Overread does film now!

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by Overread, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well I am heading that way at least!
    but first comes one of those really horrible posts with all those really basic questions - so tollerate me for a second if you will :)

    My current gear:
    Praktica TL 5B (+ a spare one which is a little worse for wear and needs a new meter battery - but otherwise appears sound. Model number is missing, but appears to be either an older or similar model to the other)

    Pentacon auto 50mm f1.8
    Vivitar 28mm f2.8
    Photax automatic extension tubes 11, 18 and 32.
    remote release for camera.

    I would like to give the setup a try for wildlife - or at least zoolife - though I am still searching (or rather at the moment seeking cash) for a good 300mm or greater lens.
    At the moment I am thinking of a few landscape shots (well at least using it for some if I can find a nice landscape) and also of using the tubes for some flower macro work.

    1) I know the power of SLRs is the interchangable lens, but I was wondering if there is any risk to the film that I need to be aware of if I change lenses whilst using the same roll of film.

    2) At the moment film is a pure hobby and interest area so I am mostly using shop film and shop developing (though not that 1 hour developing setup!). So I am wondering if there are any typical shop sold films that give good results - I am uk based.
    At the moment I have an old roll of something in it (ISO 200). And I have a spare new roll of Fujicolour Superia ISO 200.

    3) Exposure tricks - at the moment I have not learnt fully how best to use the lightmeter, but the camera I have has a built in meter which works so I am currently using that. However I am wondering if there are any occasions were such a meter might be tricked by the lighting and thus give a meter reading which might not yeald a good result (similar ot the thinking that DSLR camera meter results are often worth underexposing a little when in stronger lighting to help preserve highlights.)

    4) Scanning film - can film negatives be scanned well and without damage by an ordinary scanner or does one need a special setup or a high grade scanner to get good results. At the moment I have got prints from the shop, but I might shift to having them only develop the film and do printing via scans at home (printing done at an external printing lab).

    5) General healthcare - I know of things like dustspots on digital, so what precautions and cleaning are needed for a film setup?

    6) Any other tips welcome!
     
  2. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Everything you do with the dslr is transferable to film, only slightly (1/2 stop) overexpose in this case with neg, underexpose up to (1/2 stop) with slide/pos film.

    Change lens when where you want, dust does nothing till the printing stage. clean camera with a direct blast from an air can for dust, never touch the mirror and clean lens the same as digital.

    Lightmeter is same as dslr, 18% grey, overexpose for snow by 2 stops at least, or its grey. I would meter with your digital rather than an older practika, modern electronic metering will be more reliable than this camera.

    Dedicated film scanner for best home results, cheapies on ebay. Fuji reala 100iso is superb film for bright days or in studio I found it better to my eye than the "pro" rated stuff. H
     
  3. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    just had a look at this model, god its basic, I've seen canon eos 650 etc for a tenner at boot sales which are equipped with all the modern stuff you get on dslr's making them easier to set for exposure etc, this model is just a step up from the box brownie so I'd forget the camera meter altogether and go the sunny 16 rule lol. H
     
  4. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    1) When you're between rolls, take off the back of the camera. See how the shutter (and not just the mirror) prevents light from coming through? Keep looking at the back of the camera while taking a lens on and off the camera? Is there any difference in light? No? You're safe.

    4) Do you have a scanner at home? Try it out (light will not damage film except over very long periods of time of course) and see if it works, otherwise get something like a Epson V500.

    5) You still have dust spots on film, just now it's a hell of a lot easier to clean the sensor ;) that's about it.

    Welcome to film :thumbsup:
     
  5. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Hard to avoid dust with digital and film. But it's different on film. Dust will get on film after development, either when you're drying the film (if you're planning on 'self-development' ... which is always good), or when you're printing or scanning and handling the negative.

    Removing dust for digital or for film ... it is always better to clean the sensor or the negative than removing dust through digital processing. Tools to help keep your negatives clean would be:

    1) Handle your film in a dust free environment. Typically a bathroom is the most dust free room in a house ... which can be a little uncomfortable. So find a room which has minimal traffic and doors/windows to work on the negs.

    2) Finger prints and smudges from handling may/will happen ... I recommend some soft cotton gloves to wear when handling negatives (they're cheap available at camera stores), some neg cleaning solution with swabs, a negative cleaning brush and a can of air.

    4) Avoid touching the bottom of the negative (the shiny side is top), the dull side is the emulsion and is prone to scratching.

    Good Luck and Good Shooting,
    Gary

    PS- The more film you handle, the more proficient you become, the less dust will appear on your negatives ... soon you'll won't wear the gloves and most of the cleaning stuff will itself start collecting dust. Just a bit of a learning curve.
    G

    PPS- Used film bodies are so ... so cheap now ... if you like your initial experience you may want to consider a Canon body which will accept all your lenses. Last year I picked up a like-new T-something-or-other for $40. meter's and auto-focuses with all my lens (except the EF-S 60mm).
    G
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  6. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hey, well, you finally wised up, huh? ;P

    Well, here's my two cents.

    1) Light could in theory always find a way around the mirror so the most you might get in the habit of doing would be to turn your back toward the brightest light falling on the camera before changing the lens. But this is problematic at best. Really not necessary unless you know you have this problem.

    2) Superia is sweet for starting off. Portra does very well but it is not as readily available as the green box Fuji films. For C41 (color process) black and white my favorite was Kodak BW400CN.

    3) All kinds of exposure tricks in the magazine (CiM - in the link) and more to come in the next few months. The monthly .pdf's are downloadable from a Lulu storefront for free and the .url is available from the website.

    4) You can scan negs on a flatbed safely but the resolution won't be optimal.

    5) Do not touch the shutter blades/curtains on the camera or the aperture blades on the lens. Use compressed air only on external parts. Use the bulb brush otherwise.

    6) Once you really get the hang of things, spend 175 pounds or so, get some black and white film and processing gear and discover the magic for yourself.

    Have some fun and good luck. And seriously, check out the magazine. We have added a lot of great information in the past few months that could help out immensely.
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    many thanks all!
    now to put it all into practice!
    I know the camera is old and not where near as good as the more modern versions (and the shutter has a real cthunk to it) but for a side interest its enough for me at this stage (plus a cheaper longer lens as well when I can get the monies together and ebay is nice).
     
  8. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Dont worry about the shutter, its mechanical, I've got an old bronica S2A which has folk diving for cover when pressed. H
     
  9. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why? If the meter is still accurate and you know how to use it, you can still get properly exposed images. I use the built-in light meter on my Spotmatic F (centre-weighted average metering like the Praktica I believe) and get proper exposure consistently. Just learn how centre-weighted average metering works and you'll be fine, particularly with negative film, which is quite tolerant to exposure mistakes.
     
  10. Seefutlung

    Seefutlung TPF Noob!

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    Film is so forgiving (IMO) ... that for most outside shoot you don't even need a meter. My first 35mm was an old Yashica rangefinder without a meter. I just used the Sunny 16 rule and adjusted from there. Soon I could get good camera setting just using my eyeballs in all sorts of lightings.

    Gary
     
  11. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Bear in mind the forgiveness of various films. Generally color reversal film will provide about four stops of latitude (stops difference where there is distinguishable detail). Color negative film provides about five and a half stops. Most black and white films provide seven to eight stops so there is a lot more ability of black and white films to record detail in extreme SBR situations.
     

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