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Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 12-22-2018, 04:47 PM  
DP Review puts K-1 Mark II as second worst camera of 2018
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 872
Views: 36,441
I thought their review was reasonable. They like the Pentax brand, they liked the K-1 a lot, just not the K-1 mark II since it was not differentiated enough from the former model and some of the changes were not one's they agreed with. Seems like a valid opinion to me. Note - I don't have a K-1.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 03-14-2019, 07:25 PM  
Film developing 101
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 28
Views: 1,061
I guess since I'm almost 62 and been developing since I was 11 years old or so that I'd qualify as an "old guy." I already posted above some tutorials and advice that you don't need a lot of stuff to get started. Also, I agree with another's advice above that it is best to stick with only one film and developer combination for a while until you learn the basics. I suggest using a well-known 400 speed b&w film to start, like Ilford HP5 or Kodak Tri-X, since they offer good, consistent results, are fast enough for all-round use, and you can always find lots of experience and advice from others if you have questions. Then for a developer, D-76 is the universal standard, but for convenience sake you might also consider a liquid concentrate like Ilford DD-X, Ilford Ilfotec HC, or Kodak HC-110 as you can mix from liquid for one-shot use and not worry about capacity or shelf life of your working solution. Certainly for fixer I'd recommend Ilford Rapid Fixer liquid concentrate. That's it! You can use water for everything else.

When I first set up a darkroom 50 years ago I mostly used Tri-X and Plus-X and D-76, later branching out to some other developers, Panatomic-X film, then bulk loading some inexpensive left-over 35mm film stocks. I even tried some color slide film (Anscochrome and Ektachrome in an E-3 process), and later in college I learned color printing. When I returned to developing a few years ago, I went back to the basics (Tri-X and D-76), but quickly moved into bulk loaded HP5+ and Kodak HC-110, then explored several film types with HC-110, and then C-41 color negative processing (which is really quite easy). I'm getting ready now to try E-6 slide processing, got a new bulk roll of TMAX400 for b&w, and will be formulating my own developer soon.

If you look at the last 5 shots in this Flickr album you'll see my simple "kitchen darkroom" setup for b&w developing.

Developing B&W film | Flickr

Good luck, hope you have fun, and let us know how you make out. If you have any specific questions, I'm sure folks here (including myself) can give you good advice. I've also found that the "Film Developing" group on Facebook is pretty good as well.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 03-05-2019, 10:21 PM  
Film developing 101
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 28
Views: 1,061
You don't need a SS tank, a plastic developing tank will do (that's what I've been using for 50 years). You don't need a "litany" of chemicals. In short, minimum required is: changing bag, developing tank, two chemicals (developer and fixer; you can use water for a stop bath); thermometer; timer (I use an app on my cell phone); a film-hanging clip is handy but can also use some wooden clothes pins (I do for the bottom); something to scan the negs if you don't want to wet-print (I use a Plustek Opticfilm 8200i 35mm film scanner and recommend it highly, great quality and affordable. I got mine from B&H photo, very satisfied with them as a supplier). I leave out common household items, like scissors, spoons, measuring cups, bottles, etc. This shows you the setup I use; what I'm using today is a little modified from these pictures, but you'll get the idea:

Developing B&W film | Flickr

Here are two simple guides:

You should develop your own black-and-white film. Here?s how. | Popular Science
Develop Film at Home! A Step-by-Step Guide | B&H Explora

Ilford has some excellent tutorials; here are their introductory guides, but hunt around on their website for more. They also have a short video guide.
Beginners Guide to Processing Film - Ilford Photo

Finally, there is a basic Kodak guide, and lots more Kodak information you can find by googling:

Some specific things I use: small changing bag from Adorama; old V-8 Spash juice bottles to hold working solutions; Kodak HC-110 developer, diluted from concentrate as a one-shot developer; Ilford Rapid Fixer; water or water with a little vinegar for stop bath. I use tap water for everything except the last two water wash baths which I do in distilled water to minimize spots when drying (I use the "Ilford wash method" of repeated batch wash steps instead of running water wash). I develop at whatever my room temperature happens to be (doesn't have to be 20C = 68F, anything in the 68 - 75F range will work fine as long as you adjust your developing time accordingly). The night before developing I fill two empty plastic gallon milk jugs with tap water and leave them in my kitchen to equilibrate to room temperature (for making working solutions, pre-wash the film, and for final washes), along with a gallon bottle of distilled water (I only use a couple cups of that per roll). Use the "Massive Developing Chart" on the web to guide you in film/developer times.

Read the above, and I'll be happy to answer questions if you like. - Richard.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 02-20-2019, 07:36 PM  
Tmax, Tri-x or Ilford HP5?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 57
Views: 2,060
Sounds like you decided on Tri-X for the Spotmatic - good choice. I've used my Spotmatic since 1970, and back in the early days for me in the USA it was Tri-x or Plus-x or sometimes Panatomic-X for B&W, so you can't go wrong with Tri-X in a Spotty for traditional reasons!

Lately, though, I've used HP5 quite a bit, and now have a new bulk roll of TMAX400 and am looking forward to learning about t-grain. I've only used tmax a couple times (in 35mm and 120) but really liked the clean, fine-grained look. I like Tri-x too for that classic grainy high contrast image, it is quite distinctive, but maybe I'm growing tired of it.

By the way, I've read lots of reviews of films on the web, and I've found this one very good for comparing ISO 400 35mm emulsions.

Comparing The Most Popular Black and White 400 ISO Films

Good luck, hope you have great fun, and show us some of your results! --> Richard.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-22-2019, 08:57 PM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 5,974
Views: 717,015
Trying out my recently repaired ZX-5n autofocus, autoexposure 35mm film SLR. I got the camera for US$36 on ebay in 2015, including an FA 28-80 lens, a Tamron AF 80-210 lens, red 25A and yellow filters, and Vivitar 102 flash, with everything working and in great cosmetic condition. The camera worked for a couple rolls, then the mirror stopped half way up. I thought it was the dreaded mirror gear problem, so put it away in a box for a future consideration, and contented myself with several other Pentax film SLRs. I've been studying posts here and elsewhere on how to repair, but it seemed more challenging than I was prepared to tackle. Then I decided to take a chance - I emailed Garry's Camera here in Illinois - do you think you can fix it? He said he'd take a look. I mailed it off over the Christmas holidays. He took it apart, said it was a broken mirror lever, ordered a part and fixed it as part of his CLA cost. Turn around time including shipping was about 3 weeks, over the holidays. Everything seems to work so far.

Shown with the battery grip FG attached, along with a Pentax FA 28-90 AF lens, Tamron 80-210 AF lens, Pentax-A 50mm F1.4 MF lens, Pentax AF200T TTL auto flash, and my new Peak Designs quick-release strap mounts. It's loaded up with TMAX 400 for a trial run.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-31-2019, 08:32 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 18,715
Views: 2,268,372
Three Balls. Taken with my recently repaired ZX-5n on TMAX 400 at EI 400, developed in Kodak HC-110, dilution E, and scanned at 3600 dpi with Vuescan in a Plustek Opticfilm 8200i.
1/60s at F3.5, Tv, Pentax-A 50mm F1.4, manual focus, 1/26/19.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 02-03-2018, 08:30 PM  
KP vs K-70 - to KP or not to KP, that is the question
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 19
Views: 4,908
Just wanted to mention that I've been using my new K-70 and the 18-135 zoom for a few weeks now and I'm really happy with my purchase. I'm very pleased with the handling, compact size, image quality and features of the camera, and the lens is a definite improvement over my 18-55 kit zoom from the K50. Thanks again to everyone for the help in making my decision.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 11-18-2018, 10:01 AM  
PZ-1P flash won't pop up?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 5
Views: 437
Thanks very much, good to know!

---------- Post added 11-18-2018 at 11:01 AM ----------

Thanks, I'll try holding it upside down.

---------- Post added 11-18-2018 at 11:03 AM ----------

Thanks! I wasn't aware of US Camera for parts, looks like a great resource. Also thanks for the suggestion at looking at repair strategies for other Pentax models, that may give me some good ideas.

---------- Post added 11-18-2018 at 11:04 AM ----------

Thanks, good idea on pushing on the back to force it up, I'll try that.

---------- Post added 11-18-2018 at 11:37 AM ----------

OK, some progress! I held the camera upside down while pushing the flash pop button, and the flash opened just enough for me to get my finger on the seam and raise it up all the way. Once raised it stays about 95% up when returned right-side-up, and the flash fires correctly. When I push it down it re-seats. I can pop it up again, but only if camera is upside down. So, I can use it in current form, and might even consider putting a foam spacer to hold it up all the way as another Forum member said he does with his PZ-1P. However, I can see a loose spring inside the flash housing (may be attached at one end still) - right in the center (I expected it to be at the side?). I'm concerned I might loose the spring if I just pop it open and use it this way.

Have any of you disassembled the PZ-1P? I do have parts lists and a service manual I found on the web, and found some description of what screws to remove to get the top cover off. I know about the dangers of stored energy in the flash capacitor.

My wife says I should just send it to an expert, even though it would cost a lot more. I've fixed a few old cameras, but I do have a Petri Color 35 still in pieces because the shutter wouldn't cock when I reassembled it. The shutter worked fine before disassembly, I completely re-did the meter wiring and repaired the battery box with a new terminal insulator I 3D printed myself. The meter works like a charm now, but if I could only figure out what I did wrong on the shutter linkage I'll be all set.

--> Richard.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-27-2018, 08:34 PM  
Ektachrome is back!
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 127
Views: 6,195
Just got my first Ektachrome roll from the FPP! (Well, first of the new Ektachrome. I used it a lot in the '70's and '80's.) What Pentax camera should I use with it? I've got my Spotmatic, K1000, Super Program, PZ-1P, ZX-L, or MZ-S. I'm leaning towards the MZ-S (2001 release), since I understand that the new Ektachrome is similar to the Ektachrome emulsions sold in the early 2000's, and that is when the MZ-S was the top Pentax SLR. I'd like the film and camera to have some historical connection. Also I recently got a SMC Pentax-FA 24-90mm F3.5-4.5 AL [IF] lens, which was released in 2001 along with the MZ-S, so I think this combination would be appropriate for the new Ektachrome 100.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-17-2018, 07:50 PM  
Super Program and Winder ME II - not working, is it the camera or the winder (or me)?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 22
Views: 2,524
Just wanted to add to this old thread - I did eventually get more flashes for my Super Program - I now have the AF360FGZ (autozoom, bounce, P-TTL, TTL, Auto, and manual), the AF280T (bounce and swivel, TTL, Auto, manual), the AF200T (TTL, auto, manual), and the AF160SA (auto, manual). All give automatic exposure with all my Pentax cameras, both film and digital (except for the Spotmatic, no hot shoe, so I use my old Vivitar Auto 252 with that one).
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-17-2018, 08:10 PM  
The real truth on the MZ-S mirror motor gear?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 23
Views: 3,255
Thanks for sharing your experience, this is good to know. I very much enjoy my MZ-S, which is still working and I hope it continues to do so - same with my ZX-L. However, my ZX-5N failed, so I know what this gear motor failure is like.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 02-20-2018, 07:56 PM  
IR remotes and cable remotes for MZ-S
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 10
Views: 1,053
Thanks, it sounds like from other comments the F remote will work. I think I can get it cheaper on ebay than Amazon, but good to know.

---------- Post added 02-20-2018 at 08:59 PM ----------

Thanks. I do like using it, I'm not sure if it is my favorite though, I tend to like all of them. I've used my Spotmatic since 1970, so that is my old friend. I also have now a K1000, PZ-1P, ZX-L, Super Program, and the MZ-S, and a new K-70 as well.

---------- Post added 02-20-2018 at 08:59 PM ----------

Thanks. I do like using it, I'm not sure if it is my favorite though, I tend to like all of them. I've used my Spotmatic since 1970, so that is my old friend. I also have now a K1000, PZ-1P, ZX-L, Super Program, and the MZ-S, and a new K-70 as well.

---------- Post added 02-20-2018 at 09:00 PM ----------

Yes, I agree. I've been picking up my MZ-S with the grip attached and shooting it without film, and it is impressive how quiet it is compared to some other autofocus, auto-wind cameras.

---------- Post added 02-20-2018 at 09:02 PM ----------

Good to know, thanks. I think I have that JC or JJC remote, I bought it for my K-50 but never could get it to work. Maybe I'll try it with the MZ-S.

---------- Post added 02-20-2018 at 09:09 PM ----------

Thanks very much for the tips. I'll look for the TS-110, though I can see it is hard to find and will be expensive if I do find one. Yes, I've had an AF360FGZ for some time and it is an impressive flash - it does TTL with my TTL bodies (like the Super Program), P-TTL with the MZ-S and ZX-L, and I can use it in auto mode with the older bodies like the K1000. I also just got an AF200T to use with the Super Program, and I've found that works in TTL mode on the MZ-S (so the camera has a TTL sensor in it for off the film exposure). Neat.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 01-01-2018, 06:10 PM  
Why am I getting TTL exposure with a AF200T and the K-70 DSLR?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 12
Views: 978
Thanks to all for the comments. Happy New Year!
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 03-15-2017, 06:33 PM  
Introduce your... film Pentax!
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 3,385
Views: 624,166
Hey, my ZX-5N recently died too, and I also got a PZ-1P! I really liked using it on the first test roll. I used expired Fujicolor 200 a friend found around their house and donated to me, and I developed the film at home. Scanning the negs now.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-06-2016, 08:29 PM  
Post your B&W Film shots
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 8,074
Views: 833,945
Pentax ZX-L (2001) and SMC Pentax-FA 28-90mm F3.5-5.6 kit zoom, yellow/green filter. Ilford HP5+, developed in HC-110 dilution E.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-02-2015, 06:35 PM  
Spotmatic D Concept - Somebody fund this please
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 40
Views: 3,575
Neat concept pictures - I think it would sell. It looks funny though without the winder arm, I would miss it. You know, about ergonomics - I used my Spotmatic regularly between 1970 when I got it as a 13-year old up through the mid '90's when I started using film and digital point and shoots for kid pictures. Just recently I started using the Spotmatic again every once in a while (it has some Tri-X in it right now), after I bought some of the Takumars on Ebay that I always wanted as a kid (to use mostly on my Sony NEX-5N and the K-50). When I use the Spotmatic, even now after all those years of it sitting in a closet, I don't really have to think too much about the controls, even though there is a lot for me to do (focus, decide what exposure approach to take, turn on meter switch, adjust f stop and shutter, check what I ended up with and adjust again if needed, frame, shoot). A very deliberate and somehow satisfying process, but it comes back to you naturally, like riding a bicycle. I suspect that as long as there is film, I'll still be using that camera.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 04-03-2015, 07:19 AM  
Nature Flower K-50 filter
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 4
Views: 683
Picture of one of my houseplants taken with the kit zoom and Pentax K-50, post processed in camera with the digital filter "pastel".
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