Learning photography

May 03, 2024

I think everyone should start with a shitty camera.

Start with a used interchangeable lens camera (maybe your parents have one) and a manual focus lens (like those that are found on old film cameras, e.g., Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4).

The manual focus lens lens will teach you the importance of aperture, focus, and focal lengths. Most manual lenses have aperture rings, and you can see the aperture blades and exposure/depth of field change as you rotate it. You obviously have to focus the lens on its own. And, if it’s a prime, the lens will show you the beauty and limitations of having a fixed focal length.

The camera body will teach you the importance of exposure, ISO, and shutter speed. Older camera bodies will be pretty sensitive to ISO changes (i.e., high ISOs will look pretty bad), so you’ll learn a lot about balancing shutter speed and ISO to get the correct exposure.

You should probably start with aperture priority mode!

My favorite combo was: an old Canon Rebel XTi + Super Takumar 50mm f/1.4.

Thanks for reading :)

Last updated May 21, 2024