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11-19-2010, 09:45 AM   #1
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Novice needing help! (originally posted in introductions)

Hi my name is Natalie, Tilly for short.

I've always wanted an SLR camera and coverted my fathers as a child.
Now I'm an adult and very much into my digital point and shoot camera, a great invention but I've always hankered after the camera my father rarely let me use.

Walking past the charity shop I spotted a Pentax P30 camera in the window with a 28-80mm lense for £14.99. All those memories of my childhood flooded back and I made the possibly rash decision and ran in to buy it.

I'm now sat at home. I've loaded the batteries in the flash, sat and zoomed in and out with the lense and enjoyed that wonderful sound of the shutter.... shutting .

But now I'm at the point where I'm thinking, ok, I know nothing about this camera, I have no real idea how to use it, what any of the functions do or are for and as pretty as it is and the memories of this type of camera are wonderful, this to me is now a piece of kit that if I'm not careful will be put in the back of the wardrobe and forgotten about and I really don't want that to happen.

Please help me out guys, any information you can give me to help on the way to taking photo's that I can be proud of, or even just ones in which the subject matter is distinguishable, will be very gratefully received!

Hope to hear from you all soon.


11-19-2010, 10:20 AM   #2
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Tilly, welcome aboard!

Here is a manual, it explains things pretty well:
Pentax P30t instruction manual, user manual

Film loading isn't difficult, but perhaps you know someone who's used film cameras before who can show you the first time.

Then just shoot a bunch - use inexpensive film you can find at any convenient store, and find a minilab or similar that will do the developing for you. You can often get the pictures on CD and not printed at all, saving you some money. The best way to start is to simply be playful with it, try the different things... and then see the results.
11-19-2010, 10:36 AM   #3
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The manual provides quite useful information. You may find the proper manual at

Note that the P30 and P30n/t are somewhat different cameras, though not by much. The manual explains quite basic concepts of 35mm photography, and is intended for beginners.

(Although the quick general guide for the P30(t/n) would be to put both shutter wheel and aperture ring at the green 'A' posistion. It can also be useful to know how to utilize the exposure lock, which is used when you have a bright background behind a dark-ish subject.)

Butkus also provides manuals for Pentax flashes. If it isn't a Pentax flash, then please post the make and model for a short explanation.
Pentax Flashes, AF280t, af200s, af200t, Pentax AF220T, af160, AF330FTZ, pentax AF 360 FGZ, Pentax AF 400T, Pentax AF 500 FTZ instruction manual, Pentax flash instruction manual, user manual, free PFD camera manuals

Good luck!

Last edited by KjetilH; 11-19-2010 at 10:38 AM. Reason: Language tags gone.
11-19-2010, 01:10 PM   #4
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Hi Tilly, can use your P&S as impromptu metering guide for P3, play one off the other,
really speeds up the learning curve.
I have P3n, guess your P3 takes [energizer type 357] batteries(2) also. good to have on hand.Maybe someone with the knowledge, can show you other battery equivilents
so your not caught short there(... battery end with bump goes down
fairly easy to load film, I had an old, exposed roll of film that I could practice loading with, is nice to have expirenced help loading that first roll.

11-19-2010, 03:44 PM   #5
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Welcome Tilly,

Enjoy your P30. Take a glance at the manual, put some film in it and have fun. I have a P3n and have been happy with the pictures from it. I find it is easy to use and reliable.
11-19-2010, 10:17 PM   #6
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Your P30 is basically the same as the P3 (different labels for different markets). The P3 manual may be found HERE on the camera manual site. Be aware that your camera meter gets its film speed setting from a coded pattern on the film canister (called DX encoding). Most film manufacturers have the DX encoding, but sometimes it is lacking on bargain brands.


11-20-2010, 03:59 AM   #7
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Thank you!

Thank you all for your prompt replies.
I had a 35mm film camera when I was little but that really was a P&S (took me so long to work out what that short hand was in the above post, I've got a lot to learn), so its a case of remastering the art of how to load again.

Its all the extra bits on the camera thats getting me worried, guess its like learning to drive, once you've learnt what all the buttons do its just a case of remembering which settings to choose before taking the old girl for a spin.

As far as I can see there are no batteries for the actual camera, its a case of winding it on yourself to the next available frame. The only batteries are in the flash and that takes 4 AA's, boy did that take a bit of working out how to open the flap!

I'm going to go and get some cheap film today (no point getting the good stuff till I know what I'm doing) and take a picture with the SLR and one with the digi on its automatic settings so I can compare when I get the pics back. Someone mentioned getting the pictures on a disc rather than in print to save money, is this still a good idea at this stage or get them on paper to have a copy visable immediately. I've got a photo printer at home that I use for the digi so I guess i could just print them out myself but not sure.

I've got my happy head on today, looking forward to having a play around. My husband recons its been dropped at some point as its a little sticky to move between the 50 and 70 but i can't really tell the difference. There is a corresponding dint in the bottom that suggests its seen some impact on the base to one side but hopefully it wont impair on its performance.

Off to go and fix my car now ready for its re-MOT on monday but once thats done I'm off to the shop and out for a play
11-20-2010, 07:30 AM   #8
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Like almost all auto exposure cameras, the P30 has (and requires) batteries. Two SR44 (or equivalent) button cells, under a small cover on the bottom of the camera. They last practically forever, so you probably don't have to worry about them for a while.

11-20-2010, 10:45 AM   #9
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Ah ha! Located them. Ta muchly

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