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10-23-2007, 10:11 AM   #1
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Help a DSLR guy pick a film camera!

I just started taking pictures two years ago. First camera was a Canon Digital Rebel, then a 20D, now a Pentax K10D. I love my K10D but have been interested in trying out film.

I have the FA 43 and FA 77, and I've also been interested to use those lenses with a film camera because I've heard they are even better on film than with a DSLR. The focal lengths are preferable to me, too.

I've done a bit of research and I'm thinking of picking up a ZX-5N used. I've already got two great lenses, but I'm missing a wide-angle (actually, I have the DA 21 for my K10D but I'm pretty sure I can't use that on the ZX-5N, right?) I was thinking of replacing the DA 21 with the FA 20 so I can use it on both the ZX-5N and K10D, but I'm not sure how well-rated the FA 20 is compared to the DA 21. I couldn't find many reviews. I'm also having a hard time finding one for sale.

I should mention that I don't need a pro film body. I'm still mainly a DSLR guy. Relatively small, light, compact and pretty cheap is what I'm after. I'd like to spend less than $200 if possible on the body.

Even better would be something wider - like 16mm or even 14mm. What is the widest lens that would be compatible with both my K10D and a film body?

Finally, recommendations on B&W and color film would be welcome. Also, if you know of a good online resource that will develop the film and scan it to CD, that would be great too. I just don't have the time to develop and scan my own film right now.

Thanks.


Last edited by switters; 10-23-2007 at 11:17 AM. Reason: More info:
10-23-2007, 11:25 AM   #2
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If you're looking for a resource on available lenses, I would check the lens review database on this here forum. All lenses other than DA-series lenses will work on a ZX-5N (and the DA 40 will also work in P and Tv modes). You can also check here, which is probably the best resource for all things Pentax on the web.

I haven't found a good place online to develop and scan film. I take it to my local camera store and have them do it, although the lo-res scans covered in dust don't really do it for me. In the past I've used the New Lab in San Francisco, but I don't live there anymore and I don't know if they do anything by mail. You might check, although there are probably similar services in most big cities.

As for film, I swear by Kodak T-Max, but there are a few threads here that specifically discuss different films.
10-23-2007, 11:39 AM   #3
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The camera you choose is a very easy to use unit and a good performer. The only other body I would recommend (am I repeating myself?) is the PZ-1 or better yet PZ-1p. These were around a grand new but now sell for about $150.00. Both excellent models and very similar in control layout to the K10D so you will get comfortable with it quickly. Make sure you et the manuals though. These cameras have a lot of feaures and used settings in some ways similar to the K10D menus.

The FA20 is a great lens in all respects. Only issue is the current used price. in recent months a mint quality version is selling around $500-600. For something wider you may want to consider some of the older Taks like the 17mm and so on. Any lens that will work on these three film bodies should work fine on the K10D although functions can be limited in certain respects like an M42 is only going to work in manual mode. You may want to consider the Sigma 12-24mm which fits both.

It's been a few years so I'll leave the film thing up to others. I always shot Agfa or Kodak Kodachrome KR 64 Color Slide Film. Agfa is now gone.

I don't know where you are but in Canada and the US there are several places that will develop film and scan it to disk at the same time before they cut the negative strip. It's usually around $10 to put the roll on disk and cheaper per roll if you put several rolls on the same disk at the same time.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 10-23-2007 at 12:07 PM.
10-23-2007, 12:00 PM   #4
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The camera you picked is quite a good performer. It will definitely get your feet wet in analog photography.

However, for your price, I would have to second the PZ-1P. Its a beauty, and a steal these days.

I have a PZ-10 if you want very cheap, but it will not come close to the feature set of a PZ-1P.

As for lens, the Pentax 20mm is rather good, and you always have the option of M42 Zeiss optics. Or the 17mm Pentax Fisheye.

If you want AF, the Sigma 14mm F/2.8 would be the widest you could go on film at this moment for Pentax, and is a good lens. Just massive. (I am also selling one of these..)

But if you can find a Pentax 20mm, weight it against your DA 21. Repeat focal lengths are never that much fun. Thats why I would have to say try an M42 lens, they are much much cheaper, and a good way to see what focal length you would want to use before you spend $500 on a lens.

For B/W film, I have always like Ilford Pan F+, Neopan 1600, and Across 100. These are beautiful films, and all react well to pushing and pulling the film. Well, dont push the Pan F, its a very contrasty film to begin with... But your use may vary from mine, so you could always experiment with a roll.

And for good fun, you could try Kodak HEI high speed Infrared film. Thats always fun, but only if you use the right filter set.

Anyways, good luck with this, film is always a good time, IMHO.
Steven

10-23-2007, 12:09 PM   #5
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Another vote for the Z-1 family. Great camera, similar in handling to your K10D. Just last weekend, I was playing around with my DA21 on my Z-1. Some vignetting in the viewfinder, but not as much as I expected. Didn't finish the roll, though so I don't know how bad it is.
10-23-2007, 12:12 PM   #6
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I just found this page and it seems to have some good info:

Film Recommendations - photo.net
10-23-2007, 12:24 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by davek Quote
Another vote for the Z-1 family. Great camera, similar in handling to your K10D. Just last weekend, I was playing around with my DA21 on my Z-1. Some vignetting in the viewfinder, but not as much as I expected. Didn't finish the roll, though so I don't know how bad it is.
So I can mount the DA 21 to a film body? Do I need any special adapter?

Vignetting would be fine - I'd just like to see how I like that focal length.
10-23-2007, 12:34 PM   #8
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For colour film, my absolute favourite is Kodak Ektachrome 100VS. It has a pop and a grainless quality that makes it look like a photo-illustration.

For black & white, I like AGFA Silvertone 400, which seems to still be readily available. It has a classic (Tri-X like) tonality and tolerates quite a bit of overexposure, and the grain structure at 400ASA is striking and lovely. It's also really cheap, which encourage me to shoot it!

I've been also been playing with Ilford Delta 100, which has lovely deep blacks and tight, fine grain.

I'm not a fan of the C41-process black and whites or the TMAX films -- I miss the look of regular silver grains, and find that their tonality is more like shooting colour on a DSLR and converting to grayscale in photoshop.

10-23-2007, 12:43 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by switters Quote
So I can mount the DA 21 to a film body? Do I need any special adapter?

Vignetting would be fine - I'd just like to see how I like that focal length.
No adapter required, but you have to choose your body carefully. Some of the MZ/ZX series did not have in-body aperture control, so the lack of the aperture ring limits you.

(another reason for the Z-1). I don't know about the ZX-5n.

21mm on a film body is *really* wide - well compared to anything I have.
10-23-2007, 12:54 PM   #10
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With my Canon 20D I had the Sigma 10-20, which was 16mm on the wide end. 90% of my shots with that lens were at 10mm (16mm). I don't really like the fisheye effect, and I don't need it to be fast (f2.8). I saw the 15mm f3.5 Takumar listed in the lens reviews section, but no reviews. Any others I'm missing? (I'd much prefer a zoom to a prime, and an older, manual focus prime would be fine).
10-23-2007, 01:40 PM   #11
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Forget all the rest. Go for a PZ-1/PZ-1p

They are set up for controls and features like the *istD and K10D with green button function for manual lenses, dual thumb wheels (front and back) for all automatic controls, and are about the best AF camera pentax made.

It will also work with every range of lenses pentax has ever made, (with the exception of image circle on digital only lenses)

The only thing you will miss when you put down the K10 and pick up the PZ-1 is the 2 1/2 inch screen on the back. It will take you a while to get accustomed to the idea that you can't see your image instantly
10-23-2007, 01:50 PM   #12
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The DA 21mm will vignette on a film body, but the DA 40 definitely works. I'm using it on my *ist film body right now, which is a very, very tiny combination. I believe the DA 70mm also works on film.

Also, the DA lenses won't work on a ZX-5n since that body doesn't have aperture controls. I believe you can still use it in shutter priority mode, but not aperture priority mode.

I had both a ZX-5n and my *ist, and I chose to keep the *ist because it's so similar to my K100D.
10-26-2007, 06:55 AM   #13
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DA Lenses on Film cameras

I got a K10D with the kit lens about a month ago. At the time, I had a roll of film in my SF-1 that still had a few frames left.

Just for kicks, I put the DA 18-55 lens from the K10D on the SF-1. At the shortest focal length, there was significant vignetting and barrel distortion. It was almost a fisheye.

At longer lengths, such as 40mm or the maximum of 55mm, it covered the entire frame.

I did not examine the negatives or the resulting prints in any detail, so I can't comment on the edge sharpness (or lack thereof). But, the DA lens will definitely function on a film camera. If I were shooting something where edge sharpness was critical, I might shy away from a DA lens, but otherwise, they can be used, if you understand their limitations.

This is something that people don't talk about. Pentax fans like to make a big deal of the fact that Pentax maintains excellent backward compatibility. That is, any Pentax lens ever made (just about) will work on a K10D. But this illustrates that they also have forward compatibility, meaning that the new, "digital" lenses will work to some extent on older cameras, as well.

Paul Noble
10-26-2007, 08:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
This is something that people don't talk about. Pentax fans like to make a big deal of the fact that Pentax maintains excellent backward compatibility. That is, any Pentax lens ever made (just about) will work on a K10D. But this illustrates that they also have forward compatibility, meaning that the new, "digital" lenses will work to some extent on older cameras, as well.

Paul Noble
This is why I recommended the PZ-1/PZ-1p. With the exception of the coverage of digital only lenses, and the larger frame on a film camera, every lens ever made for a pentax (except the KF) will work with 100% functionality with the PZ-1/PZ-1p,

As the initial thread was started by a K10D owner, he will appreciate the dual thumb wheel controls and green button functions.
11-06-2007, 11:44 AM   #15
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i am going to go a bit diffrent hear a K1000 with a M 50 F1,7 and off you go lol it not full of the bells and wisals BUT it will last all most for ever it is a HELL of a camera and lens it makes you learn photography. i have used this set up for years with nothing short of grate photos and with VERY few problems.
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