Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Thrifty Shooting


I picked up this Canon Rebel G SLR with a nice Lowepro camera bag, remote shutter release, manual, strap, and 35-80mm lens for $38.01 on ebay. Sure, it's a low-end Canon film SLR, but it's lightweight, has a huge array of lenses, and it is like-new condition. In fact, I actually picked this up because of the camera bag, and the rest was really a bonus. I know I'll get some crap about this from a few Nikon-toting friends, but imagine being able to buy a modern film SLR for less than the price of a battery for your digital camera.

The point I want to make here is, electronic film SLRs have many, if not most of the features of their digital descendants. If you find yourself wanting to play with film, and have never done so, a 35mm film SLR that is similar to the DSLR that you have been using makes sense. You won't have to learn a new layout or different controls, and unlike using a classic all-metal SLR (which are my favorites), the newer cameras are lightweight, compact, and don't add much weight to your bag. So, if you are wanting to try out a lightweight 35mm SLR -- consider a Nikon N80, or a Canon Rebel (not the digital kind). Pop on a 50mm 1.8 lens - new ones for either system are less than $100, bring along a few rolls of film (Ilford's XP-2 for C-41 b&w, Kodak's Ektar 100 or Fuji Superia 400 for color) and you are ready to go. So, watch ebay, Craig's list, or whatever. People are selling off their plastic-bodied SLRs for a fraction of the original price. Be patient or just lucky, and you may get an even better bargain than I did.
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6 comments:

ampm said...

Nice find Mark! We also bought not that long ago a Minolta Maxxum 70 with a kit zoom lens for about $25 w/shipping. We bought it to replace another similar camera that breakdown (but that we originally bought new for around 12 times that price :P)

Marc Akemann said...

Everything you say is true, Mark. There are unbelievable deals out there from several brands. Take your pick! Canon Rebel G equivalent Minolta Maxxum models are going for even less, $10 in some cases. And some of them have pro features like spot metering and most, if not all, have all the exposure modes etc., etc. It's quite amazing.

Anonymous said...

Last fall I bought a Xing neoprene SLR Case for $10 at a garage sale. Inside was a Canon Rebel Film Camera. I asked how much for the camera, they said case and camera $10!

PingALing said...

After reading many of your post it makes me want to buy a dslr camera. Unfortunately I don't have enough money. I only own 2 compact cameras and i'm trying to get the most out of it by reading and try taking pictures more and more. Now i'm starting a blog about compact camera (just started) can you come and give some opinion about my blog?

Mark said...

I think you missed my point -- for far less than the cost of a p&s digicam, you can buy a REAL SLR film camera and take wonderful photos. Still.

kellymjones said...

Totally agree with you Mark. I recently picked up a Pentax MZ-50 with the kit 35-85mm zoom and camera bag. Total cost? $40. Sure the zoom is slow, sure it's made of plastic... But it's a lot of fun, super light weight, and the quality of photos is surprisingly good. The controls are easy to figure and it's very quiet. All hail the cheap old AF SLR!