Re: Old fogey needs some advice
- From: Roger <Delete-Invallid.stuff.groups@xxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2006 22:38:09 -0500
On 29 Mar 2006 19:41:43 -0800, "cjcampbell"
Can anyone recommend any low-priced or moderately-priced digital SLRs
that might be suitable for someone who prefers simplicity and manual
I also would recommend the Nikon D70, D70s, or D200 (at the high end),
or the Canon 20D, 30D or 5D (at the very high end).
The Nikon D50 and the Canon Rebel series are really not set up for
manual use, though they are very good automatic cameras.
A lot of the newer lenses have no aperture markings on them because you
now manually set aperture with the camera body. Unfortunately, a lot of
I think you could probably say, most of them are that way, or at lest
most of the new crop of lenses devoted to the smaller digital format
such as the Nikon DX series.
You do see the aperture setting through the viewfinder and it appears
just like the 35 mm cameras, but it's not the same. What you are
seeing is just a digital display of the f-stop rather than the actual
markings on the lens as was done with the 35s.
them are also pretty skimpy on the distance markings and most are
The DX series are well marked for distance, with the exception of the
IR mark which they do not have, but in over 50 years of shooting I've
never used one any way.
missing the IR mark entirely. Not only that, but many DSLR viewfinders
aren't what you were used to, although there are some pretty decent
third party focusing screens available.
The D70 has a pretty nice viewfinder, but I much prefer the one on my
old F4S. OTOH the F4S is just too heavy to haul around for casual
shooting, or even a lot of hand held shooting.
I'm looking at adding the D-200 as it has the two features missing in
the D70. A useful mirror lockup and a hard wired remote release.
It has been 15 years, after all. Automation has greatly improved in the
interim, so don't be too quick to write it off just yet. Image
However if you shoot a lot of aviation *stuff* the ability to quickly
manual focus is almost a must as the paint jobs on a lot of military
aircraft completely confuse the auto focus in many if not most
cameras. I like the ability for a "one touch" zoom and focus for
those high speed fly-bys.
stabilization (Nikon VR or Canon IS) is another new feature on many
One of the greatest features to hit the market.
lenses that is just about miraculous. Since digital film doesn't cost
anything, it is actually practical to make six or seven attempts to get
a sharp handheld photo at 1/8 second with a 200mm lens -- and you can
just about guarantee success with that.
But on a moving target it's a bit impractical. <:-)) Particularly when
it's moving just below the speed of sound.
Digital cameras are different and you will have 'fun' getting to used
to those differences. Personally, the biggest problem I have with
digital vs. film is that it is a lot easier to blow out highlights with
digital. There is no shoulder in digital as there is with film. But
I saw color saturation (red) on my E20N, but I've not noticed any real
difference in the dynamic range between the D70 and the ASA 100 film I
was using. Of course neither had the range of ASA 400.
overall I have come to like digital much better. It is cheaper, allows
Good equipment is still not cheap, but the new crop of lenses aimed at
the smaller digital format such as the DX series give excellent
quality and are quite a bit less than comparable lenses used for 35mm.
Probably my favorite lens on the D70 is the 28-105 Macro. OTOH it is
expensive compared to the kit lens (almost three times as much), or
even the 12 to 24 zoom. The kit lens works well and has a much wider
zoom range which makes it good for casual shooting. I'd like to get
hold of that new, wide range Nikor zoom which is something like 18 to
200mm and see what it's like. The range is ideal for me, but I
wouldn't expect the quality I'm used to.
me to shoot far more for almost no cost, and my photography has greatly
improved as a result.
I figured it cost me about $3.00 for a roll of 36 exposure film. A
dollar to develop it, and about $1.50 for slide mounts, or $5.50 -
$6.00 per roll. Yes, making prints on my printer is expensive, but I
make far fewer than I would shooting 35mm and spend a fraction of the
time doing it. The nice thing is I can't tell the difference between
the prints from the Epson R320 and those I get from the photo
processor at the mall. OTOH it costs more for me to print an 8 X 10
than I pay for commercially produced ones. Still, it's a *lot*
cheaper than having to do test prints (and I do have a color
densiometer) until I get the proper results out of the dark room.
Color paper is cheap, the chemicals like the ink are not.
OTOH B & W paper for the dark room is relatively expensive at more
than three times the cost of the resin coated color paper. I must
have at least 500 sheets of 8 X 10 RC B&W paper, 1000 sheets of RC
color paper, and probably close to 500 sheets of the heavy B & W
Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
(N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
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