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Photography Question 

beginner is clueless

I am a beginning photographer. I would like some information as to which 35 mm manual camera you would recommend for someone such as myself. I am on a limited budget. Also, what does SLR mean? I have seen it attached to camera titles and am unsure of its meaning. Could you also inform me of the parts of a camera and what their function is?
Any help is greatly appreciated.

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11/16/2004 2:31:14 PM

Jacques G-L   Dear Laura
As I see you have internet, sorry but it's too long explane the camera function and their interaction. You have to find a good web site explaning basic in photo, and that's wonderfull.
SLR mean Single Lens Reflex. That permit you to use different lens. Reflex is the mirror flip action letting film exposition, and the way you see through a prism? to the mirror through the lens.
Wich camera...i could answer the one to your budget. How much is your interest? How much do you spend for your car?(that's not my buisness:)))
Laura, get a opportunity! in the quality and The quality is also in the reputation. If you have cheeper result compare to digital you will feel fool. I have 4 cameras 3 of them are medium format 6X6 (Blad Bronica Mamiya)and one old (it's my 6td SLR)Nikkormat 35mm slr , sometime pic confirm they are equal to medium size. Beleive me the price of this old (EXTREMELY RELIABLE)camera and lenss Nikor Kogaku manual focus lens (non AI) are so cheep you can have one because people are now in a histeric digital wave, (you can see those people talking on the Q&A camera problem and fonction programmation mess).
Lot of old SLR was good But FOR ME Nikkormat (FT, FTN, EL and more)has the touch of taste. You can get one used for 150.usd with a 50mm f1:2 (the 1:1.4)is brighter (more$). And because the cheep price you will be able to get a lot of different focal lens. You will reconise those lens with the small foork on the side, that is for the light meeter. The one I have came from a old National Geographic photographer, and never fell (the camera:)) No that guy is not die, is retired. If you are game (i am)take a look on eBay for that.

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11/16/2004 8:27:17 PM

doug Nelson   The manual focus Canon cameras are good buys because their lenses don't fit anything else. $300 will buy you a pro quality F-1 body, and a few of Canon's "sleeper" lenses, ie. great ones that get no respect (35mm f 2.8, sells for $35-50). You can get a Canon TX AND a 35 or 50mm for less than $100. I suggest a 50mm "normal" lens, a moderate wide of 35 or 28mm, and a short tele of maybe 100mm. Canon actually made very few BAD lenses. A minor pitfall here is that you MAY have to send a used camera off for a CLA (clean, lube, adjust) to the tune of $80-160. After that, however, you have a camera that will last you 10-15 years. See my web page for other tips.

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11/17/2004 11:08:20 AM

  Hi laura - that's a heck of a loaded question - and I tend to agree with jacques g.

but before answering your question may I pose a couple for you to answer.

In which direction do you wish to go with your photography? just hobbie? for textures for cg work? for art work? photo journalism? sports, flowers, animals, people? What do you want to take pictures of?

My medium format and some 35mm only goes up to 1/400 which is no good for certain fast action shots but is great for landscape and portrait. My 35mm is great for fast action but doesn't do double exposure like shooting a moon over city scape photo...

figure out what you might want to do then you can look for feature in a used camera. whether 35mm or Medium format. For digital and shoing pics on the web or digital art kodak makes a great little camera for around 300 to 500 (4-5meg) 35mm "film" is expensive but cheaper than MF "film" for processing.

Digital is the wave of the future - hands down. Especially for 35mm.

Going totally manual, any halfway descent camera can be 'set' to manual. and then your going to spend more money trying to add the features if the camera doesn't have it.

Personnelly (and I have both 35mm and MF film camera's as do alot of members here) I, if going 35mm would go digital @ 4-5 meg minimum. if I wanted film go medium format - used there inexpensive right now - my Mamiya rb67 pro was 300 bucks! about the same as a 4meg digital! But!, I had to replace light seals no biggy doing it my self, then, I descovered lenses are the big thing, and expensive whether for 35mm or MF. My 35mm - a pawn shop! my other 35mm a yard sale - $5.00.

First deside what you and to shoot.

Deside on the features you might need in camera bases on the answer to the above question.

Third and most important before buying - if buying used - search the internet for a buying a used camera check list or guide (and they are out there.) why? you have to know what to look for to make sure the camera works properly.

Lastly keep this in mind - and the pro will concure on this ... it's not the camera that takes great pictures it's you

for that matter - a 35mm point and shoot for ten bucks at the drug store in the right hands, including yours and ( it's totally manual)can produce some really awsome pictures.

Hope my 2 cents helps - I'm beginnign too...good luck and happy shooting. ;)


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11/17/2004 4:52:22 PM

  Hi again laura - Having re-read your post and having my own experience as a beginner on a limited budget; I really have to add to my reply - with you asking about the parts to a camera and what they do that tells me that you may not have taken a lot of pictures and so the question to ask yourself of which direction yor going to take with your photography may be very difficult to answer at this point.

May I suggest this as an alternative - go get yourself a cheaper digital cmaera and start shooting everything you want. a 2.3 meg for now and save your money till -
a.) you deside whether photgraphy is something you really want to do.

b.) what you really want to take pictures of.

c.) you familiarize yourself with photography in general.

You're going to find you'll have alot of questions you'll be confronted with as you go along.

Just get one that has a screw mount on the lens for filters. so if you want to play with filters or close up lens etc you can add to your gear. Fairly inexpensively.

Put the rest of your money away and add to it and save for what you really want in a camera. whether it be a 35mm or MF.

Write down the options and type pictures you want to take along the way so when your ready to buy your main camera you'll have a list of what you want it to do.

Do some tutorials with your camera and/or take an online course, and read and read. Take all the pictures you want And read some more. Try different things with your camera, night shots, sunset shoots, day time shoots, etc, some shoots you won't be able to do...again write it down, write down what it's it going to take to create that paticular photo etc, etc.

Learn about 'post' production of your photos' - that's part of the process to making great photo's /photo art. There's alot to photgraphy and it's not matter how you do it whether digital or film.

Give yourself time to get a feel for it By then you'll have your money saved and when ready a good sense for what you expect your main camera to do. You'll be more familair with the camera and how it works.

You can do what you want but If I didn't know anything about cameras - that's the route I'd take.

Hope this helps.

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11/17/2004 8:05:51 PM

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