's and N90's on ebay. They have auto and manual modes so she can use them for the class.
     
  4. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ;)
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Welcome to the forum!!



    How large are her hands? Also, how strong is she- she needn't be too strong but a heavy camera and lens will make life hard trying to hold it steady in lower light. (camera shake causes blurry photos)

    Take her pawn shopping (or to a camera store that deals in older film cameras) to get a feel for what she likes and then shop at KEH.com. Spend the extra $45 or so to have the camera CLA'd (cleaned, lubricated, adjusted).

    A bargain is a great thing if you know what you are doing but if you don't and something goes wrong, you will have a devil of a time trying to deduce what it is (wheather it's you or the camera) and if you are young and having a really hard time it's really likely that you will drop the whole thing because it''s messing with your self esteem.

    There is also the style factor which comes into play with teenagers. If it works with her a fore mentioned self esteem you will have a better chance of seeing a return on your investment and her having a life long source of enjoyment.

    good luck

    mike
     
  6. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    Nikon F4 + 50mm f/1.8. could still be using that setup 30 years from now.
     
  7. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    I have an old Yashica FR with flash, and a couple lens, 50mm and a 75-150 zoom that would be wonderful for something like this.

    It's not autofocus or anything like that, but talk about teaching the basics. I learned on this camera when I was jr high age myself.

    I have looked on Ebay and found them for prices ranging from $20 to $50 for the body with the 50mm lens.


    I wouldn't sell it, but would sure be willing to borrow for a situation like this with responsible parents.
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exactly, cameras that were once professional gear are now going for pennies every day. I was just browsing Ebay and I see the N90s which was the next model down from the F4 is averaging around $100 and this one Nikon N90s with MB-10, Nearly Mint, Barely Used, Boxed - eBay (item 290321884987 end time Jun-10-09 18:37:16 PDT)

    Is buy it now for $89 with the grip on it. The beauty of the Nikon system is that if you buy the right lens you will have no compatibility isues if you move on to Nikon Digital.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm in the Pentax K1000 (if you can afford.. MX) camp. You can find the bodies at a very low price and loads of k-mount lenses real cheap. Most still in great condition and many up to par with glass of even today's standards. When she shows interest in a DSLR, the lenses are compatible (manual exposure) with Pentax (and Samsung) DSLR line.

    Nikon maintains backwards compatibility with old manual lense and newer DSLR bodies as well. I found their lenses to be a bit more than Pentax s K-mounts and which is compatible with what a bit confusing (maybe its just me).
     
  10. skbrook

    skbrook TPF Noob!

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    Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for all of your help and suggestions! This forum definitely pointed us in the right direction.

    The teacher is unavailable until the fall (high school summer break) but we want to keep an eye out for something over the summer. The course description does mention no autofocus cameras, which I forgot to mention, but seems like you all caught on that she needs to learn manual.

    Farmerj - thanks for the offer to borrow, but even though we like to think we are responsible parents, things happen with teenagers and I would feel horrible if anything broke.
     
  11. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    I have my own teenager. I know the risks involved all too well with that.

    The FR body is NOT autofocus. It's about as "old school" as you can get. What I have been able to find out. The Yashica FR in it's time was a very nice camera. From the number of slides and pictures our family has, it's about on par with a high end consumer dSLR like a D80 or D90 I would think.


    The recommendation to get an older Nikon film body makes a LOT of sense. If you get one, and she really falls in love with it, the lenses are compatible with the newer digital bodies.

    Something that old FR is not capable of.
     
  12. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    also, even with autofocus cameras, you can easily switch them to manual
     

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