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Author Topic: Film body for class??  (Read 8639 times)
Digiteyesed
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« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2006, 11:06:07 PM »
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I have a couple old 35mm point and shoot cameras from the 50's forward. Stuff my dad had in the army and as a kid. I have thought about using the kodac for a few to see what I can do with it.

Oh, man, that old stuff can get addictive once you start playing with it. My current fascination is pinhole photography. I'm using a Zero Image 69 for that right now.

I hope you'll come back and post some of the images you make in your class!
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gr82bart
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« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2006, 07:35:56 AM »
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You seem to make the assumption that I am just a kid shooting in Auto mode.
You seem to make the assumption that my comments were aimed at you.

Anyway, I like the fact that you are going in this course to really learn, interact and network. The more you interact with your fellow students and the teacher, the more you will learn. I'm all for learning, since we can never do enough of it.

Put up some of your pics when you get a chance. I think many would love to see you progress and who knows? One day, I'll be buying one of your prints/books.

And what ever you do, don't fall in love with film. It's addictive.

Regards, Art.
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sxty8goats
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« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2006, 08:06:46 PM »
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You seem to make the assumption that my comments were aimed at you.

Anyway, I like the fact that you are going in this course to really learn, interact and network. The more you interact with your fellow students and the teacher, the more you will learn. I'm all for learning, since we can never do enough of it.

Put up some of your pics when you get a chance. I think many would love to see you progress and who knows? One day, I'll be buying one of your prints/books.

And what ever you do, don't fall in love with film. It's addictive.

Regards, Art.
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Sorry about that, it felt as though they were. I'm sure I'll be posting stuff when I find something I'm pleased with. The majority of the shots I get now that I am proud of were near accidents. I'm learning though.
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sxty8goats
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« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2006, 08:34:55 PM »
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Update, I just picked up an Elan for $40 on ebay.  Lost two or three tonight but got this one. Thanks again for eveyones input.
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larkvi
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« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2006, 01:54:51 PM »
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I bought an Elan last year as my film camera for class and to back up my 300D. A warning: the shutters have some part that tends to degrade, so check the shutter on your camera and see if there is gunk on it--if there is, it needs to be cleaned off, which is a fiddly job and might possibly ruin the shutter. There are sites that explain how to do this, though I did not do it myself.

[I have had problems with ebay sellers and the US-Canada border, so I just bought it locally, and got them to throw in a full-service warranty of several years, which I immediately used to get the shutter rplaced and the camera entirely reconditioned. On the other hand, I paid twice as much for it.]
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pixman63
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« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2006, 04:27:11 PM »
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That's a cheap shot. There's nothing about digital photography that makes it any less suitable for learning the basics of photography than film. A Rebel with the mode dial glued in the manual position will force the photographer to think about ISO, aperture, and shutter speed just as well as a K-1000. And digital's immediate feedback is a significant advantage for learning; the immediate ability to see what went wrong and why is a huge advantage over learning with film. I did some photo training with my son over Thanksgiving with the 10D I gave him for Christmas a year ago, and being able to go over the results of his efforts immediately, especially given his somewhat short attention span, made a huge difference.
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While all the above is true enough, it does, like all teaching, require the student to remember and apply the lessons learned next time out. If "Joe Digital Snapper" goes out and shoots/deletes, shoots/deletes etc until he gets the results desired, then almost certainly he will be able to show better-on-average photos to his family and friends than if he'd just shot one or two frames on a roll of film. However, if the next time he shoots under similar conditions he just repeats the above method, rather than saying, "hmm, this is what worked last time out" and so, applying what has been learned, gets his picture in the first or second exposure, then really nothing has been learned at all. The digital camera's instant feedback is reduced to mere idiot-proofing.

Under such circumstances, it could be argued that film is a better teaching tool, if only for the fact that badly exposed frames still cost money. Many beginners have historically used auto-bracketing, as advised in starter books, so study of their results will let them see which brackets work with various subjects, and after a while they won't need to bracket anymore (except in tricky lighting). This does still require a desire to comprehend of course, as it does with digital, but the financial penalty is perhaps a useful inducement.
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dbell
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« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2006, 05:47:36 PM »
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Under such circumstances, it could be argued that film is a better teaching tool, if only for the fact that badly exposed frames still cost money. Many beginners have historically used auto-bracketing, as advised in starter books, so study of their results will let them see which brackets work with various subjects, and after a while they won't need to bracket anymore (except in tricky lighting). This does still require a desire to comprehend of course, as it does with digital, but the financial penalty is perhaps a useful inducement.
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I respectfully disagree. The financial penalty can be too big a disincentive to risk-taking. Beginners need to be able to screw up without worrying about a pain in the wallet. Failure to fully explore a shot because of film-usage contraints may mean that they go home without getting the shot,  having thus missed the chance to learn what works. Aside from feedback in the "review it on the LCD" sense, digital capture records exif data, meaning that the student can easily review it during post-processing. I never had that depth of information available to me when I was shooting film.

My major gripe with digital cameras as student cameras is that the cheap ones have horrible manual controls, often coupled with poorly-performing EVFs. In the Old Days, you paid MORE for automation and so students did well with cheap manual cameras and lenses, which are better learning tools to begin with. Now, it seems that the more control you want to take back from the computer, the more you have to pay.
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Gabe
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« Reply #27 on: January 22, 2006, 05:07:54 AM »
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I taught a few semesters of high-school photography a couple of years ago, and TBH, the only way I had any success in teaching my students about the importance of learning the many nuances of making a proper exposure was when it came time for them to print their shots in the darkroom.

I even tried telling one of my classes that they more than likely didn't want to bother themselves with film, but the "romance" of watching their prints emerge from the chemistry (not to mention the possibility for pinching bums in the DR) made it so that every class I taught was film-based for the majority of the time we had (although I still made sure we covered the basics of digital, since that's the world these kids really are living in)..

As predicted, they were too busy "texting" eachother in class to be bothered with ROT, DOF, and making proper exposures.. but in the darkroom - with the images emerging before their eyes - it was all "why aren't my pictures turning out the way I thought they would?" And it was a piece of cake to get them to understand why those things actually matter no matter what medium you're using..

I always found that in the digital darkroom, the degree of freedom one has to correct one's "mistakes" made it much more tricky to properly communicate just why it's important to understand what these fancy cameras are deciding for you when you point-and-shoot them.. and why it's still important to pre-visualise the image (at least to some degree). Plus you chew up classroom time explaining things about PhotoShop that are best left out of a "photography" course -- no matter how useful they may be.

And then there was the fact that cheap digital SLRs were/are still a relative novelty, which only compounded the problem; the kids who had the entry level DSLRs were always too busy fiddling with the menus and poorly implemented controls to be concentrating sufficiently on the process of making their photographs, and thus spent all their time shooting in "P" mode.. and wondering why their photos weren't turning out the way they thought they should.  

The "manual" kids, OTOH, didn't have a "magic" setting, and therefore had to keep it all in play,. They inevitably had a much better time as a result (maybe this is merely an indication of my inadequate teaching skills, but I honestly think there's more to it than that )

So I'm backing the recommendation for K-1000s. I haven't looked recently, but I'd certainly go to Nikon FMs if they're price-competitive with the Pentaxs.. back then, I thought used MF NK lenses were a bit too pricey for rank amateurs.. Maybe things have changed though.

But if the course requires a film camera, K1000s are cheap and reliable and there are lots of decent lenses out there to mount on them. Heck, kids buy sneakers for more money these days!  At least 5 of my students bought them for those classes I taught, and all of them wound up loving the camera at the end of the course (although I did manage to convert one of the more serious shooters to a Spotmatic/Takumar setup, which is still a much-loved combo of my own).

Sure film isn't free, but every lab I approached was more than happy to offer a special rate to my classes based on the guarantee of actually having something to run throught the machine  , so it wasn't prohibitive either...
« Last Edit: January 22, 2006, 05:26:39 AM by Gabe » Logged
alainbriot
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« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2006, 12:27:16 PM »
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I recommended the Pentax K 1000 to ... thousands of students during my tenure as a university professor.  Though film is now dead in 35mm format for most purposes, that is still my recommendation.  

Regards,

Alain
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Alain Briot
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j-land
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« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2006, 08:00:36 PM »
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Think of it as a course for learning a different media, just as you could choose to take watercolor or oil painting classes. You'll learn things which might not be directly applicable to your digital work, such as finding your EI for good shadow detail or changing development time to change negative contrast, but you might enjoy it and find it gives you a new perspective on photography and working with digital. There's no need to run away... you have lots of films to choose from.... film is not dead yet, it's just in the old folks home.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2006, 08:01:52 PM by j-land » Logged
Phormula
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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2008, 03:19:51 PM »
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I would also recommend a fully manual SRL. A workhorse like the K1000 or the FM2. Why, because if you want to take something good out of this camera you need to have your brain connected and fully working. Since film is expensive, you need to appreciate light. And you remember mistakes. With digital, a lot of people seem never being able to get out of the "let's try mode". They just try, but never feel compelled to learn to do things the right way at the first shot next time. They just keep trying and wonder why they get mediocre results. Or they think that mistakes can be fixed with post-processing. I am glad that my first camera did not have the exposure meter. Why. I learned to see the light with my eyes before pressing the shutter. And 25+ years later I still don't trust exposure meters like religion. I still think at the picture I want, not the 18% grey one my exposure meter wants.
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