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View Full Version : I am Amateur....please give me advice........


swangga
09-29-2009, 16:55
Dear Mr. Hicks... I am a poor hand at photography and i want to start learning photography with RF cameras. I have some RF cameras but i don't know how to use it. So please give me advice to make a good picture with it, about the focusing, lighting, angel of view, diaphragm, EV (what is that??), exposure, speed, deep of field, aperture, and everything about photography,especially RF camera.....
I have Canonet 19, Canonet QL 17, Canonet 28, Yashica Electro 35, Minolta 7s, Eastar S2, Seagull 203, Ricoh GX 1, and Seagull 205. Maybe there are some tips and tricks for these cameras...
Thank you sir for your advice....

Merkin
09-29-2009, 17:03
is this a troll? didn't you post the exact same thread yesterday in another section of the forum?

swangga
09-29-2009, 17:10
yes, i posted same question on other thread.... I am really an amateur on photography, not only for RF cameras... I need advices because i'd tried to capture some picture but the result was so bad.... I don't know why my pictures were so dark and out of focus...... and my picture were not sharp as i want....

thetooth
09-29-2009, 17:11
i would make a trip to your local library and head to the photography section . i learned a lot from THE JOY OF PHOTOGRAPHY and THE TIME LIFE SERIES ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY . these books were from the 1970 and 1980 era and will be able to answer all you questions . good luck .

Leigh Youdale
09-29-2009, 17:29
Dear Mr. Hicks... I am a poor hand at photography and i want to start learning photography with RF cameras. I have some RF cameras but i don't know how to use it. So please give me advice to make a good picture with it, about the focusing, lighting, angel of view, diaphragm, EV (what is that??), exposure, speed, deep of field, aperture, and everything about photography,especially RF camera.....
I have Canonet 19, Canonet QL 17, Canonet 28, Yashica Electro 35, Minolta 7s, Eastar S2, Seagull 203, Ricoh GX 1, and Seagull 205. Maybe there are some tips and tricks for these cameras...
Thank you sir for your advice....

That's a huge collection of cameras for someone who claims to be an inexperienced amateur. The information you ask for has taken most of us many years to accumulate and the amount of information is not appropriate for posting due to its extent.
I second the advice to search out some instructional books and read them. Another suggestion, since you invoked the name of Roger Hicks, is go to his (and Frances) website where you will find, free of charge, a huge amount of information and answers to just about everything you've requested. Read it there!

swangga
09-29-2009, 17:42
Previously I've been a camera collector... I like to collect them because of its unique shape... But I rarely use my cameras.... So it's just for collection.....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157622388295934/

coelacanth
09-29-2009, 17:51
One advice. At least have one camera from your collection that you know it is working properly. You local camera repairman should be able to tell you. Or with a tiny bit of research, you should be able to tell yourself. Or buy a cheap Nikon FM10 or some fairly modern, guaranteed to work full manual camera. If you don't know what you are doing AND you don't know if your gear is working, it's really hard to move forward.

Then learn from books, the web, local community college photography class. Once you get a grip, it's not hard at all.

Leigh Youdale
09-29-2009, 18:39
Previously I've been a camera collector... I like to collect them because of its unique shape... But I rarely use my cameras.... So it's just for collection.....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157622388295934/

I see what you mean - a very interesting collection although some don't look to be in great shape. I presume you're in Indonesia or Malaysia?

Anyway, the advice above to select one camera that you know is working properly and get to learn on that before continually changing cameras is good advice. If you have one in good condition that you also have an instruction book for - even better. If you have no instruction books, many are available to download from <http://www.butkus.org/chinon/index.html>
Just check the list of camera brands on the left side of the page and you may well find what you need.

shiro_kuro
09-29-2009, 19:06
Check out the following books :

The Picture , An Associated Press Guide to Good News Photography

or

Leica Rangefinder Practice M6 to M1

uhligfd
09-29-2009, 19:06
I think the poster hit the nail on the head when his post wondered about the "angel of view" originally.

Surely to take great pictures one needs a touch of an angel, and to be touched by an 'angel of view' encompasses all these compositional, finding good pictures etc artsy qualities. Great insight, poster!

Thank you, poster, to be so enlightened in your approach to great art all by yourself. Nobody can help you more than your angel to find, see and take good pictures. Any camera will do when touched by an angel.

End of advice, or: self advice is always the best, good sir.

JohnTF
09-29-2009, 20:19
If you come across a copy of the "Golden Guide to Photography", very easy to read, and really covers basic use of cameras.

Any and all basic books can be useful, examples of common errors and successes are good to see.

And, do find one good working camera to stick with until you get some results you feel are satisfactory to you.

I can see today especially, that there might be so much information as to be overwhelming.

Equipment may well be secondary at this stage, just so long as it works.

Regards, John

BillBingham2
09-29-2009, 20:44
Swangga,

Welcome to RFF.

What part of the world are you located in? That will have a lot to do with how you might go about learning how to use the beautiful cameras you have.

The suggestion of picking one, making sure it is working well and sticking with it for a while is a great one.

There are lots of great books from all over that can help. While it may sound silly, I found a book on basic photography from National Geographic geared towards teaching kids photography a great basic book. Check out a local library for books from the 1970s was a great suggestion. Old army training manuals often have way too much info but if you pick and choose parts they are treasures of great stuff.

Start with learning about the basics of exposure and camera handling. Enough so you can feel comfortable you will get something back when you send your film in. Learn about electronic flash and existing light. Learn what fast shutter speeds will allow you to do and what slow ones are good for. Understand what different f-Stops will do (other than just let in less or more light) and about the angle of the sun to your camera.

From there perhaps composition and different lenses. Look at all the table top books and art books you can find. See what you like and understand why you like it. Go out and try to take what you've learned you like an apply it in your own pictures.

Let us know where you are and we will give you some input.

Again, welcome to one of the best places on the Web.

B2 (;->

swangga
09-29-2009, 20:48
I see what you mean - a very interesting collection although some don't look to be in great shape. I presume you're in Indonesia or Malaysia?

Anyway, the advice above to select one camera that you know is working properly and get to learn on that before continually changing cameras is good advice. If you have one in good condition that you also have an instruction book for - even better. If you have no instruction books, many are available to download from <http://www.butkus.org/chinon/index.html>
Just check the list of camera brands on the left side of the page and you may well find what you need.

Ok thanks for your advice.... Btw, how did u know I'm in Indonesia or Malaysia?? Yeah..I'm Indonesian.....

By the way...Thanks for all about your advices....It should be useful for me...

RicardoD
09-29-2009, 20:50
This may be heresy on RFF, but the best way to learn about photography now is digital camera and one of the books recommeded above.

Buy a used DSLR, like the original digital rebel, and put a simple prime lens on it. Then you get immediate feedback on how the various settings impact our photography. Sell the DSLR down the road when you are ready to switch back to rangefinders and film.

swangga
09-29-2009, 21:01
Swangga,

Welcome to RFF.

What part of the world are you located in? That will have a lot to do with how you might go about learning how to use the beautiful cameras you have.

The suggestion of picking one, making sure it is working well and sticking with it for a while is a great one.

There are lots of great books from all over that can help. While it may sound silly, I found a book on basic photography from National Geographic geared towards teaching kids photography a great basic book. Check out a local library for books from the 1970s was a great suggestion. Old army training manuals often have way too much info but if you pick and choose parts they are treasures of great stuff.

Start with learning about the basics of exposure and camera handling. Enough so you can feel comfortable you will get something back when you send your film in. Learn about electronic flash and existing light. Learn what fast shutter speeds will allow you to do and what slow ones are good for. Understand what different f-Stops will do (other than just let in less or more light) and about the angle of the sun to your camera.

From there perhaps composition and different lenses. Look at all the table top books and art books you can find. See what you like and understand why you like it. Go out and try to take what you've learned you like an apply it in your own pictures.

Let us know where you are and we will give you some input.

Again, welcome to one of the best places on the Web.

B2 (;->

Thank you very much Mr. Bingham for your advices and welcome mat for me.. I am located in Indonesia, South East Asia. In my country, RF cameras are just considered as an out of date camera, so I could get it on cheap price.
Now, I'm trying to learn about RF photograph on websites and I hope I can get much. I will also often visit this forum to improve my skill.
Regards.....

Tom Diaz
09-29-2009, 21:07
Dear Mr. Hicks... I am a poor hand at photography and i want to start learning photography with RF cameras. I have some RF cameras but i don't know how to use it. So please give me advice to make a good picture with it, about the focusing, lighting, angel of view, diaphragm, EV (what is that??), exposure, speed, deep of field, aperture, and everything about photography,especially RF camera.....
I have Canonet 19, Canonet QL 17, Canonet 28, Yashica Electro 35, Minolta 7s, Eastar S2, Seagull 203, Ricoh GX 1, and Seagull 205. Maybe there are some tips and tricks for these cameras...
Thank you sir for your advice....

To the other advice for reading matter, I will add The Camera by Ansel Adams. Adams was not only a fine photographer but one of the great technical writers on the subject. This very readable (if technical) book pretty much tells you all you need to know about how cameras work and how to operate them.

Do, of course, get some basic tips about exposure and go out there and shoot rather than spend too much time reading. Practice. In particular shoot before you spend too much more time reading things on this site, enjoyable though it is.

Tom

thinkfloyd
09-29-2009, 21:39
I learned most of what I know from reading and researching on the internet... the basics, I learned by purchasing "Photography for Dummies." :D Cheap book and widely available. Occe you get the basics down, answers to intermediate and advanced questions are readily available via this forum (among others):)

Leigh Youdale
09-29-2009, 21:46
Btw, how did u know I'm in Indonesia or Malaysia?? Yeah..I'm Indonesian.....
.

I looked up the Flicker site you mentioned to look at your collection and noticed some Bahasa words. I am now a retired safety consultant but did quite a lot of work in Indonesia over the last 10-12 years.

I think some of the guys giving advice here aren't very familiar with conditions in SE Asia and are writing from a Western/Northern Hemisphere perspective so some of the suggestions might be a little unsuited at this stage. I repeat my suggestion to visit Roger Hicks' website where there is just SO much information available in the one place. After you get started on that and learn the basics you will inevitably have more specific questions. If it's about anything on Roger's site I'm sure he'll be happy to answer it, and if it's anything else then people here will undoubtedly offer suggestions (bear in mind many of us are strongly opinionated! http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif)

Turtle
09-29-2009, 22:25
I strongly recommend reading through some beginners books. This forum cannot help as much as a book until you have attained some understanding of the basics.

Once you have looked thru the book, you will decide whether you are interested main in B&W or colour. You can then take it from there.

nksyoon
09-29-2009, 23:07
Some information on classic cameras here too: http://www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/index-body.html

Roger Hicks
09-29-2009, 23:44
Dear Swangga,

Have you any experience in any area of photography? And if so, film or digital? Because I need somewhere to start building from. Take a look at http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20basics%20camera.html for explanations of basic concepts such as aperture/iris diaphragm, then go on from there, as follows.

As others have said, you need a camera that is known to work. Focus while looking through the viewfinder. There will be a rangefinder patch in the middle. When the two images coincide precisely, one on top of the other, the camera is in focus. Check with subjects at different distances -- say, 1, 3, 5, 10 and 20 metres (just guess the distances and see if the camera agrees reasonably closely), then something a long way away -- 100+ metres -- which is near enough to infinity for a focusing mount.

When you have a camera that apears to be focusing OK, check the shutter speeds. Looking through the camera, with the back open, make sure the shutter works at all speeds.

Listen to the sound, especially at the slower speeds. These should be a smooth whirr: any hesitation indicates a sticky shutter, but often, just winding it and firing it several times will get it working well enough again. A useful trick is to listen to alternate speeds -- 1 - 1/4 - 1/15 - 1/60 - 1/250, then 1/2 - 1/8 - 1/30 - 1/125 - as the differences between the speeds are easier to hear this way.

Finally, check the diaphragm. Set the shutter to B and hold it open. Move the diaphragm control, marked (usually) 22 - 16 - 11 - 8 - 5.6 - 4 and for the 35mm cameras with smaller numbers Does it open and close? That's all you need. The smaller numbers are the bigger apertures.

With a working camera -- I'd choose 35mm rather than 120 -- load some 400-speed film in to it (just ask for 400-speed at a camera shop: you might even ask them to load it for you). The loading sequence is shown on http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20how%20load%2035mm.html. The camera chosen is an SLR but loading is the same.

Out of doors, in sunlight, set the aperture (diaphragm) to 16 and the shutter to 1/250. Focus: take pictures. Indoors, try 1/30 (shutter) at f/1.9 or f/1.7 (diaphragm). On a cloudy day, try 1/125 (shutter) at f/8 (diaphragm). There is lots more about exposure on http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20basics%20expoguide.html, which also tells you how to use the sort of meter you are likely to find on the cameras you have.

You may also care to look at http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20basics%20box%20brownie%20leica.html, 'The Box Brownie Leica', which tells you how to set up any manual camera as if it were a Box Brownie; at http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20how%20zone%20focus.html which is about scale and 'zone' focusing; and at http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20focus%201.html which is about focus in general.

By the time you have read this lot, you should be quite well placed. Some of the other advice you have received in this thread is excellent; some is just plain rude (Edit: though the worst of it has now been deleted); and some, I disagree with. For example, I don't think there's much point trying digital, given that you want to try the cameras you have, and I wouldn't really recommend Ansel Adams's The Camera because (in my view) he was a much better photographer than writer, and because the book contains a vast amount that is complerely irrelevant to a beginner.

Cheers,

Roger

BillBingham2
09-30-2009, 05:11
Sawngga,

A lot of older camera manuals from the 50's, 60's and 70's had a lot of great basic information about exposure, EVs, shutter speeds and such. Take a look here for manuals from Nikon, Leica and Hasselblad:

http://www.butkus.org/chinon/

Mike is a great guy who is using the Internet for one of the main purposes it was opened up years ago, sharing information with the world. Leveraging the millions of experts and dreamers that exist for the good of everyone else.

I am going to show my ignorance about your area of the world and say that I do not think there are a lot of books from famous photographers that you have easy access to. But you do have the internet which is almost as good. Garry Winogrand, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Henry Carter Benson and Ansel Adams are some great examples of different styles of photography. Take a google around for sites with their work, examples of their style and see what you find. See what you like about the pictures that you see. Write it down and compare each. Do the same with what you do not like. Look at the exposure, their angles, compare and contrast. This will help you develop your own style. You can find some great pictures here in the gallery from a wide range of people and on their Flickr sites (e.g. Keith) look here too. Photography is one of those arts where just about anyone can do it so beware there are lots of ok photographers out there too. If you like the pictures, then in my opinion they are good. Look at the greats for how they made the same basic picture better and you will learn.

One of the hardest things about photography is being critical about our own work. It hurts some times to hear honest feed back after putting hours into printing a pictures (these days read hours on the computer with photoshop or something tweaking it). Not everyone will give you honest or constructive feedback, beware. Lots of critics out there that often have no idea other than what they have read on a web site or in a book.

Please send me (pm from here or email) your name and mailing address. I have a few extra books that I would love to go to good home of someone who will use them. I would be happy and honored to send them your way. All I ask is that you learn what you can from them and then if and when you are ever done, give them to someone else who wants to learn.

Hope this helps.

B2 (;->
(aka Bill Bingham 2nd, please call me Bill or B2)

craygc
09-30-2009, 05:30
Also try here http://www.torrentz.com/3d0c92f46da0ea0752b99cc6e61358449f7ccf1d

Then look for these two documents. A little big but very good basic photography materials

* US Navy photography courses
*
o US Navy course - Photography (Advanced) NAVEDTRA 14208.pdf 10 Mb
o US Navy course - Photography (Basic) NAVEDTRA 14209.pdf 18 Mb

Merkin
09-30-2009, 05:33
a couple of things-

first, i apologize for my initial post. I mistook your earnestness for, well, something other than earnestness.

second, some of your cameras operate in different ways from others. some of them are fully manual, where you set the f/stop and the shutter speed manually. some are "aperture priority" cameras, where you set the f/stop and the camera chooses the correct shutter speed. this is how your yashica electro 35 operates. some are "shutter priority," where you set the shutter speed and the camera chooses the f/stop. your canonets have a shutter priority mode. a good thing to do is to read the manuals for your cameras, and if you don't have them, a bit of a google can turn up free copies of manuals for practically any camera in .pdf form. another good web resource for you is www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm , which teaches you how to set a correct exposure without a light meter. it is a more detailed and accurate version of the 'sunny 16' method outlined above. I use both methods, depending on circumstances.

third- I hope that you, your family, and your friends are all ok after the earthquake there in indonesia.

gilpen123
09-30-2009, 05:51
Swangga, your part of the world is very near my part of the world, Philippines. Though we might be considered as a 3rd world, surprisingly we have lots of good photographers with tremendous knowledge in this art. Surely there must be something in Indonesia where you can learn short courses on basics of photography or a local photography forum & camera clubs where you can interact with. I started way back in the 70's with basically no formal training. There is a scarcity of reading materials as well as most of the good ones are either circulated in the US or Europe only. Ordering from abroad is a PITA and besides very expensive for me at that time. I remember reading my 1st photography book over and over again in bed, while eating, during school breaks, in the bathroom, almost anywhere as I was very interested to learn. With the world in our fingers now, the learning curve becomes shorter. There are a lot of photography web sites where you can learn the basics and even advance skills. You can go to Roger's site or order at least one book of the many suggested here and take that very sincere and generous offer of Bill to send you some books. You can get some nasty remarks from time to time here but the message is always clear, read and practice a lot. Learning is a never ending thing until we are 6 feet under. Goodluck!

wgerrard
09-30-2009, 06:57
Swangga, here are some links I pulled from Google. I've only glanced at their content, but they seem like they might be useful. You might start with Roger and Frances site and then take a look at these to get someone else's perspective on the same subjects. I often find that's the best way for me to learn something new.

Lots of info on photography is on the web. Most of it is likely to be geared to digital camera, but the basics of focus, aperture, composition, etc., remain the same.

Oh... one thing to consider when you are examining your cameras to determine which are in working order is if it needs a battery and, if so, can you buy that battery? Batteries power light meters, which may or may not be included in cameras of your vintage. You can usually still use the camera if you cannot power the light meter, you will just need to determine the exposure yourself. (All will make sense as you read. Keep your eye open for something called the Sunny 16 rule.)

http://photo.net/learn/making-photographs/

http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Almost-Any-35mm-Film-Camera

http://www.siggraph.org/education/materials/HyperGraph/animation/cameras/traditional_film_camera_techniqu.htm

http://photographycourse.net/how-to-use-your-camera-2

http://www.dpchallenge.com/tutorial.php?TUTORIAL_ID=45

http://whileyouweregone.co.uk/photoguide/

http://www.brighthub.com/multimedia/photography/articles/951.aspx


Good luck and have fun!

swangga
09-30-2009, 13:19
Thank you all for the advices for me, especially Mr. Hicks...... Now, I'm trying to work with my Minolta 7s... It seems at one's best than my other cameras.... When I've spent my first film, I will post my pictures in this forum so you can criticize my photos... Maybe the best learning is practicing on take some pictures.. Thank you Mr. Hicks for your easy learning website, www.rogerandfrances.com. And for all RFF member that gave me advice, once again thank you guys....
Best Regards........

BillBingham2
09-30-2009, 13:25
Send me your info at bingham.b at comcast.net!

B2 (;->

BobPS
09-30-2009, 21:16
Hey Swangga, I'm from Indonesia too (I'm in Jakarta).
If you're looking for books on photography I believe you can find them at gunung agung or gramedia, the last time I checked all the books are for digital photography, but the principles are the same so it doesn't really matter. For film photography, if you can find one, look for an old book by RM Sularko which tittle is Teknik Fotografi. It's a great book. Anyway, send me a pm.

Bob

swangga
10-01-2009, 01:43
Send me your info at bingham.b at comcast.net!

B2 (;->

What information do you want from me, Sir?

Hey Swangga, I'm from Indonesia too (I'm in Jakarta).
If you're looking for books on photography I believe you can find them at gunung agung or gramedia, the last time I checked all the books are for digital photography, but the principles are the same so it doesn't really matter. For film photography, if you can find one, look for an old book by RM Sularko which tittle is Teknik Fotografi. It's a great book. Anyway, send me a pm.

Bob

Hello bob, nice to meet Indonesian here.... Ok I'll look for the book that you recommend... Thank you very much.....

BillBingham2
10-01-2009, 08:04
What information do you want from me, Sir?
.....

I will be mailing out some books. What name and address would I mail them to from over here? Send it to my email address in the previous listing.

B2 (;->