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Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 13 Hours Ago  
Best K mount camera for M42 Takumar
Posted By johnha
Replies: 19
Views: 397
As mentioned, a Spotty would be best (the metering switch is much more convenient than trying to switch the Auto/Man lever on the lens close to the mount). If it must be a K mount, anything with a manual mode would suffice - but there must be a reason why it has to have a K mount - the reason for this might be important.

I'd prefer a K series body, KM (although I've never seen one for sale,), KX or K1000 (sorry Womble). I have two dead K2s so I can't recommend them. The MX is good but doesn't fit the Spotty form factor, the viewfinder is huge but this creates problems for me as I wear glasses.

The K1000 is a Spotty with a K mount and takes easily available batteries, not all are hipster expensive.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 2 Days Ago  
New Leica M10 Monochrom, B+W only, will U buy ?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 9
Views: 350
Pixel shift as Pentax use it won't help a monochrome sensor (it only sees illuminance values for each pixel so shifting the sensor a pixel would give the same result).
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 2 Days Ago  
Help with purchasing a film camera.
Posted By johnha
Replies: 41
Views: 1,253
Many used dealers offer warranties (3 months or more is often available), although you may need to pay a bit more than ebay. Most would refund or replace rather than repair I imagine.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 3 Days Ago  
Help with purchasing a film camera.
Posted By johnha
Replies: 41
Views: 1,253
The KX is a very good but otherwise unremarkable mechanical SLR - it's the best Pentax made with a needle. The LX is completely different in that it's features are unique across all manufacturers - it is also a much newer body (KX production ended about 5 years before the LX was launched).

The LX has a second way to activate the meter - pressing the exposure compensation lock button (the small button surrounded by the prism release lever) will also activate it.

If you really want an LX you should buy one, protect yourself as best you can by buying one you can return or with a warranty. Buying a half-happy compromise will probably still leave you wishing you'd bought the camera you want (been there many times). You'll probably up with both anyway...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 4 Days Ago  
Are there any 645 lenses that should be avoided?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 16
Views: 774
Does the A35 have better IQ than the FA35 (accepting sample variation)? When I researched the FA35 v 33-55 they both seemed to have field curvature issues so I went for the versatility of the zoom. I had always assumed the A35 and FA35 had the same formula?

I found it difficult to get reviews of the 33-55 on 33x44 sensors (most related to film). Edge sharpness on the D is OK for me if stopped down, I don't normally inspect the corners too much. Ideally the 28-45 is clearly a better choice, but its well over my budget. If the A35 is better than the FA, I might consider picking one up.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-14-2020, 01:15 AM  
"Why We Shoot Film" - cool mini doco about film photography resurgence
Posted By johnha
Replies: 17
Views: 680
Great video, very well made.



Medium format is much more enticing for me today than 35mm (digital has picked up most of the recording I used to use 35mm for). I now shoot 35mm mostly to use my favourite gear, with 120 for most of my 'arty' stuff. I struggle to shoot more than 15 shots now.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-14-2020, 12:44 AM  
Pentax 6x7 Film Type Dial
Posted By johnha
Replies: 2
Views: 156
Welcome to the forum. I can't help with the missing part. With 120 film, the film counter continues past 10 as the backing paper is wound on at the end of the roll (mine normally stop at about 15 on the counter). The shutter only fires 10 times, then the wind on lever stops cocking the shutter and just winds to the end of the roll.

Good Luck with a fix.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-13-2020, 02:49 PM  
Help with purchasing a film camera.
Posted By johnha
Replies: 41
Views: 1,253
I'd get something that is either mechanical or runs off LR44 batteries. There's not much between KX, KM, K1000 and even the MX apart from the fact the MX is the only one with a split-prism with micro-prism surround focussing aid.

My favourite electronic body is the Super-A, but I've had problems with electronics in them. Next up is the P50, much later with two programs and exposure lock which looks quite smart with clean lines.

LXs are much nicer to shoot though, the dials click more positively, the film advance is much nicer and it's features are pretty unique. Both of mine have needed repairs for sticky mirrors but they were worth it.

Then there's medium format, if you don't mind a bigger camera these are in a different league as far as results go (any format, any 'proper' model). They can be very frustrating to use but the results are amazing when you see them.

I'm lucky to have many of the above, if I had to keep only two 35mm bodies I would keep both LXs (I've invested most in them - purchase & repair). I'd also keep my P67.

Lastly there's dozens of cheap auto-manuals out there for peanuts, I've got some I can't give away. Vivitar or Cosina clones, Ricohs, the T-90 was a classic, the Contax 167MT was very desirable but expensive and there were other Yashicas - most are very cheap now as they've fallen off the retro radar.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-10-2020, 02:05 AM  
Is a 645D still worth buying?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 29
Views: 1,320
I agree with Rick, if you've got good eyesight or are within the dioptre adjustment range or have corrected eyesight manually focussing for general subjects should be fine. It should still be fine for most action subjects if you're fast enough (as was always the case).

My problem is my glasses prescription now uses progressive lenses where it changes across the lens - I have to line the finder up with a certain part of my glasses for perfect results. Thus I prefer focus confirmation which I've had no problems with (it's easier than the K-1 because the highlight is red around the AF point rather than black). The black surrounded is my only complaint about the K-1, it's quite significant as I use focus confirmation a lot.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-08-2020, 06:54 AM  
Is a 645D still worth buying?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 29
Views: 1,320
I'd have to check the K-1 to make a comparison, however I usually rely on the 'in focus' indicator with P6x7 lenses. After first buying the D I found no problems focussing optically on the screen - it was faster and more convenient than the 'in focus' indicator if shooting moving objects with my P67 200/4. I bought a 645N micro-prism screen which I saw no need to fit.

Since then my eyesight prescription and glasses have changed, making it more difficult to focus optically on the screen. I now use the 'in focus' indicator mostly with manual focus lenses on the D & K-1 (I may consider the micro-prism screen in the future).
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-07-2020, 07:31 PM  
Is a 645D still worth buying?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 29
Views: 1,320
I haven't had the chance to try other medium format cameras, apart from a one minute look at an X1D - the EVF didn't work for me (maybe I didn't give it a fair chance as it was way over any budget I could attempt to justify).

The lower ISO of the D isn't a problem for me, I have little interest in anything over 800 on any camera. The ergonomics are good, the weight isn't a problem (I also shoot a P67). It's not as responsive as FF or even a Z, but I'm not a sports shooter.

Easy access to a comprehensive native lens selection (and seemless operation of 6x7 glass with the adapter), mostly at reasonable cost. Compatible with loads of older Pentax accessories, weather proof construction and a vertical tripod mount on the side (saves $300 on an L bracket) are all really useful benefits.

I brought my D before my K-1, of the two I prefer using the D for everything other than family holidays. By all accounts the Z's a better camera, but they were firmly over my budget at the time (and only high mileage ones are creeping into it now).

As with any new system, it's the system costs that you need to think about, not just the camera body. I used my P6x7 lenses exclusively for a while before buying any 645 FA glass to smooth the costs out a bit.
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 01-06-2020, 06:20 AM  
6x7 users
Posted By johnha
Replies: 11
Views: 183
Welcome to the forum from Lancashire.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-05-2020, 04:32 PM  
Are there any 645 lenses that should be avoided?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 16
Views: 774
I use the 33-55 on my D, the 28-45 is well over my budget and being a tad wider and more versatile than a 35 prime persuaded me to go for the 33-55. I haven't seen any significant issues with it, but I am careful how I use it (mostly landscapes).
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 01-05-2020, 10:56 AM  
Built in filters vs software for B&W
Posted By johnha
Replies: 15
Views: 532
Using the in-lens filter is likely to significantly reduce your effective resolution. The Bayer filter in front of the sensor registers Green, Red, Green, Blue across the sensor, a Red filter will (depending on strength) reduce the sensitivity of the Green and Blue pixel positions the camera needs to interpolate the remainder.

Mono processing in camera will give much better results than a filter on the lens.

---------- Post added 01-05-20 at 05:59 PM ----------

Here's an example with 100% crops from a 645D using the P6x7 35mm Fish-Eye with and without the red in-lens filter (without conversion to mono):
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-03-2020, 08:18 AM  
Breaking into medium and want/need advice
Posted By johnha
Replies: 46
Views: 2,163
And much more of that 6x7 area is useable on a typical 10x8 print...
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 01-02-2020, 03:35 PM  
Off-the-film metering after the Pentax LX
Posted By johnha
Replies: 11
Views: 495
The most likely reason the LX was the only one is that it was the only body with a removable viewfinder. Irrespective of the finder, the meter still works.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-02-2020, 02:37 AM  
Is a 645D still worth buying?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 29
Views: 1,320
The IQ difference to the K-1 may be thin and the format is cropped compared to medium format film, but you still get the benefits of medium format (not least a better aspect ratio for most of my purposes).
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-01-2020, 07:59 PM  
Breaking into medium and want/need advice
Posted By johnha
Replies: 46
Views: 2,163
The 6x7 90mm leaf shutter lens can be used like any lens with the cameras focal plane shutter simply by not cocking it. It also has the advantage of allowing multiple exposures which the 6x7, 6x7 MLU & 67 cameras don't otherwise support. The lens is heavier than it otherwise would be and to use the leaf shutter, the body must be set to 1/8th or slower (apart from this, it works seemlessly on the 645D with the Pentax adapter).

Limitations of leaf shutter lenses include often slower max shutter speeds (often 1/500th), added cost & complexity of the lens and a slower max aperture. The best of both worlds is a focal plane shutter in the body and a leaf shutter in the lens...
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 01-01-2020, 06:57 PM  
Is a 645D still worth buying?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 29
Views: 1,320
I bought a D about 18 months ago (from a Pentax dealer with a good warranty). Initially I only used P6x7 lenses on the Pentax adapter and apart from the lack of a true wide-angle on the cropped format, I could easily be happy using them.

645 AF lenses are more convenient and I prefer these unless I'm also carrying a P67 body. For wide-angles, unless you have deep pockets, you're essentially restricted to the 35mm prime or 33-55 zoom (I got the 33-55).

As has been mentioned, value is personal depending on your expectations and budget. I'm happy shooting my D and generally prefer it to the K-1. It gives a medium format experience whist remaining compatible with a huge range of Pentax accessories from their medium format film cameras through to the current DSLRs (this saved me ).

I shoot mine like a medium format film camera, using a more considered approach than when using smaller format. I have yet to notice any difference between it's CCD and the CMOS in my K-1 apart from ISO ranges.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-19-2019, 05:32 PM  
living with 6x7?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 46
Views: 1,313
You can also do multiple exposures with the 90/2.8 leaf shutter lens (and possibly the 165 leaf shutter too?).
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-19-2019, 03:38 PM  
living with 6x7?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 46
Views: 1,313
IIRC the original 6x7 non-MLUs are less repairable than later cameras. The 6x7 MLU & 67 are next on the list (67s are newer/later but condition is more important). The 67ii is the newest & most expensive, but is more reliant on electronics, which may be s problem long term.

I have a 67 with split image focussing aid but often prefer my 6x7 MLU which has a micro prism screen (I don't know which is standard).
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-19-2019, 02:07 AM  
living with 6x7?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 46
Views: 1,313
The SLR form factor also helps when looking for a bag. The body, prism and standard-ish lens are similar in size, shape & weight as a pro FF DSLR, grip and f/2.8 zoom, as such it's easier to find a bag for it (most now have a specific compartment this shape). This makes it possible to put quite a lot of kit into a smallish modern bag or backpack.

Something like a 645 or 6x6 SLR needs quite a lot of front to back depth, the narrower width doesn't always help that much. Boxy rectangular bags can be hard to find these days.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-18-2019, 02:19 PM  
living with 6x7?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 46
Views: 1,313
My preference would be to buy from a dealer with return policy or warranty support (preferably one you can see in person - this maybe a stretch). Unless you're in a rush you should be able to find something. Unless you find one cheap online (unlikely), it's the best way to cover yourself.

The standard 105/2.4 has been elevated to almost mythical prices, unless you really want this lens, you may want to look for a body only or one with a different lens.
Forum: Pentax Medium Format 12-17-2019, 03:30 PM  
living with 6x7?
Posted By johnha
Replies: 46
Views: 1,313
As mentioned, they're all now old cameras, finding people to service them is getting harder, the lack of spares have been mentioned. That said, they are very rewarding to shoot and are far more portable than an RB.

The body, prism and a small lens isn't a too big or heavy a package to carry around. Adding a second light-ish lens is also doable. However with larger lenses or the zooms, it starts to get heavier very quickly. If you generally cart lots of lenses about, it will get significantly heavier.

Handholding is one of it's strengths, the results you can get are stunning and it's something you can sling over your shoulder and take it for a walk.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12-16-2019, 12:28 AM  
Film Era Manual Mid-range Zoom Comparison
Posted By johnha
Replies: 20
Views: 799
I had one of these and wish I hadn't sold it. Most zooms of the MX era where 35-70, some later 28-80 zooms were more tuned to AF and had quite slow apertures for manual focussing.

Tamron made an Adaptall 35-80/3.5 with good macro capabilities, otherwise the A35-105/3.5 is a very good but quite heavy & bulky lens. 67
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