Older Cameras

March 4th, 2003

All the photographers I know seem to be planning their switch from film to digital (if they haven’t already made the jump!). “When will I change?” “At what price point?” “Digital compact or digital SLR?” “How many megapixels?”

Am I the only one switching the other way?

My 2.1 Mp Olympus C-2040Z is great for family snapshots, where I rarely enlarge beyond A5. It’s also good for learning and experimenting, where the instant feedback really helps. But as a poor hobbyist, I�just can’t afford to buy a quality digital SLR that will allow me to make prints up to A3 size for camera club competitions. Not yet, at least.

In the meantime, I’m shooting stuff intended for camera club on some older manual 35mm SLRs I’ve come across. I’ve now got:

  • Nikkormat FTN + 50mm f/2.0 (on loan from my father)
  • Pentax ME Super + 50mm f/2.0 + 70-200mm f/4.5 (bought the camera body for $5 at a garage sale, 50mm lens for $30 from a friend at camera club, and swapped a Minolta SR-101 + 135mm f/2.8 lens in poor condition for the 70-200mm zoom)
  • Ricoh Singlex TLS + 50mm f/2.0 + 28mm f/2.8 (bought for $40 second hand)

In the next week or so I’ll be purchasing a Canon FS-4000US film scanner (review) to scan the films I put through these cameras. It also has an APS adapter, so I can scan all the photos Megan and I have taken with our compact camera (photos from the Maldives, Borneo, and elsewhere).

By coincidence, I came across two interesting articles this week on using older manual SLRs – Old Beaters: The Joy Of Bottom Feeding and What Do You Lose Stepping Back 20 Years? They’re both great articles.

Entry Filed under: Photography


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