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Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-30-2017, 02:27 PM  
Analog Film versus Digital Photography
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 66
Views: 2,770
Aside from all the theory, there is a new thread on the Leica users forum where a user compares picture results from an early 1926 Leica model A (the first successful 35mm still camera) and its original Elmar 50 mm f3.5 uncoated lens, using Portra 160 film, to a Leica M10 (24mp) camera with modern lens. Not pixel-peeping, but the pictures from the 1926 lens compare quite favorably under his shooting conditions and use.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-27-2017, 09:50 AM  
Analog Film versus Digital Photography
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 66
Views: 2,770
For 40 years Kodak displayed 18 ft. X 60 ft. color transparencies in Grand Central Station in NYC. While the were originally taken on 8" x 20" negatives, eventually a number were shot on 35mm Kodachrome. So ultra enlargements existed in film days. Of course, these were positioned to view the entire mural at once, but it still shows what 35mm Kodachrome could do.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-25-2017, 04:43 PM  
Just took the plunge... Should I push to 1600?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 10
Views: 808
In the 1960s I commonly shot TriX at 1200 and developed in Acufine, which back then claimed 1200 was best for that combination, and the results were very good. (I also shot hockey with that combination, or with 2475 recording film.)
Acufine is still available, but now their charts suggest EI 1000 for TriX.
In recent years I shoot mainly Ilford films, and like HP5, but have tried Delta 3200 for high speed with good results.
But my favorite B&W is now PanF at 50 ISO. My films seem to get slower at the same rate I do.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-17-2017, 03:16 PM  
I want my Spotmatic back!
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 45
Views: 2,111
I agree. For decades I've used center weighted, spot, and incident meters (depending on the camera and which I had with me) and got good exposures with all. If you understand how each meters and evaluate the shades present, you just tweak the manual settings accordingly. I find direct manual control more capable and easier than messing with the "automatic" settings of today's cameras, because you pick the manual settings every time, so it becomes second nature.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-10-2017, 03:12 AM  
Upgrading from K1000
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 26
Views: 1,326
MX - all manual like K1000, but very small, also rugged and capable
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-09-2017, 02:47 PM  
I want my Spotmatic back!
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 45
Views: 2,111
I know what you mean - I started with Pentax in 1965 and have used manual film cameras ever since as they give full control, and in a way that is 2nd nature to me. I never got along with digital until Leica came out with their M9, which works just like their film cameras have for decades. I tried a K-5 for my old Pentax manual lenses, but it isn't ideal for that use. Finally I tried a Sony A7 for my old Pentax lenses, and it has become my "digital LX" in aperture preferred mode. With spot mode you can pick the area to meter, and the EVF lightens/darkens the scene so you see the effect of metering that spot. Then hold the exposure, re-compose to suit, and take the shot.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10-08-2017, 09:02 AM  
Pentax lenses on mirror less camera
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 10
Views: 783
I also use my older Pentax lenses (SMC-M) on an A7, and find it an excellent combination. It is much easier to hit focus with these MF lenses than using them on my K-5.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-06-2017, 12:25 PM  
Pentax in 1965
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 20
Views: 1,130
Memories indeed. In 1965 the Spotmatic was above my budget, so I bought an H1a for US $149. Still one of my favorite cameras.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-06-2017, 12:20 PM  
Pentax MX - compatible with Zeiss or Leica Glass?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 20
Views: 861
Leica M lenses won't adapt to Pentax - the lens mounts too far from the film for rangefinder lenses. Leica R lenses can be adapted with Leitax, but you lose diaphragm stop-down and open aperture metering, so I don't recommend it for a film body. (I do use R lenses on an A7 digital body.)
I'd suggest looking for a Pentax SMC-M 35mm f2.0 or 2.8. Both are ideal size for the MX and were made to work with it.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-27-2017, 04:38 PM  
What, in your opinion, is the most underrated Pentax manual focus 35mm SLR?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 34
Views: 1,807
Agreed. I have both, but also prefer the H1a - but then an H1a was my first good camera in 1965.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 08-21-2017, 05:59 PM  
Experiences of Sony A7 series w/manual focus lenses?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 10
Views: 592
I have an A7 purely for my old manual focus lenses - it's my digital MX. I prefer it to any dSLR iVe tried for legacy lenses. I don't miss IBIS, having shot without it for over 50 years. I've used Leica "R" reflex lenses from 24 to 400 on the A7, my Leica RF lenses, and mainly my Pentax-M lenses. The SMC-M 20mm f4 is great on the A7, and the Pentax M lenses are matched to its small size. The EVF is very easy to focus even without focus aids, but a button press magnifies for critical focus. After using the A7 I have no interest in a full-frame digital Pentax.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-18-2017, 04:23 PM  
The Problem with Pentax LX Cameras
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 41
Views: 2,502
I've used both Pentax and Leica since the 1960s, and when my retirement budget allows collect both (among others). Yes, the Leica M series are expensive, but the Leica SLRs and lenses are fairly reasonable. (Although the R lenses are gaining as the Leica SL can use them.)
The original Leicaflex, Leicaflex SL (and SL2) are precision mechanical marvels, and their lenses, though conservative, make wonderful images. In 1969 I traded off my Pentax and Canon SLRs for a Leicaflex SL, and still love it. I added Pentax MX as a carry-around camera when it came out, and an LX when it was new. The LX has great "feel" and meter, but in manual mode I prefer the meter readout of the MX. But when I trip the shutter of either I'm ready to get a Leicaflex out again. (Don't try one, it may change your thinking on the LX...)
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-15-2017, 10:51 AM  
LX metering questions...
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 12
Views: 603
Steve is right - the LX is not a spot meter, and would not meter just off an eye. How much of the frame did her face cover? With enough dark background a small bright area would overexpose. Also, what type of film and the processing chain to the image you are evaluating? A low-latitude slide film like Velvia would make such a scene difficult, while a wide-latitude color print film would maintain more detail. If you are judging from prints or scanned images, exposure choices are made converting from the film image to the resulting image that could produce such results even if the face had good detail on the film.
You do need to learn the metering pattern of the LX. Once you understand it, you can compensate different lighting situations.
My own preference is a spot meter like the Leicaflex SL of 1968. It has about a 5% center spot that is well designated in the finder, so you can meter an appropriate tone (manual exposure only) and then shift and frame.
Forum: Travel, Events, and Groups 08-12-2017, 05:25 PM  
Scotland trip
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 11
Views: 524
Back around 1980 a friend and I toured Scotland for 10 days on a tandem bike, carrying all our gear. So my camera was limited to a Leica CL with only a 40mm lens. (My usual kit included a 90, but space was really tight!) We started at Glasgow, up past Loch Loman, gradually to the west and Skye, back down the central highlands, a couple days in Edinburgh where the Festival was in full swing, and train back to Glasgow to catch our plane.
We arrived with no reservations, but would stop early each day at a British Tourist Information office and tell them how far we would go that day, and they would find a Bed & Breakfast or hotel for us. Never had a problem finding a place to stay.
This was in August, a wonderful trip, even riding a lot in the rain through the mists.
The Leica CL was perfect for this, and got many lovely slides.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-12-2017, 02:31 PM  
Manual vs auto focus film SLRs
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 30
Views: 1,256
While autofocus cameras allow manual focus, the focusing screens are usually not designed for focus discrimination, making it harder to judge the best focus. I find old-fashioned plain ground glass best for judging sharp focus.
Having used manual focus for over 50 years, it is "automatic" to me, and I find it simpler to just focus on what I want than to try and tell an AF camera where that is.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-12-2017, 08:46 AM  
Tripod Socket Size Pentax K5
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 8
Views: 591
The 3/8 size also used to be standard for Europe, even for small cameras. From the 1930s into the 1950s Leica and Contax were 3/8 for Europe and 1/4 for the US. Of course, these were "bottom loaders" - so only the base plates were different. Canon also made some in 3/8 size for Europe markets.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 08-03-2017, 04:34 AM  
Beginner Macro lens or tube?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 49
Views: 1,571
The SMC Pentax-M 100 f4 macro is usually not expensive, and is a good, sharp lens, usable as both a macro and nice portrait lens. Of course it is manual focus, and requires the "green button" technique on digital. The SMC Pentax-A 50 f2.8 macro is also a good general purpose (manual focus) lens that works well on digital, but is more expensive. I've used both on my K-5 quite a bit, and now use them a lot on my A7, where they are much easier to focus and use.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-02-2017, 04:38 AM  
What is your favourite b&w film?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 48
Views: 1,958
PanF developed in Rodinal gives me pleasing results, but Delta 100 in Ifotec DDx is also very nice.
While I always used Kodak films (Panatomic-X and Tri-X) back in the 1960s & 70s now I much prefer the Ilford films.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-30-2017, 05:20 PM  
Difference between Pentax KX and MX???
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 23
Views: 1,497
The MX viewfinder is VERY good and bright. Use one and you'll never like a dSLR. I even like the LED meter readout indoors, but in Texas, in normal sunglasses the LEDs are very hard to see at all for the contrast of the bright screen. The Leica M6 & R6 both have an over/under LED system, but are much easier to see in bright light. Of course, they are a generation newer...
Here's an MX- K-5 VF comparison
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-22-2017, 02:57 PM  
Ferrania, is restarting production of still and cinema film emulsions
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 55
Views: 5,276
I received my order of P30 Alpha today. Loaded a roll for test.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-18-2017, 07:44 AM  
Film woes (mistakes and lessons learned)
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 19
Views: 894
Here in Texas tap water gets even warmer, but the houses are air-conditioned, so I've found a method that works well for me. Also, we are on well water with a softener, so I consider the tap water suspect for developing. We do have an under-sink R.O. filter system for drinking water, so I fill 2 1-gallon bottles with that and keep them stored in my guest-bath darkroom with the chemistry. I use this to make working solutions for processing, so all is at room temperature (70-73). I don't use tap water for any step of film processing, as it would be too great a temperature change and might cause reticulation.
So I do use a stop bath after the developer to avoid a tap water rinse.
After fixing I use the Ilford method of film washing that saves water and lets me do it with my stored water jugs. I fill 3 beakers with water (a tankful each) before development so they are ready, and a 4th also with a few drops of flo for final treatment.
After fully draining the fix, you pour in the first rinse, and do about 15 inversions (not frantic shaking), for agitation to wash the film. Then fully drain that rinse. Repeat with the second rinse, but invert about 30 times, drain and repeat with the third rinse, inverting about 50 times. Chemistry tests show this is equally effective as a long running water rinse. After that I immerse in the very dilute flo, then hang, squeegee and let dry.
Since I normally use a single 35mm reel stainless tank, the whole process uses well less than a gallon of my stored water.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-07-2017, 03:53 AM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 5,269
Views: 568,385
The first version of the 90mm macro-Elmar-M (which is collapsible) has goggles on the macro adapter (extension). The current version no longer has goggles, after they added live-view to the digital M models.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 06-08-2017, 06:26 PM  
Mirrorless for adapting lenses?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 10
Views: 793
My M9 has just shown the first signs of sensor corrosion, which they will still replace for free (7 years after I bought it), but it is likely to take 4-6 months because of all the folks wanting to beat the August deadline. I do have an A7, and have gotten some very nice pictures with Leica M lenses down to 35 mm, but I agree the edge smearing can be an issue. I mainly use the A7 with my collection of Pentax-M lenses, and the 20 f4 is a joy to use on it. I also use it with various old SLR lenses, including Leica R 250 & 400, which work very well on it.
But I'll miss the M9, though I also shoot a fair amount of film on my film M cameras. I may well gat an M10, if I can find one before my M9 gets back.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-23-2017, 11:56 AM  
SV vs S1a
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 9
Views: 691
The H1a spot is microprism, but a grid of diagonal splits.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-23-2017, 07:35 AM  
SV vs S1a
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 9
Views: 691
The H1a was my first SLR in 1965. The focusing screen is also different than the SV, with a larger prism spot in the center, but with diagonal splits. I prefer it over the SV screen in some conditions.
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