• 03-17-2004, 07:10 AM
    Which camera for B&W photography F100, N80, D70 ?
    I am into photography mostly B&W on enviromental nudes (Fav. Artists:Herb Ritts,Bruce Weber,Mario Testino,Avedon etc.) and Urban stories (Potraits, Architectural settings) type of photography. I am looking to buy a Nikon; but which one will suit my needs with 1000 $ (1200$ max) budget (inc. or excl. lens)? F100 , N(F)80 or new D70 ? I have used manual cameras such as FM2 in the past. Howewer, now I want to switch to something reliable, quick, with good built quality. I am very new to Digital cameras,This new D70 is good enough to make such photography (see above)? Or digital cameras are not good enough for B&W photography ? Some say image size sensor is limited on Digital ones (23,7mm-15,6mm) compare to regular SLR (where image sensor size is about 24mm-36 mm) How does this effect on the results of such photography ?

    About the lens, I am going to buy lens for this new equipment. I have suggested to go for 24-120 mm for the beginning.
    This is where I started to get confused; bec 24-120 Nikon lens cost about 650-700 $, F100 is about 800$ (in a good deal), Together is too much for me. But If I go for N(F)80 for 245 $ (on sale at infinitycameras.com) plus good lens such as Nikkor 24-120mm. What would be the result like ? Or Just got for new D70 with bundled lens and buy good lens later time. Same for F100 with regular lens (buying with 28-105mm AF, 250 $) and buy good lens later? Or Are there any other cheaper brands for lenses where I can use with any of these Nikons easily (also in the future)?

    Thanks for your assistance

    Hamdi Hakan
  • 03-17-2004, 09:53 AM
    Film vs Digital for B&W
    This isn't so much about what camera to buy as it is about how digital compares to film for black and white. My inclination is to tell you to stick with film. When you're shooting black and white film you choose your film type, shoot it, print it and that's that. Of course, you can get creative with the processing if you develop your own film, but that's sort of a separate issue. On the other hand, if you shoot black and white with a digital camera, you have to convert your images to black and white yourself. It sounds simple but in reality it places a lot of responsibility on the photographer that wasn't there in the past. What is the right method? How do you get consistency? What is the right look? With film the look is pretty much a combination of the film and your paper. With digital, it's all up to the person setting up the files. And there are an endless number of methods and options. The learning curve can be a problem. So shooting film is simpler.

    As for cameras, the camera doesn't much matter when you're shooting film. It's the lens and film that really count. For digital the camera includes the sensor so it makes a big difference. Comparing price you should figure in the cost of film and processing when you're comparing film cameras to digital. However, there are hidden costs with digital photography, too. Most digital beginners find they very quickly need new hard drives, extra batteries, more memory, and even a new computer. You need to consider what the real benefits of buying a digital camera would be for you. Will it help you, do you just want one, or do youfeel pressure from the digital-happy photography community?

    The sensor size on digital cameras is only an issue if you like to use wide angle lenses. Smaller sensor size means that you essentially crop each image in the camera. I think the D70 has a 1.5x digital crop factor. That would mean your 24mm lens would effectively become a 36mm lens on the D70. If you like to shoot wide, you'll want to buy something wider than a 24mm lens. My "normal" lens with my Canon EOS 1D is a 20mm prime.

    If you're worried that digital won't match the aesthetic qualities of the black and white photographers you admire - don't worry about it. You can get whatever look you want if you know how to use light, exposure, and you know how to convert your images to black and white. But shooting film might still be easier for you. That's really a personal decision. I do think that in the long run a digital SLR is the better decision. But if your budget doesn't allow it, buy the less expensive film body and a really good lens. You can buy a digital SLR later, if you want, and your lens will work just fine.
  • 03-17-2004, 11:33 AM
    Michael Fanelli
    Two Cents More
    Choosing between film and digital for B&W is about preference. Although digital is vastly superior to film when it comes to color work, B&W still looks better to me when done with film. Maybe it's my age, but B&W without the grain, no matter how fine, just doesn't look right. Be aware, however, that going the film route is a lot more exspensive.
  • 03-17-2004, 11:42 AM
    another view
    NEWS FLASH: Both Photo John and Michael Fanelli recommend film cameras...

    Couldn't resist. I posted to this same topic in the Help Forum, so that's my story. Film will have the re-occuring costs of film itself, processing and printing but those prices are very reasonable. I buy film from B&H, the "made in USA for export" version of Kodak, for under $3 per roll. Cheaper yet would be buying a 100' roll and loading it into reusable cartridges yourself. If you want to master it, do it yourself (I am by no means anything more than a beginner at developing). Since so many people are giving it up for the digital darkroom, the equipment is very cheap. Look on ebay for used darkroom stuff, it's a buyer's market! And if you do go this route, consider a medium format enlarger to keep that possibility open down the road (used medium format cameras are getting cheaper all the time too).
  • 03-17-2004, 12:02 PM
    Michael Fanelli

    Originally Posted by another view
    NEWS FLASH: Both Photo John and Michael Fanelli recommend film cameras...

    Well, I was in an car accident last week and hit my head pretty hard...