Torn between digital and 35mm

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by zeppelin390, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. zeppelin390

    zeppelin390 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Ocean City, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I am soon to be purchasing my first 35mm camera in hopes of creating a good hobby for myself. I am quite interested in developing my own film as well.
    I am not what you would call a patient person, would I be better off buying digital so that I may recieve instant gratification, or will all my fears subside as soon as I see my first picture slowly developing right before my eyes?
     
  2. MikeBcos

    MikeBcos TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    548
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Buy a digital, if you like photography then find a vintage 35mm and start with some black and white processing and printing, colour is very involved for a beginner.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,318
    Likes Received:
    10,639
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I agree with Mike; the world is far mrore geared toward digital now. IMO, your best bet will be to start digital, learn the basics, and then later on, have a bash at your own processing.
     
  4. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    5,500
    Likes Received:
    700
    Location:
    Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    There is nothing better than working with the image in a B+W darkroom.

    Developing B+W roll film is sometimes a chore (sheet film was fun), but it was handy if I had to push/pull a roll that I just shot and the control I had with different developing solutions.

    I used to have a darkroom in my apartment (oddly enough a previous tenant panted a room completely black, including the window ... our landlord thought it was an odd thing). It was great working with the enlarger and print development in the trays. I started using different paper types (ie fiber) and toning.

    I miss those days.
     
  5. NATO

    NATO TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Carolina
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    This is from someone who works with photo developing equipment almost everyday, if you are not an overly patient person go with the digital. It is very easy to jack up the chems and throw them off. Especially if you are doing color. B&W isn't much of a cake walk either. Granted this is from someone who does it on an almost industrial basis, our QC may be much tighter than those for personal use. IMO it's an added expense and hassle.


    Also check you local laws, you will probably have to buy and SRU or pay to have the chems processed in order to stay in compliance.
     
  6. saycheese76

    saycheese76 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    If you have easy economical access to a darkroom, you can get a great 35mm and a few lenses for well under $300. Have a crack at it. If you don't have an easy cheap close darkroom, go dig.
     
  7. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I started out using a completely manual(besides the meter) 35mm and developing my own black and white stuff. I would say for someone just getting into photography, start with film. Hell start with a totally manual camera, shoot B&W and develop yourself. It's a whole lot of fun knowing that you are in controll of the final product from start to finish.
     
  8. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There are numerous excellent 35mm SLRs available on Ebay for under $50. These days you can afford to try both. Depending on the brand you might even be able to use the same lenses on the FSLR and DSLR.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  9. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,235
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    This is a good point. Buy a digital that has compatible lenses with film... I should have thought of (and said) it earlier.
     
  10. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    312
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Oaxaca, Mexico
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm old so I started with film, of course. Zoom lenses didn't exist. I developed my B&W films and printed. I enjoyed myself.

    Ten years ago I bought a little digital camera not for photography but for quick snapshots to send my kids over the internet. That went well for a few years. I'd take my film camera out to take photos and carry my little digital for snapshots.

    The digital cameras got better and I noticed that I wasn't taking my film camera out much and then not at all.

    I've gone digital now. The biggest reason is simply convenience. I don't do a lot of post-processing but what I do I find much easier than with film.

    I joined a group of photo/tourists a few weeks ago and two were shooting film. We were taking pictures of some local Indians and I heard one guy say, "So many pictures and only three shots left." Ah, I remember those days.

    There are legitimate reasons for some to stick with film. A friend does catalogue work and has a huge investment in medium format and all the related equipment. Great film and no reason to change. He did go digital for non-professional work. Two years ago I saw a young man shooting with a 4x5 sheet film bellows camera. I waited till he was packing up and we chatted. He did architectural shots for magazines. His camera did the job for him but traveling with it was a major hassle.

    If I were starting now, I'd start with digital. Oh, and for what it's worth, I've never encountered the perfect camera or medium. All have required that I adapt in some way.
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I just looked at the completed listing on Ebay for Canon film Rebels. A few with loads of accessories are going for $100, but most bodies with a typical zoom are going for $20 - $50. You could get a used film Rebel, and a Canon refurbished Rebel XT for under $500. I'm sure it's the same with the entry level Nikon FSLRs. The only issue to watch out for is that APS format lenses, which are commonly sold for the DSLRs, won't work on the 35mm SLR.

    Developing the film isn't difficult nor does it need expensive gear or a darkroom to do. Unfortunately the really fun part is printing, and it will require access to a darkroom (although the gear sure is cheap these days). Developing film without printing it is sort of like mixing up a bowl of cake batter and watching it sit. You know it's gonna be delicious, but there's still a major step to go.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2008
  12. elemental

    elemental TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    646
    Likes Received:
    3
    I started out with a digital SLR system, and tried a modern film SLR and hated it. It was everything my digital was, but with the added hassle of processing film. It was a Nikon N75. Over the summer I was trying to score some old lenses for my digital body and "accidentally" won a fully manual SLR with a decent 50mm lens for $21. I figured I should try it to make sure it worked. Now I shoot more film than digital, and have two manual camera bodies (Ricoh KR-5 Super II, Pentax K1000) along with a few lenses and a broken rangefinder (don't ask).

    I would say get a manual film SLR for $20-$40 (there are plenty) and the equipment to process your own black and white (~$40 to negatives, then you can either print or get it scanned). Buy something that will be compatible with digital down the road (Pentax is the hands-down winner for lens compatibility, some other manufacturers are pretty close), learn to use it (shoot some color too), then buy a digital body for your lenses. Not only will you know how to use a camera, you'll appreciate what it does. Last time I said this it didn't go over well, but I still think nothing teaches you to work a camera like one that forces you to learn how to do everything yourself. There's no room to be lazy with a K1000- no auto modes, no autofocus. You either lean how to use it or don't take pictures.

    As for what I would recommend, I really do think Pentax has the best lens compatibility hands down. Ricoh SLRs used K-mount (Pentax) lenses, and are unbelievably inexpensive. I would look for a KR-5 in good condition- it won't cost much. If you get the digital fever, any Pentax digital body will take the lenses.
     

Share This Page