Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-12-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
Site Supporter




Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,538
Film Body Questions

I am an avid K-5 user but I see these older film bodies and for some strange reason it interests me a lot...

I have some manual lenses (and I can get more)... but I also have some F series auto focus lenses.

I don't know if I will be able to do it 'right now'... but I am interested in hearing opinions about having the capability to 'go film'...

First, I have no idea about the supposed cost to 'go film'... as in how much does a roll of film cost and how much is it to develop said roll (assuming I take it to some place and let them do it)...

As far as camera bodies go I think a couple of options exist...

To be honest it looks kind of interesting to me to go 'full manual'...So something like an Pentax MX looks kind of cool. I don't know if it needs batteries or anything like that... I would prefer something that is all out manual or capable of it... but there are so many choices...I kind of prefer I guess something K mount vs a screw mount option...

I think it's kind of interesting to go with 3 lenses only... 28mm, 35mm, and 50mm... and do it manual.

Likewise I could get a body that will let me use my F series lenses... I have two lenses... F28 and F50 1.7...but I don't know which bodies are those bodies that will allow me to use those lenses with autofocus capability.

In the end it's just an investment in a camera body (or two) and some more manual lenses....

But in the end I am wondering what exactly it is that I am 'really getting into'...

Please shed light on this by sharing your opinions


Last edited by alamo5000; 09-12-2013 at 07:21 PM.
09-12-2013, 07:21 PM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
monochrome's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Kirkwood (St. Louis) MO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 19,906
The classic answer is start with a K1000 or KM (which has more features but isn't in as much demand so is often cheaper than its lesser cousin). Get it CLA'ed (Clean, Lubricate, Adjust). If you aren't comfortable rolling the eBay dice, consider buying one from KEH - they're warranted for a few months and their rating system is conservative. The meter requires a battery but they can operate without the meter. Price film at B&H and developing at Dwayne's on the internet, to start, or check your Costco, CVS or Walgreen's.

I'd guess if you allocate $150 max for the Camera and CLA (or skip the CLA with a KEH camera) and shoot a roll of film a month you're in for under $300 for the year.

Consider adding the cost of a community college B&W film photography course.
09-12-2013, 07:31 PM   #3
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2011
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,976
QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
To be honest it looks kind of interesting to me to go 'full manual'...So something like an Pentax MX looks kind of cool. I don't know if it needs batteries or anything like that... I would prefer something that is all out manual or capable of it... but there are so many choices...I kind of prefer I guess something K mount vs a screw mount option...

Please shed light on this by sharing your opinions
It sounds like the only decision left is black or chrome . . .



BTW, if you haven't had a chance to look through the MX's viewfinder then you will not believe what you see. Not only is the MX the smallest full manual SLR, but it also has the largest viewfinder!

Other fully manual bodies that use batteries only for the meter are KX, KM and K1000.
09-12-2013, 08:41 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
foto guy's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Connecticut
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 275
Film is a blast, and it makes one think more about every shot. And it has its own unique look.
I suggest shooting black and white, as well as developing and printing yourself. Time consuming, but keeps expenses low and is so much more rewarding.

09-12-2013, 10:21 PM   #5
Pentaxian
Swift1's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,893
Depending on how much you shoot and what type of film, developing, scanning, and/or printing you choose, shooting film can be very affordable.

Camera bodies can be had from $20 and up. A near auto everything SF10 (AF,auto exposure and manual, auto DX coding) can be found in excellent condition for around $20. An auto exposure ME will be in a similar price range. Full manual KM K1000 type bodies are $50 on the low end (risky ebay), to $150 on the high end. A nice MX will cost a bit more.

If you aren't planning on doing your own developing,

C-41 film is the least expensive route. A roll of new film is $2 on the low end and $7-$10 on the high end. Developing use mostly around $3-$5 per roll, plus printing or scanning costs. My lab charges $3.50 for develop only, and $12 for developing plus medium res scans. If you shoot a roll a month, it's $15-$20 a roll for the film, developing, and scanning.
If you shoot 2 rolls a week, you might want to invest in a scanner.
E6 slide film and true B&W film are more expensive to buy and more expensive to have developed.

If you develop your on film, your developing costs could just cents per roll.

Your F series lenses will work on all K-mount bodies.

Older manual bodies don't really lose value if they are well taken care of. You can usually resell for around what you paid.

Along with ebay and KEH, the forum marketplace can be a good source if you buy from reputable sellers. (I currently have a CLA'd black KM in the marketplace)

The forum has a great camera review section with reviews and specs on every film body.
09-12-2013, 11:22 PM   #6
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Sydney
Posts: 671
To the above I will add that if you develop B&W yourself, the cost will be around 20cents per roll. There's no need for darkroom, just use changing bag. It's very easy.

Just like you, I've owned K5 and range of limited lenses. I wanted to see what the limiteds can do on full frame body and I got ME Super. I was blown away by the results and I got an MX. I love the look of film. So much in fact, that I barely use my K5.

I would post mandatory pentax film photos, but flickr seems to be down right now. I can tell you one thing, I just love the way film looks.
09-13-2013, 05:06 AM   #7
New Member




Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hastings, UK
Posts: 18
When I lived in the US I was able to find expired film on eBay for around $0.50 each. Here in Germany I've had better luck with drug store film (usually store branded Fuji Superia) for about $1 each. I use the bathroom as a darkroom to load the film into the developing tank. I let the film sit undisturbed in Rodinal equivalent developer for an hour and fix with a traditional thiosulphate fixer. I then 'scan' by photographing the negative held flat against a backlight. It's not the fastest process but cheap and produces images of sufficient quality for playing around. I retain the option to get the film developed professionally in colour when I find myself photographing scenes that my low-fi process would not flatter. Another plus is that consumer colour film tends to have a very wide exposure latitude. This in combination with stand development practically guarantees that you get an image even if your exposure is not perfect.

US prices tend to be lower but here is approximately what I needed to get started.

Used development tank - ca. $5
Adox Adonal 500ml - ca. $10
Calbe A300 fixer - ca. $3

Using about 3ml of developer per roll as I usually do, you could process more than 100 rolls with plenty left over to experiment with higher quality films.
The fixer is reusable and I have used my current batch for about 10 rolls without noticeable performance loss.

I don't have any Pentax examples at hand but here's a couple from an Olympus XA on Kodak Gold 200 expired in 2005. They're of little artistic merit as I was just playing around with the new XA, but they might give you an idea of the look.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2959396/001.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2959396/002.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2959396/003.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2959396/004.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2959396/005.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2959396/006.jpg
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2959396/007.jpg
09-13-2013, 06:07 AM   #8
Veteran Member
titrisol's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: In the most populated state... state of denial
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,094
Since you are used to digital lay out of controls I would consider:
- Pz1
- Cameras of the Z family
- MZ5n or MZ6

Manual focus
- Cameras of the P family
- MX or ME Super

For a starter camera the P30t is a good solid choice, is dirt cheap and will help you learn a lot.


Last edited by titrisol; 09-13-2013 at 06:14 AM.
09-13-2013, 07:25 AM   #9
Site Supporter




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Michigan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,099
Hi Alamo
"Just do it" it is fun.
MX is a good choice and I have one.
Also, I have to say, the Ricoh K mount slrs from that era are more reliable in my experience than the Pentax's !
The "latest" fully manual K mount slr as far as I know (and I will stand to be corrected) is the Rikoh KR-5 Super 2 from about 1984.
Materials are more modern, for example the light seals on my KR-5 are perfect.
09-13-2013, 07:35 PM   #10
Site Supporter




Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2,538
Original Poster
OK OK... fine. Twist my arm! LOL! Just kidding folks! I am looking for an MX. I am bidding on one now... but we shall see. If I don't win I would probably prefer to get one that looks nice and works well from a forum member...I trust this place a whole lot better than I do eBay. From my observation a lot of the stuff on ebay was dug out of an old garage sale and the seller has no idea if it works or not...kind of buyer beware...but the one I am looking at looks nice... I might win it and I might not... but we shall see... it's worth a shot... why not?
09-13-2013, 09:43 PM   #11
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2011
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,976
The Pentax community has a great resource in Eric when it comes to providing support for our gear -> Home
09-14-2013, 09:59 AM   #12
Senior Member




Join Date: Aug 2013
Photos: Albums
Posts: 112
Howdy!

The last roll of film I had developed cost me ten bucks, single prints with a CD. That was from my local guy who uses a lab here in town not like Walmart, Walgreens. The cost I've seen from those is close. Obviously, I do most of my shooting with my DSLR to keep costs down however, I'm relearning photography from the ground up and like you, I've found MANUAL and film cameras to be not only a learning experience that enhances my digital but it's FUN!!!

Once upon a time I was deep, deep DEEP into photography. Life led me into other directions and my photography turned into snapshots and then I went to the Powershot/cell phone cameras for a long while.

Getting back into it. Bought a nice used K1000 with the DLSR I chose to learn on, an older D50. I wanted something simple so I could learn digital and I've found the film camera (s) are forcing me to remember the basics.

Then I found a Mamiya 500TL, the almost-twin of the camera I learned on almost 40 years ago. Then I found a ME Super and with that came a poor Spotmatic II that needed a good home and lenses and... LOL, you get the idea.

Needless to say, I've been having WAY more fun with my film cameras! I've found the lack of 'auto' forces me to remember exposures, DOF and so on because the camera doesn't do it for you.

Now, don't get me wrong; I just bought a flash for my D50, I chose a Sunpak (didn't see spending $300 on a Speedlight) with minimal controls. In other words, the flash/camera does it all and wow, I am impressed with how easy it is with that setup to do properly exposed photos...99% of the time.

Odd though, I'm finding it easier to run my D50 on manual than auto and using the film cameras like I said, forces me to remember things that now, cameras do and I think, it will make me a better photographer...someday.

Here's an example; landscape, some water, sky, pretty clouds trees....on auto the D50 was HORRIBLY over-exposed...dummy, of course it was! With a DSLR you just fiddle and take another and another until the screen shot says you got it right...can't do that with a film camera...better remember all that 'stuff' and get it right or...

My K1000 is full manual like the 500TL but has a split prism. I like that. Both are super simple to use; set the shutter about where you want it for the light then use aperture to set the exposure. Of course, don't forget DOF, action shots...

My ME Super can be full manual or aperture/shutter priority and I just leave it on auto which is you pick the aperture, the camera picks the shutter and is the camera in the bag with my D50 currently (Soon as I finish the roll in it, I have a 'special roll of Ilford B&W to try in my 500TL) unless I'm up to something and then I play manual.

Give film a try! It's fun and I think you'll find it not only helps you to focus on the basics its just a JOY to use some of these older cameras which would otherwise be collecting dust somewhere!

QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
I am an avid K-5 user but I see these older film bodies and for some strange reason it interests me a lot...

I have some manual lenses (and I can get more)... but I also have some F series auto focus lenses.

I don't know if I will be able to do it 'right now'... but I am interested in hearing opinions about having the capability to 'go film'...

First, I have no idea about the supposed cost to 'go film'... as in how much does a roll of film cost and how much is it to develop said roll (assuming I take it to some place and let them do it)...

As far as camera bodies go I think a couple of options exist...

To be honest it looks kind of interesting to me to go 'full manual'...So something like an Pentax MX looks kind of cool. I don't know if it needs batteries or anything like that... I would prefer something that is all out manual or capable of it... but there are so many choices...I kind of prefer I guess something K mount vs a screw mount option...

I think it's kind of interesting to go with 3 lenses only... 28mm, 35mm, and 50mm... and do it manual.

Likewise I could get a body that will let me use my F series lenses... I have two lenses... F28 and F50 1.7...but I don't know which bodies are those bodies that will allow me to use those lenses with autofocus capability.

In the end it's just an investment in a camera body (or two) and some more manual lenses....

But in the end I am wondering what exactly it is that I am 'really getting into'...

Please shed light on this by sharing your opinions
09-14-2013, 12:44 PM   #13
Pentaxian




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Wiltshire/Hampshire
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,714
I use two 35mm cameras - an ME, and a Z1P.

Both are cheap as chips on eBay, and let you get the best of your AF lenses with modern metering (I mainly shoot slide film in the Z1P), and the tiny gem that's the ME with my lovely M series lenses (and B/W film).
09-15-2013, 06:50 PM   #14
Pentaxian
builttospill's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Utah, Idaho
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,651
All of your lenses that work on your K-5 will work on a Pentax K-mount film camera. And the opposite is true as well, which is why many of us use Pentax. I have several older film cameras with nice lenses and can use all the lenses I've ever owned on the newest digital Pentax.

The MX is a nice choice. It is easy to use and you should be able to find a fully functional one here or from KEH. Use a battery for the meter, they'll last a long time as long as you shut off the meter when you're done shooting. Owner's manuals for all the cameras can be found online. Don't pay for one, just search or ask here and we'll be able to point you to a few different places where you'll be able to find what you need.

Developing photos isn't relatively expensive if you know where to have them done. Try a few different places and even different people at the same place. You'll find what/who you like pretty quick.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
bodies, body, camera, capability, film, film body, lenses, roll
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Few film questions from a newbie.. Louicio Pentax Film SLR Discussion 43 02-11-2013 10:26 PM
New Pentax film SLRs. some questions kimsoohan Pentax Film SLR Discussion 6 09-17-2012 07:13 PM
Questions from a film rookie crrumford Pentax Film SLR Discussion 21 12-08-2011 04:18 PM
Looking for a film body, lots of questions! PaddyB Pentax Film SLR Discussion 11 06-18-2009 01:08 PM
DA Glass on Film Body Questions gremlindesign Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 5 10-07-2008 02:05 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:48 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top