Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

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Poonis5 Junior Member • Posts: 33
Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

Good day everyone!
I like reading this forum because it has a lot of interesting discussions. But today I will post myself because I need help.
I'll try to be short.I've been shooting 35mm for 4 years and now understand how to make not a bad photo. Since film prices are rising and film isn't good for all uses I need a digital camera.

1. I started liking shooting macro and b&w street photography. This is what I need new camera for.
2. I have a collection of good manual lenses that I really want to use on digital bodies.
3. Budget is $400 max. BUT I'm from Eastern Europe and used equipment is noticably cheaper than on western markets.
4. I'd like to stick to the system I choose to invest in it in future.

I thought about buying a Fuji X-E2 but kit fuji zoom lesnes cost like the used body itself! And screen doesn't flip up which I need when I'm shooting insects on the ground. Also there are no "scenes" that could help digital beginner shoot with correct settings. On the other hand it's small and can imitate film colors.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II has this cool focus bracketing which is good for macro and isn't pricey but we don't even know if Olympus will support their camera business any longer. And 2x crop makes most of my collection telephotos. 
These ramblings go on and on and I don't know what to do...

Fujifilm X-E2 Olympus OM-D E-M10
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tirediron Regular Member • Posts: 124
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

Location and budget may make this challenging; normally my go-to budget recommendation for a budget DSLR is a Nikon D700, however that's NOT a small camera and not really ideally suited for street shooting.  Have you looked at Pentax?  I can't speak to a specific model, but I think that might be your best bet for an all around budget/size requirement.

clackclack Senior Member • Posts: 1,765
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

tirediron wrote:

Location and budget may make this challenging; normally my go-to budget recommendation for a budget DSLR is a Nikon D700, however that's NOT a small camera and not really ideally suited for street shooting. Have you looked at Pentax? I can't speak to a specific model, but I think that might be your best bet for an all around budget/size requirement.

the D700 is ideal for street, ..just saying.

ant

rurikw
rurikw Veteran Member • Posts: 3,140
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera
1

I don't know which lenses you have but they will probably not all perform well on digital. Depends on your expectations. With APS-C or M4/3 you'd crop the likely soft edges away but the more tightly packed sensor isn't easy on the optics. My 50mm film lenses do fine on M4/3, all other focal lengths so-so or bad.

If in spite of the above, you feel attracted to FF, I've been looking at a Canon RP. Saw one for under 600€/$ on eBay. AFAIK among FF mirrorles only Canon has fully articulated screens which I consider important, particularly for macro, YMMV. Budget allowing you could get an adapter and build up an assortment of cheap but good DSLR lenses over the years.

 rurikw's gear list:rurikw's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 5000 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill +28 more
TheGrammarFairy Regular Member • Posts: 360
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera
1

What brand of lenses do you own? The reason I ask is that there are some lenses that won't focus to infinity on certain bodies without an expensive adapter.

And how is your eyesight? Have you tried focusing a manual lens in dimmer light lately?

Some digital cameras are better for manual focusing than others—you might look for a camera that offers what is called "focus peaking" on the LCD screens—focus peaking is it is a feature that puts a colored outline around whatever is in focus.

And go ask over at the Adapted Lens forum. They might be able to steer you to a camera that has been successful for people like you.

OP Poonis5 Junior Member • Posts: 33
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

TheGrammarFairy wrote:

What brand of lenses do you own? The reason I ask is that there are some lenses that won't focus to infinity on certain bodies without an expensive adapter.

And how is your eyesight? Have you tried focusing a manual lens in dimmer light lately?

Some digital cameras are better for manual focusing than others—you might look for a camera that offers what is called "focus peaking" on the LCD screens—focus peaking is it is a feature that puts a colored outline around whatever is in focus.

And go ask over at the Adapted Lens forum. They might be able to steer you to a camera that has been successful for people like you.

I own mostly M42s, couple of Pentax Ks and a bunch of FSU M39s
I'm wearing glasses by the way. Focusing in deem light isn't that hard for me.

OP Poonis5 Junior Member • Posts: 33
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

tirediron wrote:

Location and budget may make this challenging; normally my go-to budget recommendation for a budget DSLR is a Nikon D700, however that's NOT a small camera and not really ideally suited for street shooting. Have you looked at Pentax? I can't speak to a specific model, but I think that might be your best bet for an all around budget/size requirement.

I don't think Nikon will work because it's hard to adapt my M42 and Pentax K lesnes to it.

I have nothing against Pentax but it's so rarely discussed on forums where I was searching for answers like Reddit so I thought it's probably not good. But I will look into their models now. Thank you.

David5833 Senior Member • Posts: 1,493
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

Poonis5 wrote:

...Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II has this cool focus bracketing which is good for macro and isn't pricey

This makes a lot of sense if you can find one for a good price, you have obviously done some homework. The focus bracketing feature is pretty cool, as are many other features that are fun to play with, e.g. live composite. With a little ingenuity you can even use the pop-up flash for macro.

but we don't even know if Olympus will support their camera business any longer.

IMHO, this is a non-issue but the panic over it might help you find great bargains from foolish panic sellers.

And 2x crop makes most of my collection telephotos.

That is good!  For macro, get an adapter and a Raynox diopter lens for your adapted lenses, works best on a telephoto like a 150mm. Start with the DCR-150, maybe add the DCR-250 later. At some point you might be able to afford an Olympus 60mm macro, a superb lens, easily as good or better than any of my much more expensive full frame Nikon or Tamron macro lenses.

For general photography, the inexpensive Olympus kit zoom 14-42R II lens is surprisingly good and there are several other similar very good to excellent native lenses from Olympus, Panasonic and third-parties that you can find for cheap. I don't think you will be sorry.

 David5833's gear list:David5833's gear list
Canon G9 X II Nikon D810 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Nikon D7500 Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4D ED-IF +12 more
D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,957
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

Poonis5 wrote:

Good day everyone!
I like reading this forum because it has a lot of interesting discussions. But today I will post myself because I need help.
I'll try to be short.I've been shooting 35mm for 4 years and now understand how to make not a bad photo. Since film prices are rising and film isn't good for all uses I need a digital camera.

1. I started liking shooting macro and b&w street photography. This is what I need new camera for.
2. I have a collection of good manual lenses that I really want to use on digital bodies.

For that you need a mirrorless camera, not a DSLR.

Your budget isn't enough for a Full Frame camera (which would give the original angles of view from the lenses). The next best thing is an APS-C size mirrorless camera.

The first interchangeable-lens digital camera that I bought, 9 years ago, was a Sony APS-C mirrorless. It gave excellent results with my manual lenses, Current models are better. So I would suggest any of Sony's A6000 series. Even the basic A6000 can give excellent image quality.

3. Budget is $400 max. BUT I'm from Eastern Europe and used equipment is noticably cheaper than on western markets.
4. I'd like to stick to the system I choose to invest in it in future.

The Sony E mount allows you to upgrade in the future to more advanced models, including ones with full-frame sensors. The only one to avoid is the first version of the A7R, which had bad shutter shock.

I thought about buying a Fuji X-E2 but kit fuji zoom lesnes cost like the used body itself! And screen doesn't flip up which I need when I'm shooting insects on the ground. Also there are no "scenes" that could help digital beginner shoot with correct settings. On the other hand it's small and can imitate film colors.

Why do you want to imitate film colours ?

If you really want to mess with the colours, there are plenty of programs for doing that on a computer.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II has this cool focus bracketing which is good for macro and isn't pricey but we don't even know if Olympus will support their camera business any longer. And 2x crop makes most of my collection telephotos.
These ramblings go on and on and I don't know what to do...

Fortunately, you can get good results with almost any mirrorless camera. So don't stress too much.

Macro lenses work particularly well.

 D Cox's gear list:D Cox's gear list
Sigma fp
D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,957
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

tirediron wrote:

Location and budget may make this challenging; normally my go-to budget recommendation for a budget DSLR is a Nikon D700, however that's NOT a small camera and not really ideally suited for street shooting. Have you looked at Pentax? I can't speak to a specific model, but I think that might be your best bet for an all around budget/size requirement.

Both of those are SLR models, so not suitable for use with manual lenses from film SLRs.

 D Cox's gear list:D Cox's gear list
Sigma fp
rurikw
rurikw Veteran Member • Posts: 3,140
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

David5833 wrote:

Poonis5 wrote:

...Olympus OM-D E-M10 mark II has this cool focus bracketing which is good for macro and isn't pricey

This makes a lot of sense if you can find one for a good price, you have obviously done some homework. The focus bracketing feature is pretty cool, as are many other features that are fun to play with, e.g. live composite. With a little ingenuity you can even use the pop-up flash for macro.

but we don't even know if Olympus will support their camera business any longer.

IMHO, this is a non-issue but the panic over it might help you find great bargains from foolish panic sellers.

And 2x crop makes most of my collection telephotos.

That is good! For macro, get an adapter and a Raynox diopter lens for your adapted lenses, works best on a telephoto like a 150mm. Start with the DCR-150, maybe add the DCR-250 later. At some point you might be able to afford an Olympus 60mm macro, a superb lens, easily as good or better than any of my much more expensive full frame Nikon or Tamron macro lenses.

For general photography, the inexpensive Olympus kit zoom 14-42R II lens is surprisingly good and there are several other similar very good to excellent native lenses from Olympus, Panasonic and third-parties that you can find for cheap. I don't think you will be sorry.

As a m43 shooter i can second that if you are ok with the narrower angle of view on your old lenses. My Panasonic GX7 with 5 m43 lenses gives me a zoom range from 9 to 150mm (18-300 in FF equivalent terms). The whole package cost me only a bit over 1000€ and fits into a smallish bag. The cheap kit zooms (Pana 14-42mk2 and 45-150) are quite sharp. I also have M42 lenses of 20, 28, 35, 50 and 135mm. The only one I use on the GX7 is the Macro-Takumar 50mm f4.

 rurikw's gear list:rurikw's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 5000 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill +28 more
D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,957
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

rurikw wrote:

I don't know which lenses you have but they will probably not all perform well on digital. Depends on your expectations. With APS-C or M4/3 you'd crop the likely soft edges away but the more tightly packed sensor isn't easy on the optics. My 50mm film lenses do fine on M4/3, all other focal lengths so-so or bad.

All of my lenses have given very good results on APS-C and on full frame, except for a 20mm Nikkor.

The M4/3 cameras have a thicker cover glass over the sensor, which is a good thing in itself (it keeps the dust out of focus), but not good for use with simple adapters.

If in spite of the above, you feel attracted to FF, I've been looking at a Canon RP. Saw one for under 600€/$ on eBay. AFAIK among FF mirrorles only Canon has fully articulated screens which I consider important, particularly for macro, YMMV. Budget allowing you could get an adapter and build up an assortment of cheap but good DSLR lenses over the years.

He already has the lenses.

 D Cox's gear list:D Cox's gear list
Sigma fp
D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,957
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

Poonis5 wrote:

TheGrammarFairy wrote:

What brand of lenses do you own? The reason I ask is that there are some lenses that won't focus to infinity on certain bodies without an expensive adapter.

And how is your eyesight? Have you tried focusing a manual lens in dimmer light lately?

Some digital cameras are better for manual focusing than others—you might look for a camera that offers what is called "focus peaking" on the LCD screens—focus peaking is it is a feature that puts a colored outline around whatever is in focus.

And go ask over at the Adapted Lens forum. They might be able to steer you to a camera that has been successful for people like you.

I own mostly M42s, couple of Pentax Ks and a bunch of FSU M39s
I'm wearing glasses by the way. Focusing in deem light isn't that hard for me.

Peaking makes it easy.

The few Super Takumars that I have give very good image quality on digital.

 D Cox's gear list:D Cox's gear list
Sigma fp
rurikw
rurikw Veteran Member • Posts: 3,140
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

D Cox wrote:

rurikw wrote:

I don't know which lenses you have but they will probably not all perform well on digital. Depends on your expectations. With APS-C or M4/3 you'd crop the likely soft edges away but the more tightly packed sensor isn't easy on the optics. My 50mm film lenses do fine on M4/3, all other focal lengths so-so or bad.

All of my lenses have given very good results on APS-C and on full frame, except for a 20mm Nikkor.

Nice to hear. So maybe mine can have a future too when and if I go FF.

The M4/3 cameras have a thicker cover glass over the sensor, which is a good thing in itself (it keeps the dust out of focus), but not good for use with simple adapters.

I have indeed wondered if that might be a problem. In that case better for the OP to avoid m43.

If in spite of the above, you feel attracted to FF, I've been looking at a Canon RP. Saw one for under 600€/$ on eBay. AFAIK among FF mirrorles only Canon has fully articulated screens which I consider important, particularly for macro, YMMV. Budget allowing you could get an adapter and build up an assortment of cheap but good DSLR lenses over the years.

He already has the lenses.

But at some point he might want to add some digital lenses.

 rurikw's gear list:rurikw's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 5000 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill +28 more
OP Poonis5 Junior Member • Posts: 33
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

To D Cox

Actually there are no problems using manual lenses on Pentax bodies because mount is the same K Mount. They didn't change it. My collection of M42s will also fit with no issues. But it won't work with Nikon cameras.

OP Poonis5 Junior Member • Posts: 33
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

So I've been looking into DSLRs.
Nikon won't work because of the mount. No adapters.
Canon looks better.
I found Canon 600D kit for $120 27k shots made, good condition.

Pros:
Canon adapter costs $10 and will allow my SLR lenses to fit
Flip out screen, useful for macro
Cheap macro lenses
Cons:
Rangefinder M39 will not work on DSLR body
No focus bracketing

And I looked into Pentax bodies. K-30 looks nice.
Found one with kit lens for $230

Pros:
Pentax adapter costs $10 and will allow my SLR lenses to fit
Not expensive macro lenses
Weathersealed!
Some kind of image stabilization, good for both street and macro shots

Cons:
No flip out screen
Rangefinder M39 will not work on DSLR body
No focus bracketing

What do you guys think about these?

D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,957
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

Poonis5 wrote:

To D Cox

Actually there are no problems using manual lenses on Pentax bodies because mount is the same K Mount. They didn't change it. My collection of M42s will also fit with no issues. But it won't work with Nikon cameras.

M42 and K mount are OK on Pentax DSLRs.

Nikon mount manual focus lenses are OK on Nikon DSLRs.

and so on. But a mirrorless camera is thin enough to accept adapters for almost any mount. I can use Topcon, Exakta, Pentax M42, Leica M39 and M, Nikkor, Soviet lenses, T mount lenses, Canon lenses, Olympus OM lenses ... with the right adapters.

That is the big advantage of a mirrorless camera.

But from the images I see posted, the Pentax DSLRs do take superb photos.

 D Cox's gear list:D Cox's gear list
Sigma fp
rurikw
rurikw Veteran Member • Posts: 3,140
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

Poonis5 wrote:

So I've been looking into DSLRs.
Nikon won't work because of the mount. No adapters.
Canon looks better.
I found Canon 600D kit for $120 27k shots made, good condition.

Pros:
Canon adapter costs $10 and will allow my SLR lenses to fit
Flip out screen, useful for macro
Cheap macro lenses
Cons:
Rangefinder M39 will not work on DSLR body
No focus bracketing

And I looked into Pentax bodies. K-30 looks nice.
Found one with kit lens for $230

Pros:
Pentax adapter costs $10 and will allow my SLR lenses to fit
Not expensive macro lenses
Weathersealed!
Some kind of image stabilization, good for both street and macro shots

Cons:
No flip out screen
Rangefinder M39 will not work on DSLR body
No focus bracketing

I have done manual focus bracketing with varying/decent success but want to get a body with (semi) automatic FB. Much less of a hassle I'm sure though the implementations I've read about don't allow you to set min and max distance, only a number of undefined finer or coarser steps back and front of your set focus point so involves some trial and error+guesswork. But I assume you soon develop a feel for what's appropriate in what situation.

What do you guys think about these?

 rurikw's gear list:rurikw's gear list
Nikon Coolpix 5000 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Sigma DP1 Merrill Sigma DP2 Merrill Sigma DP3 Merrill +28 more
OP Poonis5 Junior Member • Posts: 33
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

According to advices from this thread m43 is the optimal choice but I should stick to native lenses and not use simple adapters.

Olympus M10 Mark II was mentioned a lot in other threads too.

Panasonic was also recommended but as far as I know it's better at doing video. But I won't shoot any video so Olympus should suite my needs (stills) better. Right?

D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,957
Re: Digital beginner (35mm amateur) asking for advice on the first camera

Poonis5 wrote:

According to advices from this thread m43 is the optimal choice but I should stick to native lenses and not use simple adapters.

Well, don't sell your manual focus lenses.

I sold five lenses when I transferred from Topcon to Nikon, around 1983, and now I regret it.

Olympus M10 Mark II was mentioned a lot in other threads too.

Panasonic was also recommended but as far as I know it's better at doing video. But I won't shoot any video so Olympus should suite my needs (stills) better. Right?

 D Cox's gear list:D Cox's gear list
Sigma fp
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