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Forum: Pentax K-70 5 Days Ago  
My first Pentax, and I love it!
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 20
Views: 982
Interesting. If you like the grain aesthetic, have you considered an older lower megapixel camera? It'll save you a step:D
Everyone pays a premium just to get grain free....
Forum: Pentax K-70 6 Days Ago  
My first Pentax, and I love it!
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 20
Views: 982
Welcome to an amazing forum and a special brand.

Your idea to document the footsteps of your father's past is a great idea. Definitely something you could culminate in a photo book with text.

Although the K1ii is a great full frame camera for low light photography and wide angle landscapes or shallow depth of field shots, the images you shared shows a lot of telephoto and great depth of field which is well served with your APS-C sensor. Maybe consider the K3iii with total compatibility with your current lenses?
Pentax K-3 III vs Pentax K-70 Detailed Comparison.
Forum: Film SLRs and Compact Film Cameras 07-28-2022, 04:30 PM  
Disappointments - Failures - Wasted Time & Film
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 22
Views: 1,159
I've had many teachers or people that have taught me and influenced me in art and photography and one of them is Dewitt Jones. https://dewittjones.com/

He once shared an anecdote about someone in a workshop asking him, how many good shots does he get in a roll of film. He responded by saying that was the wrong question. The correct question is simply "did you get it?" In other words, it doesn't matter how many mediocre or bad shots we have but rather did we get THE shot.

When I spend a long weekend shooting many rolls of film, of course I want every shot to be a keeper, but that's not realistic and ultimately if I get one shot I am really happy with on one roll, great! If not, did I get one shot that day? If not, did I get the one shot that weekend trip? I am now at the point where my goal is to take one exceptional image every year.

But not to lower the bar, I am trying to find the best light, the best moment, the best angle, the best camera settings, etc. But even the masters in sports, science, art, literature, etc, have their ordinary par and sub par attempts and results. With film, as it is more of a financial and time commitment, we do want to minimize waste, but sometimes 'waste' is needed to give us the pain of failure, or just to warm us up to refine our vision, or to help us define when we do get that special image that we consider success.

---------- Post added 07-28-22 at 04:41 PM ----------



This image has a lot of potential in the darkroom. I'd recommend burning the sky and dodging the light house and everything below the horizon.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-27-2022, 06:24 PM  
Liquid vs. powder chems, which are better? + is Foma the cheapest?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 28
Views: 781
100' roll vs. 24 exposure rolls (based on BHphotovideo prices today). I can always get at least 27 rolls of 24 exposures from a 100 foot roll. If you normally shoot 36 exposures, the savings is less, but less is less.

Arista 100, 200, or 400: $64 vs. $5.29/24 exp. roll ($143 equivalent)
Fomapan 400: $70 vs $6/24 exp. ($162 equivalent)
Kentmere 400: $72 vs. $5.29/24 exp. ($143 equivalent)
Ilford HP5+: $90 vs. $7/24 exp. ($189 equivalent)
Kodak Tri-X: $150 vs. $8.49/24 exp. ($229 equivalent)

So in terms of cost, it is a considerable savings. But as I mentioned earlier, there are cons.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-27-2022, 02:30 PM  
Liquid vs. powder chems, which are better? + is Foma the cheapest?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 28
Views: 781
Bulk loading is by far less expensive in the long run. The down sides include:
a) The initial cost of buying the bulk loader, empty cassettes, and possibly a change bag.
b) Every roll makes you committed to that one type of film for about 24 rolls of 24 exposures.
c) You are more likely to make a mistake loading the film than a factory.
d) Most labs will not develop bulk loaded film; assume you will be developing anything bulk loaded.
e) Your negs will not be numbered the usual 0 or 1 thru 24 or 36, etc. They will have the usual edge numbers, but your first shot could be anything between 0 and 40.

You will need scissors, tape, and a light proof room:
a) Lloyd's bulk loader:
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1313619-REG/legacy_pro_63000_lloyd_35...981&

b) Reloadable 35mm film cassettes (lately the quality control on many have been poor....the felt light traps are flimsy).
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/220458-REG/Kaiser_204127_35mm_Reloada...981&

c) A changing bag if you don't have a light proof room. This is only used when initially putting the bulk film into the loader; not when loading the individual cassettes.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/70983-REG/Kalt_NP10102_Large_Changing...981&

As a beginner, I agree with others that suggest you should wait on bulk loading. There are enough things that can go wrong in the beginning as you learn, that you do not want to compound it with this extra potential. Once you "master" the other steps, and if you really like that film, then it makes sense to invest in bulk loading.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-27-2022, 12:07 PM  
Liquid vs. powder chems, which are better? + is Foma the cheapest?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 28
Views: 781
a) Essentially liquid is more convenient but powders store better and are a better value. Storage of liquid is ideally in a cool place out of the sun and with as little contact with air in the bottle as possible.

b) Prices vary depending on what region of the planet you live in. For film, Foma and Kentmere are among the least expensive and for chems, Foma and Arista. Although most of these films and chems are completely cross compatible, each brand formulates their chems to be optimized with their films. So using Foma film with Foma chems makes sense. I can and am willing to spend a bit more and prefer Ilford, as their products IMO are consistently higher quality. For someone starting out, I'd recommend getting the most affordable options, and then eventually experiment with other options later.

c) The Massive Dev Chart online is comprehensive. It's the best. Massive Dev Chart Film Development, Film Developing Database

d) Given what you stated about your needs, an M42 Pentax body makes the most sense. The only disadvantage (as you weren't interested in auto functions) is the speed of switching lenses.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 07-21-2022, 09:49 AM  
Nikon ceases all further DSLR development
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 227
Views: 6,713
Fairly sure that 99% of PF members have some concern about the future of Pentax. My take on this thread is that it's more about the concern of DSLRs being phased out by the industry.

Pentax=100% DSLR
Nikon= 0% DSLR

This could be good news for Pentax DSLR users as not all Nikonians will switch to mirrorless and many dislike Canon, and thus may consider Pentax if they know we exist.
This could be bad news for Pentax if Ricoh panics and opts to follow the trend and put all future development into a mirrorless system.

Time will tell but life is sweeter seeing the half full; not half empty.
Forum: Photographic Industry and Professionals 07-14-2022, 11:02 AM  
Nikon ceases all further DSLR development
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 227
Views: 6,713
As a Nikon and Pentax system owner, I understand the move but think it's short sighted. Although many will switch from DSLR to Mirrorless, many, like me, will not. I hope Ricoh understands this. They will get many new Pentaxians.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again, there really is a market for an entry level DSLR. Produce a DSLR at the price of an average cell phone and a new generation of photographers will grow into the advanced and flagship models.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 07-09-2022, 09:12 AM  
Recommend me a decent UV filter?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 34
Views: 1,414
a) A lens hood will still offer some protection if you're shooting only one car and there is flying micro debris coming from your side.

b) This situation is not unlike shooting in a dust storm or a windy beach. The filter will get pitted, scratched, and damaged, and if you don't want to break the bank, your best bet is getting the least expensive multicoated clear filter and replacing them often vs. a higher quality filter that gets pitted but is not replaced because of cost.

c) Ideally you would have a case for the camera. Back in the day, I used Jacobson sound blimps, but Pentax cases were rare, so you may want to find a customized solution to protect the entire camera.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 06-29-2022, 12:59 PM  
Budget camera body upgrade: K-5/K-3/K-70?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 45
Views: 1,781
The K3 and K70 are the better of the three, so here's a good comparison if we eliminate the K5:
Pentax K-70 vs Pentax K-3 Detailed Comparison

The best value for the money is going to be the best used camera to do what you need that will last the longest.
Best low light? K70
K70 is newer by a couple years and as it's not the pro level like the K3 was which means the shutter count will probably be lower in a used K70.
Although the K3 is built for more actuations, it is more likely to have been used much more. I would avoid a K70 with more than 35k actuations and a K3 with more than 70k actuations.

Our school owns and uses a K70 and many of my students have owned K70s. None have had problems. In fact the K50 known for solenoid problems has (knock on wood) not been a problem with my son's K50 which he's owned since new.

Look at the link comparison. Although the K3 is an excellent camera, I think the newer K70 will serve you better on a budget.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 06-27-2022, 04:59 PM  
Disposal of film processing chemicals in 2021
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 59
Views: 3,000
From the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet):
Ilford Multigrade Developer: Hydroquinone: Carcinogen and Mutagen Category 3. Risk of serious damage to eyes. Very toxic to aquatic organisms.
Stop Bath: Irritant to eyes.
Hypam Fixer: Contact with acids liberates toxic gas. May cause harm to unborn child. May impair fertility. Risk of serious damage to eyes.

The silver in used fixer "...may cause a gray discoloration of the skin, hair and internal organs. Additional symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea."
Exposure to cobalt can lead to tinnitus.

https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/heavy-metal-poisoning/

Are there photo chems that use cobalt chloride? I know that cobalt (blue) and cadmium (yellow) are hazards for painters.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 06-22-2022, 01:50 PM  
Aluminium case for long term storage?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 14
Views: 766
a) Yes, a used case probably comes with other things like mold, so I would remove any old foam, sterilize the interior, and then put in fresh foam.
b) Yes, unless you use desiccants, an air tight case can lock in moisture and thus promote mold, fungus, and oxidation.
c) Beware that a metal case, if left in the sun, can cook the contents, even if vented.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 06-22-2022, 01:20 PM  
Disposal of film processing chemicals in 2021
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 59
Views: 3,000
Yes, the mixing together is to neutralize low and high ph so that nothing is too acidic or alkali to damage drain pipes over time. In our school darkroom we have two dilution tanks. One for the chem room where the films are process and one for the darkroom. The tanks are filled with limestone chips (calcium carbonate) and anything dumped in the sink will mix in it before leaving the building. The EPA inspects that we maintain those tanks by cleaning and replacing the limestone chips annually.

Back in the day when we used to have Cibachrome/Ilfochrome, P30 was very concentrated and much more of a concern than black and white chems. Now, the chems are fairly safe except the used fixer.
Forum: General Photography 06-19-2022, 11:12 AM  
Cameras used in space
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 11
Views: 595
Very interesting, good to know. Can you provide a link that shows or explains that he used an *ist D in space in 2003? I want to learn more about this.
Forum: General Photography 06-18-2022, 11:49 PM  
Cameras used in space
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 11
Views: 595
In that photo, the first space walk as seen with Ed White was with a 35mm film camera, a Zeiss-Ikon Contarex Special. More Nikons SLRs and DSLRs have been in space than any other, but specially modified medium format Hasselblad went to the moon.

Although Pentax cameras, as far as I know, have never made it to space, the Pentax DA* 300mm F4 ED(IF) SDM was sent into space on the Japanese satellite Kitsune 6.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-18-2022, 12:33 PM  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 6,851
Views: 933,342
I think there are several reasons in my class I am seeing more DSLR than mirrorless:

a) I email the students and parents in a couple months before the class starts. My email explains why I believe the DSLR is better for the class, although I give them the option for mirrorless. Students and parents, in most cases, read the email and understand the pros of a DSLR that I explain for someone beginning and learning photography.

b) Most of the student cameras belong to a relative or a friend. There are more idle (not being actively used by the family or friend) DSLRs than mirrorless.

c) I emphasize the importance of lenses. Most with DSLRs have multiple lenses. Most with mirrorless have only one lens.

d) Most teenagers hate sticking out from the peers. Not that they are sheep, but their post tweenage egos aren't confident enough to be different and use the only non-Canon/Nikon or non-DSLR in the class.

e) The grapevine (or in Hawaii the coconut wireless), especially in this age of social media is very active. The DSLR users see how much extra time I have to help the mirrorless to try to navigate controls on the much smaller cameras with less buttons, knobs, wheels, etc.

Not to intentionally make a double meaning, but it makes me also think, not everyone wants to be mirrorless. But sometimes folks end up mirrorless due to their circumstances.
Forum: General Photography 06-17-2022, 12:57 PM  
Bokeh..just a load of balls?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 128
Views: 5,182
I believe part of the motivation in bokeh balls is because the lens technology has gotten so good in terms of sharpness, vignetting, chromatic aberration, and transmission that manufacturers and reviewers want and need another criteria to distinguish why you should buy or upgrade your straight bladed aperture lens to the newer rounded aperture.

Yes, one shouldn't care about anyone's bokeh balls other than their own.:D
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 06-17-2022, 11:45 AM  
Are we really THAT rare?
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 6,851
Views: 933,342
Summer School Digital Photography tally:
Nikon: 14
Canon: 13
Fujifilm: 1

DSLR: 26
Mirrorless: 2 (Nikon V1 and Fujifilm XT-1)
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 06-14-2022, 08:35 PM  
Repaired P645 battery grip
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 24
Views: 3,062
I bought one from @ynnek and am currently testing it out. They seem well made and I'm happy with the testing so far.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 06-10-2022, 03:27 PM  
Disposal of film processing chemicals in 2021
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 59
Views: 3,000
Silver thiosulphate; not sodium thiosulphate.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 06-10-2022, 11:38 AM  
Disposal of film processing chemicals in 2021
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 59
Views: 3,000
In the 70's, in two school darkrooms and another at a university, there was no silver recovery. But by the 1980's when I worked in commercial labs under the Kodak ColorWatch system that later became a Fujifilm system, by law (California) we had electro static silver recovery systems for all exhausted fixer. The toxic formaldehyde used in the C41 stabilizer was a known carcinogen, but was still part of the process and not as regulated as silver waste.

As a manager of the lab, silver recovery was only done as legal requirement. The cost of the machine, the maintenance, the transport and processing of the sludge, and the final refining of the silver cost more than the recovery value of the silver. Yes, at one point there was a brief spike in silver prices, but for the most part, it was a good day when the silver recovered offset the cost of the whole process. Today our high school darkroom that I manage has a silver recovery system and the EPA does an annual inspection. If silver prices were like they were 20 years ago, it would pay for itself....but it doesn't and we are doing it for both legal and ethical reasons; not for profit.

What would I do if I had my own little home lab? I'd research to see who operates a silver recovery system in the area and befriend them to drop off my exhausted fixer. If they were too far away or refused to get my free silver, then I'd go the steel wool method.
Forum: Film SLRs and Compact Film Cameras 06-10-2022, 10:59 AM  
35mm film SLR revival wish
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 113
Views: 3,724
I teach at a private school that offers generous student aid scholarships for families who cannot afford the tuition. With that said, there are also students that come from wealthy families.

I generally see them in three categories (although in reality, it's a spectrum):
a) Thrifty, tight to the vest, spend the least amount possible, etc. However, this is often only superficial. Dad has a safe on the super yacht with a collection of the most expensive cameras that have been used, perhaps once. Never to see the light of day until the trustee's estate sale.

b) Apologetic and doesn't want the attention. Shows up the first day of class with an unboxed Leica MP and once they realize their camera and lenses are worth more than all their classmate's combined, they buy a Canon Rebel.

c) Flaunt it and groomed 3x a day. Will bring 2-3 Leicas and a half dozen lenses to class. Nothing but the most expensive and they wear it like an Olympic Gold medal. However, they do use these cameras in the same way their parents commute in a never more than 3 year old Porsche, Tesla Model X, BMW, etc. Spend more time checking their hair than the light meter.

You can be a rich, middle class, or poor snob; a snob is a snob. All this to say, the Leica MA Titanium will be one person's trophy or another person's silver spoon.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 06-09-2022, 07:47 PM  
Disposal of film processing chemicals in 2021
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 59
Views: 3,000
Yes, for a legal go around, you could dilute 500 ppm down to 5 ppm with a 100:1 dilution, but the reality is that there is still that same quantity of silver in the form of silver thiosulphate going into the environment. Yes, the toxicity is low, but the main issue I've been told by waste water management is that silver acts as an antibiotic which kills both good and bad bacterium.

To quote verbatim another forum on the subject:
Dealing with used fixer: the easiest way is to take a disposable plastic container, stuff it with a wad of steel wool, pour in your exhausted fixer, close the container, and wait a day or two. An oxidation-reduction reaction takes place between the iron and silver, resulting in partial dissolution of the steel wool and precipitation of the silver (mostly as a fine black powder, occasionally as a shiny mirror that forms on the walls of the container).

This process gets rid of the silver ion (the toxic form) and reduces it to metallic silver, which is not toxic. After the process is done, you can dump the liquid down the drain and then throw out the container and steel wool/silver. (There's probably not enough silver to be worth saving.)
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 06-08-2022, 09:38 PM  
Disposal of film processing chemicals in 2021
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 59
Views: 3,000
Most of the chems in developer and stop bath are benign but exhausted fixer is going to have high PPM of silver (typically around 400-600 ppm), far above and beyond both federal and state laws. Silver is one of the eight heavy metals highly regulated by the EPA and anything above 5 ppm is illegal and bad for the environment. In Hawaii, the limit is .3 ppm of silver.

It's good that you do dispose of it properly and legally and I applaud everyone who does the right thing. Even if no one would know, you would.
Forum: Monthly Photo Contests 06-07-2022, 11:24 AM  
Two step stair of Hope
Posted By Alex645
Replies: 7
Views: 87
Walking the streets of Vera Cruz, Mexico with 120 Ilford HP5+. In the early morning, I found this boy sleeping and locked out of his house. It touched me both emotionally and aesthetically; sad but beautiful at the same time.
I also wanted to push the creative definition of stairs for this submission because it is the minimum of a stair containing only two steps.
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