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Jeremy Marchant
10-08-2009, 21:48
I used to be a keen photographer in the days of film. However, I've lost touch with the digital scene. I have a run of the mill digital camera which I hate and don't use.
Any recommendations for a camera (preferably available secondhand) which

(a) allows me to use different lenses
(b) allows me to see what will be in the picture via a viewfinder which works through the lens - not a screen which is functionally useless as I can't focus on both it and the subject
(c) takes the picture when I press the button - not at some apparently unpredictable interval later.

Thanks

The Vinyl Adventure
10-08-2009, 21:52
digital or film?

...

just re-read your post

nikon d50 d70s or d40 would be my recomendation all can be picked up for less than 200 nowadays i should have thought

DaveK
10-08-2009, 21:54
I used to be a keen photographer in the days of film. However, I've lost touch with the digital scene. I have a run of the mill digital camera which I hate and don't use.
Any recommendations for a camera (preferably available secondhand) which

(a) allows me to use different lenses
(b) allows me to see what will be in the picture via a viewfinder which works through the lens - not a screen which is functionally useless as I can't focus on both it and the subject
(c) takes the picture when I press the button - not at some apparently lengthy interval later.

Thanks

Hi Jeremy,
Hamish and Haselsh and possibly Snapper on the forum are all professional photographers and would each be a good source of information, advice and help. One or t'other will probably be along shortly.
Cheers,

Alex_UK
10-08-2009, 21:55
Sounds like you need a digital SLR - I was a keen "analogue" photographer 10-15 years ago, and acquired some nice Canon EF-fit lenses, so it made sense for me to stick with the Canon EOS range, as the old lenses are still usable. I went for a 450D which has been great for my "advanced amateur" knowledge of exposure and technique, most of which tranfer across to the digital world - I would thoroughly recommend one, but the Nikon and Sony current crop will have their devotees too - not sure if old Nikon lenses are reusable like they are with Canon, or any of the other manufacturers (Olympus etc.) in case you still have old kit, which would be good place to start the Googling.

Clive
10-08-2009, 22:00
Jeremy,

I'm sure there is lots of advice from lots of people that will come from all sorts of angles. Let me relay my experience.

I used to use and still have a couple of Nikon 35mm cameras with various lenses. I finally gave in and bought an Olympus 420 (the current model is a 620), this has two "kit" (ie cheap) zoom lenses that produce decent results. What really pleased me is that I can fit my old (and very good) Nikon & Tamrom SP lenses to the Olympus via a converter ring. The focul length of my lenses doubles and I only use the centre part of the lens witch should bring better results. Of course I have to manually focus and set aperture but it's like real photography again and I have the Olympus zooms for easy shooting. If you want to buy old 35mm lenses these are generally really inexpensive and very available. So I feel I have the a great compromise that works for me, don't know if this would work for you.

Make sure that any DSLR you get has a cleaning system in-built or you'll be fighting dust inside your camera if you change lenses frequently.

DaveK
10-08-2009, 22:11
(a) allows me to use different lenses

Thanks

Hi again Jeremy,
There are now some very good basic cameras with very good and wide range zoom lenses - do you need the hassle and extra weight of 2 or more interchangeable lenses?
Cheers,

The Vinyl Adventure
10-08-2009, 22:35
sorry i should have mentioned that the cameras i was talking about are digital slr's
i recomend nikon because i have used nikon since i was 6.. someone who has used canon since they were 6 will obviously recomend canon.
digital slrs are pretty much a much for muchness at each price point

based on this the best advice i can give you is as follows:
1: buy a book on the basics of dslrs. there are loads of them available in your local waterstones!
2: go into a camera shop and get your hands on some of the cameras
3: stick to the major brands nikon, sony (although the new sony 230 is horrible), canon, olympus (only really buy olympus if you want a smaller camera - they have smaller sensors and as such the wider angle lenses are more expensive - that will make more sence after you have read the dslr book) ... the major brands get the most atention from 3rd party lens manufactures eg tamron and sigma and as such there are a lot more options for new and second hand lenses
4: when you have decided which brand you felt most comfortable holding come back here, give me an idea of buget and il recomend a camera and lenses

also dont get sucked into the hype about the new micro 4/3rds cameras, they are ok but they are so new they are very expensive and the vfs are digital only

Alex_UK
10-08-2009, 22:43
Hi again Jeremy,
There are now some very good basic cameras with very good and wide range zoom lenses - do you need the hassle and extra weight of 2 or more interchangeable lenses?
Cheers,

I guess that very much depends on what Jeremy wants to photograph - I would doubt the built-in lenses on even a very good compact/pseudo-SLR would be fast enough for sports action, and to me one of the beauties of a long telephoto lens is the shallow depth of field available at a wide aperture, allowing me to blur the background on say, a wildlife shot - I'm not sure it is so achievable without an SLR, though I've no personal experience of the latest compacts, so I could be talking rubbish as usual!

The Vinyl Adventure
10-08-2009, 22:53
i agree ... the "hybrid" or "bridge" cameras that are a halfway point between compact and slr cameras are in most cases not bad,but they are nothin on real srls. they are also dead money in my books as the depriciate a lot quicker than slrs and are not upgradeable with new lenses etc... the accessories tend to be expensive too and they are rarly compatible with the camera models that succeed the one you buy

Clive
11-08-2009, 08:15
I agree with Hamish that the main reason to buy an Olympus is the small size of the camera, especially 420 / 620. The 520 has a modern lump of a grip which makes it larger. For some reason folks nowadays seem to want an in-built camera grip rather than holding the lens....

When I was looking for a new camera I started with Nikon in the hope that my existing lenses would be compatible with current Nikon DSLRs. Well they are physically but little more and the compatibility changes are you work you way up the Nikon range which took me to ever more expensive camera which became huge. Also my SB24 plash is useless with current Nikons.

I then thought more about this, why did I want a large heavy camera that was expensive but didn't take pictures that were much better than an entry-level DSLR. Also with this technology the camera will be outdated in 3 years so why spend a lot on the camera body. So I ended up with a small light Olympus with the slow zooms that are typical of today. I use my range legacy Nikon lenses manually for my more serious photos, my 50mm 1.8 is a really wonderful lens compared to the cheap kit zoom that comes with the camera - and btw the Olympus kit zooms are amongst the best kit zooms but that's not saying much.

Jeremy Marchant
11-08-2009, 22:27
Thanks for these comments. Very interesting.

I should have made it clear I'm after a digital camera. I'm happy to buy secondhand. I would like the flexibility that multiple lenses offer and, although it's a drag to carry them around, that's what I am used to.

My old cameras were Pentaxes. Do we think that their K and M mount lenses would fit their digital bodies?

Hamish, thanks for your ideas in particular. I'll do the research you suggest. It'll be a background task for me, so I may not come back immediately. Sounds like a full SLR is what I need. Decades ago, I was advised to buy the camera which felt easiest in the hand - hence the purchase of the Pentaxes.

The Vinyl Adventure
11-08-2009, 23:34
as well as doing photography for a living i also have worked in camera sales for about 4 years now (although nowadays only a day a week) i am as obsessed with cameras and photography as most people on here are about hifi (belive it or not hifi is my secondary hobby) so i am more than very happy to help

i have just mentioned this on another thread about scanners but if you would like me to help more, pm me, and i could give you the number of the shop and let you know the day i am there for some no obligation proper advice!
a good few people on this forum have been very good to me of late and i would like to be able to put something back into the "community" and as i know more about cameras it seems to me a good way of helping out!

old pentax lenses fit on modern cameras but you have to guess the esposure as they dont relay any info to the camera not even what apeture its set to.. it can be a fiddle, but sometimes worth the trouble
one thing to point out of great importance is you will also have to multiply you focal length by 1.5 (50mm becomes 75mm) as the sensor is smaller than the surface of 35mm film. a standard lens on on a digi slr is 30mm ish, so when you see a 18-55mm lens on a dslr its actually, in film terms, aprox a 28-82mm

Alex_UK
12-08-2009, 06:28
That's interesting, the multiplier is 1.6 with Canon, (50mm becomes 80mm) when using EF (35mm) rather than EF-S lenses, so a slight difference there between the others, though not really that significant!

Good to know we have a specialist onboard, I might be after some of your expertise if I ever have any money left after I've spent it all on hi-fi!

The Vinyl Adventure
12-08-2009, 11:39
That's interesting, the multiplier is 1.6 with Canon, (50mm becomes 80mm) when using EF (35mm) rather than EF-S lenses, so a slight difference there between the others, though not really that significant!

Good to know we have a specialist onboard, I might be after some of your expertise if I ever have any money left after I've spent it all on hi-fi!

i have never been 100% sure if there i a difference in size between the canon "aps-c" format and nikons "dx" format... i gave up worrying about it a long time ago and have just decided to stick to the rough idea that for the most part the entry level brands are aprox 1.5x, apart from the 4/3rds that are 2x

i have an idea that it is more like 1.56x for both canon and nikon and its just diffent marketing in the early days of the format that has created confusion, but i might very well be wrong!!

still, in my world 1.5x isnt going to be too far off... and the maths is easier

just to add a bit more confusion

canon also used to have the aps-h sensors which were 1.3x
leica m8 is also 1.3x (i think)


i was so happy when i got my d3 with its full frame 24x36(ish) sensor... i stoped having to worry about it. my 85mm 1.4 actually became a 84 1.4 ..happy days!!


some light reading -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_lens
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_factor

The Vinyl Adventure
12-08-2009, 11:46
just had a quick mooch around the internet and i still cant find a conclusive answer as to weather canons sensors are slightly smaller... like i said for the difference it makes in real terms i gave up giving a toss a long while ago
i have literally just seen respectable webs site giving contradictory info on the subject...

Alex_UK
12-08-2009, 11:51
Canon itself says 1.6 - Canon Sensor Info (http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/infobank/digital_image_size_and_preview/equivalent_focal_length.do) - but like you said, I wouldn't worry about it when comparing cameras.

The Vinyl Adventure
12-08-2009, 12:12
Canon itself says 1.6 - Canon Sensor Info (http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/infobank/digital_image_size_and_preview/equivalent_focal_length.do) - but like you said, I wouldn't worry about it when comparing cameras.

good old canon website the only place i didnt think to look! :doh:

i found some facts:

Nikon DX 23.6 mm 15.8 mm (d300) 1.5x ish
Canon aps-c 22.3 mm x 14.9 mm (50d) 1.6x ish

so canon are slightly smaller

but yeah it makes no odds, in real terms very few people would ever notice a difference