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Old 6th April 2009, 09:01   #661
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NomadVagabond & StarScream, since 2008 I have upgraded two things in my camera kit. Since you guys are experts, let me know how you guys could have avoided the upgrade and yet overcome the problem.

1) I upgraded the dSLR body because my eariler dSLR body was not auto focusing at low light, had high noise at higher ISOs and no IS ability. In other words, low light photography was always a challenge with it and I love low-light photography. Check this low-light action photography with old equipment: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...lo-racing.html



2) I upgraded my walkaround lens from 14-54mm F/2.8-3.5 to 12-60mm F/2.8-4, which changed my effective max wide angle from 28mm to 24mm. I did this because I wanted to cover more without having to backing into walls or falling off cliffs. And it has really added lot more flexibility to my composition, especially in confined spaces. For example, this 24mm shot would have been impossible in even 28mm. The composition of the car and the overlooking hill with thorny bushes at my back.



Now tell me how you guys could have easily compensated for lowlight and wideangle challenges without upgrading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadVagabond View Post
Well, the largest photograph ever to be shot was shot using a pinhole camera. So, kindly don't underestimate the capabilities of such equipment.
C'mon, that is because it is the cheapest or the only way to build such a big camera. And not because it is the best camera.

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Originally Posted by NomadVagabond View Post
Many of the greatest photographers on date still use film instead of digital. Because they prefer to NOT that they can't afford or can't get their hands on the latest equipment.
They do that because they have found their comfort zone in film, it is not easy for older professionals to switch to digital one fine day and relearn their trade. In addition, professionals switch equipment only on need basis and not because newer stuff is cooler.

Last edited by Samurai : 6th April 2009 at 09:04.
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Old 6th April 2009, 11:08   #662
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Originally Posted by StarScream View Post
The tools work only when the person using them knows how to extract the best from them.



The only extreme analogy here is the pinhole camera one. I never said that a pro doesn't need top-of-the-line equipment. What I said was that he can make magic with equipment that may surprise us amateurs. Because apart from composition skills he understands the limitations of the equipment and how to use it best. I would still place my bet on the pro with the p&s compared with the novice with the Dslr.

Over the years I've had a chance to work with and learn from many pros - from fashion photographers to industrial photographers and photo journalists, big names all - one thing stood out: their general indifference when it came to equipment. They didn't always pick the latest and greatest, although they may own it, if a so-called inferior lens served the purpose better. And the results were always stunning.

This behavior made me a realize a couple of home truths:
#Amateurs fret and bother about equipment a lot more than pros do.
#Novices are prone to blame their equipment for their poor pictures, believing they would have done better if they had better equipment. This makes many who can afford it gear heads, and not necessarily better photographers.
#Things like lens tests are a waste of time because folks who make a living from photography bother more about getting the shot than what is used to get the shot.
#The best equipment in inexperienced hands will produce average photographs.
#Learning to see (beyond equipment and to the point where equipment become secondary) takes time, patience and perseverance.

Now, this may be true for the types of photographers I've dealt with. Two important exceptions where newer, faster, longer are better and second-best puts you at a disadvantage are wildlife and sports.
I could not agree with you better. Excellent write up. And like Anirban,
I was thinking of the same, I wanted to use some of your literature for my blog!!!! Of course it will be attributed to you!


Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadVagabond View Post
So very well said. It's all about the right combination of both things. The right person mated with the right tools of trade.



Well, the largest photograph ever to be shot was shot using a pinhole camera. So, kindly don't underestimate the capabilities of such equipment. Many of the greatest photographers on date still use film instead of digital. Because they prefer to NOT that they can't afford or can't get their hands on the latest equipment.

With all due respect to Rudra sir. It's his skills which makes him a better photographer. The equipment is merely a medium to convey his thoughts into images. Given a shot I'm very sure he can produce similar mind blowing photographs even with a simple P&S.



This is the exact mind though I have regarding photography. Before you need to perfect yourself then jump to get onto better equipment. In the classes I teach I've always suggested for learners to start with their kit lens and maybe a cheap 70-300 and learn the basics. Get good results out of them and then jump onto better equipment. I got great pics from the same lens so why can't others?

A monkey will always stay a monkey no matter he's given a Ferrari to drive and the output will always be bananas. You need a Schumi and a Ferrari together to win a GP. You miss either and you end up with crap.

@ Starscream. Can I print out the points you've listed out here? I'd like to share these with some of the chaps taking the class from me these days. Because many of them crib about their equipment a lot.

Regards,

Anirban.
Anirban, Yes its so very true that, when you can produce mind blowing results with limited equipment, your understanding of what matters and what doesnt matter increases. And you will know what kind of circumstances are best for your camera. That is so crucial before jumping to a better camera, you need to learn bicycling before you go buy a harley!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
NomadVagabond & StarScream, since 2008 I have upgraded two things in my camera kit. Since you guys are experts, let me know how you guys could have avoided the upgrade and yet overcome the problem.

1) I upgraded the dSLR body because my eariler dSLR body was not auto focusing at low light, had high noise at higher ISOs and no IS ability. In other words, low light photography was always a challenge with it and I love low-light photography. Check this low-light action photography with old equipment: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...lo-racing.html



2) I upgraded my walkaround lens from 14-54mm F/2.8-3.5 to 12-60mm F/2.8-4, which changed my effective max wide angle from 28mm to 24mm. I did this because I wanted to cover more without having to backing into walls or falling off cliffs. And it has really added lot more flexibility to my composition, especially in confined spaces. For example, this 24mm shot would have been impossible in even 28mm. The composition of the car and the overlooking hill with thorny bushes at my back.



Now tell me how you guys could have easily compensated for lowlight and wideangle challenges without upgrading.

C'mon, that is because it is the cheapest or the only way to build such a big camera. And not because it is the best camera.

They do that because they have found their comfort zone in film, it is not easy for older professionals to switch to digital one fine day and relearn their trade. In addition, professionals switch equipment only on need basis and not because newer stuff is cooler.
@Samurai
Yes, I agree with you regarding low light shooting. But before you learn to shoot in low light, where the lighting is so complicated, it is absolutely critical to know light, by clicking at places with a decent amount of light. And you can take some amazingly cool clicks there. But here, you are restricted as far as low light circumstances are concerned.

I would compensate this issue by not using this gear for this kind of photography rather will try to master and excel in other areas using the very same equipment and then later when I feel I have pushed my camera to its limits, ( which you would have, i am sure before you made an upgrade) I would go for an upgrade.


Now, regarding the wide angle lens. You can compensate by stitching together multiple shots seamlessly. These images are taken using my point and shoot. Yes it takes a little more time, but perfectly doable. I have produced many a wide image this way.

The DSLR Thread-3250632663_6b59a5e101_b.jpg

The DSLR Thread-3277330273_f2256ea868_b.jpg

The DSLR Thread-3270826167_1933cc4f53_b.jpg

And I appreciate that you deliberately put the might there..haha!

Regards,
TG.
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Old 6th April 2009, 11:29   #663
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Originally Posted by Torqueguru View Post
Now, regarding the wide angle lens. You can compensate by stitching together multiple shots seamlessly. These images are taken using my point and shoot. Yes it takes a little more time, but perfectly doable. I have produced many a wide image this way.
That's true only for shooting non-moving objects. The example I posted, it has people moving around. These days I heavily use the camera for offroad photography which involves lot of action and tight shooting spots, stitching is not an option.
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Old 6th April 2009, 11:40   #664
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@Samurai
Again, its application specific. You without doubt need a wider lens for that application. We were talking of general photography, i assumed.

PS: That ship was moving
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Old 6th April 2009, 13:39   #665
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Now tell me how you guys could have easily compensated for lowlight and wideangle challenges without upgrading.
I took this photograph 2yrs back when my understanding about photography was very limited. I just had my Canon 400D and the 18-55mm kit lens. With almost no knowledge about night photography I had just followed a basic advice which every expert tells one to use...i.e. use a tripod. Apart from that, My cheap 50mm 1.8 does stuffs which my more expensive 100-400mm fails to do in low light situations. Lenses are made according to certain needs and necessities. You can't place them on the same platform and think they'll perform just because of their quality or specs.

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
C'mon, that is because it is the cheapest or the only way to build such a big camera. And not because it is the best camera.
Well, the guys who did this definitely were not short of funds. Largest photographs in the world - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia It was made and conducted by one of their govt organizations, Which unlike our Indian agencies are never cash strapped.

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
They do that because they have found their comfort zone in film, it is not easy for older professionals to switch to digital one fine day and relearn their trade. In addition, professionals switch equipment only on need basis and not because newer stuff is cooler.
To comfort zone yes, for ease and relearning their trade no. The basics of photography stays the same no matter the medium. Professionals are still using film because digital still can't match the quality of film. It has done one thing like never before, and that is it brought down the costs of development of the photographs. And has allowed every tom dick and harry like me to get into it seriously. Otherwise IF I was shooting film I could've never have even shot the 45k odd frames I've shot on my SLR's till date. It just wasn't financially feasible for me. Ever wondered why movies are still made on film rather than on full digital???

One very famous Indian wildlife photographer who happens to be in the panel of Nat Geo once said that digital has made everyone a photographer these days. This is what digital has done. Not that film was not good enough. There were fantastic photographs shot before the digital era too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqueguru View Post
Anirban, Yes its so very true that, when you can produce mind blowing results with limited equipment, your understanding of what matters and what doesnt matter increases. And you will know what kind of circumstances are best for your camera. That is so crucial before jumping to a better camera, you need to learn bicycling before you go buy a harley!
Yes, Sir!! If one can learn to stretch that extra yard using basic crude equipment then they can do wonders with good ones. That's the idea. To get more perfection. Before getting a better car one should be capable enough to handle the car in a better way. Otherwise it'll just end up in accidents.

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PS: That ship was moving
Hahaha that was a lovely one.

Regards,

Anirban.
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Old 6th April 2009, 14:14   #666
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Originally Posted by NomadVagabond View Post
This is the exact mind though I have regarding photography. Before you need to perfect yourself then jump to get onto better equipment. In the classes I teach I've always suggested for learners to start with their kit lens and maybe a cheap 70-300 and learn the basics. Get good results out of them and then jump onto better equipment. I got great pics from the same lens so why can't others?

@ Starscream. Can I print out the points you've listed out here? I'd like to share these with some of the chaps taking the class from me these days. Because many of them crib about their equipment a lot.

Regards,
Anirban.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqueguru View Post
I could not agree with you better. Excellent write up. And like Anirban, I was thinking of the same, I wanted to use some of your literature for my blog!!!! Of course it will be attributed to you!

Anirban, Yes its so very true that, when you can produce mind blowing results with limited equipment, your understanding of what matters and what doesnt matter increases. And you will know what kind of circumstances are best for your camera. That is so crucial before jumping to a better camera, you need to learn bicycling before you go buy a harley!
NV and TG, please feel free to use my comments - I'm glad you liked them. Avoiding the equipment trap is difficult in photography. It requires real discipline and most beginners, who know no better, don't have it.

One other thing that contributes to slow learning is when people start off with zooms. The slow zooms that come with entry-level cameras, prevent a learner from developing a sense of composition and understanding depth of field. One should really only start using zooms after six months of practice with a prime. I wish I had done that and not fallen for the `kit' lens when I started out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
NomadVagabond & StarScream, since 2008 I have upgraded two things in my camera kit. Since you guys are experts, let me know how you guys could have avoided the upgrade and yet overcome the problem.

1) I upgraded the dSLR body because my eariler dSLR body was not auto focusing at low light, had high noise at higher ISOs and no IS ability. In other words, low light photography was always a challenge with it and I love low-light photography. Check this low-light action photography with old equipment: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...lo-racing.html

2) I upgraded my walkaround lens from 14-54mm F/2.8-3.5 to 12-60mm F/2.8-4, which changed my effective max wide angle from 28mm to 24mm. I did this because I wanted to cover more without having to backing into walls or falling off cliffs. And it has really added lot more flexibility to my composition, especially in confined spaces. For example, this 24mm shot would have been impossible in even 28mm. The composition of the car and the overlooking hill with thorny bushes at my back.

Now tell me how you guys could have easily compensated for lowlight and wideangle challenges without upgrading.
Sam, you've obviously been shooting for a while and reached the limit of what your equipment could do and hence needed to upgrade - that's valid. My point was that very often people start to feel that their equipment is inadequate without fully utilizing it or reaching its limit. I never said don't upgrade - just do it when you are ready.
And yes if the choice is between falling off a cliff and a lens, then please get the lens.

Last edited by StarScream : 6th April 2009 at 14:16.
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Old 6th April 2009, 14:45   #667
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Originally Posted by StarScream View Post
The only extreme analogy here is the pinhole camera one. I never said that a pro doesn't need top-of-the-line equipment. What I said was that he can make magic with equipment that may surprise us amateurs. Because apart from composition skills he understands the limitations of the equipment and how to use it best. I would still place my bet on the pro with the p&s compared with the novice with the Dslr.
Lets ask a pro to click a bird using 18-200 at 200mm and I click the same using 70-200 at the same, 200mm... who would fare better?
Limitations are sometimes just that and there is no way to overcome those and thats when you 'need' better equipment.

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Originally Posted by StarScream View Post
Over the years I've had a chance to work with and learn from many pros - from fashion photographers to industrial photographers and photo journalists, big names all - one thing stood out: their general indifference when it came to equipment. They didn't always pick the latest and greatest, although they may own it, if a so-called inferior lens served the purpose better. And the results were always stunning.
Care to elaborate, there are too many may's, didnt always in there. Too much ambiguity. The fact is most of the pro's own pro level equipment but offcouse they decide to buy them because their earlier equipment just wasnt good enough. For a pro equipment is always taken for granted. They wouldn't announce the equipment they used to click a particular shot but let the shot do the talking.
For example an 18-200 mm would be useless for bird photography and try as hard as you may, you wont get the same results as 70-200 L, let alone a higher spec lens.

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Originally Posted by StarScream View Post
This behavior made me a realize a couple of home truths:
#Amateurs fret and bother about equipment a lot more than pros do.
#Novices are prone to blame their equipment for their poor pictures, believing they would have done better if they had better equipment. This makes many who can afford it gear heads, and not necessarily better photographers.
#Things like lens tests are a waste of time because folks who make a living from photography bother more about getting the shot than what is used to get the shot.
#The best equipment in inexperienced hands will produce average photographs.
#Learning to see (beyond equipment and to the point where equipment become secondary) takes time, patience and perseverance.

Now, this may be true for the types of photographers I've dealt with. Two important exceptions where newer, faster, longer are better and second-best puts you at a disadvantage are wildlife and sports.
You are assuming things a few things here. Firstly, we have all started with a DSLR without working with the humble point and shoot and are now cribbing about the gear because we cant take good photographs. The fact: we have come from point and shoot after knowing their absolute limitations and now that we have found out the limitation of our current DSLR gear we have upgraded or in the process of upgrading.

Last edited by extreme_torque : 6th April 2009 at 14:47.
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Old 6th April 2009, 14:51   #668
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Now, regarding the wide angle lens. You can compensate by stitching together multiple shots seamlessly. These images are taken using my point and shoot. Yes it takes a little more time, but perfectly doable. I have produced many a wide image this way.
If you have seen shots from a wide angle lens, say 10-22 there is a particular perspective that the image comes with where your subject sort of zooms out. You just cant achieve the same by stiching.
Offcourse nothing is impossbile in photoshop but I am not the one to spend hours and hours sitting in front and editing to give my images 'that' look.
I am taking the liberty of posting a pic from my friend's camera to make clear what I mean by that perspective.
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Last edited by extreme_torque : 6th April 2009 at 14:55.
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Old 6th April 2009, 14:57   #669
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They do that because they have found their comfort zone in film, it is not easy for older professionals to switch to digital one fine day and relearn their trade.
I think it also has to do with the format. For large format and, to a lesser extent, medium format, digital alternatives have not evolved to the level where they can replace film for detail.
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Old 6th April 2009, 15:03   #670
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Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
If you have seen shots from a wide angle lens, say 10-22 there is a particular perspective that the image comes with where your subject sort of zooms out. You just cant achieve the same by stiching.
Offcourse nothing is impossbile in photoshop but I am not the one to spend hours and hours sitting in front and editing to give my images 'that' look.
I am taking the liberty of posting a pic from my friend's camera to make clear what I mean by that perspective.
Attachment 121300
@Extreme
See you are talking of certain very niche perpective given by a particular lens, I understand you perfectly. Photography has much more to it than a certain "look" achieved by using a particular lens. Good gear definitely matters for a pro, but to reach that level...the minimalistic approach works best. Thats all what my point is. Going for a DSLR when u are interested in photography, without using a basic digital cam may work , but going the other route helps you learn much more.

A person who has walked for miles will apreciate and also make better use of a car when he earns one. Its the same principle.

Peace out.

And yeah, when you are extremely passionate about anything, speding hours is like speding a few minutes. I go through it every single day. But again, time is valuable so is money and its always a trade off between the two when it comes to photography. And for the record, that shot effect, can be quite easily achieved in photoshop...hehe wanna bet? Great shot by the way,, loved it!

Last edited by Torqueguru : 6th April 2009 at 15:06.
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Old 6th April 2009, 15:10   #671
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@Extreme
See you are talking of certain very niche perpective given by a particular lens, I understand you perfectly. Photography has much more to it than a certain "look" achieved by using a particular lens. Good gear definitely matters for a pro, but to reach that level...the minimalistic approach works best. Thats all what my point is. Going for a DSLR when u are interested in photography, without using a basic digital cam may work , but going the other route helps you learn much more.

A person who has walked for miles will apreciate and also make better use of a car when he earns one. Its the same principle.

Peace out.

And yeah, when you are extremely passionate about anything, speding hours is like speding a few minutes. I go through it every single day. But again, time is valuable so is money and its always a trade off between the two when it comes to photography.
Niche or not.. I am just saying what if I want such a perspective?
Again the assumption you are taking is that we havent gone through the minimalistic approach before the upgrade. We have else I woulnt be able to justify myself spending 60k in India on a camera given that I dont earnt too much. :-)
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Old 6th April 2009, 15:19   #672
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You want it , go for it. Simple. But anyways you matter more than the camera! At the pro DSLR level, in each bracket, products have pros and cons, biggest differences are in the photographers who handle them. And thats where this whole awesome discussion began!!!! I didnt assume that we all didnt make a gradual route to DSLRs. I just said why, the camera doesnt matter by taking a few eg from point and shoot. There is always a work around to get sexy shots, and there too the man who clicks matters.

But ofcourse you cant catch a whale with a fishing rod.

Phew..nerve racking!!! Well, we can go on and on and on, about this. I am loving it!!!
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Old 6th April 2009, 15:26   #673
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Lets ask a pro to click a bird using 18-200 at 200mm and I click the same using 70-200 at the same, 200mm... who would fare better?
Limitations are sometimes just that and there is no way to overcome those and thats when you 'need' better equipment.

Extreme, thank you for bringing what became a general discussion about photography back to your pet peeve - the 18-200.
Why would you use an 18-200 to shoot birds? I said it is a great travel lens. Still, I'll take you up on that. Assuming you are shooting at equivalent apertures i.e. 5.6 and above, I would say the pro has a very good chance of getting the superior shot. One major factor in favor of the 18-200 is, being a lighter lens it's much easier to handle.

Care to elaborate, there are too many may's, didnt always in there. Too much ambiguity. The fact is most of the pro's own pro level equipment but offcouse they decide to buy them because their earlier equipment just wasnt good enough. For a pro equipment is always taken for granted. They wouldn't announce the equipment they used to click a particular shot but let the shot do the talking.

I will. I have seen people shoot a double-spead lead picture in a magazine with a $350 lens. The $1,100 pro lens sat in the bag because it was too heavy and cumbersome for use at that particular moment.

For example an 18-200 mm would be useless for bird photography and try as hard as you may, you wont get the same results as 70-200 L, let alone a higher spec lens.

Sigh...there we go back to the 18-200 and birds again. I give up - it is a lousy lens for shooting birds.

You are assuming things a few things here. Firstly, we have all started with a DSLR without working with the humble point and shoot and are now cribbing about the gear because we cant take good photographs. The fact: we have come from point and shoot after knowing their absolute limitations and now that we have found out the limitation of our current DSLR gear we have upgraded or in the process of upgrading.
Im sorry, there were no assumptions on my part. As I mentioned, those were home truths that I came to realize from my experiences. I really was not judging anyone else.
Incidentally, your assumptions about my assumptions couldn't be farther from the truth. Some of the best pictures I've taken were with a humble film Minolta p&s. Those pictures are what sparked my interest in photography. Things went downhill for me when I bought an SLR with a 35-80 kit zoom because I would spend more time fiddling with settings and lamenting about my inadequate lens. Later, I realized why my p&s pictures were good despite its limitations - it got out of the way and let me focus on composition.

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Old 6th April 2009, 15:43   #674
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There is another thing, shooting comfort. My first camera was a used Minolta SLR handed down by my uncle in 1989. It had a 50mm prime lens, manual focus, no TTL metering, no flash, and I don't think it even had a battery. So forget all automatic functions. But it had one life saver, DOF preview button, which when pressed would give the idea about exposure and DOF.

Initially it was so difficult to take photographs with it, eventually my brother and I figured how to shoot with it. Each shot had to be composed very carefully, first pick the F-stop, then the shutter speed, then slowly turn the dial to focus the object, press the DOF-preview button to see whether the exposure is acceptable, if not adjust F-stop and speed for better exposure, preview again and then click. Then I didn't have understanding of the zone-system, but if the scene was illuminated any closer to reality, it was acceptable. It took at least 30-60 seconds to shoot one frame.

When I bought my first new camera in 1993, the fixed lens SLR Olympus IS-3 DLX, it was like upgrading from Maruti 800 to Merc. It had AF, 35-180mm zoom, TTL metering, spot metering, the A, P, S, M and even macro shooting modes. This was my primary camera until 2001.

Olympus IS-3 DLX Reviews

Obviously the quality of my shots dramatically improved since I could focus on composition rather than fiddling with all the controls to get the right image. There was not much difference in my photography knowledge between these cameras, but the modern equipment let me focus on composition.

A old photo from the Olympus IS-3.

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Old 6th April 2009, 15:52   #675
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There is another thing, shooting comfort. My first camera was a used Minolta SLR handed down by my uncle in 1989. It had a 50mm prime lens, manual focus, no TTL metering, no flash, and I don't think it even had a battery. So forget all automatic functions. But it had one life saver, DOF preview button, which when pressed would give the idea about exposure and DOF.

Initially it was so difficult to take photographs with it, eventually my brother and I figured how to shoot with it. Each shot had to be composed very carefully, first pick the F-stop, then the shutter speed, then slowly turn the dial to focus the object, press the DOF-preview button to see whether the exposure is acceptable, if not adjust F-stop and speed for better exposure, preview again and then click. Then I didn't have understanding of the zone-system, but if the scene was illuminated any closer to reality, it was acceptable. It took at least 30-60 seconds to shoot one frame.

When I bought my first new camera in 1993, the fixed lens SLR Olympus IS-3 DLX, it was like upgrading from Maruti 800 to Merc. It had AF, 35-180mm zoom, TTL metering, spot metering, the A, P, S, M and even macro shooting modes. This was my primary camera until 2001.

Olympus IS-3 DLX Reviews

Obviously the quality of my shots dramatically improved since I could focus on composition rather than fiddling with all the controls to get the right image. There was not much difference in my photography knowledge between these cameras, but the modern equipment let me focus on composition.

A old photo from the Olympus IS-3.

Attachment 121412
@Samurai
Wow! I envy you for being born much earlier than me! That sounds like so much fun! Wealth of experience cannot be beaten!
Regards,
TG.
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