03-24-2012, 10:02 AM
Being an art major is NOT cheap, this is soooo true! A photography major, triply so! I really don't want to contemplate what I spent on film, paper, chemicals, and other sundries in college.
I'm not surprised at all that they're still using manual 35mm cameras. There's a lot of value in it, both from a learning perspective and a teaching one. This is also true of shooting in black and white. I'm not surprised at all by the movement from B&W film to digital as you progress in your classes. When I was a photo-major, it was in the 3rd semester or so that we moved to color
(B&W processing and printing is much simpler, and can be taught/performed in gang darkrooms which means that it's possible for one instructor to work with multiple students while they're learning to use the basic equipment.. enlargers etc and starting to develop solid habits in a wet darkroom).
That all said, I'd still go with a digital body. Then, if I was going to go with photography as a college class (and they still required film bodies).. I'd pick up a cheap film body and use that. I saw an FM2n on Craigslist the other day for ~$100.. ~$330 from B&H these days (keep in mind I'm a Nikon shooter in 35mm format bodies) and any manual lenses would interchange.
Nick, you'd be right btw. We were switching to digital in the mid 90's, albeit a digital back slapped onto a film body. It made so much more sense to go digital in that realm, man it really streamlined workflow from shot to ready-to-print.