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Roadkill, if you have a scanner, you can find a good film camera for less money than a digital.

 

If you don't own a scanner, then go ahead and look at digital, since the price of a film camera + scanner would equal the cost of a decent digital.

 

Most good camera stores also have layaway plans and the ones I know of also sell used equipment. You can also check out pawn shops, but I'd be careful about that. If you do, ask if you can shoot a couple of pics to try it out before you buy.

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IN the words of Skull the Troll from PVP:

 

 

 

--lstormhammer

Ziess is one of the best lenses/optics that can be found, but you also tend to pay for it.

While I can't argue with your assessment I doubt a Ziess lense is in the range the folks here are looking at price wise.  A single Ziess would cost more that most of these folks are looking to spend on their camera investment.  

We have Ziess lenses for our Hasselblad but unless these folks have several thousand dollars laying around I wouldn't recommend either of those brands.  That's like telling people who want a car to drive to store that a Mercedes is a nice choice.:)

No offence but I doubt a Ziess is a must for taking pictures of minis.  I do agree though that people should go to a camera store.  I can't stress that enough.  No department store, office store, or big electronics store can give you the information you need.  Most of the cameras being purchased at Wal-Mart and Best Buy are gonna be used to take snap shots of the kids and vacation pics.  If you want to do anything as specialized as taking pictures of miniatures then you need to talk to an expert.  The sales dude at your local super store has no idea what kind of camera you need and is probably using his one megapixel Kodak piece of junk to take nude pics of his girlfriend.  There's nothing wrong with that but he is not going to know how to help you.  The people at the camera store are probably not any more familiar with taking pictures of miniatures than the sales dude at a super store but if you explain what you are wanting to do with the camera they will know better how to help you.  Take a miniature in with you and some examples of miniature photography to give them an idea what you are looking for.

On a related note I just took some pics of my own minis with our new Fuji Fine Pics S2 Pro that came out pretty nice.  I'll try to get them posted soon.  At first I was thinking.  Hey that wasn't so hard.  Then I realized how many thousands of dollars of equipment I was using and how beyond the reach of the average gamer it would be if they only wanted to take pics of their minis.  I don't know what type of camera the average Joe needs to take pics of their minis but I will second the advice to go to a camera store.  You may end up paying a bit more but you will be far more likely to get the equipment you need.

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Actually, Zeiss also makes some of the lenses found in less expensive cameras such as some Canons. Sure, they make their own cameras as well, but if you look at the lens opening itself, some of them will say Zeiss on the inside ring.

 

As for people at camera stores not knowing about taking pictures of miniatures.. true, not minis specifically, but anyone working in a camera store worth their salt is going to know about taking "closeup" pictures. Shoot, I learned all about that in high school in my very first photography class. The same rules apply in any kind of closeup photography as they do with miniatures.

 

Yes, do take a miniature with you. See if the salesperson helping you will allow you to do some testing. Any good photo store will allow this. Once you figure out what you want you see if the other stores like Best Buy or Wal-Mart even carry them. I've noticed even Office Depot and Office Max carry digital cameras. Definately don't ask some of the salespeople at the large department type stores like Wal-Mart or Mejiers, however you never know what some of those people know. There could be a college student studying photography in their midst who knows a lot about the current equipment on the market. Especially in these lean job markets.

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Actually, Zeiss also makes some of the lenses found in less expensive cameras such as some Canons. Sure, they make their own cameras as well, but if you look at the lens opening itself, some of them will say Zeiss on the inside ring.

 

As for people at camera stores not knowing about taking pictures of miniatures.. true, not minis specifically, but anyone working in a camera store worth their salt is going to know about taking "closeup" pictures. Shoot, I learned all about that in high school in my very first photography class. The same rules apply in any kind of closeup photography as they do with miniatures.

I'm not really familiar with the 35mm lenses from Zeiss or what their cost range is.  Heck I'm not that familiar with the ones we have on the Hassselblad.  I'm not the photographer at our studio.  I'm just the assistant.  I'm still very much in the student phase though I'm quickly becoming the digital guy at our little studio even though we've only had our Fuji about a month now.

I'm not a photography expert by a long shot.  It still slug around with a couple of Pentax K1000s which I love as deeply as a man can love a hunk of moving metal bits and glass.  I only rarely get to play with the big toys.  It's been a while since I was serious about photography and I have only recently picked it up again as a result of working in my families photo studio over the last year and a half.  Man do I wish I had studied photography at University rather than sculpture and painting.  In High School I was a much better photographer than artist.  Oh well.    

About the sales people at camera shops knowing more about close up photography.  That was kinda my point.  Even though they probably have not taken pics of minis they will have a much better idea of what you need for close up photography.  I guess I wasn't clear.

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Ahh, the Pentex K1000, my first love. That, quite simply in my opinion, is the best camera ever made.

 

Completely and totally manual, the photographer had complete control over the functions and how the picture was shot. You can do anything with this camera, and generally a LOT better than those more expensive jobbers that cost three to four times as much. As little as $150 would get you the camera and 50mm lens.

 

Then they stopped making them.  :(

 

I thought I was going to cry when I found out. Awesome camera, especially for a beginner. I still remember dropping one down a flight of concrete stairs at school. Now, while I DON'T recommend trying this, I lucked out... only a couple of dings to the body, and those were cosmetic in nature. Didn't do anything at all to harm the workings of this beautiful piece of work.

 

If anyone has a chance to snag one of these up, I highly recommend it. Wonderful camera, even if it's not digital. You can learn so much from this simple little camera it's almost scary.

 

*sigh* Ahh, memories. I think I still have the first negs I ever took with one of those and developed on my own somewhere.

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I've always called K1000s the AK-47s of the camera world.  You can drag them through #### and they will still shoot better than almost any other camera out there.  I got both my backs used for $50 each about twelve years ago.  It's a crying shame they don't make them any more.
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I'm still looking lstorm. Unfortunately, most of the good cameras like that are no longer made, like the Nikon EM. However, these can be found on Ebay.

 

It's very difficult these days to find an inexpensive, totally manual camera. Most have some sort of automatic ability attached to them. While that's a nice feature, some people want the completely manual ability and non-plastic part body.

 

 

Give me something solid I can hold in my hand and not get my fingers in the way of the lens.

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