advice/help needed.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by John_05, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

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    i am going to a wrestling event (WWE) next month, and i need some advice on how to get the best pics i can with my Pentax ME. these will be the first pics i have taken with this camera, and i have no manual for it at all. i went to a show a couple of months ago and used my Fuji E510, and most every pic came out very poor. i am thinking i was trying to zoom too far, and that is why most of the pics came out very blurry. i would post a couple for examples, but i would prefer not to embarass myself that much.:lmao:

    does anyone know where i might find a manual for my camera? the ME i have i imagine was made in 1974 judging from the inspection sticker on the body so im not sure if it has any of the features/options a newer ME would have.
    i also have 2 lenses for it, and would like to know which would be better for getting good in-ring shots from a ringside seat. i am hoping to get first row, but i may be back as many as 6 rows like i was the first time i went. if i had to guess, 6 rows back would be about 35-40 feet from the ring.

    the 2 lenses i have say "SMS Pentax-M 1:1.7 50mm", and the other says "SUPER ALBINAR AUTO 1:2.8 f=135mm no.776365 55" and then has an "O" with a / through it after where it says 55.

    if more information is needed, i can add it later, or i can take some pics of the camera and lenses if it will help.

    i have 10 rolls of Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400/27" film that i can use, but if different film is recommended, i can buy it for the show.

    i also need to know what type of flash would work with this camera. if i can find one for less then $100, it would be a great help. i dont have a lot of money to spend with the holidays coming up and living on a very fixed income.

    like ive said before, i am very new to using 35mm cameras and photography in general, so any advice at all will be a very big help to me. thank you very much to anyone that can give me some help, or point me towards a manual for my camera. i have e-mailed Pentax to try to get a manual, but it has been 2 weeks, and i have yet to get a reply to the 3 e-mails i have sent them.

    thanks again to anyone that can help me!
     
  2. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My biggest help here may be just point you to a manual. You should be able to find it here:
    http://www.pentax.com/docstore/index.cfm?show=6
    I have a ME Super which is a fine film camera and they produce nice images and the body is built to last. IMO, the 400 film should be fine. I've never been to a WWE event, but on TV it tends to looks like a concert for the most part, where the audience is rather dimly lighted and the ring is well lit. You may want to consider a slightly faster film if you are concerned that they will be underexposed. As far as a flash, I would say shoot w/o it b/c the effectiveness is going to be lost after 15' or so.
    That 50mm lens is a pretty decent piece of glass, and I use the same at times. It's nice in that it's a fairly fast lens but since it's fixed you aren't going to get any close up shots if that's what you are going for. I'd say for this event, I would probably just take the other lens.
    I would also recommend getting a couple of rolls of film just to play with and practice under various conditions to make sure you are getting expected results, rather than waiting until the event and being disappointed that you weren't able to use this or that function of the camera.
    I'll now sit back and wait for others more learned than I to agree or disagree.
     
  3. Dweller

    Dweller Inconspicuous Supporter

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    I was able to find both a manual and a service manual for that camera with a google search.

    what did we ever do without google?

    http://www.pentax-manuals.com/
     
  4. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

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    ty to you both for the help. i did actually get an e-mail from Pentax today (finally), and they sent me a link to the online manual, and offered to send me one by mail for $6.00 as well.

    is there anyone that can give me a little more advice as to what settings might produce the better results with this camera? i could try to shoot some with the digitals i have and try to match the settings with the Pentax, but changing cameras may mean i miss some shots i would like to have.

    is the 400 speed film i have going to work well, or should i think about getting something like 100 or 200 speed film, and if i shoot without a flash, what settings will give me better exposures? ty again for the help so far, and for any further help anyone can give me. :thumbup:
     
  5. nealjpage

    nealjpage multi format master in a film geek package

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    I'd just set the ISO at the film speed you're using and let the light meter do the work for you. Unless you're in the nosebleed section and using a telephoto. I think then things don't work quite the same way as a prime lens does and the light meter isn't quite as accurate. But someone will correct me if i'm wrong.
     
  6. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My thinking is that you are going to need a shutter speed of around 1/125 or better to freeze the action. I would think that if anything, you would want faster film that takes less light to properly expose rather than 100 or 200 which will require more light. Higher ISO film equals more grain, but as I said, 100 or 200 will require slower shutter speed (or a smaller aperture value). I think if you go below 1/125 for shutter you are going to get a lot of motion blur action shots especially if you are not using a tripod with that 135mm lens.
    just my .02
     
  7. digital flower

    digital flower No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I am not sure about matching the settings between the cameras. Depending on the type of digital you have, it might be the way to go. You can view the results and adjust the settings on the fly. I wouldn't personally be worried about missing a couple of shots. I'd rather have a few very good ones. Another advantage to digital is if the pictures are not coming out you can sit back and enjoy the show as opposed to shooting the 10 rolls. I probably would try both.
     
  8. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

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    thanks to everyone for their advice, again. i really appreciate it.
    i havent gotten the tickets yet, but i dont go to them shows if i cant get a ringside seat. anything farther back then that makes it a waste of money when i can sit at home and see the show better from my couch. i have a couple friends here that work for ticketmaster, so i know i can get a ringside seat.
    i figured i would go through the pics i got last time, and post a few here to show the problems i had last time, and why i really appreciate the help. i love taking pics and i love learning how to do anything i love to do better, but i dont really like taking rolls of film in to be processed only to find out that like the last time i went, i got about 12 useable pics out of 500 taken. i suppose that is all part of the learning process but i live on a very limited income and would rather have about 10% of the pics i take come out good, then only 2.5%.:lmao:
    these first few were taken towards the beginning of the show. i had realized after taking about 50 pics that i had accidentally turned the mode dial on the Fuji, and the settings were wrong on the camera.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]





    these last few were taken after i reset the camera. if i remember correctly, all these pics were taken in the "auto" mode and i tried to zoom less.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    some of the later pics did come out alot better, but there was still some blur, and not very much detail in the full size images. this is why i want to use the Pentax this time. i dont have any lenses for the Fuji, and i really want to learn how to use the Pentax. i have always had better luck shooting with film cameras then the digitals, and i am sure this Pentax is capable of producing much better pics then any of the other 35mm cameras i have had before.

    i do apologize for posting so many pics, but i wanted to give the people who see this, and who have helped me so far, an idea of the problems i had before so i can get the best advice possible. thank you again to everyone for their advice.
    im not sure if anyone would want to see any of these pics in full size, but if anyone does, just ask and i will send them to you. thanks again!
     
  9. cecilc

    cecilc TPF Noob!

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    You'll need some fast film in order to keep your shutter speed up to a fast enough speed to avoid motion blur and/or camera shake - both of which can happen when your shutter speed is too slow ....

    I'd look for either 800 or 1000 speed film to use. Set your camera on manual mode with the ISO setting for your film speed. You'll set your aperture to the most wide open setting (for instance, shoot at 2.8 with your 2.8 lens) and set your shutter speed to at least 1/200 or 1/250 (the faster the better). I think anything less than 1/200 you're going to get either motion blur in your subjects or the camera is going to move - either way you're going to get blur ....

    You can also shoot with 800 speed film, but put your ISO setting on your camera to 1600. When you submit it for processing, just tell them to "push" the processing one stop. That would also mean that you could:
    1) Shoot at one stop faster shutter speed (1/500 instead of 1/250 - more "freeze" to the action) or
    2) Shoot at one stop slower aperture (f4.0 instead of f2.8 - more depth of field)

    Hope that helps ...
     
  10. bace

    bace TPF Noob!

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    From my experience with low light photography I find the 50mm was always the best way to go. When I used any zoom lens the aperture didn't go quite as low as I wanted it to. I also found that any shutter speed low than 1/30 would capture to much motion. Either in my hand movement or in subject movement. Mind you, Dj's aren't moving that much.

    I always used 800 ISO film, which made for some serious grain, but I was always happy with the pics. Try not to focus on the built in light meter either. When shooting low light pics, they're always gonna tell you that you need more light because that's what they're supposed to do. The only time you wanna change something, is when it's telling you that you've got too much light.

    I never used a flash for any of my shots unless I was bouncing it for close up portraits of partiers, and dj's.

    Hope some of that helps. You may be able to get away with 400 iso, because there's way more light at those shows. You may also be able to use you zoom if you set the app to the max and don't go under 1/30 shutter speed.
     
  11. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The top pics look like a combination of both selecting a shutter speed that was too low, but also camera shake. I agree with Cecil that you will need a shutter speed of probably 250+ to get clear shots. It looks like the auto setting produced better results, even though they were further away. If manual mode is too intimidating right now, I would try shutter speed priority.
     
  12. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

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    thanks to everyone for the help. hopefully i will have better "luck" this time, and will have some decent photos to post here after the show. after reading a couple other threads, i have decided to not take my film to a drugstore or a place like wal-mart for processing. there is a photo lab here with a pretty good reputation, so i will be calling for prices on monday. thanks again to everyone who replied!
     

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