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Thread: 35mm Cameras

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Grider View Post
    Well said Edwin. I still shoot film in small format with my trusty Leica M3 and my Summicron, Summilux and Elmarit are my best friends. I use a digital Minolta light meter or sometimes sunny 16. I enjoy composing a photo and getting the settings right the first time instead of bracketing, particularly with the cost of film and C41 crazy high now. Film has made me a more careful photographer and that carries over into the digital photos I take as well.

    You have some choice equipment my man. Not that you're in the market to sell any of it, but to the OP's original question, yours is the kind of equipment that fetches high dollars in the used market among a devoted buyer group. I ran across little vintage camera stores in Tokyo that are fanatical about such gear. I have a M6 myself, with an assortment of Summilux and Summicrons. Not as legendary as the M3 and I have to admit, I don't break it out as much as I should.
    Ironically, digital cameras are now reaching that maturity that various models are distinctive in their own way. For example, I am now a big fan of the Fuji X100 system. Fixed 35mm equivalent lens, minimalist camera, intended to be a digital answer to the Leica M tradition. Phenomenal street photographer's camera aimed at a very specific kind of shooter.

    Also, @Mike H, digital vs. film is not an either/or proposition in many photography programs. I think the best curriculum puts students through an initial "boot camp" with film, learning fundamentals, but digital plays a big secondary part of the curriculum for the many reasons you point out, and also post processing. I certainly can't argue your comments about the improved conveniences. I remember doing portraiture before polaroid backs were common, and we relied on the modeling lights for pre-visualizing pattern, and hand held light meters for measuring ratios. It seems prehistoric now.

    The Ansel Adams zone system might seem nonsensical to someone with a digital SLR that can go into machine gun mode and auto-bracket 5 stops in either direction, and then post process using HDR.
    But my argument would be that the photographer trained in the classical Zone system would be capable of seeing a particular photograph in a scene that would be invisible to the machine gun shooter, who would invariably walk right by.

    Anyone who gets a chance, look into the nature photography of Florida photographer Clyde Butcher. He shoots exclusively on a large format view camera with a wooden stand, sometimes waist deep in a swamp. All his prints are very large format hand printed chemistry B&W. To stand in front of a Clyde Butcher print is an experience. Mind boggling detail.
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 03-12-2020 at 1:09 AM.

  2. #32
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    I used to use film cameras. I now take pictures on my cell phone and print them on my HP Photosmart printer.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by lowell holmes View Post
    I used to use film cameras. I now take pictures on my cell phone and print them on my HP Photosmart printer.
    I don't print mine but I've switched to using an iPhone 11 Pro for most of my photography needs. The new "thing" in photography is computational photography and it is implemented in the iPhone 11 and the Google Pixel 4. It has some issues compared to a good high end camera but it has the advantage of fitting in your pocket and in being with you almost all the time.

    Like any technology, computational photography will continue to evolve - I look forward to what the camera will be able to do in future generations of smartphones. I expect that traditional mirrorless cameras will begin to use some of these techniques, if they haven't already.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #34
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    Today's smartphone cameras have changed the way many of us handle our day to day photography for sure. "Back in the day", I'd have my DSLR out in the shop on a tripod to document projects; these days, I have my iPhone XS Max in a belt holster and just "whip it out" when I need a shot for some reason. Same goes for food photos, animal photos, life event photos, etc. I only bring out the DSLR for planned "serious" shooting.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #35
    Check out the Ricoh XR-1. There are less of them floating around but they are much less costly while having a cooler look and more features than Pentax K-1000.
    My brief time with a Minolta Maxxum 7000 left me with a very cheap and plasticy impression, similar to many of the lower tier EOS cameras.

  6. #36
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    My answer to the original question is that consumer grade 35mm film cameras are worth approximately nothing. There are a few high end film cameras that are worth a small fraction of their original price. Mostly, they are just collector's items and have no photographic value. I had several Canon and Minolta SLRs that I either gave away or threw away in good working order. Old lenses are downright blurry compared to new technology and aren't worth using, in my experience. Even 10 year old high quality lenses are substandard.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    Old lenses are downright blurry compared to new technology and aren't worth using, in my experience. Even 10 year old high quality lenses are substandard.
    I really have to disagree with you, Art. You can see pictures created back in the film days and the images are sharp and clear. I'm not going to say that all old lenses were great but many of the high end lenses were very good - as good as many lenses today. They just are not automatic so they don't get a lot of use today.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #38
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    I agree with you, Mike.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  9. #39
    My Minolta film scanner (a dedicated strip film scanner, not one of the flatbed-types with "strip adapter") was, at the time, a consumer-grade model and still can produce scans that blew away my DSLR and my (current) mirrorless camera. The sharpest lens I ever used was a 60's vintage 55mm Nikkor f3.5 Micro. Owned plenty of pro Nikkor ED AF lenses subsequent to that but for the simple lens it was, it out-resolved all of those. I would never go back to analog photography and lenses today might be lighter/faster/better-stabilized but the glass today is not substantially better, in my experience.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  10. #40
    There is one place where modern lenses are much better than older lenses and that's in zoom lenses. Perhaps that's what you were referring to, Mel. Modern zoom lenses have a much greater zoom range than the older zoom lenses and they have decent characteristics across the range. They're not as good at any zoom level as an equivalent prime but they're not bad for most uses.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 03-16-2020 at 2:16 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  11. #41
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    To really see the superiority of modern lenses, you have to compare zooms. They are designed with computer simulation and are far too complex to be done the old fashioned hand computational way. The best of the premium prime lenses from days of old were designed using a simple formula. They didn't require complex design or precision construction to be good. The lenses I had during that time period were crap compared to what I have today. I just couldn't afford the best glass.

    I can't agree that scans of film from any scanner, however good, can come close to matching the output of good hobby grade or professional level cameras. Neither can professional level film printing chemistry. For one thing, even the very best film can not compete in resolution or dynamic range to modern camera equipment. These parameters are measurable and not just a matter of personal opinion. I know these things because my wife was an advertising designer for a commercial printing company and her livelihood depended on getting professional results. We have been doing this since 1986, when drum scans of chemically printed photos were the standard.

  12. #42
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    I have old cameras in a book case in my computer room. I take pictures with my cell phone and print them on my Photosmart printer.
    I suppose you can still get pictures processed and printed. I used to have a slide projector as well.

  13. #43
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    Academia gets stuck in some very deep ruts. Times will change one funeral at a time.

  14. #44
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    The lenses I had during that time period were crap compared to what I have today. I just couldn't afford the best glass.
    This may be the weak point in the argument. Vivitar made some nice lenses, but not as good as a Nikon, Leica or many other makers lenses.

    It also depended on the film used. For B&W work, a slow PanX film was going to give much better resolution than TriX pushed to ASA 1000.

    For color, Kodachrome ASA 25 would render much better resolution than Ektachrome at any speed.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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