Film Camera interest


TPF Noob!
Jun 1, 2007
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So I asked my GF if she would like to start taking photos with me so that I would have some one to take pics with. Much to my surprise it was a yes! It turns out that she wants to shoot film so that she can just send the film away to have the prints made and sent back to her (she doesn't want to do the editing). Now which camera? I have owned the EOS rebel K2 and hated it, I was comparing it to my XTi though :p

I was thinking the Elan 7NE.

BH has a kit with it and a 28-105 f/4-5.6 USM lens for $490, good deal? Good Lens?

Another problem is the film...the only experience I have with film is Kodak Tmax100, I have heard that there are many more much cheaper, faster and with smaller grain then this. Any suggestions?
I don't know a whole hell of a lot about the mid-grade Canon 35's so I'll leave that to someone else.

As for the film. No, there isn't anything faster and with smaller grain. There's the same speed with bigger grain, faster with bigger grain, slower with smaller grain, and (arguably) the same speed with smaller grain.
good to know thanks :)
grab some velvia 100 or velvia 50! Those films are godly. I can't wait to pick up a film body to shoot a bazillion rolls of that stuff.
I have no experience of the Elan 7E either, so can't help you there. If your girlfriend wants a really easy life with B&W film, try one of the dye-image B&W films, also known as chromogenic films. Ilford XP-2 or Kodak BW400CN.

XP-2 tends to be better for printing onto real silver-image B&W paper, BW400CN is designed to be printed onto colour paper as a B&W image, or onto chromogenic B&W paper (I think that there is still some around). These films scan very easily, and they can give the appearance of being smooth and grain-free thanks to the dye image. They are rated at ISO 400, but you can expose them at EI 100 or EI 200 without changing the processing times. The more exposure you give them the less grainy they are: they behave like colour films rather than B&W films in this respect.

They are developed in the standard colour film process, so they can be done at any one-hour lab, but the quality of the prints varies, as does the colour.

For colour I prefer negative film over reversal (aka slide) film. It is much more forgiving of incorrect exposure, can cope with a much greater brightness range and is easier to get processed. The outstanding colour negative films nowadays are the current Portra films from Kodak. Even Portra 800 has relatively low graininess.

wow, sorry I should have said this, especially after only giving a B&W film name. She will most likely only want to shoot color...
Kodak Portra gets a big, big thumbs up for color neg.

so no one has experience with the camera?
I think that with the price of used film cameras in the basement, you could get a heck of a deal on a top shelf pro film camera for the money you are talking about. A friend just sold a mint Nikon F5 and only got $320 for it on ebay. There is a lot of great gear out there going for pennies.
Tomorrow I'm buying a Pentax LX in pristine condition for $150.

Edit: sorry. After reading the above post I just had to throw that in.
You can get a 28-105 on KEH for 180, then a EOS-1N for 300.

Thats if you wanted that particular lens.
I also show my support for the Pentax line of SLR. I've got a K1000 and it's an amazing camera. You're going to have to understand how it works to use it well, but once you do, it's your best friend. I've also got a Nikon FE2 that's pretty bad-ass.

I figure that if you go with a well-known film SLR from the '70s or '80s (Pentax, Nikon, Minolta, Canon, etc) with a metal body, you'll do just fine.
Tomorrow I'm buying a Pentax LX in pristine condition for $150.

Edit: sorry. After reading the above post I just had to throw that in.

Sorry this is off-topic again, but $150 for a mint LX is a real steal... They go for £200-300 ($400-600) here in the UK.

I agree that the rebel line of bodies leaves much to be desired, but I'm not sure that your sig.other will gain that much from going all the way up to a 7Ne.

I'm a real fan of the EOS elan series.

The used price of an elan 7Ne is substantially more than say, its most similar sister, the elan IIe.

Unless she is going to be doing alot of astrophotography, or sports photojournalism, I just don't see the improvement to her of very slight and gradual improvements like the mirror lockup, or the 4 frames per second, instead of the 2.5.

The thing is, however, the used camera prices for the elan IIe v.s. the Elan 7e are going to be substantial, just because the elan IIe was around much longer and sold substantially more units. The elan II was a spectacular success, and now being sold in massive numbers on the used market, has driven the prices down. You can easily buy an elan II for 60-100, and an elan IIe for eye controlled autofocus will be a longer wait on ebay, but shouldn't hit you over 150. I bought mine, body only, for my GF, for $47 dollars plus shipping, plus it was one with the datemarker back (I'm not kidding).

I own and have put alot of film through my elan II, and I'm not sure the eye controlled autofocus is worth the extra money, and possibility of error. Frankly, with the elan II's, I'm astounded at what you can get for mere pesos.

I do recommend though, that you take the extra money you save on the body, and put it into a lens.

If you spend the 300 bucks or so, for an f1.4 50mm prime with the fast ultrasonic motor, and then you won't NEED faster less grainy film. Even an 80 dollar plastic fantastic f1.8 50mm prime would do, although beginners get annoyed when autofocus doesn't work right in low light levels, and I don't want to recommend anything that would annoy your woman, as that could make her take less pictures, and be less likely to enjoy photography enough to get better at it.

Regardless, with a normal prime (50mm-no zoom), She will easily be able to take pictures in natural light, handheld, WITHOUT FLASH, which is the single largest reason most peoples terrible snapshots, look like terrible snapshots.

With a 50mm prime, what she see's is what she will get and she'll suddenly be getting photo's that are ten times better, and will hopefully then use her camera ten times as much.

I hate the f4.5-f5.6 kit zoom idea. Zoom is a great selling point in marketing, but the small aperture, makes indoor shooting without a flash impossible without a tripod. Zoom lenses, are generally so slow, and so bad, that it's just not worth it. The "zoom" feature makes far too many comprimises optically speaking to make a good lens.

Professionals are willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars to get zoom lenses that only get into the same neighborhood (in terms of optical quality and speed) as prime lenses costing only several hundreds of dollars or a couple thousand at most. Are you? :er:

To put it this way, since f5.6 lets in four stops less light than f1.4, for your kit zoom to have the same shutter speed as a 300 dollar prime lens, it would have to use iso 1600 film instead of iso 100. If you used the cheaper 78 dollar f1.8 prime at f2, you'd still need iso 800 film instead of iso 100.

Usually, a faster lens is better than faster film, and a reasonably cheap prime lens will almost always dominate, in image quality and speed, an expensive zoom.
what a fantastic response :)

I too like the idea of the 50mm prime so I will run that by her, see what she thinks of not having a zoom.

When it comes to perfection of image quality and such, it just isnt a problem quite yet. This is much more of a learning experience at first, over time the lens range would expand (I would love to play with an 85mm f/1.8 on the full frame).

I've done a bunch of looking around, comparing and so forth. It turns out that she really wants to to be new (I feel the same way about my equipment, I just can't do used it has to be mine if that makes sense). I was also thinking of looking into different brands. I liked the idea of going into canon b/c we could share lenses, but if there is a better deal with a diff brand then perhaps thats the way to go.

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