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11-27-2019, 09:02 AM   #1
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Should I get a SLR, which one what about printing

I was very happy to get the DSLR cameras

no more paying for printing my mistakes

ability to see what I got without the expense

HOWEVER

now that I have some full frame sensor lenses, including the FA 43mm and 77mm limited

I have the urge to find a Pentax SLR [ I am not interested in the cost of a full frame DSLR ]

so should I get a SLR

why or why not

which one

why that one

AF or manual

why or why not

and what about printing costs

11-27-2019, 09:43 AM   #2
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There's a lot of questions in your questions. Here's my thoughts;

Shooting film with a film camera, either with automatic exposure mode or not, has taught me to stop under-exposing and relying on post-processing so much. You can do it a little, but it's not like my K-5 II where I can crank on the exposure slider in Lightroom and save a shot. If I'm honest, I still have issues with trusting the light metering in all of my film cameras, and when in doubt I try to over-expose by a stop if possible. If I'm not sure, I set for the slowest speed I know that I can steady the lens, and let it rip; I'm talking about late-evening or indoor bar shooting. Shooting film has furthered my attempt to get shots that are well framed with better composition. I almost exclusively buy 24 shot rolls and having to change film in the middle of a scene is not much fun. If you want to try and push yourself, film might be great for that. I also really enjoy long exposure shooting (greater than 1 second) with film.

Out of my four film cameras, I liked my Chinon CE-5 the most, but it came to me with some body damage which I finished off by dropping the bag it was in on the floor and the top deck cracked badly. I bought a replacement Revue AC-3 but I've not used it yet. I am really eager to get that thing going; it needs light seals. I also really like my Ricoh XR7. My Pentax MX feels like a premium camera but I don't enjoy loading film in it (I'm told that it gets better with time but eh). I've never used a Pentax film camera newer than the MX; I thought the button arrangement of the Super Program and that sort of camera seemed fiddly. I think an LX would be nice but I can't see buying one as a first film camera as they are not cheap.

I went manual as I think most film cameras from the pre-AF days are better made, generally, and I also thought that would be a good way to slow myself down a little and really look at the scene.


I develop my own film (bleh on color development, but it's not hard to do, I just don't like having to reuse chemicals) at home which is generally a fun challenge and it's pretty easy to go if you pick well known film and developer and aren't trying to operate outside of the stated speed of the film. I copy the negatives using my DSLR and a macro lens and find that my copies are as good or better than the scans I got from the lab I used to use in Overland Park. I can then do editing and such in Lightroom and Photoshop. It helped that at my last home I had a bathroom I could set up for this purpose, so I could leave chemicals on the counter and hang negatives from the shower rod to dry. When I wanted a print I would send a high resolution file to MPix for printing just like I would for all-digital work. I prefer that to spending whatever for 24 4x6's for every roll.


A 43 and a 77 seem like great lenses for this. All you're really missing is something wide and there's lots of cheap 28's out there.


You could do a lot worse than get a Ricoh XR2 or XR7 off of ebay for $50, take it to the shop I told you about on the north side of Topeka, and pay him his $65 or whatever for an hour's work to throw in new light seals, mirror damper pad, and do a quick functional check of the camera. That's basically exactly what I did when I got started. I think I've learned a lot from the experience of shooting film; I'm better at understanding and trying to properly expose a shot, getting decent framing and composition, and taking fewer shots that I end up not liking.
11-27-2019, 09:59 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
. . .

A 43 and a 77 seem like great lenses for this. All you're really missing is something wide and there's lots of cheap 28's out there. . . .
Well I do have a few film era lenses -

Kino Precision Japan Kiron 28mm F2 MC P/KA

SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited

SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.4

SMC Pentax 55mm F 1.8

SMC Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited

SMC Pentax-A 135mm F2.8

plus some D FA lenses as well
11-27-2019, 10:04 AM   #4
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If the D-FA's don't have aperture rings, they may not work well with the camera you pick. That was another thing that drove me to older bodies; not being able to set the aperture myself. That list of glass that you already have is plenty to get a good idea of what it's like.

I'd loan you a film camera for a few weeks if I was still in KS but I moved to Maryland a few weeks ago and almost all of my gear is in a warehouse somewhere. When I started I had a Kiron 28 f2 like yours (no A function, just P/K mount) and an M 50 1.4. Oh, and a Samyang 14 which I used maybe twice.

11-27-2019, 10:12 AM   #5
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Oh, boy... short answer is you're going to end up getting all of them, so just dive in and find a body that's in good shooting shape or won't take much to get in good shooting shape and start shooting. Soon enough, you'll start to hone in on which features you really want, which ones your don't need, you'll figure out the quirks that bug you, and you'll sell the 1st to fund the 2nd. And the cycle keeps going. Don't overthink it. Whatever you get now you can sell later and recoup most of the cost. The amount you don't recoup counts as payment for the experience.

As for printing, when I started with film, I would send out to a Adorama (now rebranded as something else). I'm a member of a community darkroom now, so I wet print BW and digitally print color. I'm selective about what I print; I don't print the entire roll. I digitally scan the negatives (or positives), catalog in Lightroom, and select the ones I want to print. So cost isn't that much different if I was totally digital.
11-27-2019, 10:17 AM   #6
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If you can't decide between film and digital, get both. Problem solved.

If you are on a tight budget, look at a Pentax MX for film (somewhat underrated but great) and a Pentax K10D or K200D for digital.

If your budget is more generous, stick with the MX for film and look at a K5 II or K3 for digital. Not the K5, the mark two was much improved - I read that on this forum so it must be true. The K3 II is a lot more expensive than the K3, with the mark one representing a lot of value.

I assume that a K1 is too expensive, even a used one. This brings me to my left field answer: check out a Sony A7 with K mount adapter if it is full frame goodness that you want. This is probably the cheapest entry into the full frame club at the moment.

Stay away from full frame Canon DSLR bodies with EF/K adapters, the mirror interferes with the aperture levers of K mount lenses. You can modify ruin the lens to make it work, but lets not go into that.
11-27-2019, 10:25 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wasp Quote
If you can't decide between film and digital, get both. Problem solved. . . .
I have the K 3 K 3II and K 01 digital cameras
11-27-2019, 10:44 AM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
so should I get a SLR
well, it sounds like you'd like to, so yes.

QuoteQuote:
why or why not
see above.

QuoteQuote:
which one. why that one.
depends whether you use your lenses manually or AF currently more often.
the MZ-5, MZ-7 style of bodies will get you in the door most easily. You can always manually focus regardless of body.
The trade-off is that the earlier non-AF bodies generally have a much nicer/brighter viewfinder which is somewhat of a revelation if you've not used one before to focus with.

QuoteQuote:
AF or manual. why or why not.
see above.

QuoteQuote:
and what about printing costs
still reasonable at many labs for basic 4x6 prints, a few include that in the base cost, as they used to.
for starters, i recommend a place like Darkroom.com largely because they bundle basics scans into the base price, and their web-layout is easy for small orders of just a few rolls or less.

---------- Post added 11-27-19 at 10:01 AM ----------

Addendum, without going overboard:

A) If you'd like a camera that is most analogous to your current digital bodies and just want to try a bit of film with your current lens sets, the Z-1 or PZ-1 would be a good fit. Very affordable and its DNA is the same as what you already shoot with. You'll feel at least mostly at home. (You can also shoot your lens that do not have an aperture control ring with these bodies because aperture can be set with the camera itself, just like your DSLRs.)

B) If you'd like to branch out into older manual bodies, I'd recommend the KX. It is the simplest out there whilst still offering most niceties a shooter might want, and is often the same price (sometimes less) as the sought-after K1000 which is very similar in form/function, but lacks a self-timer, DoF preview and has a more basic meter to name a few differences. The KX can be found fairly reasonably in price.


Last edited by Eyewanders; 11-27-2019 at 11:07 AM.
11-27-2019, 12:42 PM   #9
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If you want to use your selection of DA and DFA lenses, youíll want something newer. The PZ1 is a good choice, and Iím fond of the MZ/ZX family, though not all of them fully support the older lenses. I think the single number cameras (3,5,6,7) are better about that.

Older cameras are awesome, but you are back in an old way of shooting. Thatís fine if thatís what youíre after but irritating if you like the digital shooting workflow.

The KX and MX are favorites from the old school, and the Super Program bridges the old and new(ish) pretty well.

Iíd suggest you spend some time browsing the reviews and seeing how they line up with what youíre after.

My biggest warning is that a couple of film bodies, some CLAs, and some lenses/accessories will be as expensive as a secondhand K1...

Good Luck

-Eric
11-27-2019, 01:42 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
My biggest warning is that a couple of film bodies, some CLAs, and some lenses/accessories will be as expensive as a secondhand K1...
My Ricoh XR7, Chinon CE-5, and Revue AC-3 cost maybe $150 combined. I don't know what a good CLA costs; I have $130 doing a checkup and some work on the seals on the first two, and the AC-3 needs seals which I'll do myself. With his current selection of glass, the only thing he's really missing is an ultra-wide, like a Tamron 17-35 which seems like $300 for a perfect copy would have him sitting pretty nicely.

If the right person here sold him a known good, ready to go 3rd party film body for $100.... no K-1 deal gets even close to that. If things go well and he starts processing film at home, never mind bulk loading, it's really not an expensive thing to get into, to say nothing of bulk loading film in reusable cassettes.
11-27-2019, 04:07 PM - 1 Like   #11
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If you're new to film and unsure if you'll gel with it, I'd avoid anything expensive. Something like an ME Super, P30n or P30T, Super-A or P50 (or the Ricohs previously mentioned). AF SLRs often need expensive batteries and could go through them quite quickly (especially if you're learning the camera). You should be able to get a working one quite inexpensively.
11-27-2019, 05:49 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
If you're new to film and unsure if you'll gel with it, I'd avoid anything expensive
I think it will be hard to spend a lot on a used 35mm SLR (other than an LX maybe), but the bodies suggested above would be good (you might run into problems with DX coding on the P30N), I can personally recommend a Super-A or Super Program, but my only experience with AF film SLRs is an entry level Canon, which I couldn't get to work. AF won't help with four of the lenses you listed and manual focusing is really only a problem with sports or live animals.
QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
Shooting film with a film camera, either with automatic exposure mode or not, has taught me to stop under-exposing and relying on post-processing so much.
This is really important, especially with slide film; even if you do your own developing, enlarging and printing, it takes a lot of time and money to do a good job of dodging and burning. A photo lab should do some basic adjustments for exposure, but film has almost no latitude for underexposing and a surprising amount of latitude for overexposing. Someone did some tests of B&W film and claimed he could overexpose by 10 stops and still retain details. I started with an old 35mm rangefinder camera without any kind of light meter and in 10 years of shooting slide film I had less than 10 badly overexposed slides and countless underexposed ones.

---------- Post added 11-27-19 at 07:00 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
what about printing costs
I think that for basic 4x6 prints the lab just does inkjet prints from scans, so get your film scanned at the same time and you can always get larger, high-quality prints from the actual negative once you have had a chance to look over your results. It will take a while (and a few rolls of film) to get the knack of film photography.
11-27-2019, 07:00 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
HOWEVER

now that I have some full frame sensor lenses, including the FA 43mm and 77mm limited

I have the urge to find a Pentax SLR [ I am not interested in the cost of a full frame DSLR ]

so should I get a SLR

which one
Can you clarify if you mean you're gonna get only one or do you mean the first one . . .
11-27-2019, 07:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
Can you clarify if you mean you're gonna get only one or do you mean the first one . . .
i certainly don't intend on getting more than one SLR camera

of course, to be honest, I never intended to get as many lenses as I have accumulated
11-27-2019, 07:07 PM   #15
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yer prolly looking at 15-25 bucks per roll, development, scan, print (depending on size etc)

since you have several 'a' ring lenses get any working slr…..if yer looking for certain automation look through the reviews

also there is a good chance of finding a vivitar v3000 that has good seals, etc and ready to go super cheap...…

plus there is a variety of Ricoh, the xr-7 comes to mind or Sears (Ricoh rebadged) the ksx or ks-2 come to mind.....

believe all these require 2 type 357/LR44 watch batteries to operate
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