Help with camera choice to get back into photography

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Jheath0015, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. Jheath0015

    Jheath0015 Member

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    When I was in high school photography class (15 years ago) I was using my mother’s Minolta freedom 35af. Just a simple point a click but I thought the photos I developed turned out quite well. Good enough I sold some prints. I’m now wanting to start taking pictures again. I am having a hard time choosing a rig for this. I am wanting to stick with point and click for now at least for simplicity and that it’s all I know how to use. SLR’s are more than I want to deal with at the moment. My choices from research are the Minolta Hi-Matic af2/af2m, Nikon L35AF, or Canon AF35M/L. I have been leaning towards the Minolta but just because I’ve used a Minolta before. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also to note is my wife has an Olympus OM-10 with several lenses in storage. Since it’s an SLR I would prefer the others but, if it still works should I stick with that?
     
  2. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Welcome to APUG :smile:! Are you planning to use color film, or B&W? Do you have wish to develop prints (by yourself), or scanning only?

    About the camera choice - I would avoid cameras that don't have all manual option settings available (manual focus, shutter speed and f stop). Today film cameras are so cheap - ones top models you get for practically nothing.
    Fastest way is to find somebody near by - and he/she can give you many tips in live, it will save you time, money and nerves.
     
  3. OP
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    Jheath0015

    Jheath0015 Member

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    80% black and white. I am just unfamiliar with all the manual controls. No idea how to use them. Manual focus I suppose is simple enough but the others not so sure. As to development, I haven’t developed since I took my class 15 years ago so I would probably just have them scanned for now until I see how much better I can get. So the camera choices I made aren’t good? I’m also assuming you’re saying my wife’s Olympus would be the better choice if it’s still in good working order.
     
  4. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    I would recommend SLR that has automatic program mode, and manual control. So in the begin you can use program mode, and later you can also learn/use manual modes (and you will need them).

    Nikon F80/N80 (or any similar auto focus Nikon like F70, F801, N90 ...), with cheap 28-80mm AF-D, or nikkor 50mm f1.8 AF-D is my suggestion to you.
     
  5. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    Since you already have at home an Olympus OM-10 and a set of lenses, in my opinion it makes no sense that you buy anything else. The OM-10 has automatic exposure, so all you need to do is to learn how to focus, which is not difficult at all with such an advanced camera.

    Should you definitely want to go back to a point-and-shoot instead, just to get reacquainted with film photography, I suggest to invest only few bucks in that purchase, as it's really a waste of money. Most used cameras shop that I know would be glad to get rid of point-and-shoots for few dimes, they probably thrashed them by the hundreds in the past decade. By the way I also have at home a point-and-shoot which was my sister's (a Minolta, coincidentally) that I would very gladly give you for free, had you only lived in Europe!
     
  6. WilmarcoImaging

    WilmarcoImaging Member

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    Agree that using the OM-10 makes sense, especially if it has auto exposure capability.
     
  7. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    the OM10 is a great choice and an SLR is the way to go; you will start to love it soon and never look back.
     
  8. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Manual controls are very simple. Shutter, the speeds are actually fractions of a second; "1" is 1/1 or one second, "30" is 1/30 of a second, and so on. Aperture is a ratio of the focal length of the lens to the diameter of the aperture; f:2 means the aperture is one-half the focal length. Aperture controls the intensity of the light reaching the film, since intensity is determined by the area of the aperture, which is calculated by pi times the square of the radius, f stops progress 1, 1.4, 2, 2.8 and so on. So, shutter speeds determine duration, aperture determines intensity. Each step in either shutter speed or aperture represents a halving or a doubling of duration or intensity, that is f:2 allows twice the intensty of f:2.8, and a shutter speed of 30 allows twice the duration of a shutter speed of 60. Focus on an slr is even simpler, fuzzy = out of focus, sharp = in focus.
    As for cameras, older p&s cameras were built to a price point and may have reliability issues. I was recently given a Minolta AF-2, and although it works properly and has a nice lens, I don't know how much to depend on it - it's 35 plus years old and not worth spending money on servicing. You might be best off with a basic slr that has auto as well as full manual modes.
     
  9. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Auto exposure is all it has, you need a fiddly adapter to set shutter speeds manually. Also, Olympus electronics are not inspiring of confidence.
     
  10. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    I recommend buying an OM-1, will give you a 2 body kit, the OM-1 is of course all manual, with just a little research you will be able to figure out exposure and how to use shutter speed and aperture.
     
  11. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Except that the OM 1 uses an obsolete cell for the meter, and as an older camera will likely need a CLA, it's a good choice. reliable, easy to understand and use metering system, good lenses which the OP already had access to. Based on past experience the OM 1 is the only Olympus I have confidence in due to the dubious electronics in the OM 2, 3 and 4.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  12. Ces1um

    Ces1um Subscriber

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    Point and shoots are nice because of their simplicity. That being said, you'll outgrow it quickly as manual controls are actually very easy to learn and offer more creative control. You could buy a point and shoot but it likely will end up being replaced in short order as you discover certain "looks" that you want to go for that your point and shoot cannot achieve. I'd buy an slr that just has an automatic mode that you can rely on initially as you learn how to use manual mode. It'll save you money and time in the long run. As far as point and shoots go though, you can't really go wrong on any of them. They all pretty much function the same. Just make sure it's in working order without corroded battery terminals.
     
  13. Wallendo

    Wallendo Subscriber

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    If you enjoyed your mother's Minolta Freedom 35AF, why not just get one of those? There are tons of those available for $10-15 on eBay. Once the film bug strikes (and you experience the limitations of a point-and-shoot), you can take the time to learn the OM-10.

    Film photography is a journey, not a destination.
     
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  15. wjlapier

    wjlapier Subscriber

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    The point and shoot I'd recommend would be an Olympus mju zoom 140--I use one. Another I have is Fujifilm Zoom Date f/2.8 which takes great photos too.
     
  16. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    I'm not familiar with the OM-10 so I looked it up. The OM-10 is an aperture priority camera only. This means that you pick a lens aperture (opening) and the camera picks the shutter speed. With a normal lens (50mm) you can handhold the camera down to 1/60th of a second. You may be able to pull off 1/30th if you are real steady or leaning against a tree or something. So pick an aperture and check the meter to make sure you are shooting at 1/60th of a second or faster and you are good to go.

    The faster the shutter speed the better you can stop action. The slower the shutter speed the more you blur the subject. Ever seen a photograph of water flowing where it looks like fog? It's because the photographer used a slow shutter speed.

    The smaller the aperture the more depth of field you have. The larger the aperture the less depth of field you have. Ever seen a photograph where the background is blurred behind a pretty girl. The photographer used a large aperture.

    On a fully manual camera like my daughter's OM-1 you control both shutter speed and lens aperture. When you change one you have to change the other to compensate. Otherwise you will get a photograph that is either under or over exposed depending upon what you did. On your wife's OM-10 all you have to do is pick the aperture and the camera picks the correct shutter speed.

    I started out with a camera just like yours except mine said Canon on it instead of Olympus. After I learned what I was doing I sold the camera and bought one that had full manual controls. Since you have lenses for the OM-10 just learn on that and later buy an Olympus that has full manual control later. That way you can use the same lenses.

    I know what I wrote sounds complicated but me and the rest of the us on the forum were in your position at one time. We all learned. It's not hard at all really. I mean, we learned! :D

    What I would do is go on eBay and buy yourself a cheap used instructional photography book for 35mm photography. The book will have plenty of pictures in it to help show you what it is telling you.

    Most of all, have fun! Welcome to the forum.
     
  17. 4season

    4season Member

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    IMO, although there are well-meaning suggestions here, the most important thing is simply to start taking pictures again! Looks like you are choosing non-zoom cameras, and I think those will give great results: The L35AF certain does, though it's a bit of a collectable these days.
     
  18. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    The best camera ever made is the one that fits into your hands comfortably, its controls are easy for you to operate, and makes pictures that suit you.
    All the p&s cameras you listed are good but if you've got the Olympus as an option go for it.
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi OP
    might as well use the OM10 your wife has in storage
    it just needs a battery no doubt .. ez to find locally or on amazon..
    its a great camera, some might suggest it has a cult of users
    https://www.photrio.com/forum/groups/the-olympus-om-cult.38/group
    ive never heard of anyone who didn't like their om10 ...
    im guesing if like using it and want additional lenses
    they are a-plenty on e-bay.
    and the camera is not so old that
    a well oiled repair man/woman can't get parts
    or overhaul or reseal the camera when the time comes...
    have fun!
    ( and welcome to photrio )
    john
     
  20. Sophist

    Sophist Member

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    I think the OM-10 is probably a good idea; I wouldn't worry too much about it being aperture-priority only, I took some pretty good shots with my Contax G1 back in the day. In Fact, "special situations" aside, I find that I generally do "manual aperture priority" on fully manual cameras, since in most (static) situations the aperture has more effect on the outcome of the photo than the shutter speed.
     
  21. OP
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    Jheath0015

    Jheath0015 Member

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    My wife just pulled out the OM-10 and it’s in great shape. She’s the second owner and it hasn’t seen too much use. Just gotta take it to a shop and have it thoroughly cleaned and fixed if anything is wrong with it. Probably just gonna go with it. It has the manual control apparatus that you can attach already on it. Has the flash, a filter, original lense, and a longer one as well. Will probably make a great camera once I get it looked at and learn it.
     
  22. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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  23. OP
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    Jheath0015

    Jheath0015 Member

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    Also, is there anything I should know about the price of repair and cleaning? I’ve looked up a little and it seems quite pricey. Worth it?
     
  24. colin wells

    colin wells Member

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    The OM10 was a consumer level Olympus (one of the also rans ) and they ether work or not i personally wouldnt spend any money on it but it is still a good camera .Put some new batteries and a film in and get clicking .Good luck
     
  25. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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    Open the camera back and inspect the foam seals around the back opening. If they are hard or gooey they need to be replaced, a fairly easy DIY job.
    Check the lens for smooth aperture operation and focus movement, the glass for being clean. I prefer heavyweight microfiber lens cleaning cloths but lens tissue used correctly is fine.
    Operate the film advance lever with the back open, batteries installed, and camera turned on. The advance lever should operate smoothly, the takeup spool should turn smoothly, and the shutter fires. Select manual operation and put the shutter on 1 for 1 second to see the curtains move, test against a clock second hand for correct timing.
    If these check are good then load some and go shoot it, process it and if the exposures are good use it until a problem arises.

    Download an instruction manual here: http://www.butkus.org/chinon/olympus.htm
    if you need one.
     
  26. OP
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    Jheath0015

    Jheath0015 Member

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    I completely understand about the cost of repair vs buying another one. I suppose that, even though the camera just came into my possession, it has sentimental value because it was my wife’s. So regardless I would choose to repair anything that’s wrong as opposed to getting another one at this point. I’m sure that if my skills get better I would probably look into a better camera but for now I figure this one is perfect for what I’m looking for. Best of all I already own it and know it’s in good shape cosmetically. Plus I doubt there is too much wrong with it. Just need it inspected, cleaned thoutoughly, and repaired if needed.