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05-14-2020, 03:12 AM - 2 Likes   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
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I currently own no modern auto-focus lenses. All of my lenses are film-era, manual-focus, primes from the last century. While I can afford the latest and greatest auto focus lenses, I still prefer to shoot manual-focus lenses. I'm an old guy who grew up manual focusing. Heck, I used to shoot birds in flight with manual focusing lenses.

I prefer the build, tactile feedback when focusing, the ruggedness, the bokeh, and the overall rendering of older manual-focus prime lenses. Also, it doesn't hurt that many fine old manual focus lenses are inexpensive. I use live-view with a 3X Zacuto viewfinder and actually nail focus with my manual focus lenses more often than I did when I had auto-focus lenses.

I have way too many 2005 - 2012 era digital camera bodies and was thinking of giving some of them with a few of my lesser used manual focus lenses to my grand-kids. They all have smartphones and sometimes use their built-in smartphone cameras.

I'm searching for something to tell them that would motivate them to want to give a real camera with a manual focus lens a serious try. While many real cameras have huge megapixels, the bodies I'm giving them will have only 10 - 14 megapixels (comparable to the resolution of their phones) - so increased resolution from a real camera isn't an incentive. Their smartphones can produce pseudo out of focus blurs, so I don't expect they'd get very excited about using fast manual focus lenses on a real camera to produce nice bokeh. Their smartphones are lighter, always with them, and smartphone photos can be immediately posted to the Internet without wasting time with post processing (these young people don't even have access to a laptop or a desktop computer).

So, why do you think a newer photographer would want to give a real camera with a manual focus lens a try? What short "elevator speech" would you tell a young smartphone generation person that might get them to give a real camera and manual focus lens a try?
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I gave my daughter my K-5 and bunch of lenses I never use. She loves it! We've even gone out looking for stuff to shoot together. It's great to expose the younger generation(s) to "our" technology. Sometimes, they really grow to love it.

05-14-2020, 10:01 AM   #32
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Might I remind you, that a modern cellphone has a way better image quality then your old DSLR? And their automatic postprocessing gives way better results then I can achiev with a RAW converter (the fault is on my side). I think giving modern cellphone photographers a K-x will end in desaster. Mediocre results with great efford they will think.

If you want to share your passion with your grandchilds I would suggest to go one of these ways.
Show them how they can do better pictures with their cellphones. Composition is the key to good pictures, not technical equipment.
Go for a walk and take pictures together with them. Use a cellphone or a compact camera as well. Make a contest who does the best pictures.
Give them a real vintage camera and a film roll. Giving a Cosina CT-1 to my son (age of 16) worked for five minutes, which is quite good.

If they show deeper interest, lend them your best equipment for a day.

Just my 2 cents.

EDIT: Shooting portraits of them with their cellphones and your equipment for their facebook accounts might be a good way as well.
05-14-2020, 11:59 AM - 3 Likes   #33
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I was fascinated by my Grandfather's collection of cameras. He was a 'mid-century techie'. His home office was stuffed with "cool' things like a McIntosh Tube Amplifier, Garrard Turntable, Pioneer Speakers and a Bookshelf dedicated to his cameras; an old Rolleiflex, !930's era Leicas, Minox spy cameras, Nikon/Nikkormats, lenses, film cannisters, Polaroid Bellows cameras, Bell & Howell slide cannisters, Kodak 8mm film cameras, GAF projectors, et al.
It was a Disneyland of neat flashing and clicking and shapes. It was the past, future and present all in one.

When I was 8 years old, my Grandfather took me to the original Willoughby's on in New York City and bought me my first camera and taught me to use it. This created a life long love affair with the medium. In the early 2000's, I became enthralled with Pentax, starting with their early digital offerings and now have 5 Pentaxes, plus 6 Leicas, an Olympus and my Canon FTBn that I bought with my childhood savings.

Why am I relating this childhood anecdote (and why would I assume that anyone else cares)? Well, for me, I believe my grandfather realized I had a natural curiosity to his office and I was the only grandchild that showed an interest in the objects in his cherished office (an early man cave I guess) and he wanted to pass on the joy of photography, the thrill of developing one's efforts (he had a darkroom too). The infra red bulb, the ritual of the chemicals, the clothesline with the black and white pictures, the thrill of them coming alive in the wash basin....

My children watch me play with my camera kits (get your minds out of the collective gutters) and often comment on the different types fo lenses and exposures. My daughter's favorite is the Pentax 40mm pancake lens. She is amazed at the results coming from such a small lens and wonders why other sizes can't be shrunk (she likes the size of the Leica lenses as she has small hands).

Anyway, impressions last a lifetime....If you made it this far, thanks for reading....
05-14-2020, 12:13 PM - 1 Like   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Merv-O Quote
he wanted to pass on the joy of photography, the thrill of developing one's efforts (he had a darkroom too). The infra red bulb, the ritual of the chemicals, the clothesline with the black and white pictures, the thrill of them coming alive in the wash basin....
^^This. If all you look at is images on a monitor or TV (or a phone...), you'll rarely hold their interest. Make prints, big prints. Doesn't matter if you develop B&W or colour or print on a big inkjet. If there's no tangible result to really look at, return to, examine in detail, they'll not latch on to making their own images like you latched on to it.

05-14-2020, 04:01 PM - 1 Like   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Papa_Joe Quote
Might I remind you, that a modern cellphone has a way better image quality then your old DSLR? I think giving modern cellphone photographers a K-x will end in desaster.

Show them how they can do better pictures with their cellphones. Composition is the key to good pictures, not technical equipment.
"Way better image quality than an old DSLR"? I've always found the lens is more important than the sensor used and a DSLR is going to have many more options than a cell phone.

As you said, composition is the key to good images and not technical equipment and that is the bottom line.

However, with the handful of my best cell phone shots, I have no regrets until I want to make 16x20" or larger prints. At that point you can definitely see the limits of a small sensor and tiny lens.
05-14-2020, 04:12 PM - 2 Likes   #36
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I have an 8 year old daughter who proudly stood at the top of the stairs as a toddler with my camera of the time, a K-x thankfully with the strap around her neck, with my biggest lens of the time, a 70-300 smiling broadly. I was terrified she'd topple town the stairs complete with camera, but it didn't happen.
She now uses that same K-x to take photos, and she's getting better at it. She's understood how to take photos on a phone for ages, but she's also worked out that with a zoom you can do things that you can't with a phone.
She likes animals. Try photographing anything other than very tame or large with a phone, and it doesn't work so well.
My wife pretty much only takes photos on her phone, and our daughter likes to play dress ups, and will often be photographed by both my wife and I. My daughter has seen the results from the phone and the camera, and can tell the difference. It probably helps that I shoot in raw, and use Lightroom to adjust the images, so my Pentax has a great deal more dynamic range than jpgs from a phone.
I sometimes take photos with my phone too, and I think it's important not to totally rubbish phone cameras as that will create resistance. For quick snapshots, or sometimes even more, in good lighting, a phone actually can be OK, but there are many situations where a dedicated camera can be more appropriate.
05-14-2020, 05:04 PM - 1 Like   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Papa_Joe Quote
Might I remind you, that a modern cellphone has a way better image quality then your old DSLR? And their automatic postprocessing gives way better results then I can achiev with a RAW converter (the fault is on my side). I think giving modern cellphone photographers a K-x will end in desaster. Mediocre results with great efford they will think.
Well, the K-r I gave my friends is from the 2005-2012 era, and I know for a fact it could produce better results with those Christmas tree photos than they are getting with their up-to-date smartphones. I also gave them the owners manual, but just never got back with them on how to use this equipment and for what, so they remain unaware of the potential. The primary reason for that is they live in another town, some 3 hours drive away.

---------- Post added 05-14-20 at 05:10 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
1. Control: The biggest difference between phones and "real cameras" is the amount of control that real cameras enable. Dedicated, tactile controls make it much easier to control exposure, focus, and other settings to achieve artistic or practical goals. Often these goals vary from the automagical settings that phones and P&S cameras produce. Sure, anyone can take photographs these days, but to make photographs benefits from a higher level of control on the device.
Precisely! As their children grow, they will become even more active. My friends can learn how to stop action or control the degree of action shown, etc. and how to blur the background to make a subject stand out from it, etc. So many ways having control can make a substantial difference in the outcome.

I do think, however, that it would be best to include an AF lens, at least a kit lens type, along with perhaps one old MF prime lens. The AF lens will allow access to many aspects of control which would not be available to the old MF lens. This would provide the full spectrum within the design of the camera body.

Last edited by mikesbike; 05-14-2020 at 05:15 PM.
05-16-2020, 06:05 AM - 1 Like   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
What short "elevator speech" would you tell a young smartphone generation person that might get them to give a real camera and manual focus lens a try?
It's not a "kids these days ..." issue. The fact is that people usually look for a tool to perform the job they wish to accomplish. You're asking for the opposite; selling the notion using your cool and complicated tools to perform a general task for which they have adequate tools (cell phones). It's a non starter.

I suggest trying to get them interested the types of photography their cellphones can't do; the job. Then show them how your gear (tools) can accomplish it. Telephoto work comes to mind, as does isolating subjects with large apertures. I'm sure you can come up with more.

Good luck. It's a neat thing to mentor grand kids into a shared interest.


Last edited by rogerstg; 05-16-2020 at 06:11 AM.
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