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Have 2 old 35mmSLR's....AP suitability?

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#1 Luna-tic

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 03:44 PM

I have a couple of 35mm SLR's from the 1980's and wonder how suitable they might be for  some simple film AP. Both have been packed away in a box for more than 25 years.

 

First camera is a Minolta XD-11. It is a multi-mode camera, with automatic exposure control as well as shutter priority, aperture priority or completely manual. The electronic controls no longer work, and nobody I've contacted can or will repair it. However, the bulb setting works manually (does not require battery power) and there is a "0" setting which I believe is 1/125 that also works without battery power. Since you don't need a light meter and control light with time and aperture, and a bulb setting for time exposures, would it work for AP? If so, is there a Minolta T-ring available for the bayonet mount?

 

Second is a Canon AE-1 Program. Auto exposure and shutter priority, plus manual. It has no battery, and I'm assuming it worked when it was packed up; it was my Stepdad's camera. I still have the operator's manual for it, but it doesn't say whether the shutter release is all electronic or if there is a mechanical release component. I can't make it work on bulb setting, (no battery), so I assume it's an electronic only release. I have a battery ordered, so I'll see if the camera works when the battery arrives. Does the bayonet mount on this camera differ from newer DSLR cameras? Would a T-ring for modern cameras fit it?

 

Which would be the better bet to try? Obviously, the Minolta would work now, but assuming I can get the Canon functional...?

 

What film would be best to try? ASA 100 or ASA 400 print film, or should I try a color transparency (slide) film like Ektachrome 25, or Kodachrome 64? I realize the exposure times would need to be significantly longer for the slower film, but which would give better color renditions and resolution? Kodachrome was always a 'warmer' film than Ektachrome, the reds were better. Been a loooong time since I shot film.


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#2 Cajundaddy

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 04:04 PM

I shot film AP for 10 years using both a Pentax and Canon AE-1.  Both would work and the AE-1 does need battery for bulb shutter settings.  Adapter rings are still around for those mounts and I may have the Canon in my kit still.

 

For film I would choose 400 ISO.  25 ISO would be painfully slow and reciprocity failure might mean zero useable data after a long night of exposures.  Not sure what your targets or planned optical path are but why film?  A decent modern M4/3 camera could be found used for less than $100 and it would offer a lot more of everything from gathering data to post processing. 



#3 Jim Davis

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 04:06 PM

The Canon needs the older t-ring. The current DLSR one will not fit. I think I still have an old Canon one. I don't have the camera. If you can't find one, let me know. I'll dig it out of storage.



#4 zakry3323

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 04:32 PM

 simple film AP. 

 

What does this phrase mean?


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#5 ICit2

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 05:57 PM

What does this phrase mean?

Simple film astro-photography.

 

Luna-tic, they don't make or process Ektachrome 25, or Kodachrome 64?.  And I believe is was Ektachrome 64 asa and Kodachrome 25 asa.  Kodachrome 25 was amazing. Back in the day, I used it all the time at the Fillmore East, New York to shoot the Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker and the rest with no flash, just stage lighting and hand held.

 

Dead

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#6 Richard O'Neill

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 07:04 PM

 Much to the sadness of many a photographer, Kodachrome went bye-bye ages ago and the last photo lab in the country to process it ceased operation years ago. However, Ektachrome has been resurrected and is still processed at some specialty labs. All except a few diehards have switched to digital. 

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=N4ltLp30KVs

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=g3IvVejktJE


Edited by Richard O'Neill, 13 April 2019 - 07:19 PM.


#7 zakry3323

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 07:23 PM

Simple film astro-photography.

 

Just a little tongue-in-cheek. Seems like an oxymoron to me, like wanting to do some simple deep-sea diving wearing a vintage leaded diving suit. 



#8 Luna-tic

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Posted 13 April 2019 - 09:05 PM



I shot film AP for 10 years using both a Pentax and Canon AE-1.  Both would work and the AE-1 does need battery for bulb shutter settings.  Adapter rings are still around for those mounts and I may have the Canon in my kit still.

 

For film I would choose 400 ISO.  25 ISO would be painfully slow and reciprocity failure might mean zero useable data after a long night of exposures. Not sure what your targets or planned optical path are but why film?  A decent modern M4/3 camera could be found used for less than $100 and it would offer a lot more of everything from gathering data to post processing. 

Mainly just for the heck of it. One of our club members used to do film AP through a C11 and a tracking EQ mount. He's got some pictures of M42 and the Flame Nebula that are amazing. No better than I am with a modern DSLR, I couldn't hope to get anything like he did, even with a better mount, but it was a thought. I hate the idea of these once-top tier cameras just lying in a box, and I can't make myself throw them away. I have several lenses for each camera, the Minolta has a 75-300 f/3.5 zoom with it. I thought that one might be good for some wide-field shots, and my other choice was my GT81 which is only slightly longer F/L but not as fast, even at f/5.9 (quick for a telescope, though).

 



Simple film astro-photography.

 

Luna-tic, they don't make or process Ektachrome 25, or Kodachrome 64?.  And I believe is was Ektachrome 64 asa and Kodachrome 25 asa.  Kodachrome 25 was amazing. Back in the day, I used it all the time at the Fillmore East, New York to shoot the Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker and the rest with no flash, just stage lighting and hand held.

 

No, I'm positive of the film speeds for the Ektachrome and Kodachrome. I shot a ton of the ASA 64 Kodachrome when the Minolta was a new camera. The colors were very rich and there was nothing better for autumn leaves with the film's bias to reds and yellows. Ektachrome had a blue bias and was great for seascapes. I didn't process my own film, but  had slides made, and prints from the best of my shots. The slower film's finer grain made for much better enlargements than Kodacolor.

 

Your picture of the Dead is great. I have slides (somewhere in a box in the attic) I made of Led Zeppelin in 1977 that have that sort of color, and I was using Kodachrome 64 and no flash, with the camera (a Mamiya something or other 35mm) on a tripod and a 135mm f/2.8 lens. Now I'm going to have to dig that stuff out.


Edited by Luna-tic, 13 April 2019 - 09:16 PM.

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#9 TxStars

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 12:11 AM

The Kodak Ektar 100 print & Ektachrome E100 slide films provide good images.

For a f/2.8 lenses 6 minutes under dark skies is a good starting point, for f/4 about 20 minutes to start.


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#10 telesonic

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 12:26 AM

Nothing wrong at all with trying film for AP, despite what some may say -

 

Since your XD works, all you would need would be the adapter and then you should be set to go.

There are... or used to be - T-adapters for that bayonet style, I think it's called the SR mount and should be the same for the XD. I have a few vintage Minolta 35mm's (SRT-101/102 and XK) and they seem to be interchangeable in that regards, but I picked it up here on the classifieds... so not really sure where to go to find one though.

 

 

I may also have a Canon ring in my parts box... I will check in the mornin' for 'ya.

 

- T


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#11 Alen K

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 08:08 AM

Check the light seals (gaskets) that surround the back opening for the film door (and the mirror box). They have a tendency to go mushy after tens of years (depending on how the camera was stored) and then you get horrible light leaks at the edges of each frame. Push on them with something small enough. If the foam doesn't spring back immediately they likely need to be replaced. You can still buy kits of the required foam cut exactly to size for a particular camera for a DIY replacement and they are not expensive. You could also take an affected camera in to a camera store but after the young millennial behind the counter stops laughing he might tell you they don't service film cameras anymore. If they do accept it for repair, however, they'll just purchase the same kit and charge you a hefty premium for their time.

https://www.instruct...-old-film-came/

Edited by Alen K, 14 April 2019 - 08:09 AM.

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#12 Luna-tic

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 09:43 AM

Check the light seals (gaskets) that surround the back opening for the film door (and the mirror box). They have a tendency to go mushy after tens of years (depending on how the camera was stored) and then you get horrible light leaks at the edges of each frame. Push on them with something small enough. If the foam doesn't spring back immediately they likely need to be replaced. You can still buy kits of the required foam cut exactly to size for a particular camera for a DIY replacement and they are not expensive. You could also take an affected camera in to a camera store but after the young millennial behind the counter stops laughing he might tell you they don't service film cameras anymore. If they do accept it for repair, however, they'll just purchase the same kit and charge you a hefty premium for their time.

https://www.instruct...-old-film-came/

Thanks for that excellent link. The light seals are an area I was concerned about; both seem to be in decent shape, they aren't crumbly, sticky or torn, but it's hard to tell if they've got enough "memory" to seal well enough unless I try a roll of film (an expensive test if they leak light).

 

This isn't a pressing thing, trying one of these for AP. I've looked into having both cameras completely refurbished, there are several repair shops that will take the Canon, but nobody I've contacted will work on the XD-11. I'd be limited only to time exposure with it. I ordered a battery for the Canon yesterday and if it works may give it a try on some terrestrial stuff to see what shape the meter and other functions are. It's sort of like pulling your Model A Ford out of the barn after 50 years and seeing if the motor will still turn over. I plan to go to the star party at Green Bank, WVa. in June; they don't allow digital cameras within a mile of the 100 meter dish. If I can get the Canon up and running, I can get some close-up shots of the big dish with it. I used a disposable 35mm camera last year, but the shots are grainy and I was limited to a single focal length.



#13 Cajundaddy

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 11:12 AM

The AE-1 and FTb were my workhorse cameras for 30 years and it cut me pretty deep when film was being obsoleted.   Still, time marches on and modern tech offers a lot of capability.

 

I have a friend who still shoots B&W with an FTb and she has an amazing eye for composition.



#14 telesonic

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Posted 14 April 2019 - 08:10 PM

I searched through my adapter pile, and did find the Canon T-ring - so that's an option for 'ya.

 

T



#15 Luna-tic

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 08:28 PM

I got a battery for the Canon today; inserted it and......It Works!! So, now I'm bound to find some film and shoot a roll of...... whatever.

 

We've been talking about Kodak films, but does Fuji still make 35mm film?

 

Telesonic, I may PM you about that T-ring, I appreciate the offer.


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#16 telesonic

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Posted 18 April 2019 - 10:40 PM

That's good news! 

 

For films, yep... Fuji still does 35mm, and if you have a walmart nearby - you might check their photo center. Out here they still have 400 speed Fuji stocked on the shelf and I've picked up a few rolls from them last year... but they don't stock any Kodak. Unfortunately I haven't got to shoot much film yet, this year though.

 

You can also get Fuji 35mm slide film from online, from B&H, and probably other sources as well. There are many choices when you start looking at the 35mm varieties online. Not as much as back pre-digital era, but a surprising amount.

 

No problemo on the T-ring brother, I've got nothing Canon in my arsenal... so you are more than welcome to it. Probably cost a few bucks to mail USPS, and that would be all I would ask for it anyhow.

 

Best,

T




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