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06-22-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
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Whoa. I may come join this part of the forum. Help?

Hey guys,

Good news! I walked into my local black's at the mall and found out they were selling film and processing them. HOly cow!
Even better news : I get to keep my pentax voigtlander 125 that i was going to trade for a nikon version so I can get a full frame, less distance on the focal length version! A pentax FF beats any FF , baby!
Bad news : I need to get a film camera.



Just kidding. But need some help here...
My criterias :

- really rugged, and will last another 30 years.
- can use my flashes...and wont fry them. Also, my radio triggers?
- has that old vintage look.
- preferably, some metering of sort.
- X-sync speed more than 200?

So my question :
1. I am looking at the K1000, would it fit my criteria? but the x-sync speed is only 1/60? Why are they so slow?
2. Is there a different model i should look into?
3. Is there a model I should avoid?
4. How do I test these cameras ? If I buy them off some used store? How do I know it works? And what should I watch out for ?

Thanks sooo much.

06-22-2013, 02:12 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
My criterias :

- really rugged, and will last another 30 years.
- can use my flashes...and wont fry them. Also, my radio triggers?
- has that old vintage look.
- preferably, some metering of sort.
- X-sync speed more than 200?

So my question :
1. I am looking at the K1000, would it fit my criteria? but the x-sync speed is only 1/60? Why are they so slow?
2. Is there a different model i should look into?
3. Is there a model I should avoid?
4. How do I test these cameras ? If I buy them off some used store? How do I know it works? And what should I watch out for ?

Thanks sooo much.
Rugged? Pretty much any camera from the mid-1980s and earlier that is still operational should satisfy your requirement. Survival is the best evidence of ruggedness.

Flashes? I don't know of any camera that will fry a flash, though the opposite is true. Feature compatibility depends highly upon your flashes and what features you need to support. Ditto for your triggers. So...you will want to keep in mind hot shoe vs. cold shoe vs. no shoe vs. dedicated hot shoe.

Old vintage look? Consider one of the K-series metal bodies. I would skip the K1000 in favor of the KM.

1/200s flash synch? ROFL...(MZS comes close at 1/180s)

Why such slow flash synch? 1/60s is pretty standard for horizontal run cloth focal plane shutters with 1/125s for vertical metal shutters. It has to do with the absolute speed of the shutter curtain travel. The top speed is the highest speed at which the entire frame is open. At speeds greater than 1/60s, the shutter opening is a slit.

I would suggest some time on the camera review section of this site or on Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Page. He has all the specs on the K-mount cameras as well as the flash compatibility matrix.


Steve
06-22-2013, 02:17 PM   #3
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The fastest sync speed of any Pentax film camera was 1/250s. But that was the PZ-1 AF. The fastest sync speed on a manual focus Pentax was 1/125s on the ME Super and the Super Program.

Cameras to avoid, any of the M series other than the ME Super or MX. A KM or KX would be better than a K1000, possibly cheaper as well. Older cameras will need new seals at the very least, so you should probably factor in the cost of a CLA...
06-22-2013, 02:45 PM   #4
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Pz-1p will meet all your criteria, if you can consider an amorphous block of black plastic (that perfectly fits your hands) to be "vintage camera" looking!

06-22-2013, 03:26 PM   #5
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Or, for a K-mount that is larger, heavier and really does have a classy vintage upright look , consider the Ricoh XR-2
This camera has some useful features not on the lesser ones.
The big bright viewfinder with its match needle shutter speed indicator is also outstanding for those with aging eyes who want to do manual.
06-22-2013, 05:51 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Old vintage look? Consider one of the K-series metal bodies. I would skip the K1000 in favor of the KM.
If you can find one the KX is even nicer, fully manual, mirror lock-up, match needle metering, DOF preview and a better meter than a K1000 or KM.
Glenn
06-22-2013, 06:46 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input guys! That ricoh does look pretty. I'll go and find from this list what i can get for a bargain in my second hand stores
06-22-2013, 08:41 PM   #8
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I guess the short answer is that there is a huge choice in terms of K-mount film bodies. I suggested the KM above, but mainly on the basis of price and value as compared to the K1000. My personal picks from the Pentax line are the KX (which I own and treasure), the Super Program/Super-A (which I also own, but don't use much) the MX (like but have never owned), and the LX (excellent in every way, but more that I wish to pay). Outside the Pentax line, I own two Ricohs (XR-2s and XR7), both of which I can high recommend.


Steve

06-23-2013, 12:00 AM   #9
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Thanks

On a different note - I have been looking at how these old film cameras operate through online manuals. Now I have had the pleasure of having to read hundreds of pages of dslr manual in the past...and these film cameras manual are extremely short in comparison.

I am genuinely curious. Was photography simpler back then? For some reason, as a digital photographer - I've always thought film was more complicated. But besides the dark room process (which does seem complicated), the picture taking part of it seems mainstream enough. Your ISO is determined for you....there is a needle or something for metering, all you need to do is set your aperture and shutter speed.

People say that digital is the reason everyone now has a camera. But i am really confused - it seems that film cameras are so much easier to operate.
Sure the metering may not be as great as a spot metering we get now, but even with digital bodies people dont know what they are doing with their cameras anyway.

Why werent more people a photographer? just take a picture - and send the film for developing.
What am I missing?
06-23-2013, 01:15 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
Why werent more people a photographer? just take a picture - and send the film for developing.
What am I missing?
You're missing nothing. That's exactly what millions of us did back in the day.
06-23-2013, 04:34 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by D4rknezz Quote
I am genuinely curious. Was photography simpler back then? For some reason, as a digital photographer - I've always thought film was more complicated. But besides the dark room process (which does seem complicated), the picture taking part of it seems mainstream enough. Your ISO is determined for you....there is a needle or something for metering, all you need to do is set your aperture and shutter speed.
Simpler machines, yes, but the overall process is less reliable in the sense that a lot can go wrong with film between putting it in the camera and getting the image on print. Manufacturers have been trying to high-tech these issues for decades; often solving one problem brought on another.
06-23-2013, 06:26 AM   #12
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I would say go for KX, K1000 or ME Super. The plain ME was good, I have a couple, but not enough manual control for me. The ME Super is great, very reliable and mine all got excellent pictures. I think I've had 4...ME Super would probably be my choice. Lighter weight, newer and it has a good metering system, 1/125 sync speed, manual or auto, the only thing I didn't like about mine was in really bright sunlight it was difficult to see the metering LEDs in the viewfinder. In that case auto works fine. It also has a couple of faster shutter speeds available if I remember correctly.

I guess I should also note that on most film Pentax cameras, the electronics only work with the film advance lever in the half cock position. Cock it as if advancing the film, but only to the first detent. It will stay there and the electronics should stay on until you close the lever back against the body. If you get one, always store it in the LOCK position so you can't accidentally take a picture, and the electronics are off. That only locks the shutter button, not the film advance lever. I think it was the KX that required a lens cap to turn off the electronics, it kept the metering system turned on as long as light was going into the camera, so you had to shut off that light (lens cap) or remove the batteries. I may be wrong, it might not be the KX, I can't remember, but I think that's the one. I found out the hard way when I ran down a set of batteries in a few days...

For a remote trigger you'll need a mechanical cable release, I was really disappointed to find out mine wouldn't work with digital. I used a half dozen flashes, all worked fine.

How do you know it works? As already mentioned it will probably need to be cleaned and lubed, and seals replaced, but to find out if it works at all, open the back (pull the film winder on the left UP, that will open it) then cock the film advance, look through the camera from the back (with or without lens will work) with the door open and press the shutter. You'll see the shutter curtain open briefly and close, and if you point it at a well lit wall you'll see a brief white flash. That should tell you it's functional. It's nearly impossible to tell if the shutter speed is correct, or anything else for that matter, but that will tell you if it works at all. Batteries not required. Be aware though, just because it is functional does not mean it works right, it still may need a clean, lube and seal job.
06-23-2013, 07:18 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleo Pete Quote
I guess I should also note that on most film Pentax cameras, the electronics only work with the film advance lever in the half cock position. Cock it as if advancing the film, but only to the first detent. It will stay there and the electronics should stay on until you close the lever back against the body. If you get one, always store it in the LOCK position so you can't accidentally take a picture, and the electronics are off. That only locks the shutter button, not the film advance lever. I think it was the KX that required a lens cap to turn off the electronics, it kept the metering system turned on as long as light was going into the camera, so you had to shut off that light (lens cap) or remove the batteries. I may be wrong, it might not be the KX, I can't remember, but I think that's the one. I found out the hard way when I ran down a set of batteries in a few days...
That would be the K1000 that requires the lens cap, just like the Spotmatic F. The KX required the half cock...not sure about the KM, that may work like the K1000. The meter is activated by a shutter half-press on cameras after the KX.
06-23-2013, 07:28 AM   #14
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Thanks for the correction, I couldn't remember which one it was. I had both, and I knew one or the other cost me a set of batteries because I didn't know about that...Still have the KX...but it's not working any more. Only one working is a ME...
06-23-2013, 09:31 AM   #15
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And, yes, the ME Super was bringing an extra shutter speed of 1/2000s over the ME (1/1000), with push-buttons to select shutter speed in manual mode.
I couldn't agree more about how the ME Super would be a nice choice. It's light, easy to use and reliable (even if mine is a bit tricky with the film advance if stored for a long time).

Last edited by G.T; 06-23-2013 at 12:54 PM.
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