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03-17-2009, 06:29 PM   #1
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There is a bit of film on my mind

I'm off to the camera store tomorrow to look at a few SLRs. I've been thinking about 35mm film for a while now and they have a decent selection in their shop. After some online research the one that grab me the most is the MX although the KX and KM also look great. On the lens side of things I already have the M 28 f/3.5 and 50 f/1.4. I have a decent flatbed scanner that does slides and negatives which means I can print off the keepers.

Any last minute ideas or tips you can give me to aid when physically looking at used SLR bodies?

03-17-2009, 06:32 PM   #2
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If you're going from digital to film, go totally manual.

And buy eBay.
03-17-2009, 07:03 PM   #3
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Don't forget about medium format! I just developed my first roll of 120 out of 6x7 and it just brought a huge smile to my face, great looking negatives
03-17-2009, 07:14 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mk07138 Quote
Don't forget about medium format! I just developed my first roll of 120 out of 6x7 and it just brought a huge smile to my face, great looking negatives
Unfortunately I don't have MF money, just enough for a good SLR body. The lenses I have can be used on either camera.

03-17-2009, 09:55 PM   #5
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Checking that all of the body's functions operate correctly is generally a good place to start. Self timer, hotshoe (fires a flash), DOF preview, shutter at high and low speeds, mirror lock up, mirror return (not getting stuck), light meter (compare against your DSLR or a hand held light meter), etc.

Light seals and the mirror bumper foam are also worth inspecting, both are replaceable but it is not unusual for the mirror foam on older bodies to stay pressed down if you poke it with your finger instead of springing back like it's supposed to.

I like my KX, I expect I would be just as happy with an MX.
03-18-2009, 07:37 AM   #6
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Hey, the MX was my first SLR, and still going strong. My favorite thing about the camera is the cloth shutter, it's got such a lovely feel and sound to it. Despite the tiny size of the "prism-hump", it has a very high magnification finder. The focusing screen is a little darker and coarser than, say, the LX (or modern SLR's), and if you're using lenses slower than f/ 2.8 you'll notice half the split-prism will black out unless your eye is dead center.


CONS:
Film advance is a bit of a long throw, there's no frame counter when rewinding, and on mine, the ISO dial only goes to 1600. No timed speeds below 1 second, no AE, and a slightly stiff shutter speed wheel. The meter display is 5 LED's giving you -1 to +1 in half stops at your selected speed, which at times makes it a little frustrating to compare meter readings (compared to a match needle or LED display that has the indicator run up and down all the available speeds). If the light's red, you have no idea how far to go without turning rings and dials to bring it into the ballpark.

Check seals on the back, make sure the meter runs steady, and that it turns off when you push the film advance lever in from the stand off postion (mine died even with fresh batteries, indicating the contacts need to be cleaned and a connector inside adjusted). make sure the aperture coupling moves freely when using the depth of field button. Check the focusing screen for scratches and dust; it is user removable and can be clean with a blower. If the foam at the top of the lens throat is rotting, it'll be a pain in the butt. Stick a lens on and choose a shutter/aperture combo, then move the ISO dial through the range, to ensure it's synced up with the meter. Check the hotshoe and PC port, the central hotshoe contact probably needs to be scraped and swabbed.

Last edited by CSoars; 03-18-2009 at 07:42 AM.
03-18-2009, 11:08 AM   #7
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Thanks Steinback and CSoars for all of that info. I'm off now to the shop to have a look at what they have. I'm open-minded to other Pentax models, I'll see what is there. BBL with a new old toy
03-18-2009, 11:25 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ajuett Quote
Thanks Steinback and CSoars for all of that info. I'm off now to the shop to have a look at what they have. I'm open-minded to other Pentax models, I'll see what is there. BBL with a new old toy
I would also recommend you check craigslist if you live in a large city. You can get it for much cheaper.

03-18-2009, 04:54 PM   #9
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Kerrisdale Cameras has some Pentax MF bodies, including a MX.

Kerrisdale Cameras: New and Used Cameras, Digital Cameras, Video Cameras and Camera Accessories

Just call one of their stores to find out which one of them has the body you want to look at.
I buy a lot of used items from them and they are good.

Good luck!
03-18-2009, 04:58 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Kerrisdale Cameras has some Pentax MF bodies, including a MX.

Kerrisdale Cameras: New and Used Cameras, Digital Cameras, Video Cameras and Camera Accessories

Just call one of their stores to find out which one of them has the body you want to look at.
I buy a lot of used items from them and they are good.

Good luck!
That is where I went, picked up a very mint Super Program See other recent post
03-18-2009, 05:31 PM   #11
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Good choice, enjoy!!

If you need a good lab to process your B&W film, ABC on 4th Avenue in Vancouver is a good choice.

ABC PHOTOCOLOUR - LightJet Imaging Centre
03-18-2009, 05:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Good choice, enjoy!!

If you need a good lab to process your B&W film, ABC on 4th Avenue in Vancouver is a good choice.

ABC PHOTOCOLOUR - LightJet Imaging Centre
Thanks but it's a bit far, I'm in Burnaby near Metrotown, just started to call around to see what local places charge.
03-18-2009, 06:32 PM   #13
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Well, I called 3 places for just negative processing, no prints;

London Drugs = $5 (c or bw)
FotoFun = $10 c, $18 bw (!)
Black's = $7 c, $9 bw (bw takes a week as they send it off to a third party)

Looks like London Drugs is the cheapest. However, being pretty new to the film scene in terms of use how much difference is there in processing? Not prints, just developing the negative.
03-18-2009, 06:36 PM   #14
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Color print and (traditional) black and white use completely different processes--to the point that running a traditional B&W film through a C-41 (color print process) machine will result in a blank, clear strip of plastic!

So, to answer your question, there's quite a difference in the processes.
03-18-2009, 06:51 PM   #15
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Thanks Stevopedia for that info. I'll be sure to ask if they have a proper process for the B&W film.
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