A&P New camera, no clue what to do

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by AphidAudio, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. AphidAudio

    AphidAudio Guest

    I just got a Minolta Maxxum 5000 camera for free. It was left at our wedding reception. We called all the guests, talked to the people that owned the building, and left the camera there for 3 months for someone to pick it up or call about it, nobody did. So now ive got a camera to play with.

    It has a Vivitar lens. I love photography, but never really done anything other then playing around with my cameras as a kid or my crappy digital camera now. So im not sure about aperture settings, shutter settings, or anything like that.

    What brand of film do you recommend I use? Any ideas on how to play with the settings? I went to Minoltas website and downloaded the manual for the camera, but the instructions are a little confusing in some parts. I guess ill just have to start snapping pics and figure out which combination of settings works the best.

    Btw, I need a flash for it, how can I tell which ones are compatible? I know the camera is a little old so there might be a broader selection of compatible flashes then what it shows in the manual. Or am I completely wrong?
     
  2. mucky

    mucky .

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2001
    Messages:
    44,972
    Likes Received:
    0
    Goto local bookstore -> browse photography section -> find photography book -> purchase book -> read and learn

    Or you can take a little more expensive route and take a photography class at your local community collge.
     
  3. Dnepr

    Dnepr Guest

    Ask specific question and people will answer it :)


    I dont have flesh on my cam, they dont make em anymore but I never really needed it.
     
  4. AphidAudio

    AphidAudio Guest

  5. Joe

    Joe 2015 :x: OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Messages:
    116,622
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    nocal
    cool, good camera, yay you

    film: fuji velvia (or provia 400 depending on what you plan to shoot)

    transperency > digital > negative

    if the camera is anything like my old 9000, it should have settings and the ablility to go completly manual or completely auto, or somewhere in between. just make sure you set the iso correctly for your film. but yeah, the upton photography book is a good investment

    flash wise, you're kinda screwed, minolta uses a wierd mount so you have to get flashes made specifically for minolta cameras (any brand will do, depending on what you need it for, as long as it says it's for minolta maxxum mounts...)
     
  6. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,134
    Likes Received:
    90
    Location:
    east coast
    Did Minolta change the flash mounts for the Maxxium? My old Minoltas all used the universal "shoe" attachement.

    Anyway, another good book for beginners is the 35mm photographers handbook. Easy to read and understand.

    As for aperture settings, shutter speeds and film speeds I'll give you a primer in their use.

    Shutter speed refers to how long the camera shutter stays open, allowing light from the lens to fall on the film. A fast shutter speed (1/500 of a second or faster) is good for "freezing" action. A slow shutter (1/60 of a second or slower) requires the use of a tripod otherwise you'll end up with a blurry photo, especially if your using a long lens.

    Aperture refers to the lens opening that admits light to the camera. The aperture is marked with numbers, called f/stops, that usually read like this: f/2.4 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11 f/16 f/22. The lower the number (f/2.4) admits more light while f/22 admits less light. Additionally, a smaller aperture like f/22 gives you more "depth of field" or overall sharpeness from near focus to infinity. The important thing to know is that f/stops and shutter speeds are designed to send exactly twice as much light to the film with each increment. In other words, a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second will send twice as much light to the film as a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second. Conversely, a lens opening of f/4 will send twice as much light to the film as a lens opening of f/5.6. This means that as you change shutter speed from 1/250 to 1/500 you must also open your lens aperture one f/stop to maintain the same exposure value.

    Determing the exposure value is the job of the light meter. All modern cameras have a built in meter. The meter measures how much light is coming in the lens to give you the proper shutter speed to use in any given light. The meter must also know the film speed (see below) that you are using. Most modern cameras do this automatically, however some cameras must have this step performed manually.

    Film speed refers to the films sensitivity to light. The "faster" or higher DIN or ASA number on the film, the more sensitive to light. A higher speed film means that you can take photos in dimmer light conditions. However, the faster the film, the more "grain" in the negative. This means that a print made from a high speed film negative won't appear as sharp. The rule of thumb for chosing film speed is to use the slowest (lower number) film for your expected light conditions. You can use film with a rating of 64 for all daylight exteriors as long as you use a tripod and slower shutter speeds or wider apertures. Most popular films today are rated between 64-800. Use 400-800 speed film for low light levels.

    Anyway, I hope this helps get you started. Good luck and post some photos.

    Cheers
    Jim
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2003
  7. AphidAudio

    AphidAudio Guest

    joeyz34, Jcolman

    You guys helped out a bunch!!! Thanks! :bigthumb: I was looking for other forums because of the first 2 guys that responded. I figured nobody here wanted to help me out. You guys gave me just the info I was looking for. The lense is a 72mm I think. Here is what it says.

    "Vivitar 28-200mm 1:3.5-5.6 MC Auto Focus Zoom No.77702660 72mm"

    Now the 1:3.5-5.6 are my possible f/stops for the lense right? It will be before payday before I can purchase one of those books so im just guessing, hehe.

    Guess ill be looking on ebay now for a nice Maxxum flash. The flash and lenses for the Minolta Maxxum cameras are not universal. But basically all AF lenses and flases for the Maxxum work with each other reguardless of model number. At least thats what the Minolta webpage says ;)

    thanks again,
    Nate
     
  8. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,134
    Likes Received:
    90
    Location:
    east coast
    Nate,
    The lens is a 28-200mm zoom lens. Nice! While Vivitar isn't the best lens maker in the world, they do make some good lenses. I have a 400mm Vivitar lens that I bought nearly 25 years ago that is still pretty sharp. The 72mm refers to the diameter of the front of the lens so you know what size filters to buy. It's a wise idea to purchase a "haze" or "UV" filter that will screw onto the front of the lens to protect it from debris or scratches. The haze and UV filters won't affect your picture quality in any way that you'd really notice.

    I'm a little confused about the markings on the lens only stopping down to f/5.6. Usually a long telephoto lens has a much smaller lens diameter, somewhere around f/22 and a maximum opening of around f/4. Then again, I don't use a zoom lens nor have I purchased a new lens in years. If the maxium opening is f/1.3 it's quite a "fast" lens. Look on the side of the lens near where it attaches to the camera and you'll see the f/stop markings.

    Good luck. If you have any more specific questions don't hesitate to ask.

    Cheers
    Jim
     
  9. Sexy_SV

    Sexy_SV Guest

    Well Im wanting to get into Photography as well.Im going tomorrow out to the woods and I want to use black and white film for still shots of like trees and stuff.What should my shutter speed and AP be?What kind of well paying job for photography be??I might go to college for this as I am pretty creative.Your help so far has been awesome for me too!
     
  10. Joe

    Joe 2015 :x: OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Messages:
    116,622
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    nocal
    what kind of camera? do you have a light meter? depending on what you want, you can expose for the highlights (meter on the brightest spot) but then your shadows will be very dark, meter for the shadows (meter on the dark spot) but then your highlights get washed out, or try and figure out what's inbetween the two, and then bracket one or two stops both ways... (black and white film is cheap, never hurts)

    depending on what you shoot, (still nature, moving objects, etc) you can either try and set your apperature for the longest focal length (that way alot of stuff will be in focus) but then you're gona need a longer shutter speed (and probably a tripod)

    of course, if you're going to try shooting wildlife, you probably want a faster shutter speed which will result in a smaller fstop (but then you gota focus more exactly)




    photographing can pay depending on what you do, how long you've been doing it, who you know, and how good you are. my part time job on the weekends where i shoot parties/reunions/corporate dinners (boring as hell but makes money) pays roughly 30~50 bucks an hour for 4 hours a night

    i've shot events on the weekends for the local paper which paid pretty well, if my photos got printed (50 bucks a picture basically)

    and i've shot a movie opening in hollywood for a magazine (my old boss who worked at the paper hooked me up on this one) made 500 bucks, but that was also to comp the 10 rolls of film i shot and the developing and scan time, and the gas to get out to LA

    on the other hand i know people who went to school for photography, couldn't find anything, and they end up shooting catalog photos at 10 bucks an hour...

    my old boss told me about a shoot he did which involved the people going to his studio, getting portraits, him following them around for a week, and buidling a giant portfolio at the end of the week. he got 7000 that week and room, food, transportation, but post shoot production materials were up to him (he shot digital and sent the pics out for prints)
     
  11. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,134
    Likes Received:
    90
    Location:
    east coast
    I think what Joey is trying to explain here is that the smaller your aperture opening (higher f/stop number i.e. f/16 as opposed to f/5.6) the sharper your depth of field will be. Depth of field can be defined as the area in sharp focus between the nearest object to the camera and the farest object away from the camera. The smaller the f/stop (higher numercial value) the greater the range of depth of field.
    This is misleading because what he meant to say is that a faster shutter speed will result in a larger (not smaller) f/stop. A faster shutter speed allows less light to hit the film, therefore you need to open up your aperture (f/4 as opposed to say, f/8) in order for more light to hit the film if you want your exposure value to remain the same.

    His points about exposure readings are on the mark. Another good rule of thumb to help in determing exposure is to take an exposure reading off the palm of your hand which is close in value to a professional photographers 18% grey photographic card.

    Making money in photography boils down to the following:
    Creativity, marketing yourself and determination. I've been a professional in this field for 30 years. I don't do much still photography anymore as I switched to cinematography then to video years ago. However, I made a pretty good living for a while as a commercial studio photographer and a newspaper photojournalist in my younger years. Today I'm a producer/director in the video/television industry.

    I have a degree in photography and I also studied cinematography. Having a degree is very helpful if you plan on becoming a professional.

    If you have any other questions, ask away. I'm glad to help.

    Cheers
    Jim
     
  12. Joe

    Joe 2015 :x: OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2002
    Messages:
    116,622
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    nocal
    well, techinally a smaller fstop #(the number that he'll be looking at on his lens) means that he'll be opening the apperature wider for more light....

    how was the transition over from photography? i've been having issues just changing from shooting positives to digital in terms of what i expect from the camera... plus when i did any video work for school i had the worst times forgetting my lighting techniques...
     
  13. Jcolman

    Jcolman OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    43,134
    Likes Received:
    90
    Location:
    east coast
    joey,
    I knew what you meant about the smaller f/stop, but sometimes people get confused when you say smaller or larger because they don't know if you're refering to the actual f/number or the opening of the aperture.

    My transistion from still to cinematography was easy since I studied cinematography in school. However, my transisition from film to video was not pretty. At the time, I was shooting film for a television station. The tv station decided to dump all our film cameras and go to video. This was in the late 70's when portable video gear was still heavy and the quality sucked. I hated the look of video. I hated the cameras. I hated the heavy decks we had to carry. But, after learning how to edit video, I loved the ease of editing video as compared to film.

    Lighting for video today is very similar to film lighting techniques. Todays video cameras can come close to duplicating the look of film stock. I still tend to use a bit more lighting when I'm shooting video as opposed to shooting film. With film, I find that I really want the image to look natural. With video, I tend to like the image to look "pretty". All in all, I still prefer to shoot film over video.

    Cheers
    Jim
     

Share This Page