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01-17-2009, 07:18 PM   #1
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Tempted to try film.

Hi all,

Having grown up in the digital age (I'm 21)I feel like I have been spoiled when I see all of the work (and expense) that goes into shooting film. I did use film cameras when I was younger but it mostly revolved around fujifilm disposable 35mm and Kodak 110 film. When I look on eBay and see some of the greatest film cameras of all time going for peanuts I am tempted to pick one up, order a box of B&W film, and learn photography the "old fashioned" way. I know that film will not be around forever so I am wondering if anyone thinks this would be a good idea, or has any other advice, while I still have the opportunity.

Regards

01-17-2009, 07:54 PM   #2
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Moved to correct forum.
01-17-2009, 10:50 PM   #3
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I'm in a similar situation. I'm 22 and I started with a k1000 about 4 years ago. Since then I bought an *ist D and had a lot of fun experimenting, but just recently I bought an enlarger and some darkroom stuff. I've already made several prints and developed a few rolls of film, I really enjoy it. The tones and textures, even while learning, make digitals seem "blah".

If you want to really dive into it, check craigslist or maybe ebay for a simple enlarger. I got mine for 70 USD and it came with about 100 sheets of older fiber based paper, some toning filters, a huge lightbox, 2 beakers, 2 thermometers, a digital timer, expired chemicals, and a roll of ilford fp4+ (which I just got done developing). I bought fresh chemicals, a 40 pack of ilford RC paper, a developing tank, trays, and a safe light for about 100 USD at a local camera shop.

Anyway, even if you dont want to develop it yourself, I would definitely do it, film makes you think about each shot instead of firing away like on digital. It makes you a better photographer. Make sure you take your film to somewhere that knows how to develop real b&w film (not the fake C-41 process b&w films).
01-17-2009, 11:09 PM   #4
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First of all, there are plenty of photographers still using field cameras that became outdated towards the beginning of the last century using huge sheets of film still readily available so I wouldn't dig a grave for film, oh, in our lifetimes.

To answer your main question, heck yes! Give it a shot. Your digital lenses wont work on film gear but any Pentax lenses you purchase for your film gear will work on your Pentax DSLR(s). As you said, you can get an old film camera for a song on e bay or elsewhere. Get one that comes with a lens or two and you're good to go right out of the box. You can start with a CN black and white film and get it developed at any local drugstore that develops color film. Also, they're coming out with new films yearly. For color, try out Kodak's new Ektar 100 and you may find your digital sensor lacking an image quality that only film can create.

Try it out and have fun!

~Morgan

01-17-2009, 11:48 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Morgan Quote
...As you said, you can get an old film camera for a song on e bay or elsewhere...
Better hurry though...prices for clean manual film cameras seem to be inching up. I was outbid today on a clean Ricoh Singlex TLS. The Ricoh was the last version and it did have the fast lens, but I still thought I was being generous with a bid of $62. Wrong again...it went for $86 with the final bid being a snipe in the last 9 seconds of the auction. It may be that the price was influenced by another listing for a similar camera with 50/2 lens with a BIN price of $125.

Pretty good for a camera that could be had for as low as $99 in 1970...

Steve
01-18-2009, 12:13 AM   #6
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Wooooooooow...I got my Sears TLS and lens for under $40 shipped And the lens is absolutely like new but for a nick where someone must have set it on something rough like pavement.

But back on topic...now is the time to start film. One of my local stores moved (literally) across the street but doesn't stock film stuff anymore. Luckily we still have B&H, freestylephoto, frugalphotographer, etc for our needs. Add to that...people are "dumping" their old cameras they find in their parents house, offer for $10 at a garage sale...even saw a Spotmatic with 50/1.4 at St. Vinny's for $30.

Locate an Epson scanner such as the 4490 or its newer brother, the V500. You don't need a dedicated scanner unless you're making money from it. My 4490 was $63 from a member here, so that doesn't have to break your budget.
01-18-2009, 01:28 AM   #7
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i've switched to film. i have more fun using it.
at least give it a shot w/ a few rolls and see if you like the results.
01-18-2009, 06:09 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Morgan Quote
Your digital lenses wont work on film gear
not really true - "digital" lenses will work just the same, but possibly with somewhat reduced image circle.
also, since DA lenses don't have aperture ring, bodies that can't control aperture in-camera are stuck with fully closed aperture - not really useful.

i've been using DA18-55 kit lens on P5 film body for quite some time, with no problems. only drawback is vignetting below ~24mm.

and yes, take the dive, using film equipment is really fun, it forces you to think a lot more, making you better photographer.

01-18-2009, 06:40 AM   #9
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In many cases, you can get film equipment much cheaper somewhere locally, than ebay. Ask your friends, check local commision stores, yard sales etc. Some people just dont need them and almos trow it away, to fre some space, in contrast to those on ebay who are there to make some money.

Just try it out.. First try can be, any film SLR, with 50 prime (5..10$) + some cheap color neg (1$) scanned and developed at local photo salon, just to try out the gear. Then you can try something more serious. Using film seriously can be more expensive than digital, but is much more fun to use. Also, the pictures have some special look.

Attached picture, taken with Zenit-E + Helios 44 (12$) with some cheap fuji neg. ISO100 (<1$) and scanned and developed in local photo salon(~1$).

Last edited by ytterbium; 05-11-2009 at 11:10 AM.
01-18-2009, 06:57 AM   #10
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I'm 27 but in a similar place regarding lack of film knowledge. I have a hard time slowing down when shooting since I know I can bang out 3 or 4 frames, find one I like, crop it, tweak it, and get a usable pic. I feel like film will force me to slow down and be more thoughful.

Agree on looking in unusual places - I threw out a WTB post on a motorcycle forum I frequent and had people offering me all kinds of stuff, some of them only wanting me to cover shipping. I ended up spending a fair bit of money but got two complete setups with some nice glass and accessories included.

I'm planning on just shooting film first, but would like to grow into developing it as well. Should be a good summer.
01-18-2009, 07:26 AM   #11
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I'm 22 and since I had a look at a kodachrome or a fuji velvia slide ( before 10-15 years or so ) I hardly want to touch my digital camera ( K100D ) , in fact any digital camera.

Shooting film is not THAT expensive . Get some expired fuji velvia at 2 usd per roll ( ebay ) or even some cheaper film and some BW and scan them at home .

Since then I have found ways to post process in photoshop to simulate the film look . BUT it never looks like film

So get some good slide film ( like fuji velvia ) , some BW film , a cheap film camera with a fast lens ( 50mm F/1.7 if you don't already own one ) and a scanner . You shouldn't pay more than 100usd for all those . And remember ebay is your friend.
01-18-2009, 07:40 AM   #12
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Ken Rockwell, the loved/hated (mostly hated ) photo blogger has of late rediscovered film. I don't read him very carefully or put a lot of stock in his opinions, but he did give a very good & accurate review of the Pentax M 100 f/4 macro a little while ago, and he makes some good points in this Why We Love Film essay. Check it out, it's got me thinking about dusting off the box of lens-carriers - er, Pentax camera bodies - in my basement.



.

Last edited by jsherman999; 01-18-2009 at 09:11 AM.
01-18-2009, 08:42 AM   #13
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I seee from your signature that you already have a few lenses that will fit cameras of the MZ line and if you do not mind manual focusing in the M-series or in the P-series (I do not know if they have aperture rings)
If you plan to get into film get a MZ-7 or an MZ6/L which will be somehow similar to what you are using now and will make transition easier.
Also the MZs can be found for 50-60 euros

If you decide to go for the manual focus deal, get a ME Super or a MX


QuoteOriginally posted by fabledviper Quote
Hi all,

Having grown up in the digital age (I'm 21)I feel like I have been spoiled when I see all of the work (and expense) that goes into shooting film. I did use film cameras when I was younger but it mostly revolved around fujifilm disposable 35mm and Kodak 110 film. When I look on eBay and see some of the greatest film cameras of all time going for peanuts I am tempted to pick one up, order a box of B&W film, and learn photography the "old fashioned" way. I know that film will not be around forever so I am wondering if anyone thinks this would be a good idea, or has any other advice, while I still have the opportunity.

Regards
01-18-2009, 09:49 AM   #14
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Thanks for all of the replies everyone! After reading the posts and seeing the beautiful example pested by yitterbium I think I will adventure into film. I have been looking very closely at getting a Pentax KX and going the manual focus route. I intend to shoot mostly in black and white and I would like anyone's opinion on Ilford delta pro 100 film. As far as getting the images into my computer, is it possible to have a local photo lab just produce negatives and then I can use a negative scanner. Also thanks for the link jsherman999, I havent has the time to read it yet as I am on my way out the door to work, but I will when I return. Once again, thanks for all of the replies and if you have any more advice on making the jump to film please post.

Regards
01-18-2009, 10:57 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
...You don't need a dedicated scanner unless you're making money from it...
If you are shooting color negatives, you probably don't need a scanner at all initially. I have my film processed at Costco and have them scan to CD rather than make prints. Cost per 36 exposure roll...less than $5.00.

Steve
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