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07-12-2015, 08:48 AM   #1
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Does anyone use FA Limited lenses on old film cameras?

I am just wondering if anyone does or ever has used the 3 amigos on any old Pentax film bodies?

If you have please post up some examples

I have other questions about film SLRs but I want to see if anyone uses these lenses first. Mainly long story short I am not all that versed in film cameras so I don't really know what to look for in a good body, what kinds of film are out there, where and how I would get it developed and all that stuff.

Really I'm kind of thinking out loud here. I was going to buy a film body before but it got put on the back burner, but it keeps coming up

The main thing though is I want to use my lenses I have already. All of my lenses are "full frame" except for two (21mm and 15mm) so they should work just fine on film for those times when I want to do film photography.

07-12-2015, 09:05 AM   #2
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I have the FA43 & FA77 LTD's and have film shots taken with these lenses in the lens review section. (Gofour3)

The FA43 is the better lens by far and the most useful of the two on film. As for which film camera to recommend it depends if you want auto-focus or manual-focus. If manual focus then it depends if you want an "all manual", "manual with aperture priority" or a "program" capable film body.

Phil.
07-12-2015, 11:06 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
I have the FA43 & FA77 LTD's and have film shots taken with these lenses in the lens review section. (Gofour3)

The FA43 is the better lens by far and the most useful of the two on film. As for which film camera to recommend it depends if you want auto-focus or manual-focus. If manual focus then it depends if you want an "all manual", "manual with aperture priority" or a "program" capable film body.

Phil.
I don't know what I want to be honest. I am thinking 100% manual as this would be part of the reason for using film. Slow down, learn how to meter, compose, focus, snap!

I keep on wondering if this will help me in my overall photography. I am not sure. It might.

Then on top of that I can definitely learn more about the 'film look' which in a lot of ways I find very appealing.
07-12-2015, 11:16 AM   #4
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Of course. The Princesses are all film lenses. IIRC they were built around the Z / MZ series cameras, the MZ-S eventually being top of the line at the time. It had much of the PZ-1P functionality plus Mag alloy frame.
  • Z-1P - 1996
  • MZ-S - 2001
  • FA31 - 2001
  • FA43 - 1999
  • FA77 - 1999
Since they have aperture rings I can use them with my KX (31/1.8), LX (77/1.8), MX (43/1.9) and all three (and FA50/1.4 and FA35/2 which were my two first autofocus lenses) on the MZ-S. The FA Limiteds are superb on film..


Last edited by monochrome; 07-12-2015 at 11:53 AM.
07-12-2015, 11:17 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
I don't know what I want to be honest. I am thinking 100% manual as this would be part of the reason for using film. Slow down, learn how to meter, compose, focus, snap!

I keep on wondering if this will help me in my overall photography. I am not sure. It might.

Then on top of that I can definitely learn more about the 'film look' which in a lot of ways I find very appealing.
Personal suggestion. PZ-1 - it can do fully manual or you can be as lazy as you like and let it autofocus and set exposure. It's a prosumer level camera with a great deal of features.
I have one - I used it for years with FA lenses but I never owned any FA limiteds (still don't).
07-12-2015, 02:30 PM   #6
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I have used my 43mm and my 31mm on my old K1000. I can confirm that the lenses work great on film as they were designed. I have no images to post simply because the two roles that I have developed were my first return my old film camera in about 20 years and the photographs just aren't that interesting.
May I suggest, if you want to try film, a K1000 body would serve quite well for very little money. They're all mechanical and they only require a standard LR44 battery for the meter. They weren't the go-to student camera for nothing.
07-12-2015, 03:36 PM   #7
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I've burned a few rolls using 31/43/77 on my manual focus ME Super over the last couple years and enjoyed it, but am much more enjoying my first and current roll using an auto focus body (ZX-5) that I scored last year for $20 (that included the battery grip and a zoom lens!). The hardest part for me with film is just that it's expensive enough altogether that I am hyper-selective about the shots I take, to the point that I miss and mess shots by hesitating and overthinking shots... I am only half way through the current roll that I started in March! But I really enjoy having the AF as at least it is one less hindering factor....

I just couldn't seem to get the hang of the ME Super manual focus... I have had shocking results before where I was so careful and sure the shot was in focus and it came back blurry... If I had ten free rolls that I could shoot and develop for cheap, maybe I could get better at it, but not going to happen... I've decided AF is the way for me (as long as the shots from the next roll come back in focus hahaha)... All that said, I did also shoot a roll last year with my SP1000+Tak55/2.0 and had a lot better success rate with the manual focusing using that body, so there could be something wrong with my ME Super...

Below are lab scans from the last roll... Shots were taken mostly last year and developed in March using Three Amigos + ME Super + Portra 160... No pp... (Only a few of any of the shots below have been shared elsewhere...)























Here are more lab scans from a roll developed March 2014... FA31 or FA77 + ME Super + Portra 400... No pp















And finally some lab scans from the first roll I tried... All with FA77 + ME Super + Portra (160 I think) developed in late 2013.... no pp





















07-12-2015, 05:47 PM   #8
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There are several great older film bodies to choose from. My favorite is the MX, with several K-series bodies closely following. I've tried a few newer film bodies and I didn't care for many. I like the simplicity of all-manual cameras, but did decide on keeping the *ist and MZ-3.
QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
I keep on wondering if this will help me in my overall photography. I am not sure. It might.
I think it will help; without all the buttons and settings you can focus and composition and exposure.

MX and FA 43:




MX and FA 77:


07-13-2015, 12:10 AM   #9
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I have the FA43 and use it on my MZ-S, its a perfect combo, and I love it as its nice and compact, and the perfect walk around lens.

















07-13-2015, 03:27 PM   #10
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Outstanding shots!

So the lenses work fine as I suspected, now lets say I am going to shoot black and white (or color) film... first question is, where do I get film? Second question is where do I develop the film?

Also before I really decide if I am going to do this I am wondering how much it all costs to shoot a roll and develop it...

I don't think I would shoot A LOT of film, but I think it would be a lot of fun to say undertake a project or something from time to time...say for example do a series of film portraits... or any other number of things...

If I go the film route I would probably go between color and black and white... but I want to know what it costs me and the hassles involved before I go out and start buying stuff. At first I would probably shoot a few rolls of black and white to get the hang of things (like making sure I am in focus and that I am exposed right) and then go from there.

Last edited by alamo5000; 07-13-2015 at 03:33 PM.
07-13-2015, 03:45 PM   #11
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You can buy film at Adorama.com, B&H, Four Corner Store (random, often strange film), or at your local Walgreen's/CVS. Many drugstores like Walgreen's will also develop film. I have 8 rolls of film being developed at Dwayne's Photo now.

It's not too expensive to have film developed. I have a commercial account at Walgreen's so it's about $5 a roll for processing and scanning. My guess is you'll find something between $5-10 per roll.

I keep a camera loaded with B&W film always, as well as at least one camera with color film. That's the benefit of having lots of film bodies.
07-13-2015, 04:29 PM   #12
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I have only used my local lab for processing (because they're cheaper than Walgreens here) and usually just get my film from them too since they're competitive. I suggest you see if there is a reputable lab in your area as it's a luxury and I personally like the idea of supporting the local establishment.

I am sure people will step in recommending that you develop it yourself especially for the black and white... I'm not interested in DIY but unfortunately that also means that I am spending roughly $6 or $7 per roll for the film, then another $8 per roll for the processing... As I said, just expensive enough for me that I don't ever want to go nuts with it.
07-13-2015, 04:53 PM   #13
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I've spent a lot less money on film than I have on Photoshop for digital. Just sayin'...
07-13-2015, 05:11 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by todd Quote
I am sure people will step in recommending that you develop it yourself especially for the black and white... I'm not interested in DIY but unfortunately that also means that I am spending roughly $6 or $7 per roll for the film, then another $8 per roll for the processing...


Just curious why you wouldn't process your own b&w because after the first successful roll it gets too easy. Hardest part really is deciding which film and developer to use.
07-13-2015, 05:29 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
Photoshop
I use gimp....

QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
why you wouldn't
I won't say never, but what lured me into trying film was color (Portra especially) and while I have looked a bit into developing both color and bw, the color processing seems even harder and it's just not something I feel is worth investing in when the film itself is already costing me enough that I don't intend to shoot enough of it to justify the learning curve. I did buy a couple rolls of bw last time around (for my TLR) that I haven't exposed yet, so we'll see if I start to catch the b&w film bug...
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