[Ansteorra] Re: camera question

Paul Gilbert niklas at pbgilbert.net
Thu Mar 18 13:17:42 PST 2004


Ok, I am going to weigh in on this subject as I (for once) have some 
experience on the subject. (Professional newsphotographer from 1974 to 1994)

There are two ways you can go about this project.

Do you want to make prints (usually termed as big, presentation prints of 
11x14 or so) when you return home or are you taking snap shots for the 
record of journey and reference in the future.

If you want presentation, wall hanging style prints that you can show off 
on the wall or larger format photo album, then the only way to go is 35mm 

If you want snap shots of reference photos, then digital is a good way and 
print only the ones you want or store on a CD and use and pull as needed.

I prefer 35, but I am rather set and biased here due to my past experience 
with 35 vs digital. I have had little experience with digital. The cameras 
are not to my liking (until you get into the $3000 professional ones like 
the Nikon D100). I prefer 35mm.

So here are some suggestions from my aspect.....

In the 35mm:

Standardize on one type of film. I suggest ASA 400. There have been great 
strides in the grain structure design and quality of silver based films in 
the past 10 years and today's ASA 400 is grain wise, about equal to 1980's 
ASA 200 or so.

I am going to sound biased here, but use only Kodak films. Sorry bout that 
Fuji, Ilford and Agfa lovers....I learned the hard way too many times, till 
I just don't experiment any more.

As to 35mm cameras.....

Get a good one. My choice...Nikon. Been using them since 1972 with the 
Nikon F and F-2. Others to look at...Olympus, Canon. Thats about all I 
would consider. Minolta use to make good cameras, but they seem to have 
lost some of their quality IMHO.

Oh, and please do not buy it at Wal-Mart. Go to a real camera store or at 
least some place like Best-Buy that might have someone trained to help you.

Personally, I do not like zoom lens. Too slow for my taste (requires lots 
of light to use). But they are versatile. Don't bother with the 50 mm 
standard lens. Get a good 35mm, F2.8 or so as a standard lens. This is a 
mild wide angle, with minimum distortion of the edges (the leaning people 
effect). Personally, I like a 24mm, F2.0 or 18mm. But I'm weird.

Next, get either a fixed telephoto or a zoom lens that goes up to about 
135-150, maybe 180mm. The lower end can be in the 60-70mm range. Fast 
f-stop would be nice, like a 2.8, but speed costs $$. Get a good brand of 
lens also. Like the make of your camera or one of the major 3rd party like 
Vivitar, Tokina. Stay away from the prices that look too good to be true. 
They are usually made of old coke bottles and very soft on the resolution.

Now for a flash....get one that works with the camera through the lens 
flash system. Vivitar is hard to beat unless you get the brand of your camera.

Get a good camera bag. One that has plenty of room, but not too big. There 
is a fine line here and a good one will cost some money. But in the long 
run, it is worth it. I still have my old Domeke bag from 1984.

Other stuff to consider...tripod. Many choices here. be sure it is well 
made, light, but steady. Try before you buy.

Filters....UV Haze for the front of the lens for mainly protection of the 
lens. Maybe a polarizer for outdoors, but most people don't know how to use 
one right.

I have seen many good suggestions on carrying of your 35mm film. Above all, 
do not let them tell you it will not hurt it (the x-ray machines). Don't 
take the chance. Arrive early, make them hand check your camera and film. 
If the little security droid gives you any grief, just yell supervisor. If 
you ask they have to hand check it. It may take extra time, but what is the 
loss if it is ruined. I found this out the hard way once.

That pretty well covers 35mm.....

I am not as well versed in digital cameras. I suggest you get one if you 
are looking for snapshots stuff, storage of lots of picts, or use in an 
electronic manner.

Get at least a 3megapixel resolution. Get a major brand, like Sony, Nikon, 
Canon, Olympus, Kodak.

Get extra memory cards at the time of the purchase. It is doubtful you will 
have a way to download the cards. They too need to be protected from x-ray. 
They are not anywhere as sensitive, but it can happen.

A good zoom ratio, with close up capabilities is a must. Also, a built in 
flash is very nice. Just about any of the Sony's will do you right.

Well, that is quit a bit....hope it helps you or someone.

All the above is my humble opinion, of which your mileage will vary, some 
assembly is required and the batteries are not included.

And above all.....remember to load the freaking camera with film.

A camera is like a gun, you can't shoot anything with it unless it is loaded.

Have a nice day.....

In Service,

HE Niklas
Baron of Raven's Fort

> > Greetings to th list-
> >     So, I'm going to NYC in two weeks and plan on spending most of that
>time inside various museums and art galleries. I was having a camera and
>film discussion with my soon to be dead significant other about what camera
>would enable me to task good pictures of various objects behind glass
>display cases. Keep in mind that no flashes are allowed. The upshot of an
>utterly useless conversation was that he couldn't recommend a camera to me
>for various reasons the main one being that he felt one should try out a
>camera before purchase to see How its going to operate, how the shutters
>feel, where the astrological sign were in the sky when that particular
>camera was manufactured, etc.
> >          I also got an hour long lecture on shutters versus shutter speed,
>resolution and lenses, type of camera (digital vs. film) and all the
>weakness of the types. Did I mention he's a photo hobbyist. Did I mention
>that I considered reaching through the phone an pulling his heart out? My
>mother owns an Olympus stylus zoom 70 that she said I could borrow. Will
>this hack it? If it won't what do I need to looking for so that I can take
>good photos while I've got the opportunity to see this stuff?
> >
>          -Xanthe
>Ansteorra mailing list
>Ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Paul Gilbert,   KE5ZW                   H.E. Niklas Vasilevich,
Huntsville, Texas                       Baron of The Barony Raven's Fort
niklas at pbgilbert.net                    CSM, Crane, ORH, KGA , AoA
936-291-9532 home                               Kingdom of Ansteorra
936-714-3198 cellular                           Society for Creative 
                               AIM Name: KE5ZW

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