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What ever happened to fully manual cameras?

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Michael D. Callaghan

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Dec 26, 1991, 7:41:38 PM12/26/91
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I've been helping a friend of mine shop for a 35mm SLR. Another
friend and I both have Nikon FM's. In our travels, we noticed
that there are practically no decent truly manual cameras left
to be found.

I think that the only way to get a good manual camera is to
find a used Nikon. If anyone has any other ideas, I'd love
to hear about them.

Thanks,
MikeC
--
Michael D. Callaghan, Junior, University of Maryland
13113 Ovalstone Lane--Bowie, MD 20715--(301)262-1726
----------------------------------------------------
Theory: All errors are really just SCSI problems.

shun.cheung

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Dec 26, 1991, 8:33:43 PM12/26/91
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In article <1991Dec27.0...@wam.umd.edu> mi...@wam.umd.edu (Michael D. Callaghan) writes:
>I've been helping a friend of mine shop for a 35mm SLR. Another
>friend and I both have Nikon FM's. In our travels, we noticed
>that there are practically no decent truly manual cameras left
>to be found.

Well, there is the Nikon FM2 (or more precisely, FM2n), which is very
similar to your FM and is still in production.

Of course, there is also the Leica R6. Didn't we all get one as
a Christmas gift? :-).
--
-- Shun Cheung, electronic: shun....@att.com voice: (908) 615-5135
HR 1A-304, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Middletown, NJ, USA

Michael A. Covington

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Dec 27, 1991, 12:15:32 AM12/27/91
to
A couple of things.

(1) Fully manual cameras have become a specialty item, appealing more to
students (Pentax K-1000) or very serious photographers (Nikon, Olympus OM-3,
Hasselblad, etc.) rather than ordinary picture-takers.

(2) Electronic shutters are more accurate than manual ones, and once you
have an electronic shutter you might as well offer exposure automation
too, it's so easy to do. (This is not the case with autofocus, which
requires a radical redesign of the camera. And indeed we find that auto-
exposure cameras which do not autofocus have a lot more in common with the
fully-manual cameras than with the highly-automated ones.)

I think there has been a cultural change, too. Amateur photographers in
the 1970s saw photography as an art and technology to be mastered, and
they bought their SLRs and put some effort into learning how to use them.
For the last 10 years, though, the industry has been mass-marketing all
kinds of cameras with the idea that "the camera does all the work, all you
do is aim and shoot."

Result...

(a) Serious beginners are massively ignorant of basic concepts, as is
evident from many questions asked right here. THIS IS NOT THEIR FAULT.
The information is no longer circulating in readily-available form and
often can't be obtained even from the camera store!

(b) Someone cited a photofinishers' survey that showed that the quality
of amateur snapshots has declined over the last 10 or 15 years.
(Photofinishers are interested in this because they want to know, for
example, whether mis-exposure is common and if so, in what situations.)

I think we need for some mass advertisers to try to nudge the public back
toward a more serious appreciation of photographic technique. Otherwise
we will quickly have everybody taking (technically) awful pictures with
very expensive cameras, and coming out disappointed.

If you know what needs to be done, the automation in a modern camera can
give you a lot of help doing it. But if you expect the camera to work
magic, it won't.

--
==================================================================
Michael A. Covington, Ph.D. | mcov...@uga.cc.uga.edu | N4TMI
Artificial Intelligence Programs | U of Georgia | Athens, GA 30602
==================================================================

Douglas Bank

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Dec 27, 1991, 2:50:04 PM12/27/91
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In article <1991Dec27.1...@PA.dec.com>, ber...@tourng.enet.dec.com (Dave Bernard) writes:
>
>
> It's interesting that anytime anyone writes a letter to one of the photo
> magazines bemoaning the fate of manual cameras, the reply is always
> belittling to the writer, accusing them of being behind the times, an old
> fuddy duddy or something. To admit that the vocal questioners of
> automation had a valid point or two would be a slap in the face of the
> magazine advertisers.

Actually, I think their responses are usually on the mark. You see, the
letters are usually condemning the newer cameras and features and NOT
"bemoaning the fate of manual cameras." The responses are usually
appropriate because (for most of us) the new technology is a boon not a
bust. Furthermore, in almost every case, the new technology can be turned
off at the users whim. Sure, people complain they they are forced to buy
gadgets that they aren't interested in in order to get the basic features, and
that is a valid point (to which the camera manufactures aim the N6000 and
some other new manual focus cameras.) However, it is not valid for someone to
question the skill of someone who just happens to leave the camera in program.

> There's only one advantage that I can see of automation: speed.

This has been discussed before. Many people came up with many more reasons
than speed to use the new features. In fact, speed probably is one of
the lesser advantages to the new "automation" I think such features as
TTL flash are much more important than "speed".

> Actually, I like the drive to automation that the still photography industry,
> in its final decade or two before its death to the widespread availability of
> still video, is going through. It makes used manual cameras and lenses
> cheaper (except for Nikon, where they are going up in price).
>
> As far as I can see, the "fully manual" (ie, mechanical, not needing a
> battery-hence qualifying things like auto-return mirror and auto-diaphragm)
> 35mm cameras still made are the Pentax K1000, the FM2, the Leica M6,
> the Leica R6.

What is SO good about not needing a battery? I know, if it fails then you are
completely out of luck. But shouldn't you carry a spare? Newer cameras
have fewer mechanical parts and should be more reliable and less expensive
to manufacture than completely mechanical cameras. They are also a lot
tougher than you think.

Just my opinion.

(that being said, I admit to having a Mamiya 1000 DTL with a mechanical
shutter and my old FE also has one mechanical setting, but i wouldn't
trade my 8008s & SB-24 for an FM2 and a 283, no way)

Doug Bank Private Systems Division
do...@ecs.comm.mot.com Motorola Communications Sector
do...@nwu.edu Schaumburg, Illinois
do...@casbah.acns.nwu.edu 708-576-8207

Norman Miller

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Dec 27, 1991, 9:30:25 AM12/27/91
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mi...@wam.umd.edu (Michael D. Callaghan @ University of Maryland at College Park) once wrote....

>I think that the only way to get a good manual camera is to
>find a used Nikon. If anyone has any other ideas, I'd love
>to hear about them.

Try Ken Hansen in New York. And be prepared for culture shock:
the first sight of all those REAL cameras (Leicas, Rolleis, Ikontas)
may be somewhat unnerving.

nm

Alan K Biocca

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Dec 28, 1991, 12:14:30 AM12/28/91
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There are quite a few good new manual cameras still on the market. I just
got one (for christmas), a Fuji GS670II, sometimes referred to as a
"Texas Leica". No batteries, meters, or any of that modern junk.
And a real "'adult' sized" negative that you can evaluate without a magnifying
glass!

Alan K Biocca

shun.cheung

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Dec 28, 1991, 7:14:30 AM12/28/91
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In article <1991Dec27.1...@bbs.comm.mot.com> do...@casbah.acns.nwu.edu (Douglas Bank) writes:
>Actually, I think their responses are usually on the mark. You see, the
>letters are usually condemning the newer cameras and features and NOT
>"bemoaning the fate of manual cameras." The responses are usually
>appropriate because (for most of us) the new technology is a boon not a
>bust. Furthermore, in almost every case, the new technology can be turned
>off at the users whim.

I completely agree. Some well known professional photographers now shoot
in program mode. The modern features help us get technically correct pictures
so that human beings can concentrate on composition, our creativity, etc.
And these auto features can be turned off.

>What is SO good about not needing a battery? I know, if it fails then you are
>completely out of luck. But shouldn't you carry a spare?

Exactly. I always carry extra batteries too, and I needed them in several
occasions. IMHO, cameras that require batteries are no worse than cameras
that require film. Have people been complaining that they are completely
out of luck when they run out of film? :-)

Michael A. Covington

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Dec 28, 1991, 2:31:09 PM12/28/91
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In article <1991Dec28.1...@cbnewsh.cb.att.com> sh...@cbnewsh.cb.att.com (shun.cheung) writes:

>[someone writes:]
*What is SO good about not needing a battery? I know, if it fails then you are
*completely out of luck. But shouldn't you carry a spare?


>
>Exactly. I always carry extra batteries too, and I needed them in several
>occasions. IMHO, cameras that require batteries are no worse than cameras
>that require film. Have people been complaining that they are completely
>out of luck when they run out of film? :-)
>--

In astrophotography, where 1-hour exposures are not uncommon, some people have
discovered too late that the camera draws battery power continuously during
a time exposure. That is, take _one_ picture, buy a new battery, take another
picture, buy a new battery and hope it lasts long enough to complete the
exposure...

I really appreciate shutters that are non-electronic on "B" and perhaps one
other speed (1/60 for instance). I also appreciate the accuracy of electronic
shutters for normal photography.

Arun Rao

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Dec 27, 1991, 12:12:06 PM12/27/91
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In article <1991Dec27....@cbnewsj.cb.att.com>, du...@cbnewsj.cb.att.com (duane.galensky) writes:
.. [ stuff deleted ] ...
| somehow, thinking through the process
|> slows down the photographer enough to increase the probability
|> of formulating good composition also...it's far too easy to
|> fire off a roll of 36 exposures nowadays...
|>
|> duane


For some of us, this pays our salaries :-)) -- more power to
these indiscriminate shooters, I say! :-))

--
Arun Rao, PhD
Senior Research Scientist
Recognition & Information Processing Group
Eastman Kodak Company
901 Elmgrove Road, Rochester, NY 14653-5722

Michael A. Covington

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Dec 27, 1991, 4:16:14 PM12/27/91
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In article <1991Dec27....@cbnewsj.cb.att.com> du...@cbnewsj.cb.att.com (duane.galensky) writes:
>
>a more pressing concern of mine is that everyone is taking
>technically wonderful pictures by virtue of the automation, but
>of snapshot quality. somehow, thinking through the process

>slows down the photographer enough to increase the probability
>of formulating good composition also...it's far too easy to
>fire off a roll of 36 exposures nowadays...

I hear you. Correct exposure, correct focus, but composition so
bad that not only is it not "art", it's not even legible (i.e.,
you can't tell what it's supposed to be a picture _of_, or it is
so badly composed that the intended subject is not clearly visible).

What's next? Auto-composition?

Rick Savoia

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Dec 27, 1991, 10:50:09 AM12/27/91
to
In article <1991Dec27....@cbnewsj.cb.att.com>, du...@cbnewsj.cb.att.com (duane.galensky) writes:
> In article <1991Dec27.0...@athena.cs.uga.edu> mcov...@athena.cs.uga.edu (Michael A. Covington) writes:
> >
> >I think we need for some mass advertisers to try to nudge the public back
> >toward a more serious appreciation of photographic technique. Otherwise
> >we will quickly have everybody taking (technically) awful pictures with
> >very expensive cameras, and coming out disappointed.
> >
> >If you know what needs to be done, the automation in a modern camera can
> >give you a lot of help doing it. But if you expect the camera to work
> >magic, it won't.
> >
>
> a more pressing concern of mine is that everyone is taking
> technically wonderful pictures by virtue of the automation, but
> of snapshot quality. somehow, thinking through the process
> slows down the photographer enough to increase the probability
> of formulating good composition also...it's far too easy to
> fire off a roll of 36 exposures nowadays...
>
> duane


True in a way. I think it is all very personal. I own an automatic camera
(8008s) and it's my first. The only time that I 'fire' off a roll of 36
exposures is when the situation requires it. For example, when I am in a
sailboat race, taking pictures of the other boats. Even then I stop for
a few seconds to check composition, etc. Most times, I have almost
everything in the camera turned off and I make my own judgements and then
use the camera to check myself. I know a bit about photography and I
am trying to increase my knowledge everyday. In the meantime my
Nikon makes up for a little of what I don't know until I can learn it
for myself.

Rick

duane.galensky

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Dec 27, 1991, 9:43:21 AM12/27/91
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In article <1991Dec27.0...@athena.cs.uga.edu> mcov...@athena.cs.uga.edu (Michael A. Covington) writes:
>
>I think we need for some mass advertisers to try to nudge the public back
>toward a more serious appreciation of photographic technique. Otherwise
>we will quickly have everybody taking (technically) awful pictures with
>very expensive cameras, and coming out disappointed.
>
>If you know what needs to be done, the automation in a modern camera can
>give you a lot of help doing it. But if you expect the camera to work
>magic, it won't.
>

a more pressing concern of mine is that everyone is taking

Dave Bernard

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Dec 27, 1991, 11:29:35 AM12/27/91
to

It's interesting that anytime anyone writes a letter to one of the photo
magazines bemoaning the fate of manual cameras, the reply is always
belittling to the writer, accusing them of being behind the times, an old
fuddy duddy or something. To admit that the vocal questioners of
automation had a valid point or two would be a slap in the face of the
magazine advertisers.

As another reply said, there's a lot to be said for the discipline of taking a
picture which a more manual approach entails.

There's only one advantage that I can see of automation: speed. It's faster
for a less-experienced photographer to get a picture if he uses automation.
This is despite the autofocus proponent's wish to get the "action shot."
We've been getting action shots for years with a little pre-focusing and
depth of field, and pre-exposure setting. But speed or ease doesn't
guarantee quality.

Actually, I like the drive to automation that the still photography industry,
in its final decade or two before its death to the widespread availability of
still video, is going through. It makes used manual cameras and lenses
cheaper (except for Nikon, where they are going up in price).

As far as I can see, the "fully manual" (ie, mechanical, not needing a
battery-
hence qualifying things like auto-return mirror and auto-diaphragm)
35mm cameras
still made are the Pentax K1000, the FM2, the Leica M6, the Leica R6.

Dave

Bond. Clay Bond.

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Dec 28, 1991, 9:23:50 AM12/28/91
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In article <10...@lectroid.sw.stratus.com> rsa...@sw.stratus.com (Rick Savoia) writes:

>True in a way. I think it is all very personal. I own an automatic camera
>(8008s) and it's my first.

My first was a little Vivitar autofocus, but a couple of weeks ago I
picked up a Yahica TL Electro X and a Tamron 28-80 zoom (oh yeah, and
a Vivitar 2800 flash). I had no idea what I was doing, but I'm slowly
learning, and I wanted to learn on a manual camera so I *would* learn.
I have no idea whether those more knowledgeable would call my camera
decent or not, though it seems to do quite a good job, but if there's
anything on it that's not manual, I don't know about it.

I got the camera at a pawn shop, btw, for $90, and he threw in the
zoom for another $50. If nothing else, it was cheap; the lens was
unused and still in the box, and the only thing "wrong" with the
camera is that the film advance meter (or whatever you call it)
doesn't work.


--
"An author whose works are best when skimmed quickly is
not worth recommending."
-- Bill Hsu

doug mcdonald

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Dec 29, 1991, 12:18:04 PM12/29/91
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>>What is SO good about not needing a battery? I know, if it fails then you are
>>completely out of luck. But shouldn't you carry a spare?
>
>Exactly. I always carry extra batteries too, and I needed them in several
>occasions. IMHO, cameras that require batteries are no worse than cameras
>that require film. Have people been complaining that they are completely
>out of luck when they run out of film? :-)
>--

There is one difference: batteries don't work at low temperatures.
Film works better at low temperatures. Try taking pictures at -40 degrees
all day long with your automatic battery operated camera. (You do
have to wind slowly or you may crack the film.)

Doug McDonald

Richard Keeney

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Dec 29, 1991, 2:21:06 PM12/29/91
to
A distinction should be drawn here between the two issues of
"electronics vs no electronics" and "automatic vs manual". I.E. it is
possible to build a highly electronic camera that is not automated,
but since automation is so easy once you have an electronically
controlled camera, most manufacturers are going to include at least
the basic "P" mode. Electronics are in many ways a key enabling
technology for automation in a camera, but they can also provide other
advantages when it comes to non-automated picture taking.

I don't think I will get any argument on the issue of the
accuracy of electronically timed shutters vs mechanically timed
shutters. Also, most technically astute people will also be able to
appreciate the increased durability, reliabilty, and ruggedness that
electronics bring to a camera simply due to the reduction in the
number of moving parts.

As many have pointed out, the key areas of advantage (or disadvantage
for those who dislike change of any form) comes in how a person thinks
about taking pictures.

With a fully automated camera, it is now possible to simply "point and
shoot" and get a technically reasonable exposure, with some portion of
the image (ususally the center) in correct focus, with a shutter speed
appropriate for the magnification of the lens, and with balanced flash
fill, etc.

Some have pointed out that such automation tends to encourage a lot
of mediocre "snap shot" photos. Shots that perhaps would never have
been taken if the photographer had to balance the potential quality of
the resulting photo vs. the work required to take the shot at all.
Yes, perhaps this reduces the overall "average quality" of the
pictures being taken, but I think it actually increases the number
of good pictures due to the surprises that happen with subjects that
are hard to pre-visualize as a print. For some subjects, it is in
fact necessary to simply shoot-away and then pick the good photos out
from each roll and chuck the bad ones.

Some may bemoan the loss of control over all the technical aspects
of taking a picture. I prefer to think in terms of it allowing the
photographer full concetration on two of the more important aspects of
taking a picture: where to "point" and when to "shoot".

Today's automated cameras enable beginning and occasional
photographers to concentrate on these two key elements to a good
picture. Think of how many creative, visually talented, but
non-technical people were previously pushed away from photography by
all the technical details they needed to learn to even get a correct
exposure.

For the photographer that wants to start taking control over more
aspects of each exposure, electronics now enables him to think in
terms more directly related to what he is trying to accomplish. One
good example of this that is a personal favorite of mine is a mode
("P" ironically) on my camera where I can _manually_ adjust the
exposure not in terms of absolute shutter speed and absolute aperture,
but in terms of resulting total exposure (+/- from the meter reading)
and shutter vs aperture tradeoff (with both always displayed in the
viewfinder). [yes, I know that there were mechanical cameras in the
past that functioned this way but they never became popular for other
reasons.

Flash photography has long been a very technically complicated thing
to have any success at. What with having to figure out light fall-off
vs. distance, fill ratios with existing light, synchronization
worries, bounce exposures... The modern electronic flash with TTL
metering now allows the photographer to think more in terms of the
actual resulting exposure and not how to accomplish it. A kind of
reversal has happened where the photographer tells the flash what to
do vs. having it tell him what to do. The photographer is now free to
easily position or bounce the flash wherever he desires, use
apertures, focal lengths, and shutter speeds of his own choice, dial
in fill ratios directly...

When it comes to depth of field and focus, autofocus systems
theoretically can enable the photographer to think in terms of what
parts of the picture he wants to focus on and how much depth of field
he wants, but I do have to admit that the cameras available today
still have not made these features fully practical to use (but they
are working on it!).

All in all, I cannot imagine giving up my modern electronic camera
with its automatic and manual functions for the primitive mechanical
cameras of years gone by...

--
Richard A. Keeney
Senior Software Engineer Internet: kee...@mgi.com
Management Graphics, Inc. Phone: +1-612-851-6126
1401 East 79th Street, #6 Fax: +1-612-854-6913
Bloomington, MN, 55425
U.S.A.

Tyrus Monson

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Dec 29, 1991, 11:33:39 PM12/29/91
to
(stuff deleted)

>Exactly. I always carry extra batteries too, and I needed them in several
>occasions. IMHO, cameras that require batteries are no worse than cameras
>that require film. Have people been complaining that they are completely
>out of luck when they run out of film? :-)
>--
>-- Shun Cheung, electronic: shun....@att.com voice: (908) 615-5135

Just for the record, I complain when I run out of film. Bitterly!
.... :-)

Ian G Batten

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Dec 30, 1991, 8:31:58 AM12/30/91
to
> Exactly. I always carry extra batteries too, and I needed them in several
> occasions. IMHO, cameras that require batteries are no worse than cameras
> that require film. Have people been complaining that they are completely
> out of luck when they run out of film? :-)

Changing a battery can be a serious problem when, say, using a camera in
the mountains in winter. Not to mention the problem of them getting
cold.

ian

The Hepburn

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Dec 30, 1991, 2:01:13 PM12/30/91
to

Well, My Hasselblad 1000F is fully manual, but it is neither new nor
35mm format!

--
Alan Hepburn "The Democrats have formulated their strategy for
National Semiconductor the 1992 election campaign: they are going
Santa Clara, Ca to wait 'til 1996"
al...@berlioz.nsc.com

shun.cheung

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Dec 30, 1991, 9:23:35 AM12/30/91
to

Is changing film a serious problem when using a camera in the mountains
in the winter too?

There has been several follow-ups suggesting that cameras requiring
batteries have a disadvantage for some IMHO fairly unusual applications,
such as astro-photography, photography at very cold temperature, etc.
While I agree that there is a problem, the majority of us don't take
pictures under those conditions regularly. Therefore, there is no reason
to make every camera suitable for photography under those conditions,
especially there are so many special applications that have different
demands on the cameras.

For those who have special needs where batteries cause problems, it is
a good idea to get an all mechanical camera.

Barry Sherman

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Dec 30, 1991, 4:03:58 PM12/30/91
to
Alan K Biocca writes:

Indeed! In fact, I've noticed, throughout this entire discussion, a most
glaring case of tunnel vision. There are many, many fully manual cameras
around now. In fact, their use is growing like never before. These are
the many medium format fully manually operated cameras and all large format
cameras. From all reports, use of medium and large-format cameras is very much
on the rise.

While electronic doo-dads are appearing on the Hassies, they're still making a
manual model and there are many used ones available. (Actually, I find it hard
to imagine that there are people who can afford a *used* Hassleblad, let alone
a new one - sob, sniff, drool :-) Then there's the venerable Pentax 6x7. And,
Sinar not withstanding, view cameras are still basically all manual.

Let's not forget that 35mm is a subset of the universe of cameras.

Barry

--


|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Barry Sherman, Amdahl Corp. | "This is the strangest life |
| b...@ruts.ccc.amdahl.com | I've ever known" -Morrison |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Amdahl being a corporation, is a legal fiction. Therefore it is incapable |
| of holding, let alone expressing, opinions. Unfortunately, this has been |
| said of me as well. |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Doug McDonald

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Dec 30, 1991, 6:36:50 PM12/30/91
to

In article <1991Dec30.1...@cbnewsh.cb.att.com> sh...@cbnewsh.cb.att.com (shun.cheung) writes:
>In article <{*D-...@uzi-9mm.fulcrum.bt.co.uk> i...@fulcrum.bt.co.uk (Ian G Batten) writes:
>Is changing film a serious problem when using a camera in the mountains
>in the winter too?
>
You betcha its a problem, except with Tech Pan. Big problem. Film tends
to crack if it is too cold and it is bent too much too fast. I stick
the film outside the cannister inside my parka for say one minute and
try to load it quickly but carefully. Winding slowly is enough to
prevent cracking there.

Doug McDonald

The Hepburn

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Dec 30, 1991, 2:09:50 PM12/30/91
to
This question of manual vs automatic is very well-known in my house. I
use an old Hasselblad 1000F for my photography and my wife uses a fairly
recent Canon T50. She is constantly complaining that I take forever to
take a picture, and I maintain that I take photographs, not snapshots.
I will admit that there's a place for both types of photography, but you'll
be hard-pressed to get me to give up my Hassy!

Dana A. Bunner

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Dec 30, 1991, 8:06:13 AM12/30/91
to
In article <1991Dec27....@athena.cs.uga.edu>,
mcov...@athena.cs.uga.edu (Michael A. Covington) writes...

>I hear you. Correct exposure, correct focus, but composition so
>bad that not only is it not "art", it's not even legible (i.e.,
>you can't tell what it's supposed to be a picture _of_, or it is
>so badly composed that the intended subject is not clearly visible).
>
>What's next? Auto-composition?

It's already happened. Check out the brochure on the new Minola Maxxum 7xi
(and SPxi & 3xi). They have new 'xi' zoom lenses which autozoom to the
proper composition as well as auto-focus and auto-exposure.

I'm looking forward to the next generation of cameras. I expect to speak
into a small microphone and tell it to go out and get some good wildlife
shots for me.

As to the poster who asks (paraphrased) 'What good is a automatic camera
when its -40 degrees?', I suspect the camera is in better shape than the
idiot holding it! :-).

Dana

Milt Fisher

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Dec 30, 1991, 3:32:30 PM12/30/91
to
In article <1991Dec28.1...@spdcc.com> bo...@spdcc.com (Bond. Clay Bond.) writes:
>In article <10...@lectroid.sw.stratus.com> rsa...@sw.stratus.com (Rick Savoia) writes:
>
>>True in a way. I think it is all very personal. I own an automatic camera
>>(8008s) and it's my first.
>
>My first was a little Vivitar autofocus, but a couple of weeks ago I
>picked up a Yahica TL Electro X and a Tamron 28-80 zoom (oh yeah, and
>a Vivitar 2800 flash). I had no idea what I was doing, but I'm slowly
>learning, and I wanted to learn on a manual camera so I *would* learn.
>I have no idea whether those more knowledgeable would call my camera
>decent or not, though it seems to do quite a good job, but if there's
>anything on it that's not manual, I don't know about it.

Wow! A Yashica TL Electro X! I have one of those. It's a great camera,
but I haven't seen many around. My brother and I each bought one about
15 - 20 (??) years ago. The only thing I don't like about it is those
illuminated exposure arrows in the view finder. They can be very hard to
see in bright light.

>
>I got the camera at a pawn shop, btw, for $90, and he threw in the
>zoom for another $50. If nothing else, it was cheap; the lens was
>unused and still in the box, and the only thing "wrong" with the
>camera is that the film advance meter (or whatever you call it)
>doesn't work.
>

$90 dollars seems a little high for that camera. I think we only paid $150
originally.


>
>--
>"An author whose works are best when skimmed quickly is
> not worth recommending."
> -- Bill Hsu


--

Milt Fisher - Hewlett Packard, San Diego Division
mi...@sdd.hp.com

Mark Goldberg

unread,
Dec 30, 1991, 3:54:59 PM12/30/91
to
Prior posts have mentioned the Pentax K1000 and Nikon FM-2n, which are
both manual cameras with match needle metering.

These two (and possibly more) camera models are holding on for devotees
who insist on manual cameras. I know of many pros who like the Nikon
FM-2 for several reasons. The camera is used for model or product photography
on transparency film. An expensive external meter (like a Minolta Autoflash)
and studio lighting is used. The lens is set very carefully for a specific
zone of focus. Although I am now totally into AF SLRs, I can see the
value of a manual camera like the FM-2 for wedding photography: it
works even if batteries die, it has an extremely reliable mechanical
shutter, and it has no built-in noisy motor drive (which many wedding
officials prohibit).

I don't think manual cameras take inherently better pictures. I had
a recent assignment involved with a ship's bridge simulator room. It
was illuminated by red-filtered lights. There were three TV monitors
- one showing a simulated horizon and two simulating ship radars. The
engineer who developed the system was at the "helm." I had 1-1/2 hours
to do the WHOLE job, which included many more shots than the one described.
Anyway, I mounted a 20mm AF lens on my N8008, set the camera for programmed
auto and matrix metering, and .....

The shot turned out to be one of the neatest I ever did. The client
is mounting an enlargement of it one his wall and it is going into his
proposals and sales brochures. Multipattern automated exposure did
it. Manual metering could hav done it too, but not in the time slot
I had.

=========David Taylor Research Center (a US Navy lab) - Annapolis, MD=========
/|/| /||)|/ /~_/\| |\|)[~|)/~_ | Everyone's entitled to MY opinion.
/ | |/~||\|\ \_/\/|_|/|)[_|\\_/ | gold...@oasys.dt.navy.mil
========Imagination is more important than knowledge. - Albert Einstein=======

david.j.bryant

unread,
Dec 30, 1991, 3:48:39 PM12/30/91
to

> Changing a battery can be a serious problem when, say, using a camera in
> the mountains in winter. Not to mention the problem of them getting
> cold.

Assumedly what's meant by "manual" then is "mechanical shutter that's not
operated by a battery". (Light meters run by battery are o.k. in a "manual"
camera, as you can still manage a picture when your meter is out of service.)
Such being the case, then consider the following K-mount cameras (which is all
I keep up with):

* Cameras with electronic shutters that operate mechanically at some speeds
without battery power:
Cosina -- CT-20 (1/100s), CT-10 (1/100s)
Pentax -- ME Super (1/125s), MV-1 (1/100s), MV (1/100s), MG (1/100s),
ME (1/100s), K2DMD (1/1000s and 1/125s), K2 (1/1000s and
1/125s)

* Cameras with mechanical shutters:
Cosina -- CT-1 Super, CT-1A, CT-1,
Pentax -- MX, LX (1/2000s - 1/75s only), K1000, KX, KM
Ricoh -- KR-5 Super II, KR-5 Super

Of these, the Pentax LX, Pentax K1000 and Ricoh KR-5 Super II are still in
production. Most of the others can be found used and in good condition
through a wide variety of dealers (check the latest issue of Shutterbug).

I know there are a fair number of old (e.g. 1970's) mechanical-shutter cameras
still out there.

UUCP: att!cbosgd!djb
David Bryant att!cborion!djb
AT&T Bell Laboratories INTERNET: d...@cborion.cb.att.com
Room 1B-256 d...@cbosgd.att.com
6200 East Broad Street PHONE: (614) 860-4516
Columbus, Ohio 43213 FAX: (614) 868-4302

duane.galensky

unread,
Dec 30, 1991, 2:59:29 PM12/30/91
to
In article <26...@eastman.UUCP> r...@kodak.com (Arun Rao) writes:
>In article <1991Dec27....@cbnewsj.cb.att.com>, du...@cbnewsj.cb.att.com (duane.galensky) writes:
> .. [ stuff deleted ] ...
>| somehow, thinking through the process
>|> slows down the photographer enough to increase the probability
>|> of formulating good composition also...it's far too easy to
>|> fire off a roll of 36 exposures nowadays...
>|>
>|> duane
> For some of us, this pays our salaries :-)) -- more power to
> these indiscriminate shooters, I say! :-))
>--
>Arun Rao, PhD
>Eastman Kodak Company


oops. well said, arun!

duane

PS - i like your film!!

Dave Hickernell

unread,
Dec 31, 1991, 10:11:44 AM12/31/91
to
bun...@vms.macc.wisc.edu (Dana A. Bunner) writes:

>As to the poster who asks (paraphrased) 'What good is a automatic camera
>when its -40 degrees?', I suspect the camera is in better shape than the
>idiot holding it! :-).

I see the smiley, but be careful what you say here; this happens to more
people than you might think. I've had the batteries in my OM-2S go south
at temps around freezing (and it's a manual-focus camera). Cold-weather
shooters are only idiots until it happens to you.

Dave Hickernell: hickernell%nwace...@decwrl.dec.com
- or - hicke...@nwaces.enet.dec.com
- or - ...!decwrl!nwaces.dec.com!hickernell

I do not support the President's War On Education.

Geoff Allen

unread,
Dec 31, 1991, 11:49:54 AM12/31/91
to
bun...@vms.macc.wisc.edu (Dana A. Bunner) writes:
>As to the poster who asks (paraphrased) 'What good is a automatic camera
>when its -40 degrees?', I suspect the camera is in better shape than the
>idiot holding it! :-).

Spoken like someone who's never been out on a day like that! But
University of Wisconsin ought to experience some cold weather, no?

For those out there who've never seen a day that cold, let me fill you
in on a secret:

It's absolutely *gorgeous*!

The air *shines*. It just glimmers and sparkles. It's very beautiful.
(I'm assuming a *clear* day here, with lots of sunshine.)

There's frost on everything. Like a flocked Christmas tree, but much
more beautiful.

I can very much understand why someone would want to take pictures on a
(sunny) -40 degree day. (The one temp where you don't have to specify
Celsius or Farenheit! :^) )

Just remember to bundle up!

--
Geoff Allen \ Many people come, looking, looking, taking picture....
uunet!pmafire!geoff \ No good.... Some people come, see. Good!
ge...@pmafire.inel.gov \ -- Nepalese Sherpa, quoted by Galen Rowell

Annika Forsten INF

unread,
Dec 31, 1991, 11:28:56 AM12/31/91
to

> There has been several follow-ups suggesting that cameras requiring
> batteries have a disadvantage for some IMHO fairly unusual applications,
> such as astro-photography, photography at very cold temperature, etc.
> While I agree that there is a problem, the majority of us don't take
> pictures under those conditions regularly. Therefore, there is no reason
> to make every camera suitable for photography under those conditions,
> especially there are so many special applications that have different
> demands on the cameras.

I think I'm a pretty normal user, I don't photograph in the mountains, etc.
But here in Finland it is often cold or very cold and the problems may even
start a few degrees above zero Centigrade. Lots of people live in areas
where the winter is long enough to cause problems, where a possibility of using
one shutter-speed without batteries, such as 1/60, could be quite useful.

Also, there are often problems with the batteries or the contacts, so carrying
spares does not always help.

> For those who have special needs where batteries cause problems, it is
> a good idea to get an all mechanical camera.

That wouldn't answer the purpose at all.

annika forsten, finland

Leo Cierpial

unread,
Dec 31, 1991, 12:39:58 PM12/31/91
to
In article <26w502M...@JUTS.ccc.amdahl.com>,

b...@RUTS.ccc.amdahl.com (Barry Sherman) writes:
>
>Indeed! In fact, I've noticed, throughout this entire discussion, a most
>glaring case of tunnel vision. There are many, many fully manual cameras
>around now. In fact, their use is growing like never before. These are
>the many medium format fully manually operated cameras and all large format
>cameras. From all reports, use of medium and large-format cameras is very much
>on the rise.
>
Yeh! I'm itching to get into medium format, and I thought I'd
use my N6006 in matrix metering mode as a light meter! :-)

Seriously - I LOVE that matrix metering. Makes it worthwhile having
to put up with all the other automation that camera has.

-- Leo

Dave Bernard

unread,
Jan 1, 1992, 1:01:25 PM1/1/92
to
In article <micki.694127054@valid>, mi...@napalm.valid.com (Michelle
Stone) writes:
|> Path: pa.dec.com!decwrl!uunet!uunet.uu.net!valid!micki
|> From: mi...@napalm.valid.com (Michelle Stone)
|> Newsgroups: rec.photo
|> Subject: Re: What ever happened to fully manual cameras?
|> Message-ID: <micki.694127054@valid>
|> Date: 30 Dec 91 21:04:14 GMT
|> References: <1991Dec27.0...@wam.umd.edu>
|> <1991Dec27.0...@athena.cs.uga.edu>
|> <1991Dec27....@cbnewsj.cb.att.com>
|> <1991Dec27.1...@PA.dec.com>
|> <1991Dec27.1...@bbs.comm.mot.com>
|> Sender: ne...@valid.com
|> Distribution: ba
|> Lines: 18
|>
|> In <1991Dec27.1...@bbs.comm.mot.com>

|> do...@casbah.acns.nwu.edu (Douglas Bank) writes:
|>
|> >> There's only one advantage that I can see of automation: speed.
|> |>
|> >This has been discussed before. Many people came up with many more
|> reasons
|> >than speed to use the new features. In fact, speed probably is one
|> of
|> >the lesser advantages to the new "automation" I think such features
|> as
|> >TTL flash are much more important than "speed".
|>
|>
Meters in cameras are faster to use than hand-held ones. If they're
coupled, they're even faster. Does that mean they're more accurate
than a studio with multiple slaved flashes, and separate flash meter?
I still think the advantage of automation is speed in getting the
picture, meaning that fewer controls, and fewer calculations need be
done.

|> I do outdoor work and have to carry everything that I use for shooting for
|> tens of miles. The new auto cameras are very light, the new zoom lenses are
|> smaller and extremely light. Compact, light systems are another big plus
|> as far as I'm concerned for moving to AF. I just haven't decided which to
|> move to!

If you have no need for a motor drive, with their weight and the weight of
the batteries. the newer plastic cameras are heavier and bulkier
than ever. In the heyday of small 35mm cameras,
you could get Pentax ME's and Olympi (still can!), and Nikon FE's that
were tiny, light jewels. Even today, a Nikon FM2 is lighter and
more compact than an 8008 or an F4.


Dave
|>
|>

Xiaohan Wang

unread,
Dec 30, 1991, 12:18:36 PM12/30/91
to
In article <7364-PCNe...@dixiecup.UUCP> nmi...@dixiecup.UUCP (Norman Miller) writes:
>mi...@wam.umd.edu (Michael D. Callaghan @ University of Maryland at College Park) once wrote....

>>I think that the only way to get a good manual camera is to
>>find a used Nikon. If anyone has any other ideas, I'd love
>>to hear about them.
>
>Try Ken Hansen in New York. And be prepared for culture shock:
>the first sight of all those REAL cameras (Leicas, Rolleis, Ikontas)
>may be somewhat unnerving.
>
>nm

Can someone post the phone number and address of Ken Hansen? Do they have a
catalog? Do they take mail/phone orders?

XH Wang

Bond. Clay Bond.

unread,
Jan 1, 1992, 3:37:55 PM1/1/92
to
In article <1991Dec30.2...@sdd.hp.com> mi...@sdd.hp.com (Milt Fisher) writes:

>The only thing I don't like about it is those
>illuminated exposure arrows in the view finder. They can be very hard to
>see in bright light.

Indeed. It was very sunny here when I bought it, and I didn't know
they were there for a couple of days. Add to that my complete
ignorance and lack of instructions for the camera, and it took me
another couple of days to figure out what they were and how they worked.

>$90 dollars seems a little high for that camera. I think we only paid $150
>originally.

The $90 was for the body, a 50 mm lens and a 135 telephoto. That,
plus the Tamron 28-70 zoom (new) was $140.

I have a question about the zoon, though. It's f/3.5-4.5, and I
understand that, but does that mean if I have it on 70 and f/3.5 that
it's really f/4.5, or does that mean I can't set it on both at the
same time?

Like I said, I just started ...

swa...@ducvax.auburn.edu

unread,
Jan 1, 1992, 6:40:13 PM1/1/92
to
In article <1991Dec31....@pmafire.inel.gov>, ge...@pmafire.inel.gov (Geoff Allen) writes:
> bun...@vms.macc.wisc.edu (Dana A. Bunner) writes:
>>As to the poster who asks (paraphrased) 'What good is a automatic camera
>>when its -40 degrees?', I suspect the camera is in better shape than the
>>idiot holding it! :-).
>
> Spoken like someone who's never been out on a day like that! But
> University of Wisconsin ought to experience some cold weather, no?
>
> For those out there who've never seen a day that cold, let me fill you
> in on a secret:
>
> It's absolutely *gorgeous*!
>
> The air *shines*. It just glimmers and sparkles. It's very beautiful.
> (I'm assuming a *clear* day here, with lots of sunshine.)
>
.
. ( insane pro-cold stuff deleted :-) )
.

A few years ago, I was in Breckinridge (sp ?), Colorado in January for a week.
I shot several rolls with my rugged Pentax K-1000 as I was skiing down the
slopes (dodging trees, other skiers, generally risking my life). The air
*shone*. It glimmered and sparkled. It was beautiful. Also, it was COLD.
The temperature was often around 10 degrees during the day (I have no idea what
it dropped to at night, but it was worse). Yeah, yeah, it was "a dry cold"
(sounds like I'm describing a fine wine), but I was COLD! I appreciate the
prints now, but oh the misery I endured to get them!

On the other hand, last January, I visited Puerto Rico for a week. I shot
several rolls with my well-traveled K-1000 as I drove around the island
(dodging pina coladas, surfers, generally having the time of my life). The air
was perfect. It was beautiful. Also, it was WARM. When I flew out of the
Atlanta airport, I left behind nasty, wet, 40 degree weather. When I stepped
out of the airport in San Juan, Ooh La La, it was about 75 degrees. I was
hooked. The prints from the trip are fine, but oh the fun I had taking them!

I guess what I am getting at is that in my case, WARM is better than COLD. I
don't care what the scenery looks like! Of course, I am from the sunny South.
Maybe someone from North Dakota has an opposite story ("Man, I stepped off of
the jet in San Juan and I thought I was going to die. Talk about hot, it was
72 degrees! How do they stand it? All I could think about was that wonderful
trip I took to Colorado a few years ago...").

--
David "Could someone explain that f-stop business to me again?" Swanger
Auburn University
SWA...@DUCVAX.AUBURN.EDU <-- INTERNET
SWANGER@AUDUCVAX <-- BITNET

Steve Gombosi

unread,
Jan 2, 1992, 12:46:21 AM1/2/92
to
In article <26w502M...@JUTS.ccc.amdahl.com> b...@RUTS.ccc.amdahl.com (Barry Sherman) writes:
>
>Indeed! In fact, I've noticed, throughout this entire discussion, a most
>glaring case of tunnel vision.

Yeah, it comes from squinting at those tiny negatives ;-)

>While electronic doo-dads are appearing on the Hassies, they're still making a
>manual model and there are many used ones available. (Actually, I find it hard

The 205TCC can be used without batteries if you use C/CF lenses.

Like most people who prefer use manual cameras, I don't have any objections
to the whiz-bang doo-dads *in principle* - I just don't want them rammed
down my throat. Nobody wants to prevent people from buying automatic
cameras IF THEY WANT THEM - I'd just like my *preferred* alternative to
be available. Nikon, Leica, and Hasselblad (among others) are willing to
provide me with that alternative. Since Canon appears to be slowly killing
off the F-1, they obviously are *not* willing to provide me with that
alternative. Minolta definitely doesn't trust me to operate a camera
without hurting myself. I find that sort of insulting, don't you?

>to imagine that there are people who can afford a *used* Hassleblad, let alone
>a new one - sob, sniff, drool :-)

Gee, I got mine because I couldn't afford an F4. (only 1/2 ;-))

Steve

Michel Poisson

unread,
Jan 2, 1992, 4:16:27 AM1/2/92
to

QQUIT
QQUIT

Douglas Bank

unread,
Jan 2, 1992, 12:28:14 AM1/2/92
to
In article <1992Jan2.0...@craycos.com>, s...@craycos.com (Steve Gombosi) writes:
>
> In article <26w502M...@JUTS.ccc.amdahl.com> b...@RUTS.ccc.amdahl.com (Barry Sherman) writes:
> Like most people who prefer use manual cameras, I don't have any objections
> to the whiz-bang doo-dads *in principle* - I just don't want them rammed
> down my throat. Nobody wants to prevent people from buying automatic
> cameras IF THEY WANT THEM - I'd just like my *preferred* alternative to
> be available. Nikon, Leica, and Hasselblad (among others) are willing to
> provide me with that alternative. Since Canon appears to be slowly killing
> off the F-1, they obviously are *not* willing to provide me with that
> alternative. Minolta definitely doesn't trust me to operate a camera
> without hurting myself. I find that sort of insulting, don't you?

I also agree *in principle* with what you are saying. However, my original
point was that in this day and age, it is just plain cheaper and easier to
manufacture modern, electronic cameras. It must be very expensive to use
all of those moving parts, and I can't even imagine the quality control
needed to weed out the bad parts. Admittedly, there are still a lot of moving
parts in the electronic cameras, and the move toward making more manufacturable
products should not be an excuse to use cheaper materials. However, People
that want the features of an all mechanical camera are going to have to
realize that they are in the minority, and they are going to have to pay
more (with fewer choices) for those features (or lack of features ;-) )

My other point was that the newer high quality cameras are a lot tougher
than you think. Barring the problem of extreme cold and film brittleness (ugh)
and static, I haven't heard of any situations where the new cameras fall
flat on their face. I have personally taken my 8008's into sub-zero cold
and into the rainforest with no-problems (though the viewfinder kept fogging
up, and the binoculars, and my glasses .....) I haven't dropped my camera
onto the sidewalk, but other people have with only comsetic damage. I also
haven't dropped my camera into seawater, but I'm pretty sure that you would
be out of commission with any camera.

I guess my whole point is: to each his own! (OR if their is a feature the YOU
REALLY WANT, they'll make you pay dearly for it; If you DON'T really want it,
they may STILL make you pay dearly for it.)

enough babbling.......

Doug Bank Private Systems Division
do...@ecs.comm.mot.com Motorola Communications Sector
do...@nwu.edu Schaumburg, Illinois
do...@casbah.acns.nwu.edu 708-576-8207
manual camera

The Hepburn

unread,
Jan 2, 1992, 11:23:33 AM1/2/92
to
In article <1992Jan2.0...@craycos.com>, s...@craycos.com (Steve Gombosi) writes:

I paid a very high price for mine: it belonged to my Dad. When he passed
away, it was given to me...

I owuldn't part with it for anything, and it still takes marvelous photos
after over 30 years of service. They don't make 'em like that anymore
(1000F body, 2 backs, 3 lenses, and a Gossen Luna-Six meter (remember them?))

Steve Gombosi

unread,
Jan 2, 1992, 1:39:59 PM1/2/92
to
In article <1992Jan2.0...@bbs.comm.mot.com> do...@ecs.comm.mot.com (Douglas Bank) writes:
>In article <1992Jan2.0...@craycos.com>, s...@craycos.com (Steve Gombosi) writes:
>>
>> In article <26w502M...@JUTS.ccc.amdahl.com> b...@RUTS.ccc.amdahl.com (Barry Sherman) writes:
>> Like most people who prefer use manual cameras, I don't have any objections
>> to the whiz-bang doo-dads *in principle* - I just don't want them rammed
>> down my throat. Nobody wants to prevent people from buying automatic
>> cameras IF THEY WANT THEM - I'd just like my *preferred* alternative to
>> be available. Nikon, Leica, and Hasselblad (among others) are willing to
>> provide me with that alternative. Since Canon appears to be slowly killing
>> off the F-1, they obviously are *not* willing to provide me with that
>> alternative. Minolta definitely doesn't trust me to operate a camera
>> without hurting myself. I find that sort of insulting, don't you?
>
>I also agree *in principle* with what you are saying. However, my original
>point was that in this day and age, it is just plain cheaper and easier to
>manufacture modern, electronic cameras. It must be very expensive to use
>all of those moving parts, and I can't even imagine the quality control
>needed to weed out the bad parts. Admittedly, there are still a lot of moving
>parts in the electronic cameras, and the move toward making more manufacturable
>products should not be an excuse to use cheaper materials. However, People
>that want the features of an all mechanical camera are going to have to
>realize that they are in the minority, and they are going to have to pay
>more (with fewer choices) for those features (or lack of features ;-) )

Gee, then why does a 500CM cost LESS than an F4 ;-)? It's lighter, too...
But the len$e$ are another matter ;-)...

I think electronically timed shutters are neat. I think built in meters are
terrific. I think automation has its uses. Sometimes I'd like an accessory
motor drive. I just want the option NOT to use it. Some manufacturers of highly
automated cameras are willing to allow me to do that and are willing to provide
me with the relatively simple amenities (depth of field scales, click stops,
decent provision for manual focusing, etc) which make that mode of operation
convenient. Some are not. Some are positively
schizoid about the whole issue. I am still uncomfortable with the notion of
a "professional" SLR that won't *allow* me to advance the film or fire
the shutter if the batteries die( like the F4 :-( ). If that suits the way you work, great.
Most of the time, it would suit the way *I* work - but not ALL the time.
If I could afford a 205TCC, I'd probably buy it (!). It manages to incorporate
every whiz-bang auto doodad except autofocus, but it doesn't NEED any of it.
Kind of a nice concept. Sort of what I was hoping for in the F4.
Actually, the lack of mechanical features on true top-of-the-line 35mm
SLRs was what finally made me move into medium format - a move I have
never regretted.

>
>I guess my whole point is: to each his own!

Gee, that was my point, too! It ain't the hardware it's the result that counts.
Lets all drop this and go MAKE PICTURES!

Steve

Mark Goldberg

unread,
Jan 2, 1992, 3:24:39 PM1/2/92
to
In rec.photo, s...@craycos.com (Steve Gombosi) writes:
>Gee, then why does a [Hasselblad] 500CM [body] cost LESS than an F4
;-)? It's lighter, too...

Realize that the 500CM is an old design. As it is sold, there is no prism
viewfinder, no optics, no film back, no film holder, no meter, no internal
electronics. Just a box with a mirror system, screen, and some mechanical
systems. Add a Hasselblad meter prism finder, film holder and back
and you are probably beyond the cost of an F4.

Timothy Lee

unread,
Jan 2, 1992, 6:33:06 PM1/2/92
to
Why are everyone getting sooo depressed about NOT UNDERSTANDING the PHYSICS
of PHOTOGRAPHY... I thought that PHOTOGRAPHY is supposed to be a PERSONAL ART

I LOVE MY AUTOMATIC CAMERA in most situations...But once in a while I adjust
the settings to ACHIEVE what I want.. The main thing and only thing that I
usually use is the METER in my camera.. The rest is up to me and ALSO LUCK..

The photographer HAS TO CREATE the picture in front of the lens.. It doesn't
just COME OUT OF NOWHERE... And sometimes just a CANDID shot is GREAT for
the REGULAR snapshot people.. All they usually want is NICELY exposed PICTURE
of their MOMENT in a fairly SHORT TIME... Sort of like FAST FOOD... Decent
food in a short time...


--tim
--
Handy Guide To Modern Science: | Timothy Lee
1. If it's green, it's biology | tl...@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu
2. If it stinks, it's chemistry. | tim...@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu
3. If it doesn't work, it's physics. | tim...@WORK.SLEEPING.ZZZ

Steve Gombosi

unread,
Jan 2, 1992, 7:42:07 PM1/2/92
to
In article <13...@oasys.dt.navy.mil> gold...@oasys.dt.navy.mil (Mark Goldberg) writes:
>In rec.photo, s...@craycos.com (Steve Gombosi) writes:
>>Gee, then why does a [Hasselblad] 500CM [body] cost LESS than an F4
>;-)? It's lighter, too...
>
>Realize that the 500CM is an old design.

Believe me I do...

>As it is sold, there is no prism
>viewfinder, no optics, no film back, no film holder, no meter, no internal
>electronics. Just a box with a mirror system, screen, and some mechanical
>systems.

Umm, actually not - you can buy a 500CM "Classic" (body, WLF, A12, 80mm
Planar, and they even throw in the strap(!)) for less than an F4 with
normal lens... The 500CM body is "officially" only sold as a part of this
package. Hassy doesn't price them separately any more (unlike the 503CX,
553ELX, and 205TCC bodies which *are* considered separate items). Many dealers
*do* sell the CM body by itself, after parting out the "Classic" outfits.

>Add a Hasselblad meter prism finder, film holder and back
>and you are probably beyond the cost of an F4.

Well, only if you *insist* on having the meter prism (which, to be honest,
I do) ;-).

With lens and back it's still several ounces lighter, too (the prism
however, is a hefty SOB...feels like it doubles the weight of the
camera).

The original poster asserted that:
more electronics == easier manufacturability == lower price.

IMHO, often the equation is more like
more electronics == more hype == soak the customer.

I'm not knocking Nikon or the F4 - I've had an F for 24 years (it's never
failed once) and it has produced wonderful pictures. I seriously considered
an F4. But to me the choice was pretty simple: choose something that will
occasionally make pictures *easier* or something that will often make them
*better* (specifically the larger format, although the lenses *are*
terrific). "Better" won. If I spent a lot of time shooting sporting events,
my answer might have been different.

Steve

Victor Tavernini

unread,
Jan 2, 1992, 2:04:34 PM1/2/92
to
>to imagine that there are people who can afford a *used* Hassleblad, let alone
>a new one - sob, sniff, drool :-)

Actually, used Hasselblad gear is very affordable, it's those damn Zeiss
lenses that get you ... I'm surprised that Tokina, Sigma, or Tamrom don't
make a few lenses for the system. I know that some people are going to say
that the only reason to buy Hassy gear is for the Zeiss lenses, but with
the larger negative area, there should be more lattitude for less than
perfect optics (as opposed to 35mm gear, that is). And with computer
designed optics, the Japanese are making better lens formulas than those
turn of the century Zeiss designs (well 30's, 40's, and 50's at least :-)

The 80/2.8 is cheap enough, but it would be nice to afford a 50 and 150
as well. A 500/C, A-12 back, and 80/2.8 is running around $900 used
these days, which isn't too bad ... But, to have to spend another $2000
to get a 50 and 150!?!?

Victor Tavernini
Racal-Datacom, Inc.

tave...@rd1.interlan.com

Steve Gombosi

unread,
Jan 2, 1992, 10:45:04 PM1/2/92
to

MEA CULPA!

In article <1992Jan3.0...@craycos.com> s...@craycos.com (Steve Gombosi) writes:
>In article <13...@oasys.dt.navy.mil> gold...@oasys.dt.navy.mil (Mark Goldberg) writes:
>>In rec.photo, s...@craycos.com (Steve Gombosi) writes:
>>>Gee, then why does a [Hasselblad] 500CM [body] cost LESS than an F4
>>;-)? It's lighter, too...
>>
>>Realize that the 500CM is an old design.
>
>Believe me I do...
>
>>As it is sold, there is no prism
>>viewfinder, no optics, no film back, no film holder, no meter, no internal
>>electronics. Just a box with a mirror system, screen, and some mechanical
>>systems.
>
>Umm, actually not - you can buy a 500CM "Classic" (body, WLF, A12, 80mm
>Planar, and they even throw in the strap(!)) for less than an F4 with
>normal lens... The 500CM body is "officially" only sold as a part of this
>package. Hassy doesn't price them separately any more (unlike the 503CX,
>553ELX, and 205TCC bodies which *are* considered separate items). Many dealers
>*do* sell the CM body by itself, after parting out the "Classic" outfits.
>

Well, I just checked prices (I haven't looked at F4 prices since I decided
NOT to buy one)...they seem to have dropped by a fair amount. It looks like
there's about a $200-400 difference in favor of the F4 these days. I stand
corrected...of course, I never imagined I would consider a $2000 camera
a bargain, either ;-).

I hear Samy's only wants ~$6500 for a TCC body...now THERE'S a bargain ;-)

Steve

Steve Gombosi

unread,
Jan 3, 1992, 1:27:58 AM1/3/92