Complete beginner, please help!

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SarahLou26 SarahLou26 Post 1 of 2
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Hi everyone, i have always had an interest in photography but never did anything with it before. I love old black and white photographs and would really like to start looking into taking some pictures in this genre, specifically in analog as i am not a huge fan of the digital 'look'.
However, as mentioned in the title i am a complete novice and really need help on the very basics - e.g. what camera/equipment to buy, the basics of creating a darkroom and developing in black and white.
This could be a long process as i am a complete novice but if someone with a lot of patience could point me in the right direction, make a few suggestions on equipment i should look into etc i would be extremely grateful!
Thank you for any help or advice you can give me!
Sarah x
Wolfgang Bernard Wolfgang Bernard Post 2 of 2
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Hello Sarah,

Sorry for answering quite late but never mind I hope it helps...

Look at my space, I am an analog dinosaur. Medium format and 35mm is my world, so this is my advise:

Equipment: Look for a 35mm first as films are available anywhere and for development use a lab in the first instance. Focus on handling the camera in its basic functions and then expand into expressing your visions.

So what to buy or what was my decision?

- Full metal body
- Glass melted and lenses make by the camera manufacturer
- Gear readily available on the second hand market
- Renowned quality in the professional field

I chose the Minolta XD-7 for those reasons. For this model Minolta and Leica ! cooperated (Leica R4).
There is only a handful lens manufacturers who produce their own glass and if you look into the test results, i.e. the 135mm f2.8 portrait was only beaten by the Leitz!
I am using the macro lens for it outstanding performance for landscape photography..
Don't worry about missing spot metering and other gadgets - as an accomplished photographer you know that this is no deal breaker. I had a Nikon F4s - did I use all the features? No! The advantage of such a professional beast is that you will not loose it - it is so heavy and until you made your mind up which setting to chose, the precious moment has gone which safes film!

Now for the Mamiya 645 pro TL - same selection criteria apply. This is my Darling! For portrait - and landscape I am using the Softfocus lens because from f8 on the pictures are outstanding.
OK, I have the standard lens, fisheye and 200 tele plus a 500mm and other goodies but this is only if you are comfortable with your analog achievement (or you can strike an exceptional deal)

Finally, there is the development. Consult the Ilford side first...

So, anymore questions - just ask

Good luck
Wolfgang
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