Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

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Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:46 pm

I'm going with the Canon camp on this one... partially because I've had good luck with every other Canon product I've owned, partially because everyone I know that has a SLR shoots Canon (so if I want to upgrade, I've got a bunch of friends that would probably sell to me first if they knew I was looking for something,) and partially because I found this thing for really cheap on Craigslist. ;) (All shots in this post made with my P&S.)

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(Picked up a cheap $20 tripod from Meijer to go with it.)

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(I never said it was a DSLR. And the definition of "cheap" is $50. ;))

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(Yes, I know, it's an f/slow zoom. It'll work. If not, I can get other stuff. And, if I get other stuff, I can take it to a DSLR when I go that route.)

I've only been shooting it dry to try to get familiar with the controls before I run some film through it...
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:50 pm

You have a habit of buying crappy, out of date stuff. Cars, laptops, keyboards, and now a camera. *sigh*
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:52 pm

Only reason I bought the iBook was because I didn't want to buy a MacBook to try out an OS that I wasn't even sure I'd like (and I knew I wouldn't care for the hardware, so buying it to run Windows or Linux was totally pointless.) Now, at least, it looks like OSx86 has been made to run better on the year-old ThinkPad that I've got that was $2700 new. ;)

And, I buy old out of date keyboards because they're better.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:54 pm

Well that was quick.

The problem with cheap film cameras is that they're cheap to buy but expensive to use. Doesn't take much shooting at all to run up substantial film/developing bills, unless you're developing yourself. Certainly the cheapest path to entry though.

That tripod looks pretty worthless, particularly with the center column extended ;)
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:58 pm

Yeah, it's not too durable, I'm tempted to take it back.

And, I'm fully aware of the shooting costs, although this article makes an interesting point - granted, not the most relevant point, as most of what I shoot on my P&S stays digital, and never gets printed. Most of what I'll be doing will be on my P&S, and if I want more manual control, I'll switch to the SLR.

And, I at least planned my entry - instead of just getting the cheapest film SLR I could find on Craigslist, I did plan on what system I'm going to stay with. ;)
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:13 pm

Rockwell's argument is bogus.


Case one: Let's say that I'm walking along with my DSLR hanging around my neck, and I see something interesting. I shoot a frame, look at the image preview and histogram in the LCD on the back of the camera, and realize that the shot was a dud (either due to photographer error or something unexpected), so I adjust settings, frame my shot more carefully, and re-shoot. With film, you wouldn't have realized that the shot was a dud until you got the prints back in a few days, and the opportunity to re-shoot would have been lost.


Case two: Let's say that I see some interesting action with my DSLR in my hand. I switch the drive to the stacked rectangle icon, point my camera at the subject and mash the button. It takes about six seconds to get 36 exposures.

Now, I preview those shots on the LCD on the back of the camera and decide that six of them missed completely or were badly out of focus. Press a button, and that junk shot is deleted! When I get back to my PC, I slip the flash memory card out of my camera and stick it into my PC's reader. I look at each of the photos in detail and decide to delete 20 more of them that aren't as good as the remaining 10. Next, I pick the three best ones out of the group, crop them, adjust the colors and saturation a bit, and have THREE photos that I like. If I want prints, I pay for THREE prints.

With film, you pay to have the whole 36-exposure roll developed and printed before you learn which three shots were good.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:16 pm

Keep in mind, the place where I'm probably going to go to get my film developed offers a cheaper option to just get the film developed and get a CD. (Although, your argument is still completely intact.)

But, yeah, I'm definitely going to be very conservative with shots with this. My goal here is sorta to force myself to only assume I get one shot at a good picture, so I try harder to make the best of that one shot - so I'm more likely to get good shots with whatever I shoot with.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:18 pm

bhtooefr wrote:Yeah, it's not too durable, I'm tempted to take it back.

And, I'm fully aware of the shooting costs, although this article makes an interesting point - granted, not the most relevant point, as most of what I shoot stays digital, and never gets printed. Most of what I'll be doing will be on my P&S, and if I want more manual control, I'll switch to the SLR.

It makes one point, but I'll make another. I paid ~$500 for my D70 body. I've made at least 12000 exposures, even with being busy as hell lately and not shooting much at all recently. I could turn around and sell it for $300 easily, as that's on the lower end of what they now sell for. That's about 60 shots per depreciation dollar. I suppose we can add storage costs as well if we want. Even shooting RAW all of those shots can fit on what's today an entry-level hard drive, or if you prefer less than 20 DVD-Rs. I guess I purchased a bit more flash than the camera came with, too. Let's be generous and call storage a $200 expense, so depreciation + image storage is quite pessimistically 30 images per dollar. Even cheap film and processing is several times that. Ken's final number for a sale price including printing is almost 10x as expensive per-image. Don't print (if they do develop and scan only) and it's 5x the price. Somewhere between 1000 and 2500 (rounding to give a bigger window) exposures developed and scanned at sale/bulk prices and you've spent more on film than I've lost on depreciation and (inflated, especially since my real cost is actually just the backup cost and the cost of a CF card) storage cost. Yes, you expose less (by necessity) with film, but the costs do add up.

The extra incentive for shot-discipline is good, but that same discipline could be applied to a DSLR with realtime feedback as well.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:27 pm

Oh, I don't deny that I'll want to move to a DSLR eventually. This is just a "for now" thing, and I can probably turn around and sell the body for $30 or so when I'm done with it. Or get what I paid for it, and sell the lens with it (which is probably what I'll do. Heck, I might get something like the 50mm f/1.8 prime soon.) Or keep it around if I want to shoot film for some reason (although, if I had a good DSLR, I don't see why I would want to, most of the image "advantages" of film can be recreated in camera settings or Photoshop.)
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:37 pm

There's also a chicken-and-egg issue in there too. That guy supposedly already knows how to shoot good pictures, you are just learning. You need to be disciplined with the SLR, but without trial and error you can't really learn. So then what?

You think you have out-grown your P&S and extracted the maximum from your P&S digital, and are now ready to take on (D)SLR's with your existing skill set without paying the "tuition"? I don't think so. Some of the stuff you may actually have to relearn I reckon.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:08 pm

Hey, just go shoot some stuff. It'll be a little tougher to learn with the film camera, I predict, but it could also be a greater source of learning. And hey, you never know, you might actually - gasp - get some good shots. Get to it, son!
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:43 pm

Looks like a friend of mine is doing a clutch job on his Golf TDI tomorrow, so I think I might use that to experiment. Not that there's not already a bunch of pictorials of clutch jobs on these cars, but it's just something to play with. And, I can get a few pics of the CAR, as well - it's lowered, got aftermarket wheels (that look quite nice,) and is well done (although a touch low for my tastes.)

So, I guess, here goes one roll of Fuji 400... :)
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:20 pm

bhtooefr wrote:So, I guess, here goes one roll of Fuji 400... :)

I have to admit I am out of the film market these days, but is there a need to shoot daytime pictures with 400 rolls? They don't have 100/200's anymore?
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:33 pm

On a side note, there is something to be said for using real film, and having to learn what you're doing as far as controls, lighting, f-stops, etc etc etc. there is also something to be said about delayed gratification. Don't get me wrong, i do love digital but I've always enjoyed using my film SLR as well. I have a total love of slides due to it. I think you'll find (hopefully) that you'll learn to think more about your shots using film and you'll focus on your composition. enjoy the camera. I would also suggest you use 100 asa film unless you're doing night shots or something..
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:46 pm

Concordia wrote:On a side note, there is something to be said for using real film, and having to learn what you're doing as far as controls, lighting, f-stops, etc etc etc. there is also something to be said about delayed gratification. Don't get me wrong, i do love digital but I've always enjoyed using my film SLR as well. I have a total love of slides due to it. I think you'll find (hopefully) that you'll learn to think more about your shots using film and you'll focus on your composition. enjoy the camera. I would also suggest you use 100 asa film unless you're doing night shots or something..

Can't you learn controls, lighting, f-stops, etc. on digital as well (granted some numbers may be different but the underlying concepts should be the same)? To me these days you have to be doing something special if you are sticking with film, like really large formats, shooing classic Hasselbrad's, or you have your own darkroom. IOW, you really know what you are doing.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:02 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Concordia wrote:On a side note, there is something to be said for using real film, and having to learn what you're doing as far as controls, lighting, f-stops, etc etc etc. there is also something to be said about delayed gratification. Don't get me wrong, i do love digital but I've always enjoyed using my film SLR as well. I have a total love of slides due to it. I think you'll find (hopefully) that you'll learn to think more about your shots using film and you'll focus on your composition. enjoy the camera. I would also suggest you use 100 asa film unless you're doing night shots or something..

Can't you learn controls, lighting, f-stops, etc. on digital as well (granted some numbers may be different but the underlying concepts should be the same)? To me these days you have to be doing something special if you are sticking with film, like really large formats, shooing classic Hasselbrad's, or you have your own darkroom. IOW, you really know what you are doing.

i wasn't implying that you cant learn those things from a dSLR, I just found it better with film. Just an opinion. I just think film is an enjoyable aspect of photography.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sat Sep 13, 2008 11:58 pm

Flying Fox: There was a box 200 right next to the 400, but I knew I might be shooting in some lower light situations. As it is, I suspect some of these pictures are going to turn out underexposed. (We'll find out tomorrow.)

Anyway, soon, I'll be getting a bunch of unused film, varying between 64 and 1600 ISO. ;)
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:05 am

I think it's great that you got a film camera. Digital provides many benefits, but there are some benefits of film that make film desirable over digital. It's the same reason some people prefer manual transmissions over automatics, or CD's over MP3's. Sure, automatic transmissions may be easy and very convenient, but a manual makes you one with the car and immerses you in the driving experience. MP3's may sound acceptable and be extremely portable, but uncompressed formats have a richness and smoothness to their bodies to which compressed audio can't hold a candle.

Digital photography format is great, but there's something about the process of using film -- the entire process, from beginning to end -- that makes it just that much more worth it.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:17 am

The point that myself (and others maybe) was making is not that film is no good, but learning with almost no idea what to do with film is a waste when digital is a cheaper alternative during the learning process. Sure in the good old days people had to "waste" a few rolls to get their feet wet, not today.

If you must use a car analogy, you still don't know the rules of the road and such, and then you have to care about the gears? Well, it's great when you can make it through, but there are better options. Paying for a wreaked gearbox+clutch just for the learning experience is not my cup of tea (may be it is for you).
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:26 am

Actually, I only trashed a clutch, not a gearbox, when I was learning to drive and learning stick at the same time, and if someone had told me that I shouldn't have done what I did that caused the clutch to explode, I wouldn't have done it, and I wouldn't have trashed a clutch (I was always very smooth with the clutch, I just made a shift that I shouldn't have, preparing 1st gear for when I'd have to go again, and didn't realize that, even if the clutch pedal is pushed in, so the engine will never see those speeds, ~8000 RPMs isn't good for the clutch on a diesel.)

But, yes, I learned to drive on a stick, and it probably made me a better driver. ;) Learning stick when you learn to drive also means that it's ingrained in you, and you can probably pick it up again later. From what I've seen, people that learned to drive on an automatic, then learned stick later have trouble driving stick if they haven't driven one in a while, whereas those that learned to drive on a manual, even if they've been driving only automatics for years, tend to be able to pick right back up where they left off.

But, that's offtopic. ;)
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:28 am

Your car analogy is better suited to saying that you shoudl use a point and shoot camera before using a form of SLR. The rules of driving -- staying on the right side of the road, obeying traffic signs, etc. -- is to me equitable to learning to use the rule of thirds, shooting with the light source at your back, etc. Playing with the extra manual controls on a camera is very much like playing with the manual controls on a car.

Really, the best way to learn how to do something is to do it, make mistakes, get burned, and learn from them. Nothing teaches quite like a bad experience that leaves an impression. If you have more riding on the line (cost-wise) with film and you make a mistake, you'll be darn well sure not to do it again. With digital, making those mistakes doesn't matter and there's little or no incentive to correct them.

I contend that you never know a problem until you've experienced it. Sure, you can read about it; but you'll never know what it's like to grow up poor unless you do, or rich unless you do... and it's the rare, rare person who can truly shoot one frame and do it well unless he's absolutely forced to do so, because let's face it: how many of us people who use digital cameras shoot only one picture of a scene? Everyone I know -- myself included -- shoots dozens of shots at once.

Note that I'm not trying to face off against you... just making a cool point. I don't mean it to be offensive.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:33 am

And, I have been learning on a point and shoot (and carry the digital P&S whenever I'm carrying the SLR.)

That also gives me the ability to do "proof" shots on the P&S (see how I like the composition, etc., etc.,) then switch out to the SLR when it's time to take "the one." Sorta like the Polaroid back method used by large format photographers, although using different cameras.

Although, keep in mind, I do plan on upgrading to a digital. ;)
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:47 am

bhtooefr wrote:That also gives me the ability to do "proof" shots on the P&S (see how I like the composition, etc., etc.,) then switch out to the SLR when it's time to take "the one." Sorta like the Polaroid back method used by large format photographers, although using different cameras.
Composition may be ok, but I am not sure if things like white balance and lighting can be "proven" by a P&S since they don't behave the same as an SLR?

bhtooefr wrote:Although, keep in mind, I do plan on upgrading to a digital. ;)

The film fanatics may consider that a downgrade. :lol:

@FireGryphon: not necessarily a complete auto P&S, I bought the PowerShot A40 as my first one because of the manual controls. Although arguably I already have some experience in framing and stuff on my dad's old film SLR/P&S. For people who want to learn more than just auto P&S and eventually may move on to DSLR, I always recommend them a good P&S with plenty of manual controls to play with, such as the now "ancient" PowerShot A-series (the new ones announced for Photokina suck so bad that I consider them not worthy of the A series name). Sure you can use up all 36 (or 38 if you are frugal enough) shots varying just one setting to get your proofs for learning purposes, but using digital is just more convenient and in the long run cheaper if you really want to systematically test out each setting. Note that this is by today's standards. Back in the old days you really have no choice but to take those shots.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:55 am

Oh, I know, white balance and lighting can't be done on the P&S, but like you said, composition can be. ;)

And, my P&S is an A560. Wish it were an A570 IS right about now, because that one has more manual controls.

(When I bought my A560, I was going for: cheap, better quality than my 640x480 camera phone, good. I didn't realize I'd actually be getting into this. ;))
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:17 am

You know what's funny... I have an old Canon A95, which is a P&S that I got four years ago. On photo outings, my friends carry around their Canon EOS digitals, and I still have the A95. True, the A95 doesn't have the dynamic range or the depth or richness of which the DSLRs are capable, but the A95 is easier to hold, and quicker to pull out and snap a spur of the moment shot. The last big photo outing we went on, most of the pictures I printed ended up being from the A95.

So hang on to your A560. It may not be all that in a technical sense, but it's still an invaluable tool.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:21 am

Have you tried CHDK on your PowerShot A560?
http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:26 am

Actually, yes, I've got CHDK on my card right now, although I don't auto-boot into it. It is helpful sometimes, though. :)
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:01 am

Concordia wrote:
Flying Fox wrote:
Concordia wrote:On a side note, there is something to be said for using real film, and having to learn what you're doing as far as controls, lighting, f-stops, etc etc etc. there is also something to be said about delayed gratification. Don't get me wrong, i do love digital but I've always enjoyed using my film SLR as well. I have a total love of slides due to it. I think you'll find (hopefully) that you'll learn to think more about your shots using film and you'll focus on your composition. enjoy the camera. I would also suggest you use 100 asa film unless you're doing night shots or something..

Can't you learn controls, lighting, f-stops, etc. on digital as well (granted some numbers may be different but the underlying concepts should be the same)? To me these days you have to be doing something special if you are sticking with film, like really large formats, shooing classic Hasselbrad's, or you have your own darkroom. IOW, you really know what you are doing.

i wasn't implying that you cant learn those things from a dSLR, I just found it better with film. Just an opinion. I just think film is an enjoyable aspect of photography.

There are arguments both ways. film enforces discipline, which is good for learning, but delays feedback, which isn't so good. Digital does the opposite, which essentially means it's a pretty good learning tool, as long as you are good at enforcing the necessary discipline on yourself.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:40 pm

mattsteg wrote:There are arguments both ways. film enforces discipline, which is good for learning, but delays feedback, which isn't so good. Digital does the opposite, which essentially means it's a pretty good learning tool, as long as you are good at enforcing the necessary discipline on yourself.

I'll agree with that, if you can stick to the basics on the dSLR for learning purposes then yes it can be a very effective learning tool. Sadly though I see far too many people taking the easy route and not really learning anything from the photography. Which I guess is fine if they are just wanting to take snapshot of the family and what not. But I think if that is their only goal... why not just stick to a p&s? There are some really snazzy ones out there now a days after all.
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Re: Hmm... now I've got an SLR...

Postposted on Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:51 pm

And at 4 today, I get to find out how badly I failed with the first roll of film I've shot in... oh... 10 years or so. :P

(That's when Cord Camera's supposed to have my film developed and my picture CD ready.)
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