Brand new, did I do okay?

spud1337

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Hello forum, I'm new to the forum - as well as film photography.

I just won a Pentax ME 35mm on Ebay for ~36 USD, comes with a couple lenses (I hope I got an okay deal?). Wanted something basic to get started with.

Anyway, just wanted to stop in and introduce myself. I have some experience shooting with higher-end DSLR's for my part-time job - and it's really given me the photography "bug". However I want to get a deeper understanding of the process and feel like being able to properly manipulate a basic film camera will help me become a better photographer in general.

Here's a link to the auction in case anyone's interested. Like I said I hope I didn't get ripped off, but for that amount of money I felt comfortable making a bid.

Pentax Me 35mm Film Camera SMC Pentax 50mm 1 1 7 Lens Tamron 80 210 Zoom | eBay

Thanks for your time.

Any suggestions on what to do next or tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

compur

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The Pentax 50/1.7 lens usually sells for $50-$60 by itself so I'd say you did fine. Looks like a nice clean camera too and those Tamron zooms are quite good.
 

vintagesnaps

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The camera should be a good choice, the Pentax cameras were popular and had some nice lenses. I don't use zooms but had a Tamron that was a good lens (I say had, not because of the lens but because of what did it in, which is a long story...).

I don't buy cameras much on ebay and when the info. given is taken from wikipedia it makes me wonder if they know anything about the camera they're selling, but it may work fine the seller just might not be a photographer. Looks nice in the photos.

What to do next? If you're new to using film you might want to check out FPP, there are videos even on how to load film; they probably have some videos related to mechanical cameras that are similar to yours. Film Photography Project | An Internet Radio Show & On-Line Resource for Film Shooters Worldwide

One difference with film of course is that the ISO is determined by what speed film you use; I usually use 100 ISO indoors, 400 speed outdoors. Then I use the meter to determine shutter speed and aperture. My general starting point is f8 and 1/125 and I got into the habit of resetting the camera to that when I'm done using it so it's ready for the next time; then I adjust from there depending how sunny it is outdoors etc. Have fun shooting film!
 

timor

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One difference with film of course is that the ISO is determined by what speed film you use; I usually use 100 ISO indoors, 400 speed outdoors.
This a curious choice Sharon. I would suggest you do the other way around. :)
 
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spud1337

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Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it a lot.

One of my main goals(other than learning a lot about cause and effect of manipulating my settings) is to be able to shoot decent B&W portraits of my friends/families and dogs. I know portraits are one of the more difficult things to shoot which is a big reason why I'm choosing to go for it :lol:

So any tips on shooting good portraits with film would be greatly appreciated.
 

compur

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^ BTW, the Pentax ME does not offer manual shutter speed settings (other than a single 1/100 I think). It is an auto-exposure model -- you set aperture and camera sets shutter speed automatically.
 
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spud1337

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^ BTW, the Pentax ME does not offer manual shutter speed settings (other than a single 1/100 I think). It is an auto-exposure model -- you set aperture and camera sets shutter speed automatically.

Yeah I just noticed that myself after doing a bit of reading. I guess that's kind of a bummer :grumpy: .

Any suggestions on an inexpensive($125 and under) Film camera with a manual mode that I can snap some good B&W portraits with?
 

timor

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However I want to get a deeper understanding of the process and feel like being able to properly manipulate a basic film camera will help me become a better photographer in general.
Hi Spud, welcome to the forum
Congratulations on your buy, lets hope everything will be OK with the gear, when you get it. In meantime get a manual for it and maybe have look at this
Pentax ME
More you will know about it, easier it will go.
You can call it basic, but it is not quite a basic camera, it is an automatic exposure thing so there is no control over the shutter speed, just the aperture.
Be careful with placing in the view any bright spots, ME has tendency to underexpose in this conditions.
I understand that you want to be better photographer and actually you are good with digital technology. Don't get me wrong, I am fan of film, I ignore digital (only as far as my hobby) and I am glad, that people like to try film but how exactly film should give you a deeper understanding of the process . I don't want you to have false expectations; skill in manipulating basic film camera has nothing to do with upping photographic skills. You do realize, that film photography is based on completely different technology and you gonna have to learn it to be able to control the medium. Unless your plan is to use a slide film, but then I don't see any benefit of it. Film photography, especially b&w, and digital have only few things in common: #1 is composition, all the things we do to choose our subject and the angle we will look at it, but the whole process is not camera or technology specific. #2 is a final print, but here to, problems of visual presentation are not technology specific but rather general art problems. There are just different tool to get where you want to be with final print.
Film photography however could be fun if you approach it from different point of view, more of a game, more of a lifestyle, more of art for sake of art. A real. pointless, relaxing, happy hobby. That may bring a catharsis.
 

timor

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Any suggestions on an inexpensive($125 and under) Film camera with a manual mode that I can snap some good B&W portraits with?
Many Pentax K-mount cameras have full manual controls. For $125 you can get more than 1. Just look around, look for as new as you can find, metal shutter is better, than cloth, bright viewfinder is always better, batteries common today are better... You get the drift.
Look at this:
Pentax MZ-5N/ZX-5N - PentaxForums.com
I bought such a camera with big 28-200 zoom for $125
Look here for general info (plenty)
Pentax Manual Focus Film SLRs - Pentax Pentax Film Cameras - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications
Each model description comes with full technical specification.
Any questions, just ask.
 

compur

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^ BTW, the Pentax ME does not offer manual shutter speed settings (other than a single 1/100 I think). It is an auto-exposure model -- you set aperture and camera sets shutter speed automatically.

Yeah I just noticed that myself after doing a bit of reading. I guess that's kind of a bummer :grumpy: .

Any suggestions on an inexpensive($125 and under) Film camera with a manual mode that I can snap some good B&W portraits with?

The majority of Pentax film SLRs offer a full manual mode. Only the ME and a few others do not.
 
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spud1337

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However I want to get a deeper understanding of the process and feel like being able to properly manipulate a basic film camera will help me become a better photographer in general.
Hi Spud, welcome to the forum
Congratulations on your buy, lets hope everything will be OK with the gear, when you get it. In meantime get a manual for it and maybe have look at this
Pentax ME
More you will know about it, easier it will go.
You can call it basic, but it is not quite a basic camera, it is an automatic exposure thing so there is no control over the shutter speed, just the aperture.
Be careful with placing in the view any bright spots, ME has tendency to underexpose in this conditions.
I understand that you want to be better photographer and actually you are good with digital technology. Don't get me wrong, I am fan of film, I ignore digital (only as far as my hobby) and I am glad, that people like to try film but how exactly film should give you a deeper understanding of the process . I don't want you to have false expectations; skill in manipulating basic film camera has nothing to do with upping photographic skills. You do realize, that film photography is based on completely different technology and you gonna have to learn it to be able to control the medium. Unless your plan is to use a slide film, but then I don't see any benefit of it. Film photography, especially b&w, and digital have only few things in common: #1 is composition, all the things we do to choose our subject and the angle we will look at it, but the whole process is not camera or technology specific. #2 is a final print, but here to, problems of visual presentation are not technology specific but rather general art problems. There are just different tool to get where you want to be with final print.
Film photography however could be fun if you approach it from different point of view, more of a game, more of a lifestyle, more of art for sake of art. A real. pointless, relaxing, happy hobby. That may bring a catharsis.

Hey, thanks for taking the time to write that up for me - it certainly has given me some more perspective.

I'm approaching it as an art / fun hobby that will have some crossover benefits for my profession. To be honest - I shoot just fine for whats required of me at work(they trained me extensively using the camera's we actually use in the office). However my work with photography has given me the bug to want to try film out and see what its like.
 
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spud1337

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^ BTW, the Pentax ME does not offer manual shutter speed settings (other than a single 1/100 I think). It is an auto-exposure model -- you set aperture and camera sets shutter speed automatically.

Yeah I just noticed that myself after doing a bit of reading. I guess that's kind of a bummer :grumpy: .

Any suggestions on an inexpensive($125 and under) Film camera with a manual mode that I can snap some good B&W portraits with?

The majority of Pentax film SLRs offer a full manual mode. Only the ME and a few others do not.

Will the lenses that came with my ME be compatable with other Pentax film SLRs that do offer a full manual mode?
 

Gavjenks

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One difference with film of course is that the ISO is determined by what speed film you use; I usually use 100 ISO indoors, 400 speed outdoors.
This a curious choice Sharon. I would suggest you do the other way around. :)

Maybe he/she just likes a challenge!
 

timor

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Will the lenses that came with my ME be compatable with other Pentax film SLRs that do offer a full manual mode?
In my previous post I included a link to full (almost ?) list of Pentax manual cameras with descriptions. Take a look. Pentax has this beauty, they care about compatibility. Off course manual lens will not work in auto mode or become autofocus one, but will meter correctly and if body has this feature, will confirm focus.
 

dxqcanada

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Grab a Pentax K1000. Manual exposure only, and mechanical shutter. K-mount.
They should go for cheap ... you should be able to snag one for less than $40.00
 

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