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I'm thinking of going back to film camera


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Initial post: 27 Dec 2010 22:53:31 GMT
Hi,

I am an experienced digital camera user and am thinking of going back to 35mm film SLR. I'm taking a serious look at the Pentax P30. Does anyone have experience of this camera/or is still using one?

Posted on 27 Dec 2010 23:09:38 GMT
Dorothy says:
If you are going back to film consider medium format. 35mm film looks particularly average after scanning.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2010 10:01:51 GMT
Thanks Dorothy, for your advice. That's exactly the sort of information I was seeking. I'm interested in combining the older style camera with modern processing methods and was expecting to shoot film or slide film and have a processing lab return it to me on a CD only and hopeful of getting really good quality images back. With digital of course there is so much more one can do at the home computer.

Posted on 28 Dec 2010 11:40:39 GMT
T. Robb says:
Hi Graham, I still use a P30T (as well as digital SLRs) and find it a joy to use. It is much more solid than modern cameras tend to be, it's light and compact, and encourages a slower pace and more thoughtful composition. The P30 (and P30N and newer P30T) have depth of field previews, batteries last ages, and the cameras are available on eBay for around 30 quid, and will still be available long after my current digital SLR has kicked the bucket. Film certainly has a very different look to digital, and it doesn't always scan very comfortably to digital, but if it's professionally scanned the results will still be useable and printable. There are also loads of high quality second-hand lenses available for the Pentax KA mount, especially fast prime lenses available at low prices. You might also consider Pentax ME Super or LX if you want to spend more money, or a Ricoh or Cosina with a KA mount if you want to spend a bit less, but I'd really recommend the P30T. Plus, strangely, it receives envious looks from people with new cameras that cost twenty times as much. Even when I don't like the photographs I've taken, it's still enjoyable to use, and changes the way I think about and take digital photographs.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2010 12:33:41 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Dec 2010 12:37:43 GMT
Good for you, Graham! Keep film alive. If you want to try B+W, go to www.cliffordstreetphotography.com This man sells Ilford film cheaper than I've seen it anywhere else. He's also a lab guy so can (and will) give you any advice you need. Excellent advice from Dorothy too. Medium format produces incredible resolution and sharpness. Regarding process and scan to disc only, be careful where you go for this. Graham Hearn on here is an avid filmer and recommends Steve at www.photofilmprocessing.co.uk for this. It may cost more but the results are worth it. I've tried most of the high street outlets for process and scan only and have been disappointed every time. Jessops were one of the worst, Sainsburys plain awful and Boots one of the better ones but there was no consistancy with any though. If you go for process only and then scan the negs yourself, you do need a good scanner and get yourself a seperate hard drive of at least 3 to 5 hundred gig. This stops a large scan swamping your p.c. and you can store many images on there too. If you look at Nova's web site, you'll find all you need to process your films yourself if you fancy it! Good luck! Regards, George.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2010 12:55:56 GMT
Sam-Theo says:
Hi Graham
Wish more and more photo enthusiasts will make that move. Some of my best images are from scanned K'chromes 25/64 & Velvia. Would love to take the dust offf my Nikon F90's, 100 & F5. Good Luck & Blesssings on your venture!!

Posted on 28 Dec 2010 20:19:08 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Dec 2010 20:20:19 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
Hi Graham.

I started a thread on this exact same subject a while back - it's currently at about 500+ posts! We chatted about a lot of subjects including many of the topics in which you're interested. Have a read if you've got some time to spare. A lot of time!

Just look for a thread called "Sick of digital now" on the Photography Forum index page.

Should keep you amused!

Kind regards, Graham.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Dec 2010 21:20:44 GMT
Colin says:
Are u mad! WHY!! Digital is the best thing since sliced bread!!

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2010 09:09:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Dec 2010 09:59:39 GMT
Sam-Theo says:
Hi Colin,
Ever tried freshly baked bread straight out of the oven?????
Seriously though, merits of digital system are undeniable, especially in the field of post-processing. Yet the results produced by combining the two systems remain far superior to either system on its own.
There is every indication for the two systems to run hand in hand to achieve excellence.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2010 10:02:19 GMT
I have already gone back to film, I use a couple of Nikon f90X bodies and a Bronica ETRS medium format. After using several digital cameras I decided that digital was more like photocopying than photography. I had a good look round for inspiration and motivation and found a variety of images that inspired me:

http://www.fotocommunity.com/pc/pc/pcat/68646
http://www.flickr.com/photos/zgodzinski/
http://www.fotocommunity.fr/pc/pc/mypics/1236420
http://www.fotocommunity.com/pc/pc/mypics/581555

I buy film on Ebay and a couple of terrestrial suppliers:
http://www.ag-photographic.co.uk/
http://www.7dayshop.com/catalog/default.php?cPath=777

I am not sure how good the quality of CD images would be, I use a scanner and Vuescan for slides and prints.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Dec 2010 10:39:27 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Dec 2010 10:43:04 GMT
"Are u mad! WHY!! Digital is the best thing since sliced bread!!"

I really hope this was intended irony.

Mr Taylor, I'm interested in scanning negatives having had moderate success with some old 120 negs I found in a box. The results were not great but ok for a small print. I just used my flat bed scanner but realise that I'd need something rather better if I was to do any serious printing.

Posted on 29 Dec 2010 11:56:26 GMT
Sam-Theo says:
The big question remains: will the sale/processing facilities for films ever get back to the way they were, during our lifetimes??

Posted on 29 Dec 2010 17:19:32 GMT
Hi Graham,
If you are interested I have 35mm FUJICA STX-1 with 2.2 lens in its pocket in good condition and a 200mm telephoto in its cover too. If you whant you can send me an e-mail at nicholas490@gmail.com

Regards

Nicholas

Posted on 29 Dec 2010 20:12:11 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Dec 2010 20:15:26 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
I wonder if we'll ever be allowed to have one thread about FILM photography where some digital zealot or other doesn't feel the need to jump in and try to convince us of the error of our ways? Maybe one day. I live in hope!

One more time, for the benefit of the digital guys:
Yes, we all know about digital. We probably all have digital cameras. Many of us have DSLRs too and we use them. But we still love film too!

Sam-Theo:
For simple business reasons I doubt we'll ever see the proliferation of High Street processing companies again, but given the variable quality of their output I for one won't miss them. I'd rather have a handful of top quality mail-order specialists than a mediocrity on every street corner.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Dec 2010 11:58:17 GMT
Alan Kirkby says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Dec 2010 12:35:27 GMT
Last edited by the author on 30 Dec 2010 14:38:45 GMT
Sam-Theo says:
Mr Kirkby-Senseless/barking mad individuals are those who use their honestly/hard-earned money on indulgences that eventually destroy their bodies and mind to an extent that they no longer feel any restraint in passing judgement on others.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Dec 2010 13:17:22 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 3 Jan 2011 08:08:51 GMT]

Posted on 30 Dec 2010 14:50:34 GMT
I was in a similar situation about a couple of years and invested in a used medium format tlr (Rolleicord). It's a good way of taking candid shots as you don't directly observe the subject. I found it got me back to basics, thinking more about the subject, and the sharpness of the negatives were amazing.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Dec 2010 18:43:28 GMT
Mr Kirkby,
I don't see how collecting and using quality film cameras obtained for a few quid can be so bad as to require your level of venom. He could probably sell them tomorrow for much the same as he paid. I wonder why you have even read this thread since it can have no interest for you and no one posting here wishes to read your unpleasant comments.

Posted on 30 Dec 2010 22:52:06 GMT
C. J. Calver says:
Film is a lot better and cheaper than digital when shooting wide-angle and landscapes. This is the one area you need full-frame and have you seen the price of a D3 or D700 lately? I will stick to film for this for some time to come as I can get superb lenses and cameras and have change from 100 from internet sites specialising in this medium! The difference in price pays for loads of film and development/scanning costs! And for the Photoshop afficionados, you can manipulate the scanned image and get just the colours and exposure effects you want there too from the 24MP file. Incidentally, the "cheap" lenses also fit modern APS-C digital cameras too, just apply the 1.5x conversion factor and off you go. I got a 360 Sigma 28-70 mm lens fitted to a Nikon F80 with a lowepro Trekker AW bag, 75-240mm Nikkor AF lens and Cosina19-35mm AFS lens, together with a Minolta manual camera and 50mm F1.7 lens, Speedlite and cable releases for just over 200! Not a bad "job-lot" and loads of fun!

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2010 01:47:20 GMT
Silverfox says:
Yes indeed, its a bit like the records sound better than CD's argument. Digital with high bit rates / hi pixel counts is a joy and I wouldn't want to go back to the limitations of analogue music or film stock.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Dec 2010 10:02:02 GMT
I tend to agree SF but early digital, music and film, needed a lot of development before it reached an adequate level of proficiency. It's inevitable then that the changeover will take a long time. Additionally there remains the argument that old film cameras are reliable, need no batteries and film is relatively forgiving. How about a wind up digital camera?

Posted on 31 Dec 2010 11:11:35 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
Silverfox:
"...Digital with high bit rates / hi pixel counts is a joy and I wouldn't want to go back to the limitations of analogue music or film stock."

That's no problem at all Sir. No-one is asking you to. Whilst I respect your views, and in particular the civilized and polite style in which you post them, I would point out that the purpose of this thread was originally for Mr Clarke to ask for advice on the Pentax P30. Please, Ladies and Gentlemen, let's not get into yet another Film Vs Digital slanging match? No-one ever "wins" and all it does is generate animosity and bad feeling.

If film isn't your thing, that's fine. None of us are going to try and convert you back from digital. I don't personally see the point in football, for example, but I wouldn't dream of weighing in to a football thread to tell all the fans who do that they are wrong and deluded. If they like it then fine, it does no harm and provides a lot of people with enjoyment. Much like the use of old film cameras provides us with.

Each to their own. There is room for both, so let's just enjoy whichever we prefer, eh?

Posted on 31 Dec 2010 11:44:30 GMT
C. J. Calver says:
Silverfox and others, in my post I was pointing out that there are more options than just Pentax cameras; Nikon and Canon in particular are well worth looking at as they have made the transition from Film to Digital in a particularly good way and have maintained lens compatibility throughout. They also offer full frame digital products that can use the earlier lenses and hence a good digital parallel path. Whilst not completely satisfied with the limitations of APS-C sensor technology (I have a Nikon D80 and am aware of the technical problems) I do not decry digital format and technology. I think that by using film cameras utilising the apropriate lenses at the present , you would preserve the use of the lenses (far more expensive than the average body!) until the price of full-frame digital cameras falls to within the reach of the average photographer. Rememeber that most professionals hire full-frame digital cameras and all keep film cameras such as Nikon FM2s as emergency spares in their camera bags!

Posted on 31 Dec 2010 12:01:19 GMT
G. E. Hearn says:
C.J. Calver:

Have you noticed how the prices of the "classic" film bodies have been rising through the last year? It seems there are more and more people who still want to grab a 35mm body while they still can. I was looking at Nikon's F4 and FE for some time, but the prices keep escalating, and being as I already have a good set of both Canon FD and Olympus OM lenses and kit I don't think I'll pursue the Nikon option. Only because all but two of my Nikon lenses are "DX" format and so won't work on 35mm. They're still lovely cameras though.
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