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Thread: A film slr b4 a dslr?

  1. #21

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    Tks for all the input. Keep them coming.
    What are the essential things that I will need other than the camera body and lenses? Would like to know all other hidden costs excluding film, slides and tripod.

  2. #22

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    slides will come lightbox+loupe, then you'll say how expensive slides are and go for bulk roll, which then adds to bulk loader, etc.

    other things include external flash.

    hope that you're keeping your digicam and not dumping digital totally. there'll still be times where digicam is more convenient. i'm very glad i din sell off my digicam to 'raise funds'.

  3. #23
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    Originally posted by Falcon
    What are the essential things that I will need other than the camera body and lenses? Would like to know all other hidden costs excluding film, slides and tripod.
    other than the flash (which might not be necesary depending on what cam u get - some have built-in flash which is usually very weak), some cleaning stuff like cloth & perhaps some UV filters to protect your lens, everything else is optional depending on your shooting style.

    e.g. if your cam has a timer function, not really necessary to get a cable release. there's a whole truckload of accessories to consider, like special filters for effects (including close-up filters), extension tubes, tele-converters for lens, flash accessories like omni-bounce, monopod, etc.

    but to get started, there's really nothing else that you need... except mabbe a camera bag (and even that you can make do with a normal bag).

  4. #24
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    Originally posted by YSLee

    That's fallacious, one can easily learn from a digital or film camera, it greatly depends on the person behind the camera. In fact I'd say that it's better to start learning with a film camera, it'll teach you how to get a shot and learn about judacious shooting rather than blindly firing away in the hope of getting a good shot.
    Your conclusion is unfounded. Dun u think one can fire film blindly? y necessarily digital? One thing cannot be achieved with majority of film SLR bodies is: no detailed EXIF can be recorded. For this reason I think shooting film is easily "blind". Maybe each one of us has his/her own taste. It's ok if u think starting from a film body is good, but someone else may tell u a different story.

    Falcon, honestly, if u could afford a DSLR, go for it. Yes, it's the man behind the camera makes the difference.

  5. #25
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    Learn faster thru digital???I dun think so. IMHO, I think one shld start with film and then gradually accomodate the digital process. Shooting digital without even touching film is like only knowing how to drive a car with auto gear without even knowing how the manual gearing works.


    Suggestion-->> get a entry level film SLR to learn the basics . At a later stage, one can get a DSLR if he/she so inclines.

  6. #26

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    Originally posted by tomshen

    Your conclusion is unfounded. Dun u think one can fire film blindly? y necessarily digital? One thing cannot be achieved with majority of film SLR bodies is: no detailed EXIF can be recorded. For this reason I think shooting film is easily "blind". Maybe each one of us has his/her own taste. It's ok if u think starting from a film body is good, but someone else may tell u a different story.
    Before the days of electronic connectivity to the SLR bodies, there was the simple pen and notebook technique for detailed information recording! Even though I now use bodies such as the F5 and D1H at work with full access to the shooting details after I get back to the laptop/PC, the notepad or my own printed film record sheets are never very far away. Not all actual shot details will be recorded (examples - position of sun, actual lighthing conditions, filters used, specific shooting technique, equipment setup, etc...), not even on the D1H!!!
    Last edited by SzennyBoy; 17th September 2002 at 08:42 PM.

  7. #27

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    Originally posted by tomshen

    Dun u think one can fire film blindly? y necessarily digital?
    Having 36 exposures (or even less, as you move up formats) at a time does give one pause, especially if there's a cost factor to consider. Digital on the other hand, does not have either the cost factor, nor does it have the physical limits of film (witness the multitude of Microdrives and huge compact flash cards). It's certainly more convenient when you know what you're doing, but for someone totally new, it can create bad habits that can stunt your growth as a photographer.

    Face it, what is your keeper's ratio? Most of us probably are at 10% or less; with digital, it gets even worse, and having to sift through tonnes of similar images taken while in an undecided state of mind is NOT going to help one increase their awareness of style. Knowing what the hell you're doing when you're taking the photo helps a lot.


    One thing cannot be achieved with majority of film SLR bodies is: no detailed EXIF can be recorded. For this reason I think shooting film is easily "blind".
    As someone who has shot extensively with a cheap digital camera, I can tell you that the MOST useful data off the EXIF headers are date and time taken. The rest is purely academic stuff, and frankly after having enough experience one can guesstimate the settings and focal length used (hence my stand on the uselessness of the Nikon F80S - a pricey and rather bad value for money model of an otherwise great camera).

    And while I'm at it, I'm also sick of people asking what settings I used to take the photo. Knowing the settings doesn't mean YOU will get a good shot even if you apply the same settings in a similar situation (and heck, unless you have great experience in scene exposure and using a spot meter, the camera's meter is probably smarter than you as a newbie in applying settings). I'd rather people ask why I took the shot, and on what critera it made it past my editing process. Gaining master of exposing a shot is important, but really, what are you going to learn from one photo's setting NOT taken by you, and hence not knowing the then scene conditions?
    Last edited by YSLee; 17th September 2002 at 08:44 PM.

  8. #28
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    I too think that it would be beneficial for one to start with film first. I wouldn't argue the point that how a photographer turned out would very much be depending on him/herself rather than equipment. However, I feel that digital cameras have provided too many avenues for one to miss out on the basics of photography, if you don't know better.

    You don't learn by shooting tons and not knowing what you are doing. Yes, digital cameras allow that to happen.........shoot, no good, delete. Face it, almost everyone with a digital camera will fall into that trap, including yours truly.

    Moreover, if you're just starting out in photography, it doesn't make sense for you to shell out 3000k+ for a camera body. What if the fire don't outlast the value of the camera?

    That being said, the choice is yours.

  9. #29
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    For practical reasons, get a film body (entry level ones or even used ones) as they are alot cheaper than DSLRs!

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    hehe, i shoot both formats. But come to a learning tool, I have to say DSLR has advantages. Here we go again.

    1. I can try out as many light conditions as I like without worrying about wasting films.
    2. I have plenty of 'digital films' in my bag any time anywhere.
    3. I have a full speed range of films, and i can change speed easily.
    4. I have a 'built-in' filter for many different ligth conditions.
    5. I have instant feedback.
    ...

    I know many ppl start from film and love film. Nothing wrong. But shooting digital doesn't mean the photograher will be lazy. On the contrary, I am particularly careful about EACH shot i take in order to do better next time. I analyze my failure from the EXIF, read, and think, just as much as u guys shooting film. Once again, it is the man behind the camera makes the difference.

    Regards,
    Tom

  11. #31
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    Might as well put in my 2c worth.

    Given the choice between a DSLR and SLR as a novice I'd suggest the SLR every time.

    The reasons for this are many, and most have to do with actually learning how to make a photograph properly, that is good framing techniques, working around optical limitations and coming to grips with the basics of photography such as exposure theory, handling techniques (too often neglected) and so on.

    It should also be appreciated that DSLR's have their limitations as do SLR's, but the major limitation is the photographer and his/her/it's abilities and working practical knowledge. No amount of book-reading, surfing the net etc will actually replace time spent behind the lens.

    One should also realise that in falcon's projected period of 3 years there will be at least 2 generations of DSLR's released with an almost certain massive technological leap in that time frame.

    As for the EXIF data debate, a notebook and pen will give all the really critical information required for shooting and critiquing one's work. A considerable amount of EXIF data is pure wankery where most photographers are concerned.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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  12. #32
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    Originally posted by YSLee

    Having 36 exposures (or even less, as you move up formats) at a time does give one pause, especially if there's a cost factor to consider. Digital on the other hand, does not have either the cost factor, nor does it have the physical limits of film (witness the multitude of Microdrives and huge compact flash cards). It's certainly more convenient when you know what you're doing, but for someone totally new, it can create bad habits that can stunt your growth as a photographer.

    Face it, what is your keeper's ratio? Most of us probably are at 10% or less; with digital, it gets even worse, and having to sift through tonnes of similar images taken while in an undecided state of mind is NOT going to help one increase their awareness of style. Knowing what the hell you're doing when you're taking the photo helps a lot.

    As someone who has shot extensively with a cheap digital camera, I can tell you that the MOST useful data off the EXIF headers are date and time taken. The rest is purely academic stuff, and frankly after having enough experience one can guesstimate the settings and focal length used (hence my stand on the uselessness of the Nikon F80S - a pricey and rather bad value for money model of an otherwise great camera).

    And while I'm at it, I'm also sick of people asking what settings I used to take the photo. Knowing the settings doesn't mean YOU will get a good shot even if you apply the same settings in a similar situation (and heck, unless you have great experience in scene exposure and using a spot meter, the camera's meter is probably smarter than you as a newbie in applying settings). I'd rather people ask why I took the shot, and on what critera it made it past my editing process. Gaining master of exposing a shot is important, but really, what are you going to learn from one photo's setting NOT taken by you, and hence not knowing the then scene conditions?
    Hey, it seems that we have a very different view about many things...

    y is it wrong to fire more shots? If u never try it, u won't be able to know what the results are, right? I would say a photograher should shoot as many as he can, but think as much as he/she shoots. And learn as much as he/she thinks.

    Keeper rate? This is an interesting issue, the reason I shoot digital is to increase my keeper rate, before I swithc to shoot more film. I dun want to waste my money on my newbi-level mistakes.

    And the last point about EXIF, I am surprised to see that u think it's not important. It is probably the most important information to me to analyze my skills and improve later. Nothing can rescue me withou learning from my own mistakes and keeping my good habits. This is the one particular reason i dun like to shoot my EOS30. I always hope Canon can add this feature.

    Regards,
    Tom
    Last edited by tomshen; 18th September 2002 at 12:48 PM.

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    Originally posted by tomshen
    hehe, i shoot both formats. But come to a learning tool, I have to say DSLR has advantages. Here we go again.

    1. I can try out as many light conditions as I like without worrying about wasting films.
    2. I have plenty of 'digital films' in my bag any time anywhere.
    3. I have a full speed range of films, and i can change speed easily.
    4. I have a 'built-in' filter for many different ligth conditions.
    5. I have instant feedback.
    ...

    Regards,
    Tom
    A professional photographers reply coming up.

    In reply to your statements.

    1) If you know what you are doing you don't need to try out many different lighting conditions, nor waste film. This is where pure experience behind the lens comes in.

    2) A good competent photographer doesn't require lots of film, they are able to nail the shot at least 80% of the time in one frame, though taking saftey frames is normal practice at a professional level.

    3) A competent photographer will plan their emulsion choices based on the projected days shooting. This isn't as convenient as digital for sure, but it's no big deal either.

    4) 90% of lighting conditions can be covered with 3 conversion filters and with judicious choice you can use those filters on almost any lens.

    5) Point conceeded, however see point 1 above.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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  14. #34

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    [1] I can try out as many light conditions as I like without worrying about wasting films.
    I don't understand this. After say a few rolls of film, you should be able to judge whether the lighting conditions will result in a successful shot.


    2. I have plenty of 'digital films' in my bag any time anywhere.
    3. I have a full speed range of films, and i can change speed easily
    I don't see how this is a learning tool. What exactly do you learn by changing the ISO? That higher ISO has more grain/noise than lower ISO?

    4. I have a 'built-in' filter for many different ligth conditions.
    Is this important to someone learning photography? I've never used colour correction filters except say, 81A.


    Ultimately, I would agree with Tomshen that its the person behind the camera. If a person has talent, sooner or later it will emerge in the photographs he produces.

    Maybe a lot of the DSLR buyers are clueless newbies who are more equipment junkies with minimal artistic sense (when i read the dpreview forums i seem to get the impression). If thats the case, even if they start with a film SLR, they'll still be producing rubbish as they'll still obsess about the equipment rather than concentrate on learning photography

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    Sorry, those of u who think shooting digital is necessarily blind (and probably stupid), you are WRONG.

    Anyone can tell me what I cannot do with a DSLR but film SLR in terms of learning?

    A camera is only an equipment, it won't necessarily determine the behavior of a photographer. If u shoot DSLR with a 64MB CF, u end up with only a few films. Another example: if someone gives u a gun, does he/she imply u to kill or protect? Apparently, it is YOU who decide how to use the gun, right? I dun understand y so many pple get this impression shooting digital is like snapping. Honestly, I have seen many G1/Nikon 995 shots that make me (and you probably) feel shame. Do u think ppl using P&S *digital* (not DSLR yet) must be inferior to someone using SLR?

    For anyone who really wants to learn photography, the benefits of DSLR are tremendous. If film and digital SLRs are priced at the same level, which one will u choose to start learning? I guess the only handicap for a beginner from choosing a DSLR is the budget constraint.

    No flame to make, just something I have to talk about

    Regards,
    Tom

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    Ian: your assumptions are based on a self-aware photograher who knows what to do, but do not apply to a newbie. How do u think a newbie with film body dares to burst on a flying bird without worring about wasting film? If he never tries out sufficiently, how could he learn this skill? Even for pros, bracketing and shooting extra frames are also important. btw, u mean at least!! 80% keeper rate in ONE frame? I am impressive... Wish u r not talking about still-life photography.

    erwinx: I am trying to say DSLR offers convenience for learning, but others might think it makes photographers lazy. Sometimes if u run out of film, carry/load wrong speed film, and dun have certain filters, u won't be able to achieve the shots. We all know photography is a matter of shooting the right light at the right time. So dun tell me one can come back and shoot again.

    I think we should not go extreme. Saying one thing is good does not imply the other is bad. To me the major benefits of DSLR are the five points listed above. Even if i can get films and processing free of charge, I still want to choose DSLR for learning due to the above reasons. At the end of the day, I will record my best skills on slide films. Hope I have put it clearly.

    The reason why I pro DSLR is that I have fully benefited from it. Note that I never say one cannot learn well from film, but no doubt DSLR is definitely a good learning tool. If u dun believe me, pls visit my photo gallery and give me your harshest attacks (to help me learn what is missing due to not shooting a film SLR). That is a newbie photographer's five month work with a DSLR. I dun think I could possibly achieve that level (even if it looks inferior to your standard) in another way round...

  17. #37
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    Originally posted by tomshen
    Ian: your assumptions are based on a self-aware photograher who knows what to do, but do not apply to a newbie. How do u think a newbie with film body dares to burst on a flying bird without worring about wasting film? If he never tries out sufficiently, how could he learn this skill? Even for pros, bracketing and shooting extra frames are also important. btw, u mean at least!! 80% keeper rate in ONE frame? I am impressive... Wish u r not talking about still-life photography.
    Tom, you speak arrogantly for such a newbie to photography

    I speak as both a working professional photographer and also someone who mentors quite a few novices. The simple fact is that until you get a really solid grounding in the basics of photography you'll never make any real advancements later on. But don't let that worry you, you'll be finding out all about it in a couple of years time when you hit the big bad barrier that occurs when people don't learn the basics correctly.

    Who's talking still life, I shoot sport and wildlife for about 50% of my professional work and I'm talking high speed motorsports and far more tricky wildlife than you've yet shot (eg no JBP etc) and that 80% keeper level applies to those shots. With static shots I expect and demand of myself a 90-95% keeper rate.

    Enjoy your day
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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  18. #38
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    Well, if i may offer my SGD$0.02;

    No offense to anyone or towards their point of views but i would like to share how i feel.

    For me, i use an SLR @ work when it's warranted while at home, i use a digital camera (not a DSLR, but since we are talking abt how using digital might hamper the growth of someone as a photographer) and personally, for a newbie (since i am only starting out) i feel "safer" using a DC.

    The keeper ratio, for me isn't exactly very high, and that's what makes me strive harder to take more shots. In fact, i agree with Tomshen, that it doesn't make me any lazier but motivates me to know that i can do better so i keep taking the shots while i know cost will not be an issue. That itself is one o fthe key reason why i chose digital (for now).

    So which is better?

    Film/SLR, when employed, causes the photographer to think, pause and consider beforing firing off, due to the cost that will be involved later during developement. But this would also hamper someone who isn't familiar with an SLR and might hestitate to take shots because he/she is afraid if making mistakes and "wasting" money (though not so if a lesson is learnt, it won't be considered wasting, yes?)

    DC/DSLR users who have large <insert choice of storage media here> cards are able to shoot and get instant feedback. That, in itself is what is so attractive to me, since i can correct my mistake on the spot. But it might cause the photographer to develope bad habits...

    Do you now see the similarity?

    At the end of it, it's still boils down to how the person is, and how aware he is, as a "photographer". If the person is merticulous, like Keito, whom, i have seen him writing down the settings on a small notepad, then shooting in digital would help, by saving him time recording the settings. It wouldn't make him less merticulous, would it? However, if a person (who is, for argument sake comfortably well off) uses an SLR and is the sort who squeezes off shots randomly in hope of capturing a "keeper", using a DC would only exercebate the problem and make him/her even more callous in attitude.

    The tools and the format (Digital or Film) is secondary. It's how the person is and his/her attitude towards photography.

    If anything that was mentioned in here is deemed offensive, i respectfully apologise in advance.

    Regards;
    Benson
    Last edited by Wolfgang; 18th September 2002 at 12:09 AM.
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  19. #39

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    With all the pros/amateurs/novice arguing over this issue, I am also facing the same situation. Get a cheap film SLR or wait for affordable DSLR. Digital cameras has given me a freedom which I really enjoy so I am not sure moving on to film is a good idea. I am now considering the EOS 300v, wonder if that is a good starting camera.

  20. #40
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    Originally posted by Ian


    Tom, you speak arrogantly for such a newbie to photography

    I speak as both a working professional photographer and also someone who mentors quite a few novices. The simple fact is that until you get a really solid grounding in the basics of photography you'll never make any real advancements later on. But don't let that worry you, you'll be finding out all about it in a couple of years time when you hit the big bad barrier that occurs when people don't learn the basics correctly.

    Who's talking still life, I shoot sport and wildlife for about 50% of my professional work and I'm talking high speed motorsports and far more tricky wildlife than you've yet shot (eg no JBP etc) and that 80% keeper level applies to those shots. With static shots I expect and demand of myself a 90-95% keeper rate.

    Enjoy your day
    Ian, u should know even a newbie has his own thought. And everyone starts from a newbie. Honestly, I am truely impressive about your 80% keeper rate, especially u r talking about spots/nature stuff. For a person like me who is only able to shoot in JBP/zoo so far, seems have no right to talk at here. I'd better shut myself up and listen to more pro opinions.

    Regards,
    Tom

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