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Thread: Me moving backwards?

  1. #1
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    Question Me moving backwards?

    Hi,

    Something has been lingering on my mind... With all the automation in our SLRs in general ie. AF, AE, and all those acronyms, I sort of lost touch with what my teacher, a photographer has said: 'Spend your time finding the image, not figuring out the camera.' After those words, I started to think about what I really do when taking a picture. I realised that I spend more time figuring out my DSLR's buttons and functions than finding that image. With all these technologies I seriously think that I've not learnt much photography at all... Am I being cynical?

    I have this urge deep inside to move back to using a manual camera like the Nikon FM3a with manual focus lenses from my fully automated Canon 1DMKII with them superfast USM 'L' lenses blah blah... (Sorry if I sound like I'm jumping camps Canonians!) I'm wondering is this a good move to move back to good ol' film and manual everything (I know, the FM3a has Aperture Priority too...) cameras and lenses because I really want to go Manual everything and sell away my autofocus stuff (1DMKII and 'L' lenses) for like 2 FM3a's and a bunch of manual focus lenses with the money... I'm already going to move to manual with a medium format camera...

    What is your perspective on that? Appreciate if you could comment on my thoughts...

    Regards,
    Nick
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

  2. #2

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    Your Nikon FM3 has more automation than my camera.

    I have recently gone into 4x5 photography in B&W. How much more back to basics can one go?

    The only automatic thing I have is a light meter. And after I had taken the pictures, it is developing the negatives, seeing the images coming out, and finally printing them!

    An interestingly, I have made my best images so far in my short photography journey. The fact that you are seeing everything upside down, inverted. Looking at shapes and forms, being careful. Every sheet of film carefully exposed!

    I think I have become a better photographer. I have learnt to see better. Certainly my images are better!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    Your Nikon FM3 has more automation than my camera.

    I have recently gone into 4x5 photography in B&W. How much more back to basics can one go?

    The only automatic thing I have is a light meter. And after I had taken the pictures, it is developing the negatives, seeing the images coming out, and finally printing them!

    An interestingly, I have made my best images so far in my short photography journey. The fact that you are seeing everything upside down, inverted. Looking at shapes and forms, being careful. Every sheet of film carefully exposed!

    I think I have become a better photographer. I have learnt to see better. Certainly my images are better!
    Haha...

    well that is true too, but really I'd want to move to a fully manual camera because I don't need to forget to charge the batteries etc... Even if the batteries die in the mechanical camera, I just cannot meter that's all... That's alright... Yes, like you I was inspired by myself learning a little darkroom stuff from my school's darkroom and making my own prints... Sometimes I wonder if going into that darkroom for that 2 hrs was going to make or break my photography... I really have the urge to go retro now... Hmmm....
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

  4. #4

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    "Spend your time finding the image, not figuring out the camera" - very true, which from my prespective, find a confortable settings that you use, and make it accessable when adjustment is needed... then you're all set to spend the rest of your life finding the image... I guess, going back to manual everything, you'd probably spend time figuring out the manipulation till u get use to it again...

    Still in doubt? sell me ur mk 2 cheap cheap... I'll take good care for you
    and of course, your 300 F4L and your 70-200 F2.8L... kekekeke

    I like to build something on a existing, not from scrap... but then again, manual everything sounds fun... u decide...

  5. #5

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    FM3a is a camera, will become a classic.

  6. #6
    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    why not go into Pentax K1000 + 50mm? Fully manual, comes with centre weight metering. If you find that not challenging enough, remove the L44 battery and make your own metering judgement. Use a full manual flash, even more challenging!!

    I did that, had lots of fun with it.

    Saw someone selling in CS B&S. Cheap.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by whoelse
    FM3a is a camera, will become a classic.
    Yea, tried a friends one... great solid cam... too bad it's film... hate the incremental cost and I'm just too new to these tat I'll like an instant preview... won't mind getting a digital equivalent of Fm3... ( which, hopefully dun cost a boom lar... )

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmak
    Hi,

    Something has been lingering on my mind... With all the automation in our SLRs in general ie. AF, AE, and all those acronyms, I sort of lost touch with what my teacher, a photographer has said: 'Spend your time finding the image, not figuring out the camera.' After those words, I started to think about what I really do when taking a picture. I realised that I spend more time figuring out my DSLR's buttons and functions than finding that image. With all these technologies I seriously think that I've not learnt much photography at all... Am I being cynical?

    I have this urge deep inside to move back to using a manual camera like the Nikon FM3a with manual focus lenses from my fully automated Canon 1DMKII with them superfast USM 'L' lenses blah blah... (Sorry if I sound like I'm jumping camps Canonians!) I'm wondering is this a good move to move back to good ol' film and manual everything (I know, the FM3a has Aperture Priority too...) cameras and lenses because I really want to go Manual everything and sell away my autofocus stuff (1DMKII and 'L' lenses) for like 2 FM3a's and a bunch of manual focus lenses with the money... I'm already going to move to manual with a medium format camera...

    What is your perspective on that? Appreciate if you could comment on my thoughts...

    Regards,
    Nick
    you already said it, its the image that counts, so what has it got to do with what camera you use? just tape up the LCD screen or set it no review, or pass your camera to me, i got more uses for it really.

    you can treat your mkii like a FM3 no, expect shoot film in it, off all auto focus, manual everything, no review after you shoot, why waste money switching?

    or is the camera that you are lusting? then whatever camera you use also useless... you are just lusting equipment.
    Last edited by Belle&Sebastain; 22nd November 2004 at 10:41 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmak
    Hi,

    Something has been lingering on my mind... With all the automation in our SLRs in general ie. AF, AE, and all those acronyms, I sort of lost touch with what my teacher, a photographer has said: 'Spend your time finding the image, not figuring out the camera.' After those words, I started to think about what I really do when taking a picture. I realised that I spend more time figuring out my DSLR's buttons and functions than finding that image. With all these technologies I seriously think that I've not learnt much photography at all... Am I being cynical?

    I have this urge deep inside to move back to using a manual camera like the Nikon FM3a with manual focus lenses from my fully automated Canon 1DMKII with them superfast USM 'L' lenses blah blah... (Sorry if I sound like I'm jumping camps Canonians!) I'm wondering is this a good move to move back to good ol' film and manual everything (I know, the FM3a has Aperture Priority too...) cameras and lenses because I really want to go Manual everything and sell away my autofocus stuff (1DMKII and 'L' lenses) for like 2 FM3a's and a bunch of manual focus lenses with the money... I'm already going to move to manual with a medium format camera...

    What is your perspective on that? Appreciate if you could comment on my thoughts...

    Regards,
    Nick
    why waste money buying another camera?

    i'm pretty sure your canon 1D MKII has a manual mode, and you can switch to manual focus.

    it just amazes me that when people want to 'go back to basics' they think they have to buy new gear. i'm pretty sure that all the money that was spent on buying the latest and greatest with all the bells and whistles gear should have manual and non-AF modes.

    i have a nikon F801, i shoot without the AF and using aperture priority, but i can also shoot in full manual if i wanted to. don't have to buy new gear.

    so save your money and better utilize your gear. i'm pretty sure there's a lot more camera in your 1D MKII than you can handle.
    Today is a gift; that's why it's called the present.
    The toys

  10. #10

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    why think so much ?

    just shoot more


    cultivate the eye, than the equipment

    friggin mk2 is frggin fast but so what man.. no eye no nothing..

    you don't really need a camera to compose an image you know

    there's something called the eyeballs and the brain

    i still remember quite a number of "photographs" i have taken and stored in my brain... not with any camera but with my eyes

    so just go train on that.. if you really love photography and want to improve, you don't really need a camera by your side.. just look at any everyday thing and try to think of someway to do something good with it.

    all the best

  11. #11
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    Thanks patch17 and sequitur for your ideas... I'll keep my MKII and get a really cheap and light camera for my trekking trips... Like the FM10 kit because its a very light kit for my treks and is possibly a camera that can be thrown inside my rucksack with film... (Can't wait for Mongolia!)

    its true, its not the camera but the eye... I'm convinced... thank you...

    Bro Ross, sorry!
    The equipment can only bring you so far - the rest of the photographic journey is done by you.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by sequitur
    why think so much ?

    just shoot more


    cultivate the eye, than the equipment

    friggin mk2 is frggin fast but so what man.. no eye no nothing..

    you don't really need a camera to compose an image you know

    there's something called the eyeballs and the brain

    i still remember quite a number of "photographs" i have taken and stored in my brain... not with any camera but with my eyes

    so just go train on that.. if you really love photography and want to improve, you don't really need a camera by your side.. just look at any everyday thing and try to think of someway to do something good with it.

    all the best
    yup, today i got 4 images but i never bring my camera out, its stored in my CPU (brain)

    1) image of moon with a 5 story high plam tree in 6.30pm blue sky
    2) stray cat expression from getting a fish from newpaper vendor
    3) the indian opposition (workers party) jayabalan selling his books in city hall with a placcard stating LKY has a weapon in his bag.
    4)my wife glazing look across the road

    tomorrow i shoot one 1 again.

    i dun need a mkii or FM3, i need an eye.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by nickmak
    Thanks patch17 and sequitur for your ideas... I'll keep my MKII and get a really cheap and light camera for my trekking trips... Like the FM10 kit because its a very light kit for my treks and is possibly a camera that can be thrown inside my rucksack with film... (Can't wait for Mongolia!)

    its true, its not the camera but the eye... I'm convinced... thank you...

    Bro Ross, sorry!
    no sweat it dude... glad we smack u outta it... kekekeke...

  14. #14
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    you might be talking about stumbling still over controlling the camera. still happens to me somewhat often

    do experiment, but more importantly, find out what works, and what doesn't help...

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    'Spend your time finding the image, not figuring out the camera.' Hmm... actually from my point of view. The meaning of these words are more likely to ask you not to mess too much with your camera setting and try to look more into your composition, subject and surrounding of your pictures.

    With full manual camera, you will spend more time tweaking and setting your camera to get just one pictures. Doesn't this make you spend more time to figure out your camera b4 you shoot?

    Just my point of view. I just like to shoot more and paymore attention to what i want to capture than spend a lot of time shooting using full manual.

  16. #16
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    IMO, on the contary, since its film / slide (=>$$), and manual (lots of setting to do and since I remove the battery, force to estimate the EV), and only 1 lens (got to walk around and move forwards or backwards), it will force you to be very carefull with every shot.

    I am not saying digital or electronic assisted camera (eg eos) cant do it. But I do find myself becoming less carefull.

    As with using any eqpt, unless you fully understand your eqpt, you cant exploit it. If you dont understand whats the different between pro and consumer camera in the 1st place (ie what it can and cant do), then dont you think its better to buy a consumer one?

    I think I learn more about flash photogarphy using full manual system (from the past 1 month and through explaining manual flash operation to fellow CSers) then I did on the digital system. Since I could care less as digital system, no cost (film/slide, processing, printing).

    Like I said, IMO. Maybe I a just from the old school thats all. Or I could just be due to the "dont give a damn, its free" attitude.
    Last edited by denniskee; 22nd November 2004 at 11:53 PM.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  17. #17
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    you could use manual mode on the 1DMkII and maual focus your lenses. there's no need to use automation if you don't want it

  18. #18
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    Its human mentality, as with Auto-transmittion (with tiptronics) car, how many actually use the +/-? Since there is auto, why use manual kind of thinking?

    Thats why I have also switch to prime lens, forcing myself to explore all angle, thats not to say zoom lens cant do it. But when given the convenience, how many will?
    Last edited by denniskee; 23rd November 2004 at 12:02 AM.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chunger
    'Spend your time finding the image, not figuring out the camera.' Hmm... actually from my point of view. The meaning of these words are more likely to ask you not to mess too much with your camera setting and try to look more into your composition, subject and surrounding of your pictures.

    With full manual camera, you will spend more time tweaking and setting your camera to get just one pictures. Doesn't this make you spend more time to figure out your camera b4 you shoot?

    Just my point of view. I just like to shoot more and paymore attention to what i want to capture than spend a lot of time shooting using full manual.
    Once you've mastered your camera (for me, FM2n is really that simple), it's not wasting time. Rather I find the extra seconds I take to turn the dials gives me time to reconsider my composition. Having said that, it doesn't mean I can only shoot still objects. Pre-metering before hand can still net you those action shots. Just a matter of watching and waiting for the shot you want.

  20. #20

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    why not simply shoot in full-auto/program mode? then you won't need to spend any time figuring out your DSLR's controls at all. this will free you completely to find the image.
    you can buy better gear but you can't buy a better eye

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