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Old 09-21-2002, 10:36 PM
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d_kendal d_kendal is offline
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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I'm getting interested in Photography (non digital right now) and I have a couple questions some of you might be able to answer:

1. can anybody recommend some good photography books for a newbie? I'm looking for books that explain about how to use manual settings on a camera, how to compose a photo well etc.

2. what kind of camera is a good one to start out with (I need something with all the manual settings so i can learn how to use it all) I'm thinking about something like the Canon EOS series (Rebel G, Rebel 2000 etc.) what would you recommend??

thanks in advance for any help,

- David
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Old 09-21-2002, 11:44 PM
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G. Couch G. Couch is offline
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You might look into some of the older camera systems - Canon AE-1, Pentax K1000, etc... you can find them fairly cheap and they are very rugged and well built cameras. I still have my Canon AE-1 program from college photo class...still works perfectly even though I have dropped it numerous times. (once in the snow!)
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Old 09-22-2002, 12:10 AM
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pstewart pstewart is offline
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Rebel is good value.

I have a Minolta Maxxum and its absolutely wonderful. It's older (first year it came out my sweet hubby bought me one!) so it's really heavy. It's lost some of its indicator lights and a flash plate through the years, so I want to replace it with a new lighter Maxxum (Xmas is coming, honey...if you are listening...hehe).

I bought my daughter a Canon Rebel (forget which model) and it is a very nice camera too. It is about a third the cost of the Maxxum but takes great pictures, and has most of the important features. They both can be used in manual or automatic modes, of course, like just about all the SLR's nowadays.

Good luck with your is very rewarding, and very relaxing I have found. And now that we have Photoshop and similar programs, it's even more fun, if that's possible!

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Old 09-22-2002, 12:12 AM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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Cool for you, David!

Here's a few suggestions for you...


I went to (my favorite bookstore) and gathered up a list of books they have listed that I've read at some point and found useful

SLR Photographer's Handbook by Carl Shipman

Kodak Professional Photoguide by Kodak

The Photographer's Handbook by John Hedgecoe

Photographic Composition by Tom Grill

The A-Z of Creative Photography: Over 70 Techniques Explained in Full by Lee Frost

John Hedgecoe's Complete Guide to Photography: A Step-By-Step Course from the World's Best... by John Hedgecoe

The Art of Seeing by Derek Doeffinger

Book of Photography by John Hedgecoe

Kodak Pocket Guide to 35mm Photography by Kodak

Light: Science and Magic, an Introduction to Photographic Lighting by Fil Hunter

Using Your Camera: A Beginner's Guide to 35mm Photography
by George Schaub

Also, check out the photography section in your library...


The Rebel 2000 would be a good choice. I shoot mainly with a Canon Elan 7e (which is an excellent camera, btw), but I have a Rebel 2000 that I use for backup. It's a really decent little camera.

Other Things You Might Find Helpful

Do a Google search on photography. There are lots of websites around with tips for beginning photographers

Search through the newsgroups (Google again) for more recommendations for good beginning photography books

Subscribe to Photography newsgroups. Although I find that newsgroups can be frequented by some fairly unpleasant people, there is also some good information to be gotten from them

Hope this helps you out some...
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Old 09-22-2002, 03:27 AM
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chris h chris h is offline
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David, I concur with Greg get a s/h camera which gives you as much manual control as possible and put lots of film through it use short/out dated stock if cash is tight. By doing this you learn to USE the camera and it changes from being a barrier between you and the image your after to an device that produces the result YOU want.


Last edited by chris h; 10-19-2002 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 09-22-2002, 03:45 AM
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BigAl BigAl is offline
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I go with Chris & Greg on the s/h camera. But don't forget, the bodies end up being the cheaper end of the deal. Without decent lenses, you will prolly never end up taking decent pics. I work with 2 Minolta X-700 bodies (antiques!), one with a short focal length lens and the other with a longer focal length.

Chris's idea of running lots of outdated film thru the camera is also a good one - if you do get good shots with this, you can always patch the image digitally if necessary
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Old 09-22-2002, 04:21 AM
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chiquitita chiquitita is offline
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My first "real" camera was a Cannon Rebel - Now I have a Rebel 2000 - I had to replace the first one that broke only after the saline solution for my contacts spilled all over it while I was traveling. This is a really nice camera for the price. It is very light and easy to use and takes great pictures. I would go for one of these.
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Old 09-22-2002, 06:36 AM
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Ed_L Ed_L is offline
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You've had some good suggestions. You didn't say if you want a digital camera specifically, but you can get by pretty cheap with traditional cameras if you check out e-bay or a used camera store. Greg mentioned the Canon AE-1, but I don't *think* you have full manual control with it unless you get the Canon AE-1 Program. If I'm wrong on this, I'm sure I'll be corrected. I have had 3 Pentax K-1000s, and IMHO, they were money well spent. They are strictly manual, so you are forced to make your own settings, thereby learning a lot about different apertures and shutter speeds. Sorry, but I can't remember the names of good basic books that I've had. There are many. Just browse through the books to make sure they go into the workings of shutter speed and aperture choices. Once you understand this, you can study how different lenses are made, and the effects different elements have on the resulting image.

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Old 09-22-2002, 08:12 AM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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If you decide that an older camera might be an option, you can't do any better than to get a Nikon Nikkormat or Nikomat EL.

You can often still find them in good shape.

They are (IMHO) the absolute best 35mm cameras ever made...

(the EL is my own personal favorite of the two)
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Old 09-22-2002, 12:30 PM
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G. Couch G. Couch is offline
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Ed - I'm not sure about the AE-1's or A-1's but my AE-1 P is fully manual.

Ed's K-1000 would be my choice if I had to buy a system for school's simple, fully manual and built like a tank. I think you can even operate them without a battery? Like Al said, no matter what camera you get the most important thing is going to be the lens. I'd start with a fixed focal length (50mm or 35mm) and avoid a zoom lens. I got a good quality 50mm f1.4 as my first lens and it's still the one I use the most.

one more thing...I'd buy the lens from a good camera store rather than online. That way you can check for mold, smoothness of the focus assembly, etc...
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