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Photography Question 
Marti Tyrrell

35mm SLR Vs. Other 35mm Cameras

What are the differences between a 35mm SLR and the rest of the 35mm family?

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4/6/2004 11:40:59 AM

Terry L. Long   SLR is an acronym for Single Lens Reflex. This means the image is viewed through a single lens, bounced around a pentaprism and then out the eyepiece/viewfinder. When the shutter button is pressed, a mirror in the pentaprism lifts upward and out of the way, which allows the image to be projected onto the film after the shutter opens. After the correct amount of time has expired, the shutter closes and the mirror returns to its down position, thus allowing you to view through the lens again. Another way of saying this is TTL ...Through The Lens. Most modern 35mm SLR cameras offer TTL metering, which is convenient.

A "rangefinder" is a camera in which the viewfinder does not allow viewing through the lens but rather off to one side of the lens. Rangefinders do not offer TTL metering but are quieter, less bulky, and have less camera shake. This is because a pentaprism isn't needed, and there isn't a mirror to "slap" the camera every time the shutter button is pressed.

A good portion (but not all) of medium format cameras are SLR's. It's just that they're a larger format than 35mm. They also come as TLR (twin lens reflex) cameras in which there are actually two lenses mounted to the camera ... one for viewing the subject and the other where the subject is projected through and onto the film when the shutter is released. Most of the smaller and pocketable point and shoot (PnS) cameras are rangefinders ... that's for both film and digital cameras.

The information I provided is very basic. There are other differences specific to the camera that I didn't bother to cover. If you're in the market for a camera, you should determine what kind of photography you're going to get into before you decide which camera you get.

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4/6/2004 4:52:22 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  This question keeps coming up after about the same amount of time has passed. And it's always worded the same way. Is it from one of those online courses, or is it from a real school class?

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4/7/2004 3:53:16 AM

Terry L. Long   Gregory,

This is the first time I've ever seen this question. It's a good question...espcially if it's from someone who's just starting out in photography. I just hope I've given out enough information for the person(s) to further research into the differences of 35mm cameras.

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4/7/2004 5:54:58 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Who said it wasn't a good question. I just wondered if it's from somebody in high school/college class, or from one of the online classes. Cause it sounds like a home work question coming from the same teacher, just somebody has it during the fall semester, then somebody else has it during the spring semester.

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4/7/2004 8:37:13 PM

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