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06-24-2012, 11:36 AM   #1
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Shot my first film this week

I'm a total noob to photography and prior to this week I've only had a Canon S95 for photos and zero experience with an SLR. My MX arrived this week and I went for a walk to try it out. Needless to say, all my hesitations about moving to film have vanished. Sure, it takes some getting used to, not knowing how the shot came out, but being limited by how many exposures you have and knowing that you only have the one chance really helps you think and compose your shots properly. With digital, I would just snap away and nothing ever felt right, because I guess I never really thought about it. I live in the middle of nowhere and I'm without a car right now, so it'll be a while until I can get my film developed, but I'm very glad I bought this camera. I do have a few quick questions.
Right now I have just a 50mm f2 which suits me fine. Should I keep my eye out for any other lenses to carry around with me? Also, should I worry about filters and any other accessories at all?

Thanks,
Christian

06-24-2012, 11:49 AM   #2
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Well, you've got all the camera you'll ever need with the MX as far as I'm aware, so good choice there Film is weirdly great. I keep hoping to get my ME Super out, but film is so expensive, it's hard to justify right now (bit strapped for cash). But there is something just enjoyable about shooting on film, regardless of whether you can afford to develop your images.

Lens wise, generally people like having a three lens system. I'd recommend looking for a cheap 28mm f/2.8 lens. You can get Pentax ones for a decent price, but off brand ones are still good (especially the close-focusing vivitars from what I hear). That'd cover you for the wide end, and I personally love 135mm lenses on 35mm film, so hunt down a cheap one of those too if you can. I love Pentax glass, but it's really not that much better. I used to have a no-name 135mm f/2.8 that was fantastic. Called a Mitzuki or something. With those three you'll be covered for most of the things you might want to shoot, and if you hunt around you could probably get the other two for under a tenner. Keep an eye out on eBay for old manual cameras going with lenses attached, you can grab a decent bargain every now and then.

Glad you enjoy shooting with discipline! I have a mode set up on my K-5 that only shoots in B&W RAWs, is fully manual and doesn't show previews... so I can pretend it's a nice old film camera... I'm that cool.
06-24-2012, 11:51 AM   #3
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Many great pictures have been taken with 50mm f3.5 lenses, and on film with speed well under 100. (In the 1950s B&W film at 125 was fast film). Many 50 f2.0 lenses outperform the faster lenses, which originated due to slow film and for bragging. My favorite lenses are my 1964 Takumar 55mm f2.0, my 1969 Leica Summicron 50mm f2.0, and 1969 Leica Summicron 35mm f2.0.
So don't worry about the camera or lens: just go out and learn to take great photos with it!
But when expanding, the 100mm f4.0 SMC-M macro is a great short telephoto (and macro), and 28 f2.8 SMC-M a nice compact wide. Along with yout 50 that makes a complete travel kit.
06-24-2012, 12:18 PM   #4
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The MX is certainly going to make using another problematic as it is the smallest fully mechanical SLR with the largest viewfinder!

As for lenses, choices will depend on what you like to shoot of course. You can also consider M42 lenses by using an M42 to PK adapter. With it you can use the Takumar fisheye lens giveing you the smallest fisheye setup which is extremely fun to use.



So far all of the Pentax lenses I have tested on my 14.6MP K20D are excellent performers and only limited by the sensor's resolution as you can see from my test results below.



Link to larger version -> http://www.fototime.com/AFA3C6EDB6A663D/orig.jpg

06-24-2012, 03:04 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by CCasper Quote
Also, should I worry about filters and any other accessories at all?
Filters are neat if you want to get some nice effects on B&W film, like long exposures and black skies with white, contrasty clouds. I have a polarizer, a red filter and am saving for a 9 stop ND filter. But you also need a tripod and a cable release for that. I'd say look up some photos posted on this forum or on flickr, see what you like and what you want to do, and decide what you need from there.
06-24-2012, 09:13 PM   #6
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As said before, a 28-30mm to get wide and a 85-135mm to be long and you are ready to go! Filter wise, I would recommend you to try a yellow or orange one for B&W. Google it, it has a sweet effect.
06-25-2012, 07:39 AM   #7
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If you are shooting colour find yourself a linear polarizer. It works wonders with blue skies and colour saturation generally.

K.
06-25-2012, 08:51 AM   #8
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To fully take advantage of the shallow depth of field characteristics of film, you will definitely need neutral density filters. Also, if you take photos of people, color filters can have a huge impact on how they look. You can test this by taking photos of individuals with different color filters, and finding out which you like.

06-25-2012, 09:29 AM   #9
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Oh yes and get a lens hood. A cheap, sub-$10 metal one for telephoto should be very easy to acquire either locally or on ebay, and will both protect your lens and improve your contrast.
06-25-2012, 02:17 PM   #10
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Hello Christian,

Welcome to Pentax Forum.

Congratulation you have picked a great camera ! Film will transform you from a haphazard button pusher into a Photographer! Don’t get in a hurry buying lenses and filters it only leads to “learning the hard way”. There are some inexpensive quality lenses, just choose carefully and read reviews on the forum. On the other hand, if you purchase Pentax lenses no one will ever second-guess your choice. You said. “. . . knowing that you only have the 1 chance really helps you think and compose your shots properly. . .” this tells me you will enjoy film. I cannot express enough the need to slow down and compose a photograph. The camera will meter but its up to you to make the subject look interesting and that is where correct composure shines. Study the ‘rule of thirds’ that will start you out in the right direction. Your Canon has the rule of 1/3rd lines and can be added to the screen. I expect some of our suggestions will be confusing, ask us to clarify and I’m sure someone will help. There is a photography language you will learn and can be confusing. When you have the film processed have the company scan to a CD or use a flatbed to scan your prints and share with us on the forum.

You will read many different pro/con ideas about the use of filters. They have their place in my camera bag and over 30 yrs they saved 2 lenses from the repair. I expect your first roll was color and if you are going to continue to shoot color I would suggest the following items.

81A filter - I use quite a bit inside and outdoors. If I’m not using this filter outdoors I’m using a polarized.
FL-W or FL-D florescent conversion filter.
80A filter makes Tungsten light less orange.
Linear Polarized filter (Study the use of polarized filters there is more than meets the eye.)
Lens Hoods

A 28 or 35mm lens makes a great ‘family’ lens for holiday gatherings and architectural/landscape pictures. It is difficult for me to suggest one lens over the other; the 28 and the 35mm are great lenses. You will probably use the wide angle and the 50mm lenses more than a zoom. If you have extra money go for a 135mm and if you still have a few bucks pickup a 70-210. Back in the day when I worked as a news photographer my camera bag consisted of 28, 50 and 70-210 mm. About the only time I used the 70-210 was for outdoor sport pictures.

Don’t give up your MX if you find color film expensive. There is an under-world called Black & White (B&W) film.

Best Wishes
06-25-2012, 03:18 PM   #11
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Thanks for all the help and suggestions guys. The community on here is fantastic.
So I'll hold back on any other lenses for now until I've learned the ropes a bit.
I've already got a hood (it's for a 51mm thread but just about fits for now), but I've found a nice plastic one on eBay that is a copy of the rectangular ones Pentax made which should look great. As far as film and filters, I'm using color, because I still have the option to change to B&W later so I can be a little more versatile. Also, I don't have the means to do any developing myself. And I'll do some reading on the filters suggested and see what suits me. First step right now is getting this damn film developed so I can see if I'm satisfied, haha.
Thanks again for the help.
Christian.
06-25-2012, 04:00 PM   #12
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A lot of great suggestions here, and the MX is one of my favorite and most-used film cameras (I own quite a few cameras).

If you're a visual learner my advice is to take a look at the two film threads here, https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/53503-cool-let...ilm-shots.html and https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/159796-post-yo...ilm-shots.html. Most of the pictures shown in these threads list the film and lens used. Granted each person has their own style, but if you see a number of images you really like from one lens, you may consider getting it. Different kinds of films are also often discussed and reading these should be a great opportunity to learn more about the characteristics and see which ones you prefer. I hope that helps.
06-25-2012, 04:15 PM   #13
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Thanks. I've spent a lot of time here and on Flickr looking at people's shots and it's been very helpful. One quick question about film. What speed should I buy? I'll for the most part be shooting outdoors. I have some 200 speed right now, but would 400 be a better all rounder?
06-25-2012, 04:54 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mareket Quote

Lens wise, generally people like having a three lens system. I'd recommend looking for a cheap 28mm f/2.8 lens............ and I personally love 135mm lenses on 35mm film, .

If I were only going to have 3 film lenses on a budget these would be my choice also. The 135 can be had in a 2.8 also for not a lot of money.
06-25-2012, 05:17 PM   #15
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One thing about filters is you do not want to buy several of the same type but different filter sizes. I still have and use filters from the mid 70s from my Spotmatic F which had the same 49 mm filter size as the latest lens I bought, the DA 35 2.4. Although I have other filter sizes now as I have lenses that take 77mm my suggestion would be not to buy too many filters before you know what size you will need. One can use larger filters with a step up ring but step down is problematic. 28 and 35 lenses can be cheap (got my 28 for free) and the best thing about buying the Pentax one is the same filter size. However I agree with above, do not rush in to buy additional lenses; learn your camera and your lens, photography as a whole and your shooting will let you know what if any lens you are needing. Have fun . I normally use 100 or in colour 160 ISO but it depends on what you are shooting, landscapes or cityscapes do not need as much speed as action shots. But I grew up on film when it was no where as good as it is today and 400 ISO was awful, cannot say that now.
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