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01-09-2008, 07:00 PM   #1
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I can't believe I did it.....

but I bought a film camera. A Pentax Super Program. I have been getting the bug to shoot some slides and both of my old Ricohs have serious problems. Now I'll have a backup body and my new to me A-35-105/3.5 should be a match made in heaven with this body. And my wide angle lenses will be wide angles!:-).
I've checked with the camera store in town. I can shoot negative film and they will develop the negatives and scan them and burn a cd for about $12 a roll. I've tried scanning negatives myself and my scanner just can't handle the job, terrible quality. It does slides almost ok, better than negatives. On the other hand I have much much better lenses now than the weak ones I had in the old days so I'll see when I shoot a roll or two what quality I can achieve digitizing these pictures. They also develop B&W photos in their store locally so I'm excited to try that out. I'm also trying to shoot my old negatives with my macro setup and I can produce images but nothing to write home about. The jury is still out on this technique but it doesn't appear to be able to achieve very high quality. I've always loved shooting film, I just hate paying for it:-). How do you guys go about converting your film images to digital, or do you bother?
Ole, if you see this, does the Super Program have as nice a viewfinder as the ME Super or is it more like the Program Plus (I read your reply in another thread).
Oh, I almost forgot. I recently got the Vivitar 285HV which works well on the K10D, will this flash with the lower flash trigger voltage work with the older camera bodies like the Super Program?


Last edited by Eaglerapids; 01-09-2008 at 07:12 PM. Reason: another question
01-09-2008, 08:18 PM   #2
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The Super Program is a *super* camera - I've owned a couple. I think you'll enjoy it. As to the 285HV flash - I've been using one on both my Super Program and my *ist DS with no problems. Only caveat - if you purchased one of the "new" 285HVs I can't speak for that model - mine is one of the older, original units - but I can't imagine why it wouldn't work. Enjoy!!
01-09-2008, 08:36 PM   #3
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I believe it, because I bought a film camera...

Just a few months ago...

I lucked out on a mint MZ-S plus BG-10 grip - one roll of film through it (basically brand new). Came with 7 rolls of Velvia, the boxes, and manual too. $500 BIN on Ebay (a steal, given it's current going price).

I still have my SF10's and my K1000. The MZ-S is great because it's got a lot of K10D-like functionality (including wireless and wireless flash capability). It has incredibly accurate and fast AF and exposure. Very light too. In addition to the Velvia, some Superia, and some B&W film.

I look forward to your shots - it should be fun!

Cheers,
Marc
01-10-2008, 03:00 AM   #4
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My scanner did a horrble job.....with the bundled software.

Download the trial version of VueScan and see what a huge difference it makes. If you like it, it will pay for itself in just a few rolls of not having to pay the camera store to do it for you. It makes a really big difference with scanning b/w film. Use the multi-pass option to do 3~5 passes and the difference is astounding.

01-10-2008, 06:14 AM   #5
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Well, just my luck Mike, VueScan doesn't support my scanner:-(. I have a Microtek 4900. Vuescan supports the 4700 but they say the commands for the 4900 are to complex to reverse engineer.
Thanks for the link, tho.
01-10-2008, 10:52 PM   #6
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This is cool, checking lens compatability here:
The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart
at first glance it says the Super Program will not work with DA lens. But if you read the first note, the reason it gets the red X is because of the DA's image circle. On those DA lens that DO cover the the full film frame, the DA lens can be used as a FA J lens, program and shutter priority. The Super Program and the Program Plus can control the aperture of the DA lens. But not in manual mode. At least that's how I'm reading this.
01-11-2008, 06:01 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eaglerapids Quote
This is cool, checking lens compatability here:
The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart
at first glance it says the Super Program will not work with DA lens. But if you read the first note, the reason it gets the red X is because of the DA's image circle. On those DA lens that DO cover the the full film frame, the DA lens can be used as a FA J lens, program and shutter priority. The Super Program and the Program Plus can control the aperture of the DA lens. But not in manual mode. At least that's how I'm reading this.
You are right about that. I think a Super Program and DA40 would make a SWEET pocket combo. Great camera by the way.

As for digitizing negs, I have mine developed and scanned to CD at our local shop for about $3-5 a roll (no prints). The scans are pretty lo res and dirty (not sure they ever clean their scanner), but work great as digital proofs. I've been thinking of picking up a new scanner myself, because mine is about 10 years old, but I need one that takes medium format film, which narrows my choices considerably.
01-11-2008, 06:13 AM   #8
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Enjoy your new camera, Eaglerapids!

As for processing and scanning, I let the local lab do it too. I can't justify spending >$600 on a Nikon Coolscan, especially when I also shoot medium format. So I'd feel stupid unless I bought the Coolscan 9000 to scan MF as well.

I get consistently good scans from Downtown Camera's Noritsu scanner. Both 35mm and MF look great. A highres Noritsu scan of 35mm is 3000x2000, MF is 2000x2000 so it has less grain but also less resolution.

If I need quick/cheap, I let the local Shoppers Drug Mart process and scan. It's ridiculously cheap, but they limit the resolution, so anything print-worthy I would probably rescan elsewhere.

I have found scanning is VERY time intensive. The lab has the equipment to do it well, and I can get a whole roll of highres scans back in a day. That's worth it to me.

01-11-2008, 06:17 AM   #9
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I have a SP and AF280T flash. That combo works great, set it and go. They are still available if you look.

I have an Epson 2450 scanner with the plastic holders for 35mm, MF film. I find most flat bed scanners like this do a so so job, but yes i find they do better with slides. Probably due to the slide being flatter.

Is this true B&W film they can develop or the C41 version. Check if your not sure as the two developing systems are not compatable.

Dave
01-11-2008, 06:25 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eaglerapids Quote
Oh, I almost forgot. I recently got the Vivitar 285HV which works well on the K10D, will this flash with the lower flash trigger voltage work with the older camera bodies like the Super Program?

Your camera only short circuits the flash contacts and voltage doesn't matter if You are using film body.
01-11-2008, 07:44 AM   #11
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Thank you for your thoughts, guys. You've confirmed what I knew but didn't want to accept. Without spending big bucks for a film scanner I'm going to have to send them out.
Good question about the B&W developing, 52, and one I didn't think to ask. I just missed a AF280T flash on ebay last night that sold for $53 but I wasn't sure of it's condition, still looking....
That's good to know skaktuss, very cool! At least I'll have a working flash when the camera gets here even though it won't be TTL.
I may have overpayed a bit for this camera, $88 shipped from Henry's with the buy it now option but they have a warranty (I don't know how good it is) and it's claimed to be "lightly used" and in the pictures it looks very clean. This was a body only purchase. I've seen them much cheaper with a lens or two but who knows what kind of shape they were really in. I can't wait for it to arrive!
01-11-2008, 08:07 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eaglerapids Quote
I may have overpayed a bit for this camera, $88 shipped from Henry's with the buy it now option but they have a warranty (I don't know how good it is) and it's claimed to be "lightly used" and in the pictures it looks very clean. This was a body only purchase. I've seen them much cheaper with a lens or two but who knows what kind of shape they were really in. I can't wait for it to arrive!
$88 seems fair. Of course it's more than the 'bay, but less than most retailers, and you've got a warranty which most places don't give.

For price comparison, Henry's in-store has Super Programs from 130 to 200. Last night I noticed a SPOTLESS, like-new Super Program at a camera repair shop next door to Henry's. They wanted $120.

I deal with Henry's quite a bit. Their ratings are not as conservative as KEH, but "lightly used" should be good. I don't think Henry's bothers to clean used gear, so everything from them needs a scrub. Sometimes that layer of dust protects the finish so once you clean it you can have a very nice specimen.
01-14-2008, 11:23 PM   #13
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Ok, Saturday I went to the local camera shop and bought a roll of Velvia 100 slide film, a roll of Acros 100 B&W film (both 36 exposure rolls) and a 12 exposure roll of Superia 100 print film. I've never shot with any of these films. They set me back $23. I told the lady waiting on me "this is why I hate film". I came home, searched the net and found I could have bought the same online for half the price. This is why my local camera store doesn't get a lot of business from me. I know this isn't right, they don't do near the volume of the big online stores and couldn't possibly match their prices but my goodness. But this type film is available at a reasonable price. Now we come to processing.......ouch. They will process (the camera store) the roll of B&W for $5.00, that's cool. The problem with B&W for me is 1. I can't scan it well myself and 2. my printer's (HP 8250) big weakness is, yep, printing B&W. If I'm to shoot film I NEED digital files. And after a lot of searching, scanning film to high resolution files is just plain expensive. Upwards of $1 a scan at some places(26 meg file). That adds up fast. The shop in town will scan a roll for $12 (if I'm remembering correctly[18meg file]). IF I'm keeping this all straight, I think she said that a roll of 36 exp B&W printed and scanned would be around $30, add in the cost of the roll itself would bring this up to at least $35. I'll probably just get it developed and scanned and if there are any I want printed I'll get them done individually. Now I'm remembering why I went digital in the first place.
I didn't think my camera would be here till the end of the week but it showed up this evening! It's in beautiful shape cosmetically, very nice and everything seems to be in working order. I've put in the 12 exp Superia and will run it through to see how the meter and shutter speeds and all that work. I will get these printed at the local shop and scanned just to see how their prints compare to what I can achieve. I believe I can process and print as well as they can but I will give them a chance. Actually they should better me because they're printing from a negative and all I will have is the scan so we'll see. It will also give me a chance to compare their scan from the negative to my scan from a print, which they should also be able to do much better.
I'm not sorry I bought a film camera, the price wasn't bad and it's nice but I really don't think I'm going to be willing to spend this kind of money shooting a lot of pics with it. It will be fun shooting wide and the viewfinder, wow, compared to a dslr, the viewfinder is HUGE!
01-15-2008, 03:46 AM   #14
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To alleviate the problem of b/w printing, convert to RGB and apply even ever-so-slightly a touch of split-tone to it. This forces the printer to use color inks and printers can do a far better job rendering a black and white image that way than they can merely using black ink to represent 256 shades of gray.

Film is fun to indulge in on a as-dough-allows basis, keeping the bulk of your shooting for the more economical digital stuff. I've been through quite a bit of it here lately, but normally I hold it down to about a roll or two a month, developing only, scanned at home. I need a better scanner, but the one I have will do for the time being. I use an Epson GT-8300UF flatbed. It came with 35mm capability, but I picked up the optional top for it that handles 35mm, 120 (up to 6x9), and large format up to 4x5 inches. Supposed to retail for about $70 but I got it like-new for about $20 from an auction. Don't forget that you may be able to pick up used a still perfectly good scanner from someone who stopped scanning or who traded up for a better model.
01-15-2008, 09:08 AM   #15
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One of the ways I keep the price down is to only buy film on sale.

I bought processing-included film that was being firesaled at Black's, dozens of rolls of 200 and 800 rebranded Fuji, for about $6 a roll. I like having the processing included film on hand, because I feel like I can keep shooting and it doesn't have to cost me anything additional (purely psychological, I know!) Black's will scan it for another $5, but I don't really like the quality off their Fuji Frontiers. Still, $11 for a roll of 36, with processing, 4x6 prints, and a scan isn't bad.

The cheapest option is house-brand film bought on sale at the drug store (3 for $5) and process and scan at the drug store ($2.99/roll). The resolution is only about 3mp, but it's not bad for $5 all-in.

Most of my black and white is AGFA Silvertone 400 that the local camera stores sell for $2 a roll -- I think it's priced that way as a school supply. For good quality snaps, I buy Fuji Superia from the drug store or grocery store when it's on sale, sometimes you can get the three-pack for $6. If I have specific needs (like Portra or E100VS, both of which I love) then it gets REALLY expensive. But I don't shoot enough of it to order a large quantity from B&H or Adorama. I think E6 is the most expensive stuff, but I ran across a batch of Elitechrome 100 at a tiny little camera store for about $5 a roll. For processing, I can have any of this stuff done at a pro lab for $5.50 (C41), $7 (B&W), or $10 (E6) and then high res scanned for $9. The quality is really good (equivalent to my 6mp Pentax *ist DL), and all together I can keep it under $20 most of the time.

I'm probably lucky that there is so much choice and competition in town. I know it would be easy to pay $15/roll of film, another $10 for processing, and then $5/frame for scanning. I couldn't do it for those prices, so I stick with sale film and competent labs that price sanely.
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