Author Topic: How To Get The iPhone Generation To Give Real Cameras & Vintage Lenses A Try?  (Read 636 times)

BruceSD

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I currently own no modern auto-focus lenses.  All of my lenses are film-era, manual-focus, primes from the last century.  While I can afford the latest and greatest auto focus lenses, I still prefer to shoot manual-focus lenses.  I'm an old guy who grew up manual focusing.  Heck, I used to shoot birds in flight with manual focusing lenses.

I prefer the build, tactile feedback when focusing, the ruggedness, the bokeh, and the overall rendering of older manual-focus prime lenses.  Also, it doesn't hurt that many fine old manual focus lenses are inexpensive.  I use live-view with a 3X Zacuto viewfinder and actually nail focus with my manual focus lenses more often than I did when I had auto-focus lenses.

I have way too many 2005 - 2012 era digital camera bodies and was thinking of giving some of them with a few of my lesser used manual focus lenses to my grand-kids.  They all have smartphones and sometimes use their built-in smartphone cameras. 

I'm searching for something to tell them that would motivate them to want to give a real camera with a manual focus lens a serious try.  While many real cameras have huge megapixels, the bodies I'm giving them will have only 10 - 14 megapixels (comparable to the resolution of their phones) - so increased resolution from a real camera isn't an incentive.  Their smartphones can produce pseudo out of focus blurs, so I don't expect they'd get very excited about using fast manual focus lenses on a real camera to produce nice bokeh.  Their smartphones are lighter, always with them, and smartphone photos can be immediately posted to the Internet without wasting time with post processing (these young people don't even have access to a laptop or a desktop computer).

So, why do you think a newer photographer would want to give a real camera with a manual focus lens a try?  What short "elevator speech" would you tell a young smartphone generation person that might get them to give a real camera and manual focus lens a try?
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CS

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I think you're confessing what you want with what they want.
Carl

Jack Dahlgren

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I'm with CS. Since you mentioned "real cameras" I suggest you give them an F3 with a couple rolls of film. :)

The way to convert people is through experience, so maybe have them join you on a photo expedition. They need to be excited about photography before they get interested in gear.

Bill De Jager

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Most people aren't going to look carefully at the technical qualities of photos (other than whether the subject is in apparent focus, or if there's some severe exposure or white balance problem) and will just shrug off issues like bokeh and aberrations if they even notice them.   If a person doesn't have a craftman's or artist's eye towards photos, then a large, dedicated photo-making device with a very clunky internet output is just not going to be attractive. 

Offering ultra-wide or strong telephoto options may be attractive to a few, but having to change lenses to 'zoom' in or out isn't going to be attractive to a casual photographer.  Convenience wins out - they'll use digital zoom on their phone rather than lug around multiple primes or even just a dedicated camera with one prime.

Back in the 1970s I regarded the Instamatic-type cameras with absolute contempt, in contrast to the 35mm rangefinder I was using. But the average person didn't want to know how to figure out exposure or even the basics of how to manipulate shutter speed and aperture to get (or avoid) certain results.  So Instamatic is was for the masses.

Cell phones are today's Instamatics, albeit immeasurably better in output quality.

MEPER

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I think this is a "mission impossible" for most. Maybe you will hit 1 out of 1000. The quality you can get today with top phone models is quite impressing. What we do here is for nerds only. The same with HiFi. How many have large speakers in their homes to enjoy real HiFi?    young people today listen to compressed music via their phones/tablets and they seems to be quite happy with that.

Erik Lund

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We have a couple of camera shops here in Copenhagen where there are quite a few customers still shooting film, among them younger people.

Just hang around the shop they are easy to spot, then it's very easy to engage in a conversation re old MF camera gear,,, and take it from there ;)

Good luck  ;)
Erik Lund

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I wonder if development of new film types had continued if it was possible to develop this technology further.

John Geerts

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We have a couple of camera shops here in Copenhagen where there are quite a few customers still shooting film, among them younger people.

I think that group is not that small. Relatively then. They are eagerly looking for the best glass for film ;)

Ethan

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In short, young people are not interested.

However, and to satisfy your ego, you could use alternative means to force their hand.

Simply, threaten to disconnecr the Wifi router at home or change the password.

Job done, and immediate results, but you will have to suffer the kids eternal whinging.

MFloyd

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Older farts like me, neither. My “film career” is still a bit longer than my digital one. I have still some good “analog” cameras at home (Nikon F2, F4, Leica M5). But never I want to go back to the so called “good old times”  ;D
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JJChan

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My son (age 20) has friends that are all shooting film and prior to lockdown had joined the University Photo club.
I think it is a reaction to the meaningless throwaway digital photo (they all use their iPhone cameras as well) where they want to create something that has been planned and is crafted and means something.

They shoot some pretty cool gear courtesy of their parents - he gets to use a Titanium F3. One of his friend shoots a TLR Rollei of some kind. I think there are a few FM2s and probably a Hasselblad in there somewhere. No zooms. No autofocus. Maybe no in built meter either.

Bill De Jager

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My son (age 20) has friends that are all shooting film and prior to lockdown had joined the University Photo club.
I think it is a reaction to the meaningless throwaway digital photo (they all use their iPhone cameras as well) where they want to create something that has been planned and is crafted and means something.

They shoot some pretty cool gear courtesy of their parents - he gets to use a Titanium F3. One of his friend shoots a TLR Rollei of some kind. I think there are a few FM2s and probably a Hasselblad in there somewhere. No zooms. No autofocus. Maybe no in built meter either.

That's great but for this to happen people need to be motivated to expend the effort to climb up the learning curve and continue to make the required extra effort thereafter.  That's not something you can just give somebody. 

You could talk about crafting images in the old days and if you're talking to the right person, someone who's receptive, then they may be interested in looking into using older techniques.  But as always, the vast majority of people can't be bothered and that's OK.  We all take the easy route on most matters (how many of us craft our own clothes, for instance?) and choose to put special effort into just one or a few.

Birna Rørslett

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A digital capture can be planned and performed with commitment equal or better than any film-based image. It's all about the approach and envisioning of the outcome, not the medium used to implement it.

Jacques Pochoy

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A digital capture can be planned and performed with commitment equal or better than any film-based image. It's all about the approach and envisioning of the outcome, not the medium used to implement it.

So true...! It's all about the dedication, not really the means.
“A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second. ” ― Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet.

MEPER

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I think the main goal by the thread starter was to get younger people to use a "real" camera instead of a phone. The main goal was not to have the younger people to use the film media?