Starting school for photography need advice

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by photoneewb, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. photoneewb

    photoneewb TPF Noob!

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    Well I am thinking of going to school for photography soon and being from the Pittsburgh area and unable to relocate (wife and kid) I have 2 options AI of Pittsburgh and aiOnline. Well looking into the one located in Pittsburgh I found out that they want u to start off by using a film camera. They suggested a few, of which I will post them at end of this. My question is this if I get one of the ones they suggested and I buy good glass will the glass be compatible with a good digital camera of same brand when I am done with the film camera. For example if I get one of the canons and some good L glass will it work on the old camera or if I get some new good Nikon glass will it work on the old film camera? Thanks to all in advance.
    [FONT=&quot]Canon A-1 or AE-1[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Pentax K1000[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Minolta X370 or X700[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Olympus OM-1 or OM-2[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Nikon FM or FM2[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Nikon FM-10[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Vivitar V3800N[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Canon EOS ELAN 7NE[/FONT]
     
  2. photoneewb

    photoneewb TPF Noob!

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    anyone
     
  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    nikon glass will work on 35mm as well as dSLRs.
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    AI in pitsburgh shouldn't be too bad. I went to AI Seattle and the teachers were awesome, just the administration there was lousy.

    I'm surprised they require a film camera, in AI Seattle, they require a DSLR.

    I highly suggest looking into something like a Nikon N80 or F100. The lenses on that, can be used on any digital Nikon in your future.

    Same goes for Canon, look into EOS 1 or 3's for the same reason.

    The school uses Canon, but don't let that affect your decision, it's going to be a pain in the butt to reserve and you're going to eventually want your own gear anyway because it's either more convenient, better, or both.

    I was one of two people in my entire class who shot Nikon and DIDN'T get the Rebel XT kit they suggested, really wasn't a big deal.
     
  5. photoneewb

    photoneewb TPF Noob!

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    Thank you all for your advice. Sw1tch did u get the assoc or bach degree?
     
  6. jpeters

    jpeters TPF Noob!

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    I am just starting at AI in Santa Ana. Although I have been shooting for a while so I am set on gear. I found it kind of od that as a school they only support cannon. I went to Brooks for a little while and they had al sorts or companies for their students.
     
  7. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Isn't AI pretty expensive? Like Brooks expensive?

    Also, many a pro-photographer will tell you that education in photography is pretty silly. It's good to learn the basics, but a degree won't exactly get you a job. Not to stomp on your dreams or anything, but an internship or assisting a pro will probably do more for you and cost you far less money. Just my 2 cents.


    Also, when I was starting out, a digital camera helped the learning curve immensely. It really speeds the process up because you can see the changes you make to the settings immediately. But, working in a darkroom is a lot of fun. I was spending like 20 hours a week in the darkroom for my black and white photography class, and loved it. I used an old Nikon FG20, which is a very basic, no fills manual film camera. Just remember that DX or EF-S glass will not work with a film body. If they do, it's usually very limited and can actually damage your mirror.

    Oh, and if you go Canon, all L glass is compatible with film cameras. That might be a good route for you.
     
  8. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    AI is MUCH cheaper, the degree doesn't cost 6-figures.

    For the most part, i would agree on the education. It's really mostly networking. But if you want to work at a commercial studio, the education doesn't hurt. I work at a local studio here in portland and a good percentage of the people who shoot there had college education, at least half the shooters. A couple went to brooks, one from RIT, another has a doctorate (!)..

    I transferred out after a year. It was the associate program.
     
  9. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ah, for some reason I thought AI was like $20k a year. I had a buddy that went to brooks and it cost him around $80k, but I can't remember if he got a bach or an associates.

    And out of curiosity, where does one get a PHd in Photography? I don't know how you'd spend 7+ years even studying it.
     
  10. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    AI is about 20 a year, yes. Brooks, at least when i applied there 4 years ago, when you were done, you had a $165,000 bill coming your way. That's ridiculous for a photography degree.

    There's a school on the East coast that has a doctorate. And yeah, 7 years of college education in photography either means it's mostly writing about history or concept, or it's the same thing as the three year programs, just REALLY stretched out.
     
  11. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    In your lifetime of photography as a hobby, you cannot go wrong if you choose either Canon or Nikon as the equipment you will use. I would think twice about using any other brand of camera gear.

    You say "new" glass that can be used on older camera bodies, but most "new" lenses are designed for use on a DSLR (AF-S lenses, or lenses with a computer chip) might not be fully compatible with a MF 35mm film camera body like you list as needed for your class.

    I know next to nothing about Canon (as a Nikon shooter for 40 years), but for the 3 (FM / FM2 / FM10) different specific Nikon 35mm film bodies you mention, ALL THREE are MANUAL FOCUS cameras. And in the digital world, they, and their MF lenses - note that I said in a digital world, are basically good for paperweights unless you like to be limited to manual focus lenses. VERY good quality glass is available in a Nikon MF lens, but it will always be a MF lens.

    For example. the FM2 is a VERY NICE film camera (better than the other two you list), as film cameras go, but, to answer your question, unless you wish to live in a world of manual focus lenses, the lenses you will use on the cameras on your list for class WILL work on a Nikon DSLR (other than D40 / D40x / D60 / D90 / D3000), but as a MANUAL FOCUS lens ONLY. Also may cause you to have metering issues...

    But I would suggest you NOT USE ANY of the three Nikon bodies you mention -

    Like the post above that suggests an N80 body, I would also add N90 / N90S (LOOK OUT for the worn coating on the back of these, indicates a much used camera), maybe N6006 to that list - all are VERY NICE AF cameras (if they want you to MF you can always turn the AF to off), and the "AF" or "AF-D" lenses you will use on these camera bodies are fully compatible with, and will work VERY WELL on any Nikon DSLR that contains a focusing motor.

    ALSO - if you need to use film to go to class, I would suggest you buy a used camera that fits the criteria (should be able to get a body + lens for way less than $100.00 - in this forum, on CL, eBay, local pawn shop, or most any used camera store found in larger towns - I could go out in Metro Atlanta TOMORROW, and find a NICE AF 35mm film body, a NIKON, for less than $40.00 for the body only, and probably a body and lens for under $100, the local stores that sell "used" are LOADED with them), then sell it later and go digital - IF you want to go digital. That would be your choice.

    The MF film camera you use in class will ALWAYS work very well as a MF film camera. But an AF camera will also have lenses you can use for the rest of your life on your DSLR's.

    I have seen TONS of listings on CL where someone going to one of those film classes went to a high-end camera store, paid hundreds of dollars for a 35mm film camera, now trying to recover their costs because they chose to go digital after the class, when same camera was always plentiful on CL, pawn shops, used camera stores - for cheap.

    ANY MF or AF film camera will take a nice photo as you learn more how to use it. so try all of the camera bodies that fit your criteria, see what fits and feels best in your hands and choose one of them for the class that fits your needs best.

    Then when your class is completed, you can decide if you are going to keep it, or go digital like you indicate you will possibly want to do. If you paid $100 for it you can likely recover most or all of your costs to buy it, if you paid higher prices for it from full price retailers = good luck!

    If you buy AF gear you can keep the lenses, worst you are out is cost of a film body, and AF film bodies DO have somewhat better resale value than MF film bodies.

    In the long run going digital will cost you more than film for the equipment (at first), MUCH LESS for the image processing than film (after gear had been purchased) - but which way you choose to go, should be YOUR choice after you complete the class.

    For the money those classes cost - I cannot believe that they do not teach digital and "on PC" post processing of the digital image... (seems kinda like someone going to school to be a mechanic, spending a TON of money, to learn how to repair a Model T...)

    You might want to stay in the film world, or maybe go digital, you never know, but until you DO know, I just don't want to see you sink lot$ of $$ into equipment you may never recover what you paid for it after the class is over.

    Hope you take this for how it was intended.

    Choose well, buy carefully, pay "thriftily" ...

    BEST OF LUCK for your lifetime of happy photographing!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009

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