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08-30-2008, 02:02 AM   #1
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New photography student help

Hello, this is my first post and first thread on pentaxforums.com. First off I would like to say that I love this site! Ive learned alot about dslr especially the pentax k20d. But the reason I am starting this thread is because I am a newly enrolled photo 1 (basic photography) and photo 52 (history of photographs) student at my college. I am very new to cameras, im the person that once thought taking a picture with a crapy point and shoot camera was good enough. Obviously I was wrong. The teacher told us via email, to bring in a camera to our next class meeting. I dont care for any other brand of cameras, I just want a 35mm film Pentax. My mom told me many stories of how durable and great pentax cameras are. And of course, mother knows best Of course I just dont want to use the camera just for class, I would like to have a camera that is feature packed so I could slowly grow with it. Maybe taking it when I travel and stuff. My teacher specified that

"This non-laboratory course is an introduction to photography including camera techniques and artistic considerations. Using 35mm format and natural light, students shoot digitally or with slide films for specific assignments emphasizing exposure, depth-of-field, composition, and image quality. A 35mm Single Lens Reflex camera (film or digital) with manual focus and exposure capabilities is required."

This is what im confused at. I want a film camera, but have never developed film, will they teach me how? and the teacher said (film or digital) I thought everyone started off with film? The reason I cant ask him or her is cause Ive never met the teacher since I missed the first day of class, caused by transportation issues.

Any way’s, I really like film, and its sad that one of my teachers said that its being replaced with digital. I doubt that will happen completely.


Which Pentax might you recommend?

Here is some other info that might be helpful.
I am sort of a technical person, not in cameras, but ive built pc's, and have gotten myself into the hobby of astronomy awhile back when I was 14 (telescope etx 125 ec).

The reason I said that was because again I want a camera that I can use for many years and have loads of features so I can have years of fun with the camera. As for price, I think $500 for body+lens would be my maximum.

So heres how I look at it
-Black body camera
-Lots of features
-$500 maximum price
-Pentax
-Film
-I dont mine if its used
Fun

Help would be much apreceated. Thank you


Last edited by miniheli; 08-30-2008 at 02:07 AM. Reason: idk
08-30-2008, 02:06 AM   #2
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First off, welcome to the forums, miniheli! It's really nice to hear that you love film. It has a character digital sensors simply cannot replicate at this point in time.

As far as cameras go, my recommendations are as follows:

If you go for film, fully manual cameras such as the K1000, KX or MX would be the way to go.

Otherwise, a K100D or K100D Super + kit lens would be an EXCELLENT buy; you can get them new for under $500, if you can still find one.

Otherwise, look for a second-hand, but well-maintained K10D with kit lens.


Mom DOES know best.
08-30-2008, 04:09 AM   #3
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Welcome miniheli.
I'd also second the old film Pentax SLRs as above - and even the MG or ME Super are good choices. Fully manual means you get to learn a lot about the exposure triad from first principles.

Digital, you can't go wrong with a second hand K100D Super or K10D. But you'll be investing a reasonable amount of money on it before you even get to lenses.

So going manual, get your body of choice and an M 50/1.7 or 1.4 and M 28/2.8 or whatever focal length you're looking to use most often... You'll get this starting kit for a very reasonable price - of course you'll then be putting money into film processing.

All the best.
08-30-2008, 05:44 AM   #4
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Digtal or slide films it says? You'll need to consider how you'd get the slide films developed and back in a hurry... it doesn't sound like they will teach b&w darkroom technique.

In this case, I'd suggest one of the dSLRs. Kit lens is good, but you'd probably want a 50mm or 35mm - manual focus for these is OK and fun and a lot cheaper.

08-30-2008, 05:47 AM   #5
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first off welcome to the forums.

when it comes to older film SLRs there really isn't a lot to 'grow into' per say. they are quite basic. are you looking for an older say 70's era SLR or maybe an 80's era? based on your needs and wants im thinking maybe (especially concerning the black body) a SuperA would be your best bet, though it is fully dependent on batteries.
there are several good choices for cameras that can do both full manual and AE: auto exposure (aperture &/or shutter priority) but as black bodies are a favourite amongst just about everyone they tend to go for a premium, since most cameras back then were two toned. I have to mention the K1000, no AE only silver and a bit sparse (as basic as it gets) but it was the first camera for most Pentaxians and is considered THE starter camera for photography students.


here are some choices:

KX (both silver and black) (no AE)
K2 (both silver and black) (AE)
KM (both silver and black) (no AE)

MX (both silver and black (no AE) - my personal favourite.
MEsuper (both silver and black) (AE)
ME-F (both silver and black) (AE)
SuperA (black) (AE)
SuperPROGRAM (both silver and black) (AE)

and of course the top dog of them all... very expensive and hard to find.
LX (black) (AE)

no need to list any of the P series... after that you are getting into the AF cameras.


you should check out this page for more info on all of the K mount pentax bodies and lenses.
Welcome to Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Page


if you decide to go the digital route I would suggest a K100Dsuper. the K10D would also be another good choice but could bust your budget acquiring both a body and len(s)

Last edited by séamuis; 08-30-2008 at 05:53 AM.
08-30-2008, 06:23 AM   #6
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I'd suggest a Spotmatic and a 55/1.8. Not only would he be the coolest kid in class, he'd have oodles of money left over for film and developing.
08-30-2008, 10:52 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
I'd suggest a Spotmatic and a 55/1.8. Not only would he be the coolest kid in class, he'd have oodles of money left over for film and developing.
On any given day, this would be my recommendation.

QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
when it comes to older film SLRs there really isn't a lot to 'grow into' per say. they are quite basic.
I also like and respect séamuis recommendations as well.

But I am going to play the devil's advocate here. Please bear with me.

More recently my eyesight has been failing me. So I went and got a PZ-1. Great camera. I often use it like a Spotmatic with a F 50mm f/1.7 as well as with M42 lenses. In fact I forced myself to learn the manual camera features before learning the automation. Now it is my default platform for shooting my Takumars.

When set in Hyper Manual program mode with the lens off of the "A" setting, the only differences between the PZ-1 and a Spotmatic are:

1. The focus screen does not have a classic manual camera focusing aid - fresnel or split type screen; however, what I have come to find is that I am not all that bad at focusing using the plain focus screen and the focus confirmation basically tells me when I am there. In operation it is not really all that different than a manual camera. Also, there are manual camera type focusing screens for the PZ-1, and this is probably my next purchase frankly. Not sure of the effect of these on spot metering, but my guess would be that it would be ok with FA lenses and if you are using Takumars "pretend" its a Spotmatic and don't use spot metering... heh... Beattie | Intenscreen Split Image Diagonal Grid | 82455 | B&H

2. The meter match needle is not quite the same as a SPotmatic since you get a "+" or a "-" without all that much to tell you about how far off you are. I have found that memorized sunny 16 rules are very handy in this regard. Generally I know where to set the camera and can calculate it fairly quickly. A click or two of the aperture ring or speed dial and I am there. Would it be the worst thing if a photo student had a good reason to remember and use basic sunny 16 rules?

3. The shutter speed is on an eDial as opposed to a shutter speed dial per se. However, it is visible both on the LCD and in the heads up display, so what's the difference. It's easier and more convenient actually.

A PZ-1 is about 75.00. There's what looks like a nice one on eBay right now for about 69.00. Add to that an FA 50mm 1.4 for about $200.00 or less and you get a couple of things...

A. A black camera with tons of features;
B. A camera that can be run in full manual mode without too much loss in the general manual camera experience;
C. A camera with which a student can truly grow;

I would contend that if you started with the fully manual features of a PZ-1 and learned it thoroughly, you'd get awfully good at it. And as you grew with the camera you sure would have a great basis from which to branch out. When it came time to go digital, you'd sure be comfy with the functionality. There are other advantages.

Just a thought.

woof!
08-30-2008, 01:35 PM   #8
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First of all, welcome. I am glad you are interested in photography and are about to start on two courses soon. Digital and film both have their strong points, and you can do well by learning how to get the best from both.

Film cameras can be very economical (or incredibly expensive) but film can get expensive to use if you use it a lot on a low budget. However, I still love film in spite of shooting mostly digital nowadays.

I read your post, and if you are looking to grow into photography, you could do a lot worse than Pentax. A basic K-mount film camera will share its lenses with most of the DSLR bodies, and there are some great older lenses out there if you are willing to learn how to use manual focus and learn the basics of exposure.

QuoteQuote:
-Black body camera
-Lots of features
-$500 maximum price
-Pentax
-Film
-I dont mind if its used

I noted your preference, and the suggestions from some of the others replying on the forum. I would personally not restrict myself to black body, since there are so many excellent silver/black film bodies from Pentax - from the fully manual K1000 through the M-series up to autofocus/automatic bodies later.

If you would like a starting film camera to get you going with your courses, I have a P30T with an A35-80 f4-5.6 that one of my kids used in the past for similar courses and which they have moved on from. It works well but is doing nothing here, and they sell for very little on ebay, even though they are a nice little camera and capable of excellent pictures. I would be happy to give it to you to start you off. It can do full manual, aperture priority or program exposure. It has a split prism/microprism focusing screen. It is a black/dark charcoal plastic body. It will take any of the K or KA mount Pentax lenses. When you grow out of it, the lenses you buy to fit it will still work on other more expensive bodies.

Send me a PM if you would like it. Then you can spend a little more of your money on lenses or a secondhand digital body such as a K100d if you get caught by Pentax equipment.

08-30-2008, 04:38 PM   #9
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^^^^ very nice offer!^^^^

I shoot with a P30 and it does the job very well!


Don't worry about features!!!! especially on a MF film camera! When buying a digital body it's a little more important to shop around because of AF speed, the sensor's quality, and a number of other things but MF film cameras don't have auto focus motors to worry about. You don't have to worry about auto focus accuracy, you don't have to worry about things like high ISO ability because your film determines that along with your developing skill.

If I were you I would pick up a nice prime like the one suggested above the 55mm 1.8.
08-30-2008, 04:48 PM   #10
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Hello everyone. Thanks for all the fantastic reply , it really did help me narrow my search on a film camera I would want to buy. But heres the dilemma, my parents are the ones who are going to purchase the camera for me and they said they would rather go digital so we could use it on trips and stuff as well. Which makes alot of sense, since were looking for a camera for all of us to use. I feel sort of embarrassed since I started this thread with a only film attitude, and everyone was so kind to give me information on film cameras and stuff which I still will still use. Dont get me wrong, I still want a film camera, but right now I think its best to get a dslr since its not only going to be my camera to use. And now that i think more about using film, I could start to see that it isnt a good idea to start off with since I still don't have my driving license, meaning i cant go to a darkroom when ever I want. So right now I actually might go ahead and purchase a k200d. But I am defiantly still getting a slide camera in the near future (hopefully when I pass my driving test). This way, I can get the best (and fun) of both worlds.

"kevindt"

"I would personally not restrict myself to black body, since there are so many excellent silver/black film bodies from Pentax - from the fully manual K1000 through the M-series up to auto focus/automatic bodies later."

Yes that is sort of a problem I have with products, I like things to be 1 color. I do agree with you that there are many nice looking silver/black body's out there.

"If you would like a starting film camera to get you going with your courses, I have a P30T with an A35-80 f4-5.6 that one of my kids used in the past for similar courses and which they have moved on from. It works well but is doing nothing here, and they sell for very little on ebay, even though they are a nice little camera and capable of excellent pictures. I would be happy to give it to you to start you off. It can do full manual, aperture priority or program exposure. It has a split prism/microprism focusing screen. It is a black/dark charcoal plastic body. It will take any of the K or KA mount Pentax lenses. When you grow out of it, the lenses you buy to fit it will still work on other more expensive bodies."

Wow thats very nice of you to offer, I searched the P30T up on the internet and its a great looking camera. I appreciate your very kind offer but I have a hard time excepting free items. Maybe in the near future I will contact u from here and maybe I will change my mind, but I defiantly wont except anything for free lol. I would happily pay for it if I do ever decide to purchase it from you. But I do not want to keep you from selling it to another happy buyer just because of me. Again thanks again for your kind offer

"woof"

The PZ-1 looks like a great camera. I particularly love how the hot-shoe is on the side. Wow you know that im newb to slr's since I go for exterior looks rather than the features that really matter on a camera lol. I will check the PZ-1 out agian when im ready to get into film.

Thank you


"Mike Cash"
"I'd suggest a Spotmatic and a 55/1.8. Not only would he be the coolest kid in class, he'd have oodles of money left over for film and developing."

I would be the coolest kid in class with that cam. I dont think anyone else would have the Spotmatic. Im expecting to see loads of nikons and cannons on Thursday. The Spotmatic looks amazingly cool, before getting my self interested in photography, I was actully going to purchase one of those really old tape recorders, I like old things like old cams.


"séamuis"

"KX (both silver and black) (no AE)
K2 (both silver and black) (AE)
KM (both silver and black) (no AE)

MX (both silver and black (no AE) - my personal favourite.
MEsuper (both silver and black) (AE)
ME-F (both silver and black) (AE)
SuperA (black) (AE)
SuperPROGRAM (both silver and black) (AE)

and of course the top dog of them all... very expensive and hard to find.
LX (black) (AE)"

I like choices, I guess I could open up to silver/black body's. Very nice selection there.

"Nesster"
"Digital or slide films it says? You'll need to consider how you'd get the slide films developed and back in a hurry... it doesn't sound like they will teach b&w darkroom technique.

In this case, I'd suggest one of the dSLRs. Kit lens is good, but you'd probably want a 50mm or 35mm - manual focus for these is OK and fun and a lot cheaper."

Hows the k200d sound. I like the specifications of it, wish I could go for the k20d cause of that nice samsung cmos sensor but dont have that kind of money. K200d sounds good for my needs, and love how its weather sealed. "http://www.ritzcamera.com/product/541615464.htm"
Umm I know this is not the place I should be asking this question, but whats the difference from the k200d and the k10d. Besides the same image sensor.

"ash"

"Welcome miniheli.
I'd also second the old film Pentax SLRs as above - and even the MG or ME Super are good choices. Fully manual means you get to learn a lot about the exposure triad from first principles.

Digital, you can't go wrong with a second hand K100D Super or K10D. But you'll be investing a reasonable amount of money on it before you even get to lenses.

So going manual, get your body of choice and an M 50/1.7 or 1.4 and M 28/2.8 or whatever focal length you're looking to use most often... You'll get this starting kit for a very reasonable price - of course you'll then be putting money into film processing.

All the best. "

Ya fully manual is a great way to learn about all the basics. ill check out your recommendations.
Peace

"ftpaddict"

"First off, welcome to the forums, miniheli! It's really nice to hear that you love film. It has a character digital sensors simply cannot replicate at this point in time."

Im here with you on that. My old pictures when I was still young were all taken using film point and shoot cameras. They wernt even slrs and the image quality seems as though as they were taken in 2013 or something. Its amazing that after all the major company's went digital that film is still in my opinion has a better feel to it. This is the very reason Im reading up on film camera information.
08-30-2008, 04:53 PM   #11
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"Don't worry about features!!!! especially on a MF film camera! When buying a digital body it's a little more important to shop around because of AF speed, the sensor's quality, and a number of other things but MF film cameras don't have auto focus motors to worry about. You don't have to worry about auto focus accuracy, you don't have to worry about things like high ISO ability because your film determines that along with your developing skill."

Even though im getting a dslr I am still lured into film cameras. The simplicity of most film cameras is why they last so much longer and raise in price over time compared to a mass produced digital.
Is there a rule of thumb for finding out which film to use with a particular camera? Sorry im really new to cameras in general and film is like a different language all together for me.
08-30-2008, 05:07 PM   #12
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If you're just starting out with film, then the only thing that really matters is that it be cheap. Why? Because you're going to ass up a few rolls somewhere during the process until you get used to it. No sense in paying a premium for that. How many rolls? You'll be able to tell that for yourself when you don't ass them up any more. Probably not more than a couple to learn the loading/unloading. Then an undetermined number where you look at the photos and say, "Man....this is crap! And it ain't because of the quality of the film....it's me!" No sense in paying a premium for those either. You'll know when you start seeing results from yourself that have good composition, focus, and exposure on a consistent enough basis that you start to wish you had bought a little better film.

A more specific answer, though: Since it is more forgiving of exposure errors, color negative film is your best friend starting out.
08-30-2008, 05:08 PM   #13
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Go ahead, get the K200D and be happy.

(My daughter went to photo camp this summer... took two Pentaxes... the kids and a couple of the teachers were impressed by the K100D... liked it better than the entry level Nikons and Canons everyone else was using. Now she's stolen my Spotmatic.)
08-30-2008, 07:12 PM   #14
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Miniheli, that's fine. Even a secondhand digital body is initially more expensive than an older film body, and is probably not likely to last as long (both mechanically and due to built-in obsolescence), but digital is cheaper to run in the long term and much easier to share pictures with.

I have used K1000s, M-series (including the ME I sold recently and my ME-Super that I still use quite a bit) and others. I shoot most with my K20D nowadays, however, with my old lenses and newer lenses. My oldest kid who used the P30 for school has been using her her *ist DL with the kit lens and a secondhand F 80-200 (a bargain that she gets great pictures from) and she borrows my older primes. My teenager is off abroad all next year with a very tight baggage restriction indeed, and so she is taking a tiny but powerful P&S to minimize size/weight (she has a Kodak Z712IS, which has amazing specifications for the $150 it cost on sale - 7MP/12x Schneider glass optical zoom lens and the ability to shoot in manual, shutter- and aperture-priority modes as well as the normal program modes). Takes good pictures too! She can carry them back on SD cards.

The offer of the P30T stands - you might have seen that they either do not sell or sell for very little indeed on ebay, since the older metal models are much more in demand, and it is doing nothing here.
08-30-2008, 07:20 PM   #15
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Well...as long as you are opinoin collecting -- I suggest purchasing a solid, compact manual camera like the MX and a fast 50mm lens. Pay the extra $20-30 for a black one if that's what you want because you would sell or trade for it later. Once you learn the basics, KEEP THAT CAMERA. It won't be terribly expensive & it you couldn't trade it for a DA* lens. I have a K10d now, but I would shoot my non-threatening, compact, manual 35mm before I pick up my 35mm Auto-everything kit. I love the history of those camera. Brilliant photos were taken with them and if I can't take a nice photo with that, then adding auto-focus & motorized advance won't improve things.
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