A Little Gem - With Promaster
To do this, for many years the students were told to go out and buy a 35mm film SLR. This was seen as the common instrument of the art and was likely to have enough of the complexities associated with it to occupy them while the autumn came on. The difficulty of it was the fact that at the time that institutions were demanding this sort of camera, the manufacturers were abandoning it for the digital SLR.
We had a steady trade in 2008-2009 for secondhand Pentax K-1000 bodies and 50mm lenses - and were hard pressed to find enough secondhand ones to supply. It was no better if you looked for Canon or Nikon- the long run of these cameras had finally come to an end and the students were scrabbling for the equipment they needed.
I am not certain if this year will see the same requirements - I suspect that the teaching institutions must eventually change their lists to some extent to accommodate the new reality of digital photography. If they come this year at least we have a new item to offer them.
The Promaster people have commissioned a standard 35mm SLR called the 2500PK Super. Thats a Pentax K mount there, an inbuilt TTL meter, 1-1/2000 shutter, and a PC socket as well as the hot shoe. A pretty good looking 50mm f:1.7 lens and double exposure over-ride for when you get to the arty stage. Vertical shutter with 1/125 synch. In short, just what the student needs - and brand new in the bargain.
Final thought - after the students have budded, bloomed, fruited, and been picked, where do they throw the dried husks?