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  1. #1

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    A Couple Of Old SLR Questions....

    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. #2
    MattKing's Avatar
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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.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #3

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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. #4

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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. #5
    Nicholas Lindan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magkelly View Post
    Has anyone here ever re-covered their camera with anything non-traditional.


    From (where else?):

    http://www.merrillphoto.com/galacollection.htm
    http://www.merrillphoto.com/junkstorecameras.htm
    DARKROOM AUTOMATION
    f-Stop Timers - Enlarging Meters
    http://www.darkroomautomation.com/da-main.htm

  6. #6

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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. #7
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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...

    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 lxdude; 07-19-2010 at 08:22 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: clarity

  8. #8
    CGW
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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. #9

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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.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  10. #10

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    I have no words.



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