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I know nothing about photography but I've bought an LX. Help!

ronniemac
Posted 24/11/2013 - 20:49 - Helpful Comment Link
There is something irrational about shooting with film, but it gives me so much more pleasure than shooting digital, even if I have to wait to see the outcome.

Perhaps it's the necessity of having to think the process through before taking the picture, but there is also something beyond that which quite a few people in this forum can relate to. Perhaps it is about understanding how to control a camera (other than by trial and error as I so often do with digital photography). The slower pace of film gives me time to look at what I am photographing, and in that moment, perhaps see something that, in haste, I might have missed.

Film photography is an act of faith, you walk away from the scene knowing that you have used your mind to predict an outcome, and you do this without evidence. It is weird that I like this, perhaps its something to do with building self confidence. I also enjoy the fact that the manual slr asks you to consider just the essentials about the mechanical side to photography, exposure and composition; think, set the time and aperture to control light and depth of field, focus and frame. That done, shoot, and walk away. You know you have to do your best to get it right. With digital I have a bad habit of shooting first and only thinking about it afterwards, when looking at the digital screen to find out if I got it right. And repeat the process until I do.

Of course, I can do all the prediction and thinking with my K-5 on manual mode, but I do find that when I take the MX, LX, or 645 on an outing, I take much more considered photographs, and end up invariably with far fewer rejects. When I do make mistakes with film, I pay for it; the flawed negative or print stares back at me, explaining where I went wrong, teaching me a lesson.

I'm a bit of a techie - a geek. I am endlessly fascinated by the giant strides that digital technology has made in photography. My latest gizmo can even change the depth of field or point of focus after taking the photo, can make cars disappear from streets, and of course determine the exposure for me, etc, and all with one press of a button.

I'm not sure if that teaches me more about photography, but I do know for certain that choosing to use film does.

Well, each to their own. Good luck with whatever you choose Nick, but rest assured that if you choose film, you will learn a great deal in the process - and processing.
Posted 24/11/2013 - 21:16 Link
ronniemac wrote:
My latest gizmo can even change the depth of field or point of focus after taking the photo, can make cars disappear from streets, and of course determine the exposure for me, etc, and all with one press of a button.

Blimey. Which gizmo can do all that????
doingthebobs
Posted 24/11/2013 - 22:09 - Helpful Comment Link
I find a good source of photography 'how to do it books' are Charity shops.

The best ones are usually the local charities, rather than the national chains, as they often put less shiny but more interesting books in their shops.
Bob
ronniemac
Posted 25/11/2013 - 00:09 Link
BrixtonNick wrote:
ronniemac wrote:
My latest gizmo can even change the depth of field or point of focus after taking the photo, can make cars disappear from streets, and of course determine the exposure for me, etc, and all with one press of a button.

Blimey. Which gizmo can do all that????

My 40mp mobile - Nokia Lumia 1020(using Nokia Refocus and Smart Cam), Good as it is for a camera phone I still prefer my Pentax cameras; however, digital cameras would do well to adopt mobile technologies like built in GPS, wireless uploading, etc.
Posted 25/11/2013 - 13:46 - Helpful Comment Link
Hi BrixtonNick,

I own an LX, MX (Now given to my daughter), ME and a Medium Format 645. I don't own a digital camera. I have used friends' digital cameras from time to time to take a photograph for them and handed them straight back. I wouldn't want to own one. They don't get my blood racing. I use the LX most of the time and learnt how to do the basics with it. I read about the basics from a charity shop book and just went from there. I'm no expert. The addition of second hand darkroom equipment makes up my whole philosophy re: photography. That is?.....It's simply fun to spend a few hours producing something that I have taken and achieved results from start to finished product. Photography is only a hobby for me and to go out with the LX/ME/645 in hand, the Billingham keeping them safe and a flask of coffee with bara brith and spend a quiet time just thinking about how to take some photographs is all that matters to me. It's my personal 'cult' need. Along with my old 42 year old VW Type 2 Bay 'camper van'. My results are pleasing to me and, again, that's all that matters.

A good deal of great advise here on your 'stream' from a lot of people that really 'know-how'. Just be happy with what you want to achieve. The LX is a wonderful camera and becomes a best friend.
"The Latent Image that exists before development is a truly mystical and exciting entity and some subsequent individual photographs can make the spine tingle."

Good Fortune:

Gray Summers. Website www.graysummers.com
Peter Elgar
Posted 26/11/2013 - 14:27 - Helpful Comment Link
I have been offered another FREE ENLARGER and all the gear-- if you can come to Brentwood Essex you can get it -- let me know -- it's a MEOPTA.
been a member of Pentax Club since the Ron Spillman era! Got COMPUTERISED at last - DIGITISED? Taken the PLUNGE - BUT FILM STILL RULES !!!
Posted 26/11/2013 - 17:30 Link
Wow! I am biting your hand off for that! Thank you so much! Could you please send me a message? I can't send you one because I haven't been a member of the site for 30 days.
Edited by BrixtonNick: 26/11/2013 - 17:33
Posted 26/11/2013 - 17:47 Link
graysummers wrote:
Hi BrixtonNick,

I own an LX, MX (Now given to my daughter), ME and a Medium Format 645. I don't own a digital camera. I have used friends' digital cameras from time to time to take a photograph for them and handed them straight back. I wouldn't want to own one. They don't get my blood racing. I use the LX most of the time and learnt how to do the basics with it. I read about the basics from a charity shop book and just went from there. I'm no expert. The addition of second hand darkroom equipment makes up my whole philosophy re: photography. That is?.....It's simply fun to spend a few hours producing something that I have taken and achieved results from start to finished product. Photography is only a hobby for me and to go out with the LX/ME/645 in hand, the Billingham keeping them safe and a flask of coffee with bara brith and spend a quiet time just thinking about how to take some photographs is all that matters to me. It's my personal 'cult' need. Along with my old 42 year old VW Type 2 Bay 'camper van'. My results are pleasing to me and, again, that's all that matters.

A good deal of great advise here on your 'stream' from a lot of people that really 'know-how'. Just be happy with what you want to achieve. The LX is a wonderful camera and becomes a best friend.

Your reasoning sounds very much like my explanation for making a steel bicycle frame...I did a one week course with a framebuilder and went home with a frame I'd made from Reynolds tubing...I did every bit of the measuring and cutting and brazing and filing and machining myself. It would have been cheaper and easier to buy an off-the-shelf carbon fibre frame...which would also have been lighter and faster to ride. But the pleasure of learning a traditional skill from the only person in the world who runs such a course, working with an oxyacetylene torch and a lathe and a host of other tools, none of which I'd ever seen, let alone touched...I can't put the joy of it into words. And now my daily transport is my own handiwork.
Posted 27/11/2013 - 10:47 Link
BrixtonNick....That's the best story I've read for a while. By the way, just to say that 'sticky mirror' is a common/possible problem with the LX. Keep an eye on it. I had to spend out quite a lot to get the matter fixed by a professional. If you Google the term it will give you some insight.
"The Latent Image that exists before development is a truly mystical and exciting entity and some subsequent individual photographs can make the spine tingle."

Good Fortune:

Gray Summers. Website www.graysummers.com
co049
Posted 28/11/2013 - 12:35 Link
BrixtonNick wrote:


Your reasoning sounds very much like my explanation for making a steel bicycle frame...I did a one week course with a framebuilder and went home with a frame I'd made from Reynolds tubing...I did every bit of the measuring and cutting and brazing and filing and machining myself. It would have been cheaper and easier to buy an off-the-shelf carbon fibre frame...which would also have been lighter and faster to ride. But the pleasure of learning a traditional skill from the only person in the world who runs such a course, working with an oxyacetylene torch and a lathe and a host of other tools, none of which I'd ever seen, let alone touched...I can't put the joy of it into words. And now my daily transport is my own handiwork.

Which framebuilding course did you do? there is a chap running them up here in Lincolnshire called Dave Yates, I understand they are booked up years in advance

I still ride steel frames after all these years, they have a bit more soul than carbon; mabe its is the same "Old Skool" feeling as shooting film over digital
Chris,

Pentax K1ii, K3, K-m & MX-1.
Pentax LX, MX, ME Super & MV.
"Old Skool" with the new!
Posted 28/11/2013 - 15:11 Link
That's the one!
kdn
Posted 04/12/2013 - 18:08 Link
BrixtonNick wrote:
Greetings all, I'm new here. I live near a rather good photography centre with courses, darkroom, scanning suite etc so I've taken it into my head to learn from scratch. I don't even know what focal length is. But you've got to start somewhere and I thought that a manual film camera would be the thing to learn on. I was given a KR-10, then I noticed three highly rated screw thread primes on Gumtree at a good price, with a Spotmatic thrown in. Then, just for the thrill of it, I spent 25 on a job lot of five mystery K mount lenses from someone clearing out their grandad's attic. No doubt they'll come with plenty of free fungus. Then I had a reality check and decided I would probably never have the bottle to get much street photography done with a SLR unless it had a nice big waist level viewfinder...and then I read about the LX and saw a nice one on ebay complete with Action Finder. So by this time tomorrow I should have three bodies and eight lenses...but I haven't taken one photo yet. In at the deep end. If it doesn't work out I reckon I can sell the gear for a modest profit!

So...can anyone recommend any beginners' books or web sites to learn from? I've got the Spotmatic manual, which looks surprisingly helpful. I would like to understand some of the physics of film cameras, but I'm afraid I failed my physics O level.

Kevin D. Needham Aiirsm
kdn
Posted 04/12/2013 - 18:16 Link
Checkout http://www.butkus.org/ for a full range of user manuals for almost every camera
Kevin D. Needham Aiirsm
Posted 04/12/2013 - 19:07 Link
Thanks, I've been to Butkus! There are also lots of accessory manuals here http://www.pentax-manuals.com/manuals/accessories/accessmanuals.htm
Posted 13/12/2013 - 18:06 Link
So...I bought a used KR..it arrived today and it works! So now I can take a digital shot whenever I take a film one....that's got to be a good way to learn? I didn't think I could afford a DSLR, but I came across an ineptly listed one on ebay and was the only bidder...I also got a cornucopia of good-as-new accessories...a 60 Hahnel tripod, a 40 BlackRapid sling, a Pentax shoulder bag, AA battery adapter, a 27 Neewer TT560 flash, infra red remote, Neewer .45x wide angle lens and even a 4 GB SD card. Total price fifty quid plus postage.

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