Photographer from Australia

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Joel, Mar 25, 2006.

  1. Joel

    Joel TPF Noob!

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    well, ok, i wouldnt call myself a photographer... yet...

    Im new to photography and im just looking for a point in the right direction. i've always enjoyed a good photo so i was excited to score
    my mums Pentax MZ-50 (when she got a new compact digital). i have a few questions?

    • Is this camera any good? (do you want more details on it?)
    • Do you have any advise to give a newb like myself?
    • With develoing the film, is it too newb-like to just take my roll of film to the shop to get developed? or should i look in some other direction? Remembering im very new and have a budget of a uni student (ie next to nothing).
    • Last, is anyone here from Australia?
    Thanks heaps in advance for your help.

    Joel
     
  2. spiky_simon

    spiky_simon TPF Noob!

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    I live in Melbourne, so you're not alone on this forum (I think there are quite few Aussies on here, actually)

    Devleoping your film at any place is fine, but if you want great quality prints, you might be better to go to a reputable camera store.

    I don't know aboutyour particular camera - but Pentax is a brand with a good reputation and some great lenses (I have a very okld Pentax K1000 - it's a great manual camera), so you should be Ok with it as a starting point.

    My only real advice to you as a beginner would to take lots of pictures. Get hold of a good book might help (there's quite a few recommended here). I'd aslo recommend switching teh camera to aperture pririty to help you get a feel for how it afects depth of field. Read lots of forum like this one, and check out other peoples pictures. You might also like to join a local camera club. But mainly, take lots of pictures :)
     
  3. bigfatbadger

    bigfatbadger TPF Noob!

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    Hello, alas I'm not from australia, in my dreams!

    I've never seen or used your camera, but they're all basically light tight boxes with a hole that opens and closes in. Just looked it up on the internet, looks absolutely fine!

    My only advice is to shoot as much as possible. Don't be afriad of taking photos and don't expect to get a full roll of great ones back every time. If you get one good one back for every 36, that's a good ratio.

    See if you can enrol on a photography course at a local college. Especially one where you get to do darkroom work. A - it teaches you a lot about photography and B- it's great fun!

    And no, I quite often take my film to Tesco's (supermarket) to get developed. It's cheap and once you have the negatives you can always get other prints from them. At this point you want to be taking lots of pictures anyway, so the cheaper you can make it, the better!

    If you really want to economise, you can start to shoot black and white film and develop it at home yourself. Bit of an initial outlay and you don't get any prints, but it will work out cheaper if you do it a lot!

    Good luck with everything!
     
  4. Joel

    Joel TPF Noob!

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    hey i just thought of another question. whats the best way to record what settings i used for a particular photo? a table or something?
     
  5. Azuth

    Azuth TPF Noob!

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    You'd probably find a pocket notebook most conveniant. I'm in Sydney btw.
     
  6. bigfatbadger

    bigfatbadger TPF Noob!

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    I have a dictaphone, but look like a bit of a lunatic whilst using it,

    If you have a voice recorder on your phone you could use that. Or just a notebook
     
  7. ThomThomsk

    ThomThomsk TPF Noob!

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    Notebook. I start a new page for each film and give it a reference - 2006/A, 2006/B etc, the date, what camera I was using and the film type. When I file the prints and negatives I label them with the same reference number and tear out the notebook page and file that too.

    For each exposure I write down the location, the subject, shutter speed, aperture and where I was focusing (this will help you later when you want to see how aperture affects your depth of field).

    I also make a note of how I decided on the exposure, for example I might take a meter reading from close to someone's face and then open the aperture 1 or 2 stops from what the meter indicated, or I might meter the darkest shadow in the scene and then close down the aperture by one or two stops. This may not make any sense to you at the moment, but try a search for threads on exposure and you'll get lots of helpful information. For now you are probably just going to use whatever settings your camera's meter tells you and maybe shoot in automatic mode where the camera does everything for you, but it is worth getting into the habit of writing it down anyway.

    I'm in the UK, but I've got family in WA and friends in NSW. I've visited both, and wish I was there right now!

    Thomsk
     
  8. Joel

    Joel TPF Noob!

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    cool thanks! you guys have been heaps helpful!!!

    and yeh i have been doing some reading about all that stuff and i'll definatly keep learning and reading as i go!
     
  9. Joel

    Joel TPF Noob!

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    I just found out the the lens isnt the original lens. it says on it

    Pentax 28-50

    the further around it says

    SMC PENTAX-FA
    1:3.5-5.6 28-80mm

    and at the very end it says

    Arkon 58mm UV.

    Im looking around the net now for info so hopefully i'll find something. do you guys know anything about it? i dont even know what all those numbers mean :blushing:

    also theres a bit of dust inside the lens and in the camera in general. i had a search for how to clean it but didnt come up with alot (i'll keep looking tho).

    Thanks again for helpin out a newbie :thumbup:
     
  10. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    That means it's a Pentax branded zoom lens. This is a wide to general lens, suitable for landscapes, portraits whatever. Not however, a long lens for wildlife or sports.


    It's a 28-80mm zoom lens with widest aperture at 28mm of f3.5. At 80mm the widest aperture is f5.6. This is fine for general photography, but won't let you get a very narrow depth of field.

    That's a third party removeable UV filter. It has very little effect on the end image, but will help protect your lens from scratches and stuff. Probably best as a newbie to leave it on for safety.

    Let us know if there are any further explanations needed to the numbers!

    Don't clean the camera unless the images are affected by the dust - you'll probably make things worse, or perhaps damage the camera. Wait until you've got a better idea of how it all works before attempting this, or take it to a professional for a CLA.

    No problem! Just ask if you need anything clarified.

    Rob
     
  11. Joel

    Joel TPF Noob!

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    WOW! thanks for such a good reply. i didnt plan on playin with the insides. i just thought i'd ask :) I'll be hanging around so hopefully i'll be able to post some shots soon!
     
  12. Xmetal

    Xmetal TPF Noob!

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    Another Aussie here, (Newcastle dweller)

    I used an MZ-50 through High School for major assignments and when I couldn't use that I had my dad's Pentax ME Super to play with. :)

    The MZ-50 was a superb camera for a student to use since it has full electonic lenses. :)

    You'll probably find a few more Pentax loyalists around here, I'm a devout Canon user but sometimes i'll revert back to my old Pentax ways. :)
     

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