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01-25-2011, 05:24 PM   #1
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Back into photography--digital and film

Hi all

I have just joined this group and thought I would introduce myself.

I started taking pictures in the 70’s with my XG7 Minolta which I still have though it is not working any more. I have dabbled in photography since then off and on. I am, as Barbara Sher calls it, a scanner. I get into something for awhile and then, poof, I am not. But over the years I have learned that it is all cyclical and I seem to dabble in the same stuff over and over.

My last dabble in photography was about 10-12 years ago which is when I got my first Pentax, a ZX-50 which I later upgraded to a ZX-5n. I liked the ZX5n because all the controls were in the traditional manual camera locations. I took a photography class and got into shooting black and white and developing and printing my own pictures.

Then I got into digital. I had 2 Canon point and shoots (A95 and A610), which I liked but got lost/stolen. My friend really liked his Panasonic FX-01 so I picked one up used for casual photo’s and have been using it for the last few years.

Flash forward to last year. I have been collecting steel frame bicycles and trying to get pics of them like the ones I remember in catalogs from 10-15 years ago to post on the forums and just not being happy with the results of my Panasonic (I have since learned it likes to be underexposed slightly). So I started looking at digital cameras, from point and shoots with long zooms (zs7;fx35 Panasonics) to high end point and shoots (lx5,G5) to micro 4/3’s.

In the meantime I thought I would take out my old ZX5n and maybe shoot some film with it. So out of the bag it has been sitting in for the last, oh 7-8 years and the first thing I notice is—flash no longer pops up or stays up. After doing some research I find this is a common problem. Oh well.

Anyway I am fiddling with it, shooting empty and it starts to act up. Mirror is not dropping back down. Well maybe it just needs to be used so I shoot it a couple of times, think it is fixed and then…nothing. Nothing but the sound of a motor whirring; No autofocus, no shutter release, no film wind. Back on the net and lo and behold another issue—plastic drive gear. Oh well guess I won’t have a film camera.

So while looking on Craig's list for a digital camera and I see a Pentax *ist 35mm. $40. So I do a little bit of research, like what I read and figure what the heck if it works it is a cheap investment. I go to pick it up and, you guessed it, it isn’t working, the shutter is sticky and doesn’t fire all the time. We shoot about 25-50 shots with it still sticky. My gut feel is that it can be made to work and offer him $20 as is. Nothing gain nothing lost right? Sold!

Well one roll of film later it is working perfectly . And I love this camera! It feels very comfortable, the layout is perfect and I like that it is so small and light. The pics coming out of it look, well they look perfectly exposed with great color! I don’t remember my ZX taking pics quite this good. However, the photographer is definitely a little rusty.

So now I am thinking I want a DSLR. A Pentax as I have all these lens, flash etc…(love Pentax for that) I am wondering if there is a DSLR similar to my *ist and then I start reading about the k-x. Hey it is nearly the same size—almost the same width, and only a few millimeters taller and deeper. Shoot it weighs a heck of a lot more (580 grams compared to 335 g. Why are DSLR’s so heavy?) Wait it is very good in low light?? Ok! One RED k-x is on the way (I live in the SF Bay area. I could not find one Pentax dealer who carried the camera, heck I couldn’t find a Pentax dealer!) (Damn the weather back east. It was suppose to be here today but it is getting delayed until tomorrow.) I bought it without ever even trying it but I have a 30 day return.

So I mainly like to take pictures of people, especially in casual/candid settings. I like it when I somehow capture just who they are. I am a little shy about asking strangers to pose but that would be fun. I do some landscapes but unless they have a bicycle in them I am not that interested.

I looking forward to using the k-x and learning all it can do. It seems like a “fun” camera (which is partly why I chose it over the k-r. (k-r seems too serious). I want to learn more about the digital process and post camera processing.

But I also want to keep working with film and my *ist. It will be interesting as they both take the same lenses!

So until I move on to the next thing I will be around here for awhile and will be asking questions and maybe, if I get brave enough, posting some pics of my own.

Jim


01-25-2011, 05:46 PM   #2
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Welcome Jim!

I'm with you on the dabbling, though I tend to go overboard with it.
I know you'll enjoy it here, there are many very intelligent photographers here that can answer any question and give plenty of advice.

BTW, if you find a successful way to approach strangers on the street, please let me know
01-27-2011, 02:49 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum, wow that's some intro, I feel like I've known you for years.
01-28-2011, 10:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for the welcome!!! Yes rather long winded but I was writing it as much to review my history and process for myself as I come back into photography as to introduce myself to the forum.

Just got my k-x in but I have been at work for 10 hours a day so haven't had a chance to check it out in the daylight. This weekend for sure.

01-28-2011, 12:17 PM   #5
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They both take the same lenses.
01-28-2011, 03:00 PM   #6
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Not clear what you are saying here but HI!!

QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
They both take the same lenses.
01-30-2011, 04:35 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimmm18 Quote
Not clear what you are saying here but HI!!
Didn't you edit your original post?

I could swear you asked whether the DSLRs take the same lenses as the SLRs.
01-30-2011, 04:41 PM   #8
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Ah... Not what i meant. What I meant is a DSLR that handled like my *ist. I like that camera as it is small and light.

02-10-2011, 09:48 PM   #9
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Welcome to pentaxforum. *ist was the last film camera by Pentax. It has a crippled KAF mount, therefore M lenses won't work too well on this camera. If you look at the lens mount at about one o'clock position, there is no lever to couple with the lens aperture ring (same in K-x). ZX-5n is a fully functional KAF2 mount. If you go to the camera review section, I wrote about how to replace the mirror motor.
02-11-2011, 12:14 AM   #10
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Thanks for the welcome!! Yes I know about the lens mount issue but it is only an issue if you use M mount lens which I don't own nor do I plan on. The selection of lenses that work is enough for me.

The *IST seems to work better for me than the ZX-5n did but it is a long time since I used it. I really like how small and light it is wish my k-x was as light.

I read how to fix the ZX but it scared me silly. Just not that good at small repairs. I am thinking of having it repaired and donating it to a school.
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