66chargerfan
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 11:31 am

Older SLR, Is It Good For Spotting?

Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:20 am

earlier last year i found my dads old Minolta XG-1 which i guess is a few centuries old. Im wondering how good would it be for spotting at my local airport CYXU or should i spend some money and get a new SLR...

I really am not familiar with SLR's at all and so i would love to learn more about it and go to airshows and take pictures...maybe not in the air but on the ground.

does anyone have one of these that could tell me if this is a good use for the XG-1?

thanks...

have a good day
 
viv
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Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 5:17 pm

RE: Older SLR, Is It Good For Spotting?

Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:51 am

Well, it is a film camera, so you will have to scan your shots, which requires quite a lot of work in order to get acceptable results.
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dlowwa
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RE: Older SLR, Is It Good For Spotting?

Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:57 am

Quoting 66chargerfan (Thread starter):
which i guess is a few centuries old

Only about thirty years, actually. Although others might laugh, it might actually not be a bad idea to learn how to shoot on a film camera. There's a lot less margin for error with film, and it will force you to get the basics of exposure and composition down pretty quick, as each wasted shot costs money out of your pocket. The only problem I could see is getting the right lens. Unless you can get pretty close to the action, you'd need a pretty long lens for a 35mm film camera, and I don't know how easy those would be to come by for you.

So unless you're desperate to start uploading right away, using the Minolta is not such a crazy idea. On the other hand, entry level DSLRs are pretty cheap, and seeing as how you're already considering using an old camera, you could pick up a used one (DSLR) for not a lot of money. I guess it all depends on if you're willing to start out learning to shoot with film, and if you're willing to spend money on a new camera.

Dana
 
66chargerfan
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RE: Older SLR, Is It Good For Spotting?

Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:13 pm

thanks guys, thank you for youre ideas...
 
oly720man
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RE: Older SLR, Is It Good For Spotting?

Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:06 am

Such cameras were the only choice not that long ago and plenty of good photos were obtained and there are still many people using film. If the camera's mechanically sound and the metering works then give it a go.

As said, it will give you a handle on what photography's about. In some respects a digital camera may be more immediately useful because you see the effects of shutter/aperture/exposure compensation, etc straight away rather than having to wait to have the film developed.

There are plenty of 2nd hand shops/Ebay and the like that will have lenses for the Minolta MD mount camera. For an airshow with aircraft on the ground you'll probably need a wide angle to short telephoto - say 24-135mm range of focal length. For aircraft landing/taking off... 100-400mm. At least with a 2nd hand lens you can buy it, try it for a while and resell it for little loss, I'd have thought.

As with digital, the quality of the image depends a lot on the quality of the lens, though the exposure/metering will be affected by the camera and photographer's experience (knowing the "rules" of exposure - shoot with the sun behind you, beware white aircraft can confuse meters, as can dark aircraft)
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66chargerfan
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RE: Older SLR, Is It Good For Spotting?

Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:35 pm

sorry to bump a topic but i want to reply to dlowwa's post that yes i have a scanner and am ready to scann pics in when i take pictures but what i meant is would it be good for taking pictures of moving objects like airplanes??
 
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dvincent
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RE: Older SLR, Is It Good For Spotting?

Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:36 pm

Well, it has no autofocus, for one. Are your focus pulling skills up to snuff?  
From the Mind of Minolta
 
dlowwa
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RE: Older SLR, Is It Good For Spotting?

Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:05 pm

Quoting 66chargerfan (Reply 5):
good for taking pictures of moving objects like airplanes??

Given the camera/lens is in otherwise good working condition, it should be good for taking pictures of any kind, moving or still. However, as Dan alluded to, depending on your skills, it would just be that much harder to do without things such as AF. So, good pictures possible of moving objects - yes; easy to get good pictures of said subjects - not so much.

Other than being time consuming, there is nothing wrong with scanning in and of itself (I have a ton of old film I one day am going to get around to scan), but to be clear, if your intent is to upload here, I wouldn't bother considering scanning recently taken photos.

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