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03-27-2011, 01:37 PM   #1
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How to get back into film?

Hey guys, so I've been shooting the hell out of my K-x since I got it, but lately it's been a bit of a burnout, and one thing I've been considering is finding an old k1000 and doing some film stuff.

I first learned photography through a K1000 in a high school course and it's an appealing notion to go back to one now. However, I've only ever done my own film processing in the high school class, so if I were to pick it up again now - how do I know what film to use, and where to get it from?

Since the whole point of going back to a k1000 is just to go back to the basics, and forget about all the technicals, I don't need something that's super high IQ (well, at least passably decent), just something that's cheap.

If it helps, the film I used most in class was (somethingsomething ilford) somethingsomething tri-x, ISO 400, if that helps . Though that was mostly because I didn't get the correlation between grain and speed; I only saw the speed part.

Also, how would my FA 43 or Takumars work on it?

Thanks all!

03-27-2011, 01:56 PM   #2
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For the tak's you would need a ring but I am sure you have that already. The FA of course would be manual focus

If you are serious about film why not get a PZ-1. Then you can shoot any lens made. Thats what I use. I just did my first B&W in 6 years. Check the thread What B&W film
03-27-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
Hey guys, so I've been shooting the hell out of my K-x since I got it, but lately it's been a bit of a burnout, and one thing I've been considering is finding an old k1000 and doing some film stuff.

I first learned photography through a K1000 in a high school course and it's an appealing notion to go back to one now. However, I've only ever done my own film processing in the high school class, so if I were to pick it up again now - how do I know what film to use, and where to get it from?

Since the whole point of going back to a k1000 is just to go back to the basics, and forget about all the technicals, I don't need something that's super high IQ (well, at least passably decent), just something that's cheap.

If it helps, the film I used most in class was (somethingsomething ilford) somethingsomething tri-x, ISO 400, if that helps . Though that was mostly because I didn't get the correlation between grain and speed; I only saw the speed part.

Also, how would my FA 43 or Takumars work on it?

Thanks all!

K1000's are readily available on eBay, KEH or any other seller of used cameras. Its probably the most common film SLR ever made, since it was in production for 21 years. On eBay, a decent one will run between $50 and $100, with a 50mm, f/2 lens. You may pay a little more at a place like KEH, but you would probably have more confidence in the quality.

Ilford still makes film. Kodak has discontinued a lot of their emulsions, but Tri-X is still available. Check B & H for film. Finding film locally is getting more and more difficult. B & W is probably just about impossible. If you live in a big city, you might have better luck, but the typical places, like K-Mart, drugstores, etc., have more or less gotten out of the film business. Here in Cleveland, our one regional chain of camera stores, Dodd's, carries very little film.

Getting film developed is becoming harder. Many drugstores, including Walgreen's and CVS still offer film processing, but only for C-41 process films. Costco and Walmart still offer film development in some of their stores, but that number is shrinking.

If you develop your own film, you don't have to worry about finding someone to do it for you. To start, though, you might try Kodak's ISO 400 B & W film that is developed in C-41 chemistry. The advantage is that it can be developed anywhere that has a one-hour photo machine.

Does the FA-43 have an aperture ring? Many autofocus lenses do not, so the K1000 would not be able to control the aperture. Any k-mount lens should mount on a K1000. If the Takumars you refer to are screwmount, you need a relatively inexpensive adapter, but they will work fine, although you must use stop-down metering, even if they are SMC Takumars, with the aperture linkage for wide-open metering on a Spotmatic F, ES or ES-II.
03-27-2011, 02:12 PM   #4
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lots of good film bodies out there and now the better ones are cheap compared to when we were younger. As good as a k100 is, i'd look at an mx or kx (or Lx if i was flush) first they are nicer cameras. the Km is also a good choice and should be cheaper than a k1000
b/w is simple to do yourself, visit ilfords website and they have very detailed instructions for beginners
c41 as mentioned there are lots of mini labs still up and running
if you want to sent cout your b/w bacause no-one local does it then try precision camera, they develop and scan all formats and sizes b/w, c41, e6 and do a good job at reasonable prices for a pro lab

Ultra Hi-Res Scan Order Form

03-27-2011, 02:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jaieger Quote
Hey guys, so I've been shooting the hell out of my K-x since I got it, but lately it's been a bit of a burnout, and one thing I've been considering is finding an old k1000 and doing some film stuff.

I first learned photography through a K1000 in a high school course and it's an appealing notion to go back to one now. However, I've only ever done my own film processing in the high school class, so if I were to pick it up again now - how do I know what film to use, and where to get it from?

Since the whole point of going back to a k1000 is just to go back to the basics, and forget about all the technicals, I don't need something that's super high IQ (well, at least passably decent), just something that's cheap.

If it helps, the film I used most in class was (somethingsomething ilford) somethingsomething tri-x, ISO 400, if that helps . Though that was mostly because I didn't get the correlation between grain and speed; I only saw the speed part.

Also, how would my FA 43 or Takumars work on it?

Thanks all!
As Eddie mentioned I’d go for a KX film body over a K1000. It has all the features you need, a better metering system and is better built than a lot of the later K1000 versions. You also have a wider ASA range, so you have more flexibility with pushing/pulling films. You can also get a KX for around the same price as a K1000, as they are over priced a lot of times.

As for your FA43 it was designed for film cameras, so you get to experience this great "normal" lens at its true focal length. (Yes it has an aperture and focusing ring.)

Start with the film you are familiar with from school, you also can’t really go wrong with film from any of the major brands.

Enjoy, Phil.
03-27-2011, 02:47 PM   #6
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Original Poster
Thanks all for the very quick replies, I guess what I meant WRT the lenses was if they'd mount and meter okay; I remember reading something about the protuding super-tak rear elements hitting mirrors (though I'm 85% sure I have the 7-elements version).

Though I was mainly planning on just doing a K1000 for the sentimental/nostalgic value, I just might look into alternate, similar bodies that you guys've suggested...

But yeah, my main question was about the film, and it looks to me like I should start asking around some camera stores about using/developing films...
03-27-2011, 05:13 PM   #7
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I'm having loads of fun with my ME Super and Ilford XP2.


Manhattan


Italian Market, Philly


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03-27-2011, 06:09 PM   #8
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One thing to mention-
As great as Pentax is, it might be possible to pick up a good Ricoh for cheap. The K1000, while a good camera, is often overpriced.

For film, you may want to consider Freestyle's LegacyPro films, they're re-branded Fuji Acros and Neopan, both good, dependable emulsions with plenty of information available.

03-28-2011, 05:55 AM   #9
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I'll make one more post on the contrary side of the K1000 as a first film camera. As was made clear to me in another thread, and a subsequent purchase, the inexpensive "back to film" route for a first camera is the P5, P3, P30 route. You can get these for less than $30, they will shoot any lens (although lenses withou an aperture ring are program-mode only), and you can see if you like it. If you want to stick with autofocus, there are lots of inexpensive models out there.

A K1000 or any K or M series camera is usually more total money, since not only do the bodies cost more, they often need service to function well. They are also useless with any of the modern digital lenses which may still cover a 135 frame, but have no aperture ring. If you decide you like film then they, and the lenses to go with them, are a good investment to get the real experience.
03-28-2011, 06:20 AM   #10
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The best way to get back into film cameras: decide if you want to go the route Gene suggests -and his reasoning is good - or if you really do want to go the simple metal camera way. If the latter, K mount or screw? Probably K? At this point, my recommendation is to go for any camera that seems to be in great shape & has a lens you'd want - at this point I wouldn't worry about Pentax or not Pentax, strictly manual/mechanical vs. auto exposure... though if you do want manual capability don't go MV or the non-Super ME, and stay away from Ricoh program cameras with their infamous Ricoh pin.

After all, with prices so low, you will no doubt end up with a second camera based on what you like or don't like about your first

You will likely need an interslice foam kit, these are inexpensive and easy to apply.

For film, I would start with cheap drug store color film - this is inexpensive and simple to start with, and you can test out your gear. Don't bother to get prints, "cd only" at the drugstore is low cost and convenient.

For B&W, Kodak BW400CN and Ilford XP2 are good ways to start, as that same drugstore can develop these cheap - "real" b&w is more of a commitment: getting it developed and scanned will cost more and be less available, and if you like this stuff, you'll want to get a developing set up with a dark bag, and a scanner that does film.
03-28-2011, 07:05 AM   #11
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Just a simple note, I think there are 2 approaches to going with a film body, at least considering what is available to me here in toronto, but I expect the same will be similar elsewhere.

There are randomly spotmatics, and early K mount bodies, including both pentax K series and early Rikoh XR series, that show up in thrift stoors and the like for about $30-$50 usually with one or 2 lenses.

Henry's has an outlet center with bins of mostly autofocus film bodies for $30, but there are also ME and MV bodies as well as the occasional PZ body in there as well.

you can easily go cheap.

I recommended initially the PZ-1 because it is a very very good camera, sure you will pay a little more for it, but it is modern, has excellent metering, and will support all AF lenses except for the SDM focusing lenses. You can use all your digital kit with it.

For me, I have 2 other film bodies, a KX, and a ricoh XR-2s. What I like about this pairing is that the control layout and viewfinder is identical in terms of everything down to the match needle metering and presentation, so the cameras are truely interchangeable. The KX is more rugged and is totally mechanically times so it does not need batteries except for the light meter, the XR-2s is electronically timed, has a vertical shutter with 1/125 sync speed in place of horizontal shutter with 1/60 sync. As someone mentioned the ricoh bodies are a good second alternative. (i even have a 2FPS winder for mine)



As for comments about the 8 element tak hitting the mirror, never happend to me, and I think this may be only some very early spotmatics, or ashaiflex. I do recall this issue with some fisheyes however.
03-28-2011, 07:56 AM   #12
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I started photography using digital cameras. When I tried out films last year, I felt the best film camera to me was MZ-6. I also tried those older metal bodies, to me, they were nothing but crude and rude. The first time I pressed the shutter release button, I was surprised by the shock on my hand and the noise, very much like firing a shotgun. Now I understand why they use the word "shoot" in photography.

Last edited by violini; 03-28-2011 at 10:20 AM.
03-28-2011, 12:08 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by violini Quote
I started photography using digital cameras. When I tried out films last year, I felt the best film camera to me was MZ-6. I also tried those older metal bodies, to me, they were nothing but crude and rude. The first time I pressed the shutter release button, I was surprised by the shock on my hand and the noise, very much like firing a shotgun. Now I understand why they use the word "shoot" in photography.
Those older screw-mount or K Series metal film bodies are the most reliable and best built that Pentax has ever made. They will last forever, which the later plastic bodies like your MZ-6 won’t. That’s why the metal bodies cost more, even though they don’t have AF.

Yes the shutters are loud, but that’s part of the charm of these film bodies. These bodies are what made Pentax famous!!

Phil.
03-28-2011, 05:36 PM   #14
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How is shooting film any less technical than digital?
03-28-2011, 05:55 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
How is shooting film any less technical than digital?
if anything it's more technical because you can't rely on the technical wizardry of the cameras and software to sve your ass on a bad exposure. Spend a few months shooting slides with say an mx, versus using digital. the results will make you better if you track how you shoot so you can correct your errors
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