Prime as first lens for a beginner

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Gerry Winterbourne Forum Pro • Posts: 16,167
Re: Prime as first lens for a beginner

Photodog2 wrote:

Thanks for all the advice and suggestions! Great group of people here at DPR forums.

To clarify, it is an OM10, the non-pro version of the classic OM1 that I am gifting her.

I owned both in the 1970s. My wife preferred prints, I preferred slides so I put one type of film in each camera.

A beautifully designed film camera. Arguably one of the prettiest of all time. I never used it or any other OM during the film days as my budget and interest in gear at that time was limited to compact 35mm cameras. Most of them were less expensive Olympus clamshell models with zoom lenses, not the famous XAs.

My niece expressed an interest in film cameras during a Skype conversation (she studies in Australia and I'm in the U.S.) and she keeps an active Instagram account with all the photos taken by whatever smartphone her parents have bought for her.

Do you know how deeply this interest penetrates? The camera you propose is manual focus so she'll have to learn that. There's a fair amount of other stuff she'll need to learn too - here's a link to he camera manual. I'm not trying to put you off but ...

I decided on the OM10 because it is stylish and I know for my niece that is an important consideration. I think a big zoom lens ruins the aesthetics and a small prime keeps it looking at its best. But as some have pointed out a zoom lens might make her taste more success as a beginner and encourage her interest.

… with all that to learn I think messing about with a zoom lens for different fields of view could easily be a step too far. I'd start with a standard prime lens to let her see how things work. If she gets sufficiently interested it's easy enough to follow up with either a zoom or more primes.

She is used to the wide angle of smartphone cameras but pinch to zoom works well nowadays in good phones.

I have a nephew that I "converted" from smartphones to "real" cameras by gifting a Sony A3000 and zoom kit lens. Recently he has discovered the joy of adapting old lenses after I gave him 3 of my classic Minolta prime lenses. In return, he has become an expert in using Rawtherapee and sometimes coaches me on how to use it. This was a case when the versatility and convenience of a zoom lens I think helped encouraged his interest in ILCs. Well, I suppose if my niece finds a film camera and prime lens too inconvenient, I can always ask her to send it back and I would not mind to regain possession!

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First camera 1953, first Pentax 1985, first DSLR 2006

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MOD Biggs23
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