Going back to my Youff...

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Alan
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My photography journey started back in the late 80s as a teenager who just saved up paper round money and got a SLR and I had various film cameras (a Zenit E and 12XP rings a bell, as does a Minolta X300 and an Oly OM-1) and even dabbled with a very basic B&W darkroom through to my very first digital camera in 1997 ish.

Fast forward to today and I want to have a go with one of the old film cameras - something to waste a bit of money on I suppose!

I am fairly sure that I will enjoy the retro experience of loading a roll of film, snapping 24 or 36 shots, the excitement/frustration waiting for the film to come back from the lab and then be mightily disappointed with the handful of reasonable snaps I end up with :(

So, I don't want to go in all guns blazing and drop a bunch of cash until (if/unlikely) I decide to continue messing with film. Knowing me, it will be a whim and I'll rush back to all the benefits of my Fuji digital camera in a flash :)

Initial questions...

1. Can you even still get decent B&W and colour film?
2. Who does processing these days? assume I can't just stroll into Boots?
3. Is eBay a reliable source or are there any camera shops selling 2nd hand tested film stuff?
4. What is the best method of 'digitizing' any keepers - I had an old slide scanner at one time or another but that would be long gone to a boot sale in the sky! Can you just take a picture of the photo with my 26MP digital camera and be decent quality?
5. Any tips or advice other than 'don't bother!'


Thanks in advance
 

Andysnap

<span class="poty">POTY (Film) 2015</span>
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Andy Grant
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1. Yes
2. Plenty around still, Filmdev, Agphotographic, Peak Imaging to name but 3. It can be but there are other options, here for example, put a want ad in the film section of the classifieds, we've all got cameras to sell :)
4. Scanners are good or pay for scanning when you have the film developed. Digital camera scanning can work very well also although it's not something I've tried.
5. Go for it, it's interesting and different.
 
OP
bl0at3r
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Alan
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1. Yes
2. Plenty around still, Filmdev, Agphotographic, Peak Imaging to name but 3. It can be but there are other options, here for example, put a want ad in the film section of the classifieds, we've all got cameras to sell :)
4. Scanners are good or pay for scanning when you have the film developed. Digital camera scanning can work very well also although it's not something I've tried.
5. Go for it, it's interesting and different.
Thanks for the reply @Andysnap

2 - will do some research
3 - will look there now
 

StephenM

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Stephen
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Just adding a bit.

Depending on where you are (Essex, I checked) there might be somewhere local where you can have films processed. Obviously, present circumstances may prevent this, but in my area there's a lab which can still offer a one hour service on colour negative film (and sells film as well) as well as a used camera dealers who specialise in film cameras (and sell film and chemicals).

Mail order (and sometimes in person) I've bought from West Yorkshire Cameras - expecting a parcel from them in the next few days - and Ffordes. Mr CAD used to have an abysmal web site, but good stock. I've bought from them a few times, always large format stuff though.

There must be at least half a dozen others whose names often come up here.

Film is fun.

:film:
 

sirch

Official Forum Numpty 2015
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Don't forget to post what you get in

:)
 

ChrisR

I'm a well known grump...
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Chris
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My photography journey started back in the late 80s as a teenager who just saved up paper round money and got a SLR and I had various film cameras (a Zenit E and 12XP rings a bell, as does a Minolta X300 and an Oly OM-1) and even dabbled with a very basic B&W darkroom through to my very first digital camera in 1997 ish.

Fast forward to today and I want to have a go with one of the old film cameras - something to waste a bit of money on I suppose!

I am fairly sure that I will enjoy the retro experience of loading a roll of film, snapping 24 or 36 shots, the excitement/frustration waiting for the film to come back from the lab and then be mightily disappointed with the handful of reasonable snaps I end up with :(

So, I don't want to go in all guns blazing and drop a bunch of cash until (if/unlikely) I decide to continue messing with film. Knowing me, it will be a whim and I'll rush back to all the benefits of my Fuji digital camera in a flash :)

Initial questions...

1. Can you even still get decent B&W and colour film?
2. Who does processing these days? assume I can't just stroll into Boots?
3. Is eBay a reliable source or are there any camera shops selling 2nd hand tested film stuff?
4. What is the best method of 'digitizing' any keepers - I had an old slide scanner at one time or another but that would be long gone to a boot sale in the sky! Can you just take a picture of the photo with my 26MP digital camera and be decent quality?
5. Any tips or advice other than 'don't bother!'


Thanks in advance
Excellent, do come join the slightly mad denizens of this corner of TP!

Check out this thread: https://www.talkphotography.co.uk/t...ion-where-to-find-tutorials-resources.571044/ for some hints. One of the treads it links to is about picking up a film camera for the first time in many years. There's also the dev/scan nifty price estimator, a G$$gle spreadsheet that I try to keep up to date (but not checked for a while; gives an idea, anyway).

1) There's a lot of choice in black and white, specially in 135 or 120. Most of the Ilford old favourites are still there, Kodak Tri-X and Tmax, etc. Beware though, "proper" black and white film is nowadays much more expensive to get devved and scanned than colour film. There's one exception, Ilford XP2, which is a black and white film using colour chemistry (called a chromogenic film, IIRC). Rather fewer colour films, Kodak and Fujifilm are your main choices although there are some re-badged films like Lomo, etc. Prices have been going up and film stocks discontinued over the past few years, as manufacturers grapple with changing from, I dunno, billions of films a year to only millions.

2) You probably can just stroll into Boots, but they'll probably send your film away. Max Spielmann and Snappy Snaps in most town centres might also do dev/scan (colour chemistry, ie C41 only) on the premises. The ones Andy mentioned are probably the most used by folk on here.

3) Fleabay is, um, ok; as a buyer you do have protection from fleabay and payp$l, which helps. I'm inclined to suggest a reputable second hand camera shop like Ffordes, WYC, Cameratiks in Edinburgh, mifsuds etc; you'll usually get some sort of warranty, and you can even go and check out the stock (in normal times, anyway). Often these shops will have more stock than is listed on their website. Some sites, like Rocky for example, have, um, a certain reputation... put it like ths, I wouldn't buy there!

4) There's a big film scanner thread that addresses this sort of question... (and for some reason it didn't turn up just now when I searched for a thread with scanner in the title). Basically for 135 you're almost certainly better off with a good scanner if you're serious, but you can probably bodge something up with your digital camera that will work. (For colour you've then got to do the inversion, which is non-trivial because of the orange substrate...)

5) Yes: please do bother. It might not be for you, but it might. And if you choose carefully, you'll get to play with professional greade cameras and lenses for a couple of hndred that, looked after well, you'll probably be able to sell for more later! (2 cameras I sold a year or 3 ago, and through of re-buying, are now well over twice what I got for them then, aaarrrggghhh!)

And as someone else said, please do share how you get on, and please do ask. There's no question too daft to get asked on here, and almost all the denizens will give a thoroughly positive reply (we do get occasional sneery visitors, but the seldom stay for long).

We've heard it said: digital camera: 300 shots, 6 keepers. 135 camera, 36 shots, 6 keepers. 120 camera, 12 shots, 6 keepers. 4x5/LF camera, 20+ shots in individual frames, zero bloomin' keepers, aaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!! (OTOH you'll see, some of the real photographers on here get some fantastic shots on their LF cameras.

Good luck!
 

ChrisR

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Chris
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Check out https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-M-Lenses-c27.html for lots of reviews... there's a separate section linked from the top of that page for the many 3rd party lenses. I've never used that M50/2 lens but it gets reasonable reviews AFAICS.

The M35/2 is a fantastic lens, but not cheap. The M28/3.5 is said to be the better of the 28s, though I use Vivitar Series 1s myself (Komine made).

The M50/1.7 is an excellent inexpensive lens; the M50/1.4 is arguably better, a bit heavier and a bit more expensive in good condition.

Pentax glass is superb!
 
OP
bl0at3r
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3,343
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Alan
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Check out https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-M-Lenses-c27.html for lots of reviews... there's a separate section linked from the top of that page for the many 3rd party lenses. I've never used that M50/2 lens but it gets reasonable reviews AFAICS.

The M35/2 is a fantastic lens, but not cheap. The M28/3.5 is said to be the better of the 28s, though I use Vivitar Series 1s myself (Komine made).

The M50/1.7 is an excellent inexpensive lens; the M50/1.4 is arguably better, a bit heavier and a bit more expensive in good condition.

Pentax glass is superb!
Thanks again for the advice @ChrisR
 
OP
bl0at3r
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Alan
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We have progress.... once I remember how to load a film :oops: :$:exit:
Camera is in fantastic condition, hardly any signs of use and the lens looks clean. Light meter is working but bought a couple of button cells just in case as they were only a couple of quid. So, going to venture out tomorrow and have a play around.


Rewind about 25 years...
by Alan F-Stop, on Flickr
 
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