Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-01-2013, 07:59 PM   #1
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Looking to get an SLR but need help!

Hi,
I'm completely new to the SLR world but I would love to start learning how to use one. I have a Nikond5000 but I've been learning how to use my DSLR on my own so I'm pretty new to everything in the photography world. I'm looking to get a good beginner SLR that will help me improve as a photographer. Does anyone have any suggestions? I've been looking into the Pentax Spotmatic models but there are so many I can't decide where to start..! / where is a good and reliable place to get one. Thanks so much in advanced!
PS. I'm on a student friendly budget :/

03-01-2013, 08:04 PM   #2
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 40,993
QuoteOriginally posted by secretdaze Quote
Hi,
I'm completely new to the SLR world but I would love to start learning how to use one. I have a Nikond5000 but I've been learning how to use my DSLR on my own so I'm pretty new to everything in the photography world. I'm looking to get a good beginner SLR that will help me improve as a photographer. Does anyone have any suggestions? I've been looking into the Pentax Spotmatic models but there are so many I can't decide where to start..! / where is a good and reliable place to get one. Thanks so much in advanced!
PS. I'm on a student friendly budget :/
You mean like a film camera? The K1000 is great for learning the basics of exposure. However, you could also use your D5000, as it offers manual controls.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

03-01-2013, 08:22 PM   #3
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Liverpool, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,309
Have you checked your local Goodwill or equivalent?

Shopgoodwill.com has a lot of cameras, but you can't check them out before you buy...

One thing to keep in mind is that most older cameras are going to need new mirror foam at the very least. Later model K1000s and P series cameras are less likely to need new foam. It's also going to be difficult to get batteries for older Spotmatics. The SP 1000 and SP F and probably the SP 2 have voltage regulators so you can use 1.5v batteries.

I recently bought a SP F (~$70 shipped) from shopgoodwill that was in pretty good condition (included a nice Super Tak 35/3.5), but that has been the only pre-late '80s camera I've bought there that doesn't need work...

Last edited by boriscleto; 03-01-2013 at 08:32 PM.
03-01-2013, 09:07 PM   #4
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 26,233
QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
It's also going to be difficult to get batteries for older Spotmatics. The SP 1000 and SP F and probably the SP 2 have voltage regulators so you can use 1.5v batteries.
It is my understanding that all Spotmatics (except, maybe, for one of the later models...can't remember which one) have a "bridge circuit" and are not voltage-sensitive. The only issue with batteries is the matter of size. Interstate sells an adapted (has plastic ring on a small cell to take up the slop) battery that works great and which I use in my Spotties. I believe the number is S400PX and the price is generally about $6.00 USD.

As for the OPs request...there are many good values in film SLRs. It all depends on what you want. The K1000 is a good bet because it is incredibly basic and offers basic functionality in a fairly robust and repairable package. Unfortunately prices are often a bit inflated (IMHO) for decent K1000s. The similar, but better KM is usually a better value.

For learning, the rule of thumb is that the camera should at the very least support:
  • Full manual operation
  • Fully manual focus
  • Built in meter
  • Through the lens viewing (i.e. an SLR)
These things are nice to add:
  • Enhanced viewfinder display (aperture and/or shutter speed visible)
  • Aperture-preferred exposure automation
Things that are not helpful or which may be a maintenance issue:
  • Programmed auto-exposure
  • Auto-focus
  • Motorized film advance
Pentax models that usually get high marks on this forum and which are fairly robust, decent for learning the basics of exposure and camera operation, and having the convenience of a built-in meter would include (in no particular order):
  • KX
  • KM
  • K1000
  • MX
  • ME Super
  • Spotmatic (most models. I own the SP and SP II.)
You might also want to consider non-Pentax K-mount cameras. I can personally recommend several Ricoh models that I have used or own:
  • XR-2
  • XR-2s
  • XR7
And outside of Pentax land, there are many excellent cameras from the golden age of the SLR (late 1970s through the early 1990s) from Olympus, Nikon, and Minolta. (I am not a Canon or Konica fan...)

Steve


P.S. The various models of Spotmatic are a little hard to explain. It is enough to say that through most of the 1960s there was one model (SP) and later on meterless variant (SL). The 1970s brought in the SP II (hot shoe), SP 1000 (no self-timer) and SP 500 (no "official" 1/1000s speed). The later models included the SPF (open-aperture metering, basically a KM with screw mount), ES (electronic stepless shutter and aperture-preferred exposure automation), and ES II (ES + self-timer)

P.P.S. I know, I know...I left off the SV, K2, Super Program, and LX but we are talking beginner here!

P.P.P.S. As noted above, almost all cameras made more than 20 years ago will likely need some service.

03-01-2013, 09:14 PM   #5
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Liverpool, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,309
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
It is my understanding that all Spotmatics (except, maybe, for one of the later models...can't remember which one) have a "bridge circuit" and are not voltage-sensitive.
I've heard that they do and I've heard that the don't. I tend toward caution and would only consider the SP 2 or later for use with 1.5v batteries.

Oh, and I can recommend the Ricoh KR-10 as well. Pretty much all of the features of the K2 (except build quality) and can be found for around $20.
03-01-2013, 09:17 PM   #6
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Original Poster
thanks!!

Thanks everyone for all your suggestions! They are all extremely helpful. I'll definitely look into all the SLRs suggested Also, what's the best way to learn how to use a SLR? It is really just go out at shoot and experiment? I have reallyyy basic knowledge of apertures, ISO, etc.
03-01-2013, 09:25 PM   #7
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Liverpool, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,309
QuoteOriginally posted by secretdaze Quote
Thanks everyone for all your suggestions! They are all extremely helpful. I'll definitely look into all the SLRs suggested Also, what's the best way to learn how to use a SLR? It is really just go out at shoot and experiment? I have reallyyy basic knowledge of apertures, ISO, etc.
This book is popular around here...

Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition): Bryan Peterson: 9780817463007: Amazon.com: Books

Check your local used bookstore. There were many, many books published over the years. Kodak had one simply titled How to Take Good Pictures.
03-01-2013, 09:27 PM   #8
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Original Poster
Thanks! I'll look into that
Also, does anyone recommend the Spotmatic F? I've heard that one is pretty good for beginners too?

03-01-2013, 09:33 PM   #9
Site Supporter
boriscleto's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Liverpool, NY
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,309
QuoteOriginally posted by secretdaze Quote
Thanks! I'll look into that
Also, does anyone recommend the Spotmatic F? I've heard that one is pretty good for beginners too?
The Spotmatic F was basically the Spotmatic 2 but with the addition of open aperture metering with SMC Takumars. The K-mount equivalent is the KM. The K1000 was the K-mount equivalent of the Spotmatic 1000.

Just keep in mind that the Spotmatic' use M42 screw mount lenses while later Pentax cameras use K-mount lenses. There is a M42 to K-mount adapter, but no K-mount to M42 adapter...
03-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #10
Inactive Account




Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Original Poster
Ohhh alright! Thanks so much !!
I think I'll be debating between the KM or one of the later models of the Spotmatic like the F or one of the SP's?
I'm really excited! I'll have lots of researching/learning to do though..
03-01-2013, 09:48 PM   #11
Pentaxian




Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Oklahoma USA
Posts: 1,476
I'm not seeing the point of film as a learning tool. Most of us learned with film for no other reason that it was the only/best technology available. We don't necessarily benefit from having started with film. It seems to be that film would be more something you might experiment with much later once you've learned (with the much less expensive digital format) the basics of cameras, lenses, exposure, etc.

Paul
03-01-2013, 09:51 PM   #12
Site Supporter
arnold's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,197
QuoteOriginally posted by secretdaze Quote
Thanks! I'll look into that
Also, does anyone recommend the Spotmatic F? I've heard that one is pretty good for beginners too?
Have a look at the reviews on this forum.
03-01-2013, 11:16 PM   #13
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Victoria, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 252
QuoteOriginally posted by secretdaze Quote
PS. I'm on a student friendly budget :/
You know I have to say, if money's an issue (and it always has been for me)-- I've learned much more quickly since I got a DSLR, compared to in the film days. The ability to take a photo for $0.00 (marginal) compared to $0.20-$1.00 per photo for film and processing means you allow yourself far more opportunities for trial and error. Having settings electronically recorded for every shot is also helpful for learning. (In my film days I used to write a log of every exposure but still I faced difficulty seeing as frame numbers on the film don't necessarily match numbers displayed on the camera.) If the bells and whistles of the DSLR are too distracting, just don't use them . M or Av mode, manual focus - done!
03-01-2013, 11:52 PM   #14
Veteran Member
abmj's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Central California
Posts: 600
I'll go with the above. Film is a rather expensive way to learn the basics. I'd recommend learning on your digital camera as "film" and "processing" are basically free. You can experiment and learn by making unlimited shots, trying different things as you go. With film, you will be paying for every trial and error misstep. I'd learn on digital and buy a film camera afterward, as an artistic choice, when you know what you are looking for.

I learned on manual film cameras decades ago and still remember some of the letdown of waiting days for the prints or slides to come back, only to find a bunch of crap, which I had just paid for.

Or is a film camera some kind of class requirement? If so, disregard this.
03-02-2013, 01:00 AM   #15
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2011
Location: Herefordshire, UK
Posts: 197
Learning all the basics with a film camera is certainly a good way to go, but is expensive, takes time, and limits the number of shots you can 'experiment' with. Although the plus side of that is that it certainly does make you stop and think about your shots much more. Also, the processing of the film and prints will be entirely out of your control (unless you set up your own dark room!).
With a DSLR, provided that it supports full manual mode and manual focus, and you turn off any 'beginner mode' screens, you will get your results much faster at no additional cost. Perhaps a better option if you already have a DSLR and are on a budget.
But if you are set on using film, then go out and have fun. I'm sure you will enjoy it whichever way you decide to go.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, pentax help, photography, slr, world
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for a Ricoh SLR, what to get? kcobain1992 Pentax Film SLR Discussion 34 04-25-2016 06:43 PM
Prime lens - need help on what to get. JayX2A Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 34 02-05-2013 09:26 AM
New to Flash Photography, I need to make a purchase for an upcoming shoot, Help Plz. dappercorpmonkey Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 10 01-08-2013 10:43 AM
Want to get an 01,but... PenPen Pentax K-01 11 04-23-2012 09:16 AM
Need to get a flash.. but what? (College student) skydragoness Pentax DSLR Discussion 31 04-14-2008 10:30 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:22 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top