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01-26-2016, 04:05 PM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivanvernon Quote
I travelled around the world about two dozen times with a Sears version of something like the K1000 or Ricoh equivalent using mainly 50mm f 1.4 lens, Sears brand. I shot entirely manual because that was the only choice. There was either no light meter, or it was not working--cannot remember which. I just used sunny 16 and learned how much to back down for darker environments. I hardly ever totally missed a shot although there were occasional over/under exposures, but generally no more than 1-2 stops. When you shoot this way, you get used to relying upon your own instincts. Today's cameras, film or digital, have huge amounts of technology available, and I use it, but sometimes I wonder how necessary all of it is. I still use my MZ-S in manual mode, and of course it has a built in light meter which is a great help. I find that I get addicted to the technology, and that I am less willing to trust to my own instincts. I will say that using a manual camera with no light meter assistance, entirely in manual mode, works better if you are using your camera quite regularly.
And the reason I shoot my MZ7 and MZ5n in Av mode is I have the Hasselblad and large format cameras for my manual shooting. When I came back from Scotand with over 75 rolls of film to process I eagerly awaited each roll to finish drying to check the developing and for any other problems, there were only a couple of shoots that I was not sure of the exposure, mostly because I started or finished a back thinking it was one of the other backs with a different speed. With digital I too fall into having to check my exposures just to make sure and that is just mental of me as if I can shoot with confidence with my MF and LF cameras I should be able to with the K5IIs.

I also spent three full summers in the north with my Spotmatic F with no way of knowing if the camera was working or if exposures were good and again I believed that they were all fine as they should be. I did through out some poorly exposed slides but overall almost all the images turned out. The first summer I shoot Kodachrome along with black and white because the few times we were in either Inuvik or Dawson City I could post them and when I returned to Edmonton most of the images were there too.

Sometimes I do wish for a MX and 50 M lens to go with my 28 M just so I would have to shoot totally manual. I recently found out that my wife shoots her K5 mostly in manual mode but no longer shoots 35mm, but does shoot a little with her Hasselblad SWC and the large format cameras. The pinholes are totally manual as well.

01-26-2016, 04:07 PM - 1 Like   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivanvernon Quote
I will say that using a manual camera with no light meter assistance, entirely in manual mode, works better if you are using your camera quite regularly.
I once had the great privilege of working on a film (Vice Squad, 1982) with the late great cinematographer, John Alcott. He was the Director of Photography for many Kubrick films like 2001, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Barry Lyndon. On the set, I never saw him use a light meter. He'd look at the ambient light and tell his gaffer the EV value. I'd check his exposure with my spot meter and he was spot on within 1/3 EV. And I'm not just saying Sunny 16 Rule. We'd be indoors and he could just look at the area of concern and tell the gaffer he was 2/3 EVs too hot. It blew my mind that his eyes and brain could work as accurately as the technology. And I must say, we have lost a lot of exposure and lighting skills the black and white photographers and cinematographers of the past had.

A real chef doesn't need a thermometer, measuring cups, and a recipe book. Or perhaps not having or using the tools sharpens your abilities.
01-27-2016, 12:14 AM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by From1980 Quote
Great info Xmas, thanks for posting. I was not aware of that one. However, I have to continue to wish -now a camera of this type for which I can afford some lenses.
The DMR is still a practical back although a cropped sensor. And you can get reworked batteries but they only made 2500 before the supplier chain changes ownership and stopped.

So a Leica collector, >>$! The lenses are not that expensive for a Leica but for you and me they might be...

Canon and Nikon etc only develop for mass market and a similar scheme today would be niche, sorry.
01-27-2016, 01:01 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
...
And I must say, we have lost a lot of exposure and lighting skills the black and white photographers and cinematographers of the past had.
Some of us have gained them back I don't use a light meter much these days for outdoor BW film. And I wouldn't for Kodak's color negative film (eg New Portra's) derived from their cinema Vision film technology ( larger DR and exposure latitude than before ).

I don't have an eye that can asses the EV of light but rather rely on some formulated rules for my geographic location from years of measuring the EV value of shadows and capturing a huge dynamic range of light with highlight compression.

That is, if an outdoor scene has say 18-stops of light and you can capture 15 to 16 of those stops, placement of your middle gray has extra tolerance both because of the more than normal BW film DR I'm getting and the inherent exposure latitude of BW film. With that much DR, being 1/2 to 1-stop off on placing where you wanted your middle gray is not that big of a deal most of the time.

01-27-2016, 05:54 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by ivanvernon Quote
I travelled around the world about two dozen times with a Sears version of something like the K1000 or Ricoh equivalent using mainly 50mm f 1.4 lens, Sears brand. I shot entirely manual because that was the only choice. There was either no light meter, or it was not working--cannot remember which. I just used sunny 16 and learned how much to back down for darker environments. I hardly ever totally missed a shot although there were occasional over/under exposures, but generally no more than 1-2 stops. When you shoot this way, you get used to relying upon your own instincts. Today's cameras, film or digital, have huge amounts of technology available, and I use it, but sometimes I wonder how necessary all of it is. I still use my MZ-S in manual mode, and of course it has a built in light meter which is a great help. I find that I get addicted to the technology, and that I am less willing to trust to my own instincts. I will say that using a manual camera with no light meter assistance, entirely in manual mode, works better if you are using your camera quite regularly.

Well sir, I could not agree with you more. I do find that using manual focus is still much better than auto focus. The reason being that in order to get accurate focusing with auto, the light conditions must be perfect or at least nearly perfect.

Tony
01-27-2016, 06:42 PM - 1 Like   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by RR84 Quote
In an age where photography has become so automated and convenient, why do you still choose to shoot fully manual vs AE, AF cameras? Is it nostalgia, an unwillingness to adapt to newer technologies, or perhaps something deeper than that?
I shoot a LOT of film because I like the results better for some subjects, situations, and to achieve a specific aesthetic. Here are some shots that, taken digitally, would not have had the same result:


Mamiya RB67, 180mm f/4.5, Kodak Ektar 100


Canon EOS 1V, (possibly counterfeit) Canon EF 50mm f/1.8, expired Kodak TMax 3200 Pro


Pentax LX, 77mm FA Limited, Ultrafine Red Dragon @ 64 ISO


Miranda Sensorex, 50mm f/1.4, Fuji Acros 100

Those photos could have had similar results from digital, but not the result I wanted. But it's beyond film. Each of those was taken with a different camera and lens and, in each case but the last, I specifically chose that kit for the effect. In the last image, I just happened to have a Miranda Sensorex and 50mm f/1.4 with me. But it goes beyond the camera and film choice, too. Different developers have different results on film. Many of the nuanced results from film images simply cannot be replicated well with digital. Had I taken that last image with Adox 20 ISO, Bergger BRF 400, Tri-X 400, or another film then it would have been VASTLY different. And had I developed it in something other than Ilofol-3 @1+14 for 7:30, it would have had a different look.

So for me, film lets me (pardon the incorrect use of this term) plan the look of my shots a priori while planning the event instead of (again, pardon the incorrect use of this term) a posteriori when I'm in Photoshop. It's a matter of knowing the result first, capturing second, and keeping all the hard work in the camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by RR84 Quote
If so, please mention which manual Pentax body if your preferred weapon of choice and why (SV, SP, KX, MX etc).
Yes. I have them all. Except the S. That damned S.

But ask me if my favorite 35mm camera is a Pentax. No. My favorite 35mm is my Minolta Alpha 9, followed distantly by the Olympus OM-2, Pentax LX, Canon F-1 or Nikon F3 (depending on the day), and Pentax K1000. What a film camera does is force me to focus on the moment at hand, not the one that happened in the backward span between now and however much time elapsed before the instant preview displayed. And because I won't be able to see what my photos look like for some days, weeks, or months (if my schedule doesn't ease up some and let me develop the 30 rolls of film sitting on my nightstand...) then I have to focus on taking the next picture. Sure, turning off instant review can do that, but not having it as an option forces me to live in a photographic assignment where time moves forward and I have only one opportunity to catch it.
03-01-2016, 06:05 PM - 1 Like   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
Although I do shoot digitally, I also continue to shoot with a manual focus, film SLR, and not for nostalgia or an unwillingness to adapt to new tech. Lots of reasons; you asked; here it is:

Manual focus? It's about making the conscious choice of what to focus on. With auto focus, there is always a delay, even for a millisecond. With MF I can anticipate where and when I want to shoot, and when I push the trigger, there is no AF delay. It's also one less thing to break or use power.

Manual exposure? The engineers that have devised all the various exposure modes have done a great job, but unlike the human brain, I've yet to use a light meter that learns from its mistakes. One extreme example is shooting the moon. The meter thinks the night sky should be 18% grey and the exposure will indicate I must be shooting at night. But in fact, I'm shooting daytime on the moon, which is about the same exposure as a sunny day on Earth. Ultimately, manual exposure allows the photographer to be in total control and forces greater awareness of the lighting.

Note: I don't always shoot manual focus and manual exposure, but these are the reasons why I do, when I do.

Film? For 35mm, I prefer my Nikon F3HP. But I usually shoot medium format with a Pentax 645:

a) Intentionality: I can't on the spur of the moment change ISO or emulsion. So when I go out with Ilford Delta 100, I know exactly what my contrast and grain structure is going to look like in grey scale. If I'm shooting Kodak Ektar 100, I'll look for different kinds of contrast, color, and lighting, than if I were shooting Fujichrome Velvia.

b) Vision: I get 15 exposures on a 120 roll and I won't see the results immediately. So I make every shot count. The first one, the second one, the last one. The trials and errors are so much more painful and meaningful than digital that it marks you. It is not a media for the weak or lazy.

c) Aesthetics: All digital images are a grid of pixels or dots. Columns and rows of info. Film is analog and every exposure is a different arrangement of grain, either on the film or the paper. When you shoot digitally on the same sensor, it sends virtual data to a ones and zeros file and the info is processed by chips into recreating data. With film, photons of light are striking a one of a kind emulsion and a latent image is created. Then depending on many variables with chemistry, temperature, etc, the image is created and each one is slightly unique. With digital each image is slightly identical at the elemental level. I've done blind tests with students, and they can always tell the difference when images are put side to side. The best analogy I can make is film is like analog sound recording (yes, even with the scratches and pops), but although it is not as "clean" as an digitally compressed mp3, it is a fuller spectrum. Most motion pictures are still shot on film, and not just because of the dynamic range.

d) Linearity and discovery: I have students that in high school, get to experience both film and digital. Some prefer digital; some prefer film. Why film? They say it's like opening presents under the Christmas tree. You hope, you wish, it may be a dud, or it may be something better than you expected....but you've got to wait and unwrap it. Watching the latent image emerge from the developer tray never gets old. And during critiques, overwhelmingly the favorite shots were serendipity.

e) Art: You are more the creator and less the user. With film, you have to decide long before shooting, what you're going to shoot with and why. Other than different characteristics of various lenses, the camera is essentially just aperture and shutter speed and light meter. You do the rest. With digital, especially jpegs, it's highly engineered for us to the degree that bad technology will limit your potential. Another analogy: Driving a manual transmission car from the 70's vs. a modern CVT today. Most cars are all drive by wire, and the steering wheel, gas pedal, brakes, etc. are essentially video game controllers. We give the car's computer inputs, it responds to what the software says to do, and then sends commands to another computer that tells various parts to do whatever electronically. One has direct linkages, the other has virtual linkages. Yes I love Rock Band, but can I play a real guitar?

f) Price: I bought my Pentax 645 (and 3 manual focus primes) 30 years ago. Imagine buying any DSLR today and still using it to get great images 30 years from today? I cannot afford to buy a 645D or 645Z, but with my 60mm x 45mm film camera, I can scan the image and get 40 MP files. The 6x4.5cm format is approximately 3.7x larger than FF and it's larger than the digital medium format in the 645D or Z. That equals wider angle of view and shallower DOF with the 35mm and 75mm Pentax primes.

g) Archivability: If stored properly, my film should last over 100 years. How about digital tape, floppy disks, zip disks, jaz cartridges, hard drives, etc? How many of us have backed up and transferred our home movies shot on magnetic tape like miniDV? Yes, the cloud will become our collective image bank for the species, but think of the impact it has had on ownership, authorship, copyright, etc.

Don't get me wrong. I love the digital future on so many levels, and for every argument why I shoot film and manual, there are counterpoints for digital. But for me, shooting manually and with film has nothing to do with nostalgia or an aversion to technology.
I totally agree with the issue of Manual Focus. I believe Manual Focus is still better than auto focus, not only because it is more accurate, but it gives me the feeling of being selective on what I choose to click on. Thanks,

Tony
03-02-2016, 05:41 PM   #83
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Because old cameras are fun!

03-02-2016, 06:52 PM - 1 Like   #84
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I want the control directly.
03-04-2016, 04:59 PM - 1 Like   #85
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Old-school mechanical cameras are fun to shoot. They also happen to shoot film. My M9 is pretty close to old-school shooting experience.
03-04-2016, 07:34 PM - 2 Likes   #86
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Why shoot with film?

I shoot film because my Pentax 645 and 645N lack a sensor, and must have film to operate. Seriously, it is nice in effect to change the nature of the "sensor" simply by selecting a different film. Right now I am loaded up with Portra in the 645 and Ectar in the 645N, meaning that I will pick up the 645 for portraits and the 645N for landscape scenes.

I am gradually building up a lens collection for the 645 film cameras, and it is nice to know that all these same lenses will work with the 645D/Z if I can ever save up enough to purchase one of these cameras.
03-05-2016, 07:42 AM - 1 Like   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
I once had the great privilege of working on a film (Vice Squad, 1982) with the late great cinematographer, John Alcott. He was the Director of Photography for many Kubrick films like 2001, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, and Barry Lyndon. On the set, I never saw him use a light meter. He'd look at the ambient light and tell his gaffer the EV value. I'd check his exposure with my spot meter and he was spot on within 1/3 EV. And I'm not just saying Sunny 16 Rule. We'd be indoors and he could just look at the area of concern and tell the gaffer he was 2/3 EVs too hot. It blew my mind that his eyes and brain could work as accurately as the technology. And I must say, we have lost a lot of exposure and lighting skills the black and white photographers and cinematographers of the past had.

A real chef doesn't need a thermometer, measuring cups, and a recipe book. Or perhaps not having or using the tools sharpens your abilities.
I recently just started shooting without a light meter. Having a camera without batteries like the 1958 Pentax K really helps. It's a fantastic challenge but very satisfying when you get it right. First roll was 34 out of 36 shots correctly exposed. I've since shot 2 more rolls of HP5+ and looking forward to seeing the results. Don't think I could ever go back to using a light meter, it would be plain boring!
03-06-2016, 11:58 AM - 1 Like   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by RR84 Quote
It's a fantastic challenge but very satisfying when you get it right.
And it is the best way to be forced to slow down and carefully evaluate the qualities and characteristics of light. "Sunny 16" thinking and adopting elements of some kind of Zone System will teach you to deal with just about any situations that fool the camera meters many rely on. Besides, if we filmshooters had to shoot a dozen variations of everything like a lot of digital users get used to doing, we couldn't afford all the film. Understanding the light mean you won't need as many shots.
03-06-2016, 11:36 PM - 1 Like   #89
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I like the tank-like qualities and the simplicity of the shooting experience. Getting colored developed is a pain (these days I save it up until I'm visiting family in the US, 3$ a roll at the local photo shop) but pushing a roll of TX or kentmere to some absurd speed and then developing it the next morning and printing in the afternoon is a real pleasure.
I learned film using a spotmatic a few years ago, but these days (hopefully not too heretical) I'm loving a plain-prism F2. No meter really is something different.
03-10-2016, 04:36 PM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jamey777 Quote
Because old cameras are fun!
QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Old-school mechanical cameras are fun to shoot. They also happen to shoot film. My M9 is pretty close to old-school shooting experience.
OK...the cat is out of the bag...might as well pack up and go home...


Steve
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