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Thread: Entry to film photography

  1. #41

    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoTheSolar View Post
    Greetings clubsnap members!

    Im keen on starting up as a hobbyist photographer. Can anybody advice me on things such as:
    -film cameras to look out for(prefably 35mm film rangefinder with a fast 50mm prime)
    -shops I can approach for one- stop advice on film photography(prefably in west region)
    -short & long term cost of film(film roll,developing & printing) as compared to paying a lump sum for digital
    -average starting budget suggestion

    Any help is appreciated!

    IMO, don't need to go all fancy and expensive.
    The Pentax K1000 was the poor students learning model from 1976-1997.
    Very spartan, no creature comforts, but the needed controls to learn a camera was there.

    I can shoot one, of course and do it for the engagement that I like, but often I am lazy too and opt to use some other camera with AF and metering, spot meter, auto film winder.
    So you need to think what you baseline is.
    and you budget.

    Think about format and camera type.
    35mm film, 645, 6x6, 67?
    If you want to get maximum quality for film, go 6x6 or 67 (but you really need to do more research).
    If you don't need the highest quality, 135 format is the easiest entry to film.
    Cost is commensurate with film size.
    Do ask and read around in the film section on CS (lots of knowledgeable ppl there)


    RF/SLR, the eternal struggle....
    Depends on individual.
    Try both out in a shop or attend a film user meetup and the folks are usually more than happy to let you try.
    I can't appreciate the RF method of use/focus, some guys are the other way round.
    No right no wrong, just what we can get used to and preference.

    I suggest a reputable online seller on ebay or a reputable forum user on CS (CS usually got good deals and you get to try the camera)

    Film costs varies too much to mention here (BnW? Slide? Exotic film? all cost different).
    Check out this link :
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=513023


    Think it over if film is the way you really want it.
    Not because its different and cool.
    No chimping (or rather each shot cost $); Limited post processing (hard to do and sort of blending; translation into digital?, etc.
    I say this not because I dislike film but you better think over what you are getting into.
    Need to be clear why you want to do it.


    I suggest starting simple.
    AF SLR with metering.
    Need to have the typical modes of course (Shutter/Aperuture piority, M ) (others are bouns)
    Center weighted metering will do fine (if there is spot metering, its great (consider it a bonus)
    Plenty of such mid level or even higher end SLRs at under $200, look around.
    It does not need to be a fancy highest end model if the price is too much.
    Don't be over excited and jump in without proper search at prices and what the camera has.



    Good luck.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post

    IMO, don't need to go all fancy and expensive.
    The Pentax K1000 was the poor students learning model from 1976-1997.
    Very spartan, no creature comforts, but the needed controls to learn a camera was there.

    I can shoot one, of course and do it for the engagement that I like, but often I am lazy too and opt to use some other camera with AF and metering, spot meter, auto film winder.
    So you need to think what you baseline is.
    and you budget.

    Think about format and camera type.
    35mm film, 645, 6x6, 67?
    If you want to get maximum quality for film, go 6x6 or 67 (but you really need to do more research).
    If you don't need the highest quality, 135 format is the easiest entry to film.
    Cost is commensurate with film size.
    Do ask and read around in the film section on CS (lots of knowledgeable ppl there)

    RF/SLR, the eternal struggle....
    Depends on individual.
    Try both out in a shop or attend a film user meetup and the folks are usually more than happy to let you try.
    I can't appreciate the RF method of use/focus, some guys are the other way round.
    No right no wrong, just what we can get used to and preference.

    I suggest a reputable online seller on ebay or a reputable forum user on CS (CS usually got good deals and you get to try the camera)

    Film costs varies too much to mention here (BnW? Slide? Exotic film? all cost different).
    Check out this link :


    Think it over if film is the way you really want it.
    Not because its different and cool.
    No chimping (or rather each shot cost $); Limited post processing (hard to do and sort of blending; translation into digital?, etc.
    I say this not because I dislike film but you better think over what you are getting into.
    Need to be clear why you want to do it.

    I suggest starting simple.
    AF SLR with metering.
    Need to have the typical modes of course (Shutter/Aperuture piority, M ) (others are bouns)
    Center weighted metering will do fine (if there is spot metering, its great (consider it a bonus)
    Plenty of such mid level or even higher end SLRs at under $200, look around.
    It does not need to be a fancy highest end model if the price is too much.
    Don't be over excited and jump in without proper search at prices and what the camera has.

    Good luck.
    Thanks for the input, moderator! Will keep your words at the back of my head. Think i'll keep my options open and get a feel of various setups at all the shops before coming to a conclusion. A Pentax eh... Is it kind of rare? Hadn't seen any pentax at all from my previous window shopping. Set on starting with 35mm b&w negative film.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    Leo Bellamy @ JCH is a really cool option to have but I think he is better utilized for particular types of rigs eg. being very rare hard to find stuff or stuff that is in immaculate condition. Bellamy is best utilized by the collector grade customer hence it will be pricey. GoKevin cameras in the USA reminds me of Bellamy sort of. Great guy nevertheless...

    However if you like JCH you will absolutely love Tokyo Camera Style I bet...considered yourself warned of the poison bro lol TCS is a rangefinder man par excellence!

    http://tokyocamerastyle.com/
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  4. #44
    Senior Member oceanpriest's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    considering the high price of film today, getting the best glass you can afford, makes more sense. can't justify shooting expensive film (tmax, tri-x, portra) with lousy glass, unless u are really looking for certain characteristic and into contemporary photography things.

    pentax spotmatic and takumar 50 1.4 is one of the best value setup, probably S$200-300 for the kit.

    if you can afford zeiss/leica glass, then go ahead. bessa body with leica/zeiss glass would be good choice.

    the most important thing is not the gears itself, but the overall process. u must put extra effort to make sure every step in the workflow executed correctly.

    imagine shoot with Leica M-A and Summicron Asph and Kodak Portra film, but you send to the wrong lab, film come out scratched. you meter wrongly, pictures become lomoish (color shifted). you scan wrongly, pictures look like kodak gold and not portra. if you are not committed to these hard works, please shoot digital instead.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikonzen View Post
    Leo Bellamy @ JCH is a really cool option to have but I think he is better utilized for particular types of rigs eg. being very rare hard to find stuff or stuff that is in immaculate condition. Bellamy is best utilized by the collector grade customer hence it will be pricey. GoKevin cameras in the USA reminds me of Bellamy sort of. Great guy nevertheless...

    However if you like JCH you will absolutely love Tokyo Camera Style I bet...considered yourself warned of the poison bro lol TCS is a rangefinder man par excellence!
    *Gets slowly fed the poison* haha just kidding. Thanks for the recommendation!

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by oceanpriest View Post
    considering the high price of film today, getting the best glass you can afford, makes more sense. can't justify shooting expensive film (tmax, tri-x, portra) with lousy glass, unless u are really looking for certain characteristic and into contemporary photography things.

    pentax spotmatic and takumar 50 1.4 is one of the best value setup, probably S$200-300 for the kit.

    if you can afford zeiss/leica glass, then go ahead. bessa body with leica/zeiss glass would be good choice.

    the most important thing is not the gears itself, but the overall process. u must put extra effort to make sure every step in the workflow executed correctly.

    imagine shoot with Leica M-A and Summicron Asph and Kodak Portra film, but you send to the wrong lab, film come out scratched. you meter wrongly, pictures become lomoish (color shifted). you scan wrongly, pictures look like kodak gold and not portra. if you are not committed to these hard works, please shoot digital instead.
    I hadn't gotten a setup yet so I can't tell for sure. But i'll try my best. I guess i'll require to you senior's help for my first few rows for critiques. Zeiss/leica body seemed to have very stable price in classified corner. But the lens price varies so much😨

  7. #47
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    Look TCS has added some links since last time I visited or else I have just never saw them before...but check this out maybe some CS bros or sexy mama with bad @ss F type Nikon in these snaps???

    http://camerastyle.sg/
    Expand your mind or get left behind

  8. #48
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    Hey Leo please don't ask us to critique your first few rolls. You may not understand what I am saying to you right now but if you remain in the hobby for a few years you will understand someday. LOL
    Expand your mind or get left behind

  9. #49

    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    If I may give my two cents,

    You have to consider what you want out of film photography and the methods for achieving consistent results. I've started with a 35mm slr before moving on to rangefinders and medium format. I used to shoot random pictures with bokeh and nonsense before realising the subjects which I am truly interested in shooting with. After dicking around with the slr for a year or so, I've learnt that a rangefinder with clean framelines best suited the type of photography that I was and still am interested in. I acquired my medium format setup later on the complement my 35mm work.

    As for film, there are certainly a surprising amount of choices in the market right now, considering the perceived demise of film photography, blah blah blah. What I find most important however, is to find emulsions with capabilities that you understand and are easy to acquire, prefably in bulk if you plan to shoot more.This allows for consistency of work and less logistical headaches as well.

    I started photography with film cameras and my workflow currently is still 100% film. I have friends who do not see my pov. Why choose film when digital offers fast AF, higher iso and better low light capabilities, etc. From the viewpoint of a rather addicted amatuer, I love the interaction between cameras and myself. I meter with my eyes, think about the exposure settings in my mind, set focus/shutter speed with my hands and take the photograph. I am responsible for my picture, not some cpu. This is what most people do not understand today imho, that instinct and manual skills can be trained. There was a time when photographers with low iso film and fully manual cameras were able to capture sublime scenes of great importance and emotion.

    I choose film because of the aesthetics and the state of mind it allows me to reach. I love grainy film and find the act of loading my cameras and developing my shots to be a very meditative experience and a very very personal one as a matter of fact. Agitating my tanks, fumbling around in the darkroom and applying elbow grease amplifies the personal connection and effort that I put into my photos, sort of like giving birth if you will. With film, I feel a sense of camaraderie with the excellent photographers of yesteryear, be it from garry winogrand, araki to the common film hobbyist today. Forgive me if it sounds rather weird and "fetishy".

    I wish you all the best in shooting film, good to know that there are more people picking up film today

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGHan View Post
    If I may give my two cents,

    You have to consider what you want out of film photography and the methods for achieving consistent results. I've started with a 35mm slr before moving on to rangefinders and medium format. I used to shoot random pictures with bokeh and nonsense before realising the subjects which I am truly interested in shooting with. After dicking around with the slr for a year or so, I've learnt that a rangefinder with clean framelines best suited the type of photography that I was and still am interested in. I acquired my medium format setup later on the complement my 35mm work.

    As for film, there are certainly a surprising amount of choices in the market right now, considering the perceived demise of film photography, blah blah blah. What I find most important however, is to find emulsions with capabilities that you understand and are easy to acquire, prefably in bulk if you plan to shoot more.This allows for consistency of work and less logistical headaches as well.

    I started photography with film cameras and my workflow currently is still 100% film. I have friends who do not see my pov. Why choose film when digital offers fast AF, higher iso and better low light capabilities, etc. From the viewpoint of a rather addicted amatuer, I love the interaction between cameras and myself. I meter with my eyes, think about the exposure settings in my mind, set focus/shutter speed with my hands and take the photograph. I am responsible for my picture, not some cpu. This is what most people do not understand today imho, that instinct and manual skills can be trained. There was a time when photographers with low iso film and fully manual cameras were able to capture sublime scenes of great importance and emotion.

    I choose film because of the aesthetics and the state of mind it allows me to reach. I love grainy film and find the act of loading my cameras and developing my shots to be a very meditative experience and a very very personal one as a matter of fact. Agitating my tanks, fumbling around in the darkroom and applying elbow grease amplifies the personal connection and effort that I put into my photos, sort of like giving birth if you will. With film, I feel a sense of camaraderie with the excellent photographers of yesteryear, be it from garry winogrand, araki to the common film hobbyist today. Forgive me if it sounds rather weird and "fetishy".

    I wish you all the best in shooting film, good to know that there are more people picking up film today
    Thanks for sharing with me the origin of your passion! I feel the same as you. Too many people need to appreciate slowing down and enjoying the process. Digital photography is imo best left for a job where instant feedback for the customer and consistency to meet deadlines are crucial. I believe film is the best medium for personal work

  11. #51

    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoTheSolar View Post
    Thanks for the input, moderator! Will keep your words at the back of my head. Think i'll keep my options open and get a feel of various setups at all the shops before coming to a conclusion. A Pentax eh... Is it kind of rare? Hadn't seen any pentax at all from my previous window shopping. Set on starting with 35mm b&w negative film.

    Pentax was big in the old days...
    The first Japanese SLR maker.
    Many old firsts came from them Spotmatic (because it was the first to have a spot meter); Pentaprism (first to incorporate it, SMC coating (one of the first to have a r=0.988 vs r=0.95; which is why it is so famous), etc).
    Made so many M42 mount lenses that the mount became known as Pentax Screw Mount.
    Its not so well known nowadays unfortunately and time has moved on.
    Its still not hard to find if you do keep notice.

    That said, there have been so many nice cameras from all brands made that the options are just plentiful (at low prices).
    Look around....



    Quote Originally Posted by oceanpriest View Post
    considering the high price of film today, getting the best glass you can afford, makes more sense. can't justify shooting expensive film (tmax, tri-x, portra) with lousy glass, unless u are really looking for certain characteristic and into contemporary photography things.

    pentax spotmatic and takumar 50 1.4 is one of the best value setup, probably S$200-300 for the kit.

    if you can afford zeiss/leica glass, then go ahead. bessa body with leica/zeiss glass would be good choice.

    the most important thing is not the gears itself, but the overall process. u must put extra effort to make sure every step in the workflow executed correctly.

    imagine shoot with Leica M-A and Summicron Asph and Kodak Portra film, but you send to the wrong lab, film come out scratched. you meter wrongly, pictures become lomoish (color shifted). you scan wrongly, pictures look like kodak gold and not portra. if you are not committed to these hard works, please shoot digital instead.
    You never introduce him the proliteriat cameras and lenses

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post

    Pentax was big in the old days...
    The first Japanese SLR maker.
    Many old firsts came from them Spotmatic (because it was the first to have a spot meter); Pentaprism (first to incorporate it, SMC coating (one of the first to have a r=0.988 vs r=0.95; which is why it is so famous), etc).
    Made so many M42 mount lenses that the mount became known as Pentax Screw Mount.
    Its not so well known nowadays unfortunately and time has moved on.
    Its still not hard to find if you do keep notice.

    That said, there have been so many nice cameras from all brands made that the options are just plentiful (at low prices).
    Look around....

    You never introduce him the proliteriat cameras and lenses
    I'm sort of hesitant of screw mounts actually. I do design back in secondary school, threading is ridiculously hard to QC, any deviation and the material is totally unusable. Im going for single lens setup so slow mounting ain't a problem otherwise. Japan camera makers of that era xD so many plasticky ones!

  13. #53
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    No need to be hesitant of screw mounts like the M42 or Leica threads...they are tried and true.
    Expand your mind or get left behind

  14. #54

    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoTheSolar View Post
    I'm sort of hesitant of screw mounts actually. I do design back in secondary school, threading is ridiculously hard to QC, any deviation and the material is totally unusable. Im going for single lens setup so slow mounting ain't a problem otherwise. Japan camera makers of that era xD so many plasticky ones!
    Then you surely have not noticed an older camera.


    Actually M42 lenses like what Nikonzen said, tried and true.
    They even work on my digital cameras even till this day.

    Plasticky lenses, more so in the 80's, but depends on brand and model of lens too.
    Some are solid, some are less so.
    Older lenses are mostly milled from aluminium all metal (Pentax Takumars or even Russian/CZJ for example)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikonzen View Post
    No need to be hesitant of screw mounts like the M42 or Leica threads...they are tried and true.
    Only from leica themself or even brands such as russia's zorki? I read that some of them can't even fit.

  16. #56

    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoTheSolar View Post
    Only from leica themself or even brands such as russia's zorki? I read that some of them can't even fit.
    I do think the Russians work better than what most would be willing to give them credit for.
    Don't forget that more ppl can afford Russians.
    Many more were made too.
    Add to that, old lens/camera, probably hard life...
    So more chance of some guy ending up with a faulty one.
    MHO.


    But YMMV.
    So better try out any of the said stuff before you commit.

  17. #57
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    Quote Originally Posted by LeoTheSolar View Post
    Only from leica themself or even brands such as russia's zorki? I read that some of them can't even fit.
    Many of the Russian lenses were made from German built parts...and many of them made in Russia were built on machines brought from Germany or kept within what ended up as East Germany.

    The screw mounts and bayonet mounts are safe tried and true
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  18. #58
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    OK time for some images...

    The finest camera I have ever owned. Arguably one of the finest mechanical cameras ever made. In this version here we have fully mechanical no meter no battery. Just the pure wholesome basics - photographer, camera, light. This kit was just an incredible joy to use. Solid. As has been said...they come and they go. This is why the basic fundamentals are really the most important aspect of the photography hobby. With this particular camera the decision to sell was very difficult but made do to purely economic reasons at my level of skill - I wasn't skilled enough so I needed to get more snaps under the belt so I turned to digital and I am glad I did. Someday I plan to pick up another DE-1 because I still have a spare F2 body (I will always one at least one F2 as long as I have a camera period). Incidentally the Luna Pro SBC light meter is one of the best analog meters ever made. I still have it...do not use it anymore...I meter with my eyes and head (god given cpu) + bracket now! Believe it or not I am pretty damn fast too!

    Last edited by Nikonzen; 5th February 2015 at 06:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nikonzen View Post
    OK time for some images...

    The finest camera I have ever owned. Arguably one of the finest mechanical cameras ever made. In this version here we have fully mechanical no meter no battery. Just the pure wholesome basics - photographer, camera, light. This kit was just an incredible joy to use. Solid. As has been said...they come and they go. This is why the basic fundamentals are really the most important aspect of the photography hobby. With this particular camera the decision to sell was very difficult but made do to purely economic reasons at my level of skill - I wasn't skilled enough so I needed to get more snaps under the belt so I turned to digital and I am glad I did. Someday I plan to pick up another DE-1 because I still have a spare F2 body (I will always one at least one F2 as long as I have a camera period). Incidentally the Luna Pro SBC light meter is one of the best analog meters ever made. I still have it...do not use it anymore...I meter with my eyes and head (god given cpu) + bracket now!
    Thanks man thats alot of information and research effort. Wow that analogue light meter sure is huge as big as the camera!!

    I think i've made my mind. First ever setup will be which ever is cheap, durable and takes LTM or Leica bayonet mount(probably a zorki from classified section). When I have the cash and experience i'll adapt/switch over the lens to a M3/M2.

    I can't wait to share with you guys shots from my first few rows when the time comes!

  20. #60
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entry to film photography

    Sounds like a good plan. Remember many of the older cameras are sort of different than their more modern counterparts eg. you'll see DIN instead of ASO. The shutter speeds do not often match up with the geometric progression of the aperture scales so it makes exposure settings a little more arcane. Arcane...that is a good word to describe the old rigs. You have to get to Leica IIIG really before you start recognizing things that you see on a later model camera. Things to look for upon purchase. Check shutter curtains thoroughly. Rangefinder patch and alignment. Dry fire the camera while inspecting it. Fire it at different settings and look for anomalous type stuff. Rangefinders tend to be more temperamental than slr's part of the reason they were eventually supplanted by the slrs.

    You may want to look into the Minolta CLE. A bit more modern type of rangefinder very reasonably priced on the used market right now but just do your research so that you will know what you are up against. The CLE is a Leitz Minolta joint effort and a M mount camera. Something along these lines or M2 M3 Bessa would probably be the best place to start if at all possible. Looks like you are sold on the rangefinder on paper at least...that is a good thing...we need more rangefinder folks in the world.

    Cheapest digital rangefinder (still pricey though - it is difficult to engineer rangefinder parameters into digital not to mention it is so niche nowadays)...and a cult classic...Epson RD models

    One of the things I love about RF cameras is their silence. I once owned a black Canonet (the old Canon 7S is another cool classic rangefinder) that was cherry cosmetically and functionality wise. Smoother than a Swiss watch. That camera found me always checking the film counter to see if I had shot or not...that is how quiet the shutter was on that camera! A street sniper's dream!

    Here is my "space" camera...still have it...these can be had for a song and a dance and they are incredibly well made excellent rangefinder cameras...these are Ansco made by Minolta badged for America. There are tons of these Minolta fixed lens units some of the later ones are very nice and fully controllable. I paid 30 bucks for mine a few years ago...every time I hold it I think wow I bought this for only 30 dollars...it feels like it should cost 400 dollars or something. Read the story about the space camera here - http://airandspace.si.edu/collection...m_A19670198000

    Leo maybe you should train to be a satellite engineer specialty optical physics...

    Last edited by Nikonzen; 5th February 2015 at 06:11 PM.
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