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Thread: Canon RF vs SLR

  1. #1
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    Canon RF vs SLR

    I own a Canon QL17, which i used only to check that it works, but nothing else. I've decided i wanna try film photography and this should prolly be good for a start. From what i found on web, lens that this rangefinder has is supposed to be pretty good, even wide open (its 45mm f/1.7 btw).
    But if i really do get into this film thing, slr will probably be a better option, if i get one with EF mount. Only EF lens i currently own is 50mm f/1.4 and i'm guessing it should be better then the one on RF, but then 45mm is closer to normal lense then 50mm is... and i always preferred a wider lens.
    Thing is in my upgrade plan next lens is sigma 10mm which is again EF-s lens so i'll be stuck with 50mm on slr for a long time.

    Would you keep this rangefinder in my place, or would you sell it and wait for a good opportunity to buy eos elan-IIe or something similar?

    Btw heres a few pictures and a few specs, i think it looks kinda cool
    http://imgur.com/a/NELx0#0
    shutter priority AE
    shutter speed 1/4 to 1/500, bulb is also mode available
    it needs a 1.3V mercury battery which aren't produced anymore, but zink-air battery can be ordered from ebay and used as replacement
    Last edited by ogrec; 12-09-2012 at 08:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Canon RF vs SLR

    What has drawn you to film instead of digital? Is it more of a nostalgia thing, or just more of something you have always liked?
    Words get in the way of what I meant to say.

  3. #3
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    here's my 2c, I've been playing a lot with films lately, I've gone a bit nuts and seem to have one of everything right now.

    I recently inherited my dad's old rangefinder, a Petri 7s Circle-eye with 45mm f/2.8 lens. Unfortunately there was just the beginnings of moisture/fungus behind an element (probably my fault when I took it out to play with a few years ago), when I cleaned it off the coating came too (although the iq still isn't too bad). I'm keeping it for memory value only, I know I could get another decent one off ebay for $50.

    I've never played with a QL17, but it looks roughly the same, leaf shutter and fixed lens. One thing that JRW touched on, I'll expand a bit.
    These cameras (especially old rangefinders) are fun. They are not for fine art. If you want to make 2'x3'-sized prints, get a 5D or better.
    But that's why I like these old things, I just throw one in my pocket when I'm going out for a walk and never know what I'm going to find (I suppose that's the definition of 'street').
    They're quiet (at least a lot better than a film slr with motor drive), quieter than my 7D, not sure about the 5D3 silent mode, makes for great discrete street shooting. They're certainly a lot smaller, hiking would be good too.
    So if you want to go out and have some fun, by all means keep the rangefinder. But if that doesn't sound like you, just do it anyway, run a film or two through it and you might discover you like it.

    As for EF-mount film cameras, you can't get better price/performance than an EOS 3, mine cost me $150 or so. Has the same 45pt AF from 1D/s, but with eye-control, takes the 1D-series focussing screens (i've got an EC-cIV in mine). It does chew batteries when you don't use it, just take them out when you get home (I also bought a PB-E2 grip for it, that takes my 8 eneloops to save on batteries. It can do 8fps with that, but that's a 5-second roll of film, I ain't made of money).
    It's great fun going out with just the Shorty McFortington and a yellow filter with B+W film in it. Last weekend I took one on a Bucks' party, brewery tour, I don't even remember taking half the shots being so blind drunk, but they were still perfectly in focus because of the eye-control AF (and f/4).
    But unless you shoot with Efke KB25, Ilford Delta Pro 50 or Velvia RVP50 (some of the best films around today), you'll get better IQ with a 5D3. When the 5D3 came out I did the maths of how many rolls I could do for the same $4000, made my choice and got my EOS 3. I've had some great results with my Samyang 35/1.4 and Velvia 50. Probably not as good as a 5D3 (I don't have one to compare), but at least as good if not better than my 7D.

    As for flash and whatnot, I'm not bothering with film. Yes, I know people used flashes for over a century before digital came out, I can just as easily put my 430EX on my 3 as my 7D, but i'm just too lazy to learn. Chimping on the LCD is the only way to go for me, otherwise it's a bit of a learning curve, expensive with film, and you don't get the direct-feedback (by the time you get the films processed a week later you'll forget what settings you used anyway). ETTL has also come a long way in the last 10 years.

    JRW mentioned cheap medium format, I've also been playing with that too. I'm intrigued as to what 'current lenses' you can get for $500 (i'm presuming mamiya 645af lenses, if so that's a good deal, please elaborate!). The cheapest way in with good IQ is Pentacon Six or Kiev 60, Zeiss Jena lenses go cheap ($100-200 for even the latest Red MC lenses). Or go the Mamiya 645 (Super, Pro, ProTL are the 'sweet spot'), you can put Pentacon 6 lenses (and the more expensive Hasselblads) on it via adapter, or the mamiya 645 lenses aren't so bad either.
    I've also picked up a Mamiya 645AF (which can only take old 3rd-party digital backs, not the IQ180 unfortunately) for $400, which may have been even a bit much. They can also take 'old' mamiya 645 MF lenses, plus the new AF lenses (which are damned expensive still, as much as I'd like one).
    And the IQ out of them is great. I scanned a shot on Velvia 50, taken with mamiya 645AF and Zeiss Flektogon 50mm f/4 Red MC, at 2400dpi to a 21MP file, can't even see the grain and damned sharp. I could scan it to 9600dpi with a bit of tweaking my scanner driver (i've got an Epson v750-Pro, best flatbed ever made), but then i'd get an unworkable 334MP file that would just show more grain.
    But for $500 worth of camera and lens, $600 worth of scanner, $20 worth of film and developing, it will still beat digitals over 5x the price.

    If you're into the Lo-Fi Lomo side of things, i've done that too. Scour ebay for bulk lots of expired films, go out shooting anything and everything, and expect to go through a lot of films before you find what works (but that's half the fun, not know what it will look like until you get it back from the lab). A lot more fun than sitting on photoshop messing with colours yourself.
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.
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  4. #4
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    thx, guys
    Dr Croubie, could you link me a few sites/forums about film photography? i'd like to develop all my photos myself and i'd definitely like to scan them, but i only have 1200dpi scanner and i was thinking about using my 60D for the job instead, dunno if that would work, taking picture of a negative...

    also, how come theres no eye focus control in DSLRs? from what i've read about it its supposed to be awesome, maybe you dont need it in 60D, but 7D, 5Dmk3 and 1D's could definitely use it...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ogrec View Post
    I own a Canon QL17,
    Oh giggle and snort- that was my first camera! I can see where using film would cause one to be more attentive to settings vs. click & chimp until you get the shot right.

    All the best and happy pix
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  6. #6
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    Actually, I should also mention that I just got a BetterScanning wet/dry film holder for my v750 scanner. So far I've only scanned about 3 negatives, after doing a lot of height-calibration scans (the scanner lovingly came with a transparent colour-chart). I've yet to buy the wet-mounting fluid, I don't suppose I'll use it that often, only for the really really good ones I want to print huge.
    But the results i'm getting from Dry Mounting vs the film-holder is already a lot better, but a lot slower and harder with sticky-tape going everywhere.
    The thing with the scanners is that the Epson 750 is the best flatbed, it's got coated glass for no reflections but is otherwise similar to the 700. Down from there is the 600 and lower, they've got a much smaller film-area. The 700/750 can scan up to almost an A4-sized transparency, not that I'm going to (god help me if i ever start shooting 8x10). But it gets 24 frames of 135 on a single scan, 6 frames of 6x6, 8 frames of 6x4.5. The 600 and lower only get half that, and nothing wider than 120film (again, don't get into Large Format or you'll go broke). I'm not sure about other brands, I've heard good things about the Nikon Coolscan, but just saw one on ebay for over $5k, don't even think about a Flextight. They're Drum-scanners and a lot better, but you pay for it. No other flatbeds come close to the Epson from what i've heard. Check out here for reviews on lots of scanners.

    Developing your own film is a hassle that i just don't want to deal with, I spend more than enough time on my photos as it is without needing to mix chemicals. I'd rather pay my $6.50 a roll and let someone else deal with it. I have considered it though, and the only thing that I could think of is to find someone locally who knows what they're doing, and get instruction, maybe even find a course if you're lucky. B+W is always the easiest, maybe Negs, but afaik Slides are a crapload more complicated to do at home.

    And jrw, I think that the 90mm f/3.5 is the normal lens for an RB/RZ 6x7, which was definitely the more studio/professional oriented camera (still, you can get digital backs for them, that rotate like like RB film backs, and not for m645AF and the manual bodies).
    Mamiya 645 Manual lenses all started as Sekor 'C', then the newer versions are 'N' (and the occasional L or LS for Leaf-Shuttered), all the new AF lenses are called AF. All the manual ones can be used on Manual and AF cameras, and EOS via a $10 adapter. The AF ones can only be used properly on AF, they will fit on manual bodies and EOS via adapter, but only wide open.
    The confusing bit is that most RB/RZ 67 lenses are called Sekor 'Z', but some are also called 'N'. It's easy to tell with it in your hand though, once you know what the mounts look like, and most RB/RZ lenses don't have focussing helicoids because the focus was in the camera (just like Rollei SL66).

    As for eye control, yes, it's awesome. But when it came out apparently there were complaints at the time (most by people who didn't realise there was an 'off' switch, much like how people complain about video in dslrs these days), and it wasn't the best with glasses and/or contact lenses (not a problem for me). It only ever made it into the EOS 3 and EOS 5 and maybe another lower model or two, it didn't go into the EOS 1V. there were probably other technical reasons it didn't get put into the 1V or dslrs in general, maybe it mucked with the metering (like red-AF points in the 5D3/1DX)? I dunno, but I love it, and wish my 7D had it.
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.
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