Real photographers don't use Program...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Steve Mack, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Best reply yet.
    I agree that fun is greatly overrated. An example, I likt to shoot at targets using mostly rifles from a benchrest, because it's fun to put all the bullets in one hole.Handloaded cartridges give highest accuracy and lowest cost. So, I segregate cases by batch and to be doubly sure, weight and dimension. I weigh each powder charge to one-twentieth of a grain. I shoot between heartbeats. I built my rifle on a 1941 Oberndorf Mauser action with a Unertl 'scope.Sometimes fun requires a bit of prep work, but most times greater investment returns greater rewards.
    As for program mode, it certainly has it's uses. Unfortunately none of my cameras has it, although one could say that a manual center-the-needle camera has all modes simultaneously.
     
  2. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I had to shoot a rock band one of my sons plays the bass guitar in, recently., the light was constantly changing disco-type lighting and was glad I had kept my Canon T90 I had thought about selling because it's my only camera with a programmed exposure facility and it coped very well indeed..
    Real photographers aren't exposure snobs, they use whatever they can to do the job.
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    you can say that again !
    and the photographs i have seen of yours
    ( unfortunately only their shadow in an online scan )
    it looks like you are a real photographer too !
     
  4. MartinCrabtree

    MartinCrabtree Member

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    Starting to sound like a bunch of Harley riders in here..........
     
  5. Old-N-Feeble

    Old-N-Feeble Subscriber

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    Harley Hogs and precision rifles. This thread is a far-left Liberal's nightmare. :smile:
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I mostly like the loud noise they make - guns, Harley’s, and

    Ha ha ha.
     
  7. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    Alright, guns and motorcycles! I have several of each. Anybody mention guitars yet? Guns, Motorcycles, and Guitars! And cameras of course! And Beer! Gotta have beer in there too!

    Y'all will excuse me, I'm joining this discussion late. 7 pages and 155 messages so far. And here's my take on Program with a bit of my history tossed in. My apologies about the length; I do tend to go on.

    I started out in a serious way in photography with a Canon AE-1. All I had exposure-automation wise was Shutter Priority. Shooting manual on that camera was a hassle because the meter did not indicate what aperture was selected on the lens, it indicated what it thought the aperture should be, based on the shutter speed selected. So, from the meter's standpoint there wasn't much difference between Shutter Priority and manual. About a year after I bought the AE-1, I bought an A-1. Why? Because it had a program mode, mostly. But also because it took a for-real motordrive, the MD MA. And when I first got it, that's how I used it -- in Program, that is -- but I also used SP quite a bit. I almost never used Aperture Priority, and I think the reason why not was partly the way you shot aperture priority on an A-1 and partly just plain ignorance.

    But not long after I bought the A-1, I began to realize that my knowledge pertaining to photography had been stunted because all that automation was hiding the process from me. Also, I was shooting slides already back then and I'd frequently get slides where the exposure was off and it was because of the way the A-1 (or any A-series Canon I found out later) meters a scene. I began to notice the exposure was off in some slides because of the lighting and I could see how it had fooled the meter. Anyway, as I was starting to think that maybe, just maybe, what I needed was less automation, I read a short article by Jason Schneider in Modern Photography magazine on the Canon FTb. This was back in early 1984, as best as I can recall. I was immediately impressed by that old classic, the FTb. It had this wonderful capability that I had heretofore never heard of -- mirror lock up. But once I read the description, I decided I had to have it. So I searched in an expanding circle from where I lived at the time (Bakersfield, California), and found one down in Torrance (the LA area) at Silvio's Photoworks. So I set out on a little road trip, probably 120-130 miles or so. Ended up buying an FTbn and an FL 35mm f/2.5, which later became my favorite 35mm lens.

    One of the very first things I discovered about the FTb was the way it meters a scene, and how it was vastly different from my A-series Canons. With the FTb, when you look through the viewfinder, you'll see a small, centrally located rectangle. About 12% of the image area. Metering occurs only within that 12% area rectangle. There could be a spotlight shining directly at the camera, but as long as it wasn't withing that 12% rectangle, it had no effect on the meter. I immediately began to see the advantage to this metering method. And my incorrectly exposed slides dropped to about zero, percentage wise. Any incorrectly exposed slides taken with the FTb were due entirely to operator error. Also, I immediately took to the metering tools used in that camera, specifically its match-needle metering. Simple, yet fool-proof. Not long after I bought the FTb, I learned that this other magnificent Canon that was no longer made, the original F-1, used the exact same metering method and metering tools. I decided I had to have one. But this time I wanted one not just for the meter, but because it was a system camera. I decided to attend the monthly show held in Buena Park, California, BIll Bagnall's Camera Expo, to see if I could locate a reasonably priced F-1 there. Well, I found one. In Texas parlance, it looked like it had been 'rode hard and put up wet' for most of its life. It was ugly, but everything worked. Best of all, it was only $150.

    At that point, armed with my F-1 and FTb, I had exactly the type of exposure system I needed and wanted. All notions and memories of a Program mode were slowly slipping away into desuetude. Shortly after buying the F-1, because I had also bought a Sigma 600mm f/8 mirror, I changed out its focusing screen to a plain matte one. Because a typical focusing screen's focusing aids are useless with slow lenses like mirrors, I learned how to shoot accurately with a plain matte screen. And those have been my preferences ever since --- what is now called "partial area metering," the "match needle" method, and a plain matte screen. Almost all of the cameras I own now that take interchangeable focusing screens, have installed in them plain matte screens.

    To this day, if a camera has Partial Area metering, that is the selection I use. Many can use a particular metering method with exposure automation, so with those cameras, I don't feel as if I'm losing anything when I shoot with the PA method and exposure automation. After I bought my first Nikon F3, I learned that its metering method differed from other Nikons at the time. Nikon had traditionally use a 60/40 method. You see a largish circle when you look through the viewfinder of one of those cameras. Take the FE or FM as examples. 60% of the metering occurs within that circle and 40% outside of it. This had been very useful, I found. But Nikon tightened things up a bit with the F3. It became an 80/20 arrangement on the F3. I can recall the first time I decided to use my F3 in Aperture Priority (the only auto setting on that camera). It was at an airshow, where sometimes exposure can be problematic. But all my slides came back perfectly exposed. So after that, I frequently used the F3 in AP. These days, film camera wise, I have only a few that offer partial area metering and a full Program mode: my Canon T90 and T70 and my Nikon F4 and N80. Do I use them in Program mode? Sometimes, yeah, I do. Since I know I can trust the way the scene is being metered, I can also comfortably rely on correct exposure when using a P setting on one of these cameras.

    It all boils down to one thing when using Program mode: trust. If I trust a camera to expose a scene properly in Program mode, I have no problem with using that level of automation. Since the 80s -- with Canon at least -- one has had the option of more than one Program mode. Take the T90 for instance. It has a few different ones that are biased in certain ways depending on the way the camera is being used. Faster shutter speeds for sports, for example, greater depth of field (ie,, smaller aperture) for landscapes, etc. But you know what? I still prefer the manual mode and I still prefer match needle metering. Some of my cameras offer the equivalent to match needle with the use of LEDs in the viewfinder. That's fine, as long as they're doing the same thing, function-wise. As long as it gets me where I want to go, I don't care particularly how I got there.
     
  8. bimmey

    bimmey Subscriber

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    You left out bacon.
     
  9. cooltouch

    cooltouch Member

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    :laugh::happy: Of course! Gotta have Bacon!
     
  10. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Can you please summarize this for us? An abstract would be appreciated.

    :smile:

    But I did pick out one point... the F3 metering. #metoo.
     
  11. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    Yeah, but how do you know that? You might just put the hole in the target with the first bullet and completely miss the target with the subsequent bullets!


    Just messin' with you E. :D
     
  12. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    I don't have a camera with a program mode, but if you do, and like program mode, I don't have any problem with your using it. The final image is more important than the mode you used to make it. Program, aperture priority, shutter speed priority, and manual all have their pluses and minuses. I can't remember the shutter speed and aperture I used for most of my images anyway, and I'm pretty sure no one really cares.
     
  13. The ones with talent do both. They help answer questions for those that need help.
     
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  15. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Subscriber

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    My daughter, Sam, pitched fast pitch softball in a Select league. In order to pitch at that level she took lessons once a week year round. She also practiced at least twice a week on top of that. Sam also took weekly batting lessons and occasional fielding lessons. It was fun but it was also a lot of work. Sometimes she didn't feel like practicing but she did it anyway to achieve her goals. She also had friends who played CYC and recreational ball who didn't practice at all besides the once a week team practice.

    Amateur Photography is the same. You can shoot just for fun or you can work hard at it to get better. There is nothing wrong with either approach.
     
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