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Thread: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

  1. #1

    Question A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Hello everyone. I apologize if this is a bit long winded but I think you'll understand where I'm coming from if you know my background.

    Just a little introduction about myself. I started becoming more serious about photography about 3-4 years ago when I got a compact digital camera. I particularly enjoyed photographing nature, and was quite proud with how I progressed. Then my dad gave me a second hand film SLR, and started enjoying photography even more.

    However, I'd say that although I have the artistic eye and knows how to take a good photo, I lack the technical knowledge. In other words, I take whatever I think is good, without making much technical effort (fiddling with the camera settings to get different results). I see something good, I snap away be it using my digicam, film SLR or even mobile cam. As you can see in my deviantArt page: http://ashknight.deviantart.com/gallery

    Problem is, I have been losing my passion lately. I would want to develop as a photographer more but the lack of equipment stops me. As much as I love my film SLR (the only SLR cam I have), the constant trip to the photo center downtown to get my film rolls scanned (I am clueless with regards to darkrooms ) and the amount of money it takes is already taking a toll on me. Also, since I could not view the pictures right away, I feel lazy to actually take time to experiment with my SLR.

    So I decided that it would be best to get a dSLR in order to rekindle my passion for photography. And that's where the dilemma comes in:

    1) Should I keep my Film SLR or sell it? (I have a Canon EOS 650D) and has a 50mm 1:2.25 lens as well as a Canon 18-80mm Ultrasonic 1:3.5-5.6 lens.

    *** A friend suggested that I just keep it since I won't be getting much from the cam anyway. How about the lens? Unless I get a Canon camera, then I will just be wasting the 18-80mm lens, don't you think?

    2) I know that Canon is not better than Nikon and vice versa. But for all of you who may have used both, why should I go for a Canon or why should I go for a Nikon?

    3) I have a limited budget, most likely $1,500 max. What dSLR models would you recommend?

    I mainly take landscape and nature shots but once I have my dSLR, I would like to start experimenting with human subject and probably everything else.

    I would really appreciate your replies! Your guidance would mean a lot. Thank you! Any additional tips and advice that's not related to my question will still be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Keep the film SLR.Film is still good to use.
    I'll stick to the Canon system.You're more familiar with it with your SLR background and will be able to adapt more quickly.Furthermore, you will be able to use your existing lens lineup on the new body.
    I would strongly recommend a 30D.Its a very bread and butter camera.If you're not a pixel peeper of a fussy equipment junkie, this body does the job well.

  3. #3

    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Recommend keeping your film SLR, resale value is very low.

    I think you have mixed up some of the details. The EOS 650 has no "D" on the end - D is their digital series. Obviously, as you mentioned, film SLRs aren't digital I only know of one 50mm that is even close to 1:2.25 and that is the 50mm Compact Macro 1:2.5 (note the difference). However, this is quite a valuable and useful lens! Canon never made a 18-80 USM either, especially not for film cameras. 28-80 sounds more likely. It'll be somewhat OK on digital, but not very wide angle.

    Not criticizing, just pointing out a couple of small things. Sometimes one little number can make all the difference. Ask anybody who has set the wrong shutter speed or aperture

    I was just thinking about this issue as well, in the opposite way: digital shooters who would want to play with film, and my recommendation would be to go with a camera body that can use your existing lenses. Being able to exchange lenses is useful.

    Start with a Canon 400D and kit lens (18-55). As you grow you can always add lenses. Digital has the advantage of instant feedback (so you can see in real time what your changes do), as well as the ability to read your settings in every shot after you get back to your computer. Remember film shooters were always advised to carry a notepad and write down their aperture, shutter, etc. etc. for each shot? Now the camera records all of it for you, it is called EXIF data. Canon supplies utilities that can read EXIF (Zoombrowser EX) free with the camera.

    There are lots of other things I haven't covered, but hope this helps get things started.

    PS: second the recommendation for 30D if it fits in your budget. It's a good camera.
    Last edited by sloth; 18th January 2008 at 12:10 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Why drop film I am now back to B&W film cam.

  5. #5

    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by sloth View Post
    Recommend keeping your film SLR, resale value is very low.

    I think you have mixed up some of the details. The EOS 650 has no "D" on the end - D is their digital series. Obviously, as you mentioned, film SLRs aren't digital I only know of one 50mm that is even close to 1:2.25 and that is the 50mm Compact Macro 1:2.5 (note the difference). However, this is quite a valuable and useful lens! Canon never made a 18-80 USM either, especially not for film cameras. 28-80 sounds more likely. It'll be somewhat OK on digital, but not very wide angle.

    My bad! You are absolutely right regarding those details! I do mean CANON EOS 650 and the lens is Canon USM 28-80mm. I apologize! Haven't had enough sleep! (excuses) Hehehe.

    Thank you all for the responses! Keep them coming.

  6. #6

    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by cd.ceniza View Post
    1) Should I keep my Film SLR or sell it? (I have a Canon EOS 650D) and has a 50mm 1:2.25 lens as well as a Canon 18-80mm Ultrasonic 1:3.5-5.6 lens.

    2) I know that Canon is not better than Nikon and vice versa. But for all of you who may have used both, why should I go for a Canon or why should I go for a Nikon?

    3) I have a limited budget, most likely $1,500 max. What dSLR models would you recommend?
    1) why sell? as long as you can keep it well-maintained, no point selling.. since the resale value by now very low. for the lens, if you going to buy canon then keep, if not if you are going to keep your slr also keep.. digital lenses cannot be used on film slr. most of the time anyways. in the case that you eventually somehow get a full-frame canon camera can use also.

    2) all brands have a compromise. check out dpreview.com and imaging resource (google for the site, can't remember it off the top of my head).. for relatively detailed and accurate camera reviews which will give you a good idea of what strengths and weaknesses the models all have.

    for your budget of $1,500, these are the models which should fit, have added personal comments with regards to what you should take note of:

    i) canon 400d
    ii) canon 350d (if you can find it)
    >>> both the canons are small, and light. good and bad. a lot of people complain that too small, very hard to handle. other than that, image quality is good, iso performance is decent.. feature packed. for canon brand dslr.. do note that most of the time for truly excellent quality lenses from the brand itself you will need to fork out $ for the l series. no in-body shake reduction/is also.

    iii) nikon d40
    iv) nikon d40x
    >>> not sure if can fit in d80 - ask the nikonians. for these two, handling is good, easy to use, BUT no af motor inside the body. need to get lenses with motor.. might be expensive, though nikon IS expanding the range, if i'm not wrong. for the brand itself.. not sure what the weaknesses are. same thing, no in-body shake reduction.

    for both canon and nikon, a big pro is that second hand lenses are aplenty. first hand lenses also easy to find than most other underdog brands.

    still got:
    v) olympus e410
    vi) olympus e510
    >>> pretty good performance from what i see, vi has sr, v doesn't. one quip i have with this brand is the crop factor - 2x instead of the usual 1.5x or 1x.. if your primary concern is landscapes for NOW, this is a problem especially with third-party lenses.

    vii) pentax k100d super
    viii) pentax k10d
    >>> value for money. my brand. i shall not write more later become very biased.

    ix) sony alpha 100 - still available?

    that's all i think. hope i helped.

  7. #7

    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by sloth View Post
    Recommend keeping your film SLR, resale value is very low.
    Yep, its a camera that u have used for all this time, i definitely will keep it for sentimental value! 50 years after today u could actually take the camera up and appreciate it... memories man!

    You should get a canon camera since u already have two lens there, and used to the canon system. Of course not to deter you to try out others too, but i feel u can get a cheap canon body and use ur current lens instead of getting a kit, can fit into ur budget more, imo. 400D fits in ur budget very well. You may want to look for second hand 30Ds too if u wish, that'll be definitely better in build and has the top LCD for settings just like ur film SLR. Don't know about the prices though.

    Hope that helps!
    Functional disorder

  8. #8

    Thumbs up Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Thank you very much for the responses, everyone! I feel so much better and is definitely less confused. Thanks so much for the wonderful advice.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by longkangman View Post
    Why drop film I am now back to B&W film cam.
    Welcome back long lost brother.

  10. #10

    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    I have dropped by your deviantArt gallery.
    Wow!!! Some good stuffs.
    Film photography is getting rare, like what others suggested just keep it. Somemore it has sentimental value.
    I believe your experience in SLR will benefit most of the younger generation
    here who have not even got the chances to lay their hand on a film P&S.
    I believe that you will put your photography skill to good use with a DSLR and have great fun with it.
    Cheers !!
    Last edited by obewan; 19th January 2008 at 08:33 AM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by obewan View Post
    I have dropped by your deviantArt gallery.
    Wow!!! Some good stuffs.
    Film photography is getting rare, like what others suggested just keep it. Somemore it has sentimental value.
    I believe your experience in SLR will benefit most of the younger generation
    here who have not even got the chances to lay their hand on a film P&S.
    I believe that you will put your photography skill to good use with a DSLR and have great fun with it.
    Cheers !!
    Thank you very much! That's very encouraging. Now i'm even more excited..

  12. #12

    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    If you're not picky, you can get a mint condition D200 for about 1500/1600 SGD from the BnS forum.

    D200 outperforms most DSLRs even with the introduction of D300 and D3
    photographs
    Nikon D200 | Konica Hexar RF

  13. #13

    Talking Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Thank you very much for all your responses!

    I've decided to purchase a Canon EOS 40D (thanks to my mom, of course!) and I couldn't be any happier. :-)

    I love my 40D!

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    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Oh, you purchased the 40D already? Haha.. How'd you feel about it?
    Our pictures are our footprints. Itís the best way to tell people we were here - JoeMcnally | Flickr

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    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    I also made a transition to DSLR a few years back and since, i still keep my film SLR. Choosing a DSLR system is up to u so try them out to find out which u're most comfortable with. For me i started out with Canon and still using it...no regrets!
    Canon EOS 5D, 24-70 f/4 L IS, 50 f/1.2 L, 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS, 600EX-RT. Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 EX.

  16. #16

    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    now go out and take some photos and don't get hooked posting in clubsnap all the time.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    KEEP FILM!

    Some time down the road, you will feel the yearning for nostalgia and want to take your film SLR out for a spin again. The feeling is just different, as are the results, shooting with film. Subtle, yet significant. The value of your camera should be immaterial!

    But yes, nothing beats digital for sheer convenience.

    Lovely images in your deviantart gallery, btw! The 40D is an excellent camera!
    Last edited by synapseman; 12th February 2008 at 11:34 PM.
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

  18. #18

    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by cd.ceniza View Post
    Thank you very much for all your responses!

    I've decided to purchase a Canon EOS 40D (thanks to my mom, of course!) and I couldn't be any happier. :-)

    I love my 40D!
    Wow, sweet camera. Congratulations!

    And keep shooting film!!

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    Default Re: A self-taught enthusiast's transition from Film SLR to dSLR... a few questions.

    Digital pics can never replace film, so keep the film SLR.
    Canon EOS 5D, 24-70 f/4 L IS, 50 f/1.2 L, 70-300 f/4-5.6 L IS, 600EX-RT. Sigma 12-24 f/4.5-5.6 EX.

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