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12-04-2010, 05:43 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Steve, which prices are representative of the Portland area? $120 for the K1000 seems to be much more than Phil paid, and closer to the prices I was talking about. M (other than MX) models are less everywhere and P models are very cheap,.
Gene, you were complaining about $200 K1000 and KM. The only K-mount bodies you will see in Portland at over $150 would be MX, LX, and MZ-S. I agree that $120 is too much for a K1000, but it is common knowledge that prices on that model are way out of line and driven by market ignorance. A $60 K1000 is not unheard of here and I saw one for sale on Craigslist a few weeks ago for $35 with M 50/2.0. The average price, however, is a little more.


Steve

12-04-2010, 07:03 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Gene, you were complaining about $200 K1000 and KM. The only K-mount bodies you will see in Portland at over $150 would be MX, LX, and MZ-S. I agree that $120 is too much for a K1000, but it is common knowledge that prices on that model are way out of line and driven by market ignorance. A $60 K1000 is not unheard of here and I saw one for sale on Craigslist a few weeks ago for $35 with M 50/2.0. The average price, however, is a little more.

Steve
I'm not really in the market, so I wouldn't say I was complaining so much as observing that the online price seems to be between $150 and $300 for >=EX K models. Perhaps this says more about online retailers than anything else.
12-04-2010, 07:30 PM   #63
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There is little demand for the late 1990's plastic fantastic MZ and ZX series of cameras (with the exception of MZ-S). Some one on ebay gave me one ZX-5n for free with broken mirror motor gear. On the inside of the metal bottom plate, it was stamped JAN 12 2001. That means Pentax still make this model in 2001. I am also looking for ZX-L to complete my collection.
12-04-2010, 08:19 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by InStitches49 Quote
My daughter may be taking a basic photography class at college next year which according to the class description uses a film SLR camera (they buy their own). I thought I heard a few years ago that film would not be available for purchase or for developing in 2010-2012. However, I still see posts here about film SLRs so wondering if you all could give me advice. She's good at digital SLR photography but that class comes after this one (which includes film processing supposedly). Just need to know what is really going to happen.
It's just incredibly sad that a college is using film in a basic photography course in 2011.

Paul

12-04-2010, 09:00 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
It's just incredibly sad that a college is using film in a basic photography course in 2011.

Paul
I still think learning the basic principles of photography are best taught using a MF film camera, like a K1000 or equivalent.

I take a lot of photography courses for fun and the saddest thing for me is watching some DSLR shooters forced into using the manual settings on their cameras or having to manual focus a lens. Starting with film will better prepare you for photography and who knows even make you want to stick with film!

Nothing wrong with that.

Phil.
12-04-2010, 09:01 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
It's just incredibly sad that a college is using film in a basic photography course in 2011.
Perhaps they know something you don't.

Chris
12-04-2010, 09:11 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
It's just incredibly sad that a college is using film in a basic photography course in 2011.

Paul
Pretty typical, actually. Photography is being taught as part of the arts curriculum (as opposed to vocational training) in most schools and traditional silver-based technique is considered to be fundamental to learning the medium. As the old timers on this forum (the film section, that is) know, a good grounding in traditional film-based photography makes for an incredibly easy transition into the digital realm. The reverse is, perhaps, not so easy.


Steve

(Scanning my last two rolls of Kodachrome just back from Dwayne's as I type this...)
12-05-2010, 04:24 AM   #68
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I don't mind it as a first semester. I think I have learned a lot from using film SLR's actually. The problem is some courses still won't even let you touch a DSLR even after that. My local junior college has one of the best old style 2 year photography programs in the state, or so I am told, but they don't hardly even touch on digital until the very end of the program. No way I'm going there even though I am 20 minutes down the road. I'm mentoring and taking classes at a local arts center as I can, but college, even junior college is way too expensive not to be able to get the most current technology from such a course.

Using film, great base for learning, it's part of the History of Photography and there are some valuable skills picked up there, but I tend to think that digital skills are just as important and I'd definitely want both for a well rounded curriculum.

I took some Adobe centered classes there a few years ago just to get the certifications. It was pretty sad. The teacher was a photographer and graphic illustrator and several times during the courses she openly admitted to a student that they were more up on the current version of the software she was teaching than they were. When I went CS3 was the standard, but they were still teaching with software pre CS, and yes, it did matter that what they were teaching wasn't current. There's a huge difference between versions of Photoshop and Illustrator pre CS3 and before. It was the same for MS Office. When the whole world was using Office 2007 they were using Office 2003. Those certificates I got that semester? Totally useless in the real world.

I'm not a huge fan of college design programs any more honestly. Budget restrictions usually tend to keep schools a lot less current than they'd like to be. Some of the schools that are more current, they're hack shops with bad teachers turning out ill prepared students in a year or less and charging 20K a year to do it.

Photography is something you can teach yourself. So is digital imaging and there is plenty of information and help out there that doesn't cost the equivalent of someone's house payment for a year. The basics you can learn from books and videos and there are people out there who will help you beyond that point usually, mentor you. I've had a couple of mentors now and honestly I'd have to say that I've learned more from either one them in one week than I ever did in a whole semester in class.
I actually spent a lot of $$$ getting my official education. It just wasn't worth much in the end. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't even go there.

12-05-2010, 06:06 AM   #69
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Your digital photography skills become obsolete with the next software release.
What you learn behind a film camera and in the darkroom will last a lifetime.

Chris
12-05-2010, 07:06 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Photography is something you can teach yourself. So is digital imaging and there is plenty of information and help out there that doesn't cost the equivalent of someone's house payment for a year. The basics you can learn from books and videos and there are people out there who will help you beyond that point usually, mentor you. I've had a couple of mentors now and honestly I'd have to say that I've learned more from either one them in one week than I ever did in a whole semester in class.
I actually spent a lot of $$$ getting my official education. It just wasn't worth much in the end. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't even go there.
Sounds like you had some bad experiences as a student.

Abe Lincoln learned to be a lawyer (and a good one) on his own. You can teach yourself anything with enough work, but I think we are better photographers, lawyers, artists, etc. with the input of others. This is especially true of any activity that requires a modicum of creativity or originality. I think I would be a much better photographer if I hadn't self-taught starting at age 13, but would be a worse photographer if I hadn't spent my first half dozen or so years shooting only black and white. Manual cameras were a given.

Digital cameras do so much of the photographic process and enter into the creative process to an extent that most users don't even realize. Even color distracts us from learning basics about form, composition and, most importantly, light. Most people don't learn these things in lesson 1, and are then ready to move on. I think the schools are right in forcing students who are serious about becoming good, creative photographers to learn these basics in depth and to the point that they are intuitive, and to do so in a way that lets them build on the inspiration of others.
12-05-2010, 08:01 AM   #71
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I think the real issue is that instructors for those basic classes that aren't prepared to deal with digital.

Having spent my first years of photography in the darkroom with black and white mostly gives me an appreciation of how much different the technology is today. The skills aren't necessarily less now, just different. Yes, it was fascinating to go through the process of b&w developing and printing, but the skills you learn just aren't applicable to what 99.9% of students will do with photography for the rest of their lives. A basic class is supposed to survey a field, not spend the entire semester on one specific historical technology.

It may be more difficult to properly encourage/require students to use a manual (or, more likely, aperture or shutter priority) mode on a dslr, but teachers need to figure out how to do that, not just rely on taking the technology away from students entirely. Regarding color vs. b&w, there is nothing about digital that precludes b&w, if an instructor feels that that's important.

In a college program for art majors, it would certainly be ok to have an upper-level elective covering historical imaging techniques, and even encourage students to investigate any ones they're interested in in-depth, but basics today - besides the old principals of composition, etc. that haven't changed - need to include interpreting histograms, digital formats, pp, etc. When I took my first computer class, we learned about core memory and magnetic drum storage. Hopefully information tech students - unless they're taking a course in historical technologies - aren't wasting time learning about those things today.

I agree that learning the basics of exposure, etc. are important, I just disagree that instructors shouldn't be able to figure out a way to do that with digital.

Paul
12-05-2010, 08:33 AM   #72
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In ten years time current state-of-the-art digital imaging will be "historical technology".
It will be every bit as arcane to students then as as you claim film photography is now.

Chris
12-05-2010, 08:53 AM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
In ten years time current state-of-the-art digital imaging will be "historical technology".
It will be every bit as arcane to students then as as you claim film photography is now.

Chris
Correct, and hopefully college students will be learning only what applies to the new technology that they'll have to work with. For example, we have hdr that students might need to learn about today. Maybe future sensors will eliminate the need for multiple exposure hdr like we do it today, and hopefully instructors won't be teaching "old" hdr when that happens.

Why pick film as the definitive, preferred historical technology? Why not glass plates, or daguerreotypes, for example?

Paul
12-05-2010, 09:21 AM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
Why pick film as the definitive, preferred historical technology? Why not glass plates, or daguerreotypes, for example?

Paul
It is not being used to teach photographic history. If it were, then it might be good to include the very first photographic media.

Film is used to put the student in more direct control of light, exposure, etc. If film becomes as rare as daguerreotypes, then it will no longer be a viable teaching tool.

Last edited by GeneV; 12-05-2010 at 09:39 AM.
12-05-2010, 09:39 AM   #75
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Not true, sorry. What you are saying has merit, basic skills are basic skills, but digital imaging skills ARE basic skills for getting employment now. They're far too important in this day and age to be neglected. You want a job making more than minimum wage you'd better have computer skills and lots of them. Even then, you're going to find it tough to get a job that will stick.

(In terms of design and such if you're smart and you cross train which software you use isn't really so important though in the field Adobe is king.)

My point was that the school I went to was so fixed on doing traditional design work that they were severely neglecting the modern way of doing things, which effectively made their degree certificates useless. You need a good mix of both now, period.

I studied design there not photography but their photography course is similarly backward. I sat there for two semesters painting mock ups, setting type, and learning about the principles of design and typography as done 40 years ago.

When I got out of school? There wasn't a job I could get where they didn't want you to be able to do it on a computer with computer software that they didn't even teach. Setting type properly, was the job of Quark and Indesign. Mock ups were drawn in Illustrator or Corel Draw, which was not covered by the school in that program. Those were essential skills for the job market I was entering, which was btw tough as heck to get into at the time, tech bubble burst about then, and it remains so even now, and they didn't even go there.

The only design software classes they had were electives and were not an official part of getting my design degree. Those were done on software that was so out of date none of the professional firms in the area were using any of it anymore. Fortunately for me I did cross train, elsewhere, and I learned the newer versions on my own or I'd have never worked at all in the field I spent 20K to get into. Even with all that work was so scarce that eventually I all but gave it up and went back to retail, CSR work, etc just to make a pay check.

Basic concepts are invaluable and I'm not saying don't learn them or don't spend time in the lab, but no, you cannot just teach the old techniques and no software use and expect your students to pay premium fees for the privilege of getting an education that is truly lacking in key elements that they will need to work in the real world. That's just insane.

Fact, 90% of the people out there in design and photography are working with digital tools now. They do use design software in their daily lives to make their paychecks. They're being handed digital cameras and most places don't have labs for them to develop film. They're doing their post processing on computers complete with the latest Adobe software installed. Almost nobody in design or photography sets type by hand, does mock ups with paint, or processes film by hand anymore. It's all computerized and if you try to walk through the door with only half those skills? Forget it, they'll hand the job to someone who does know both and you won't even get an interview let alone a good paying job.

Film is great, and I still shoot it, but I do that for ME, because I like the medium. Because I find some real value in doing it the traditional way sometimes, but unless you have the luck to find yourself one very old-fashioned employer you'd better know anything and everything you can about digital imaging and digital tools if you're not planning on working for yourself. Or you will be very poor and probably spend more time looking for work than actually getting it.

I checked out the schools here very carefully when I decided to go back for photography. When I realized that it was the same old story and that they weren't teaching both I decided to tailor my own curriculum and forgo the degree. No way I was spending another 20K only to lack vital skills I'll need to be competitive in my chosen field.

When I'm done I mean to be through with temping, waiting on tables, doing retail et all just to put food on the table. I want to be able to get real work doing my craft not have to work a f/t job to be able to do it as my "hobby!"

I personally prefer a more practical, technical approach to the liberal arts one. I may have ended up well educated from an artistic point of view doing that course, but it just didn't fly nearly as well in the real world. Honestly they didn't teach me all that much in that sense either. There's only so much they can fit in a few semesters. Any course you take in a school can only hit the highlights of what you need to know. Practical experience, detailed books, videos and one on one time spent with mentors on the other hand, they can give you far more solid skills that will serve you far better IMHO. I probably cover more in one month on my own and working with my mentors than I did in 2 years in college, seriously. College only held me back that way. It was a total waste of money for me.

When I can walk into a classroom and the person teaching me is admitting that I probably know more about the subject that they are teaching than they do that's just wrong! Then again I suppose I should have been used to it. I spent my whole childhood educational period dealing with exactly the same thing. The 2 states I grew up in had nothing by way of a quality education available to students. I can't speak for every state in the USA. Some are better, some are worse, but from what I can tell people elsewhere in the world seem to get a much better education than we do here in the States.

I'm the type who studies a lot on her own. I read a lot, choose subjects and tutorials that interest me and go from there, do whatever I can to supplement my own education as I feel I need to. It's a habit that has probably made a real difference in my life in terms of how much education I actually received and how useful it's been to me over the years. If I'd had to rely only on my local school system for my education? I'd have been fit for flipping burgers at the local McDonald's and not much else.

I made the mistake of going there to get my design degree. I got absolutely nowhere with it professionally with it and I really gave it my all. This time I'm doing it my way, with the help of people already in the field, and I'm really covering everything I can to prep for the career I want. I have to be more practical this time.

I just really don't have the time or the money to mess it up again. I should have been working in a good field for 20 years by now. Instead I spent 20 years just making a paycheck and putting nothing substantial away for lack of the funds to do it. In 20 more years I'll be at an age where most people start to retire. I don't really intend to do that, but neither do I intend to meet my 65th birthday with nothing in my bank account either.

I made some really dumb decisions in my 20's and 30's professionally speaking. In my 40's I have to get it right finally or learn to make do and exist in a state of near poverty for the rest of my life. Fact is I'm not at all crazy about being semi-poor. I'd like to have a roof over my head that belongs to me someday, not just one I rent, a car that isn't shared with 3 people, and a bank account that I can dip into once in a while to buy a new camera without having to bypass more important things, like my rent. I'm not looking to be rich, but I would sure like to be securely in the middle class for the rest in my life, not teetering on poverty line!

I'm not saying you can't get a decent education at a good college, but students do need to choose carefully and talk to people in the field before they just buy into what the schools are saying and plunk down thousands of dollars in tuition. There are too many schools out there teaching almost nothing that will get those students a real job and asking a lot of money to do it.

FYI, I'm 38K in debt for an education that wasn't worth a dime in real practice. Yeah, I consider that a huge waste of money. Wouldn't you?





QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Your digital photography skills become obsolete with the next software release.
What you learn behind a film camera and in the darkroom will last a lifetime.

Chris
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