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Old Nov 24, 2008, 6:01 PM   #1
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This is very embarrassing but I need to say it. I never shot film before.
:blah:

Ok I got it off my chess, now I have some questions for film camera user.

I currently own the Pentax K100D and a large selection of K-mount lens. I recently acquired two film Pentax camera this week, the Pentax P3n and the Pentax K1000. I bought it because I will be taking a FILM photography class next semester.

I've always heard the quality of film is better than digital and I am well aware of the debate that is still going on today. I am not here to debate which one is better, I want to EXPERIENCE why film is better. To try it out myself, I want to use my film camera when I go back to Yosemite in a few weeks. I will be shooting mostly LANDSCAPE photos.

Here are my questions.

What speed film should I use? Should I try to find the lowest ISO film that my camera could take or will 100 do the job? (I will use a tripod for everyshot).

Does it matter which body I will use? Will the P3n give me a better picture over the K1000?

Will my digital lens work on the film body? I know my AF lens won't be able to AF, but will the metering work?

When I process the film does it matter where I take to process it?

If I have a good scanner that is able to scan film negative, does it matter how they process the film if there are different ways to process it?

I don't know of any place local that does really large print, can I just have a photo lab process the film and print them to 4x6s. After the process it, I can scan the NEGATIVE and convert them to high res digital and print them online. Is that something that can be done?

How big of a print can I go with my Film camera if I use good film and good lens?

Last but not lease, I noticed a small battery on my K1000 film camera, what is that for? I don't see any electrical components on the camera.

I know that is a lot of question that I just asked. But I want to get a better understanding of film so I can understand the true value of photography.

Thanks
-SAi

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Old Nov 24, 2008, 7:47 PM   #2
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I'll give it a try, but I am dating myself back to the 70's....

What speed film should I use? [I would wait until the class starts. The instructor will probably be going through a number of types of film 25 (slides), 100, etc so you can see the difference] Should I try to find the lowest ISO film that my camera could take or will 100 do the job? [The instructor will probably have a source or suggested sources for the film since it is not as common as it once was] (I will use a tripod for everyshot) [Probably not, probably a variety of homework assignments].

Does it matter which body I will use? Will the P3n give me a better picture over the K1000? [Film bodies vary a lot from digital bodies. For the most part they open and close the shutter while holding the lens in place while metering the light]

Will my digital lens work on the film body? [They will fit on the body, however since they are designed for the ASP C sensor (smaller size), they will vignette badly] I know my AF lens won't be able to AF, but will the metering work [The metering is a function of the body, while the lens contains the aperature. Most if not all the DA lenses no longer have the aperature ring to control the f stop.]?

When I process the film does it matter where I take to process it? [Again, since film has becomming no as common as it once was, your instructor will probably have suggested sources for the processing]

If I have a good scanner that is able to scan film negative, does it matter how they process the film if there are different ways to process it? [Film is a two step process - first processing (developing) the film (and there are a variety of ways and processes. Then the second step is to print from the negatives or slides on to the paper, and then develop it - which again has a variety of techniques]

I don't know of any place local that does really large print, can I just have a photo lab process the film and print them to 4x6s. After the process it, I can scan the NEGATIVE and convert them to high res digital and print them online. Is that something that can be done? [Again your instructor will probably advise]

How big of a print can I go with my Film camera if I use good film and good lens? [You have just exceeded my knowledge...]

Last but not lease, I noticed a small battery on my K1000 film camera, what is that for? [to power the light meter] I don't see any electrical components on the camera.

Hope that helps until someone better comes along...

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Old Nov 24, 2008, 8:04 PM   #3
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well, I can answer a couple. the battery on the 1000 is for metering, the DA lens is for digital only, not sure about the FA but it wont hurt to try. the body has a lot less to do with quality than the lens does. ISO depends on what type of shooting you do, I use mostly 200. you'll want a good light meter and learn to use it. or you could take a shot with the digital then use the same settings on the film cameras. use print film and not slide film. to the best of my knowledge, most scanners now days will do a good job of converting your film negs to digital format. how large you can go depends on the quality of the scan. hope this helps some.
GW:bye:

well, looks like you got some good advice while I was typing out my post... guess I should have waited.:G
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Old Nov 24, 2008, 8:13 PM   #4
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I shot film for 30 years mostly using a Pentax Super Program-that is still one of my favorite camera's. For the last 5 years of film shooting I used Fuji 400 exclusively. I felt it gave me better colors than Kodak-plus the extra stops really helped. All the labs in my area are gone-have been for a long time. I had been using ABC Photo Lab in Manassas, VA-their website is http://www.imageabc.com. They have a myriad of options-they can do both 35mm and digital-and very large prints. Takes a while to see all they offer-hope it helps. Good luck.
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Old Nov 24, 2008, 9:29 PM   #5
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i remeber when all the schools over here used K1000's to teach photography with
so that would be my choice of camera
it will work without the battery
you just need to learn the sunny 16 rule

on a sunny day set the aperture to f16 and the shutter speed to the iso of the film and you are on your way

and then adjust according to the lighting conditions of course

good luck and have fun
try black and white too seeing as you have 2 cameras lol
do you get to do your own developing too ?
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Old Nov 24, 2008, 9:33 PM   #6
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The K1000 is the classic student camera - it is a fully mechanical, manual everything camera, with match-needle metering. It is a basic camera, built like a tank and although the bottom of the line, may have remained in production unchanged longer than any other post-Spotmatic Pentax film models, making it Pentax's most successful camera. Its production was moved from Japan to China in its last years. It was (is) the camera most used (or recommended) by introductory photography classes, as it forces the operator to think about everything that must be done. The P3 is an equivalent camera that adds a basic electronic program function that can do some of the thinking for you, and thus can be "easier" to use. Both are capable of taking good or bad pictures - it is the photographer who makes the picture. FA lenses are designed to cover the full frame and will be suitable for use; DA lenses are designed for digital cameras only. Good luck in your endeavor- the choice of learning photography from film will make you better photographer in the long run.
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Old Nov 24, 2008, 9:57 PM   #7
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interested_observer,
I know the teacher will give me many valueable advice but I plan to go to Yosemite before class starts.

I forgot about the vignetting on my digital lens. There goes planning to use my Sigma 10-20mm. But I do have FF AF lens like my FA28 f/2.8 and my Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. I believe both of those lens have an aperture ring.

I am not really sure what you are talking about with the two step processing. I never processed my own film before so please excuse me on that. Let me try to understand it by converting it into a digital language. Is the first part like processing a RAW image file on the computer? And the 2nd part is when you print out the image on the printer? So if that is the case, I don't need to care much about the 2nd part because I will do my own printing from home right?

Goldwinger,
When I first looked into the viewfinder on the K1000, I thought there was a crack on the lens because I saw a line on the right side, but than I realize the line moved depending on how much light I am pointing at. I realized that had to do with something with the metering. But I did no know it needed a battery.
You asked me to get a good digital meter. Is the one built into the camera not good or accurate enough to use?
How did people take pictures in the past before meters were invented? I understand that some cameras don't even have a meter on it right?

DMJJR,
If I am shooting just landscape, isn't 400 kinda high when I can go lower, cleaner film?
I would rather try and develope the film locally because of the cost of shipping the film. But thanks for the link, I will look into it if I can't find what I want here.

Gumnut,
I heard about the sunny 16 rule but never had to use it because my digital camera took care of all of that. I feel so spoiled using a digital camera.:lol:



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Old Nov 24, 2008, 10:15 PM   #8
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What I intended to say on the two step processing is that 1) you have to develop the film and then 2) you have to use the developed film to print the image on paper.

It looks like your full frame lenses cover just about everything...
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Old Nov 24, 2008, 10:25 PM   #9
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interested_observer wrote:
Quote:
What I intended to say on the two step processing is that 1) you have to develop the film and then 2) you have to use the developed film to print the image on paper.

It looks like your full frame lenses cover just about everything...
After part one, can I scan the developed negative with my scanner or do I need to use that developed film to print something before I scan the negative?
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Old Nov 24, 2008, 11:09 PM   #10
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Check your scanners instruction manual to see if it is capable of scanning negatives or not. I had a Canon one that did and the photos scanned this way were very good indeed. Otherwise you can scan them after printing and get very decent results that way. I used a K1000 for over 30 years...Yes the same camera...It finally went south but only after I had gone digital so though missed it is not as bad as it could have been.

Use the K1000 as it, as mentioned, is all manual. Being all manual it will teach you more about photography than a program one will. You must think of how the photo must be taken instead of the camera doing it for you. The metering needle will help but it can lie sometimes especially as the battery gets weaker. Better to have and learn how to use a light meter.

For sunny landscapes use a good ISO 100 film. For shady or indoor work go to a ISO 400 film. Different film stock from different film producers have different saturation levels. There are even so-called HD films out there. I prefered a more saturation level film like Fuji for my landscapes and less saturation levels in my people shots such as a Kodak film. If you just want a general purpose film use a ISO 200 Kodak film. Least that is the way I did it. Get 36 exposure film too. Actually cheaper that way. For B&W in controlled light use Ilford brand ISO 64 or 32.

Be prepared for dissappointments when you get the film processed. I almost always got 60 percent good and 40 percent not so good. One reason I like digital...Free film.

As for film being sharper that is really no longer the case. Newer digital cameras and lenses have better resolution than film these days. Truth not fiction. Still a matter of technique as well as proper use.

Use the M's, A's and the FA's as far as lenses go. Had all M lenses and used mainly a 50mm f/2, 135mm f/2.8, and a 70-210mm f/ 3.5 with both a 2X and a 3X teleconverter. A good 28mm and a 35mm used very little but can be handy shooting urban areas. Just my thoughts. Have fun with this as it is a very good way to learn about aperture to speed combinations and how to basically use any camera that will find it's way into your possesion. The split ring focusing takes some getting used to but it ,as you will see, works very well even in low light.

Dawg
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