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03-26-2008, 08:07 PM   #1
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Advice for Dslr user going into film?

Some background history... my first camera was a pentax program plus. Bought it for $10 at a thrift store. Loved it! Next camera was a zx-l. Good camera for the short time i had it. Got in a canoe accident and lost all my gear. (Wake of bass boat flipped the canoe.) My latest camera is a k110d that i love very much. Ive had it for at least a year now and it makes life so much easier just to look at the lcd and tell if my shot came out right.

So im used to the dslr and the ease of using it and not spending tons on film and developing.
But i have been wanting to get another film slr and ive been looking for one for a few months now. Started looking around on craigs list and found someone selling some film slr's and accessories.

I got a zx-50 and a zx-l with kit lenses. A quantaray 9500 with bracket. Some bags. And the grip/battery holder for the zx-l. All this for $50. I'll probably sell the bracket and the zx-50 on ebay.

So i have a zx-l again which seems to be a good camera so far. I dont really remember all the features of it from 5 yrs ago anyway. I also didnt know what i was doing back then other then pressing the shutter button.

So all this and my question is....What advice would ya'll give a dlsr guy going into film?
I took about 10 shots with the zx-l today....after every shot i looked at the back of the camera ....

03-26-2008, 09:22 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ronald_durst Quote
Some background history... my first camera was a pentax program plus. Bought it for $10 at a thrift store. Loved it! Next camera was a zx-l. Good camera for the short time i had it. Got in a canoe accident and lost all my gear. (Wake of bass boat flipped the canoe.) My latest camera is a k110d that i love very much. Ive had it for at least a year now and it makes life so much easier just to look at the lcd and tell if my shot came out right.

So im used to the dslr and the ease of using it and not spending tons on film and developing.
But i have been wanting to get another film slr and ive been looking for one for a few months now. Started looking around on craigs list and found someone selling some film slr's and accessories.

I got a zx-50 and a zx-l with kit lenses. A quantaray 9500 with bracket. Some bags. And the grip/battery holder for the zx-l. All this for $50. I'll probably sell the bracket and the zx-50 on ebay.

So i have a zx-l again which seems to be a good camera so far. I dont really remember all the features of it from 5 yrs ago anyway. I also didnt know what i was doing back then other then pressing the shutter button.

So all this and my question is....What advice would ya'll give a dlsr guy going into film?
I took about 10 shots with the zx-l today....after every shot i looked at the back of the camera ....
Buy a brick of PRO negative film from B&H (I like the Fuji PRO series 400ISO) and find a mini-lab with a Fuji Frontier machine (370 or 390 model) for develop/print/scan. I have had good luck buying the imported PRO Fuji film from B&H. It is a bit cheaper than the USA version and seems perfectly fine to me.

Many Wal-Mart stores have the larger Fuji Frontier machines. These machines are fast and the prices are usually pretty cheap, and the results are very good for the money. The machines are in many other places as well.

The Fuji PRO film has excellent highlight headroom and fine grain, making exposure much less critical than digital.

Lastly, you will LOVE being able to drop the film off for development and printing without having to mess with the images on your computer. Yes, each roll costs money to buy and develop/print, but when I shot 6 or 7 rolls over the 2007 Christmas season and did not have to mess with all of the images on my computer, the money seemed more than worth it to me.

Ray
03-27-2008, 02:23 AM   #3
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1. Stick a mirror on the back, so your camera will chimp back at you!

2. In these days of dSLR, super wide zooms are cheap. Try your digital kit lens on the zx, even if the lens may vignette at the wide end... and remember, back in the day people paid big money for the effect.
03-28-2008, 11:00 AM   #4
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Ray is right about getting good film. Shop B&H and calumet, shoot pro film and shoot for the situation, indoors go with a good quality 400 Fugi pro or Kodak ultra pro, shoot 100 or so outdoors, try out transparency film. Primarily if I'm shooting film, its Velvia 50 or 100 in my 67 when I do shoot film.

If your scanning shop around for a good scanner, I like some of the good flat bed scanners like the Epson v700, it allows 35mm, 120mm and 4x5 scanning. When you do scan, scan large, most of my 120 scans are about 600dpi if printed at 16x20. No use shooting film if you cant beat/match your digital which is probably around 300dpi in the 8x10 size range. Most processing places that make cds give you a file good enough for maybe a 4x6 print at best

If your having fun with film and scanning you probably will wanna trade up in film size. For me its a question of larger negative or digital file, I very rarely shoot 35mm any more.


Last edited by johnsey; 03-28-2008 at 11:07 AM.
03-31-2008, 08:34 PM   #5
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The ZX-L was my first pentax camera and I love it! There's not much to it really, unless you use Av or Tv modes. When I shoot with it I usually leave it in Av mode and adjust my aperture using the little flicker thing around the shutter button. If you find yourself using the camera a lot I would recommend the Battery Pack FG, which I find improves handling quite a bit by giving you a little more grip space, along with the change from CR-2's to AA's. I've made some great images with velvia on mine- don't worry about the meter "only" having six segments.

FWIW, the 18-55 seems to vignette until about 24mm, the hood makes a difference (more vignetting) but a slimm filter doesn't seem to make it worse. The 50-200 vignettes at just about every focal length. old FA/FAJ 28-80's are going really cheap right now (~50 bucks used) so it might not hurt to pick one of those up. (Or this one at adorama for 20 bucks!)

have fun!

Last edited by clawhammer; 03-31-2008 at 08:39 PM.
04-01-2008, 08:23 PM   #6
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PZ-1 forever

Anyone who has been around the forums should expect me to promote my own favourite, the PZ-1 or PZ-1p.

I am not familiar with your beloved ZX-1 to know if it is fully compatible with all pentax lenses, but the PZ-1 is

The PZ-1 is essentually a film version of the top end DSLRs. (*istD, K10D, and now K20D)

It offers center weighted, matrix and spot metering, a 1/8000 shutter with 1/250 flash sync, TTL flash, full functioning with every lens except the newest HSM motors, (PZ-1 is screw drive AF) AF speed is good, and sensitivity is excellent.

Like you, I am costantly looking for the image preview on the back, I like the idea of a mirror and might try this.

I have tried it with my one and only digital only lens (sigma 10-20) and there is vignetting at focal lengthhs of 13mm and below, but otherwise the lens is functional. It can also use FA-J lenses which is a benefit, and if you can find them, the PZ-1 (PZ= Power Zoom) can work with specific lenses, and the predictive autofocus, plus the power zoom to keep the image sice (at the focusing point) the same by changing the zoom ratio of the lens as it tracks focus over changing distance. it is really good for sports inthat respect.
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