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08-27-2010, 11:25 PM   #1
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Bought my first film Pentax

It's a cheapie but I liked the look and feel.


$80 got the body, 50 2.0, Vivitar 70-210 macro (more on that later) and a Vivitar bag (wee!). Above picture was my first shot with the 50 on my K-7. I like the 50 a lot. I'm not sure when I plan on using my AF lenses again. I'm now on the hunt for more manual As (I'm already bidding on a mint 50 1.7).

The Vivitar I haven't figured out yet. It claims to be a macro but it doesn't focus close at all. I think my 17-50 Tamron gets closer. I have a Pentax F 35-70 that claims to have macro but again, my Tamron gets closer. I've already read that the F isn't a true macro but what gives with the Vivitar? Something I'm not doing right? Either way, I'm incredibly pleased with my purchase.

On the body of the camera there is a button that says "M.L." and a lever on the right by the lens mount. I don't know what these do. I also don't see a dial for film speed. Is that part of the whole "Program" feature? Also, what is the red lamp on the face of the body? I guess it would help if I could find an instruction manual.


Last edited by Skullsroad; 08-28-2010 at 12:20 AM.
08-28-2010, 03:51 AM   #2
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nice camera, i had a similar one (P3t) a few months ago. You cant set the film ISO on that one, the camera reads ISO off the film directly, you can see the DX coding contacts when you open the camera back. I guess the red lamp blinks when the self timer is on. Regarding the other questions, i dont know, but here is the manual

Pentax P3 instruction manual, user manual, PDF manual, free manuals
08-28-2010, 04:45 AM   #3
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As far as the 70-210 or the 35-70 lenses not focusing as close as your 17-50, the minimum focusing distance is generally tied to the focal length of the lens. The shorter the focal length the closer focus it can achieve. There are plenty of lenses out there though that are capable of achieving greater magnification at a given working distance than their like focal length counter parts by allowing the rear lens elements to move away from the film film plane. Essentially those type lenses have a built in extension tube.

M.L. stands for mirror lock-up.

Nice find. Don't be surprised if you get that 50mm f/1.7 and decide that you dig the 50mm f/2 more. I am always amazed at the gorgeous color and eye shredding sharpness that f/2 produces.

Enjoy!
08-28-2010, 09:59 AM   #4
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M.L does not stand for mirror lock up on the P3. It means Memory Lock on that model. This is very handy and actually more useful than the compensation knob on the ME Super and Super Program models. This is the same as the AE-L lock on the dSLRs. The P3 is a very functional camera and the manual mode is easy to use. The only downside is having the DX coding only with no way to set the ISO manually on the camera. If you shoot at rated ISO, then it is not a problem. The lever on the right is for stopping the lens down to see depth of field.

08-28-2010, 02:53 PM   #5
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What is the benefit of shooting at a different than loaded iso?

Thanks for all the knowledge. I have some cheap Fuji 200 loaded up right now. Until I get a good scanner can I just drop off my color and b&w at Costco? I work there so it would be convenient.
08-28-2010, 05:23 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Skullsroad Quote
What is the benefit of shooting at a different than loaded iso?

Thanks for all the knowledge. I have some cheap Fuji 200 loaded up right now. Until I get a good scanner can I just drop off my color and b&w at Costco? I work there so it would be convenient.
For my film developer combo, the rated box speed (100) is too slow, so I shoot at ISO 160. There is also an issue for those of us that load our own bulk canisters. You can get DX encoded bulk canisters, but the selection of speeds is limited without "hacking" the code by masking.


Steve
08-28-2010, 07:07 PM   #7
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The macro doesn't necessarily mean that the lens can focus close-up. It indicates that you can take detailed images of small subjects. Most of the Vivitar 70-210 have a Macro ratio of 1:2.5, which means that when using your lens to take macro shots the size of the subject is 2.5x larger than the size of the image on the film. Now if this is calculated the same way it is for my Vivitar 28-210 is this will be only be when you take images at a 210 mm focal length at the minimum focusing distance. If you plan to do this stop down 1-2 stops to increase your DOF, otherwise focusing is tough.

Last edited by Simian Summit; 08-29-2010 at 04:43 AM.
08-28-2010, 08:12 PM   #8
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Congratulations

in obtaining a Pentax P30. I have a P30n which is between the P30 and the P30t.

The P30n is the camera that started me on my road to madness.

My local Costco will only process c41 films. For b/w that would be Kodak BW400CN. Notice the "400". I don't believe there is a c41 "100 or 200" speed b/w. I've read that you can rate the film lower to 320 for excellent results(google it) or rate it higher. But you would only be able to do so using a non DX dependent system.

Welcome and please keep in touch. We love shared experiences and photos. And living in the Bay Area you should have plenty of photo ops!

cheers,

08-29-2010, 08:02 AM   #9
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Welcome to film, I hope you have fun with it That P3 looks pretty sleek...
08-29-2010, 02:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by EyeSpy Quote
in obtaining a Pentax P30. I have a P30n which is between the P30 and the P30t.

The P30n is the camera that started me on my road to madness.

My local Costco will only process c41 films. For b/w that would be Kodak BW400CN. Notice the "400". I don't believe there is a c41 "100 or 200" speed b/w. I've read that you can rate the film lower to 320 for excellent results(google it) or rate it higher. But you would only be able to do so using a non DX dependent system.

Welcome and please keep in touch. We love shared experiences and photos. And living in the Bay Area you should have plenty of photo ops!

cheers,
I almost bought a p30t and 50 2.0 for $95, however, a few pages down (on Craigslist) found me the p30 with 2 lenses for $80. Hell, I may pick up a p30t body for fun (and a k1000, a super program, me, ect ect ect).

What are some A lenses i should look out for? I'm eyeing a 28mm. I think the wide angle would be fun.

@ Eyespy - Thanks for the heads up about film and Costco. I'll run that by the photo dept manager. Amazon has the Kodak for about $7 a roll. I also found out the local photography store charges $4 a roll for development, so that will be handy once I pick up a good quality scanner.

In terms of film type, I like my black and whites to be very contrasty. The blacks are very black, the whites are almost over exposed with very little gray. Is there a technique to this or is there a specific type of film that contains that type of character?
08-29-2010, 03:37 PM   #11
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$7.00 a roll? I had to go look that up. I didn't know there was a "professional" BW400CN. Wonder what makes one professional and one amature? I'll have to look that up as well.

As far as advice regarding contrasty film..I'm the wrong one to answer. Your question seems to me (again I'm not a guru) something one could manipulate in the darkroom. However I'm sure that one b /w film versus another, iso, etc etc can be debated and perhaps proven from the forum's experienced pro-ams/hobbyist. You might want to "search" this forum and others for a review. Just ask the question what's your favorite b/w contrasty film and your going to get a ton of answers. ( I couldn't tell you the diff between TriX and Tmax. That's for sure. )

Ooops, forgot the lens. This forum has a lens database as well as "clubs". Your quest begins here: favorite wide angle lens - Search Results - PentaxForums.com
08-29-2010, 06:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Skullsroad Quote
...In terms of film type, I like my black and whites to be very contrasty. The blacks are very black, the whites are almost over exposed with very little gray. Is there a technique to this or is there a specific type of film that contains that type of character?
Tri-X, push-processed, should do the trick.


Steve
08-29-2010, 07:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by EyeSpy Quote
$7.00 a roll? I had to go look that up. I didn't know there was a "professional" BW400CN. Wonder what makes one professional and one amature? I'll have to look that up as well.

. . .
I didn't know there was a BW400CN that wasn't labeled "Professional." I remember that there was another c41 B&W they had that was labeled differently but it is no longer listed on their site (Kodak). It was called Kodak Black & White 400. I have a box top dated 2005.
08-29-2010, 07:37 PM   #14
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I found some Ilford c41 BW. I may go with that based on various reviews. A few people complained about the contrast in the Kodak but zero complaints were found for the Ilford.

The manual states that I must use DX coded film, otherwise the camera will set the iso to 100. Does that mean I can't use the Ilford or Kodak c41?

Last edited by Skullsroad; 08-29-2010 at 07:42 PM.
08-29-2010, 08:19 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Skullsroad Quote
I found some Ilford c41 BW. I may go with that based on various reviews. A few people complained about the contrast in the Kodak but zero complaints were found for the Ilford.

The manual states that I must use DX coded film, otherwise the camera will set the iso to 100. Does that mean I can't use the Ilford or Kodak c41?
It means that the canister must have the film speed (ISO) printed as a machine-readable code on the outside. Fortunately most commercial 35mm film is sold in DX encoded canisters. The encoding looks something like this:



Both Ilford XP2 and Kodak BW400CN have DX encoded canisters and should work just fine in your camera.

Steve
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