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08-30-2009, 09:02 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
One advantage to using the K10D is that practice is free. One disadvantage is that the combinations of settings are three-dimensional, rather than two-dimensional, as with film. By that I mean that aperture, shutter speed AND ISO can be varied by the camera as it decides on the best combination of the three to achieve good exposure.
Surely this is one of the big advantages of digital, that you can effectively change film speed with each shot.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Someone suggested I set the ISO at a fixed setting such as 100 or 400, as if I had a roll of film in the camera, and set the aperture and shutter speed manually.
That works, but is not restricted to manual mode. You can use Av or Sv this way. Set a fixed ISO, set your aperture/shutter and the camera will meter to set the final parameter.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Once an EV combination is manually set, a quick glance at the histogram will at least SUGGEST whether I made the correct choice.
Now I'm confused. How does the histogram have anything to do with your camera mode or fixed ISO?

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
I haven't worked this way enough yet to know whether I can meter K and M lenses this way on the K10D. If not, I'll use a handheld meter.
No need for a meter. K and M lenses work just fine on the digital bodies. Set mode to M, set your ISO, set your aperture on the lens. Press the green button and the camera performs a stop-down meter, setting your shutter speed. Use the dial to tweak this in order to compensate for back-lighting etc.

I use this method all the time.

(Sorry if I have misunderstood any part of what you were saying.)

08-30-2009, 10:27 AM   #32
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Oren,
As hinted above (I don't know that anyone came right out and said it), a film camera operates the same as your dSLR. Things like auto-focus, programmed exposure, and virtually limitless shots per session make things easier, but the fundamentals remain the same:
  • Composition
  • Focus
  • Exposure
A manual focus camera lacking program exposure automation will help you to consider all three factors for EVERY shot and has the potential to improve your technique. You can accomplish the same thing with your dSLR by turning off AF, setting the camera to constant ISO, and working in Av or M mode. This can be a bit of a pain, depending on what lens you are using, since stop-down metering is a little flaky on current Pentax dSLRs with non-A contact lenses and many AF lenses are poorly suited to manual focus due to short focus throw.

Which brings us back to film...

Advantages:
  • Use of manual or Av bodies encourages a better understanding of the photographic process
  • Manual film bodies are readily available and (for the most part) moderately priced
  • The better manual film bodies are optimized for manual technique (e.g. large, bright viewfinders with focusing aids)
  • Different films have different characteristics
  • With proper technique and media, film can exceed digital in some respects
  • Film characteristics can be modified during processing
  • Limited number of shots per roll and manual nature of the equipment forces attention to technique
  • Satisfaction of taking the "craft" approach to making an image
  • Final images can be made using traditional silver-based wet technique or combined into a digital work flow
Disadvantages:
  • Expense...a minimum of 20 cents per shot for color negative, more for slides, less for B&W negatives
  • Limited number of exposures per roll
  • Steep learning curve with potential for very poor return on investment (i.e. a full roll shot...no keepers...grrrrr...)
  • Local sourcing of film is becoming more difficult
  • Quality conversion to digital can be an expensive proposition
Other stuff:
  • A film kit can be quite a bit more compact than a comparable digital outfit (smaller/lighter body, smaller/lighter lenses, less beefy tripods, etc.)
  • Pleasure of using precision-made tools
  • Pleasure of having great wide-angle options for landscape work
I shot film for many years before buying my first digicam and am glad for the experience. As a result, I figure that I have a better understanding of the optical system and what to expect from a camera than I might have otherwise. Experience working with a wet darkroom and hours pouring over books by Adams, Bullock and others added an appreciation for response curves, contrast, and limitations of media (photo paper, photo printer, crt, lcd, or projection) available for final viewing.

So, regarding the suggestion about a photo course...I am frequently approached by people wanting to know what dSLR to buy their children for graduation, birthdays, etc.. I always ask them whether the kid is proficient with a film camera. If not, I always suggest that a one-term course at their high school or local junior college before investing a thousand dollars or so on digital body and kit lenses. Those courses are inexpensive and require use of a full manual camera and include basic darkroom technique. At the end of the course, the student will know, at the very least, their orientation to manual technique!

Whew! Sorry for the long message, but those are my thoughts!

Steve

(Actually considering buying a 100' roll of off-brand B&W and dusting off the enlarger again...nice enlarger...too bad it has not been used for over 10 years...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 08-30-2009 at 10:32 AM.
08-30-2009, 10:59 AM   #33
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Robin: Sorry I wasn't clearer - or maybe my thinking is incorrect.

All of the items you commented on are perfectly and totally correct.

Until I learn to control each shot, though, I'm trying to set up my K10D to behave more like an MX or KX film camera - totally manual - so I am forced to think about aperture for DoF, shutter speed for light gathering, composition and focus, as they are needed for each shot. Or shutter speed for motion capture, aperture for light gathering . . . .

Av, Sv, TAv, Green Mode - I might end up with decent Programmed shots, but I'll have learned less.

I could do this with film, but digital practice is free.

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote

(Sorry if I have misunderstood any part of what you were saying.)
08-30-2009, 12:28 PM   #34
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I have always used my Pentax digitals in either full Manual or aperture priority mode. So I agree with this approach!

08-30-2009, 01:07 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
Kudos to you for wanting to give film a try. Its not for everyone. You might like working with film, then again, it might drive you nuts. But you don't know until you try.

Cameras to consider:

K1000 - as simple as it gets. as far from a digital as you can go and still have a built in light meter. People love them or hate them.

KM - A K1000 with DOF preview and a timer. often cheaper then the K1000

KX- A better KM now with aperture and shutter speed shown in teh view finder

ME Super - an aperture priority camera that also has full manual mode. Very small, easy to find. One of the best viewfinders ever made. I would start with one of these, then if CBA kicks in buy the others.

MX- I have never used one, I am still thinking of getting one. One of the best of the era. People love them.

LX - The top of the line manual focus Pentax. It has all the features. Exchangeable viewfinder and focusing screen. VERY well built. Aperture priority plus full manual. Gorgious view finder. removable grip. But, expensive and they often need a CLA, so almsot a $400-500 body.

-------------

Film to consider:

35 mm film cameras use 135 format film.

Kodak Tri-X 400. Clasic B&W film. can be developed in all sorts of chemicals. Most labs need to send it out to be developed. Very easy to develope at home. Can you mix a good drink or bake a cake? then you can develope film. You don't need a darkroom.
Ilford XP2 super - results similar to clasic BW film, but it can be deveoloped by most one hour photo labs.

Expired discount Film. Why not? results can be unpredictable. Colours can be off. People like the ramdomness of it. Can be very cheap.

Velvia Slide Film. The holly grail of colour film. Expensive to buy, and expensive to process. Images like no other media. Really requires carfull metering.

------------

Post processing.

Have the lab scan it or scan it yourself. I get better scans then the Lab using an Epson V500. People with Nikon Coolscans get better scans then me. It depends on what level of quality you think you need. Don't get hung up on it to start. If you get into film, then get the Coolscan, and rescan the shots you like. But just to start, get the lab to do it.

Once the shot is digital, the process is the same as for images from a K10D.

Love the comment from the canon user...They don't make film.... too funny.
I have been meaning to address this from the beginning but got sidetracked.
First of all thank you for your suggestion and info about each, but the comment that really stood out was " You don't need a darkroom ". As Steve and Paul addressed, some of their reason for doing film was the connection to the craft I am like-minded. If there is a way for me to get my HANDS wet without the need of a darkroom then please tell.

I should also say I know I should force myself to use my K20 more often full manual. It is a great opportunity.
08-30-2009, 06:17 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
I have been meaning to address this from the beginning but got sidetracked.
First of all thank you for your suggestion and info about each, but the comment that really stood out was " You don't need a darkroom ". As Steve and Paul addressed, some of their reason for doing film was the connection to the craft I am like-minded. If there is a way for me to get my HANDS wet without the need of a darkroom then please tell.

I should also say I know I should force myself to use my K20 more often full manual. It is a great opportunity.
Oren, to DEVELOP film, you need to have access to a space that is lightproof

this can be either a ROOM (darkroom), or something as simple as a bag dense enough to transmit zero light (and they make these specially for photographers)

and you only need this complete darkness to take the film out of the canister, and insert it into a reel that goes into a "developing tank", once you screw the lid on the tank, you can take it out of the bag, then you do all the chemical voodoo but a kitchen sink can be used for that...

if you simply google "film developing DIY" or "develop film at home", you'll quickly realize how easy this really is, and the only hard part is loading the film "blind folded", and being accurate with your development times, but thats a matter of habbit/practice.
08-30-2009, 06:46 PM   #37
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Thanks Gooshin,
"Google" duh, now why didn't I think of that. I use google a lot so I must have had a brain fart not to think of that one, or my gray is really showing.

I just added another lens to my collection so when I do decide to jump in I will be able to use that also. Lester A. Dine 105mm macro
Didn't I say a couple posts back I told my GF I wouldn't buy anymore lenses.

Now I just have to narrow it down on the camera and start looking for a deal.
08-30-2009, 11:06 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
...I just added another lens to my collection so when I do decide to jump in I will be able to use that also. Lester A. Dine 105mm macro
Didn't I say a couple posts back I told my GF I wouldn't buy anymore lenses.
You can hide the Lester Dine at my house...I won't tell I will even drive up and get it.

Steve

08-31-2009, 01:01 PM   #39
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What Gooshin said.

The only time you NEED a darkroom is when you are doing wet process prints.

To print the negative, you are using light sensitive paper. The process requires the paper to be out in the open for its exposure, and during its development.

I think most people develope, and then scan. Kudos to those that still have the full wet process darkroom, but for most of us, it is just not practical.
08-31-2009, 01:26 PM   #40
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hey i love film myself!! most the big chain drugstores have a good choice of film an decent developement, i also have had a k1000 which is a die hard and will capture the best shots that any of these over priced digitals will. they can just digitally enhance them! now i have a a3000 that take some of the man. control away but you can get for 20 bucks off ebay. keep it film keep it real!!!
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