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Help with new 35mm camera

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have been wanting to get into photography for a long time. I wanted to start cheap just incase I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. So I wanted to start with film. I recently purchased a Quantaray Dakota RZ-2000 35mm film camera. It has a 35 to 70mm lens with it. I am just wondering what what to do next. I know it isn't the best camera but it was cheap. I want to get some macro stuff. I really want to do black and white, and a lot of like "street photography". Any tips? Advice? Stuff to buy? Thanks.
post #2 of 22
Get a good tripod if you don't have one already. I like using a red filter, as I find that it gives a nice boost to contrast. What film do you plan to use?

Do you have access to a darkroom or are you going to just get your stuff printed as is? What about paper choice?

A big thing is to understand how shutter speed and aperture interact, and when to use a certain combination of each for whatever shot you're trying to get (e.g., large aperture for shallow depth of field, etc.)

I love black and white film photography. If only I had the time to develop and go to a local darkroom for printing..
post #3 of 22
If you know your camera by heart now, don't switch. A tripod is handy indeed and find one or two lenses with F1.8/2.8 say, 50mm or whatever that are easy to use and deliver great optics. Just play with the settings and accessories.

After a while you'll get a feel for it and really start to appreciate the film magic. If it doesn't work out you can always ask around and go further from there.
post #4 of 22
What would happen if you put another lens over your existing non-detachable camera lens?
post #5 of 22
Depends what type of lens it is.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by unl3a5h3d View Post
I wanted to start cheap
Looks like you did that (but don't worry, you can get excellent results from your camera, no need to spend more money on gear at this point).
Quote:
Originally Posted by unl3a5h3d View Post
I am just wondering what what to do next...stuff to buy?
Start with some film? You say you are interested in B&W but I'm guessing no access to a darkroom to process your film? A suggestion: Try Ilford XP2 film or Kodak 400CN, these are C41 process films you can get processed at any minilab that does colour film BUT they are B&W film, you will get B&W 4x6 proof prints back and have negs you can later print larger if you want to (or scan).
I'd also look for a course in your area, something like this for example:
School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa
I have a few "street" shots in this gallery:
People, Places Photo Gallery by MonoNation at pbase.com

For close up work you can get an lens tube or close up accessory lens (screws onto the front of the lens) to let you focus closer.

The "Head-Fi" of film photography BTW is www.apug.org

Good luck!
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Wow thanks for all of the replies. I have some film that my mom used in an old point and shoot type 35mm, not SLR. I plan to use a few rolls of that to just get the feel and then use better quality film when I think I know what I am doing.

I have a nice tripod so that is no big deal. And I plan to have Walmart, or Walgreens to do the processing and all of that for now. But can I get digital copies of the photos from one of those places when I get the film developed?

And I was looking at some macro things that go on the end of the lens but I don't know if I should get them, what do you think? Are they worth it?

Amazon.com: Digital Concepts +1 +2 +4 +10 Close-Up Macro Filter Set with Pouch (58mm): Camera & Photo
post #8 of 22
Use a half wet digital process. Use a scanner that can scan 35mm negatives and learning how to process your own black and white film will decrease the costs shooting film substantially. Personally I wouldn't use colored filters with an SLR until your comfortable with shooting with it. I find it a little disconcerting to see everything in red or yellow.

I suggest sticking to one brand/type of film like Fuji Neopan or the Arista brand from Freestyle Photographic Supplies - Traditional Black & White Film, Paper, Chemicals, Holgas and ULF

Check youtube for video's on developing b+w yourself. Its actually pretty easy once you get the steps down.

Stick to one type of developer until you get the hang of it. I suggest classic Kodak D-76 or Agfa Rodinal. They are cheap, lasts forever, and a tiny bit goes a long way.

Ditch the 35-70 and get a fast prime for street photography. Go with a 50mm or a 35mm, your camera uses Pentax k mount lenses which can be hand for next to nothing from ebay. Find a nice 50mm or 35mm F1.4 or f1.7

Join flickr and ask a lot of questions.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have a Flickr lol. But I was top bidder on a 50mm lens but I ended up loosing because I was at school and couldn't bid.

How is that Macro thing I posted? Is it worth buying?
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by unl3a5h3d View Post
...And I plan to have Walmart, or Walgreens to do the processing and all of that for now. But can I get digital copies of the photos from one of those places when I get the film developed? ]
Usually you can, ask them to scan them to CD. They won't usually be the best quality but you'll have the negs and you can go back and re-scan later if you want to and decide to buy a good scanner for home use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unl3a5h3d View Post
And I was looking at some macro things that go on the end of the lens but I don't know if I should get them, what do you think? Are they worth it?

Amazon.com: Digital Concepts +1 +2 +4 +10 Close-Up Macro Filter Set with Pouch (58mm): Camera & Photo
These screw onto the front of your lens, they will work, for the price the quality may not be the finest but the main thing to check is that they will fit. The diameter of the threads on your lens will be marked somewhere on it in mm, this needs to match the screw-in lens thread diameter (58mm in this case).
post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 
Okay thanks for the heads up on the size. I knew there was a difference but I didn't even pay attention. How much would a decent scanner for negs cost me?
post #12 of 22
Send your film in to be processed and they will digitize it for you. Decent film scanners aren't cheap.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
How much not cheap? Like $200+ or $500+ or what?
post #14 of 22
If you can't develop your b&w film yourself, don't do it. It is hard to find a shop to do it nowadays and they also charge through the roof. sigh.

For film scanner, a decent one used to be the Nikon coolscan around 600 bucks or so, but even they are not making it anymore. Plustek seems to offer some selections but i am not that excited after reading the reviews.

I don't know how cheap is your camera, but you could have ebayed a nikon or canon film body for very little and some old lenses and you are probably better off that way because you will have more choices when you want to add stuff or move on.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by unl3a5h3d View Post
I have been wanting to get into photography for a long time. I wanted to start cheap just incase I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. So I wanted to start with film. I recently purchased a Quantaray Dakota RZ-2000 35mm film camera. It has a 35 to 70mm lens with it. I am just wondering what what to do next. I know it isn't the best camera but it was cheap. I want to get some macro stuff. I really want to do black and white, and a lot of like "street photography". Any tips? Advice? Stuff to buy? Thanks.
I'll be the contrarian. Buy a decent digital SLR (used?), because it sounds like your main interest in film is to look "gritty" and "photojournalistic" on the cheap. Film isn't cheap, especially nowadays. As others have posted, unless you know what you want, film can be frustrating. And even when you know what you want, and get a camera body for free, it usually ends up being more expensive than a digital setup once you start making photos.

The truth is, until you achieve a base level of skill as a photographer, a digital workflow will give you more flexibility, more cheaply, than film. To learn photography, you must take many photos. Film isn't terribly expensive, but decent processing is.

Film is awesome. But I don't think it is as accessible as digital photography, today.
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