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Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 2 Days Ago  
Ilford PanF Plus 50
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 7
Views: 253
It’s my favorite film. I shoot at rated speed and develop in Rodinal 1:25 per Ilford’s procedure.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 07-07-2018, 05:27 PM for K-3 II is worth to have for manual focusinwhen I have glasses?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 9
Views: 418
I tried the recommended screen in my K-5, and while it was accurate even without shimming, manual focus was still dismal compared to my film Pentax SLRs. Since I don’t use autofocus lenses I gave up on dSLRs and use a Sony A7 instead. I focus by judging sharpness (no digital focus aids) and find it focuses as easy as my old LX film camera. Happy camper.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-04-2018, 02:05 PM  
Pet Peeve about Scanning?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 36
Views: 1,072
I had thought this, and tried turning off all power saving. It is also as likely to happen on the first or second image as on later ones, so sleep mode isn't the issue. It usually requires shutting the Scanner off and on to get it to communicate again, so I suspect the scanner. I'll likely try a new one when teh budget permits, but I get along with this one.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-04-2018, 10:58 AM  
Pet Peeve about Scanning?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 36
Views: 1,072
My Epson V700 is nice for batch scanning a roll, except that the Epson Scan randomly loses communication with the scanner and requires restarts. Tried a few computers, both Win 7 & 10, always a problem. Rarely it will make it through 24 exposures without stopping, more typically 2 or 3 restarts required. USB connection, downloaded latest software, issue remains. Otherwise pleased with results.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 07-01-2018, 12:05 PM  
Cult Classic Close Focusing Telephoto 2.8/135mm Vivitar Holy Smokes or Blowing Smoke?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 3
Views: 241
Unusual lens - and also unusual 6-string banjo!
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 06-30-2018, 02:02 AM  
Film Canisters
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 11
Views: 390
More useful were the older Kodak canisters before they changed to plastic. They were aluminum with a screw on cap. Different colors were used for the caps, depending on the type of film. I used to have boxes full...
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 06-26-2018, 12:23 PM  
'Stalking' a new camera for around 2 years ... ?
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 2
Views: 258
Enjoy the journey! I retired in 2009 and took up photography again after some decades. I started with SLRs in 1965 with a Pentax H1a, but in the decades since Rangefinders have been my main cameras, since working for a Leica dealer in college got me in the door. They were expensive, but I used the same camera and lenses for 5 decades. An SLR is needed for some things, but an RF is an acquired taste.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-26-2018, 06:59 AM  
Reloadable film magazines
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 6
Views: 415
The Pentax magazines are nice. I have a few including an early one that claimed to be German made.
The Nikon cassettes I have are made for their removable baseplate (RF and early F SLR) and don't have a felt light-trap, but would open a slot when the baseplate locking key was turned to lock the baseplate in place. These were copied off the Contax cassettes (as the original Nikon RF was a Contax copy).
The Canon rangefinder cassettes also copied the Contax design, even though the Canon RF was more a Leica copy.
The Leica Cassettes are also activated by the baseplate locking key, so none of these will open the light trap properly on cameras that don't have the lower locking mechanism. This would scratch the film as it would be pulled through the closed metal light trap.
When Canon changed their RF cameras to back-loading (Canon V and later) the cassettes would no longer work, and enough people complained that they added a baseplate key to later models to open the cassette, but these take a new design cassette for the Canon V.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-23-2018, 03:43 AM  
Pentax Spotmatic features in cool new Steve Carell movie
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 28
Views: 1,028
If the film setting is “early 60s” a Pentax makes sense, as it was very popular, but the SPII wasn’t out until later. If before ‘64 it should have been a non-metered model. The Spotmatic was introduced in ‘64. The SPII in ‘71.
But movies seldom get such details right, and it doesn’t affect the story.
I was once contacted about loaning my VW Beetle for a movie set in the late ‘50s, but mine was a ‘62, and I was amazed they thought of that level of detail.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 06-15-2018, 04:16 PM  
M42 adapter
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 19
Views: 579
Some of the M42 adapters have the M42 thread on an insert ring that is held in position by 3 tiny set screws on the outside diameter. If so, just loosen the screws, rotate the threaded ring until the lens aligns correctly, and tighten the screws. Typically the set screws fit a V groove in the inner ring so doing this won’t affect the lens / sensor plane alignment.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-10-2018, 02:12 PM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 5,594
Views: 640,714
I changed from Pentax to Leica in 1968, and have loved using them since, but I also wasn’t comfortable carrying them in many situations, as I couldn’t readily afford to replace them. So when the MX (and then LX) came out I wen’t back to Pentax for my carry-around cameras. Finally in the digital age the Leica M9 came out, allowing me to use the lenses from my M4 (from 1968-69 - I never needed newer Leica lenses), and operate the camera exactly like me old Leica.
I tried the Pentax K-5 to use with my larger collection of SMC-M lenses, and while the images were very good, I didn’t find it at all comparable to manual focus on the MX or LX.
Although Leica sure sounds too expensive, I was happy with the 1968 camera and lenses for over 40 years, and even in the digital age don’t see any reason to “upgrade” to every new model and lens. So on a cost-per-year it is pretty reasonable.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 06-03-2018, 06:17 AM  
Nikon Trademarks ‘Noct’ for New Cameras and Lenses
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 10
Views: 474
As noted in the link, “Noct” is nothing new for Nikon, as their 58mm f1.2 lens was sold as the “Noct-Nikkor” from the 1970s.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 06-02-2018, 09:39 AM  
Got Squirrel Shots? (In memorial of Rupert)
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 2,181
Views: 133,899
A newborn this morning, outside our Breakfast Room window under the (vacant) squirrel feeder. At least this one is closer to squirrel-size than the mamas were. Earlier we watched his mama cleaning him off, then the two Doe and his older cousin wandered off, and we assumed he had left too. When I went out and started the tractor to move garden soil, my wife made me stop before I came too close, as she noticed him still under the feeder.
Attachment 402673
He'll sit perfectly still all day until Mama comes back for him, unless something noisy is about to hit him. Last week our neighbor noticed such a newborn in her yard, then looked out later to see a large Coyote carrying it off.
Our cat will find these fawns and just sit nearby watching. He's very used to the deer - maybe he hires out as a sitter. I didn't want to get too close and scare him, so this was with a 250 mm Leica R lens on my A7.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 06-02-2018, 04:02 AM  
Fuji X-xxxxx (Adorama)
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 2
Views: 364
Notice the description ends with “test” - so likely someone was setting up a new webpage based on an old one, and it went “live” before it should have. It’s normal to design pages ahead of publishing them, keeping them off-line until the release date.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 06-01-2018, 03:16 PM  
$$$$$ony A7iii
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 182
Views: 9,200
Everyone has different ergonomic requirements. My hands are on the large side of average, but I’ve always preferred small cameras, be it an MX or 1948 Leica. I use a plain A7 as my “digital LX” for all my old SMC-M lenses, and it meets my needs. I use no native or autofocus lenses, normally meter in spot mode (select the desired spot and lock exposure), and don’t mess with menus. It does a fine job.
I might consider an A7III for the silent mode and high ISO, but can stay happy with the A7.
Now if Pentax came out with a native K mount equivalent, but with aperture sensing and auto diaphragm for the old lenses I'd jump for it, but fat chance!
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 05-31-2018, 10:01 AM  
Got Squirrel Shots? (In memorial of Rupert)
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 2,181
Views: 133,899
Few squirrels in our yard this year - I guess too many foxes and coyotes now. However, as usual the local ladies seem to like the peace and quiet of our backyard for their maternity ward. Here are a pair of "ladies in waiting." There were actually six of them laying in wait on that day, but scattered in groups of two. I guess they reserved semi-private rooms. Now we have the days-old fawns racing about the place saying "Hey - I've got legs!" - but I haven't had a camera ready for the show.
Attachment 402350
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-24-2018, 05:49 PM  
Pentax “red dot” lenses
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 9
Views: 746
The raised plastic dot on the side lining up with the release button was copied from the Leicaflex mount, introduced in 1964. Leica used a red plastic dot, which became their trademark.
I’d heard it mentioned that Pentax based the K mount design on the Leicaflex, and they do look very similar, except for the aperture sensing cams.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 05-20-2018, 04:55 PM  
Pentax Lenses on Leica Body
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 6
Views: 504
Pentax lenses should work quite well on the Leica SL mirrorless, and Novoflex even makes an adapter for it. As mentioned there are adapters to mount the lenses on M cameras, and the latest M (typ 240) and M10 offer live view, so it would be possible to focus without rangefinder coupling, but use on an SL or a Sony A7 series would be easier to use, as even the M10 live view with the "Visoflex" eyepiece adapter is rather clunky compared to an SL or Sony.
I use my Pentax SMC-M lenses on an A7, and get good results.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 05-19-2018, 04:11 PM  
The Sony a7 III Might Have Ruined Canon's Plans For Their Mirrorless System
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 19
Views: 1,130
If Canon keeps their dSLR lens mount and flange to sensor distance, the camera starts with the great advantage of plug-and-play with a huge set of Canon lenses, with no adapters (and adapter problems) needed. Sony made a "thin" camera that nicely adapts to most any lens, but they had few lenses to offer when introduced, and so sold bodies to people like me that had existing lenses (mine were primarily SMC-M). As an electronics company, they may have been happy to use the body as their main product. Most legacy camera companies (Pentax, Canon, and Nikon) were optical companies, so lenses were their focus. Thus Canon making the body fit their existing lens line makes sense.
I don't think the thin body is inherently an advantage, except to adapt lenses, and why would Canon want people to adapt other makes of lenses to their cameras - they'd rather they use Canon lenses.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-17-2018, 10:15 AM  
Using flash with mechanical bodies
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 12
Views: 825
"FP" bulbs were for "Focal Plane" shutters, as they maintain light output long enough for the shutter curtains to traverse the film gate. Many press cameras of the early 20th century used focal plane shutters, and the slow-burning flash bulbs were developed for this use. I have a Graflex Series B Single Lens Reflex 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 camera from about 1925 that took sheet film in film holders. Shutter speeds ranged from 1/10 to 1/1000 second, adjusted by selecting from 4 different curtain slit-widths and 6 different spring tensions. (Graflex actually made SLR cameras with focal plane shutters starting about 1898.)
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-16-2018, 01:55 PM  
Petition Pentax
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 30
Views: 1,466
The expertise and manufacturing equipment to make a new film camera are long gone. Remember how Pentax ridiculed the idea of adding mechanical lens aperture sensing so the K1 could “properly” use old film lenses and meter wide open? That would have been very simple compared to film transport and such, so a new film camera would be very expensive.
But if you want a new film camera, Leica still makes them, and their latest (the M-A) is even fully mechanical with no meter. They have the same issue of competing with the used camera market, as the M-A is basically the same as a 1960s M2 (or M4 which I bought in the 60s), and the still available MP is basically a 1980s M6 (which I also have).
When I coveted a new film camera, instead of Leica I got a (slightly used) Zeiss Ikon ZM, which was a new design made from 2006 to 2012. It was a joint effort by Zeiss and Cosina, but is a fine camera. However the market demand wouldn’t warrant continued production.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-12-2018, 06:28 PM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 5,594
Views: 640,714
These remind me of my first 35mm camera:
Attachment 399464
The Stereo Realist was very popular in the 1950s, and is all my dad used for 30 years. I have his Kodachrome slides now. So when I was in high school he gave me a Realist also.
The RF and VF eyepieces were at the bottom of the camera, so you used it pressed against your forehead, which made it very steady. They were quite well made, and focused by moving the film plane instead of the lenses.
Dad quit using his when Kodachrome 25 ceased. These took vertical images, slightly larger than half-frame, so needed very fine grain film. I might try some Velvia while it is still available.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-11-2018, 07:19 AM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 5,594
Views: 640,714
Likely right on Rera Pan, as there are reports it is no longer being made. I feel lucky to get a few rolls. For the old 127 box cameras it was the choice, as the exposure settings expect about a 100 speed film, so HP5 and such aren't ideal, but would be fine for Baby Rollie's and other more refined cameras. Perhaps one of the film startups will fill the void someday.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 05-11-2018, 01:48 AM  
Super Takumar 55 1.8 sharpness question
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 21
Views: 1,017
I doubt if distance is much of a factor here. In the 1960s I did a lot of close work with the 55mm SuperTak on a set of extension tubes, and got impressive results.
But flatness of field and the mid-field dip in resolution is a factor in faster lenses. The later 50 f1.4 has impressive central sharpness, but it really dips between center and edge, while the 1.8 and later 1.7 are better in this regard.
This can be seen using the lenses on digital in live view for focusing, using focus mag and trying to focus off center. In mid field you can't get as sharp a focus as center, showing it’s not field curvature but resolution dip.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-10-2018, 05:14 PM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By TomB_tx
Replies: 5,594
Views: 640,714
Back in 1949 my sister and I were given our first cameras - matching Kodak Baby Brownies:
Attachment 399206
These used 127 film and took 8 rectangular pictures. The processors normally contact-printed the film and gave a little yellow booklet with the photos clipped in, perforated so you could tear them out as wanted.
Of course they used a simple meniscus lens, but compensated a bit by having a curved film "plane" to keep the sides more in focus. (Curved sensors aren't really new.) Curving the film like that also kept it from buckling and made it more stable.
Of course, fixed focus, fixed aperture, fixed shutter speed, no flash - so outdoors shots only.
Yet we sure enjoyed the pictures we got from these.
The first films I developed were also 127, but from a later Holiday Flash (I think) Brownie. Loaded film into a Kodak plastic tank with a plastic ribbon to keep layers separate, using a guest-room closet for a "changing bag", and developed in Microdol-X. Then contact printed.
I found this one on eBay, and then searched for 127 film, which has largely disappeared in the last couple of years. I got a few rolls (B&W) from Japan, and each roll cost a lot more than the camera.
I'll try it out one of these days.

I also have a 1915 Kodak Vest-Pocket Autographic folding camera that is also 127. If I can fix the bellows leaks I'll try that also. And I have inherited two similar folding Autographics that take 120 film, so I'll try one of those also.
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