Pentax ME Super + ISO choices???

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by cookie1105, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. cookie1105 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    So after 6 months of getting into photography with my rebel xt (and really enjoying it) I have finally persuaded my Dad to give me his pentax me super + 35mm, 50mm, 100mm, 2x converter. I really can't wait to play with a real 35mm film slr.

    I am getting it from him in two weeks time when we all meet up for my Grandfather's 80th birthday celebrations. He hasn't used it for 20 years and has recently had all of the kit serviced, so it should be in perfect working order.

    On my rebel xt, I normally shoot in Av mode with manual focus, so I should be alright with the pentax but I have never shot with film before, so I need some pointers.

    Has/does anyone used/use the pentax me super? How have your experiences been with it?

    I am going to be using both cameras over the 80th birthday weekend. I am thinking of using the 35mm with just B/W film. What sort of film should I take? I am assuming the party will be a relatively low light affair. This is what I am thinking of taking:

    3 rolls ISO 100 @ 36 exp.
    2 rolls ISO 200 @ 36 exp.
    2 rolls ISO 400 @ 36 exp.
    3 rolls ISO 800 @ 36 exp.

    Will I be alright with this?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers

    Cookie
     
  2. oblomow macrumors 68000

    oblomow

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #2
    OH! A pentax me super! :) :) My first SLR! I now use a XT/350D, but I've shot many rolls of slide film with my trusty pentax. I would use the 400 or 800 ASA and would even consider pushing it to 1600 if the light is really bad. Just expose it correct for 1600 ASA and tell the developer. They'll know what to do.

    Anyhow, you'll be fine, especially since you're already used to using the Av mode, just as the me-super. If you have any more questions regarding this pentax, let me know.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    To many types of film. Buy some 100 and some 400. I doubt you will be able to find 200 or 800 B&W film even if you wantted it. Kodak Tmax is the "standard" but many people like Agpha too

    Also B&W film can be ":pushed" in the lab up to two stops with out much trouble. If you pushed the 400 film it would be in effect 1600. So you will be shooting three film with 2 stops difference between them. Tmax 100 will be almost grainless at 1600 there will be pronouced film grain and lots of contrast. So it's more than just the light, choose film based on the desired "look". You may like the old 1060's "look" or Plus X and Tri-X too. but Tmax will be smoother both in texture and tone.

    BTW "Pushing is not majic. Yousimply change the time in the developer by a couple minutes, nothing high tech. But not that this also pushes the contrast up

    One More Thing.... And this is critical. With digital you expose the image so as not to blow out the highlights. With negatives you expose for the shadows and don't worry so much about highlights If you have to error, with film error on the side of over exposure

    For more details then you want to know about exposing B&W film see "The Negative" by Ansel Adams. He invented the "zone system" as simplified and practical method if applied sensiometry. Adams has a great writer, easy to understand It is pretty much THE book on how to expose tha devlope B&W film

    You can buy B&W film in 100 foot rolls and spool it into reusable cassets. Film costs go to less than $0.50 per roll with this method. Processing equipment is cheap. $35 will get you going. Chenical are not expensive and can be reused. You are looking at maybe $1.50 per roll for processed negatives. After that I'd sujjest that you scan the negs and work digital from there.
     
  4. oblomow macrumors 68000

    oblomow

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #4
    ChrisA is right. I was carried away seeing somebody actually wanting to use this camera. Use 100 during the day and 400 (pushed or not) for the darker situations. ChrisA's remark about the dark/light difference is very valid as well. And try and rehearse loading film, you don't want to miss THE photo oppurtunity when hassling the film.
     
  5. cookie1105 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    Fantastic guys, there is some really good advice there. I did a little bit more research on this site and sort of came to the same conclusion as yourselves.

    I was thinking in digital terms and trying to cover all of the possible light situations. 360 exposures on film is a lot. It could very easily get expensive if I was to shoot away like you can do on a dslr. I think I am going to get this for my first attempts with film

    2 rolls Ilford FP4 plus 135/36
    3 rolls Fuji Neopan 400 135/36

    But the TMax 100 & 400 sounds like a good option as well. I am going to see what I can get in the camera shops around here tomorrow.

    Could you please explain this "pushing" to me. I will not be developing the film myself. But if I have ISO 400 film in the camera, I can set the ISO on the camera to be 800 or 1600 and deliberately underexpose the film by 1 or 2 stops respectively. If told the developer can then develop the film for longer effectively "pushing" the film. This will result in more grain, more contrast and a loss in shadow detail. Have I got this correct?

    The reason why I want too shoot in b/w is to get the natural grainy "look". I thought it might be a nice "look" seeing as it is an 80th birthday.

    I have got the Ansell Adams trilogy on my birthday wishlist at Amazon, am looking forward to reading them.

    Anyway, some really good pointers from you both. Thanks for your help. Will post some pics on here once I have had them developed.:)

    cheers

    cookie
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #6
    You might want to look at the Ilford XP2 or the Kodak BW400CN films. These B&W films are processed in C-41 color chemistry. So quicker and cheaper for processing. A properly calibrated color printer can make decent B&W prints off these films. Some labs like the one we have at work have specific B&W paper that is processed in our color printers. These films handle under and over exposure pretty well. And can be pushed.

    Yep you have it right.
     
  7. cookie1105 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    Thanks.

    Went to the camera shop yesterday and picked up some Ilford FP4 plus & Ilford HP5 plus 400. None of the camera shops around here really had a wide selection of b/w films. And the prices are crazy! $30 for 5 films. Developing of a normal film (36 exp.) is going to be $15 and if I want them pushed it's going to be double; $30/film.!!!!!!:mad:

    Beautiful country Denmark, but as soon as it comes to photography it's stupidly expensive. Hence, why one is forced to purchase everything over the net. Crazy!!!!

    Guess I will just have to be very economical with my shooting.
     
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #8
    Nothing wrong in that approach. Medium and Large Format shooters do this on a regular basis. Forces one to look at the subject more carefully.
     
  9. SpookTheHamster macrumors 65816

    SpookTheHamster

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    Location:
    London
    #9
    Definitely go for Ilford film if you can get it, FP and HP are my favourite B&W films by far. But take note in what is said above. Most photo labs send away for B&W & E6 printing, but they print C41 in store. This makes developing slide film and B&W film in a store very expensive. Maybe use it as an opportunity to learn to develop film?

    If you're ever going to be using the camera outside on a sunny day, try to find some Fuji Velvia 50, you'll be amazed at the colours, and you'll never be able to get quite the same results from your digital.
     
  10. snap58 macrumors 6502

    snap58

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    somewhere in kansas
    #10
    Until I got a Canon 10D in 2003 (I think) I almost exclusively shot BW, I loved the TMax films, used the 400 the most. The 3200 was a favorite to expose at 800 or 1600 and had a nice grain effect. I still shoot a few rolls a year just for fun. I have always developed my own film, and bulk rolled the 100 and 400 speeds when I was burning 20 or so rolls a month. You don't need anything too special to develop BW film, and if you have a scanner and a decent printer you can save some money. If you don't have a darkroom, having prints made can be expensive with normal BW film. If you go with a C41 film as Chip mentioned its basically a color process and cost the same, however not much grain. The C41 BW films by the way make great scans.

    And if you really want to have fun, try the Kodak HIE IR film once you're comfortable with the normal BW films.
     
  11. josh.c macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    #11
    I'd suggest going with some Ilford HP5 400 or Ilford Delta 400 - both black and white, you can push them to about 2000 and get nice photos, I have seen some very nice results with the HP5 at 2000 so long as you like grain (e.g. http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/42251807/)

    Also, bring some Delta 100 and some FP4 125 - the FP4 has a fine grain especially if you pull it to 80 ASA.

    Though obviously I'd only do this if you know somewhere that does black and white processing or you're able to process it yourself (I've had good results with ID-11 though xtol is meant to be very good too)

    If you don't have access to black and white processing but still want black and white photos then go for Kodak BW400CN - contrasty, but nice, and surprisingly fine grain. It can be C-41 processed as well, which is useful.

    One other word of advice - do NOT go for Kodak Gold or Kodak Ultra if you want colour, ugly grain and I've never had smooth or well saturated colours with it. If you want warm tones go with Portra if you can afford to have a low ASA rating, but if you're shooting in Tungsten lighting then go for some Superia 800 - it has a slightly green colour balance which helps to remove overly red tones from shot, which helps give more natural skin tones. It saves you from needing a filter.

    But many people appreciated black and white from weddings... of course you should ask them before hand.
     

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