• Starting out in photography: DSLR or film?
    38 replies, posted
I'm probably going to sound totally clueless, please bear with me. I've been planning on buying a camera for quite some time now and I've had my eyes on the T2i, but after lurking around here in the photography section I've started to fancy the film cameras and the shots they take. I was debating weather I should get a film camera to begin with, but the problem is that I have not the slightest clue about where to look, what to get, etc. So my question(s) is; should I stick with getting the T2i or get a film camera? If I get a film camera, what's a good one to start with? What other stuff do I need if I get a film camera (what kind of film, scanner, etc.)? Any insight would be greatly appreciated :)
There was a post a thread a while ago on why you should get a film SLR as your first instead of digital [url]http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1102740[/url] Basically, Film teaches you to not be wasteful with your shots so you get more keepers, but digital your photos are instant so you can learn from your mistakes much easier.
Personally, I would say go digital first indefinitely just because, as communistcat said, you learn from your mistakes easier and over time it saves money. I mean, since november last year ive taken around 15,500 shots on my Lumix G2 because I am new to this game so i take a lot of random/shit shots. In a perfect world you would buy both, one for practice and one for the 'final shots' as it where.
[QUOTE=Him1411;35242740] In a perfect world you would buy both, one for practice and one for the 'final shots' as it where.[/QUOTE] This. I like to use digital to take all kinds of shots because I can be wasteful without being costly. Film defiantly makes you think strongly about pressing the shutter which is a great habit. Its hard to know, because you'll have a lot of fun with either. Have you looked at the costs of film, dev costs and a scanning/enlargement solution?
I say go with digital (like the others said, so you learn faster from your mistakes). Though if you have the ability, get a cheap film camera too so you can learn how to process film. That shit is pure magic.
[QUOTE=communistcat;35238575]There was a post a thread a while ago on why you should get a film SLR as your first instead of digital [url]http://www.facepunch.com/threads/1102740[/url] Basically, Film teaches you to not be wasteful with your shots so you get more keepers, but digital your photos are instant so you can learn from your mistakes much easier.[/QUOTE] In my opion it depends a lot on the shooter. I started with digital (shooting lots of pictures) and since I got more serious about photography (as in more interested in it) I started thinking more and shooting less. I rarely shoot more than 20/30 shots each time I go out and that is when I'm being wasteful. I also stopped "chimping" and checking-deleting-redoing photos. It also depends on what you want to shoot, if you shoot action you may still end up taking more shots just to be safe. It's like asking if you should buy a sports bike as your first bike, depends entirely on the person even though you have more risks you can still get through. My point is you can do both the things you say with digital (learn faster and not being wastefull) if you want to. I agree though that with film you will be sort of forced not to waste shots and it's cheaper to get a film camera and if you don't like photography you will waste less money.
I'm still new to photography, and I've started out with a Pentax K1000 (film). It's a great camera for starters, and so far I've learnt a lot of new things ever since I've started. By using film instead of digital, I've learnt to pick my images more wisely, and to take my time. And since my exposure meter is out of batteries (or it doesn't work, not sure yet) I've learnt how to estimate what shutter speed, aperture, etc. to use in certain conditions. Although, it does quite depend on your preference and style of learning. As communistcat said before, film teaches you to be less wasteful, and digital allows you to learn from your mistakes. Both types of cameras are very rewarding in the end. If you do choose film, after learning what you need to learn and such, you should probably go for a DSLR, so you don't have to spend a lot of money processing film. I'm kind of coming up to that stage after using film for about 6-7 months, but I don't know if I'm committed enough. Anyway, have fun and good luck :)
Practice with a point and shoot (your family should have one) for at least 2 months before investing money in a nice camera. Not only will it make you appreciate your new camera a whole lot more, you will learn to photograph around the imperfections of the camera and you will be a much better photographer once you start using a camera of higher quality and colour rendition.
I'd go the family P&S for a bit, then buy an entry level second hand DSLR, which will give you a feel for it. After that is when you can chose where you want to go.
Point and shoot, then a DSLR and a good book or course on how to use it to it's full potential. I just don't understand how one would benefit from film other than the fact that you can only take like 30 pictures. Sure, learning to think out shots instead of shooting a million and then picking out the best ones in post is important, but it's not[I] that [/I]important, and the beginner-friendly functions on an entry level DSLR make up for it. I mean, you could just get an old tiny SD card that only held 50/100 pictures, and learn to control yourself with that.
film is a much cheaper investment, especially if youre not sure how seriously you're going to be taking photography you can buy a film camera, play around with it for a few months, and then decide if you want digital or not
Or you decide that film is the right choice and end up with a small collection as its much cheaper.
also, there's something to be said about having physical copies of every shot you've ever taken digital doesn't feel nearly as personal
And theres a surprise factor in film. If you take your time on the roll of film, you might forget what was on it and have some nice surprises. And accessories for film cameras are generally cheaper than their digital counter-part
plus you can't forget about the fact that digital cameras are just a front for our future robot overlords to take over fuck the system, use film, etc.
I dunno guys... when I was learning I wanted to experiment with EVERYTHING. I don't think I'd recommend someone who hasn't got the technical basics down to use a film camera exclusively. [editline]24th March 2012[/editline] [i]Disclaimer: I only own film cameras however I learnt on Canon Entry level gear[/i]
I went from digital to film; having a DSLR helps you get to grips with controlling the camera settings really quickly. Film (and my film camera) I just find personally more pleasing to use.
I went straight to film and taught myself everything with some help from facepunch. And now I don't want to go to digital, I think digital would make it less fun compared to my dozens of cheap film cameras with good lenses.
Wow this thread derailed fast, might as well add fuel to fire. My opinion in this digital vs. film schtuff is that both are great, and being able to use both is the best option. Digital is very sterile, as close to perfectionism as you can get in photography. You get the very best shot out of the multiple you took, and RAW files give you a huge amount of leg room to change mood, colour and lighting. Nowadays digital seems like the best option, because as a viewer the best shots you see are usually from a digital. Film is radical and savage, the medium itself is sensitive to nearly everything other than movement. It is personal - you put time into your shots, you always pay for your shots (this can also include dev. and scanning) and the results are always pleasing to you. As photography [del]enthusiasts[/del] obsessives, we will always enjoy our film shots personally more than our digital, as we can make this personal connection to them. [i](Context: Been shooting digital as a hobby for five years, been shooting film as a hobby for two years)[/i]
Holy shit, I didn't think I'd get this much feedback from you guys. To be honest, after reading everything you guys had to say, I'm still torn, but now I'm leaving towards film a ton more. The thing is, I've been using my sister's nikon d3000 on and off for about a year now, so that's why I wanted to go digital, but after thinking about it, I want to dive feet first into something new and go for film. My problem is that I literally have no idea where to even start looking; be it cameras, lenses, even film.
You want a film camera that has a decent lens library that is relatively cheap. I would advise getting either a Pentax K mount camera (Pentax MX, Pentax K1000, Pentax ME/ME Super), an Olympus O mount camera (Olympus OM-1, OM-2, etc.) or a third party camera that supports these lens mounts (Ricoh, Fujinon, Vivitar, etc.). If you're on a really tight budget you can look for half frame cameras like the Olympus E-PEN cameras, which give you twice the amount of shots per roll (at a cost of quality, but you aren't going to print these on 3x3m canvases are you?). Next for lenses, look for getting a camera with a 35mm or 50mm prime (fixed focal length) lens. These are great focal lengths for everyday shooting, and 50mm in particular usually offer wide maximum apertures (~1.8) which gives great low light opportunities and pretty DOF). You can pick some of these up on ebay for even $50 if you shop around, but expect to pay ~$100-$200 for something in really nice condition. I would also advise shopping around your local pawn shops for cameras like these, you can sometimes pick up a great bargain. For films, you want to go cheap for your first 5-10 rolls. Films like Fujicolor Superia 400, 800, 200 ISO/ASA (this means the sensitivity to light) are cheap and work well, I would advise mostly using 400 ISO. Fujicolor C200 is and excellent choice if you're on a tight budget, as it gives you 36 exposures per roll instead of 24 and is priced similarly to 24exp film (the colours on this one are a little more dull compared to the others). As for getting your film developed, big chains like Walgreens or Big W (depending on which country you live in) that develop and scan film - they offer good prices, but at a cost of scanning quality. If you ask around your area you can probably find independent labs that develop and scan your film at a better quality, but you will be paying more usually (but supporting local business!). In Australia you can expect to pay $11-16 per roll of negatives to get it from an undeveloped roll to on a CD, twice for positive films like Ektar and Velvia. Hope that helped :)
[QUOTE=The Salmon;35283121]Hope that helped :)[/QUOTE] Immensely! Thank you so much. I'm gonna start looking around next weekend. Also, would you recommend the Canon AE-1? It seems to be regarded pretty highly from what I've seen.
Also, with regards to cheap film, I dunno about where you live, but at least here you can get 24exp rolls of Kodak ColorPlus/Kodacolor for £1 in the pound shop. And it's actually not a bad film. [editline]25th March 2012[/editline] "Here" being in the UK.
[QUOTE=Tokii;35284334]Immensely! Thank you so much. I'm gonna start looking around next weekend. Also, would you recommend the Canon AE-1? It seems to be regarded pretty highly from what I've seen.[/QUOTE] How could I forget? Cult film camera of today, you get a good Canon lens library and many are prone to light leaks (pro or con depending on your tendency to be hip and with it).
[QUOTE=Tokii;35284334]Immensely! Thank you so much. I'm gonna start looking around next weekend. Also, would you recommend the Canon AE-1? It seems to be regarded pretty highly from what I've seen.[/QUOTE] very good cameras, and the majority of lenses are pretty cheap. make sure you check the foam seals on the back door (pull up on the windy thing to pop them open, and just make sure the foam feels foamy), and you can always get a leather case to cover up the seals as I do with mine. also sam, where are you finding pen-e cameras for cheap because i would love to have pen lenses for cheap but they are monsterous amounts on ebay it seems since the mirrorless boom
The film PEN cameras had fixed lenses.
they had some with interchangable lenses i know. because they sell a pen f to m4/3 and nex adapter, and i've seen the lenses. they seemed like a good alternative to leica glass but now are expensive because people caught on
I was talking about the ones with fixed lenses. Just saw one the other day with functioning light meter in a pawn shop for about $50.
So I just e-mailed my cousin who is the best photographer I (personally) know, and asked him if he had any film cameras laying around. He said that he has the Minolta Maxxum SPxi with a couple lenses, a Zenit 122, and a Zenit 3. He said suggested the Zenit 122 for me, but he also said that if I have any requests, he can look on the flea market. Any thoughts?
yeah the zenit would be a nice camera to start out on
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