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Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-12-2019, 09:12 AM  
:cool: Lets see those ''film'' shots
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 21,006
Views: 2,654,058
First time railfaning with B&W film...

LX with Winder, Tamron 17A, Kentmere 400 at box speed.

Developed by a professional lab using Xtol, scanned with Nikon Super Coolscan 9000ED.





Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-12-2019, 12:00 AM  
LX Mirror Stuck in AUTO
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 0
Views: 480
Hello,

I believe that this issue had been discussed here before, but I recently observed a non-reproducible issue with my LX which had been professionally serviced by Advance Camera. Very occasionally, my LX would be stuck with mirror locked up after completing an exposure in AUTO mode. From the rolls that were developed during the past, it seems that the exposure was made successfully, but the mirror won't return unless I turn the shutter dial from AUTO to 2000.

However, it happened once every few shots yesterday, and I had suspected that my battery was dying, so I replaced it with a fresh pair of LR44 batteries (I have been unable to get SR44s here in China, just LR44s). But this issue continued to persist for three or four times before it completely disappeared. I suspected that my LOMO Volna 50 1.8 could be the blame (since my copy had a plastic aperture guard too long that actually blocked the movement of the mirror, and had to be ground down) so I switched to my FA43, and the issue almost immediately disappeared, and I have not been able to reproduce it since then, even with my LOMO lens.

Digging the forum, I found Pentax LX mirror stuck up in AUTO only - PentaxForums.com but it seems to be a persistent electronic issue that completely disables AUTO, which is very different from mine. However a follow up mentioned that LX can be a bit picky about batteries. I would like to hear some suggestions on this issue.

Sincerely
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-03-2019, 04:02 AM  
B&W Developer for Pushing
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 21
Views: 1,233
I believe what she is looking for (based on the images she showed to me) is a somewhat grainy (but not too much) and high contrast image.

IIRC Kentmere 100 is a cubic grain film, and I decided to push one stop to help with her not-so-steady hands.

As for dilution, I can drop a line to my lab for my preferred dilution and time, but since I did not find a combo of HC-110 and Kentmere 100 pushed to 200 on the Massive Dev Chart, I’ll probably trust the lab’s judgement.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-02-2019, 08:06 AM  
B&W Developer for Pushing
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 21
Views: 1,233
Unfortunately, F76+ is not available here in China... I've tried to find a lab that can do it, but it seems that no one really bothered to have this developer imported for some reason.

The most common developers here are D-76 and HC-110 (and their Chinese clones), even TMaxRS and Xtol is a sort of rarity. Rodinal is common for home processing, but not a whole bunch of commercial labs bother to provide that etiher. DD-X is somewhat more common, but it is usually grossly overpriced (like 3x the price of D-76), so I am delighted to find a lab that only charges a small premium.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-01-2019, 10:43 AM  
B&W Developer for Pushing
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 21
Views: 1,233
It is about 3 bottles of Coca-Cola, or a reasonable breakfast, or 1/3 the price I paid for the roll of Kentmere 100. Not a huge sum of money, but not exactly pennies either. So I do want to cut that cost if it is not necessary.

I originally leaned towards HC-110 because AFAIK it is almost the gold standard in photojournalism and my cousin wants the classic look. I was also a bit worried because I never used DD-X before, and HC-110 is one of the developers I have had some experience.

I never used D-76 or ID-11 before, but Old School Photo Lab in Connecticut, US used Clayton F76+, which is probably pretty similar?




---------- Post added 07-01-19 at 10:48 AM ----------

And I am also wondering for my specific need, will ID-11 work better or HC-110?
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 07-01-2019, 08:47 AM  
B&W Developer for Pushing
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 21
Views: 1,233
Hello,

This is a follow up of What B&W Developer to Choose - PentaxForums.com which I think deserves a new thread.

Long story short, my cousin asked if I could lend her one of my film cameras along with a roll of B&W film, and I gave her a roll of Kentmere 100 (it is my only roll of "value" B&W film that I am really willing to lend as I have used up all my Kentmere 400 and I only have some Ilfords lying around) along with my PZ-1 and SMC-F 24-50/4. Since this is probably her first time doing photography with a SLR (and she said that she would only be using the "green mode"), I decided to set a DX override of EI 200 and push the film accordingly. I will probably be going to the same lab I mentioned in the previous post, but I will probably not pay for the "premium" tier since I think it is an overkill. Therefore I would be limited to choose between D-76, ID-11, Rodinal, and HC-110. My cousin is probably looking for a classic "film look" and I have read somewhere that HC-110 was developed for photojournalism, and therefore pushes well. However, I would like some other inputs, especially on two questions:

- Is it worth paying for DD-X? It is a small extra fee (10 CNY or around 1.5 USD of an extra charge compared to HC-110).
- Will D-76 or ID-11 work better if she is looking for a "classic" film look with some visible grain?

Sincerely
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-27-2019, 08:23 AM  
F 35-70 Versions
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 3
Views: 632
Hello,

I have bought a SMC-F 35-70 before, and sold it. Now I am considering picking up one again, and noticed that at least here in China, the Takumar-F version seems to be more widely available and reasonably priced. From my research here on the forum, both the Takumar-F version and SMC-F version seem to share the optical design, and only the coating is different. I would like to know whether it is worth paying extra for the SMC-F version. I will be using it mostly on the PZ-1. For my K-S2, I already have a F 24-50 to serve a similar role.

Sincerely
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 06-27-2019, 02:31 AM  
What B&W Developer to Choose
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 7
Views: 952
But I am getting a flat rate for each tier i.e. I pay the same price for DD-X and Xtol, since they are both the “premium” tier service. In this case is there an advantage of DD-X?
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 06-26-2019, 08:07 AM  
What B&W Developer to Choose
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 7
Views: 952
I am sending it out, so I am not the one dealing with the chemicals. It is my first time working with the specific lab, but it does have a very good reputation among Chinese B&W photographers, so I trust their operations won't screw the chemicals up.

---------- Post added 06-26-19 at 08:33 AM ----------



OK, let me disclose the full story to see if I can get more specific inspiration...

So it was a sunny day, and I decided to experiment with doing some rail photography (railfaning) with B/W film, something I have rarely done before, and I loaded up my LX with a roll of fresh Kentmere 400. I was not expecting that, but a "Dr. Yellow," or a track inspection train went through and I did my best to capture some shots of it (I would have used Portra 400 for this job if I expected it coming).

I managed to dig up some color shots that I have made before, to better illustrate the difference.





Basically, the standard version carries a white livery, and the inspection version has the white replaced with a dull yellow color. However, the exact composition of that day has quite a lot of sky in it. I used a Tamron 17A with no filters. I would like to emphasis that the inspection train was carrying a yellow, not white livery, and want to have the best dynamic range available.

I am not sure which developer fits the bill, nor the grain characteristics of Ketemere 400 (it was my first roll of this particular emulsion). However I am ruling out HC-110 for now because it seems that this developer focuses on enhancing contrast, and I fear that it would eat the available DR. I have never used Rodinal before, but have heard good things about it. I know that DD-X is a slight speed booster and works best with faster Delta films, but also never used it before. So far my favorite developers are Xtol and Clayton F76+ (which is not available in China), but I mostly worked with Delta films before, not the cubic grain emulsions.

Sincerely
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 06-25-2019, 09:16 AM  
What B&W Developer to Choose
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 7
Views: 952
Hello,

I was out doing some photography with a roll of Kentmere PAN 400 and I was shooting it at box speed. I managed to capture several pretty rare shots and want to develop it with the best quality I can get. I am sending it out to a several-decade-old professional lab here in China, and they have several developers I can choose: D76, ID-11, Rodinal, and HC-110 is available at their "standard tier," and for their premium tier, I can choose between TMax RS, DD-X, Xtol, and Silvermax. I have used HC-110 and Xtol before, and would like some more information and suggestions on the other developers and how to choose them.

Sincerely
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-25-2019, 08:58 AM  
How to turn the EV Dial on LX
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 3
Views: 617
Thanks. Did not have a copy before this.

---------- Post added 06-25-19 at 08:59 AM ----------


Thanks, that was the magic.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-23-2019, 10:08 PM  
How to turn the EV Dial on LX
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 3
Views: 617
Hello,

Recently I have that I cannot turn the exposure comp dial. I have tried lifting the dial but had no luck. But the ISO dial turns without problems. Is my exposure comp dial stuck?

Sincerely
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 06-21-2019, 08:02 AM  
Flashgun Selection Question
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 6
Views: 710
But won't the Nikon and Pentax dedicated contacts interfere with each other and make either the camera or the flash confused?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-18-2019, 08:03 AM  
Help Choose a 35-70
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 17
Views: 1,575
Cosmicar actually had a constant f4 version? I thought they only had the mediocre 3.5-4.5 version.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 06-17-2019, 08:26 AM  
Flashgun Selection Question
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 6
Views: 710
Hello,

So I was recently shrinking and updating my kit of cameras and accessories, and decided to update the flashguns to more modern ones. I picked up a Nikon SB-800, mainly for my FE2, and was immediately attracted by the fact that it is a modern (digital) flash that has full backward compatibility with older equipment, and I am looking for a Pentax equivalent. Basically I have the following questions:

- Is there a flash that has an adjustable head (i.e. bounce flash) that can support both digital and film TTL? I would like the TTL to work on all my three Pentax bodies: LX, PZ-1, and K-S2, and I prefer the flashgun to be no larger than the Nikon SB-800.
- Before I manage to purchase such a flash, can I use my Nikon SB-800 on my Pentax bodies if I put it in auto (thyristor) or manual modes? Do I need to use a Wein SafeSync to mask out the Nikon-specific contacts to avoid confusing either the camera or the flash?

Sincerely
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-17-2019, 08:15 AM  
Help Choose a 35-70
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 17
Views: 1,575
I had this one as the kit lens on my PZ-1 before, but later sold it when I acquired the Tamron SP AF 24-135mm F3.5-5.6 AD Aspherical IF Macro, because I figured out that I don't really use Pentax AF bodies as my primary film camera (rather, I use LX as my primary film and mixes between my K-S2 and Sony a7 when it comes to digital), and the F 35-70 became a bit surplus.

I originally kept the M 35-70 over the F because while the F is solidly built and is very sharp by the standards of its day, the ergonomics is still pretty poor, and it is easier to focus precisely on the LX with the M (not only because the M has a more damped and larger focus ring, but also because the M is faster and makes my viewfinder brighter).

Will consider the F again if I ever decided to give my PZ-1 more love. Do you have a hood recommendation?

I also have the F 24-50 which I bought some time ago for my K-S2 after my HD DA 20-40 was deemed faulty. I like how the lens performs, especially stopped down, but it is very large, especially when compared to the similarly-speced Minolta AF 24-50/4.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-16-2019, 01:17 AM  
Help Choose a 35-70
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 17
Views: 1,575
After reading the reviews here and on other sites carefully, it seems that the Tamron 17A is not too far away from the M 35-70/3.5, but the Tamron is the shortest of the three (and the A 35-70 being the longest), and is also more reasonably priced here in China. I ended up picking a copy from a Chinese dealer.

As for the M 40-80, I still feel that it is not wide enough and also on the heavy side.

Thanks for the input.

---------- Post added 06-16-19 at 01:19 AM ----------



Also tried to hunt down this one, but can't find a good copy from a reputable seller locally.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-15-2019, 08:56 AM  
Help Choose a 35-70
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 17
Views: 1,575
Thanks, but I assume that shipping a lens from UK to China would make it not any cheaper than buying directly off Chinese used camera dealers, and it can take quite some time...

But if you happen to be in China now, than I would be more thankful.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-15-2019, 08:22 AM  
Help Choose a 35-70
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 17
Views: 1,575
My only worry is that the 40-80 might not be wide enough and I would always need to carry my FA31 as a backup, which might be impractical sometimes.

I tend to treat 35mm as a “safety net:” I won’t use it often, but I want my zoom to have that handy when I do need it (which happens from more often than I expect, unfortunately).

Besides that the 40-80 does look tempting: a similar design to the 35-70 but lighter and focuses closer (when using macro mode). Haven’t looked into the price though and I doubt that it is widely available in China.

---------- Post added 06-15-19 at 08:25 AM ----------

Unfortunately while the 40-80 is easily available, the price is getting close to a M 35-70 in similar condition here in China, making it less attractive price wise.

---------- Post added 06-15-19 at 08:45 AM ----------

Another problem is that sometimes sellers would keep the listing for items that are actually out of stock here on Taobao (the Chinese fleebay) so I would like to build a list of lenses that I could fall back to if my top choice is not available somehow.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-15-2019, 07:05 AM  
Help Choose a 35-70
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 17
Views: 1,575
Currently my most-used Pentax camera is the LX, and my experience is that K and M lenses are usually better built and in turn offers a better experience (compared to both A and FA lenses, including my FA43 and FA31).

I had the 44A but passed onto it, mainly because of its size. It’s made mostly of plastic so is pretty light, but it is still pretty big IIRC.

---------- Post added 06-15-19 at 07:08 AM ----------



Mostly because of the MF experience. I had one before but passed onto it because I found myself using my LX more than my AF bodies. And MF with that lens is far from pleasant. Currently the only AF lenses I routinely use on my LX are my FA Limiteds, but even them are still lacking from genuine MF lenses.

---------- Post added 06-15-19 at 07:10 AM ----------

Oh and I actually have a MX screen in my LX, so a lens that is too slow impends the use of the split prism.

---------- Post added 06-15-19 at 07:11 AM ----------

I am also a bit curious about the mixed reviews here on the A 35-70/4. Is that related to some QC problems?

---------- Post added 06-15-19 at 07:16 AM ----------

P.S. adaptor wise,I have Adaptall mounts for Pentax K, KA, and Ricoh R-K mounts, plus M42 and Nikon F.

The ideal 35-70 I was looking for is something similar to the Nikon Series E 36-72/3.5 I own: small and light, and has decent performance, and is fast enough. I personally lean towards the A 35-70 but is a bit wary because of the mixed reviews in the forum review section.

I have tried to hunt down a Ricoh XR 35-70/3.5, but was out of luck here in China.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 06-15-2019, 06:42 AM  
Help Choose a 35-70
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 17
Views: 1,575
Hello,

So today was a bad day for me. I was on a photo walk and I tripped on my self, and broke my SMC-M 35-70/2.8-3.5. The front element suffered slight coating damage, but the filter ring was badly dented. I have had a quick talk with my camera repair guy and his quote for fixing the filter ring and check the alignment of the lens elements costs around 40 bucks equivalent in CNY (I bought the lens for slightly less than 60 bucks from KEH originally). Therefore I figured that it would be better if I send it off to my local used camera dealer along with several other lenses that I don't really use, and use the money I got from that to get a replacement.

I have searched around, and have basically had three options: another M 35-70/2.8-3.5, a A 35-70/4, or a Tamron Adaptall-2 17A, after searching the market for what is available, but I cannot make a decision due to several reasons.

For the M 35-70, I have always had a love-hate relationship: I love the build and performance of the lens, but I hate its bulk, especially after acquiring the similar-sized and only slightly heavier Tamron 65A. The 65A has a range of 35-105mm and a constant f2.8 apterure, making it more versatile than the M 35-70, but the M beats the 65A in optical performance. As a result, I have kept the M but did not use it as much as I usually would. But the M 35-70 is also the least overpriced lens on my list, especially the ones in tip-top condition, which is about the same price as what I would pay in the US. But I still pay more for average copies in China, and I do not need mint copies for a lens that I would use.

The A 35-70/4 is a small and light lens, and I value that. However the price in China is overhyped, matching that of the M 35-70 lens, simply because it's an A lens. And the reviews here seems to be pretty mixed.

I have had the Tamron 17A before, and got rid of it after it became moldy. I like that it is not that heavy and pretty compact, but the price of Tamron is much higher here in China (around 50 bucks to 70 bucks equivalent in CNY), because Tamron Adaptalls are pretty much underpriced in the US (in my opinion).

I would like some suggestion on which one to buy as an replacement, considering the price, features, performance, and overall build and size. I would primarily use these lenses on my LX.

Sincerely
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 04-23-2019, 01:13 AM  
Help Identify Agfa Super Solina
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 1
Views: 535
So I picked up an Agfa Super Solina from a local camera store today and it seems to be in pretty good condition. It is meterless, but does have a parallex corrected, coupled rangefinder.

However I am not sure which specific lens it has. The lens is marked Color-Apotar 45/2.8 and Google have told me that the 45/3.5 Apotar is a triplet design. I am not sure one can actually make a 2.8 triplet, though.

Any ideas on the lens and its performance?
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 04-21-2019, 10:09 PM  
Mid-range Medium Speed Color Film
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 6
Views: 788
But from my friends who have used them in China, they are about the same league as Fuji C200 and Superia 400.

Films like Superia Premium 400 and ProImage 100 are attractive because they are of high quality and consistent, and can be used for some demanding applications (clearly superior than say the baseline Fuji Superia or Kodak ColorPlus), but are not too expensive and can be used casually without breaking the bank. Unfortunately Superia Premium 400 will break the bank here in the US. ProImage 100 has an attractive pricing, but the speed is not really fast enough.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 04-21-2019, 09:32 PM  
Mid-range Medium Speed Color Film
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 6
Views: 788
Just wondering if such a film exists nowday:
- Not as expensive as true professional emulsion like Pro 400H or Portra 400, but still strictly quality-controled and carefulled handled
- Rated at around ISO 400

Kodak has the ProImage 100 that sort of fits the role of a "semi-professional" film that is good enough for somewhat demanding usages but still not too expensive. However at ISO 100 its usefulness to me is somewhat limited. I had been using Kodak Portra 400 and 800 almost exclusively even for everyday photography which I consider worthwile using film, but the price is still a bit too high and I am considering to reserve them for more important things.

I also used Fuji Superia X-Tra 400 and Fuji Industrial 400 before, but I feel that their quality (especially the US Superia X-Tra 400s which I have bought from Walmart as stop-gap measures when I run out of Portra while the Industrial is significantly better) are not very stable and predictable. I had a few rolls of Superia Premium 400 before that performs well and is reasonably priced (in China), but they are more expensive than Portra 400 and even Pro 400H here in the US. Lomography 800, when rated between 500-640 is pretty good, but they seem to have some QC issues like scratched negatives which happen more often than others, and their characters also seem to have changed over the years.

I would like some suggestions on what I can look into, or perhaps ways to get films like Superia Premium at a more reasonable price. I understand that the types of film I can choose is pretty limited.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-14-2019, 05:01 AM  
Things to Check on an LX
Posted By butangmucat
Replies: 2
Views: 628
Hello,

Having received my LX from Advance Camera's warranty job for about 2 weeks now, but I realized that there are still some minor issues that they did not completely fix. For example, the meter does not turn off automatically, and it uses up a set of 357 cells in about two weeks, and there are also minor issues that only occasionally happen with slower shutter speeds. I am planning to send it in one last time before I take it back to China for the summer. It seems that what they do is fixing the problems that I have described. So I would like to do a check myself before sending it in, and fix as much issues as possible before I go home.

Sincerely

Edit: Advance Camera had done fantastic job on the sticky mirror and motor drive issues, but it is just that there are minor issues I have missed that did not got fixed.
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