Just got an SLR, need some tips on learning to use it

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by wbreslin951, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. wbreslin951

    wbreslin951 TPF Noob!

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    hey guys. i just got my grandfathers old Pentax ME Super with a bunch of accessories, I took a photo class in high school but it mainly focused on the darkroom work and composition, but not so much on using the equipment to its full potential, especially lenses. we stuck with the stock camera lenses the whole class. what are good ways to learn what to use and how to use it in various situations with the equipment i have? here's a list of everything i got:

    Pentax ME Super
    Lenses:
    SMC Pentax-M 1:2 50mm
    SMC Pentax-M 1:3.5 135mm
    TOU/FIVE STAR MC AUTO MACRO ZOOM 1:4 70-200mm
    Ambico V-3100 Wide Angle 0.5X*
    Home-made pinhole lens using the dust cover =]

    Filters:
    Pentax L39(UV)
    Toyo Optics Polarizer
    Tamron SKY

    Etcetera:
    2X Extension tube
    Cable Release (1ft long)
    AF 200S Flash Unit

    *This lens attaches to whichever lens im using via a screw on adapter, almost like a filter. it doesn't fit my macro zoom lens, but then again what would be the point? i would just use either my 50mm or 135 mm lens in that situation right?

    Also, with the macro zoom lens, i have trouble focusing precisely because the bottom of the 'split-image' focus circle is completely black unless im pointing the cam straight at a light bulb or something

    Thanks for all your guy's help in advance!
     
  2. T-town photographer

    T-town photographer TPF Noob!

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    What I would do is just go out and buy some film and play with it. Develop your own stype and "eye" for photography.

    There are more books on it than a lot of things but you really don't learn unless you shoot. Al least I did not. Go out have fun and post some pics. I hope this helps.

    Michael
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    For learning the how-to of 35mm film photography, the many instructional books written by John Hedgecoe are a good place to start. The ME you have works primarily as a programmed automatic camera, as I recall--it's been about 25 years since used a Pentax ME Super...I recall it being all-automaic with a very limited manual operational option.

    Regardless--the 50mm and 135mm single focal length lenses offer you a good deal of potential photos, and you also have a 70-200mm telephoto. One suggestion I can make is to watch the shutter speed shake warnings when using longer lens lengths, like 85mm, 105mm, up to 200mm; the potential for slow shutter speeds and camera shake is pretty high with longer lens lengths, especially in the winter time when the light isn't nearly as bright as it is in the summer time.

    I think the John Hedgecoe books "show" the student the most instructional/sample/schematic photos of any books. Have fun with it,and don't let a minor setback or two disrupt your studies.
     
  4. TommyF

    TommyF TPF Noob!

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    I am new to photography as well; but, spend like $15-$25 on a tripod at your local Wally world and then enjoy taking lower light pictures. Remember that when developing your prints to throw em on CD as well so you can post them. I too use a 35mm SLR so I think it would be cool to see the stuff you shoot. I dont think there are many of us here that still use film. God I cant wait to buy a DSLR.
     
  5. wbreslin951

    wbreslin951 TPF Noob!

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    all good advice guys, cool. yeah what i wanna do just to save money is roll my own film and develop it. i like the whole process its kinda fun to know that you have absolute control over the way your pics come out. =]. i found a developing kit with everything you need to go from film to print for $80 on fleabay. should i go for it? it comes with all the chemistry, paper, trays, enlarger, developing tanks, everything!
     
  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A good film with latitude is Ilford HP5 and it is cheap with very good results
     

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