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Suggest a camera

Farris 15 24
7 Apr 2005 11:15AM
I'm a beginner, and taking classes at IU. I have to have a 35 mm with manual control capability. I don't really have any idea what to buy. I want to get something that is good for a beginner but I won't think was a waist of money after I have more experience. Also any accessories/lenses you think would be a good investment at this stage would be appreciated also.

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cambirder 16 7.2k England
7 Apr 2005 11:17AM
Are we talking film or digital here?
Farris 15 24
7 Apr 2005 11:33AM
film please
u08mcb 16 5.8k
7 Apr 2005 11:37AM
I had the Canon EOS 300 to begin with (still do actually) which gives you full manual control plus all the usual automatic stuff if you wanted it.

I think you'll be fine with just about any of the entry level SLRs on offer from the big names (Minolta, Canon, Nikon, Pentax). If money's tight you can pick up older cameras on ebay quite easily. For example the Pentax ME Super is a highly thought of camera and crops up fairly regularly.
DanSig 15 288 Iceland
7 Apr 2005 11:40AM
I am a studen in artschool and am learning photography and developing, I use the Canon EOS 500N wich is a cheap but quite good filmcamera, has all the manual controls but only 3 focuspoints.

If you are willing to spend some money on a good filmcamera then try to find a Canon EOS (X) or (XX) single or dual digits, like the 3,5,30,60, if you go up to triple digits then the focuspoints are getting rather few and build quality is getting worse.

in the classifieds on the left there is a great filmcamera for sale.

Canon EOS 3 35mm SLR
Mint condition boxed with all original instructions. Includes ten rolls of Kodak Elite Chrome EC 100 ISO slide film - 330

if you can afford this one then you got a camera for life Smile
seabloke 16 844
7 Apr 2005 11:43AM
I'd ask your tutors. Does the camera have to offer manual exposure control or does it have to be manual (as opposed to auto) focus as well..?

Don't know if it helps but my eldest youngster is about to start a photography A-Level, she's kicking off with a manual camera body - hopefully a Nikon FM or FM2 - and a couple of the Series E lenses, which are now cheap as chips secondhand, like a 35mm f/2.8 and a 100 f/2.8.

Cost of this probably 300 - 400.

Canon cameras and lenses are cheaper. Look at the AE1 body and FD (manual focus) lenses, which don't fit the more modern AF cameras.

Olympus and Pentax are cheaper. Olympus OM10 is a very cheap body but you need a manual adaptor (some come with them) to operate shutter speeds manually. The OM1, OM2 etc were all classics of their day, now cheap along with the lenses.

If you're "allowed" autofocus, the Nikon F801 is a very capable camera, bodies around 100 secondhand. Older AF Nikkor lenses, ie pre D-series aren't that expensive.

A big second-hand dealer like ffordes or mifsuds (both have websites) is worth a look to price-shop. Otherwise loads of ads from dealers in Amateur Photographer etc and there's also eBay.
cambirder 16 7.2k England
7 Apr 2005 11:52AM
Sorry I did not read your original post correctly, if I had it's damn obvious you need a film camera.

You should be able to pick up some good 2nd hand manual 35mm cameras on ebay. What is your budget?
c_evans99 16 7.0k 1 Wales
7 Apr 2005 11:55AM
I'd always recommend the Pentax MX (but then I'm slightly biased). Lovely to handle, yet sturdily built; a large, bright viewfinder, which shows the meter reading, shutter speed and aperture selected, and a huge range of lenses by Pentax and independent makers.

You can buy a chrome MX body for about 50, while the M 50mm f1.7 standard lens costs around 20 (and it's a gem).

Hugo 15 649 United Kingdom
7 Apr 2005 12:02PM
I have a Canon A1, it was free, is built well and there are lots of lenses and accessories out there on the second hand market. Trouble is that I have bought more lenses, filters and so on to enable me to do things that I want to do, however the price of digital SLRs seem to have fallen loads recently to the point where its almost affordable, but the things that I like doing eg: macro work, the lenses I have wont fit with Canon AF so I cant really move on to digital with the few pennies that I have. So I would say a second hand AF body is a better buy in the long term. Also I have been spoilt by using fast prime lenses rather than slower modern day zooms.

Just my thoughts


PS: Ffordes is good, they have pics so you can see what the thing is and not too pricey. Ebay-there are some good deals but people seem to go crazy when bidding, pushing the price up to more than in the shops (sometimes).
Farris 15 24
7 Apr 2005 1:23PM
thanks for all the advice.
My budget probably caps off around $500.00. I would like to spend less then that though. I can't really buy until I get my student loan kickback, so I have the entire summer to make my choice and find the camera. I believe the camera has to offer (but not limited to) both manual exposure and focus.
SteveCharles 17 2.3k 18 England
8 Apr 2005 12:56AM
The old manual Nikons are great, I have an FE (made c.1977) that I used on my college course, and still use now. With a 50mm lens you can get these for 100-200 ($200-$400), probably cheaper on Ebay, but I don't know about the US market.

The good thing about the Nikons is that you can use modern AF lenses on the old bodies, and manual lenses on the new bodies, so a system comprising old & new kit is very possible, although only the top of the range 'pro' AF cameras will meter with manual lenses.

There are, of course, older AF bodies that can be used in manual mode and can be picked up cheaply.

conrad 15 10.9k 116
8 Apr 2005 1:02AM
You could consider getting a good, used Minolta SLR from, for instance, the SRT series. Dirt cheap now, but very good cameras. The MC Rokkor lenses they use are great quality. Get one with TTL metering, and you wont be disappointed. I used to have an SRT 101b, and I was heartbroken when I dropped it and broke it beyond repair. Minolta wont disappoint, but it wont break the bank - or your budget.

tepot 15 4.4k United Kingdom
8 Apr 2005 2:50AM

Quote:I believe the camera has to offer (but not limited to) both manual exposure and focus.

if your not looking for anything flash, then you would do well to look for an SLR of the 1980's ilk, manual this/manual that , i have the minolta X300 and i wouldn't part with it, a superb little camera with auto aperture as well as fully manual. you don't need an expensive all singing all dancing camera to take great shots!
exclusive 15 579 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2005 5:15AM
i say get a manual focus camera. something like a Canon
AE-1 or the olympus OM series. check out they ahve hundreds of models. i used to use aout focus on my SLR but i find some landscapes and stuff i use manual focus also macro work.


tripod. must have a tripod, carry it everywhere.
colour: Uv Filter, Polariser, 81B warm up filter.
b+w: Red, Orange, Yellow, Uv Filter.
randomrubble 15 3.0k 12 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2005 5:34AM
I'd be inclined to go for a Pentax MX, it's fully manual, but it's a fantastic camera lots of cheap lenses and they would fit an *ist D/DS or nay of the newer AF film Pentaxes, should you wish to go for one.

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