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02-08-2015, 12:45 PM   #1
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New (again) to Film.

This is kinda a "hello everybody" post.

My film days of old were the usual thing of point, shoot, get Boots (UK) to develop, get the photos back, look at all the stickers on them that say "overexposed"!

I've been shooting digital for the last dozen years or so but recently I've fancied giving film a try and processing my own film at home. I got lucky. I looked into what sort of camera I should buy, and ended up picking up a K1000 body. Needed a lens, and mentioned this to a colleague. Next day he's at my desk with a bag of stuff that he says I can have for nothing.

So I found myself the proud owner of amongst other things a Pentax P30 body, with two 50mm SMC lenses - 1.4 and 1.7.

The K1000 lasted a few days then broke. Shutter broke. Could have fixed it maybe but the whole camera had a few issues. Got annoyed, threw the camera body away along with the 6 frames I'd shot. Sat in a huff.

Decided not to be in a huff. Have just bought an MX body (having handled one and compared it with the K1000 I prefer the smaller size and split-focus). Also, it says the meter works in this one!

So, fingers crossed I'll get to shoot a WHOLE roll of film this time and then develop it. That's my life story for the last two or three weeks

02-08-2015, 01:00 PM   #2
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Good luck with it, I have a couple of MX bodies I bought used and they both work great. I like the size, too Welcome!
02-08-2015, 01:24 PM   #3
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Well I hope this MX is a goodun. At least as much as all the important stuff on it works.

Looking at some of what you guys have on here, one or two bodies seems to grow into a couple of dozen+ over time!
02-08-2015, 01:40 PM   #4
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Best of luck! My path 'back' to film was like yours (i.e., my film shooting was of the most casual kind). I had better luck with my first film body (an MX), and now thoroughly enjoy shooting film as well as digital.

02-08-2015, 01:47 PM   #5
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good luck with your MX, but was the K1000 beyond any hope?
02-08-2015, 01:52 PM   #6
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I suspect with enough money thrown at it somebody could have fixed all its issues but it was broken enough that it wasn't worth it. Shutter adjustment had "pinged" leaving the shutters all loose. Would have required disassembly of the whole camera I think.

I'm trying not to think about it because it pains me!

Do any of you guys develop your own film? I've not (ever!) done this yet. I'll be sticking to B+W for now (Ilford HP5), I need to get the paterson tank, chemicals, change bag and give it a go. The plan is then to get a friend to scan the negatives for me. If this does work out then I'll probably invest in a secondhand scanner of my own.
02-08-2015, 02:56 PM   #7
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I develop my own films (although mainly stuff shot with my 645). That 1.4 should be fun to go shooting with (and don't discount the p30 either. It's ugly as sin, but I tend to think of it as an mx with AV. It can also take DA lenses, although you'll be limited to program mode)

Don't get the Patterson tank, get the AP one instead!! The Patterson tank is misery heaped upon misery to load films into it. The AP one is much nicer (in every other regards, Patterson is usually better than AP stuff).

I'd probably recommend buying some really cheap rolls of film first (expired from eBay, or cheap kentmere stuff). Whilst the canisters can take two rolls, limit yourself to one at a time initially. Expect the first couple of rolls to be a disaster. My advice would be to try one roll. Once that has failed horribly, use that film to practice loading the reels in sunlight. Then practice a few times with it in the bag, and then attempt the second roll.

If you get tempted to shoot a roll of colour at any point, and don't want to jump into developing c41 just yet, I highly recommend the 'develop + hi res JPEG scan' from snaps photographic in Bournemouth.

As for change bags, get the large size! You can cope with smaller ones, but having more room in the bag makes thing far less stressful initially!

I'd recommend this at a minimum:
- changebag
- ap tank (might as well get the universal one, 2x135, or 1x120)
- 650cl measuring cylinder
- 2x 1 litre bottles (only needs to hold as much as the cylinder. You could use any plastic bottle, but make sure you label them clearly with do not drink!). Use to store your fixer (and stop bath if you go that route)
- funnel
- two pairs of film clips (Patterson clips are nicer)
- film cannister opener

You can add more equipment as you go, but that should be enough to get started (and will make the whole process pain free).

Firstcall photographic are a decent 1 stop shop for all this stuff. Their postage is a little steep for one or two items, but reasonable for a large order.

Have fun!

---------- Post added 02-08-15 at 10:26 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by walliswizard Quote
Looking at some of what you guys have on here, one or two bodies seems to grow into a couple of dozen+ over time!
There's an easy solution to that problem. Just make sure your next body is a 645 or 6x7, and skip everything else in between!

Although obviously you'll need a z1-p for da lenses, and an espio mini/uc-1 for portability, and an LX (because why wouldn't you?), and a 110 auto just to complete the collection!

Last edited by robthebloke; 02-08-2015 at 03:31 PM.
02-09-2015, 02:19 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
I'd recommend this at a minimum:
- changebag
etc...

Fantastic advice, thankyou!

Oh and yeh, the next step would possibly be a 645 of some kind. Already thought ahead

02-09-2015, 10:12 AM   #9
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Welcome back then! You will be glad to know that today's film have been greatly improved in apparent grain and latitude such as in Kodak Ektar 100 and Portra 160/400. With all this latitude, you won't worry about the MX's 1/1000 shutter speed even with fast lens on a sunny day. Share some results when you get around to it.

Last edited by LesDMess; 02-09-2015 at 10:20 AM.
02-09-2015, 11:33 AM   #10
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Will do!
02-09-2015, 11:55 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by walliswizard Quote
Fantastic advice, thankyou!

Oh and yeh, the next step would possibly be a 645 of some kind. Already thought ahead
Better than a changing bag is your bathroom if it does not have windows. Stuff a towel under the door and you can clip your film to the shower curtain for drying and in the case of 120 roll film hang it to get the backing paper off.
02-09-2015, 12:13 PM   #12
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It does have a window. Needs must, I'll get the builders round to brick it up, I'm sure the wife won't mind....
02-09-2015, 12:33 PM   #13
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Closet works too . . . if that doesn't have a window . . .
02-09-2015, 12:47 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Closet works too . . . if that doesn't have a window . . .
Especially at night with the ligths out.

I have two change bags, a smaller one and a large one, the smaller one is large enough to load 4X5 film holders.

Developing B7W film is relatively simple. I use HC110 as the developer as then I do not have to keep mixed developer around, I mix it as a one shot and the partially full bottle lasts for years. Rodinal and its new names works even better for long lasting. A partial bottle of Rodinal will become an almost solid gunk of brown after a decade or two and still be useable.

Thermometer, graduated cylinder and the deveoping tank are all the special equipment needed.

when it comes time to dry your rolls, run your shower on hot water for a minute or two, and then hang your rolls in that bathroom with the door closed to minimize dust spots.
02-09-2015, 01:26 PM   #15
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I too, use the under stairs cupboard to load film tanks. as mentioned I wait till its dark and just turn the lights off.
I'll second the patterson reels are not the best for loading 35mm film especially 36 exposure ones, not too bad with 24's tho after some practice.
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