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    Anybody into photography as a hobby/interest here? Any general information and/or experiences?

    How costly is the hobby (generally speaking)? And any knowledge about the kind of suitable equipment etc, Please share.

    I dont do it as a hobby, but I love to take pictures... A good semi automatic camera will cost you anywhere from $300 to about a $1000. Good makes as usual tend to be Nikons, Canon and Minoltas.... Pick a camera that you feel comfortable with and also buy extra lenses for it if your are going to be shooting outdoors for close ups and for landscapes.... A good flash is good but only if you are using it for close subjects.

    Dont buy a fully automatic camera, unless all you wnat to do is point and click.. and learn to use all the features of the camera... thats what gives it its price tag and the good pictures....

    Start by just getting three or four rolls of 24 print films (about $10) and get a friend to pose for you in different conditions and locations and try taking pictures with all the different features of the camera. That will help you greatly apprecaite all the features o the camera in the quickest time possible..... if you are serious about learning about photography, keep a notepad along and with each shoot ouy take, write donw all the settings of the camera at that shoot. so when the pics come out you will be able to tell what feature did what.

    If you just want a quick access way to send friends pictures , you might wnat to think about gettinga digital camera ( about $400 to $1500) for good ones.. these will give you an instant pciture that you can look at an see if you want to keep and also are fairly easy to use...

    by the whatever camera you buy, get a tripod and make sure the camera has a timer... those are essentail things if you ever wnat to get your own picture taken along with everything else!!!...

    hope that helps, otherwise let me know and I will give you more info...


      How much you want to spend depends how interested you are, and what you plan on doing.
      My first camera was a $30 focus free point & shoot.
      Now I'm on my 4th SLR, and because I do a lot of sports photography, I need fast lenses (28-70mm & 70-200mm f2.8 lenses), so now the equipment I have is worth over $10k.

      But really the main thing you need to decide is what you want to do, how much control you want (ie. let the camera do the work, or control the exposure yourself), whether or not you want to make big blowups (lens sharpness becomes very important - I shoot with Canon EOS, so that's why I stick with their 'L' series lenses).

      You also have to consider if you want to get an autofocus camera/manual (personally I use AF a lot now - the technology now is excellent).

      The real decision that must be made now is wether you want to shoot 35mm, the new APS format, or digital (or you may even be interested in Medium/large format).

      By far the most versatile format has been 35mm (may change once digital technology improves). Personally, I think that 35mm is still the most versatile film format, but if you are looking at getting an automatic "point & shoot", you may want to go with the new APS or digital formats.

      There are a lot of options, but you need to know what kind of photography you are interested in, how much you want to learn (in terms of being able to control the exposure yourself), & how much you want to spend.

      If all your interested in is a point & shoot, you can get a very good one (35mm or APS), under $300 (Canadian dollers - which these days seems like $30US), a good SLR package can be bought between $500-$800 (can spend more or less depending on lenses and features you are looking for). Finally a decent digital camera is in the $750 range, but a good digital camera is around $2000.

      Personally, I think if you really want to get into photography, and learn about conrolling exposure, lighting & composition, I would suggest you go with an SLR. One of the nice things about SLR's is you don't have to buy everything at once, you can add or uprgade lenses/flashes, and eventually even bodies, if you become more interested.


        Dear Roman,

        I am also one of those amateurish photographers. I have an FM2 (20 year old) and a 25 year old Nikkormat, that I bought used for $110. There are lot of places in NYC you can get good used cameras. I personally like Nikons, and FM, FM2, FE, or F3 (mucho expensive), or most F series cameras. FM is fully manual, and the other can be overridden.

        I have a small B&W lab in my basement, but I havenít done any developing in a long while.

        I mostly use Ektachorme (slides) film and use Cibchrome paper if I want my slides to be printed. The only reason I take slides is because I do a lot of slide shows about my adventures.

        If you want Nikon equipment, I can give you some ideas. Let me know..


          Thanks so much guys! I'm sorry, I did not realize that I should have given some info on what kind of photography I am interested in.

          Basically, I want to take some black & white landscape pictures of objects. Pictures that can capture and represent different states of an object. For example, a vacant park bench looks different in winter compared to spring (does that make sense?)

          Now, for all practical purposes, consider me a complete novice to cameras, film, and development processes. However, I would assume that I would need extra lense to go with it. Won't I?

          Also, my understanding is that b & W or color aspect depends on the film, not on the camera so I assume that whatever I buy, I would still be able to use it take colored prints as well. It would just be a matter of using a differnt kind of film.

          Now, what's the difference between Fully automatic and semi-automatic? (is there a kind called semi automatic?).

          KhurramS, I liked your comment about upgrading etc. I would definitely want to do that.

          So considering the above, what do you guys suggest would be suitable? I definitely don't want anything worth $2000 at this point, but for a starter, I guess anything between the range of $300-$500 would do. Is that reasonable amount of money considering what I want to do? Also, if I were to go buy a camera, how much can I rely on the information the sales person would feed me?

          KhurramS, if it's not too much trouble, could you please explain a little what's the difference between 35mm, APS, and digital?

          Thanks again, guys.


            35 mm - the regular camera
            APS-- the Kodaks new format cameras which can shoot regular, tall or landscape pictures... the fils for this is grainer then the 35mm (that is poorer quality)

            Digital... does not use film... the pictures are digital and are generally stored on a smart card. Not as good as either of the above... if you are looking for a camera in this format... stick to more then 2 million Pixels for reasonably good quialty... would not suggest it for taking B&W pics.

            THe best bet if you want to start and do B & W is to get yourself Canon EOS or a Nikon F series... they are now a days semi-automatic... that is you get to choose the mode you want to shoot in ... whether you are picking the speed,1/f, etc manually or you want the manually or letting the camera do it...
            Generally they come with some sort of zoom capabilities and cot about $400, so for starters you should not really need anything..... and both B&W and color pictures come out great...

            Good Luck man and dont forget to post your results so that we may see as well


              Of the three formats you asked about, 35mm is the most versatile.
              In 35mm you can get an SLR (single lens reflex), with these cameras you can interchange lenses. You should consider which of the following features are interested in, before buying anything:
              -AUTOFOCUS - most new cameras all have option
              of using autofocus or manual, or you could
              by an old manual focus camera
              -Back when I shot with Pentax & Nikon, and
              the AF technology wasn't very fast, I did
              not use AF as much, now with the exception
              of when I'm shooting sports, I always use
              AF. I am partial to Canon EOS, they have
              one of the best AF systems - I love their
              eye-control focus (camera focuses where you
              look in the viewfinder)
              -BUILT IN FLASH (not as powerful as shoe mount, but if your mainly interested in landscape work, the built in flash will do, until you feel tyou want something more powerful)
              -EXPOSURE MODES (This is by far the most important feature), Modes to consider are:
              -Fully Automatic (camera sets exposure based
              on lighting conditions),
              -Picture modes (camera sets exposure based
              on settings you choose, ie. landscape,
              portrait, action)
              -Shutter priority, you set the shutter speed
              (duration of the exposure), and the camera
              sets the aperture (opening of the lens -
              controling the amount of light to hit the
              -Aperture Priority mode (VERY IMPORTANT FOR
              LANDSCAPES), This allows you to control the
              amount of light by adjusting the lens
              opening (f stops), as well as control the
              depth of field (the distance or range that
              is in focus. For example if you are taking
              a portrait, you want the main subject in
              sharp focus, but the back ground blurred or
              soft (You would open up the lens- f1.8-f4).
              However for landscape you usually want the
              entire scene (background/foreground/main
              subject sharp, so you would reduce the lens
              opening (smaller aperture-f8 to f22). The
              camera will choose the appropriate shutter
              speed (duration), based on the aperture you
              -Manual - you control both the shutter speed
              and the aperture - very important in harsh
              lighting conditions
              -Exposure compensation feature - you can
              select the aperture or shutter speed & also
              have the camera intentially over/under
              expose the scene because of large
              differences in the lighting conditions in
              a scene - this is also a very handy feature
              to have for landscape work.
              -LENSES - SLR's give you the option to use
              various lenses, of either a fixed focal
              length, or a zoom that provides a range
              of focal lengths.
              -I normally advise anyone starting out in
              photography to buy a fixed focal length
              lens (standard 50mm is best & cheapest
              to start out with). Reason being is that
              you have to pay more attention to
              composition with a fixed lenght, and
              it forces you to move around to get the
              best perspective of your subject, with
              a zoom, you tend to get lazy and just
              adjust the zoom to frame your subject,
              and that hinders your ability to develop
              an "eye".
              The other nice thing about the 50mm lens
              is that it's perspective (how much of a
              scene you see, best matches how the human
              eye sees something.
              However since your interested in landscape
              photography, you will NEED a wide angle
              lens, for this reason I would recommend
              you get either a fixed 28mm lens - which
              is a wide angle lens - allows you to frame
              a wider range. (however this will limit
              you in what you can take pictures of.
              So, your best bet is probably a 28-70mm
              zoom lens (allows you take wide angle
              shots at 28mm, and some closeups at 70mm.
              A 28-70mm lens is quite common now, and
              you should be able to get one fairly
              cheap, and probably can find one used as

              If you are interested in an SLR, I would recommend you get the EOS ELAN IIe or ELAN II (the IIe & II are identical, except that the IIe has eye control AF). This camera is a good camera that you can build on later (get more lenses & flash), without having to upgrade your camera. Canons new rebel not a bad buy, but if you get more interested, you may find that you want to upgrade your camera later on, and the downside with it, is that it does not have a metal mount (what the lens gets attached to, so it is not as strong, or durable as the ELan.

              On the other hand, a point & shoot 35mm camera has built in lens (fixed lenght or zoom), flash are all built in, it will have some program modes (ie. landscape, portrait, etc). but that is about all the control you have

              APS is the first new film format, that all of the film & camera manufactures have embraced, but the negative is a lot smaller than 35mm, more granier if you want to blow up prints, and I'm not sure what kind of options are available for black & white.

              And Digital cameras store prints in diskettes, memory cards, or in the camera, but image quality still needs to be improved, and the better ones are expensive.

              I would really make sure that you know what you want, and how much you are willing to spend before going to a store, because most camera salesman aren't much different than other electronics sales people - high pressure, just want to make any sale. Unless your buying an older used non-AF camera, I would not recommend you buy the camera used, but if you can get a used lense, go for it, because very little can go wrong with a lens, and you can try it out before hand.

              Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.


                Thanks a bunch guys! I definitely have enough info to get to the next step. 'Appreciate your help.


                  indeed very informative.. thankx for sharing, khurrum !
                  zameen tumhara kuch nahin bigar sakhtee, ger aasman say taluq pukhta ho....