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Thread: Getting the best out of an analogue camera (Praktica super TL3)

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Reigate, Surrey, UK.
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    Gary

    Getting the best out of an analogue camera (Praktica super TL3)

    Hello,

    Currently, I cannot afford a digital camera so I have revived an old camera I had a Praktica super TL3. I have been looking through some photography books. Most of the advice is directed at digital camera users. A lot of the information though still seems to be relevant. But areas like metering leave me a bit confused as my camera has a basic metering system. So, I would be interested to hear from anyone who can offer advice on using an analogue camera that you might think would be helpful. Thanks in advance!

    Cheers for now

    Gary

  2. #2
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Richard

    Re: Getting the best out of an analogue camera (Praktica super TL3)

    Hi Gary,

    Welcome to CiC.

    My public library has a used book section where they sell books that have been pulled from the stacks or donated to the thrift shop. Virtually all of the books on photography in this shop deal with film photography (which is why they were pulled or donated). Perhaps your public library also has a thrift shop. Usually these books are sold at a pittance.

    John Hegecoe has authored many fine books on photography which may be found in thrift stores or on eBay for a very low price. Here is just one of these books on the USA eBay:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/John-Hedgeco...item336ee7763d

    I am quite certain that books like this can be found in the UK also and probably in any other country.

    BTW: IMO, photography is photography is photography, whether it is digital or film based. Many of these old books can help a digital photographer establish a basis in our craft or art. I often will pick up one of these books for a trip down memory lane and thoroughly enjoy comparing the relative ease of digital photography with the more complicated technical aspects of film.

    However, a photographer can get into digital photography at a very low cost. Olympus once offered a line of Point and Shoot digital cameras which had many advanced features.

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/2003/8/29/olympusc5000zoom

    The Olympus Camedia C5000Z can shoot in many modes such as AV, TV, P, and manual. It can capture in JPEG or TIFF and has many capabilities, which once learned can be directly transferred to a DSLR camera. This little camera has a hotshoe and you can purchase an inexpensive used Vivitar or Sunpak hotshoe flash and learn how to shoot with flash. Actually for learning the various intracies of a digital system this little nexpensive camera has virtually everything you need to begin learning. It even has a video mode. You can learn how to post process your images using a free download such as Picassa (Olympus also supplied a disk with a reasonably capable post processing program along with the camera).

    You are not going to be able to make massive blow-ups from images captured by this 5mp camera but, you can learn the basics of digital photography. Best of all, the cost of a C5000Z is no more than that of a roll or two of 35mm film along with the processing.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=....c0.m270.l1313

    At a slightly higher price tag, Think about a used Olympus C5050Z. Seven or eight years ago, this camera sold here in the USA for $799 USD. You will eat up the hundred or hundred and fifty dollars cost of the C5050 in film and processing costs very quickly when shooting with the Practica. The great advantage of digital is that after the initial hardware investment, shooting is free.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=....c0.m270.l1313

    This is an exceptionally capable little camera which includes RAW capture capability along with many other bells and whistles usually found only on DSLR cameras such as spot metering. It uses two types of memory cards.

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusc5050z/

    Learnng digital photography with either an Olympus C5000Z or C5050Z will put you in a good position to make the most out of any DSLR camera you might want to purchase in the future. However, for emailing, small prints and most Internet uses, these cameras are just fine for the duration.

    Image from a C5050Z

    Getting the best out of an analogue camera (Praktica super TL3)
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 2nd December 2011 at 03:56 PM.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Gary

    Re: Getting the best out of an analogue camera (Praktica super TL3)

    Hello Richard,

    Thanks very much for your reply to my post.

    You bring up some valid points which I will investigate further. I think that you are right about making initial steps into digital to build up experience.

    In terms of film you are correct about cost. In the UK it costs around 12 to buy a 24 exposure film and have it developed. When I had the film processed, I guess there was only about 6 images that were ok. The rest were down to wrong settings, sun flare etc.

    The one thing that I want to do at the moment is experiment. That is with different apertures, shutter speeds etc. With film there is not the flexibility to do that. Not total true but at a cost.

    A couple of things are that you don't get quick feedback and also unless you methodically note down each aperture/shutter speed then you have not got that information either. In these areas digital can give you a big advantage. Hopefully, it will not be long before I to I am able to experiment with a digital setup.

    Cheers for now

    Gary

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