Total NewBie Alert -- Pls don't roll your eyes

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Damian, Dec 24, 2004.

  1. Damian

    Damian TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, Ca.
    So I've always admried photographers and the works and in summer I got this electronic Canon cam to begin with but then I realized that I couldn't laern anything from the Auto program so I got a 2nd hand Minolta700 SLR instead...and so please consider me as a total innocent newbie XD
    Kay so after all that bs, heres my questions: When I look into the frame everything is blurred exepct for the focus center part. Is that normal? How do I see the background anf DOFs clearly then, if everything is so blurred???
    And does a good focus mean adjusting the focus ring until both lines of the subject inside the circle is straightened and looks like the real subject itself?? (lol i'm so sorry about the way i talk, it's like in tangles or something....)
    Also, what is that +1, + 2, 0 , -1 , -2 thing? (thats all ive got, 4 numbers) What do those do?


    Thanks for tolerating my stupidity...I was gonna read more about photography online but I figured interactive tutoring might be better for a dumb newbie like me....thanks!!!!


    luv
    Dami
    :wink:
     
  2. walter23

    walter23 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    A pacific island (canada)
    If changing the focus (on the lens) doesn't help, my guess is that maybe you have an eyepiece that has diopter correction built in (for people who normally wear glasses, so they can look through the viewfinder without glasses on). Either that or your lens or focusing screen is broken, though I wouldn't jump to that conclusion right away. I might be misunderstanding your quesiton though; when you say focus center, do you mean just the circle in the middle with everything else always blurry no matter what?



    That might be exposure compensation - to tell the camera's meter to under (-1, -2) or over (+1, +2) expose the scene based on the meter reading.

    There's a big manual for the minolta X-700 online here (looks like a nice camera):

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/minoltax700/
     
  3. PrimaryCanary

    PrimaryCanary TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Caution: Contents Under Pressure
    1. When you are focusing, how are you viewing your subject. Is it very close to it's background or very far away (IE a flower in front of the wall, is the flower right against the wall or is it 10-15 feet away, etc) If the background and foreground are spaced and your aperture is a very small number, then the blurry part of the view finder along the edges is normal.
    1A. Most cameras offer some sort of Depth of Field Preview button. This will stop down the lens to the indicated aperture. This is because a camera can focus quicker, there is more light in the viewfinder to compose, and it is easier to see your subject when the lens is opened all the way. Most cameras will do this automatically between shots. The aperture will open to maximum and the instant after you depress the shutter all the way, it will stop down, expose the image, and then re-open to it's fullest.

    2. I believe that once the split image is lined up and crisp in the view finder, your subject should be in focus. However, I could be wrong about this.

    3. The number -2 -1 0 1 2, sound like Exposure compensation indicators. Newer cameras offer this as a quick way to over- or under- expose an image from what the meter believes is the correct exposure. IE. The meter thinks 1/200s at f/4 will properly expose the picture. If you select -1 then the picture will be under exposed by a full stop, 1/200 at f/5.6 (The camera will change either the shutter speed or aperture, it doesn't matter since the two are related to exposure control, another camera may very well pick a stop faster shutter speed and keep the aperture at f/4) Anyway, this is just a very quick way for you to put your two cents into how the picture is to be exposed.
     
  4. Damian

    Damian TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, Ca.
    Whoa, thanks, Walter and PrimaryCanary~ Exp that site, looks like I have to translate it into normal human English :lol: lol~ but ya, thanks a lot.

    About the focus, I was reffering to the circle being clear while everything else is just a blurr. And then again, that compensation thing is still bothering me - does it mean that that thing can automatically correct my shutter speed and aperture mistakes??
    Er, and here's another stupid question: I can't see the aperture opening and closing (whatever actions it does) , right?

    Thanks a lot!!!!! saving a newb's life here.. :goodvibe:


    luv
    dami
     
  5. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    0
    Firstly well done for having the courage to get a manual camera and going against the mindless trendiness of digicams.


    About the focus, I was reffering to the circle being clear while
    everything else is just a blurr.


    That sounds like a "split screen focussing area". The field around it is called the fresnel, or matt screen. If you twist the lens' distance scale to focus on an object, the circle should become clearer, and the matt screen also clearer.


    And then again, that compensation thing is still bothering me - does it mean that that thing can automatically correct my shutter speed and aperture mistakes??


    Not quite.....is your camera manual only, or does it also have any signs on the top stating 'AE' or Program' mode? I suspect your camera has one of these. In A/E mode, the compensation is used like this: you are trying to shoot a photograph of your girlfriend against some clouds. The meter tells you to use 1/125 at f8. The lighting situation is called "backlit" i.e. all the light which the film will register derives mostly from behind the girl. As a result, she will be underexposed or too dark. The exposure compensation is then used to add +1, or +1.5 or +2.0 extra stops of light to 'brighten' up the image. Thus you get the correct exposure. Don't worry about it if you don't grasp it yet - get a basic book on photography like John Hedgcoe's and read about aperture and shutter values.


    Er, and here's another stupid question: I can't see the aperture opening and closing (whatever actions it does) , right?

    Check your camera's instructions. If you have a button or a lever near the lens which makes a 'chop' sound, set your lens to f16 and press it. If the viewfinder dims when the button/lever is depressed, then you have what's called a Depth of Field preview button. If the button blows the camera up, then it's not a Minolta X700 but some relic from a James Bond movie auctioned from Ebay.

    If not, try firing the shutter when cocked. Set the aperture to f16 and look at the lens end - does it stop down? If not, check your batteries are working; check the lens is working; check the camera is working, and maybe try it again when sober ;)

    Have fun!
     
  6. Damian

    Damian TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, Ca.
    Thanks so much for the help Jamie. I think it works better for me if I actually have someone to ask endless questions to, rather than reading it cos my reading comprehension sucks....
    Anyway I pretty much got the part about the compensation, but may I ask, what is the meter? Is that something that tells me what speed and f/# I should use?
    And then the split screen foscus area - I noticed that there're some kind of tiles patterns in the circle of focus, whilst the other places don't have that. And the centre of the circle is divded by a line from left to right, like a straight line right across the focusing circle - is that what you mean by split screen?
    And er...I still don't really get the DOF preview button. Isn't DOF just about your composition of the photo? How can there be a preview button, and how do you know the DOF is "not right"????


    - - - confused yet eager to learn - - -

    :( pls excuse my dumb behaviour again....

    And oh, here's a post I made in the newbie vocab forum, but since no one's replying yet I figured that I might as well annoy you guys ... :cry: sorry!!!!

    ---Post starts---

    Can't help it I'm the dumbest newbie in the history of newbiekind...well I read all of those FAQ posts and was really really grateful for them (Thanks!!) but somehow my brain just doesn't seem to work with my mind properly, and so here came up a few stupid but needy questions:

    1. Does wide angel of view mean the frame can show more of the subject detailedly, or more of the background? ( sorry my english is so bad, I just moved to canada)

    2. So basically we use smaller number of aperture, which is larger aperture ( x.x") to shoot in dim lighting so more light can get in the lens, right?

    3. My cam is a Minolta700 SLR. For some reason, I can't find the place to insert the shutter wire thing (what's the proper name?? >.<) when using the B function. Does anyone know where that hole is, or that maybe my model doesn't have it at all????

    4. The batteries inside the camera, how long do they usually last? Does the lack of battery power affect the camera's ability to operate a simple shot??

    5. For some bizarre reason ( just like many of the bizarre thigns happened to my camera x.x ) the click on the camera used to roll film after finishing one shot ( NOT THE ONE TO ROLL FILM AFTER FINISHING WHOLE ROLL ) on my camera is loosened and I can switch it from side to side without tension at all. Usually after takign one shot I click it to the right side and then it's stuck so I won't be able to pull it again unless I take another shot. But now it's totally loosened up, like a uselss bit pf plastic. Somone told me it's probably because I have no battery inside the camera so it can't feel the film inside. Is that the case, or is my SLR just trash?!!!!!!! >.< ( sobbyy)



    Umm that's all for now, I'm so sorry thi shad to be such a long long long thing with dumb dumb dumb questions..but well, as I've said before, I'm the dumbest newbie in the history of newbiekind....

    Whoever takes time to read this, no matter wether you're helpful or not, I thank you!!! (and salute you )

    ---Post ends---


    ..thanks everyone

    luv dami
     
  7. PrimaryCanary

    PrimaryCanary TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Caution: Contents Under Pressure
    First of all, it's not dumb or annoying to ask questions. Afterall, that's what this whole section of this wonderful forum is for. I salute you for dedicating your time and patience to learning a new craft instead of just giving up.

    About the depth of field, as I stated earlier, most newer models of cameras will automatically open the lens to its widest opening (yes this means a smaller f-stop number f/4 is twice as large as f/5.6 for a given lens) to aide in focusing and composing because the view finder will be better lit. When a lens is at it's widest opening, it has the least amount of depth of field. So as you compose your shot, you won't be able to tell if everything is going to be in focus, because parts of the background and foreground may be blurred. However, when you actually take the picture, the lens is stopped down to the f-stop indicated, and this will change the parts of the picture in focus. IE. let's say you have a 50mm f/2.8 lens. now when you compose your shot of a flower fairly close to the lens (about 2 feet let's say), another flower about 5 feet from the lens (which is in the center of your viewfinder and is what you are trying to focus on, and a bunch of other flowers about 20 feet away. The lens is at f/2.8 for the composure, the meter will read the scene and determine a proper exposure, let's say f/22 at 1/100s. Now we can easily tell that the difference between f/2.8 and f/22 is fairly large. Now in your viewfinder the center flower about 5 feet away should seem in focus, and maybe the flowers closer and farther from the lens are blurry. This is what the picture would look like if you took the picture at f/2.8 and a matching shutter speed for a proper exposure, however, the meter wants f/22 at 1/100s, and at f/22 a lot more of the background and foreground will be in focus. Let's just say that for this particular made up situation, the flowers in the foreground will also be in focus, you wouldn't be able to tell as you composed the picture, because the lens is at f/2.8. However, using the depth of field preview button, you can press this button, the lens will stop down for you (in this case to f/22) and show you how the picture would look at f/22. The viewfinder will be noticeably darker, and maybe the flowers in the foreground are now in focus. That is what the preview is for, to help aid you in judging just what will be in focus for a given f/stop on a lens.

    The meter is a light sensitive piece of circuitry that determines how much light is present coming from a scene. Through the miracle of technology, it can determine an exposure (combination of f/stop, shutter speed, and film speed) that will properly expose a picture. Most SLR's have this meter inside the camera already and it reads the light coming through the lens.


    Angle of view refers to how much a lens can see from left to right. A wide angle can see extremely far from left to right, possibly more than the human eye in some cases. A telephoto lens has an extremely limited angle of view (AoV), it might only be able to a 5 foot slice from left to right of a scene, where the human eye could see a 20 foot slice. Maybe I'm not explaining this so well. Sorry

    yes, the smaller the f/stop, the larger the opening, on a given lens. But don't mistake this for saying that f/2.8 on a 50mm lens is the same size as f/2.8 on a 200mm lens. the aperture is a function of the length of the lens.
    aperture diameter (mm) = mm length of lens * ( 1 / fstop)

    so f/4 on a 50mm lens is roughly 12.5mm while f/4 on a 200mm lens is 50mm

    I don't know about the cable release on that camera, sorry

    usually the batteries will last for a long time, much longer than a digicams. I'm not sure of your brand camera, but if the batteries die, you might just lose your meter and autofocus, and any other power options (Power rewind and auto film advance)

    I don't know about #5 either

    Hope this helps. Good luck
     
  8. Damian

    Damian TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, Ca.
    :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

    Whoa...

    First I'll like to say, thank you so much for taking the time and explaining basics to a newbie... I really appreciate it. :blulsh2:

    As I am getting it , the meter is like an advisor to suggest better aperture and shutter speed combinations, correct?

    And then the depth of view preview button - I'm not sure if I have it on the camera, usually where is it located on and what kind of mark would it have? (I don't have the instruction and guide booklet for my cam since it's 2nd hand) Also, when the preview is processing, some kind of light will be on to indicate that this is only a preview, right?

    The angle of view... so basically the larger angle, the more things the image can take in? A short focal lens can see more, correct?

    Erm... what does AE mean?

    One last question : I always end up buying film that have dates on them when printed out. Which type of film doesn't have those annoying numbers on the corner??


    Thanks a lot, guys, you have no idea how much this means to me.

    ^ ^




    luv dami
     
  9. PrimaryCanary

    PrimaryCanary TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Caution: Contents Under Pressure
    Yep the meter will determine what it thinks is the proper exposure, it's not perfect though, and it will screw up a lot for certain scenes. Such as a scene of a girl in front of a setting sun. The sky will be so bright the meter will want to underexpose the image and the girl will end up being nothing but a silhoette.

    AE means that your camera has the meter to determine exposure. AE stands for Auto Exposure. Without AE, you'd have to determine the exposure yourself, which can be difficult, but experience and certain rules help. Such as the Sunny 16 rule which states that a given subject that is illuminated by a full sun should be properly exposed at f/16 using the recipricol of your film speed, so using ISO 100 film, you should use f/16 at 1/125 s

    The depth of preview button can be located anywhere, on my Canon EOS 20D it is in the front below the lens release button. My has no markings. Just press the buttons on your camera and look through the view finder. Best to do this with no film in the camera, as to not waste film or destroy any images you have taken. You'll know if you're using this function without an indicator, because you have to hold the button in for it to be on. As soon as you let go, it turns off.

    With the Angle of view, the smaller the focal length the greater the angle of view. Some lenses are designated fisheyes and will have up to 180 degrees of view

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. John Orrell

    John Orrell TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The Land of 365-day Winters:North West England :(
  11. walter23

    walter23 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    A pacific island (canada)
    Your camera prints the date, it's nothing to do with the film. I'm surprised the X700 does that, but if it does there's a way to turn it off, probably some button on the very back of the camera (probably on the door you open to put film in ).
     
  12. Damian

    Damian TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, Ca.
    Thankss everyone!!! I feel so much enlightened now XD~!! Those explainations really worked for me...^ ^

    And thats a million fo rthat site, John, it cleared up a LOT :)

    I was referring to my electrical Chinon about the dates, don't worry the X700 isn't that dumb lol =P

    Thanks again....and I hope to post some of my works soon to let you guys know how you have improved me ^ ^

    Take care...and I will of course, annoy you again with other questions along my path of learning...XD kiddin'~

    Luv Damiii
     

Share This Page