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Re: Cameras for photo class


From: Larry Seiler (lseiler_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Nov 05 2003 - 01:26:52 PST

>Our photo teacher keeps ordering cameras and the kids keep breaking them.
>She says the advance thing breaks and it costs as much to fix it as to
>replace the camera. I think we should either buy cameras that won't
>break, charge the kids for fixing them, or have the kids bring their own
>cameras. What do you all do? SLR cameras should not be considered
>disposable, right?

after having $2600 cut from my supplies budget this past year, ordering any
decent slr cameras went out the window. I ordered a dozen Jazz plastic
cameras at $7.95 a piece.

I teach the kids to use the bulk loader, and how to load their own film.
Ran into a couple problems with the Jazz cameras, but of course for $7.95
knew I would, and worked thru them.

For one, the Kodak AA batteries that come with them won't last long for
flash, but they have a convenient feature that automatically shuts off the
flash so long as kids remember to slide the protective shield over the lens
when they are thru taking pictures. I got regular Duracell Alkaline, and
those last fairly well.

When the film is loaded, the back is a tight fit, and difficult
for the kids to advance. Found that it works best if about a dozen pictures
at a time are factored into the amount of film loaded on. Bulk loading
roughly 20 pictures or more is simply too hard to advance. I use 125 speed
for these cameras, haven't had much luck with 400 turning out. They work
best when pictures are taken outside, fairly clear...good contrast. Flash
definitely has to be used when taking pictures inside. Also, the flash is
not powerful. If kids are more than about twelve feet from their subject,
it will begin to under develop.

Still...if budgets are tight, I found these give the kids a chance to
understand some of the hands on with black and white film development. Of
course, if I had the money and options to order a half-dozen slr's...I have
done it in a heart beat. But, so far they have not been breaking...and have
served their purposes.

Also...I need to order a new enlarger for next year. The one we have is
quite old, and the lamp motor is going. Lost the polycontrast filter....but
found I could run off transparencies using photoshop to create magenta. Too
transparent, but cutting up a couple and layering...we were able to manage
to create longer exposure times. Funny what ingenuity, inventiveness and
resourcefulness comes up with when the axe falls on the budget. Good

Larry Seiler