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04-02-2018, 04:41 PM   #76
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I equate this to my recent move from a compound bow to a recurve. I understood the physics, but the form and technique weren’t there. As I progressed and got better, I still didn’t know what caused a errant arrow to impact where it did. That took time and experience and relates well to “I made a print, but don’t know why X or Y are the way they are or how to change/improve them. I’ve never been in a darkroom or developed a roll of film. Part of what I enjoy about film is it can be as involved or as hands off as you want it. Time is my resource I lack the most right now, so rolls are sent off to a lab to be developed and scanned. I’d think I would enjoy the darkroom process and making my own prints in the future, but at some point, it will take trying it, hopefully under someone’s experienced tutelage.

04-02-2018, 05:18 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
I equate this to my recent move from a compound bow to a recurve. I understood the physics, but the form and technique werenít there. As I progressed and got better, I still didnít know what caused a errant arrow to impact where it did. That took time and experience and relates well to ďI made a print, but donít know why X or Y are the way they are or how to change/improve them. Iíve never been in a darkroom or developed a roll of film. Part of what I enjoy about film is it can be as involved or as hands off as you want it. Time is my resource I lack the most right now, so rolls are sent off to a lab to be developed and scanned. Iíd think I would enjoy the darkroom process and making my own prints in the future, but at some point, it will take trying it, hopefully under someoneís experienced tutelage.
Three suggestions: 1.) Look for a local camera club, particularly one that does large format. Sheet film photographers are still darkroom nuts, for the most part. I'm a rare one that is not, but I have enough fixer stains on my fingernails from decades past already. That said, I still maintain at least the capabililty to process black and white sheet film. Large format printers are also more experienced than most with the whole process of getting the tonality you want, using methods like the Zone System. I think in terms of the Zone System even when I'm doing digital, for some reason. 2.) See if that local college with the unfriendly academic staff has an extra-curricular camera club. If they do, they probably no longer have a darkroom even if they once did, but you never know. When I was in college, the camera club had seven darkrooms and a studio, two of which were equipped to do color. That was back in film's heyday, of course, but there may still be one around.3.) If you live in a larger city, there may be a service that allows people to rent a darkroom, and I'll bet whoever owns such a service would be willing to give you some lessons to get you started, anyway.

I first learned under the tutelage of a printer and photographer who taught me darkroom work as well as offset printing. It's hard to take a class to learn darkroom work--the processes start out as mere training that is best learned standing next to someone doing it. But you have to master those fundamentals of careful lab work before doing anything more special.

Rick "you can't watch Youtube in a darkroom " Denney
04-02-2018, 06:44 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by rdenney Quote
Rick "you can't watch Youtube in a darkroom " Denney
Sure you can.
And I still think in "zone" in many ways.

---------- Post added 04-02-18 at 10:01 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by rdenney Quote
Of course, the amazing part is that this topic is about digital medium-format for the masses. Right now, you can buy a 645D for about $2200. Here's what I've bought recently: 55 DFA ($450), 35 FA ($700), 120 A Macro ($139), 200 FA ($138), 400 FA ($600), 300 A* ($379), 80-160 A ($76), 1.4x converter ($65), plus maybe $100 in various lens shades and caps. I already had the 45-85 FA, but these are "trending" on ebay for $331. I also already had the 75LS, but these are available on ebay for about $300. So, a fairly vast lens collection including a lot of autofocus lenses can be had for about $3300. That breadth isn't even available (I purposely avoided adapted lenses) with other medium-format option.

Doing the same with Canon, with any hope of achieving remotely comparable results and breadth of capabilities (using a 5Ds): 24-105/4L zoom (trending at $490), 70-200/4L without IS ($500), 300/4L ($500), 1.4 converter (trending at $191), 85/1.8 ($275), and a 100/2.8 Macro ($330). That's a coupla thousand, on top of a $3000 body, which is pretty close to a 645D with all those lenses. Forget doing it with a 5DII-IV--at 22MP, but even with a 5DII, the body will be at least $700 for one that works and isn't past its shutter count. So, the 645D option would be about twice the cost doing it on the cheap. (Sorry for the Canon content--I'm just not familiar enough with Pentax small-format digital cameras to offer the more appropriate comparison.)
You got some good deals that I envy, but I again agree---I've had roughly the same experience. In fact, had it not been for the reasonable-cheap prices for the lenses (and a 3 lens head start from my 645N), getting a Z would have been a non starter---as the Fuji system is for me.


QuoteQuote:
Pentax was always the cheapest of what used to be the Big Three in 35mm SLRs: Canon, Nikon, and Pentax.
Yes. It had a reputation of excellent quality at great prices, back in the '80's, the glory days of camera swap shows and used gear counters in shops---I worked in a small one that specialized in used gear.
QuoteQuote:
Then, 645 happened, and suddenly there were great pro-grade 645 cameras on the market: Again from Mamiya, but now Bronica and Pentax, too. Those were at least as expensive as pro-grade Canons and Nikons, but cheaper than Hasselblads and Rolleis. Among all these, Pentax was always the value leader.
Yes, again.

QuoteQuote:
And it still is the value leader. A new 645z body is $5500 at present, and all those lenses can still be had for $3300. One might pick and choose a cheaper alternative here and there. So, one can have a camera and a large array of lenses for the price of the Hasselblad or Fuji with its normal lens, for which there are no pre-owned options. Pentax's most expensive lenses are pricey, but let's consider actual prices of new equipment (which is unfair to Pentax, of course, because they purposely maintained compatibility with their standing lens lines, while H and F purposely did not--that's one price one pays for being a bona-fide optical SLR).
Emphasis mine. Why oh why is this not understood as the tremendous asset that it is?



QuoteQuote:
But I doubt many buy all the new lenses. A pro might buy the latest version of the lens in his specialty area, but the others he'll buy second-hand like the rest of us. Unlike amateurs, pros have to be cost-efficient if they want to make money (which, it would seem, not all do). The charm of the Pentax is that it supports and is fully compatible with its prior film fleet. That option isn't available without adaptation (which the Pentax can do, too) in the price-competitive mirrorless cameras. Those lenses were good enough then to take advantage of the format, and they still are.
Precisely. And I refer readers back to your previous post in this thread, the one with the photo.

QuoteQuote:
Rick "who must be bored today" Denney
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04-02-2018, 07:29 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by rdenney Quote
they probably no longer have a darkroom even if they once did, but you never know
Our HS still has four working darkrooms, K1000's and elderly K-mount lenses (no more sheet printing though). The local Community College likely offers wet printing photography (bring your own manual camera) unless they're the ones requiring the obnoxious course prerequisites.

04-03-2018, 05:53 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
...In fact, had it not been for the reasonable-cheap prices for the lenses (and a 3 lens head start from my 645N), getting a Z would have been a non starter---as the Fuji system is for me....
If I owned no lenses that would fit, I might have considered the Fuji, even though I like SLR's. But the fact is that I did have lenses, and having lenses is a big part of justification for the purchase.

Before current buying spree:
NI and NII with FA 48-85 and 75LS
6x7 with 35 fisheye, 45, 55/4, 75PC, 105, 135 Macro, 165/2.8, 200, 300 (not the M*, though), extension tubes, 2x converter
Pentacon Six (and an Exakta 66, and three Kiev 60's, and a Kiev 88CM hotrodded by Arax) with some junque and some gems: 30 fisheye, 45, Hartblei 45PCS, 50 Flektogon, 55PCS, 65, 80 Arsat, 80 Biometar, 90, 120 Vega, 120 Biometar, 180 Sonnar, 300 Sonnar, 500 Prakticar, bellows, extension tubes, 1.4 converter, 2x converter

I wish I'd gone ahead and found the Schneider lenses for the Exakta 66, but they were scarce and expensive--now moreso.

All of them dead easy to adapt. I have at least two adaptors for each of 6x7 and P6.

Throw all that away so I can buy three lenses for $2500 each? I don't think so. The above are not all lenses that will resolve to the pixel, but they have proven themselves productive in the past.

But then the lust came over me and I ended up buying the stash outlined above anyway. I'll say this: The 645 lenses sure are easier to pack and carry.

Rick "expecially since I can't seem to go anywhere with fewer than six or seven of them" Denney
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