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Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-02-2018, 07:12 PM  
Asahi spotmatic sp battery recommendation
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 28
Views: 94,847
Today I decided to confirm some tests I did a number of years ago. I don't completely trust comparisons with digital camera meters. My chief concerns are that digital camera ISO ratings can be fudged, and that "matrix" metering can behave differently from the metering pattern of old film cameras. As well, testing methodology affects results. Metering off an 18% gray card, which is considered a standard method for testing meters, will produce different results from metering off a random subject.

I used a Sekonic L-358 incident meter, in incident mode, and a Pentax Spotmeter V. With a gray card used for the spot meter, the two meters agree within about .1 stop.

I tested a Spotmatic, Spotmatic 1000, and a Spotmatic II. I used the same fresh 394 battery in all three. My results with the various Spotmatics reading off a gray card were within .1 to .3 stops of the readings from the hand-held meters. All three cameras would have produced slight overexposure.

My results were consistent with my testing from years ago. At that time I tested three different types of silver oxide batteries and observed no differences in their behaviour.

Over the years my results on film from Spotmatics have been consistent with what the meters tell me.

I used to do large format process control involving hand-held meters and densitometers, so I am pretty confident in my procedures.

|What it boils down to is that, speaking for myself, I would not hesitate to use silver oxide batteries as a replacement for mercury batteries in Spotmatic bodies. I would not worry about recalibration or use of special adapters such as CRIS.

Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 02-20-2019, 09:16 PM  
Post your B&W Film shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 9,560
Views: 1,092,636
It's good to see some Koni Omega work showing up. I've used Koni Omegas since 1987. Here is one of my earliest Kon Omega shots (Pangnirtung, Nunavut) done with the 90mm:
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-20-2018, 10:57 AM  
I have a K-x ( I love it) and I have an offer to get a K2000
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 15
Views: 1,505
I've never been able to figure out how to put film in a K2000...
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-02-2018, 07:50 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 21,712
Views: 2,756,021
That's a very fine shot.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-01-2018, 03:14 AM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 21,712
Views: 2,756,021
As a retired professional I've done regular solo shows at various galleries in my region. Also a goodly number of group shows. My shows are of what I considered my personal work when I was a working pro. I have sold a reasonable number of prints. I would not try to make a living from it. Very, very few "fine art" photographers make substantial incomes from print sales. They make most of their money from day jobs, from commercial work, of from teaching photography.

I've slowed down a lot and in future expect to do one or two shows a year at local galleries. I can do the photography but the travel and schmoozing to market my work to major urban galleries is more than I care to take on at this stage in life. However, I intend to continue making prints to please myself. For me a good print is a much more true expression of photography than an "image" on a (usually uncalibrated) monitor.

Incidentally, much of my work is on FF digital. I continue to shoot film because I enjoy the process, including messing around with old cameras. Some of the film work is good enough to show, but usually as 12x18 prints from 35mm rather than the 24x36 prints I can easily pull from FF digital. There's nothing wrong with a good 12x18 print, but these days catching audience attention is more a matter of large size than of whether the image has anything interesting to say. Once you have peoples' attention, some begin to see the qualities in pictures that make them worth hanging on their walls and revisiting many times. From my perspective, that is what has made selling my prints worthwhile.

In terms of your image, jellygeist, it's colourful and probably saleable. If it's of a well-known local landmark, that increases the odds of sales. That sort of thing can be sold at local arts/crafts fairs. Cards can also work for shots in this style. However, a single image is unlikely to carry much weight in marketing prints. As a standalone image you might get paid peanuts for it from a stock agency. If you want to sell prints, in my view the image should be part of a body of work that demonstrates that your picture is an example of a consistent artistic vision rather than a fluke.

You may want to look around and see what people are charging for prints at fairs in your area. You will probably find that a lot of them are selling cheap and nasty prints for barely enough money to cover printing and framing expenses, with nothing for their time or operating costs. It's up to you to decide whether you want to compete in that market or aim higher.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 07-20-2018, 11:28 PM  
What's your favourite vintage / film-era manual focus lens, and why?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 147
Views: 12,069
My favourite vintage lens is an M 50/1.4 that I bought with an MX in about 1981. It continues to perform well, and has some sentimental value. It's had a lot of use in extreme northern conditions. Other than that I have a good assortment of M42 lenses that I enjoy using on vintage bodies. I've mostly gone digital, but still enjoy the process of shooting film.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-18-2017, 06:08 PM  
Film woes (mistakes and lessons learned)
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 19
Views: 1,747
I've only been processing for 45-odd years, but I agree. I've used water from many different sources without difficulty. If it ain't broke don't fix it. For those of you who may not believe us, get a copy of "Controls in Black and White Photography" by Richard J. Henry. IIRC he dealt with the issue in some detail. In any case, it's a good reference book.

In terms of the effects of high temperature, 82 degrees is probably OK. Just make sure you compensate development time for it properly, and keep the temperature of the rest of the steps close to the same. One issue with some developers is that at higher temperatures the developing time drops to under 5 minutes, which makes even development problematic. Just dilute the developer more or use a less active one to increase time.

In the late 70s I ran a black and white lab for a newspaper publisher. I did lots of push processing at 85 degrees to speed things up. No problems.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-15-2017, 01:42 PM  
Post your B&W Film shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 9,560
Views: 1,092,636
I photographed this arbutus tree in a snowstorm, which was useful in obscuring distracting background details such as a lighthouse and mountains...Pentax ESII, SMC Takumar 35/2.0, Ilford FP4 Plus
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-13-2017, 06:05 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 21,712
Views: 2,756,021
Salal plants in our yard. Pentax S3, Kilfitt Makro Kilar D 40/2.8, HP5 Plus
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-12-2017, 04:57 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 21,712
Views: 2,756,021
Haven't posted for a while, but here is something recent. Made with a Pentax S3 and Kilfitt Makro Kilar D 40/2.8 on HP5 Plus.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-19-2017, 09:36 AM  
Dark Negatives
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 24
Views: 2,021
It looks to me like your main problem is underexposure. Judging by the lack of detail in shadows I'd estimate that you are about 3 stops under. (Underexposed negatives are usually described as being "thin" or "lacking in density".) As others have demonstrated, it is possible to correct to some extent in post processing. It's somewhat like "pushing" film, except that software rather than increased development is used to bring contrast and brightness to acceptable levels.

Underdeveloped negatives would tend to be low in contrast but I would expect to see substantially more shadow detail than in your examples. Note that the shot of the section of film strip that you also included appears to be adequately exposed and correctly developed, although perhaps a bit too dense overall. Perfectly useable, though.

I did note that there is some evidence of a bit of light leakage on that film strip, around sprocket holes. If you are bulk loading film, I would suspect a light leak in a cassette.

I wouldn't worry too much about using pixel shift or HDR. If you are filling the frame when copying negs, the K1 has plenty of resolution even without pixel shift. The dynamic range of modern DSLRs is adequate to handle the brightness range of correctly exposed and developed negatives.

Anyhow, you're making a good start.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-15-2016, 12:24 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 21,712
Views: 2,756,021
The camouflaged structures are there to draw attention away from the dumpster, which is actually a secret entrance to a bunker whose purpose I can't tell you about.
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 05-14-2008, 11:45 AM  
People and their cameras!
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 2,577
Views: 287,294
Part of a photo club trip in Vancouver, BC. LX, K 35/2.0, XP2.

And no, he didn't fall over!
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 05-17-2016, 08:32 PM  
Pentax K-1 Mirror slap issue?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 146
Views: 18,537
Here are some thoughts about the A7r, without hyperbole.

Before buying an A7r, I defined my requirements and did due diligence. The due diligence process took place over a six-month period after the camera was released.
As a long-time professional, that is how I approach major equipment purchases. As distinguished from my hobbyist side, where I make impulse buys of all sorts of "obsolete" lenses.

My remaining professional level work is tripod-mounted landscape photography with large prints as the finished product. All other work is entirely casual. I don't really care about AF, burst rate, etc. etc. I do need a high-quality sensor and the ability to focus manually with very wide lenses in dim light.

My due diligence included reading all available independent reviews and many user reports. In particular, I researched reports on the performance of specific adapted lenses on the A7r. My conclusion was that many of my manual focus lenses would work well on the A7r, but I would need a major upgrade on lenses wider than 28mm. I then bought a Leica adapter and went to a friendly local store where I made test shots with my trickiest lens, a pre-aspherical Leica Summilux 35/1.4. I also verified that there was nothing fatally nasty about the camera's handling, controls and viewfinder. When I examined the RAW files they met my expectations as a member of the Ancient and Honourable Order of Pixel Peepers. A month after I bought the camera, the 16-35 became available locally and, as planned, I bought one.

I'm very happy with the technical quality of my results over the last two years, and have found the camera pleasant to use within my personal parameters. As I've said elsewhere, I wouldn't recommend the A7r as a generalist photographic tool. The K-1 at first glance, and several established cameras from other brands, are better. However, in terms of my personal requirements in my dotage the A7r has been a great success.

The "performance" is not at top-of-the-line Nikon or Canon levels in many ways. This was well-known soon after release. When I researched the A7r, I concluded that for my work an approach similar to my use of medium format film cameras would be appropriate. That has proven to be the case. Fine by me. I'm not a spray and pray type.

I find the EVF and focus magnification extremely useful in my most challenging conditions.

It was widely acknowledged soon after release that the AF performance of the A7r was not brilliant. Sort of average by mirrorless standards at that point. Doesn't matter to me. I've never even bothered to try continuous AF on the thing.

I've done some very casual low-light AF work using adapted A-mount lenses. The performance was adequate. There are issues using native e-mount lenses in low light because they tend to focus stopped down, and some menu diving may be required to overcome this.

"Ergonomics" is a matter of personal preference, experience and flexibility.

I had no problem customizing the interface to meet my needs. Thousands of other people are using the camera happily. In terms of size/weight, I view the camera as modular. I use the battery grip with large lenses. If I want to go compact, I take the grip off and use my Leica lenses. This was expected, which is why I bought the grip as a package with the camera.

Lossy RAW compression strikes me as a rather goofy idea. I've no idea why Sony came up with it. That being said, I've seen no evidence of any problems in most conditions. I have seen a few examples of possible artifacts under extreme conditions. It's only a problem when it's a problem, and that is rare.

You left out shutter vibration, which is at a level that I find very weird in a mirrorless camera. On the other hand, I was prepared for it and had no problem developing simple workarounds for my applications. I can see where it could be a pain in the butt in a fairly narrow range of circumstances.

HopelessTogger, I wish you better luck with the K-1.

---------- Post added 05-17-2016 at 08:51 PM ----------


Please note that in the comment your are "quoting" I suggested sensible research. There was no mention of 6 months of intensive research or of listing all sources.

I suppose indulging in hyperbole could be interpreted as digging yourself a hole.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 04-27-2016, 12:11 PM  
Stand development - chemistry.
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 17
Views: 2,979
You might try Beau Photo in Vancouver. Beau Photo Supplies - Cameras, Equipment, Albums, Rentals

Their website is very sketchy, but I've heard that they carry quite a bit of darkroom stuff.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-16-2016, 03:59 PM  
where is the begining and end of sharpness in DOF calc, one interesting question
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 171
Views: 10,679
By definition, a plane has two dimensions, which means it has no depth. Depth of field manifests as a gradient of sharpness reducing with distance on either side of the plane of focus. That gradient has depth. Depth of field calculators are about that gradient, not about a plane.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-19-2016, 02:57 PM  
where is the begining and end of sharpness in DOF calc, one interesting question
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 171
Views: 10,679
Exactly where was I wrong in pointing out the fact that certain modern lenses have depth of field scales when you claimed out that none do? Facts, man.

At no point in the discussions have I suggested that there is no such thing as a plane of focus. In fact, I have consistently stated that the plane of focus exists- as a plane. A plane has no depth. That is the scientific definition of a plane, and is the way the plane of focus is treated in the science of optics. I will say once more that DOF exists on either side of the plane of focus, not within the plane itself.

I can't figure out whether your complete misinterpretation of my comments and those of others stems from incomprehension or deceit. In either case, that combined with the frequently nasty tone of your comments is doing a great job of destroying your credibility. Carry on!
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 03-27-2016, 12:02 PM  
New glass - old glass. Which lenses should Pentax revisit?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 204
Views: 22,355
I too like the idea of revisiting old lens designs. Unfortunately, due to EU regulations, there is considerable uncertainty about the future of leaded glass, which was used in old lenses. If I were Pentax I would not invest in old designs before this is sorted. See this article: RoHS recast: implications for optical materials
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 03-26-2016, 06:43 PM  
Are the extra dollars worth the upgrade to the full frame sensor?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 54
Views: 5,136
Perhaps you should not assume that the term "well executed" means only images shot in perfect lighting. That is your definition, not mine. There is vastly more to it than that. I really can't see how you managed to interpret my comment as you did. Kindly do not tell me what I need. After over 20 years of professional digital imaging, I think I can make that judgement for myself.

As you noted, your 10,000 ISO example is "pushing it". It represents only a small part of the broad spectrum of photography. There are extremes at which one format is better than the other. There is also a very large overlap in which both will produce excellent results.

No, I did not go FF for what you call downrezzing. I use the full resolution of the sensor to produce large images for sale in art galleries. I chose an A7r because it allows me to adapt some excellent MF lenses that cannot be adapted to Pentax, and I already owned, making the FF transition relatively affordable.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 03-24-2016, 01:14 AM  
Are the extra dollars worth the upgrade to the full frame sensor?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 54
Views: 5,136
Speaking as someone who has used an A7r intensively for two years, I cannot agree that the K-1 will be "miles ahead" of the K-3ii in terms of real world image quality. A 24 megapixel, no AA filter sensor is perfectly capable of producing excellent large prints. In the real world the differences between well-executed images from the two cameras will be fairly subtle. The extra resolution of a 36 megapixel sensor is nice, and does improve the rendering of fine detail somewhat, but that's all.

I do see the K-1 having advantages in terms of a larger viewfinder, better image stabilization, robustness in tough conditions, and shutter longevity. It appears to be the basis of a very solid system that will serve many people well.

I got an A7r because it works beautifully with a number of my lenses that cannot be adapted to Pentax. I also find the EVF very useful in situations that occur often in my work, such as manual focus with ultrawide lenses, in deep forest under heavy overcast.

I may pick up a K-1 in a year or two if it meets expectations.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-04-2016, 12:17 AM  
Why do you still shoot manual film SLR?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 142
Views: 15,918
I use fully manual cameras regularly because after over 40 years I still enjoy the process. I've been in to Pentax gear since 1973 and am enjoying going senile at the same pace as my cameras. Most of the time, though, I work with an A7r, often with adapted lenses.

I don't have much experience with Pentax cameras as weapons. However, it seems to me that a 6x7 with the wooden grip would make an excellent club. They work quite well for making photographs, too. Used one for 20 years.

For serious 35mm work I like the KX, using the MLU function on a tripod. For hand-held use I enjoy the MX equipped with a winder. I play with a wide assortment of Pentax manual bodies in a loose rotation. I don't get very excited about the virtues or vices of particular bodies. They are all old and interesting to explore as pieces of photographic history. Operating an S3 with a clip-on meter is a great reminder of how far cameras have progressed in my lifetime.

Digital is technically superior to film, but film has character that I like for some subjects.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 03-08-2016, 07:18 PM  
36mp be careful what you wish for!
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 111
Views: 9,049
Correct. Part of the confusion arises from people with limited knowledge, operating on experience with perhaps one fast lens, with expectations created by inaccurate online claims about some lenses being sharp across the frame wide open. I subscribe to the view that corner sharpness when shooting wide open is largely unattainable and usually irrelevant.

What it boils down to is chosing the right tools and techniques for the job. It's just that some people have trouble understanding that photography is a very diverse field with a multitude of jobs.

If people get their jollies shooting wide open, that's great. However, a few assume that the photographic world revolves around that particular technique. It gets a bit tiresome after a while.
Forum: Pentax Full Frame 03-08-2016, 06:13 PM  
36mp be careful what you wish for!
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 111
Views: 9,049
Sharpness to corners matters when it matters. Your personal style may not require such sharpness. Others have different requirements. If you look at the work of Ansel Adams or Edward Burtynsky, you will find that sharp detail across the frame is an integral part of their artistic approach.

Before I retired I did a good deal of photography for museum exhibits. One of my last projects involved large format film work for backgrounds for dioramas, printed 12x15 feet. The project was for an internationally known designer who, of course, expected sharp corners. Much of that work was done well north of the Arctic Circle in winter conditions. The corners were sharp, even though at times I had to use my fingertips to melt frost from the corners of the ground glass to check focus.

These days highly detailed 2x3 foot prints are my most shown personal work.

Much high-end commercial work requires a high level of sharpness.

Please do not be dismissive of matters such as sharpness simply because they fall outside your personal stylistic universe.

In terms of older lenses, I've done quick tests of a good many on my A7r. A substantial number have performed at a very good level, including a number of Pentax lenses. I used a K 100 macro yesterday with excellent results. (My main MF lenses on the A7r are a nice little set of Leica lenses that I've used for about 30 years.)
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-29-2016, 05:19 AM  
Who has a RICOH K-mount? Here's mine.
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 49
Views: 9,356
This is my Ricoh XR-1s, which I bought in 1979 shortly after I started my first full time photographic job with a small newspaper publisher. The company's gear was junk. I had ambitions, so I decided to use my own gear. (I went on to work elsewhere for many years as a salaried pro using Nikon gear, staying with K-mount for my personal work.) I chose the Ricoh because it had a relatively fast power winder, its Copal Square shutter was good in cold weather, and it was affordable. Used it quite heavily for about 15 years. Between extreme cold and plastic-eating insect repellents a few plastic bits fell off, including the self timer lever. I think the rewind knob is from an ME. The lens came with an MX I bought a few years later.

The camera has never needed repairs, other than one DIY cleaning of meter switch contacts and light seal replacement. It still works fine. I use it once in a while.

IMG_0020 by John Poirier, on Flickr
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-24-2015, 04:47 PM  
Post your B&W Film shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 9,560
Views: 1,092,636
Hi. Haven't posted here for a while as I've been very busy with new digital work. This is from the fairly distant past- a Garry Oak tree shot in 1988. Given the date, it was probably shot with an M 28mm.

88-02-n-002 by John Poirier, on Flickr
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