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Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 6 Days Ago  
Film developing 101
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 28
Views: 1,018
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.
Richard.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 03-05-2019, 10:21 PM  
Film developing 101
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 28
Views: 1,018
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.
https://www.ilfordphoto.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Processing-your-fi...white-film.pdf
Beginners Guide to Processing Film - Ilford Photo

Finally, there is a basic Kodak guide, and lots more Kodak information you can find by googling:
http://imaging.kodakalaris.com/sites/prod/files/files/resources/AJ-3.pdf

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: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 03-05-2019, 09:40 PM  
K50 went black
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 4
Views: 347
Lee, my K-50 developed the aperture block problem a couple years ago, which was a great disappointment to me as I really liked the K-50. I had been using it for about 3-4 years. I hope this does not turn out to be the problem for your camera. However, in my case there was a silver lining on that rain cloud. After trying to get my K-50 repaired and that not working out, I decided to get a K-70 to replace it, in a kit with the 18-135 lens. I've been very pleased with both camera and lens. Although it cost me money to make this upgrade, in some respects I consider the demise of my K-50 a fortunate accident, as the K-70 is superior in many ways, yet it preserves many of the things that I really liked about the K-50. Good luck to you, and I hope you continue to enjoy shooting with a Pentax.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 02-27-2019, 06:49 PM  
What autofocus film camera to get?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 20
Views: 882
I have both the MZ-S and the PZ-1P. I agree that the PZ-1P handles more like a DSLR (like my K-50 and K-70), that's one of the things I like about it. Those dual control wheels and hyper modes are the best way to control, my K70 does it the same way. The MZ-S control dial is a little more awkward to adjust, and it is really more of a Tv adjustment though it does allow you to change exposure even if the lens lacks an aperture ring. The PZ-1P feels great in the hand. I added an inexpensive grip-strap to mine which is even better. It is heavier than the MZ-S, but still about the same weight as my K-70. In some features the PZ-1P has better specs than the MZ-S.

People complain that the MZ-S is expensive, and it is more expensive than most used film cameras that I've purchased. However, I got mine for $239 plus shipping from Japan, about what I might spend on a digital point and shoot. My PZ-1P was $70, about the average for them at the time. I was prepared to spend what the MZ-S costs because of it's significance in the Pentax line. I later got the BG-10 grip (which is really nice, especially for vertical operation) and the SMC Pentax-FA 24-90mm F3.5-4.5 AL [IF] lens that was the original MZ-S lens. Both of those accessories were a bit expensive as well, but I'm glad I have them to use with my MZ-S.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 02-20-2019, 07:36 PM  
Tmax, Tri-x or Ilford HP5?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 57
Views: 2,057
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 02-20-2019, 07:03 PM  
What autofocus film camera to get?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 20
Views: 882
Of the Pentax AF bodies that I have, both the PZ-1P and the ZX-L can use modern AF lenses that don't have an aperture ring in all exposure modes, so I would recommend them. The PZ-1P is an older body and heavier, but has great great specs (shutter to 1/8000 s, etc.), great ergonomics and is a pleasure to use. Is is not that expensive on the used market and is not prone to a lot of problems (other than the pop up flash spring failing, and the base plate cracking, so try to watch out for that in purchasing). The ZX-L is newer, also has good specs (and can do either TTL or P-TTL flash) and small and light. However, the ZX (MZ) line has a known issue with the mirror motor gear splitting after a number of years, and it is not an easy fix. Mine is still working though, so far. The ZX-5n and the MZ-S can use modern lenses without aperture rings as well, but only in P and Tv mode. In Av or Manual mode you'll be shooting wide open. Incidentally, the more modern AF lenses that do have aperture rings can be used with both AF and MF Pentax bodies. I often use my SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 with Macro on my Super Program, manually focusing it, because it is such a nice compact lens and has "A" mode on the aperture so I can use it in all exposure modes on the Super Program (P, Av, Tv, M).

---------- Post added 02-20-2019 at 08:11 PM ----------


Hey ZombieArmy, there is a Pentax Forum Marketplace ad right now for a ZXL with grip and a matching silver 28-80 lens for like US$45 which is a good price. Why not try it? It's great to have that grip, I have one and it feels great on the camera. It give you the option of using 4 AA cells instead of the CR2 li-ion batteries. It adds a little weight but not much and the camera is very light to begin with.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 02-10-2019, 12:33 PM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 5,974
Views: 716,837
Wow. Where exactly in the picture is the mirror motor gear?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 02-05-2019, 11:16 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 18,711
Views: 2,267,804
I do like the Plustek scanner. Unlike my Canoscan 8800F flatbed, I'm able to scan to the grain in the image.

I usually do clean up dust and such in Lightroom, but I didn't bother in this roll at all. If I decide to make nicer versions I'll clean them up. On this shot, though, the only pronounced dust speck is the one to the left of the bowl. The white spots you see on the balls are reflections of the windows in my room from the shiny surface of the balls. It is not a "straight" scan, I always adjust contrast, sharpness, etc. in Lightroom, my straight scans are very "flat" coming out of Vuescan.

This was just a 10 exposure test roll, first one I did with a new 100 foot bulk roll of TMAX400, first one to use a "new" Lloyd bulk loader, first try with some new old stock Kodak Snap-cap cartridges, and of course first roll I ran through the ZX-5n after repair. I was more concerned about some streaks I saw on the last few frames (closest frames to the leading edge of the new TMAX bulk roll). I didn't retouch those out either on the entire roll I posted on Flickr. TMAX 400 test in Pentax ZX-5n | Flickr
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-31-2019, 08:32 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 18,711
Views: 2,267,804
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 Film SLR Discussion 01-29-2019, 06:17 PM  
Pentax field cases
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 9
Views: 777
Yes, I've purchased several times from Pacific Rim, great vendor. My most recent - a box of 10 Kodak Snap-caps, NOS.
I've seen the link you attached and have been watching for the cases they mentioned, but never seen any.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-29-2019, 12:00 PM  
Pentax field cases
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 9
Views: 777
I bought that case from Pacific Rim Camera - it was listed as a case for an ME super, but I knew it would fit my Super Program. I had an original case for the Super Program, but as was mentioned above the original Pentax cases of that era disintegrate with time. The aftermarket case is very nice and is not disintegrating.

---------- Post added 01-29-2019 at 01:02 PM ----------



What case fits the ZX5n - one of the cases for the Spotmatic line?
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: 716,837
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 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: 850
Views: 35,411
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: 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 11-17-2018, 08:19 PM  
Seeking a ME Super winder port cover
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 5
Views: 387
Aw, I just sent one away for free to someone on a Facebook group who needed my broken P30T for parts. Sorry! However, I bought it not long ago on Ebay, did you check there? It was only about US$5. I bought it thinking it would also cover the drive port on a Super Program, but it didn't fit. Turns out the Super Program port is slightly different diameter, and Pentax never made a port cover for it.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 11-17-2018, 07:22 PM  
PZ-1P flash won't pop up?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 5
Views: 437
My PZ-1P, which I love using, has developed a problem. I press the little button to pop up the flash and nothing happens. The camera works fine in all other respects, including with external flash (AF-360FGZ). The pop-up flash has worked great for the 18 months that I've owned the camera, until today. I thought maybe I could press the button and manually open the flash, but the top plate of the flash fits so closely to the top cover that I can't find a seam large enough to get my fingernail in there to pry it up. I've searched this Forum and the web for guidance, and I realize that this is a common issue with this model (either not popping up, or popping up and not going all the way to full position or not going back down) and may be related to a spring in the mechanism. I have the following questions:
1 - If I force the flash up (say by using a pin or something to pry it up) will that cause further damage?
2 - Is it worth trying to swab alcohol on the release button (assuming it may be an electrical problem under the button)? I have no idea whether or not the release is initiated electronically by action of the release button (being a momentary contact) or if the button actually releases the flash mechanically.
3 - Is there a known fix for the "fail to pop up" problem that I can try? I'm not an expert at repairs, but have done some.
4 - As a last resort, is this something that an expert Pentax repair person can fix?

Please don't bother telling me "don't use pop-up flashes, everyone hates them" because I don't hate them. I like to be able to use the pop up flash on occasion, and have like the results using this one. Of course, I can just add a flash to the hotshoe, and have several Pentax flashes on hand, but I'd like my camera to work as intended if I can.

I read that one user here made a hole near the flash top plate to make it easy to move it up when desired, and wedged it up to allow flash usage when necessary. I guess that could be one alternative as well.

Thanks in advance for your advice. --> Richard.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-27-2018, 08:34 PM  
Ektachrome is back!
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 127
Views: 6,192
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, 08:10 PM  
The real truth on the MZ-S mirror motor gear?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 23
Views: 3,253
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 10-17-2018, 08:02 PM  
Super Program / Super-A Battery Drain Issue
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 14
Views: 869
My battery seems to last a good long time. I always move the switch to "L" (Lock) when not actively shooting with it - even when I'm still carrying it from place to place. I thought I read somewhere that if you leave it on Auto or any other setting it could put a load on the battery even if it is just sitting in your bag or on the shelf. Do you always put it on Lock when not using it?
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: 2,523
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 09-07-2018, 06:19 PM  
Where to get light seal kits.
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 17
Views: 3,015
I also have used Mr. Goodman's kits and instructions, and they are top notch. His instructions are excellent, and he is very good about providing help by email as well.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 08-10-2018, 07:18 PM  
AF-360FGZ on Program A/Super Program
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 9
Views: 1,443
Yes, the AF-360FGZ is quite an amazing flash. On my oldest Pentax bodies (at least with hot shoes) it can work in Auto mode. On the later TTL bodies (like my Super Program and my PZ-1P) it automatically goes into TTL mode. On the later film bodies that support P-TTL (like my ZX-L and MZ-S), it does that mode. Finally, it works just fine on my digital K-70 in P-TTL. Quite neat.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-08-2018, 08:15 PM  
Super Program and Winder ME II - not working, is it the camera or the winder (or me)?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 22
Views: 2,523
That's great news. Who did you send it to? Just in case mine needs service some day. How did you pictures turn out?

I recently got the SMC Pentax-FA 24-90mm F3.5-4.5 AL [IF] lens that was released with the MZ-S, and it is indeed very nice on the MZ-S body, but cost me almost as much as I paid for the camera since this is a hard to find lens. The difference between 28mm of many zooms and the 24mm on this one is noticeable. And I really like the feel of the BG-10 grip with this body - another pricey accessory, but I think worth it. I found my inexpensive aftermarket IR remote works great with the grip too. And, my latest find was a Pentax Release Timer Switch TS-110 from KEH for only $16 including shipping, sold "untested as-is." I figured that since this remote only works with the MZ-S and 645N they probably couldn't easily test it - and I was right! It works great. I'm hoping to get a 645N too some day.

If only I could find an MZ-S printed manual, I think my "accessory" list would be complete.

Here is a test roll I shot with the MZ-S. I've taken more since then, but I'm behind on uploading to Flickr.

Pentax MZ-S test roll - Do you like kittens? | Flickr
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-08-2018, 07:51 PM  
Potential PZ-1p pitfalls?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 23
Views: 973
Also, this is a good review of the PZ-1p. There are some links at the end too.

Pentax PZ-1P Review 35mm SLR – Blackest Knight Photography
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-08-2018, 07:42 PM  
Potential PZ-1p pitfalls?
Posted By OldChE
Replies: 23
Views: 973
Looks like everyone above mentioned all of the potential failings that I have heard about. I think these are minor problems, overall this model seems to be quite robust and a great value if you want a full featured autofocus body. My PZ-1P is working great and is one of my favorite cameras, with an outstanding feature set, and despite it's size and weight I find it to have excellent ergonomics. I've not had any problems with the plastic bottom or the pop up flash arm. I really like the dual control wheels. Note that some modern DA lenses (like the 50/1.8 and the 35/2.4) made for the crop sensor cameras like the K-70 work great on the PZ-1P (even though the lens doesn't have a aperture ring, you can adjust aperture with the control wheel). I also like my SMC Pentax-F 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 with Macro (1987) on this camera. My TTL flashes work with it (AF-280T, AF-200T, and the AF-360FGZ). I've not been able to find the Pentax grip-strap that was made for it, but I've found that the inexpensive hand straps you can find on ebay can be adapted to work nearly as well.

Let us know how you like it after using it for a while.

--> Richard.
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