manual or auto?

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SunnyB64

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Apr 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/14/99
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I'm a student looking into getting a camera for a photography class. I'm not
sure what kind of photos I'll be taking yet, but the camera will have to be
pretty durable. I'm not sure whether it would be better to get a manual or an
automatic camera though. any suggestions? (Reccomended models would also be
helpful.) Thanks!

Think Pad

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Apr 14, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/14/99
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Plenty of different ideas will come out soon. Since we are talking about
learning, here is my story:

Several years ago, I started learning photography from knowing nothing. I
bought a new FM2n as my first-ever camera (note that the used one is just a
little bit cheaper). Three years later, I bought my first AF camera and
have kept the FM2n as a back up body. The AF camera is very handly and now
I am spoiled by the fantasy features on the modern body. Today, I hardly
use the MF camera. However, all basic of photography I learned from the
FM2n is unvaluable.

My recomemded is: At least one time, you should experience using a fully MF
camera which forces you to everything by yourself. It is awkward at the
very first time but soon you will learn and get familiar with it. You then
know how to sketch out the specifications of the AF camera in your dream.
Some might be deeply in love with MF and don't want to move to AF domain,
though. Most advanced AF cameras can take care of every single thing on MF
cameras but they do not encourage you to think as much as the MF force you
to do.

If you final decision stops at an AF camera, make sure you disable all
automatic features (including DX) when you start using it. This way, you
can use an AF camera to simulate an MF one. Unfortunately, the automation
on some entry-level AF cameras can't completely be overwritten.

Enjoy the class.

Gene Windell

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Apr 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/15/99
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> I'm a student looking into getting a camera for a photography class. I'm
>not sure what kind of photos I'll be taking yet, but the camera will have to
>be pretty durable. I'm not sure whether it would be better to get a manual
>or an automatic camera though. any suggestions? (Reccomended models would also
>be helpful.) Thanks!

If you buy a computerized camera, you will never learn anything about
photography - except laziness. The quality of a photograph is
proportionate to the amount of effort that goes into making it.
Computerized cameras are designed to allow chimpanzees to make
pictures that are in focus and adequately exposed - most of the time.

If you wanted to learn to fly an airplane, you should not switch on
the autopilot feature during the first lesson - then consider your
training complete.

The Nikon FM2n is an excellent camera with which to learn photography,
and is also very popular among professionals. It is a camera you can
never outgrow. This camera can sync with flash at 1/250th sec, which
is very important for using flash as the "main" light outdoors in
daylight. It also has a lever for making multiple exposures.
Chimpanzees would have no use for either of these features, which is
why the Nikon FM2n is not so very popular among most photographers.
Computerized cameras are engineered for convenience, not creativity.

Most professionals, and many serious amateurs are wearied by the
limitations of the tiny 35mm image size - and move on to medium or
large format cameras. Learning photography with a fully manual 35mm
SLR provides the experience necessary for operating the bigger
cameras. Learning photography with a computerized camera teaches you
nothing except how to operate a computer - and burn up film in a
chimpanzee like fashion. Just one finely crafted photograph is worth
more than 1,000 chimp shots.


Ron Walton

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Apr 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/15/99
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You should check the requirements of the class.
Some teachers require manual cameras only. Some do not
specify a certain type camera.
Nothing like showing up for the first day for class with a
spiffy new Autoplus PMS and the Prof says no dice.
If they require a manual camera something like a Pentax
K-1000 will suffice. You can get one cheap and when the class is
over probably sell it for the amount you paid for it.
If auto everything cameras are allowed check out Canon EOS.
If budget is limited the new Rebel 2000 offers great bang for the
buck.
If you have more to spend check out EOS Elan II/IIe and
A2/A2e/A5.
--
Ron Walton
Visit the BPC http://www.bpc.photographer.org


SunnyB64 wrote in message
<19990414170538...@ng17.aol.com>...

William D. Welch

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Apr 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/15/99
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>ewin...@psci.net (Gene Windell) wrote:

>> I'm a student looking into getting a camera for a photography class. I'm
>>not sure what kind of photos I'll be taking yet, but the camera will have to
>>be pretty durable. I'm not sure whether it would be better to get a manual
>>or an automatic camera though. any suggestions? (Reccomended models would also
>>be helpful.) Thanks!

. . .

>The Nikon FM2n is an excellent camera with which to learn photography,
>and is also very popular among professionals.

. . .

I've also heard professionals recommend the Nikon FM-10. This camera
is a less costly manual . You can probably buy it for $250 to $300
new. Camera swaps are a good place to find these cameras used for
less money.

Bill Welch

--


Ron Walton

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Apr 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/15/99
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--
Ron Walton
Visit the BPC http://www.bpc.photographer.org


Gene Windell wrote in message
<3715cf94....@news.psci.net>...


>> I'm a student looking into getting a camera for a photography
class. I'm
>>not sure what kind of photos I'll be taking yet, but the camera
will have to
>>be pretty durable. I'm not sure whether it would be better to
get a manual
>>or an automatic camera though. any suggestions? (Reccomended
models would also
>>be helpful.) Thanks!
>

>If you buy a computerized camera, you will never learn anything
about
>photography - except laziness. The quality of a photograph is
>proportionate to the amount of effort that goes into making it.
>Computerized cameras are designed to allow chimpanzees to make
>pictures that are in focus and adequately exposed - most of the
time.

I've never called anyone an idiot to thier face, but since
we're on the Internet I'd have to say-YOU'RE AN IDIOT. Go crawl
back into your cave and take your FM2n with you.
Most auto everything cameras have ( gasp ) manual metered
mode.
Once you learn the basics manual ( I wanna say sucks, but I'm
being diplomatic ) just holds you back.
What do you do when you use the FM2ns' internal meter.
Wouldn't it be great if you had a camera that did that for you.
You could concentrait on focusing and/or composition or following
a moving subject.
What if you didn't need to worry about getting your subject
in focus. Just concentrait on following a moving subject or
composition.

>
>If you wanted to learn to fly an airplane, you should not switch
on
>the autopilot feature during the first lesson - then consider
your
>training complete.

An idiotic analogy if I've ever read one.

>
>The Nikon FM2n is an excellent camera with which to learn
photography,

>and is also very popular among professionals. It is a camera you
can
>never outgrow. This camera can sync with flash at 1/250th sec,
which
>is very important for using flash as the "main" light outdoors in
>daylight. It also has a lever for making multiple exposures.

Wow!!! A lever. My camera has a button.
Some newer auto everything cameras can sync at 1/2000 or even
higher.

>Chimpanzees would have no use for either of these features, which
is
>why the Nikon FM2n is not so very popular among most
photographers.
>Computerized cameras are engineered for convenience, not
creativity.

I've never told anyone to thier face that they were full of shit,
but since we're on the Internet.


>
>Most professionals, and many serious amateurs are wearied by the
>limitations of the tiny 35mm image size - and move on to medium
or
>large format cameras. Learning photography with a fully manual
35mm
>SLR provides the experience necessary for operating the bigger
>cameras. Learning photography with a computerized camera teaches
you
>nothing except how to operate a computer - and burn up film in a
>chimpanzee like fashion. Just one finely crafted photograph is
worth
>more than 1,000 chimp shots.

Again I must say-IS THIS GUY AN IDIOT OR WHAT.
If we take a vote for the most idiotic post EVER I'd have to
vote for this post made by Gene Windell.

>
>
>
>
>

c_...@my-dejanews.com

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Apr 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/15/99
to
Keep in mind here that I agree about manual focus and exposure control 100%.
That is the best way to learn. Comments inserted below:

In article <3715cf94....@news.psci.net>,


ewin...@psci.net (Gene Windell) wrote:
> > I'm a student looking into getting a camera for a photography class. I'm
> >not sure what kind of photos I'll be taking yet, but the camera will have to
> >be pretty durable. I'm not sure whether it would be better to get a manual
> >or an automatic camera though. any suggestions? (Reccomended models would
also
> >be helpful.) Thanks!
>
> If you buy a computerized camera, you will never learn anything about
> photography - except laziness. The quality of a photograph is
> proportionate to the amount of effort that goes into making it.
> Computerized cameras are designed to allow chimpanzees to make
> pictures that are in focus and adequately exposed - most of the time.

If all you ever use is a computerized camera this may be true. If you
buy one, no.

>
> If you wanted to learn to fly an airplane, you should not switch on
> the autopilot feature during the first lesson - then consider your
> training complete.
>

Of course not, but maybe when buying an airplane, you would consider one
with autopilot because maybe sometime in the future you may wish to use it.

> The Nikon FM2n is an excellent camera with which to learn photography,
> and is also very popular among professionals. It is a camera you can
> never outgrow. This camera can sync with flash at 1/250th sec, which
> is very important for using flash as the "main" light outdoors in
> daylight. It also has a lever for making multiple exposures.

> Chimpanzees would have no use for either of these features, which is
> why the Nikon FM2n is not so very popular among most photographers.
> Computerized cameras are engineered for convenience, not creativity.

The FM2n is a very nice camera, for beginners of pros, no doubt about it.
Depending on what type of photography you will be doing, though, this
camera is not ideal for everything. When you don't have a lot of time for
a shot (race cars, sports, nature action, etc.) a camera with automatic
controls may mean the difference between one good shot and one bad shot.
Which may not sound so bad, but if that is the only shot you get...

My suggestion would be to pick a system of camera (Nikon, Canon, Pentax, etc.)
and buy a used AF camera, BUT one with FULL manual capabilities. I started on
a Nikon 6006 in manual modes. It was just like an old manual camera (with
a spot meter) And after all, if you take the course and still keep
switching over to AF and letting the camera think for you, you may lose
interest and quit. Then you will have a point-and-shoot to take pictures
at Disney with.

>
> Most professionals, and many serious amateurs are wearied by the
> limitations of the tiny 35mm image size - and move on to medium or
> large format cameras. Learning photography with a fully manual 35mm
> SLR provides the experience necessary for operating the bigger
> cameras. Learning photography with a computerized camera teaches you
> nothing except how to operate a computer - and burn up film in a
> chimpanzee like fashion. Just one finely crafted photograph is worth
> more than 1,000 chimp shots.
>

Good point. Learn to make a sharp, well-thought out image, with strong
composition and the negative size is interchangeable.

Good Luck

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

Morgan Jones

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Apr 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/15/99
to
ewin...@psci.net (Gene Windell) writes:

> > I'm a student looking into getting a camera for a photography class. I'm
> >not sure what kind of photos I'll be taking yet, but the camera will have to
> >be pretty durable. I'm not sure whether it would be better to get a manual
> >or an automatic camera though. any suggestions? (Reccomended models would also
> >be helpful.) Thanks!
>
> If you buy a computerized camera, you will never learn anything about
> photography - except laziness. The quality of a photograph is
> proportionate to the amount of effort that goes into making it.
> Computerized cameras are designed to allow chimpanzees to make
> pictures that are in focus and adequately exposed - most of the time.
>

> If you wanted to learn to fly an airplane, you should not switch on
> the autopilot feature during the first lesson - then consider your
> training complete.

Interesting analogy. Your argument about cameras is equivalent to
saying that if you learn to fly in a plane w/ auto pilot, you will
never really learn to fly, even if you never use the auto pilot.

I like your second sentence better, "The quality of a photograph is
proportionate to the amount of effort that goes into making it." If
you are interested in photography, you'll learn on whatever camera you
happen to have.

Morgan.


Paul Skelcher

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Apr 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/15/99
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Ron Walton wrote.... Again I must say-IS THIS GUY AN IDIOT OR WHAT.

If we take a vote for the most idiotic post EVER I'd have to
vote for this post made by Gene Windell....which was in response to...

>>> I'm a student looking into getting a camera for a photography
>>>class. I'm not sure what kind of photos I'll be taking yet, but the
camera
>>>will have to be pretty durable. I'm not sure whether it would be better
to
>>>get a manual or an automatic camera though. any suggestions?
(Reccomended
>>>models would also be helpful.) Thanks!

I'm voting with you Ron, I'm fed up with the arrogance of some photogs who
think that successful results depend on starting with a K1000, working up
through the ranks, paying dues, sweating blood, 5 yrs college, etc.
Photography should be fun. Given an initial desire to learn, driven by
interest and enthusiasm, manual/auto makes no difference. As you say Ron,
use manual to learn exposure, aperture, shutter speed, lighting, depth of
field, auto if you want to concentrate on compostion without worrying about
the mechanics. The bottom line is producing photos to show and tell, hang
on the wall, sell, whatever, and more power to autoeverything if it helps
the bottom line. It certainly won't dull the learning curve of anyone with
an inquisitive half a brain, or more.
And there's no time limit here, over a lifetime, we are all continually
learning and refining techniques.
Just got to add a few comments to Gene's post...

>>If you buy a computerized camera, you will never learn anything
>>about photography - except laziness.

Nonsense. Cause and effect the wrong way round, here.

>> The quality of a photograph is proportionate to the amount of effort that
goes into >>making it.

Absolutely untrue. The self satisfaction is proportionate, but not the
quality.

>>Computerized cameras are designed to allow chimpanzees to make
>>pictures that are in focus and adequately exposed - most of the
>>time.

Most auto cameras have manual modes that allow you to make an intelligent
choice about how you use the camera.


>>If you wanted to learn to fly an airplane, you should not switch
>>on the autopilot feature during the first lesson - then consider
>>your training complete.

And the point of this totally irrelevant statement is...?


>>The Nikon FM2n is an excellent camera with which to learn
>>photography, and is also very popular among professionals. It is a camera
you
>can never outgrow. This camera can sync with flash at 1/250th sec,
>>which is very important for using flash as the "main" light outdoors in
>>daylight. It also has a lever for making multiple exposures.

Agreed. But you can learn just as well with an F5, or any auto camera with
a manual mode. Let's allow our student the intelligence to read and
comprehend the manual.

>>Computerized cameras are engineered for convenience, not
>>creativity.

Why should these two benefits be mutually exclusive?

>>Most professionals, and many serious amateurs are wearied by the
>>limitations of the tiny 35mm image size - and move on to medium
>>or large format cameras

More supercilious drivel. I'm a serious amateur, but definitely not wearied
by any so-called 35mm limitations. Nor do I see 35mm as an inevitable
stepping stone to larger formats. But that does not stop me using my 6x7 as
the right tool for the job, when necessary.

>>Just one finely crafted photograph is worth more than 1,000 chimp shots.

Tosh! Most working pros are in matrix mode, AF, and TTL flash 90% of the
time, and let their camera work while they look for composition and the
decisive moment. And if chimp mode captures the birthday smile, the goal
saved, or the kiss, then so be it.

To go back to the original query, the choice of camera should be dictated by
the class requirements, but not restricted by the narrow ideals of those who
erroneously think that photographic excellence can only be achieved by the
self imposed limitations of a manual camera.


Floyd Dennis

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Apr 15, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/15/99
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In article <19990414170538...@ng17.aol.com>,
sunn...@aol.com (SunnyB64) wrote:

>I'm a student looking into getting a camera for a photography class. I'm not
>sure what kind of photos I'll be taking yet, but the camera will have to be
>pretty durable. I'm not sure whether it would be better to get a manual or an
>automatic camera though. any suggestions?


I would suggest you pose this question to the person who teaches the
class, as s/he will have a *much* better idea of what the class will
require than anybody here. <g>

> (Reccomended models would also be
>helpful.)

I only shoot manuals, so I can't give much in the way of
recommendations on automatic gear. So far as manual recommendations:

1. Nikon - FM2N
2. Minolta - any model in the SRT series (SRT100, SRT 201, etc.)
3. Pentax - K1000

You should be able to pick up a used body of any of these models at a
reasonable price.

> Thanks!

No problem whatsoever. :)

---------------------------------------------------
Floyd Dennis
fbde...@mindspring.com

gruhn

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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Devil's advocate stuff :

Photography is NOT about the equipment. The number of factors that go into
any given photograph is rather large and the only important ones, the ones
that make photography an art are the ones that CAN NOT be automated. Just
because old cameras sucked fetid dingoes kidneys in hell doesn't mean that
the new student should have to suffer though learning how to deal with the
bogus technological entrapments. It's you looking at the world. The less
bogus garbage you have to deal with in order to start taking photographs the
better. If later on you find that you need or want to start playing with the
twiddly bits for the extra flexibility and opportunity provided by the
IMPERFECT equipment available today, then feel free.

- gruhn

gruhn

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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>> If you buy a computerized camera, you will never learn anything about
>> photography

If you buy a computerized camera, you will never learn anything about

non-computerized cameras.

Now, where did I put that starter crank....

gruhn

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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Well, you're rude

> If we take a vote for the most idiotic post EVER I'd have to


but

>self imposed limitations of a manual camera.


you're cool with me.

phyr...@my-dejanews.com

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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In article <ud815n...@interlog.com>,
Morgan Jones <m...@interlog.com> wrote:

> ewin...@psci.net (Gene Windell) writes:
>
> > > I'm a student looking into getting a camera for a photography class. I'm
> > >not sure what kind of photos I'll be taking yet, but the camera will have
to
> > >be pretty durable. I'm not sure whether it would be better to get a
manual
> > >or an automatic camera though. any suggestions? (Reccomended models would
also
> > >be helpful.) Thanks!

> >
> > If you buy a computerized camera, you will never learn anything about
> > photography - except laziness. The quality of a photograph is

> > proportionate to the amount of effort that goes into making it.
> > Computerized cameras are designed to allow chimpanzees to make
> > pictures that are in focus and adequately exposed - most of the time.
> >
> > If you wanted to learn to fly an airplane, you should not switch on
> > the autopilot feature during the first lesson - then consider your
> > training complete.
>
> Interesting analogy. Your argument about cameras is equivalent to
> saying that if you learn to fly in a plane w/ auto pilot, you will
> never really learn to fly, even if you never use the auto pilot.
>
> I like your second sentence better, "The quality of a photograph is
> proportionate to the amount of effort that goes into making it." If
> you are interested in photography, you'll learn on whatever camera you
> happen to have.
>
> Morgan.
>
> I now break my vow not to get back into this dogfight: Morgan is

RIGHTRIGHTRIGHT!!!!! If you want to learn photography you will have to start
learning before you expose a roll of film, with books, classes, questions to
other photographers. A manual camera no more "teaches" you anything than a
baseball "teaches" you how to pitch. You can get a manual camera with no
prior knowledge except that "the little needle should be in the middle, and
there shouldn't be a line in that little thingy in the middle" and you will
not learn one bloody thing about making photographs, yours will be hit or
miss, and you won't know why. If you want to learn you will learn, if you
don't, really, a manual camera will not help you. Contrary to the unspoken
assumption running through these threads, a camera with auto + manual
features will not make you lazy and stupid, nor kill a desire to learn. Get
either one with my blessing, and go to it. P.S. a Canon Rebel 2000 with Canon
50mm lens is a good inexpensive combo, 28-135 IS zoom for your "step up", get
a good tripod too

gruhn

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Apr 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/16/99
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>RIGHTRIGHTRIGHT!!!!! If you want to learn photography you will have to
start
>learning before you expose a roll of film, with books, classes, questions
to

Damn, guess I did it wrong.

Fstopman

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
I got into photography using only all-manual cameras. I learned basic technique
very quickly. I enjoy being totally in control; I enjoy understanding why I get
a certain effect.

In contrast, one of my friends has had a Canon EOS for over ten years, and
still doesn't really understand, for example, how aperture affects depth of
field. Yet he enjoys photography, and has a good eye for composition (probably
better than mine). Would he be a better photographer if he were forced to learn
on a manual camera? Or would he just lose interest?

Jeff

dan edwards

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to

gruhn wrote in message ...


I'd rather think you just did it differently.

Here is a third option. Forget the photobooks, and the camera. Go to an
art museum. Look at the photos (as well as other visual arts) till you feel
inspired. Then try to figure out how to make a photo like the ones you
really like.

Then go camera shopping.

-dan
straw...@worldnet.att.net


Floyd Dennis

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
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In article <19990416231645...@ng105.aol.com>,
fsto...@aol.com (Fstopman) wrote:

>I got into photography using only all-manual cameras. I learned basic technique
>very quickly. I enjoy being totally in control; I enjoy understanding why I get
>a certain effect.

Same here - in fact, I *still* shoot all manual. Much of that is
personal preference; I work with computers all day, so derned if I
want them also invading all my hobbies. <g>

>
>In contrast, one of my friends has had a Canon EOS for over ten years, and
>still doesn't really understand, for example, how aperture affects depth of
>field. Yet he enjoys photography, and has a good eye for composition (probably
>better than mine). Would he be a better photographer if he were forced to learn
>on a manual camera? Or would he just lose interest?

The answer to that question is totally dependent upon your friend and
what he wants out of his photography.

1. At its most basic level, photography is the control of light to
capture an image in a certain way. Is your friend very interested in
learning the mechanics of such control - how changes in exposure time
and/or aperture can change the image? If so, then he may want to
check out a manual rig (preferably with depth-of-field preview). I'm
_not_ saying this level of control is unavailable on an automatic -
usually it is, with some programming. In my (PURELY PERSONAL <g>)
opinion, however, the simpler controls of a manual (and the
correspondingly more direct relationship between control-and-effect)
make it a more intuitive learning tool for this sort of thing.

2. Is he curious to explore lesser-travelled paths of photography such
as astrophotography, or experimentation with infrared film? If so,
then a manual camera could have definite advantages over an automatic.
No batteries to run down on extended timed exposures, for one example.
Not having to "trick" the camera for correct IR focus, for another.

3. Is he wanting to photograph fast-action subjects, such as sporting
events? In that case, I'd recommend automatic over manual.
"Capturing the moment" generally takes precedence over composition.

3. Is he happy with the pictures he's taking now? If so, then I'd
tell him to just keep on loading up his EOS and fire at will. <g>

IMHO the manual-vs-automatic debate pretty much boils down to personal
preference - which is why you'll see different people in this NG
defending their chosen stance with an intensity approaching that of
religious mania. :> Me, I'm easy <g> - a person should definitely
use the gear with which they're most comfortable. For myself, that
means manual.

Would learning on a manual make your friend a BETTER photographer?
Derned if I know. <heh> He *might* gain a better understanding of the
relationship between control and effect of light and image, which
could translate into increased capability of turning his vision of a
particular shot into reality - then again, he might not. <g> The only
way I know of to make someone a "better" photographer is for them to
shoot more and more and more pictures - with ANY kind of gear - and
try to remember what you do right, and learn from what you do wrong.
The most important manual gear in which your friend might want to
invest would probably be a pencil and notebook, to record details of
his shots.

If he's not really that interested in learning the "bare bones" of the
art, however, a manual would probably frustrate the udders off of him.

---------------------------------------------------
Floyd Dennis
fbde...@mindspring.com

Only me....

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
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Fstopman <fsto...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:19990416231645...@ng105.aol.com...

> I got into photography using only all-manual cameras. I learned basic
technique
> very quickly. I enjoy being totally in control; I enjoy understanding why
I get
> a certain effect.
>
> In contrast, one of my friends has had a Canon EOS for over ten years, and
> still doesn't really understand, for example, how aperture affects depth
of
> field. Yet he enjoys photography, and has a good eye for composition
(probably
> better than mine). Would he be a better photographer if he were forced to
learn
> on a manual camera? Or would he just lose interest?
>
> Jeff

Oh no, not this thread again.... Let them buy the gadgets if they
think it will help them learn photography. One day someone will hand them a
manual camera, and they'll not be able to take a decent photograph with it
if their lives depended upon it. They'll rationalise, and defend their
reasons for buying auto cameras as their first camera until the death, so
save your collectives breaths. People want them because they think they're
cool, and a silly old Pentax K1000 is a bit too dorky to have around their
necks. They're just not honest enough to admit it. Let them buy what the
hell they like, it's simpler... for all of us.

David.

Pauls0627

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
>If we take a vote for the most idiotic post EVER I'd have to
>vote for this post made by Gene Windell.

I vote for the post by Ron Walton.

If you don't agree with Mr. Windell, fine. But instead of saying he's full of
"it", at least say why you think he's full of "it".

R. Saylor

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
The following statement is false:

Auto-everything cameras free you from fussing with focus and

exposure, so you can concentrate on composition.

The key word is "composition," which involves creating a
two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional scene. Thus not
only must width and height be considered, but also the third dimension
of depth, which is a function of focus and aperture.

Thus focus and aperture must be considered in composing a picture. The
fact that there may be an automatic DOF gizmo on your camera just
means that you are controlling these things indirectly instead of
directly. They must still be considered, and they do involve button
pushing or dial turning.

In a carefully composed photograph, I fail to see where automatic is
significantly simpler than manual, and in some cases it may be more
complicated. In any event, it is more indirect. Some people prefer
direct, manual control, but others would rather fuss with modes and
punching buttons in a certain prescribed order, etc., etc.

I'm fond of the KISS principle, but I guess that's old-fashioned.

Richard S.

ann

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Hi there,

I just finished taking basic photo and I used an automatic-capable
camera--elan IIe.

Though I am very sure my pictures are not as great as most of these people,
but I learned about depth of field via aperture in about 10 seconds. If you
are taking basic photo, you will have to know these things.
There is a mathematica relation for it also. The technical side of photography
is quite easy to learn.

Most automatic cameras like the EOS system have a manual mode. So if you like
to use manual you could. I use manual mode in complex lighting situations,
long exposures, strobes, and special effects. 80% of time, I used Aperature
Priority.

I don't know why people insist students to use manual cameras. My professor
never said such a requirement or recommendation. He gave us the benefit of the
doubt that we take it on ourselves to understand the basics.

BTW if you buy a fully manual camera, you might want to upgrade later which
means more $$$.

Best of Luck,


Ann
--
Ann Q. Lee
http://carcassi.eng.uci.edu/intropictures.htm

R. Saylor

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
On 17 Apr 1999 15:49:19 GMT, ann...@earthlink.net (ann) wrote:

>BTW if you buy a fully manual camera, you might want to upgrade later which
>means more $$$.

Serious question:
Why is going from manual to automatic called an "upgrade?"

Richard S.


Ron Walton

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
AHHH. A challenge. I love a challenge.
While I'm thinking about a response to your post could you
point out why you think Mr. Windells' post couldn't be considered
to be anything but a troll.

--
Ron Walton
Visit the BPC http://www.bpc.photographer.org


Pauls0627 wrote in message
<19990417104407...@ng34.aol.com>...

Morgan Jones

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
rlsa...@ix.netcom.com (R. Saylor) writes:

> In a carefully composed photograph, I fail to see where automatic is
> significantly simpler than manual, and in some cases it may be more
> complicated. In any event, it is more indirect. Some people prefer
> direct, manual control, but others would rather fuss with modes and
> punching buttons in a certain prescribed order, etc., etc.

I do all the things you talk about with my full automatic camera when
I'm doing an "artistic" photo, but sometimes I just want to take a
picture.

Admittedly, sometimes I forget to check all of the settings since I
don't have to to take a picture.

Morgan.

gruhn

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Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
>> Auto-everything cameras free you from fussing with focus and
>> exposure, so you can concentrate on composition.

>directly. They must still be considered, and they do involve button
>pushing or dial turning.


Perhaps the original poster doesn't find the implementation they use to be
"fussing".

Ron Walton

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
While I'm thinking please tell why you think Mr. Winedlls'
post can be considered to be anything but the ravings of an idiot
or the rantings of a lunatic.
From His past posts he has made it very clear that he is one
of the few persons that can't get AF to work. It's a poor workman
that blames his tools for his failures.
Just to go a little further he agrees with Ed Romney on this
subjest.

William Lowe

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
Gene Windell wrote:
>
> > I'm a student looking into getting a camera for a photography class. I'm
> >not sure what kind of photos I'll be taking yet, but the camera will have to
> >be pretty durable. I'm not sure whether it would be better to get a manual
> >or an automatic camera though. any suggestions? (Reccomended models would also
> >be helpful.) Thanks!
>
> If you buy a computerized camera, you will never learn anything about
> photography - except laziness.

This is total bullshit. Unmitigated bullshit. It is bullshit
approaching critical mass. Computerized cameras, as you put it, are
quite adequate for learning photography. In some ways, they're better.
You can isolate what you need to learn about from what you shouldn't
have to worry about for that moment. For instance, you can learn about
aperture effects on DOF by leaving the camera in A priority. You'll get
properly exposed photographs - because of the computer - and you can see
how different apertures affect a picture. And you can see how changing
the aperture affects the shutter speeds. And then you can switch to
shutter priority and learn about motion blur and the speed necessary to
freeze action. And you can switch to full manual and then learn how the
two work together. I did learn on a manual camera, but it wasn't until
I started using a camera with A and S priorities that I started to
really pay attention to anything other than simple lighting. Proper
exposure can be different values in the same situation, each of which
has a different effect. Just learning the "proper" exposure by matching
the needles isn't going to teach how each set of "proper" exposure
values affects the picture, at least not nearly as easily as possible in
A or S priority.

Laziness is a character flaw, not a result of buying a certain camera.
If you want to learn photography, you'll learn on whatever camera you
buy. There are several really good AF/AE cameras that allow you full
control over what you want or need to control, my personal
recommendation is for a 600si, but there are others. There isn't
anything wrong with manual cameras, I loved using the SRT-101 that my
dad has, but they aren't the only option.

> The quality of a photograph is
> proportionate to the amount of effort that goes into making it.

And that is completely separate from the camera used to make it. I've
taken great pictures where I've spend several minutes waiting for the
subject to be in the proper place at the proper angle, and seconds on
exposure and even less on focus. I'll be damned if you think that using
AF and AE on such a picture made it any worse.

> Computerized cameras are designed to allow chimpanzees to make
> pictures that are in focus and adequately exposed - most of the time.

I think you're talking about Program mode - but I think you're wrong.
Program mode is designed to let a person take a decent photo in a
situation where if they actually had to spend the time to work out
proper focus and exposure, there would be nothing to photograph. Just
because you have the time to work all of that out and still get a good
photo, doesn't mean that your method lends itself well to other types of
photography. If you're lucky enough to have pretty much the same
lighting (or the time to continuously adjust), and the time to focus (or
you can pre-focus), then full manual is fine. It probably worked for
sports photographers for years for just those reasons, lighting
conditions didn't change and subjects could be anticipated by following
the game. On the other hand, I've been out taking wildlife photographs,
and have some shots that I would have missed if I didn't have a camera
that would get the proper focus and the proper exposure in the brief
second I had to take the shot (just so you know, I do understand
exposure and aperture effects on DOF and image sharpness - which is why
I use the camera in either S or A priority, but the camera figures out
the other exposure value to get the proper exposure).

> The Nikon FM2n is an excellent camera with which to learn photography,
> and is also very popular among professionals. It is a camera you can
> never outgrow.

Unless you decide you want autofocus, which in certain photography can
really mean the difference between getting the shot and swearing out
loud. And unlike a manual camera, which cannot be upgraded to AF, you
can always switch the automatic stuff off on an AF/AE camera.

> This camera can sync with flash at 1/250th sec, which
> is very important for using flash as the "main" light outdoors in
> daylight.

You've got me there, my camera only syncs at 1/200th - normally. But
with a 5400HS I can go all the way to 1/4000th. And there are three
35mm cameras that will sync normally at 1/300th - and all three are
automatic cameras.

> It also has a lever for making multiple exposures.

Funny, seems my fully automatic 650si has such a position on the drive
control dial. Seems that most AF/AE cameras have such a function, and
most don't even require you to push a lever. Still, after a couple
experimental uses, ME is basically useless for me. Too much like
chimpanzee bait. I'm sure everyone has a couple of really bad multiple
exposure pictures out there that they just had to try. Still, most
cameras offer it.

> Chimpanzees would have no use for either of these features, which is
> why the Nikon FM2n is not so very popular among most photographers.

If chimpanzees don't have use for high flash sync, please explain why so
many cameras have flash syncs of 1/200th or above - as well as the even
larger number of cameras that support high speed sync up to their
highest shutter speed?

> Most professionals, and many serious amateurs are wearied by the
> limitations of the tiny 35mm image size - and move on to medium or

> large format cameras.

So, all those wonderful wildlife shots were taken by someone lugging out
a view camera to catch rutting bucks? All those wonderful race car
shots were taken by someone with a Hasselblad or Deardorf? All those
war photographs - Pentax 645? I think you are overestimating your self
importance, just because yourself and a few people like you decided to
go to larger format cameras does not mean that 35mm is not used
professionally. 35mm offers advantages in camera size and lens size
that makes it much more practical to use in many situations than medium
or large format. Medium and large format have their advantages as well,
but I really doubt that most people use 35mm as a training ground for a
career in lugging around view cameras.

Ron Walton

unread,
Apr 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/17/99
to
This may be a cop-out but I'll double what William Lowe
posted in Spades.
Couldn't have said it better.

--
Ron Walton
Visit the BPC http://www.bpc.photographer.org


Ron Walton wrote in message <7faf33$lua$1...@topsy.kiva.net>...


> AHHH. A challenge. I love a challenge.
> While I'm thinking about a response to your post could you

>point out why you think Mr. Windells' post couldn't be considered
>to be anything but a troll.

Francis A. Miniter

unread,
Apr 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/18/99
to
In the end, all any camera can do is expose the film selected by the photographer
at a certain aperture for a certain length of time. The question is who - or what
- selects the aperture and the shutter speed. I will admit that there are times
that a shot will be missed if you do not have a camera that will make these
decisions for you. I also know that if you are carrying your camera around, you
should have settings pretty well set in advance, so that even manually you could
get in a fast shot.

All any metering system can do is choose an aperture and/or a shutter speed. The
programmers have made certain assumptions about what most people will want most of
the time. So most of the time, that will probably do; but not all of the time.
While this is a bit premature - you will probably study it in your class -
knowledge of the characteristics of various films, the Zone System, the
interrelationship of aperture and depth of field, will enable a sentient
photographer to make consistently more artistic choices than a program can make.
The program might get a more evenly lit exposure, but that may not be the most
artistically appropriate choice.

Personally, I have one autofocus camera and numerous purely manual cameras,
including medium format cameras and a large format field camera. I take with me
the one which best suits the particular purposes I have in mind for that day.
Some of my best shots have been taken with relatively primitive equipment.
Remember, all a camera really has to do is provide a decent lens, a light tight
body, and the ability to select a reasonable range of apertures and shutter
speeds. All else, even a built-in light meter, is for convenience.

Francis A. Miniter

ann

unread,
Apr 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/18/99
to
In article <3718affe...@nntp.ix.netcom.com>, rlsa...@ix.netcom.com
says...


Richard,

From my experience, however short that is (7 months from my first shot), I
have worked with manual 35 mm cameras and automatic. From the collection of 35
mm that I have known, manual cameras have less functions(useful or not). I can
take pictures using all manual modes, thus manual camera's functions are a
subset of my automatic camera, vice versa is not true. Thus when going from a
subset to a superset, the word "upgrade" comes to mind. It might be a poor
diction, for that I apologize.

However, I just wanted to give some advice to the original poster. It is a
fact that I would miss some of shots if I did not have an automatic camera
with autofocus capabilities (shame on me!). Of course, most of the manual
photographers can catch sport action/children playing scenes without
autofocus, aperature priority, and automatic film advance. But why not use the
technology if it is there to make our lives a little bit simpler?

The bottom line is, if you do not like my use of "upgrade" insert that with
"downgrade", and let original poster decide :)

Best Regards,

R. Saylor

unread,
Apr 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/18/99
to
On 18 Apr 1999 05:23:56 GMT, ann...@earthlink.net (ann) wrote:

>Thus when going from a
>subset to a superset, the word "upgrade" comes to mind.

Excellent answer! The things that a manual can do is a subset of the
things an automatic can do.

I guess I was thinking about what a Leica M could be upgraded to, and
a big question mark appeared in my mind. However, the M is indeed
somewhat limited in versatility. This is why many M users alse use
point & shoots and SLRs.

Thanks for the explanation.

Richard S.


Ron Walton

unread,
Apr 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/18/99
to
If you want an autofocus camera that is easy to use in
metered manual mode check out any of the EOS camera bodies that
have the rear quick control dial.
Except the EOS 1 this would be any EOS that was entroduced
after the 10s except the Rebel series.
Some of the older EOS cameras such as the 600/630 had a
truely dreadful manual metered mode interface.
I used Canon AE-1s for several years. I became so used to
shutter priority auto exposure that that's almost the only mode I
use my EOS cameras in.
I still have the option to use the other modes of I want tho.

--
Ron Walton
Visit the BPC http://www.bpc.photographer.org


Wayne Harrison wrote in message
<3718ff9d...@news.netmcr.com>...
>On Sat, 17 Apr 1999 15:58:48 -0400, William Lowe
<wl...@erols.com>
>wrote:
>
>
> (really excellent post by w. lowe snipped)
>
> you know, mr. lowe, i am an olympus freak, and thus no af, and
>"modes", but the truth of the matter is that i would probably
have
>either a nikon f100 or a minolta 9, for example, if it weren't
for the
>fact that those cameras are simply more difficult to operate. i
have
>found that attempting to choose the appropriate combination of
>buttons, dials, and the sort is far more demanding of my humble
>talents than nailing two or three spot meterings, turning the
aperture
>to the desired dof, focusing, and touching it off.
> come to think of it, if my pentax zx5n hadn't had an incurable
>tendency to overexpose transparencies, i would have lived with it
>happily ever after. but then, i would have missed the greatest
lens
>i've ever experienced: the 35-80/2.8 zuiko.
>
>wayne harrison
>

Acer Victoria

unread,
Apr 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/19/99
to
I too likewise recommend the FM2n. Not only can you forever use it (built
like a tank and accepts virtually all Nikkors ever built), but being
completely manual, it will force you to learn. Don't be afraid to burn
film. Go through a couple of rolls a week on your own. Myself, I looked
at the FM2n, but got a (used) Olympus OM1n because it was cheaper (and Oly
has a great line of equipment).
For instance, after I got the camera, I ran one roll of film with the
aperture wide open, another with flash only, another with polarizer, etc.
etc. Use the roll in all sorts of lighting to get a hang of the system.
Good luck and have fun!
Siddiq

--
"...and lose the chance to hear coz you don't listen."
--/Vertigo/ DuranDuran

Gene Windell

unread,
Apr 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/24/99
to
>> While I'm thinking about a response to your post could you
>>point out why you think Mr. Windells' post couldn't be considered
>>to be anything but a troll.
>>

>>>>If we take a vote for the most idiotic post EVER I'd have to


>>>>vote for this post made by Gene Windell.

I will offer assurances that my original post was not intended to be a
troll, but I am not disappointed if it did stimulate some thinking.

Since I bought my first 35mm SLR in 1970 at age 19, I have spent about
$50,000 on cameras, lenses and miscellaneous photo gear. Included in
that assortment were 5 different medium format camera systems.
Recognizing that I could earn more money in other pursuits, I was an
amateur photographer for much longer than I have been a professional.
But looking back, I occasionally wonder if I had to start all over
again - what would I buy as a first camera?

Being a congenital techno-enthuisiast, I am very confident that as a
first camera I would buy either a Nikon F100 or a Canon EOS-3. I like
to exercise mastery over complex machinery of every type, so I would
buy the most technically complex camera I could afford. But knowing
what I know now, after 29 years of experience in photography, I
realize my choice would be a mistake. As I migrated from one camera
system to the next over the years, each time I thought my buying
decision was well founded and that I was doing exactly the right
thing. No one by any means of pursuasion could have talked me out of
buying what I had already decided to buy.

Photography sort of reminds me fishing, in that there is an infinite
amount of gadgetry available for enthusiasts to buy. The selection of
rods, reels and artificial baits which are available is limitless -
and this doesn't even venture into the areas of depth finders, boats,
motors, trailers, etc. It is very easy for a fishing enthusiast to
lose sight of the fact that all that is needed to catch a fish is a
hook, a line, and a worm for bait. Even the rod and reel are
optional. I suspect that many fishermen are not really all that
interested in catching fish, but instead derive the enjoyment of their
hobby from possessing and manipulating all of that lovely and complex
gadgetry. Perhaps the same can be said for camera enthusiasts?

The main difference between professional photographers and amateurs is
that the professional must get paid. Getting paid means that you must
meet or exceed the client's expectations. Not every camera buyer has
the ambition to one day become a professional, but every camera buyer
would be delighted by being able to make professional looking
pictures. My experience has been that the camera one uses has
essentially nothing to do with how successful one will be at taking
pictures. No more than the hammer a carpenter uses influences what a
house he builds with it will look like. Technique is everything, the
camera is nothing.

In this day and age, everyone is a photographer. I daresay that I
have never had a client who did not own a camera - and often a camera
which is far more sophisticated than the cameras I use as a
professional. To earn my pay as a professional, I am tasked to
produce images that are markedly superior to what the client could
produce himself with his own equipment. It is only technique that
makes this possible.

The question is, how does one learn technique? My best advice is
this: study the pictures found in magazines and books which you
admire, and then use your own resources to duplicate those images. As
a professional, I often have clients bring me an advertisement torn
out of a magazine - and say "I want a picture that looks just like
this." That means not only analyzing the picture elements that are
present, but also how the scene was lit, what focal length of lens was
used, what aperture and what shutter speed were used, how much
contrast results from the lighting and how much contrast results from
the film which was used.

When attempting to duplicate the effects of a photograph which was
taken by someone else, or a picture that you yourself have taken
previously, computerized camera features are of no use whatsoever.

To meet a client's expectations as a professional, or your own
expectations as an amateur, the image must first be formed in your own
imagination before you ever pick up the camera. You must know
precisely what you want the end result to look like, and what
combination of f/stop, shutter speed, depth of focus, film type, and
lighting will lead to the desired end result. Dropping off the film
at a processing lab and saying "gee, I hope my pictures turn out good"
simply doesn't cut it. You must already have certainly of how the
pictures will "turn out" because the variables of camera settings,
lighting and composition that you deliberately chose in making the
images can have only one result.

Photography can be a creative endeavor. Any image you can conjur up
in your imagination can be expressed as a photographic image. But
this presupposes that you first have an imagination, and secondly
understand how camera adjustments affect how light registers on film.
But photography does not have to be creative, and there is no reason
why everyone should approach it with the same intentions.
Computerized cameras allow a person who has no imagination, no
knowledge of the principles of photography, no skills, and no ambition
to take nice snapshots. Personally, I would be embarrassed to be seen
in public with such a camera - because of the statement it would make
about me as a photographer. But if I had no pride in my knowledge and
the skills I have honed over the years, I suppose it wouldn't bother
me at all.

Most people nowadays learn to drive a car with an automatic
transmission, and never learn to operate a clutch and shift gears
manually. I suppose there is an argument that being freed from the
burden of shifting gears, the driver is better able to concentrate on
"driving." On the other hand these people will never know the
pleasures of diving a Ferrari, or even comprehend why Ferraris are
manufactured or why anyone would want to own one. To a Ferrari owner,
if you aren't shifting gears manually you aren't driving. Likewise,
people who learn to take pictures with a computerized camera will
probably never know the pleasures of using a Leica rangefinder, or
even comprehend why they are manufactured or why anybody would want to
own one.

It takes about 2 seconds to manually focus a camera lens. How often
are you is such a big hurry to take a picture that you don't have 2
seconds to spare for manually focusing? I think manually focusing the
lens is the only part of camera operation which could be considered
"fun." Likewise, I think shifting the gears with a manual
transmission is the only part of driving a car which is "fun." The
benefit of knowing how to shift gears manually in a car is that you
also know how to shift gears on a motorcycle, farm tractor, dump
truck, etc. Similarly, knowing how to use a manual 35mm SLR enables
one to operate any kind of camera.

In summary, computerized cameras do not enable a photographer to take
better pictures - they only speed up the process. They enable taking
pictures without thinking, and lack of thinking is the main cause of
mediocre, uninteresting pictures.

William Jameson

unread,
Apr 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM4/24/99
to
Gene Windell (ewin...@psci.net) wrote (in part):
>In summary, computerized cameras do not enable a
>photographer to take better pictures - they only speed up
>the process. They enable taking pictures without thinking,
>and lack of thinking is the main cause of mediocre,
>uninteresting pictures.

Gene,

Sorry, I didn't quite get what you wrote. Could you possibly write out a
pencil draft, a final draft in long hand, then type it on a typewriter and
mail it to me by the USPS?

I'm sure it will be much better that way.

Bill Jameson

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