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05-21-2011, 06:36 PM   #1
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Beginners and slide film

It's been about two decades ago since I shot a roll of film, and that was at a black & white photography class in my university. My k1000 has been sitting in my garage since then, but it's still alive, as I found out. Worked fine with some walgreens film I bought to test it.

So I've developed a fondness for the idea of slide film as opposed to print film because there's no way I could fit or modify a darkroom inside this cramped home. (digital...I have a SLR, thought I'd do film again for a change) I've read though that shooting slide film needs extra care, which bothers me because I'm not really confident with exposure (I've always shot aperture priority).

Any words of wisdom before I start shooting slide film? Should I stick to practicing manual mode on my digital first?

05-21-2011, 06:59 PM   #2
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Slide film needs extra care in that the ability of slide film to represent a range of brightness is less than that of print film. In simpler terms, slide film is less forgiving of under- or over-exposure.
If your K-1000's meter is still working correctly, and you can afford it, working with slide film may teach you a lot about how the metering of a K-1000 works. As I recall, it's a partially center-weighted average, meaning that the whole image is sensed but the center portion is weighted more heavily in averaging the screen.
OTOH, your digital may offer more metering modes, which can give considerable more control. Unfortunately, your K-1000 won't really help you learn about that.
05-21-2011, 09:54 PM   #3
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I was always afraid of slide film. With negatives, you had some ability to recover detail in highlights and shadows in the printing process. With slides, you have one exposure and no recovery option. That means becoming very familiar with exactly how the camera's metering will interpret a scene, how you want it to look, and the film itself.

If your DSLR is a Pentax, you can use it for some slide film practice with the same lenses you'd use on the K1000. With a Pentax-M 50mm f2, the DSLR will default to the same metering system as a K1000, and only work in M mode. You'll have to push a button to get a meter reading, and the readout is more complex than a needle, but workable. Take some shots with a backlit subject or other challenging lighting. Then look at your test images to see where the meter needed help from your brain.
05-22-2011, 01:01 AM   #4
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Unfortunately my digital is a Canon, but that's fine, because my main concern was whether slide film would be too complicated for me to delve into.

I guess the experience will teach me. Intimidating!

05-22-2011, 06:19 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rouxyourboat Quote
It's been about two decades ago since I shot a roll of film, and that was at a black & white photography class in my university. My k1000 has been sitting in my garage since then, but it's still alive, as I found out. Worked fine with some walgreens film I bought to test it.

So I've developed a fondness for the idea of slide film as opposed to print film because there's no way I could fit or modify a darkroom inside this cramped home. (digital...I have a SLR, thought I'd do film again for a change) I've read though that shooting slide film needs extra care, which bothers me because I'm not really confident with exposure (I've always shot aperture priority).

Any words of wisdom before I start shooting slide film? Should I stick to practicing manual mode on my digital first?
When shooting slide film, it's a good idea to underexpose slightly to increase color saturation and avoid blown highlights. The simplest way to do this is to set the film speed 1/3 stop faster than the true speed, ie. set speed to ISO 100 for ISO 64 film.
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