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SLR camera help and advice please

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 27 total)
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  • #2156
    Pope_Larry_II
    Participant

    I am inheriting my dad’s Pentax SLR camera and I need some help and advice. The camera is from the mid 1980’s and hasn’t bee used in almost 20 years. I think the camera was purchased as part of a kit, as there are a few lenses, a flash and a hard carrying case. I don’t have any other info about it as I don’t have it in my hands yet. I do have some questions though.

    Should I take it in to be serviced before heading out with it?

    What do I need to know about film?
    Seriously, I’ve only ever used a P&S film camera

    What differences should I expect between this and my Nikon D3000?

    Thanks

    #36448
    sleeping
    Participant

    There’s a couple things you can do to check it out:

    – Make sure the slow shutter speeds seem about right. You can’t really judge the accuracy of the faster speeds by ear but if the slow ones are OK there’s a good chance the fast ones are too. If it’s a 100% mechanical camera you may be able to get it back working by exercising it a bit – shoot 20 or 30 blank frames and see if it improves any.

    – Make sure the lenses are stopping down to the shooting aperture correctly. Open the back of the camera and point the lens at a light source, then look at the back of the shutter and shoot something like a 1/30 sec exposure at F16 or so. What you should see is a flash of the aperture stopped down to a small hexagon shape (or however many blades the aperture has). If it’s still closing during the exposure, or if it doesn’t close at all, that lens needs work.

    – Check out the light seals – any foam around the edges of the film compartment door and stuff. If it’s all soft and sticky it will almost certainly need to be replaced. It may need replacing anyway, but the only way to know for sure is to stick some film in and see if it comes back OK or not – don’t shoot a wedding or something on your first few rolls of film, and it’s a good idea to take the camera outside of any cases and make sure it’s getting exposed to direct sunlight for the first rolls you shoot just to verify that everything is OK.

    #36449
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    Most of the mid 80’s Pentax were built like tanks, clean it out, work the shutter and the film advance a little, load a new battery and hit it. If it is a K1000, you are in for a treat, they are sweet little camera’s, my very first time was on a K1000.

    You find shooting through a manual camera a little disorienting at first, you will forget to do things like advance the film….or focus. The shutter speeds are limited which can be frustrating if you are used to being able to climb into the 1000th of a second. It is fun, and you will find that shooting film slows you down (or it least it does me) and makes me concentrate on my composition. With digital I would shoot several frames while deciding what composition I liked most, with film you have to do that ahead of time, look twice shoot once.

    #36450
    orionid
    Participant

    Likewise, if it’s an MG, I can give you lots of info, I grew up on that frame. Also, many models of the 80’s pentaxes were permanent aperture priority mode and used a built-in light meter. Many of the lenses mechanically stopped down, independent of camera control. If your lenses are all mechanical (as I suspect), you can just check the aperture movement while the lens is off the camera. I also concur with all the above advice about timing checks and whatnot.

    #36451
    Kestrana
    Participant

    my very first time was on a K1000.
    .

    Sounds painful…

    #36452
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    my very first time was on a K1000.
    .

    Sounds painful…

    No! It was very gentle, very loving! 😛

    #36453
    soosh
    Participant

    My first SLR was also a K1000. Man that thing was sweet. I didn’t realize what a great camera it was at the time and just bought it because I was attracted to the way it looked and the non-electronic aspects of it. Then the pictures were just spectacular.

    I pawned it during a lean time in college, and regretted it ever since.

    #36454
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    My first SLR was also a K1000. Man that thing was sweet. I didn’t realize what a great camera it was at the time and just bought it because I was attracted to the way it looked and the non-electronic aspects of it. Then the pictures were just spectacular.

    I pawned it during a lean time in college, and regretted it ever since.

    Seriously, I lost mine, my whole camera bag with lenses, filters, the works. I moved around a lot when I was in the military, after one move I simply couldn’t find it. I bought a body and 50mm on ebay a while back, it is sitting on my camera shelf because I don’t have a battery in it. I should really fix that.

    #36455
    Curious
    Participant

    is this where i talk about using a pentax for my first two rolls of film shot with a SLR. it was a loaner and when i bought i got a minolta SRT102. then an XD-11 and stayed with minolta when i went digital with the 7D. no, ok then.

    What differences should I expect between this and my Nikon D3000?

    in terms of ease of use the differences are huge. D3000 auto everything. Pentax auto nothing. it most likely has a built in meter and may allow either shutter or aperture priority, maybe either or. you will be much more conscious of exposure in any case since you will have to manually check that it is right. and by that i mean if it is shutter priority you pre select the shutter speed then match the proper aperture to the shooting conditions. the camera meter will guide you but you will have to stop down (or up) manually. and as ennuipoet mentioned there are the taken for granted stuff like advancing the film.

    if that camera has a depth of field preview button learn to use it. that’s a great feature. in any case the pentax may not make you a better photographer but it will make you much more aware of your photographs and what goes into capturing an image.

    #36456
    Pope_Larry_II
    Participant

    Thanks you all for the advice.

    I picked it up last night and it is a K1000, with a 50mm Pentax lens, a 28mm Takumar lens, and a 80-200mm Takumar lens and a Hanimex flash. I also have the original instruction manual.

    I noticed that the seal along the bottom of the door is sticky, so it looks like I’ll be taking it in for a tune up before I can start shooting.

    I’ll post pictures later today.

    #36457
    Curious
    Participant

    from a google search: Unlike the Pentax ME which came out at the same time and had aperture-priority metering, the K1000 was all-manual only, with a built-in coupled match-needle meter very similar to the Pentax Spotmatic series.

    my minolta SRT102 was match needle and i think you will find it fairly easy to use. it will also get you thinking about the trade between shutter speed and aperture/DOF since with match needle you will be selecting both.

    #36458
    Pope_Larry_II
    Participant

    The entire kit, with travel case.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21883298@N08/5234700807/in/photostream/

    The camera

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/21883298@N08/523

    From my Google research it appears this is one of the Hong Kong built units as it has the all metal body.

    #36459
    ennuipoet
    Participant

    I’ve got to say, shooting film is…well, hell, it’s special. It takes time, patience, practice. When you put it together with home developing, it’s a craft. It is slow, time consuming, but rewarding. Perhaps it’s just me, but if you love photography, then go back in time once in a while and savor it how it was. It will also make you appreciate how it is.

    Enjoy!

    #36460
    Curious
    Participant

    that is one damn fine case

    I’ve got to say, shooting film is…well, hell, it’s special. It takes time, patience, practice.

    a whole bunch of THIS.

    #36461
    Pope_Larry_II
    Participant

    I’ve got to say, shooting film is…well, hell, it’s special. It takes time, patience, practice. When you put it together with home developing, it’s a craft. It is slow, time consuming, but rewarding. Perhaps it’s just me, but if you love photography, then go back in time once in a while and savor it how it was. It will also make you appreciate how it is.

    Enjoy!

    I doubt I’ll ever get into home developing, I just don’t have the space. I am really looking forward to going out with it soon.

    Curious, the case seems to be custom fit, everything fits snugly into its spot. I think I’ll have to replace the strap with something a little more comfortable if I’m going to carry it around.

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