I need a jumping off point...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Pasternak, Jul 29, 2003.

  1. Bob_McBob

    Bob_McBob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Instant return means that you press the shutter release, the mirror flips up, the shutter opens, the shutter closes, then the mirror flips down again. As far as I know, every SLR made over the past ~45 years has had an instant return mirror, starting with the Asahiflex IIb in 1953. Before that, the mirror would stay up until you advanced the film, which I'd imagine was decidedly inconvenient! I'm not entirely sure what you're specifically refering to in your second question. Do you understand the basics of how an SLR works?


     
  2. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Messages:
    6,194
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Hollywood, FLA USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yes, Through the lens or TTL is taking about the light meter
     
  3. Bob_McBob

    Bob_McBob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    It could just as well be the viewfinder, through the lens is a bit ambiguous ;). That's why I was asking if he knew how an SLR works.
     
  4. Pasternak

    Pasternak TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, If this was an essay question in Photography 101 on how an SLR works I would probably BS my way into a C-. So if you guys want to unload some knowledge on me go ahead. As a side note, I was wondering, can you change lenses in the middle of a roll of film, I didnt think so, but someone told me that double check. Thanks.

    Ben
     
  5. motcon

    motcon TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2003
    Messages:
    1,410
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    usa. soon to be a euro boy.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    whew, back from gallivanting.

    now then. yes, you can most certainly change lenses mid roll. the shutter is closed until you open it with the press of the shutter release.

    actually, you don't really need to know much at all about an slr at this point. what matters now is that you do exactly what you are doing; research and ask questions to determine what makes sense for you and we will make sure we recommend something that is better than decent and won't let a piece of crap enter your hands. when you get the camera and play w/it for a bit and read the manual, then i think it's time for the nitty gritty. if you'd rather hash it out over a 3mm or 2mm spot, by all means say so and we'll oblige.

    you can say:

    'i want to be able to meter by looking through the thingy'
    'i want the thingy that you can manually turn to adjust the light coming in through the thingy'

    we have you covered. brass tacks can come later.

    the mirror return question has been very ably answered.

    what else?
     
  6. Pasternak

    Pasternak TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks again. I went to check out a local camera store and they had two k1000's. Both have the Asahi logo above the pentax logo, and they claimed that it is just the same as a run of the mill pentax k1000, just made somewhere else for pentax. They wanted 160 for one of the used bodies, and 140 for the other one, which had a little more wear. I got them to go down to 130 on the one that was priced at 140, but with no lenses or accessories, I said forget it. I want the camera but I also have buying integrity and refused to be had.

    Ebay has about 8 auctions ending a day, and a lot of the times they have additional lenses and flashes included. I guess a lot of people give up and sell their lot.

    Should I use ebay if it feels right? Or should I buy locally? Thanks.

    Ben
     
  7. Bob_McBob

    Bob_McBob TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Personally I buy all my used camera equipment on eBay. If you play your cards right, you can get some amazing deals. You have to be careful about doing that, however. Make sure you ask lots of questions. If the seller doesn't respond, just ignore the auction. Be sure to always check out their feedback. When I want to buy something, I search for it, and add all the relevant results to My eBay, so I can keep track of the prices. I find the ones I'm most interested in, and pay particular attention to them. I also check out how much the item has been going for in the past (Search-->Advanced Search-->Completed Items only). Set a limit on what you're willing to pay for one of these cameras, and don't bid over it. There's a great temptation to bid "just a little more," which can end up with you paying way too much for the camera :). It's not worth bidding on an item until the last 15-30 seconds. Before that, you're just driving up the price. What I did for the last two items I bought was use a "sniping" service at http://www.auctionsniper.com They'll bid for you at any point in the auction (for instance, 5 seconds before the end). They give you three free "snipes" to begin with, which is great for people like me who don't buy a lot of stuff. To start off, you'll probably want to get a camera that comes with at least a basic 50mm lens, which most do. They're dirt cheap, and it would be easier to just buy it with the camera. If you're willing to spend a little more, kits (ie camera, multiple lenses, flash, etc.) usually go for far less than the individual items that make them up are worth. I've had some decent experiences buying "as is" items, but I don't think that's the sort of thing you'd want to do. Here's a list of questions I would ask:

    1) Photos of: pressure plate, shutter curtain, take-up spool.

    2) Has the lens got dust between the elements? Is there dust inside the viewfinder? Is the mirror clean?

    3) Are the meter and shutter working correctly? Is the camera in good working order? Are the light seals and mirror foam intact/new? Usually these questions are answered in the auction. If not, be sure to ask!

    Let me give you some explanations for these questions. First, the photos. The pressure plate is a metal plate on the camera back (the part that folds out when you open the back) that holds the film flat behind the shutter. The shutter curtain is a piece of cloth (well, multiple pieces, but you only see one) that travels horizontally to expose the film for a certain length of time. If this has anything on it, or is at all dimpled or wrinkled, ignore the auction. It's the most important part of the camera, and any problem here will mean a lot of money to repair. The take-up spool is where the film is taken up after coming from the film cassette. A lot of wear here is a good indication that the camera has seen a lot of use, and might not be in great shape internally. Same goes for the pressure plate.

    Lens, mirror, viewfinder. Dust inside the elements (glass segments) of the lens probably won't show up in photos, but it's good to know beforehand. Scratches on the front or back will probably show up as flaring in bright photos, so you probably don't want a scratched lens. The mirror should be free of gunk and other spots, because these will show up as dark spots in the viewfinder, which is annoying as hell. Cleaning SLR mirrors is somewhat nerve-wracking, it's very easy to screw them up accidentally. The viewfinder should hopefully be free of dust, but whether it makes a difference is up to you, of course.

    The camera should obviously be in good working order, you don't want to pay to have it fixed right after you get it. The foam that the mirror touches when it's flipped up has often disintegrated on older cameras, so it doesn't perform very well, and may get stuck to the mirror and get inside the viewfinder. Not a very nice situation. This can also happen to the light seals inside the back (thin strips of foam), which can be just as bad. You don't want bits of foam going all over the place inside the camera. You can actually repair this problem yourself for about $10-15, so it's not as bad as some other problems might be.
     
  8. Pasternak

    Pasternak TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0


    very helpful. I was looking at this one and contemplating sniping it later tonight. Maybe I should wait and go for one that is ending in a few days and contact the seller and ask him the things you told me to ask about. Here is the one ending tonight:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2942535964&category=15240

    thanks.

    Ben
     

Share This Page