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Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-16-2019, 08:38 AM  
Film contrast problem
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 11
Views: 893
Your images look far more grainy than XP2 should. In particular, note the grain in the shadows in the first image. I suspect that the film may have been processed in black and white chemicals rather than C-41.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-10-2019, 02:23 PM  
Variable aperture vs constant aperture zoom lenses
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 22
Views: 1,786
That should work well enough. However, I'm not familiar with that particular lens. Some inexpensive lenses are not great at the extremes of their focal range. You'll just have to try it and find out. Of course, the amount of high ISO noise depends on sensor performance. It's up to you to decide how much noise is acceptable. With my current gear I often use ISO 800. I've been happy with that in print sizes up to 24x36 inches.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-10-2019, 12:35 PM  
Variable aperture vs constant aperture zoom lenses
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 22
Views: 1,786
Many years ago constant aperture zooms were significantly more useful than variable aperture in certain situations. Before the days of TTL flash, it could be a pain to be constantly guestimating aperture settings to compensate for variable aperture zooming. The same is the case when using hand-held light meters. It was particularly inconvenient in fast-changing situations such as news photography. I think this is the main reason for fixed aperture zooms becoming the professional standard. As the professional standard, fixed aperture zooms have tended to be better built than variable aperture.

There are advantages to a 2.8 maximum aperture vs. the 3.5 or 4 common in variable aperture zooms for low-light work. This has become much less of an issue with modern sensors' high ISO performance.

I don't think fixed aperture lenses have any more potential for high optical quality than variable aperture. I have used some very good variable aperture zooms. From my perspective as a retired professional I see little value in the expense and size of fixed aperture zooms for most applications.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 02-20-2019, 09:16 PM  
Post your B&W Film shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 9,569
Views: 1,093,223
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 Film SLR Discussion 11-22-2018, 02:36 AM  
Post your B&W Film shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 9,569
Views: 1,093,223
I remember using the special paper a bit. It was called Panalure. I thought it was pretty nasty stuff in terms of tonal rendition. I've no idea whether anything like it as around now. Here is a link to info:

Black and White Paper Zone-KODAK - PANALURE SELECT RC
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 10-15-2018, 07:11 AM  
Strange Spotmatic problem
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 17
Views: 1,394
I'd never do something like that. Nope, never. On the other hand, I have been known to go out shooting with no card in my digital cameras...
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-03-2018, 09:24 PM  
Asahi spotmatic sp battery recommendation
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 28
Views: 94,901
You're welcome

Using a digital camera meter would very likely get you into the right ballpark, but may well be off in purist terms. In other words, your cameras may be wrong.

There is a Wikipedia article that contains a paragraph illustrating why I am skeptical about using digital cameras for metering film. I quote it below:

"Despite these detailed standard definitions, cameras typically do not clearly indicate whether the user "ISO" setting refers to the noise-based speed, saturation-based speed, or the specified output sensitivity, or even some made-up number for marketing purposes.
Because the 1998 version of ISO 12232 did not permit measurement of camera output that had lossy compression, it was not possible to correctly apply any of those measurements to cameras that did not produce sRGB files in an uncompressed format such as TIFF. Following the publication of CIPA DC-004 in 2006, Japanese manufacturers of digital still cameras are required to specify whether a sensitivity rating is REI or SOS.[citation needed] "

Link to the full article, which discusses both film speed and digital camera ISO measurement:

Film speed - Wikipedia

Colour negative film has quite a bit of latitude, especially for overexposure. In other words, you won't necessarily see the difference between a correctly exposed neg and an overexposed one unless you have a totally exposure locked printing process, or a densitometer, or are quite experienced in "reading" negatives.

In the real world there are variables such as shutter speed accuracy that can further muddy the waters.

It's better to moderately overexpose than to underexpose negs. If you are one stop over, the effects will usually not be very obvious- particularly if you are scanning the negs for printing. I tend to err on the side of overexposure if I'm not sure about what the camera is telling me.

If what you are doing works for you, by all means continue doing so. However, I know from hard-won experience that it is unwise to assume that results from a limited sample will be the same for everyone.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-02-2018, 07:50 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 21,723
Views: 2,756,809
That's a very fine shot.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-02-2018, 07:12 PM  
Asahi spotmatic sp battery recommendation
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 28
Views: 94,901
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.

Cheers
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-01-2018, 03:14 AM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 21,723
Views: 2,756,809
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: 12,074
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: Pentax DSLR Discussion 07-20-2018, 11:00 PM  
I have a K-x ( I love it) and I have an offer to get a K2000
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 15
Views: 1,506
As the OP is a new member, I think some tolerance should be given to posting in the wrong category. I'm a quite old member who has been inactive due to health issues but am now getting back to things.

I agree that the K20D, which is a very solid camera, is worth considering if wet weather use is a significant requirement. I bought mine when they first came out and have kept it as a backup and for slide copying. I still take it out when the weather is really bad, as my main system is not so well weather sealed.
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: 1,506
I've never been able to figure out how to put film in a K2000...
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-25-2017, 11:51 PM  
How can I scan my negatives for archival purpose ?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 32
Views: 2,713
Yes, that's a very good summation. As one of the sidelines in my old "photographic" job, I was responsible for preservation management of photos sound and moving images in a substantial archives. One of the key strategies we developed was systematic migration of digitized content. In very simple terms, the digital masters are stored on drives and migrated to different storage as drive technology evolves, and can be readily batch converted to other file formats if necessary. Multiple backups are kept, including off-site. Backups included storage on CDs or DVDs as well as hard drives. We did keep originals.

If I was still in the business now, I'd be looking at solid state drives for storage of some backups.

It's relatively simple for professional archives, but quite a can of worms for the general public particularly if the intent is to preserve things for tens or hundreds of years. You might consider printing books of selected images.

Looking at the OP's question, there is no simple answer. "Archival quality" is a pretty nebulous term. For example, the standards for archiving the work of a master photographer where high colour accuracy and resolution down to the finest grain would be considered necessary are quite different from family snapshots where pleasing moderately sized prints could be a reasonable goal. We're talking a high end with drum scanning and very sophisticated colorimetry vs. middling level with a decent desktop scanner and eyeballing colour corrections on a (maybe) calibrated monitor. I'd recommend the simpler approach to the OP, as that is within the reach of an average person who is willing to put in the effort to learn a moderate amount about the technology.

Colour negs tend to be all over the place in terms of colour balance. Even scanning software with specific film profiles won't always work due to off-spec development and fading during storage. Unlike slides you cant use the original as a baseline for judging accuracy. You often just have to wing it.

My own standard for family photos is 3600x5400 pixel TIFF files. I use Lightroom and Photoshop for processing, and simply go for rendering that I find pleasing without worrying about absolute technical accuracy. I generally like to adjust tones that we perceive as neutral to be reasonably so, but otherwise just go for what feels right. I often use auto color in Photoshop and tweak from there. If that doesn't work I have to get my hands dirty. I've been using Photoshop since the early 90's and have a fast computer, so usually get OK results before I resort to setting my hair on fire.

I recommend getting a good Photoshop book, studying colour correction, and practicing, practicing, practicing.

Hang on to the negs as you may find that you will want to rescan some as you learn.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-18-2017, 07:23 PM  
Film woes (mistakes and lessons learned)
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 19
Views: 1,747
Oops- I intended to be humorous, not offended! In my case, maybe I have six months' experience repeated 80 times.

Yes, the hardening fixer point is also good. I think I found Kodak Rapid Fixer somewhat better than powder hardening fiixers at high temps. These days I use an Ilford liquid concentrate, but only at around 68 degrees so can't comment on higher temperatures.

Cheers
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: 9,569
Views: 1,093,223
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: 21,723
Views: 2,756,809
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: 21,723
Views: 2,756,809
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: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 05-21-2017, 07:53 PM  
Some Film Scanning Questions
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 9
Views: 1,353
I'd say that the colour balance of the original scans is quite decent. I'll discuss the third and fourth scans from the top in the original post.

Yes, the white of the train is not pure. It may, however, be accurate. Note that adjacent to the train there is a large area of warm-tone tile. It is quite possible that the illumination from the skylight to the left of the train was bouncing off that tile and imparting some warmth to the colour of the left side of the train. With a subtle effect such as that, given the way our minds make assumptions about colours, it is entirely possible for a viewer to perceive that something is white when in fact it is slightly off.

Nothing wrong with correcting that colour cast in post processing. It is unlikely that even a very competent scanner operator in a mass production situation would make that sort of minor adjustment as it is better done by the photographer to suit his or her own tastes.

I agree with others that the green bushes in the processed version of the image are excessive. In Photoshop, I would correct this using the hue/saturation function. Select the green in the foliage and reduce saturation.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-19-2017, 09:36 AM  
Dark Negatives
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 24
Views: 2,022
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 DSLR Discussion 05-11-2017, 02:38 PM  
Sony A9: is there still a future for DSLRs, and Pentax mirrorless suggestion
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 579
Views: 35,521
Call me silly, but I kind of like working with a mirrorless camera and battery grip. With small lenses such as adapted Leica rangefinder lenses, the grip-less body is great. If I'm using larger lenses, I attach the grip and, voila, I have a body suited to that application. That flexibility in one camera is really nice.

On the subject of Pentax going mirrorless, I don't really care. I will point out that it would be relatively easy to produce a mirrorless body with a shorter registration distance than K-mount, and to offer a smart adapter for legacy lenses. Sony does that with A-mount to E-mount adapters.

I've been watching the development of the K-1 with interest, and may get one sometime as I have a good set of FF lenses. In the meantime I'm enjoying my A7r with vintage lenses.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-05-2017, 11:50 PM  
Plenty of K bodies. Any logical reason to get a Spotmatic era body?
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 50
Views: 3,778
Because you can.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-22-2017, 08:55 AM  
Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic Models
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 11
Views: 1,916
According to Gerstad van Oosten (his book "The Ultimate Asahi Pentax Screwmount Guide") there was a small test run of an Electro Spotmatic in 1971, sold only in Japan. The ES was developed from that. From pictures in the book, it appears that there was a transitional version with Electro Spotmatic stamped on the front and ES stamped on the top.

I was loaned an ES when they first came out, which led to my ongoing use of Pentax gear.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-20-2017, 05:36 PM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By John Poirier
Replies: 21,723
Views: 2,756,809
I'd say the pictures were probably shot on Kodachrome. I've scanned a good deal of pre-war and late 1940s Kodachrome, and these have a similar "feel". Agfacolor is unlikely, as it was a German product.
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