BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 

Just starting out

I have a digital camera and use it all the time. However, I want to buy a film camera to shoot everyday things; nature, landscape, and people. I don't have a lot of money to spend. I would probably use a 35mm format. I would like a manual focous.I hate to ask this but what is metering models? If you could give suggestions on cameras it would be appreciated.

To love this question, log in above
8/21/2006 10:37:43 AM

Bob Fately   Megan, what do you mean by "metering models"? Or was that a typo of some kind?

If you mean metering type systems, then perhaps this will help.

First, most modern cameras have "through the lens" (TTL) light meters; these measure the light coming through the lens itself (plus filters, extension tubes, or whatever else you install in there). It is as opposed to a hand-held meter, which would require that you include any light loss from, say, a polarizing filter, after you take the reading from the meter.

Next, there are two general methods of metering light - reflected and incident. All in-camera light meters are reflective; handheld meters can often meter light both ways.

Reflected metering is when the light bouncing off the subject (reflecting) is measures. incident reading is done by measureing the light that is falling on the subject, and in some situations this is a better way to do it (if you have an appropriate handheld meter).

Finally, when speaking of reflected light meters, there are a few versions: average metering, center-weighted, and spot.

Average, as the name implies, meters the light throughout the entire scene. Center weighting gives more importance to whatever's in the middle of the shot (say, a black cat on white sand). Spot metering is a more extreme version of center weighting, where only a small portaion of the entire scene is measured. A given camera may offer only one, two or all three of these methods, usually selectable by a control someplace.

Hope that made sense, and that it helped...

To love this comment, log in above
8/21/2006 2:39:53 PM

Christopher A. Walrath
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/25/2006
  There are many 35mm SLR models to choose from. THe older, the cheaper, the (IMHO) better. Nikon F series are more or less top of the line. Pentax is another name of the old guard. I, myself, have two older Minoltas. An XG-M, made around 1981 that has electronic TTL metering and a few other nice and sometimes handy features such as Automatic Exposure and Light Bracketing. I also have an older still SR-T101 that has a TTL metering, needle type system that runs if you have the battery in, but this camera can be run fully mechanical. No batteries required. One of the most recent BTB cameras still around. And all of the older Minolta cameras (SR and X models) take the same lenses, MC and MD mount and there are lots of sources for these inexpensive components such as eBay, et al. eBay has been good to my camera bag. I have two systems and gave a third to a friend to get her started all for about $800. Bodies, lenses, filters, acc's. You name it.

To love this comment, log in above
9/13/2006 4:32:41 PM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.