There are plenty of crappy zooms about so why are you always going on
about phones for?
The picture quality of a modern phone probably exceeds a camera at a
similar price these days.
They tend to be restricted in software to be all auto and you have to
download a different app to get manual control if you want to.
In what way aren't they as good?
We know lenses come in a range of qualities, its only you that wants to
compare a £20 body cap lens with a £5k zoom so you can claim zooms are
You have no idea claiming zooms have the best lenses because they are
On Monday, 5 December 2016 16:47:44 UTC, dennis@home wrote:
Most people that's why zoom lens are sold as kit lenses with most camera.
you're the one claiming prime lenes are best is that why they put them in p
hones ? Prime lenes are cheaper lighter and easier to make than zooms.
No it doesn't.
Yes I know I have a few for my ipad.
Doesn't make them better than stand alone cameras for quality, might do for
convience and price.
fixed focal lengh and you can get dounugh shapes with bright out of focus l
ights and there;'s no diaphram on the majority so you can't stop down.
if they were that good they'd be more avaibable but they aren;t
I never said zooms were better they are mmopre convient and most peole cho
ose them over primes for the majority of uses .
Expensive prime telephoto lenses have lenses made of special glass
to make sure the red and blue end of the spectrum focus at the same
focal point. So they are 'something ultra special' and that costs
Look for the letter ED in an expensive prime TP lens.
People who know what they are doing and understand photography use
prime lenses because they are typically F1.8, F1.4, F1.2 and
even F1.0 for really loaded folks.
Do you understand the concept of depth of field and low light
Presumably anyone who wants to take photos will acquire (buy, borrow, be
given cast-off by a friend etc) a camera of some sort. Whether that camera
is one in a phone, or a compact or an SLR depends on many factors such as
what they intend to photograph, how interested they are in photography as an
end in itself, how much they can afford etc)
I would imagine that some people still learn in "their" car (I'm including a
friend's or relative's car) and are taught by friend/relative, but I imagine
that the proportion is gradually dwindling and that most now are taught by a
professional instructor and learn in his car, partly because there is a lot
of theory and best practice which a professional instructor will teach more
correctly than someone who has been driving for years but has slipped into
As for learning to drive only much more so: not least because few people can
afford to own and run their own plane. but they can afford to hire time in
I wonder how true that is. I really don't know, but I'd have thought that
someone who is sufficiently interested in learning about photography may
well already have a camera, and it may even be a bridge or SLR rather than a
compact or a phone/tablet camera (though thy may well have those too).
Fair question for a novice to ask. There is a temptation to think that a
longer zoom (even if it is digital) and a faster ISO setting is "best". An
instructor (and I'd include a shop assistant being asked those questions)
should be able to explain, briefly, why that is not always the case. We all
have to start learning somewhere.
To go back to driving as an analogy. Before I started to drive I thought
that a car was incredible powerful and that "if you are skilful enough you
can drive safely much faster than a poxy 30 limit". The first time I sat
behind the wheel and let the clutch up, I learned how easy it is to stall a
car engine. The first time I drove in snow I learned how long the stopping
distance of a car is on a poor surface. The first time I drove in heavy
traffic with lots of cars and people coming from different directions I
realised how much you have to take into account what "some other fool" might
do. It seems almost embarrassing to admit how naive I was. But we all have
to start learning somewhere, so naive questions like "why don't I just use
(direct) flash for all indoor photos" or "why don't I just turn my digital
camera's ISO up to 3200 for everything" (or "why don't I just use super-fast
800 ASA film") or "why don't I just use 40x digital zoom" (or "why don't I
just enlarge from a small part of the negative") are valid questions and are
part of the learning process.
Yes, you choose something that is good for learning with. Reasonably cheap
but with sufficient scope for learning, and therefore not too automated.
I suppose, using a car analogy, you might say that while it is best to learn
on a manual, you might learn a fair amount in an automatic which has manual
override (ie you still learn *when* to learn even if you don't learn *how*
to do so smoothly). That's roughly equivalent to using an SLR in A or S
mode, where the camera does *some* but not *all* the thinking for you. To
learn to drive properly, should you perhaps learn on a car that does not
have synchromesh, so you learn to judge exactly how to match the engine and
road speed. Or is that overkill? In the same way, how many or how few
labour-saving devices do you allow the student to use?
How much detail do you want?
At the first level, you choose how you will want to display the photos - do
you want prints or slides? Yes, you can make prints from slides (Cibachrome)
and I'm sure you can make slides from negatives, though that might be a
fairly involved process for an amateur to do. That's the first decision.
Do you want to take black and white or colour? B&W prints from colour
negatives ranged from appallingly muddy and low contrast (if you just expose
B&W paper from a colour neg - yes, I've tried that!) to fairly good if you
use proper filtration to compensate for the orange mask on the neg and for
the non-panchromatic sensitivity of normal B&W paper. I've even made
surprisingly good B&W prints from slides, by putting a slide in the enlarger
and making a B&W negative print, and then contact-printing onto more B&W
paper. But for most purposes, use B&W film for B&W prints - and also if you
want to do your own developing and printing (B&W is a lot more forgiving
than colour, and a lot cheaper).
So you've decided on neg/slide and B&W/colour.
Now film speed. That is influenced a lot by the subject and lighting
conditions. If you'll be taking pictures in low lighting and/or with a long
lens where shutter speed needs to be high to avoid camera shake, you'd opt
for a fast film. If fine detail and higher contrast are important, but light
will be plentiful, you'd go for a slower film.
Ah, another one: daylight or tungsten-balanced lighting. That's more
important with slides because the only way to compensate for tungsten
lighting on daylight film is a blue filter (or an amber one for the
converse) - and that may need a faster film because of the light loss. For
negatives you might be able to get away with using daylight film and no
filter even for tungsten - and let the printing stage correct for that.
Purists would probably have kittens at that statement, but you *may* be able
to get away with it. I'd need to do comparisons of same subject and
lighting, with and without blue filter, and trusting that the printing lab
really *did* fully correct the colour cast, before I could make a clear
decision on that.
Finally you choose the specific make/model of film. When I was doing B&W I
tended always to use Ilford film: FP4 (100) for normal photography, HP4
(400) if I needed the advantages of higher speed, and increased grain wasn't
going to be an issue. I'm not sure how I first plumped for Ilford rather
than Kodak or Agfa for B&W.
For colour prints, I tended to use Kodakcolor and its variants, though to be
honest I couldn't see much difference in the prints from unbranded film of
equivalent speed. Gut feel and snobbishness made me go for a proper brand.
For colour slides, it gets more interesting because there is less variation
and automatic correction that is out of your hands. I tended to find that
Kodachrome was best in situations which weren't *too* contrasty, and that
Ektachrome had a slightly higher latitude when there are bright highlights
and blacker shadows. But Ektachrome has a slight blue cast compared with
Kodachrome. Agfa slide film tends to give a warmer response that is a bit
more "homely" and less clinical than Kodachrome or (even more so)
Another factor is ease of processing: Kodachrome has to be sent away to
Kodak; Ektachrome (and maybe Agfa - can't remember about that) can be
developed by local photographic shops/labs so the turnaround time may be
So there are lots of factors in choosing a film, but it's very easy to be
lazy, particularly when you'll be taking pictures in lots of different
conditions where you want a good all-round film that is not too slow but not
too grainy - maybe FP4 for B&W, Kodacolor 100 or 200 for colour prints and
Ektachrome 200 for slides, as default (lazy!) settings.
But be prepared to experiment with other films where conditions dictate. One
thing I should have experimented with was weak colour filters on slide film
for slight colour correction - either sunlight versus shade, or Kodakchrome
versus Ektachrome, or for enhancing autumn or sunrise/sunset colours. But it
all costs money.
Digital has the advantage that you don't need to choose film based on prints
versus projection, and that once you've learned your camera's sensor you
know how much its exposure latitude is and whether you can trust its default
colour settings for sunlight, shade, tungsten, fluorescent (*), or whether
you need to apply your own correction. You still need to choose an
appropriate ISO setting to minimise noise without sacrificing DoF and
shutter speed. It's tempting to go for the highest ISO that produces good
results. Experimenting with my SLR, pictures at extremes of ISO seem to be
identical in terms of exposure, colour cast and contrast (ie using the same
metering mode, the image brightness/colour at 200 or 3200 ASA is the same).
But of course noise increases with ISO - otherwise we'd shoot everything at
3200 unless you want a very wide aperture and/or a very slow shutter speed.
So its a matter of working out what you can get away with. Can you hold the
camera steady enough to take the picture at a lower ISO? Do you have a
tripod that will allow it? Is on-camera direct flash a sufficiently good
alternative to a very slow shutter speed and ambient light? Artistically it
often isn't, but maybe for a quick record shot it's acceptable.
(*) Yes, I know there are many different types/colours of fluorescent tube
:-) Thanks goodness for being able to white-balance digital off a sheet of
paper for situations like that!
I fully agree. You need a camera that allows you to turn off those features,
which is why an SLR is better than an Instamatic or compact. And you will
probably learn even less with a mobile phone camera.
On my very first digital camera I'd probably have initially used whatever
the camera was set to, or maybe Auto-ISO or maybe something similar to the
speed of film I'd have used. And I'd have looked at the results and thought
"hmmm, maybe 3200 ASA isn't the best choice for a landscape where I want
fine detail" :-) But I'd have learned what worked and what didn't. The same
sort of things as I'd have experimented with in terms of film, with the big
advantage that I can see the results immediately and don't have to use a
whole roll of film to compare a low and high ISO. My choice of ISO would
probably have been influenced by what film I'd have used - transferring
knowledge that I'd already acquired because both film and digital have
shortcomings at high ISO, even if the effects are a bit different.
On Wednesday, 30 November 2016 15:46:11 UTC, NY wrote:
No the majoroty choose a smartphone as their default camera.
You do know that few buy music centres either now.
Exactly and someone paying money for a photography course will have a reaso
n to go on it rather than spend the money on beer.
Why would they go on a course have you ever asked them.
Is it really because they want to lknow how to use their phone ?
so NOT their choice of car then isnlt that the point.
Most learn on the basics, same with DIY the first tool, you give a child to
leanr DIY shouldn;t be an angle grinder, teach them how to use a file firs
And that proves my point . If you opt for learning to drive in an automatic
that deosn't make you proficiant to drive a manual car.
Can you work out why ?
A friend teaches photogrphy at a south london college presently she's use 5
0+ year old paper doing exibition on industrial design, she got 93% in her
degree the highest ever I think.
Most of those she teaches are 17+ university level students studying photog
raphy and digital media you do know why the two are seprate.
It;s loke her we have studetns stuying microwave engineering which is s bit
difernt from setting your oven to 100% for 5 mins.
Sane with electronics her teh studetns are also concerned with how the devi
ces work they need to know about N & P junctions, doping and diffenct chara
cteristics of semiconductors, TV repair guys don;t need to.
A TV repair course is quite different from an electronics course.
I really don't know, but I'd have thought that
You'd be suprurised. you'd think those interetsed in driving formula one wi
ll have their own F1 car too ?
> and it may even be a bridge or SLR rather than a
They may also have a hassblad with digital back doesn;t mean they know how
to use it.
Yes and you can't always leant by buying a camera designed to do everything
I can buy the same truffel oil as any chef but will my chips be taster than
As they say it;s not what you;'ve got it's what you can do with it.
And can you ?
You didn't read or know about that first ?
Even I know stopping distances are longer in poor weather.
I thought everyone knew that but maybe that's because I sit on busses witho
ut a smartphone to star at I look a observe.
The advert for an eastren european hair stylist always amusing me, been the
n for 6 months now, I do wonder if anyone else has even seen it. Same as th
e one for a waitress but that was only up a week.
best to not start learnign in alambourgini or other powerfull car for some
and how do you learn those....
So why wouldn't you choose 3200 ISO for all shots ? and why wouldn't you.
Most do for some reason don;t they.
So why do so few driving schools have such dual drive cars ?
I thought they called it T mode as in Time and aperature rather than speed
and aperature, helps stop confusion with film speed which people tend to un
derstand more easily than camera speed or sensor speed.
Camera speed tends to be the fastest shutter Time or perhaps shooting FPS.
I do worry when I asked them what 6X1 is and they get the calculator out.
I even did that to a lecture he was wrooied that his motors ws getting hot
so I asked some details I said that's 4W he said is it, I said but you're
a mathamatitian he said yes I am, I don't do arithamtic and laugted.
What's detail got to do with it ?
Have you ever been asked that Q or condidere4d it with a digital camera ?
Yes I used to do that lovely smell. I had my own darkroom well a section of
my bedroom sectioned off.
I did that when we taught photography at school level using FP4 part develo
ping it then removing the film from teh spool exposing it to light then put
tign it back in teh tanks, can;t remmenr the details but remmeber using sod
uim hypochlorate and potassium permanganet. (which I hear is good for ather
see sometimes you have to think before you take a p[hoto rathe rthan afterw
ards this proves the point about thinking before shooting, something that r
arly happens with degital because you can takes 100s of shots and they wonl
t cost you as penny. Doing the same with film would make you a crap photogr
and ceetainly not one that can make money.
you donlt need to bother with digital just keep snapping hopefully you'll g
et what you want or post process.
which you donlt need to think about with digital the camera sets what it ne
eds which might not be what you want.
Varies according to manufacturer. Nikon use S for Shutter prioirty, Canon
use T (or Tv) for shutter priority. I referred to "S" simply because my SLR
is Nikon so that's the notation I'm used to.
Sorry, I was ambiguous. I meant "how detailed to you want my answer to be",
not "how fine do you want the detail in the image".
Given that a digital camera has a fixed (non-interchangable) sensor, it's
not entirely relevant. The nearest equivalents are what pixel resolution you
choose (digital cameras can average a 2x2 or 3x3 square of pixels which
reduces noise but at the expense of drastically reducing the resolution -
roughly equivalent to taking a photo on 120 film versus on 16 mm Instamatic.
I was actually thinking of duplicating an existing negative to a positive
slide by contact printing or lens, with a suitable film for the job. But
yes, there's also taking photos on neg film and developing it as slides.
I've never tried it with FP4, but I know there are chemicals for doing it,
either exposing the film in its spiral to a light for a stated time or else
by using a chemical that achieves the same. I think Ektachrome uses one
method and Kodachrome the other, for colour slides.
I do remember being given a kit (film and chemicals) made by Agfa: a *very*
slow film (I think it might have been 16 ASA) and chemicals to develop it
and reverse it. My local photo shop had it as soon-to-expire stock and knew
I was interested. The results were rather dark, though I may have
over-developed it after reversal or under-developed before reversal. Fairly
contrasty and crisp, about the same tonal range as a print, but as a slide.
I never said that you shouldn't make as many decisions up-front as possible.
I was saying that sometimes with film you can change horses in mid-stream,
with difficulty or complications, and with digital you can *if you want*
make changes afterwards, though there's nothing wrong with making them
My digital camera produces subtly different photos if I set it to black and
white, as opposed to converting a colour image to B&W afterwards. However
there are a lot of settings that can be tweaked to increase contrast or to
vary the proportions of R, G and B that are used to generate the B&W image -
equivalent to putting a red filter over the lens to darken a blue sky.
You keep saying "digital sets what it wants", implying that all digital
cameras are always set to auto. OK, in a novice's hands, that may well be
true - and if the camera helps someone produce a reasonable picture, that's
a good thing. Maybe some of those people will be sufficiently encouraged to
take it to the next level and learn more.
But we're talking about people who have taken a conscious decision to learn
more about photography and so who can be trusted to turn off auto settings
because they are motivated to learn about photography and know that this is
best done on a manual /semi-auto camera.
Auto-ISO is great for getting the sharpest picture in low light without
having to remember to increase the ISO. It has its place when you just need
a quick picture, and when you might miss the opportunity if you have to
manually set ISO, aperture and shutter speed. But like every single auto
setting, you need to know when to turn it off and go for the slowest speed
that does the job (or the fastest that produces acceptable results, which is
the same thing seen from the opposite perspective).
Anyway, I've answered your question about the factors used in deciding on a
film. Yes, with digital there a fewer (but not zero) factors. You still need
to decide what ISO to use, based on the same criteria - how much light is
there and can you get the required aperture and shutter speed at this ISO or
do you need to increase. I tend to leave my camera set on 200 (its lowest
setting) for most daylight photography, and increase if indoors, at dusk etc
unless I have a static subject and a tripod. I don't use 3200 very much
because the noise does start to become noticeable. I remember finding it
useful when I was taking "action photos" of red squirrels at play in a
rather secluded clearing where I was lucky even at that speed to get 1/100
at my lens's widest aperture, which didn't really freeze the squirrels in
some shots and I got more camera shake than I'd have liked - why is it that
viewing hides make it so difficult to erect a tripod so you can actually see
through the lens from the seat provided? ;-( So I had to go handheld with
the lens braced on the bottom of the window frame which wasn't ideal. Maybe
I should have chosen a sunnier day, but that would have presented its own
problems with harsh tree/leaf shadows rather than the more diffuse light of
an overcast day.
I remember having to produce a series of comparison photos to show the use
of short shutter speed to capture movement and long to enhance the motion
blur, for a photo course. I chose a waterfall (OK, a bit of a cliche) and
found that the only place where I could get the right angle had a tree
branch in the foreground. For the short shutter speed I wound up the ISO to
3200, opened the lens right up and got a speed of something like 1/4000 sec
which captured water droplets coming off the water. And the branch was
nicely out of focus. But for the long exposure I had to stop the lens right
down to something silly like f32 (lens diffraction becomes significant) and
turn the ISO to the lowest possible. And still I could only manage 1/2 sec
and I'd like to have managed several seconds. Obviously I should have had a
neutral density filter (or even a polarising filter at a pinch - anything to
cut down the amount of light), but I didn't. But more important. the small
aperture had brought that stray foreground branch into reasonable focus so
it became intrusive. I remember commenting on this to the tutor and he
commiserated with me.
Ektachrome uses the E6 process which can be done at home. I believe
the colours are already in the film, whereas Kodachrome used the
K14 process, which had 14 complex stages, using rather environmentally
unfriendly chemicals that add the colours in. I believe you could
have processed Kodachrome using standard black and white chemicals
if you really wanted to.
Kodak no longer make the chemicals to process Kodachrome, so that's
On Wednesday, 30 November 2016 19:01:44 UTC, NY wrote:
Well as long as we realise that these things aren't written in stone.
which is key as you don't need to worry about that with film and when you d
o worry or rather the studetn worries it's easier for most to understand fi
lm and grain than ISO noise and pixel density.
Remmeber what photograhy is it;s isn't counting pixels it's not about teh p
rocessor speed of your computer or the amount of memeory you have or teh ca
rd speed it comes from the use of light check up where the word photography
came from it isn't to do with digital images.
if you want someone to get you a image then you don;t need a photogrpaher y
ou'll use a graphic illustrator or graphic artsist whi can get great images
wiothout even the use of a camera.
You don;t need to know about photography to do that, my dad used to have th
at done by taking his transparencies to ASDA. Photogrphy is about getting t
he orginal image as close to how you want the finsished artical as possible
There wasn't a stated time when I did it you just carried on exposing it t
o light for perhaps 5 miniutes didn't really matter and depended on the str
engh of the light source I used a photo flood bulb, and the film was remove
d from the spiral otherwise you'd get shadows across the frames.
With print reversal I remebr that being more crital with a few seconds to 1
0 second perhaps of switching on a white light while the print was developi
Photogrphy is about using teh light at the time, that's why you have jobs l
ike dorector of photogrphy in movies it's not really about the equipment.
And I';d say that is far easier to understand with fil,m using monochrome f
ile the students given a red yellow orange and perhaps a blue filter and to
dl to take a photo of say a field with sky.
Now explain why the clouds and foilage look so differnt depending on the fi
Try the same with a digital camera and the studetnas yuo say will start mes
sing with exposure and wonlt understand why or what they are doing until af
ter they get the result.
The basicas are more easily explained and taugh when the gimmicks or settig
n arent; abvailble or in the way.
Sure easy in a one on one situation by try that with 30 school kids that al
l have smartphones and you might understand.
The vast majority are and stay that way as few will understand why manual w
ill be perhaps a better choice
.OK, in a novice's hands, that may well be
That's what most beginners are and they are the sort of people that will ta
ke photogrphy courses at colleges, I doubt David Hamiltion would consider g
oign to his local college to learn photography, well his dead now but I dou
bt he would have gone.
Is it ? It certainly worked for the monkey, but is he a good photographer ?
(the monkey) surely it's better to know exactly what you are doing so you
can get more than one good shot during your life.
Maybe that's why people go on such courses then rather than read an instruc
tion manual, surely these manuals tell you how to operate they camera don;t
All my cameras have had such manuals.
Yes we are.
Why would they know that, how would they know the difernce between the sett
So why not leave it at maximuim for everything ?
Why not alsways buy the fastest film you can ?
I'm betting trh majoroty still use auto even when taking a picture of a chu
rch that has been there 100s of years so no worry about missing it.
My dad was like that but at least he knew about aperatures.
So in this situatioin with a digital camera you can set 1/4000 at f22 IS
With film you;'d have to think. 12,800 didnlt exist you;d havev to decide w
hether to open the aperature or increase shutter speed an inteligent decisi
on would need to be made bassed on what's at hand.
of course you could just wait for a better camera srt it to 1/16000 at f64
ISO 104,000 (I think that's my maxium) have you heard about the 4 million
ISO camera canon I think.
yuo donl;t with digital.
not with digital.
I leave it at auto unless I know manual will be best.
well there;s another thing try explaining that to a noob photographer and h
ow it relates to exposure time ISO aperature and even focal lenght of lens
I just use IS unless using a tripod.
here's an example of problems
using a 70-300mm canon lens
I;m filming the fox in my garden and want to take a still photo, the noise
alerts the fox. The 'noise' digital camera .
So you really need to know about you're equipment to make the best use of i
Those are things photographers think about and picture takers do not.
You can demonstarte this using pencil and paper you don;t need a digital ca
I've no waterfalls near me I guess I could use a student empting a bottle o
f water over thier head with the added bonus that it'd amuse me as well as
teach them something :)
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