Hello, can you help a newbie?? (plz)


TPF Noob!
Aug 28, 2003
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Hello i am a 16 year old who is interested in photography, as i do graphic design for hiphop artists such as websites and CD covers.

at the moment i only have a Canon A20 DIGITAL camera. although this is great for mucking about and getting the occasional usable picture for my design work

i would like to get a better camera digital or non digital so i can have more control over my work. all i need is basics to learn on that will give me a nice clear look; although i know the look is all dependable on how i use the camera.., i need one that is capable of performing, i will be using the camera in urban situations..

can you recommend anything for me??

thankyou in advance.
Within a few years a full feature digital SLR will be available for a reasonable price (under $500), but right now it is still pretty expensive.

On the other hand, you can pick up any number of good, inexpensive film SLRs that have the stuff a beginner needs to learn with. I'll suggest a few that I like.

Pentax K-1000: I have heard this camera called "the students' camera" and "the Volkswagon of cameras". They have all the manual features you need to learn photography, and none of the auto features to fall back on, and they are well built and sturdy. They are no longer made by Pentax, but there are lots of used ones in good shape out there. The older models (built in the 70's and early 80's) seem to be better constructed than the one's made right before production was stopped. Try to find one that comes with a f/1.7 or f/1.4 50mm lens, rather than the more common f/2 50mm lens. You will find them ranging for $100 to $200 with a 50mm lens.

Pentax Spotmatic: The predecessor to the K-1000. These cameras are built like tanks. They are generally considered so "uncool" these days that you can probably find a nice one for under $100. They have the same lack of auto features. This camera uses screw mount lenses instead of bayonet mount. There are lot's of great lenses available for the Spotmatic, and they are going cheap. I'll let you in on a secret: the Pentax Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4 lens (current market value=$35) is the same design and has performed as well in lens tests as Leica's 50mm f/1.4 Summicron (current market value=$1000+).

There are lot's of great, older model cameras to be had. Save your money for film and processing, more lenses, or that big, fancy, new digital SLR that will be coming along.

Now excuse me. I must go barricade the doors and hang garlic around to repel the hordes of undead Leica fans that have risen from their graves intent on eating my brains upon my blasphemous utterings.
I have a spotmatic. Let me tell you, it is a great camera, like said before, the thing is a tank, and it better be, causes its heavy as well. The reason I love this camera, other than it takes great pictures, is that all the lenses for it are CHEAP!!!

Only problem my light meter is actin' up (still works fine) but sometimes it causes the shutter to open, and not shut :roll:

I need to get it fixed but it does not bother me that much :)

Still it is a great camera, and cheap eough to set aside when you get a new one.
It is true that I have seen a fair amount of Spotmatics with broken light meters. That's okay, that makes them cheaper. Spend the savings on a light meter, or just use "sunny 16" for a while.
thanks for the advice i will go around looking for a new camera when i get the money :)

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