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O/T Questions about 35mm cameras

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by rookie tim, Apr 10, 2007.

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  1. rookie tim

    rookie tim TS Member

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    I would like to get set up to take photos of deer and other wildlife from a distance. I was looking at some used cameras and lenses on ebay. Some cameras that came with several different lenses were not very expensive at all, under $150. Would these cameras and lenses take a descent picture? What should I look for in a 35mm and lens? I do not expext to get proffesional quality pictures for this price, but I would like to get nice pictures.

    Thanks for any help,

    Tim
     
  2. pjh

    pjh Member

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    Hello
    Most wildlife photographers use fast, long lenses. FAST means that the widest aperature is F5.6 or lower number. What this will allow you to do is work under lower light consitions and be able to use a faster shutter speed to freeze the action. The really nice lens would be a F2.8. Now on to the term LONG lens. The shortest (for me) would be a 250mm. You may need to get a 400 or so; depending on the type of images you want to take. A nikon 400mm F2.8 lens new was about 5k. But thats an extreame. Keep in mind that your vision is about the same as a 50mm lens. A cheap set up may be a test to see what you really need before spending the big bucks. Enjoy PJH
     
  3. newcastle

    newcastle Member

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    you can find some really nice used SLR'S in the 200/400 price range now that digital is here. Nikon n90s and F100 just to name a couple however you may want to look into buying a used digital SLR for the 1.5 image magnifacation since you plan on shooting wildlife, this would make a 300mm lens behave like a 450 mm lens ect.
     
  4. Strait Shooter

    Strait Shooter Member

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    Rookie tim; I have a Yashica FR II with 1:1.9 lens and an extra 135mm 1:2.8 lens. Probably about what you are looking for. Takes good pictures and I don't use it anymore. Will make you a good deal on it and I'll even throw in a carrying bag.You pay the shipping and handling and it's yours for $50.
     
  5. OhioBob

    OhioBob TS Member

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    Additional info.....a 50mm lens does approximate the view you see with your naked eyes. A 200mm lens would be similar to a 4x power binocular or rifle scope.

    As PJH said above, many wildlife photographers are using very long (high magnification) lenses in the realm of 400mm or 1600mm prime lenses (no zoom)....effectively 8x to 32x magnification.

    Having said all that, don't let it discourage you, very nice photos can be taken if you are stealthy and patient with modest equipment....just keep in mind you probably aren't going to get the same results as the pros.

    A good used manual focus Canon or Nikon 35mm body and an OEM (Canon or Nikon)telephoto lens will get you the most bang for your buck. I would suggest at least a 300mm lens, since you stated you would like to take photos from "a distance". Canon FD manual focus lenses have a great reputation.

    A very sturdy tripod and a cable release are a MUST for using long telephoto lenses, along with a relatively fast film to help shorten shutter speeds.

    Choose quality (not drugstore brand) 400 speed film. 800 speed films are much too grainy for my tastes.

    Hope this helps

    Bob T.
     
  6. jimx200

    jimx200 Member

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    Rookie, visit a good camera store and ask lots of questions on the older cameras. I assume you want to shoot film? There are excellent bargains to be had on used film shooters. You need a SLR for shutter speed and lense choices. Look for Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Olympus brands as they have many models and lenses available.
    If you are shooting digital: again SLR is your best bet and there are many choices. Have fun, it get addictive! Visit www.dpreview.com and you can learn loads of useful info from users.
     
  7. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    BobT, quote: "A good used manual focus Canon or Nikon 35mm body and an OEM (Canon or Nikon)telephoto lens will get you the most bang for your buck. I would suggest at least a 300mm lens, since you stated you would like to take photos from "a distance". Canon FD manual focus lenses have a great reputation."<br>
    <br>
    I have an old Canon FD 300mm F4 lens I use for wildlife and sports. Excellent lens. These use an internal filter. I modified mine by having an adaptor turned on a lathe to convert the front lens element retaining thread so it could take 77mm filters, including polarizers. I mainly shoot medium format now, but often I'll take this lens and a 35mm camera body along, because it would take an 800mm lens in medium format to duplicate it. I've had zooms, but they just aren't up to the quality of this fixed lens. Also, you can add a 1.4 multiplier, and wind up with a 400mm F5.6. It's starts getting to be a challenge to use a fast enough shutter speed with a doubler with it (600mm f8).<br>
    <br>
    BTW, if you'r not aware of it, the minimum shutter speed for handheld shots with any 35mm is to take the reciprical of the lens focal length, and round up to the next higher shutter speed. So, with my 300mm lens, that would be 1/300th of a second. The closest speeds are 1/250 or 1/500, so 1/500 is the best choice. Chose film ASA accordingly to ensure 1/500th of a second under the existing or expected lighting conditions.
     
  8. Big Bopper

    Big Bopper TS Member

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    35mm? Why? You can get a used Canon SLR digital at very reasonable prices now. Look at the 10. I typically use a 400mm Canon lense. As a very minimum, use a monopod. When shooting slow shutter speeds, a quality tripod is a must. I use a Bogen. I gave away all of my 35mm stuff to my daughter. It's basically obsolete. Hope that helps. Bob
     
  9. jimx200

    jimx200 Member

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    Tim, someone commented about 35mm film being obsolete...hell no. I have attended 2 National Geographic photo workshops (last one in Nov.,06) and slightly less than half of the contract photographers still use film. Shooting and reviewing 200-300 pics per day gave me a new respect for film. Film camera in the right hands can give a richer texture to final prints...and not something enhanced by PhotoShop. Check eBay and Craigslist in your local area as I have seen some amazing bargains. I also remember seeing a nice 35mm Canon SLR, new, on a sale flyer from Sportsmansguide.com. I think they are located in Minnesota. Happy hunting and let us know what you find. FYI, there is a hugh difference in photo quality from a KMart/Longs Drugs/Walgreens when compared to a camera store like Ritz or even mail order.

    Brian: I admire someone who can tinker and machine something to improve it. Are you shooting a release or pull on your Canon FD?
     
  10. motordoctor

    motordoctor Shoji Tabuchi in Branson

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    Rookie Tim I have a 35mm camera MINOLTA Maxxum 4. electronic everything. 28 to 80mm lens. Also have a 70 to 300mm lens that I have never put on the camera. I bought it for work and changed jobs,. Probably took about 40 pictures with it.Have the manual, lens covers, filters , strap and even the box along with all the paperwork. Like to sell it but don't know what it is worth. Paid about 450 dollars for it. Interested??? email at above location MOtordoc
     
  11. jimx200

    jimx200 Member

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    Tim, here is a new in the box Minolta Maxxum 4 on ebay with a buynow of $149. and it has a 100-300 lense. Others found at less then $50.-$75. used. Bargains to be had on excellent quality film cameras from major mfg's.


    http://cgi.ebay.com/Minolta-Maxxum-4-Date-SLR-Camera-w-100-300mm-Lens-NEW_W0QQitemZ290103734673QQihZ019QQcategoryZ43493QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
     
  12. ljutic73

    ljutic73 Well-Known Member

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    I still use a Minolta XD-11 for some of my shots....they are available on e-bay for low $$'s and are a fine camera. Minolta made a huge variety of "MD" mount lense for them with their "Rokor" series being the best. The other lense makers also made lenses to fit. The camera has a magnesium body with either aperture priority or shutter priority modes. All in all a very well made camera.
     
  13. welderman

    welderman TS Member

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    I have a bit of advice that has taken me years to figure out. Whenever the animal image is not big enough, the first advice you will get is buy a longer lens. Long fast lenses are expensive, and will not solve all your problems because of changes in perspective. Your time is much better spent, and your wallet a little thicker by using shorter lenses and learning how to get closer to your subject. You may not want to try this with dangerous game, but the principle still applies. Tom S (welderman)
    <img src=http://i163.photobucket.com/albums/t297/welderman_07/P1010217.jpg?t=1176313033
     
  14. atagym

    atagym TS Member

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    Took this shot with a Canon S2 IS. 12x Optical zoom. You can get photos like this without a tripod due the Image Stabilization.

    I think digital is the way to go.
     
  15. rookie tim

    rookie tim TS Member

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    What do you think about this camera, ebay item number 190100036389. It is a Canon T70 SLR with 60-300mm f4.0/5.6 macro zoom lens and some other items.

    Thanks

    Tim
     
  16. rookie tim

    rookie tim TS Member

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    Which Canon camera do you think would work best for what I want to use it for? There are a lot of Canon AE-1's for sale, would this be a good choice? How does the Minolta Maxxum 4 compare to an AE-1 or a Canon T70 SLR? Which Minolta should I look for?

    Thanks

    Tim
     
  17. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Tim, I am not a fan of the Canon T-70. A friend had one, and I borrowed it. The biggest complaint I have is that it will not allow you to manually check the depth of field. It lacks a stop down preview. I think you're better off finding an older AE-1 or better an A-1. I still use an A-1 with motor drive. I also have a T-90, which is a far better body than the T-70, but, alas, my LCD screen went dead. I'll have to send it off to repair. If I could find one reasonable I wouldn't mind an old F-1.<br>
    <br>
    You can also see if adaptors are still available to mount an FD lense on an EF body. They typically multiplied the image by 1.4x. (A 300mmm becomes a 420mm). This would allow the use of a more modern body, though the lens would have to operate totally manual (you would have to set the f-stop and, of course, manually focus it.)<br>
    <br>
    <br>
    <br>
    Killian's photo is very nice. Good contrast, sharp, detailed, good color saturation - it's just about in the same league as a film photo.<br>
    <br>
    atagym's photo, though, has an issue with lens quality. If you look closely where the white sky meets the tree branches, you'll see a thin faint haze that's bluish or reddish. Cheap binoculars will do this, only it's a lot more obvious. It's not the CCD doing this, it's the lens, and it could happen even on a film camera.<br>
    <br>
    <br>
    <br>
    Myself, I prefer film for the best quality. We've been using digital cameras at my work since 1994, and have totally dumped film. The latest digitals are cheap at $5K+ a body, compared to the $15K we were spending when they first came out. But I don't want one. I went the opposite direction and went medium format and made it as simple as possible. My camera doesn't even have an exposure meter. I get better contrast, and the way a blue sky will transition from deep blue to light blue cannot be matched by a digital, or even a 35mm film camera. I can also crop the image to make panorama shots, and still retain 35mm quality.<br>
    <br>
    Another thing about using film is that I can choose the film type to match the subject. In other words, I can adjust the spectrum sensitivity better with film, instead of using Photoshop. As a basic example, Kodacolor is partial to reds, Fuji favors greens, and Ektachrome favors blues. Then there are the films for tunsten lighting, and portrait films that produce a "pastel" coloring. Not to mention infrared, high contrast, etc.<br>
    <br>
    Does this mean I'll never get a digital? Nope. I'll get one, and I'll use it for snapshots and technical photos.<br>
    <br>
    But not for scenics and images I intend to market (poster size prints).
     
  18. welderman

    welderman TS Member

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    I agree with Brian that film photos are often higher quality than digital. Digital, on the other hand, provides instant results. Another advantage of digital is that you can shoot as many pictures as you like in a session without it costing any more. This means you can dump the photos you are not pleased with and not pay for film and processing. After using many cameras, I must say that I have a distinct preference for SLRs in both film and digital. I think that if I were teaching a photography class, I would start students with digital, because lots of low cost shooting helps to learn what to expect from lighting conditions and various subjects. After the student acquired photo skills, I would introduce him/her to the advantages of film. BTW, Killian Red's photo is fantastic. You will eventually learn to take advantage of photo opportunities such as traumatized subjects, dead subjects(like Audubon used), and lethargic subjects such as chilled insects. Tom S (welderman)
     
  19. nsrailroad

    nsrailroad Member

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    I have had 2 Nikon n50's 1 When they 1st came out early abt 1991,other when they quit making them. They do great.I use 25-80, 80-300, 500, 1000,lens, both have severed me well.I do alot of crop dusters and trains. Some wildlife. Astronomical for me to switch to Digital to replace this set up for now. I'm thing of a small digital with a zoom of maybe 150 to start with, so I can email freinds train and shooting pictures.I been trying scanning photo's, but sometimes it's a head ache. Hope this helps. You get alot of good advice on here. A lot better THAN DR. PILL!
    Take care,
    RailRoad
     
  20. rookie tim

    rookie tim TS Member

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    I want to thank all of you that replied for all their wisdom. I have not purchased a camera yet, but when I do I will let you know what camera I ended up with. Hopefully I can show you a few pics.

    Thanks,

    Tim
     
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