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10-26-2007, 07:56 AM   #1
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learning curve?

Hi guys,
I was just wandering, what was your learning curve in terms of cameras? I mean how long did it take you to get to SLR/DSLR from your first camera?
My story goes as follows:
Sept. 04 - Fuji S3200 digicam
Dec. 05 - Fuji S5600 digicam
Oct. 06 - Pentax K100D DSLR
since then - another body and 3 lenses
if that's slow or fast, I don't know, I'd just like to share and compare

10-26-2007, 10:37 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
what was your learning curve in terms of cameras?

I mean how long did it take you to get to SLR/DSLR from your first camera?
2 very different questions imo.

But anyways... I outgrew my Powershot A40 very quickly, but I held on to it for years (bought in 2002) because a camera was simply not a priority to me. I purchased my Fuji roughly a year ago. Several months after that, I upgraded to the K10D.
10-26-2007, 10:41 AM   #3
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I got interested in photography when I looked through a friend's Canon TLB in college. I wanted one of those so bad I could taste it! Before I even owned a camera of my own, I had read the Time-Life book, "The Camera", so I understood what the controls were and how they operated. I couldn't afford a Canon at the time, so I settled for a Yashica TL Electro. But, hey...it was an SLR and that was all that mattered. Progression of cameras went like this:
Yashica TL Electro
Pentax ME
Pentax K2
Pentax MX
Pentax LX
Pentax PZ20
(some sidetrips into medium format along the way starting with a Yashica Mat 124G and then a Pentax 6X7)
Sony DSC-707
Sony DSC-H2
Pentax K10D

uh....yeah....I've still got all of these cameras (except the Yashica TLR) as well as a Nikonos IV, a Canon GIII, and a Minox. My wife has me on a "buy one, sell one" basis. If I buy any more cameras or lenses, I have to sell something else to make room for it.
10-27-2007, 12:53 AM   #4
PDL
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Started out with a
Kodak Brownie (age 12 used 620 roll film) Mom's
Fothflex TLR (13-16 used 120 roll film) Dad's
first 35mm Petri DeLux rangefinder (16 with my first paycheck - I still have it - broken too)
first SLR Fujica ST801 (1970 - first camera with LED's instead of meter in the viewfinder - still have it and use it)
Fujica ST-901 (mid 70's AV mode) still have it
Minolta Super 8mm movie camera with intervelometer - still have it
Fujica AZ-1 (late 70's with autowinder) still have it
Olympus XA rangefinder still have it
Polaroid SX-1 - the original - with option kit - still have it
In 87 when we bought our first house, we were burgled by a local teenager the first week we were there. Insurance paid for a:
Pentax SF-1
5 years later I recovered the Fujica's, lenses and aluminum camera case (only thing missing was my address card and my table top tripod. (a interesting story but best told over a cold beer)
97 my father passed away in 96 and I inherited his Calumet 4x5 monorail - the FothFlex and his Pentax K1000 had been "fixed" by my father. He had a stroke in 86 and tried to fix the cameras with a pair of visegrips - they did not survive.
98 Toshiba 2.2 MP digital - worked up until my vacation to NZ last Dec.
05 Pentax *ist Ds
07 K10D

During my high school years I used a Yashica TLR for shooting school newspaper/annual stuff. I was "allowed" to run a roll of film through my buddies C*non. On occasion I had the chance to use another buddies OM-1 (he had three).
My mother passed away last year, so I will bring home her 80's N*kon SLR. Oh I also have a 16mm Japanese range finder that my father bought in Japan while he was part of the first wave of occupation forces at the end of WWII. I still have little rolls of film wrapped in foil too.

PDL - the elitist


Last edited by PDL; 10-27-2007 at 12:55 AM. Reason: spelling
10-27-2007, 07:13 AM   #5
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....first slr......1970-ish
first dslr....2005 ( ist ds ).....2007 ( k10d )

The Learning Curve;?.......for me, it's a continuum
10-30-2007, 04:04 AM   #6
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my K100D Super was my first ever camera

my gf bought a Canon IXUS 70, and we went on holiday and i just couldn't put the thing down, i never realised how much i love taking pictures of things. anything and everythign i took a picture of.


and been the same way since i got my camera, love it.

took me about 4 months to decide to spend a whooping wad of cash on a dSLR
10-30-2007, 07:03 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gpaual Quote
....first slr......1970-ish
first dslr....2005 ( ist ds ).....2007 ( k10d )

The Learning Curve;?.......for me, it's a continuum
That time line pretty much mirrors my own with the only exception that we switched to digital in 2001 and yes... the learning curve is continuous (or is it continual?).
10-30-2007, 10:54 AM   #8
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Super Program /83
SF-1 /86
Super Program /86
Z1p /93
Ds /05
K10D /06
(I still have all of 'em but the SF1 quit working, which was a blessing not a curse)
oh and I got a Kodak pocket Instamatic 110 round about /74. (and if I dig a tiny bit I could still produce it and some unused flashes for it too)

As for learning I know what most of the buttons and dials do on all of my cameras. Applying that knowledge with what common sense, books, and peers tell you will make a good picture - I sometimes wonder if I ever got or will get past the introduction. But I'm having fun and every once in a while I get something, I and others think too that I made it past the 6th chapter.

10-30-2007, 11:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jnorth Quote

As for learning I know what most of the buttons and dials do on all of my cameras. Applying that knowledge with what common sense, books, and peers tell you will make a good picture - I sometimes wonder if I ever got or will get past the introduction. But I'm having fun and every once in a while I get something, I and others think too that I made it past the 6th chapter.
That perfectly describes my own feelings. While I intellectually "know" what each part does, when I'm actually ou t there "doing it", I seem to forget... at least, much of the time. Perhaps with time and practice this will resolve itself. Maybe not. Meanwhile, I'm also enjoying the hobby as is my wife.
10-30-2007, 01:22 PM   #10
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Ricoh XR-2s - 1981
KX - 1982
PZ-1 - 1991
*istD - 2003
K10D - 2006

Learning never stops, and transition from film to digital was totally transparent due to similarity of *istD and K10D to PZ-1
10-30-2007, 11:51 PM   #11
PDL
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Learning is a continuum, don’t think for a minute that my litany of machines has made this journey a simple one. The use of each piece of equipment I listed in my previous post has changed one aspect of falling into this addiction. The overall progression from, in my case, Brownie to K10d/4x5, has not in any way made this path a trivial task.

Each machine has placed limits and expanded the limits of what I am capable of exploiting. The overall task, as I see it, is to find the device that gives me the control over the process. At this time it is the K10D and the *ist Ds. The K10D gives me that little extra bit of control that I want, but neither machine even approaches the creative control of a 4x5 monorail. Could I get similar levels of control from a C*non, N*kon, O*ympus or f*ji? Yes – yes I could, but I have a Pentax – and it has distinct advantages over all the “other” systems, but I own Pentax. Now, if I could get a digital back for my Fujica ST-801 – I would go there and never look back – because that is what I grew up with and I am simply still more comfortable with (I do love the smell of Ecktachrome in the morning – my apologies to Francis Ford Coppola). The Pentax line of cameras has served my family for over 30 years (my cousin and father) and with my current investment – I am not changing any time soon. However, if I could afford a digital back for the 4x5 monorail – the K10D, *ist Ds would stay in the bag for a loonnngggg time.

I love digital, but I have issues with its viability (file formats, PP software capability and its potential loss due to hardware failure) I can still take a Kodachrome 25 slide and hold it up to my Lupe and just be there. Worry about resolution? TTTTHHHHHhhhhttttpppttt – put it in the slide projector and blow it up to 10 feet wide – 100% crops – get real. Pixel peepers can eat my sh*rts, K25 rules. High ISO (ASA) – that is why the photography gods created f/1.4’s, blurring and tripods. If you want plastic skin, red-eye and the appearance of the sun on your forehead – get a C*non.

Develop your own style, statement, point of view and chase it. Be ready to switch directions in the time a SF-1 takes to focus. Use that computer that is behind the viewfinder.

It is all about the image – follow it and it will change the way you perceive the world.

The Elitist – formerly known as PDL

Last edited by PDL; 10-30-2007 at 11:53 PM. Reason: wrong *
10-31-2007, 04:51 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
how long did it take you to get to SLR/DSLR from your first camera?
That's something other than the actual learning curve, but here's what I did. My mother let me use her old camera - I have no clue what it was, it took a smaller format film, I believe, and had a funny little bellows affair that folded down, and a top viewfinder, i.e. you held it at waist height and looked down into it. I was completely incapable of holding it steady! You'd think it'd be easier, but no, not for me...

Eventually my father trusted me with his Spotmatic, then I got myself a K1000, later an ME Super. I even had a basic B&W darkroom setup. I drifted away from photography, though, mostly because of the expense. Then I was doing a bunch of field work, and wanted to document what I was up to. I got a little weather-resistant Oly Stylus 3 MP, and rediscovered the fun in photography. It wasn't long before I got a DL, then sold that to a friend and got a K100 for no particularly good reason.

As for the actual learning curve, despite taking a course, I didn't get much past the basics of aperture and shutter speed before I went digital. Now that I can play around and get instant feedback, I've got much better (I think, anyway) much faster. But as others have said, it's a continuum, there's always more to learn, both in terms of making the camera do what you want (I still don't know what half the menus are all about - so much more complicated than a K1000!) and actual technique.

Whatever your route, it's a fun journey, enjoy it and don't worry about where you are on the curve.

Julie
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