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How long is your manual?


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If that sounds phallic, it's your problem, right?¬†ūüôā

I'm awaiting a used Fuji GFX-R, not only to shoot with, but especially to scan the negatives from my Mamiya 7.

Reading the Fuji's manual, I see it's 288 pages long. Just for fun, I pulled up the manual of the Mamiya 7. It's 35 pages long!

That's the difference between a film camera and a camera from a company that believes that if there's something you can stuff into a digital camera, you should.

Leica's M10 manual is 112 pages. Kinda short by Fuji standards.¬†ūüôā

[total pages for each includes the usual usual fluff.]

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My Nikon D5 manual is 420 pages.  It is odd that the manual is not targeted at the same user as the camera's expected buyer.  That is, the manual is written like the owner is a new parent taking pictures of their kid while the camera is designed for sports photographers who are likely very experienced.

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1 hour ago, 250swb said:

The Nikon Z7 manual is 247 pages and I think I've only read ten of them¬†ūüėě

The Sony A7II probably has as many or maybe even more pages (I'd have to dig out the boxes to check). I've read enough of them to set the cameras up as I want them. That said, I've been using them for 3 years and one is better set up than the other. I've been meaning to look one or two things up for the last three years and .....

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13 hours ago, bags27 said:

I'm awaiting a used Fuji GFX-R, not only to shoot with, but especially to scan the negatives from my Mamiya 7.

Reading the Fuji's manual, I see it's 288 pages long. Just for fun, I pulled up the manual of the Mamiya 7. It's 35 pages long!

Does it make a difference that you are buying the GFX precisely because it can do something your Mamiya 7 cannot? (convert film images to digital?)

Would you have bothered to buy the GFX if it could not do that "special" thing?

How long is the manual for a (insert name of your favorite medium-format film scanner here)?

I expect you are not planning to use the GFX video capability - but I also expect there are those buying it exactly for that capability, and have no need to scan film with it. More likely, they probably wonder what kind of antique dinosaur is still scanning film anyway. ;)

How long is the manual for a 70mm motion-picture camera?

How much would it cost someone to buy a 70mm motion-picture camera alongside their Mamiya 7?

How long would the Mamiya 7 manual be if that camera could shoot motion pictures - in 70mm format, no less? With sound? And also be fitted out to "dupe" film images (macro lens capability and ttl viewing and focusing)?

How much would the GFX cost if Fuji had to make custom variants (each with its own limited manual) for: people scanning film, video shooters, the simple MF-digital stills shooters? In smaller batches with costs spread across fewer buyers?

Edited by adan
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The manual for my Kemper Kombi dated 1895 is 35 pages long and that is for a camera that does not even have shutter speed settings unless you are using your watch to do timed exposures. A later Kodak Vest Pocket manual which I have has 29 pages. As for today's digital wonders, I judge them on how infrequently I have to read the manual. I never read a manual unless I get stuck, which is very rare. Most digital cameras have way more features than we require and life is too short to be spending valuable photography time reading camera manuals. For what it is worth, I have the original manuals for almost evert film Leica ever made, but I regard those as collectors' items. 

William 

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19 minutes ago, willeica said:

I have the original manuals for almost evert film Leica ever made, but I regard those as collectors' items. 

William 

how many pages is the original leica iiif "manual" that came with the cameras?

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I have bought a couple of Subaru's in the last two years.  There is one huge manual, and a couple of large supplements for the big options, that I'm sure no one reads.  Then there are a couple of summary quick reference guides which in fact are useful. 

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8 hours ago, frame-it said:

how many pages is the original leica iiif "manual" that came with the cameras?

I have 4 IIIf manuals. For the Black Dial, I have the versions with red and green covers issued in the US with 35c on the cover (one is stamped Not For Sale). Including front and back covers they both have 54 pages. For the Red Dial, I have two versions both with white covers. One with 54 pages, including front and back covers, has a one page insert for the self timer. The other one has 56 pages, including front and back covers. The Red Dial manual seems to have been produced in Germany for English speaking customers in Europe. The two Red Dial manuals have an illustration showing the same camera and lens, but the later one (the one with 54 pages) has the lens name retouched from Summitar to Summicron. I posted the two different versions of the same illustration on this forum before.

I hope all of this makes sense. I might add that we have a project underway at LHSA to provide the manuals for all vintage Leica cameras online to members. I will post something here when the system goes live.

William

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  • 2 weeks later...

The manual of my Canon 5D MkII from 2009 has 227 pages. It's a decent manual with lots of graphs and images making it quite easy to read. Opposite experience with the Sony A7R manual from 2014: only 100 pages but not really an useful manual. Many more electronic functions than the 5D MkII but not well documented Sony manual. It was so difficult to read and to find information that I bought an additional instruction book for this camera. One of the best camera manuals I had so far is the one for my Leica M-E 240. This manual has 126 pages and contains everything needed. To be honest, taking Leica's wider manual format into account, it is more like twice as many pages if scaled to the size of the Canon and Sony manuals in half the paper size I mentioned. 

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On 1/19/2021 at 6:12 PM, willeica said:

I hope all of this makes sense. I might add that we have a project underway at LHSA to provide the manuals for all vintage Leica cameras online to members. I will post something here when the system goes live.

William

I have the feeling that LHSA will not supply the collected manuals for free online (or only free for members). Fortunately there are other resources online where you can find them all completely for free as pdf files. 

Edited by Martin B
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The point I was trying to make was that if you strip out a lot of the functions that have crept into the modern digital camera, the resulting device will be closer in functional terms - and in instruction manual size - to a traditional film camera. Loosing the display and control buttons has changed the way I relate to the camera. During a photo-outing with the M-D my attention is now much more focussed on where I am and what I'm seeing, and less on the camera.

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2 hours ago, Martin B said:

I have the feeling that LHSA will not supply the collected manuals for free online (or only free for members). Fortunately there are other resources online where you can find them all completely for free as pdf files. 

The manuals are already on a prototype new website. They will be available, in due course, to members. I seem to detect from your post that you may have some kind of objection to paying for 'stuff online'.  I have most of the original manuals ever printed for Leica cameras, which I bought as part of my collecting activities. I already have more Leica manuals than are available on the website of Mike Butkus who asks for a small contribution, which I always give him when I use his site, generally for non Leica manuals. The LHSA collection is not mine, but it is a far larger one with a lot more than camera manuals, which has cost a considerable amount of money to acquire, catalogue and scan etc. Everything in life has a cost. Material does not appear by magic online.

William 

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47 minutes ago, willeica said:

The manuals are already on a prototype new website. They will be available, in due course, to members. I seem to detect from your post that you may have some kind of objection to paying for 'stuff online'.  I have most of the original manuals ever printed for Leica cameras, which I bought as part of my collecting activities. I already have more Leica manuals than are available on the website of Mike Butkus who asks for a small contribution, which I always give him when I use his site, generally for non Leica manuals. The LHSA collection is not mine, but it is a far larger one with a lot more than camera manuals, which has cost a considerable amount of money to acquire, catalogue and scan etc. Everything in life has a cost. Material does not appear by magic online.

William 

You are right, I try to avoid paying online for manuals. I found the ones of four of my Leica cameras all for free online.

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58 minutes ago, roydonian said:

The point I was trying to make was that if you strip out a lot of the functions that have crept into the modern digital camera, the resulting device will be closer in functional terms - and in instruction manual size - to a traditional film camera. Loosing the display and control buttons has changed the way I relate to the camera. During a photo-outing with the M-D my attention is now much more focussed on where I am and what I'm seeing, and less on the camera.

I can see why some like a stripped camera like the M-D. I beg to differ here since I am shooting still with several Leica film cameras in parallel to digital - I am glad that my M-E 240 can do video, LiveView etc. I rather have more options but can decide not to use them instead of having less upfront. But good thing is that Leica recognizes different preferences and makes cameras according to this. I personally like to be minimalistic when shooting film but want to have more in-camera options when it comes to digital. Or in other words: my style shooting film and digital differ from each other. And I am fine with this and chose the right tools for me to do the job :)

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50 minutes ago, Martin B said:

You are right, I try to avoid paying online for manuals. I found the ones of four of my Leica cameras all for free online.

Good luck to you then, but the 'supply chain' might not function if we all adopted that approach. I have manuals mainly as collectors' items as I don't really like to use them, particularly for digital cameras which are boring enough as it is, without having to read more about them. I mainly buy vintage film cameras anyway and my original manuals form part of my collection. For non Leica cameras , particularly those from the late 19th and early 20th Century, a quick read is often necessary to establish what is what as regards the functional parts on early cameras which are often not marked that well. With Leica M and LTM film cameras, once you have learnt about one you have pretty well mastered them all, apart, perhaps, from the Black Dial/Red Dial flash sync business. 

William

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