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12-25-2019, 12:21 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
I decided to try out film so I got a Pentax Z-1 / PZ-1 on its way
I'm way the hell late to this discussion, @Aslyfox, so forgive me if I'm saying what others have said...

From a gear perspective, you are on the right track. You have a solid camera. Not sure if you've bought your lenses yet, but you could probably make do with a smaller kit. I find 28mm wide, 50mm normal, 85-120 for portraits to be sufficient. A long tele is nice but I find I rarely use it.

If you want to do this the right way, I'd do what students did back in the film days and start with black and white film and consider developing it yourself.

Main reason being that black and white helps you concentrate on the fundamentals of exposure. Understanding exposure and the role you can take in it (vs letting the camera make the decisions) is, IMO, the difference between *taking* pictures and *making* pictures.

Also, B&W eliminates the issues with color balance in scanning -- set your scanner for grayscale and the results are representative of your performance. You'll know right away from the scans if your exposure is right, and you'll need to be able to nail your exposure when/if you move on to color slide film.

Plus, B&W film looks awesome.

Don't go down the rabbit hole of agonizing which film to use, just buy something and stick with it. You cannot go wrong with Kodak Tri-X or Ilford HP5 (the latter is my go-to). And there is cheaper stuff -- I just tried a roll of Fomapan 100, <$5/roll at Freestyle. I accidentally underdeveloped it and still got great results. It's a bit grainy, but that's OK, you just need something consistent to learn on.

I suggest home developing your B&W because it's cost effective (initial investment of $85-$150 including chemicals, and that'll get you through a *lot* of film; chemical cost ends up around a buck or two a roll) and it also gives you more of a role in the process beyond pressing the shutter button. It's a bit intimidating, but really not too difficult.

Once you're happy with your B&W results, I'd go straight to slide film, because that's where you'll be able to see the fruits of your labor. Your exposure needs to be perfect to get a good slide. (You'll probably want to bracket for starters -- three shots, the indicated exposure, 1/2 stop over and 1/2 stop under.)

I'd also suggest a good book -- one of the older editions of Photography by Barbara London (get the 6th edition or earlier) can be had for under $10. It's a brilliant book that quickly conveys the basics, and I still use it as a reference.

I'm not big on color negative (C-41) for starting out because it's *too* forgiving. Color film has an exposure latitude of 3 stops or more, which means you can get the exposure way wrong and the print will still come out because of compensations that can be made in the development/printing process. Looking at lab-produced color prints won't tell you if you got the exposure right or not, and even the negatives may not hold much of a clue.

That said... I last shot color film in twenty years ago. Seeing the prices of E-6 processing nowadays, I might have to change my attitude towards C-41... For the moment, I'm shooting mostly B&W on film and my color stuff is still digital.

If you don't already listen to The Film Photography Podcast, check it out. Start with the first shows when Mike Raso was just starting his own film journey.

I would also consider -- just consider, mind you -- an older mechanical manual-exposure Pentax like the K1000, KX or MX, or a Pentax-compatible like the Ricoh KR-10 (I have one and really like it). Nothing wrong with shooting the Z-1 in manual mode, but I find it harder and slower to manipulate the exposure controls (aperture, shutter, etc.) on an electronic camera. I had a Canon from that era (EOS Rebel 2000) that took great pics but I never found it as satisfying as my old KX.

My philosophy: Given a good enough automated camera (and the Z-1 definitely fits that definition), anyone can take respectable photos. The camera will get the right amount of light onto the film and competent processing will do the rest. You'll have great looking film snapshots.

To me, the difference between a snapshot and a photograph is knowledge and intention. Composition is important, but so is learning how to control the flow of light to the film using the controls available to you (aperture, shutter speed, depth of field, lens choice, film choice, developing choice). None of this is rocket science, and once you know how they work, you'll be a lot happier with the photos you take. Instead of just capturing a scene, you can think about how you want that photograph to look, and make that happen.

And the best part is, once you know those skills, once you understand what the camera is doing, you can get better shots even in automatic mode. One of my go-to cameras was a Pentax PC35AF, a manual-wind point-and-shoot, the early-90s equivalent of taking pics on the iPhone. But even with no controls save a shutter button, I got better results than my non-hobbyist friends because I understood what I was asking the camera to do and how it would handle my requests.

I hope this helps, and good luck on your new adventure. Can't wait to see your photos!

Aaron
My fledgling Flickr page: Aaron Gold?s albums | Flickr

12-25-2019, 12:56 PM   #47
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In the BW wet print days, your development time was a function of your enlarger type if you were serious about your work. That is, to print well on, say, a fixed grade 2 paper, your development time could easily be 3 minutes different for a condenser enlarger vs a diffusion enlarger. You developed to a place Zone V and VIII at target density values. A negative development for a diffusion enlarger but printed on a condenser enlarger would be contrasty and would need a lower grade paper to compensate. That 3 min development time difference equates to about a stop of exposure difference in terms of measurable negative density.

Scanning can capture both of these enlarger target density ranges and more. It's like having 10 grades of printing paper. That makes for a very forgiving exposure on your camera and development time.

Last edited by tuco; 12-25-2019 at 04:33 PM.
12-25-2019, 12:58 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
LoL, agreed on that point, however what I wanted to say is that yo son;t have the AUTO setting, nor can change it on the fly as you can with the digi-slrs
You know, it never occurred to me that this might be an issue, but I recently lent a film camera to a co-worker who hadn't shot film in years. and when she didn't have enough light she changed the ISO setting on the camera. OOPS! Lucky for her it's print film with good exposure latitude... haven't seen the results yet.

Come to think if it, I haven't seen my camera, either. Hopefully she gives it back!

---------- Post added 12-25-19 at 02:08 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Autonerd Quote
I would also consider -- just consider, mind you -- an older mechanical manual-exposure Pentax like the K1000, KX or MX, or a Pentax-compatible like the Ricoh KR-10
Oh, and I just reminded myself -- a second body is always a good idea, because unlike digital, with film you're stuck with whatever's loaded. I like to have two camera bodies with me, I might load one with color or the other with B&W, or one with low-speed film and one with high-speed. Gives you more flexibility, plus a backup if one of the cameras misbehaves. Generally speaking, mechanical cameras can't be rebooted... only booted.

Aaron
My fledgling Flickr page: Aaron Gold?s albums | Flickr
12-28-2019, 04:26 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Autonerd Quote
I'm way the hell late to this discussion, @Aslyfox, so forgive me if I'm saying what others have said...

From a gear perspective, you are on the right track. You have a solid camera. Not sure if you've bought your lenses yet, but you could probably make do with a smaller kit. I find 28mm wide, 50mm normal, 85-120 for portraits to be sufficient. A long tele is nice but I find I rarely use it. . . .
oh, I have a few lenses that might work out among those I currently own:

PRIMES
SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited
Kino Precision Japan Kiron 28mm F2 MC P/KA *
SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited
SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited *
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.4 *
SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8
SMC Pentax-DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM
SMC Pentax 55mm F 1.8 *
SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
SMC Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited *
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro *
SMC Pentax-A 135mm F2.8 *
SMC DA * 300mm F4 ED (IF ) SDM *
_________________________

ZOOMS

Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM
HD Pentax-DA 16 - 85mm F3.5-5.6 WR
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE
HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW *
HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5 - 5.6 ED DC AW *

* = I expect no problems with these lenses

others ??

any one got any thoughts ?


Last edited by aslyfox; 12-28-2019 at 04:32 PM.
12-28-2019, 07:23 PM   #50
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I saw that when I was trying to teach a kid to use film... he asked me where is the AUTO-ISO setting while taking a walk in the woods
I sighed and explained to him that there IS was fixed, so was WB,etc
He thought it was daft

QuoteOriginally posted by Autonerd Quote
You know, it never occurred to me that this might be an issue, but I recently lent a film camera to a co-worker who hadn't shot film in years. and when she didn't have enough light she changed the ISO setting on the camera. OOPS! Lucky for her it's print film with good exposure latitude... haven't seen the results yet.

Aaron
My fledgling Flickr page: Aaron Gold?s albums | Flickr
12-28-2019, 09:34 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
oh, I have a few lenses that might work out among those I currently own:

PRIMES
SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited
Kino Precision Japan Kiron 28mm F2 MC P/KA *
SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited
SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited

SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited *
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.4 *
SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8
SMC Pentax-DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM
SMC Pentax 55mm F 1.8 *
SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
SMC Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited *
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro *
SMC Pentax-A 135mm F2.8 *
SMC DA * 300mm F4 ED (IF ) SDM *
_________________________

ZOOMS

Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM
HD Pentax-DA 16 - 85mm F3.5-5.6 WR
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE
HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW *
HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5 - 5.6 ED DC AW *


* = I expect no problems with these lenses

others ??

any one got any thoughts ?
I have marked highlighted lenses that you can use with film with the correct body (any body that supports program mode - Pentax Super-Program or newer). Several DA lenses have a full or close to full size image circle and if the camera can control aperture, will work in either program\shutter priority, or can be full controlled.
I have crossed out DFA lenses that do not autofocus on film because while they cover the full frame image circle they do not have screw drive. You can manually focus them, but they are not optimized to be focused manually. You can not control DC\SDM lenses with film cameras. The contacts that look like SDM are actually PZ contacts in film cameras. There were a few DA* lenses that supported screw drive.


A good chart on compatibility. DA lenses have no aperture ring, so must be controlled by the camera. SDM and DC lenses did not come out before film ended so unless the lens has screw drive it will not work.


Pentax K-Mount Lenses Explained: The differences between various Pentax lens series
12-29-2019, 07:59 AM   #52
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Plenty of glass!!
Most of them will work, and if you have a little vignetting so be it.
Have fun !

QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
oh, I have a few lenses that might work out among those I currently own:

PRIMES
SMC Pentax-DA 15mm F4 ED AL Limited
SMC Pentax-DA 21mm F3.2 Limited
Kino Precision Japan Kiron 28mm F2 MC P/KA *
SMC Pentax-DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited
SMC Pentax-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited
SMC Pentax-FA 43mm F1.9 Limited *
SMC Pentax-A 50mm F1.4 *
SMC Pentax-DA 50mm F1.8
SMC Pentax-DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM
SMC Pentax 55mm F 1.8 *
SMC Pentax-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited
SMC Pentax-FA 77mm F1.8 Limited *
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro *
SMC Pentax-A 135mm F2.8 *
SMC DA * 300mm F4 ED (IF ) SDM *
_________________________

ZOOMS

Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM
HD Pentax-DA 16 - 85mm F3.5-5.6 WR
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE
HD Pentax-D FA* 70-200mm F2.8 ED DC AW *
HD Pentax-D FA 150-450mm F4.5 - 5.6 ED DC AW *

* = I expect no problems with these lenses

others ??

any one got any thoughts ?
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