A Couple Of Old SLR Questions....

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by magkelly, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. magkelly

    magkelly Member

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    I'm just now getting used to working with my old SLR's after years of mostly messing with an upscale point and shoot so if I am asking dumb questions here, please excuse my ignorance. This is the first time in my life that I've actually owned a few SLR's and have had real lenses to work with so every now and again I run into something I'm not sure of.

    Question #1:

    When it comes to old SLR cameras do you have to use a dedicated flash and if the camera has a hot shoe does it still need a cable too sometimes? I thought not, to the second, but I'm re-reading the Pentax way and I'm just not sure my SPII's don't need a cable anyway. I'm also wondering if I need a dedicated Pentax flash for these or not.

    My Yashicas both came with a flash and they don't seem to need the cables to function with their flashes, but is that because they brand match up with the hot shoe or because they're more advanced than my Spotties? I know my SPI's need a cable. The only shoe you can have for one of those is a cold shoe, but I thought the SPII's had a hot shoe and didn't need one? I'm a bit confused here on that score and wondering if I need an actual Pentax flash "and" a cable.

    I do have several including some non-branded ones that seem to work fine with my digital's hot shoe, but when it comes to the SLR's I'm just not sure of what I am doing here. I haven't used any flash on on them as yet. Mostly taking pics outside so far. I just want to know what I have to do to be able to work inside.

    Question #2

    Has anyone here ever re-covered their camera with anything non-traditional. IE: not camera leathers/leatherettes. I'm curious to see what has been tried. I'm thinking of recovering my Yashicas in something different. In a upholstery fabric maybe? I do like the leathers I've seen online, but I just want something different from that for at least one of them.

    Question #3

    Is there anywhere you can purchase those plugs for the flash terminals by brand? Only one of my cameras actually has one and I'd like to be able to cover the jacks properly. What the heck are they usually called anyway? Flash terminal plugs? I'm not bringing anything up when I search.

    Question #4

    How good is indoor/outdoor film indoors sans a flash? I've often wondered if you actually need a flash if you get film that is marked supposedly for indoor and outdoor situations versus outdoor situations. There's not much of a film selection here. Mainly I can get Fuji 200/400 indoor/outdoor and Kodak 200/400 outdoor or outdoor/indoor. That's about it. Just wondering which might be better for shooting inside.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    magkelly:

    I'll start with Question #3

    Very few cameras have covers for the flash synchronization terminals. Of those that do, I'd wager a guess that most are missing them anyways. I wouldn't worry about it.

    Question #4

    Traditionally, there were a number of films designed for use under tungsten light, and were therefore ideally suited for use indoors. Most of those films are now gone.

    So what remains? Basically, the higher the ISO of the film, the easier it is to use indoors. So as long as you don't mind the compromises inherent in higher ISO films (grain, decrease in sharpness, different contrast) then you can make your decision based on ISO.

    None of the films you are looking at are special purpose films - their higher ISO just makes them usable in either bright light outdoors or in lower light indoors.
     
  3. jochen

    jochen Member

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    Hello,
    the Spotmatic II has a hot shoe and if you use a flash with hot shoe, you don't need an extra cable. For the hot shoe you can choose between X and FP mode. FP is for flash bulbs (no longer produced) and X is for electronic flash with a maximum shutter speed of 1/60 sec. For adjusting between FP and X you have to turn the knurled ring around the rewind crank. Don't use hot shoe and cable together. Before you take flash pictures control the correct position of the ring, he can easily be misplaced by accident.
    Besides: Be careful when using old electronic flashes with a high voltage firing circuit with a digicam or a modern AF-SLR with a lot of electronics! I measured voltages up to 230 V between the contacts of the plug (old Metz 45 CT 1)!! This high voltage eventually can damage the electronics of the camera and the contacts.
     
  4. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Some more comments:

    SLRs vary in their flash connections. Some have no accessory shoes, others have ("cold") accessory shoes, others have hot shoes, and others have hot shoes with extra contacts for camera-specific flashes. I'm not familiar with your specific camera so I don't know what it takes.

    Some flashes have both hot shoe connections and cables; they can be used with either cameras with hot shoes or those without (via the cable).

    As has been stated, tungsten-balanced films are nearly gone. Those that still exist, to the best of my knowledge, are low-ISO slide films or motion picture films. To improve the color balance of indoor no-flash shots, you can get a blue filter (I don't recall the filter number offhand), but this robs the film of a lot of speed -- 1 or 2 stops, IIRC. Alternatively, you can compensate in printing, but this won't produce quite as good a result, since some layers of the film will be underexposed, and/or other layers will be overexposed. Of course, none of this is an issue with B&W film, although you may need to change the EI you use for exposure, depending on the film's relative speed under daylight vs. tungsten light.
     
  5. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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  6. maderik

    maderik Member

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    #1: Generally, if it has a hot shoe it will work with almost any flash as long as the sync speed is set correctly.

    #2: I'd suggest searching/browsing Flickr. There is a group just about this (Pimp my camera! http://www.flickr.com/groups/319212@N24/) and examples often show up in the Camera Porn group or the 'Show me your camera' posts in brand-specific groups. I like this one:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11281661@N02/1149591949/

    #4: Good is a relative term. If you are printing yourself or scanning (a bit taboo here), you can usually color correct negative film to be "good enough" for casual use. Many people like indoor photos a bit warm anyway. If you need better color correction, then use the appropriate filter (and higher speed film to make up for the light loss.)
     
  7. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    #1-
    If the camera has a hot shoe and the flash has a contact on the bottom of its foot, no cord is needed. Otherwise it is needed. A dedicated flash is of no extra benefit on an SPII. An automatic flash, which has a sensor for determining exposure, will work automatically or manually as you choose.
    Any brand of flash will work.

    #2-
    Ain't that just like a chick. :rolleyes: teasing, teasing...:tongue:

    You can do anything you want. I haven't heard of upholstery fabric being used, but I suppose some are as thick as some camera leathers, plus you could back them if you want. As for the idea-why not? Have fun. You're going to need a suitable adhesive, something which won't bleed through the fabric. Maybe that adhesive that comes in thin sheets and you peel and stick.
    You could start a trend. Pentax in purple. Pentax in pink. Pentax in plaid. Pentax in paisley. Pentax in percale. Pentax in poplin... A seersucker Spotmatic.
    Then you could go for a Chinon in chino, a Fujica in fuji, any cheaply made camera in chintz...
    A d!&#+@l would of course be in moire.:rolleyes:

    #3-
    The terminal on the camera is called a PC socket or flash socket. So the cover will be called...you get it. They're available used on ebay, sometimes at absurdly high prices. Plain PC sockets are all the same, so the covers are not model specific. They're not a necessity, but if you want them, you can find them.

    #4-
    For pictures taken by light coming through a window during the day, use daylight film, of course. Otherwise tungsten film or daylight film with an 80A filter. You will probably still have a little warmth under regular household incandescent light. I like the extra warmth as it looks more natural to me than a fully accurate correction. If under fluorescent use an FLD filter with daylight film, FLW for daylight film under warm white fluorescents, though an FLD should still give a good rendition, just somewhat warmer.
    Some films, especially color negative films, have been made less susceptible to the sickly green cast flourescents normally leave on film. Colors can be further corrected in printing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2010
  8. CGW

    CGW Member

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    #2 I've pimped several pet cameras with kits from this guy. The coloured reptile stuff is killer. All fit perfectly, too:

    http://www.cameraleather.com/

    Too bad he doesn't offer matching loafers or boots--or pumps!
     
  9. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    I've seen at least one denim covered. Got an old pair of jeans? Want something a little flashier? Check out Ru Paul's Drag Race. Maybe some feather boas or sequins.
     
  10. magkelly

    magkelly Member

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  11. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Question #1: Regarding a flash, the Spotmatics that I owned didn't have a hotshoe and required a flash with a cable. So, any flash with a cable will do. Or alternatively, there used to be available a hotshoe with its own cable that plugged into the camera.

    Question #2: I've re-covered a Minolta XD-11 with a new covering. And more recently, I re-covered my Rollei SL 35 E with a new covering.

    As far as what you do, use what you want. It's your camera. Seriously.

    Cameraleather.com offers a bunch of different coverings, but his service has been seriously spotty to the point where I refuse to buy from him any more. More recently, I've used coverings from Aki-Asahi.com, which for some reason seems to be on an extended vacation.

    Question #3: I wouldn't worry about these. They're nice to have and quickly lost. Very quickly.


    Question #4: The biggest downside of using color daylight film indoors without flash can be the color shifts from incandescent or fluorescent lighting. You can use a color compensating filter, but that usually will cost you a stop.

    With Japanese cameras, make sure that you replace the foam seals.
     
  12. magkelly

    magkelly Member

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    Okay, above tech info duly noted, and I'm digesting all of that info.

    As to the camera leather issue I'm actually thinking about using a couple of different vinyls that they had. (I think I'll skip the sequins and feather boa idea, thanks!) One of them is a very small metallic overlaid leopard print in shades of mostly dark aqua, silver, and purple with black spots. They also have another vinyl that looks like it's made of mixed silver, light aqua, and pewter with a pretty subtle snake pattern.

    That colored leopard print would be fun on the black and I think the other would look amazing with the chrome of the FX-2 but they're really not as wild as it sounds. Some of the prints on the 2 camera leather sites I've been to are actually quite a bit bolder. The only thing that will make them really stand out is that the prints are a bit metallic overlaid.

    Last, quick question, one of the cameras has someone's initial etched slightly to left side of the prism. If I put something over the prism to cover it, say a small decorative shape in metal would that affect the camera in any real way in so far as taking pics are concerned? I'd like to cover that up, but I don't want to screw up the function of the camera in any way. He etched his name on the back too, but that's easily covered with a little metal plate or whatever. I'll take a pic tomorrow and post it here so you can see what I'm talking about.






     
  13. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I've had all too many cameras in which people scratched their name, their Social Security number or some other ID into the prism housing, the back, the bottom plate and other areas with what looked like an old nail.

    You should be OK with covering this up with anything. Sticker, decal, piece of metal. It's not conductive (doesn't conduct electricity) for the camera. Although metal top decks will conduct electricity, but not in a manner that's required for the camera to function.

    Last year, I re-covered a Yashica FX-D with this:

    [​IMG]

    I also have a pink leather covering for a Minolta XD11 (with the goal of selling it to a woman).

    But whatever works. Just have fun with it. Good luck!
     
  14. maderik

    maderik Member

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    Hey, my Bell & Howell EE127 is covered in a denim-like twill and it came that way from the factory. It even has a matching case.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member

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    Not quite an answer to your question, but related: I have seen pictures of an Exakta that was re-covered in a red leather or leatherette. It looked quite good. Of course, the Exakta was one beautiful looking camera, even if one disagrees with the ergonomics of the camera.
     
  16. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    For flash, a Vivitar 285HV would suit you well. Won't damage electronics on a d_____l SLR (have used one on a D1H Nikon - and a D1x), and will work on pretty much anything that has flash synch. Still can be found new for less than $100.

    -J