Friday, December 30, 2016

More on the Pentax SV

In my last post I discussed the Pentax SV camera kit that I was given at Christmas by my good friends Nancy and Eric Holman. It's now New Year's Eve, and I've used the last few days to get a little more acquainted with my new camera.

The first thing I did (and always do) was to look on-line for a manual. Almost any camera you care to name has the manual available somewhere on-line as a download - and the SV's manual was very easy to find since it was such a popular model. It's also a pretty cool camera manual. For a start it's very nicely designed - which I appreciate. A cut above your standard camera manual design from the 60s and 70s. It also contains a very helpful guide on all the accessories that were available for the SV, and since it was Pentax's 'top' model at the time, there were (are) plenty to choose from. TradeMe (NZ's version of eBay) has a listing for an original Pentax SV manual at the moment, and I'm very tempted to get it.

Any inter-web search on the Pentax SV is also likely to bring up a few images of these four lads. The Beatles were famous Pentax users and there are many images of the fab four holding, and using, their Pentax SV's. That's pretty cool!

I also have a first edition copy of Herbert Keppler's famous book 'The Pentax Way' that I found in a second hand book store a few years back. Published in 1966, it describes the current Asahi Pentax models as; the SV (H3V in the USA), S1A (H1A in the USA) and Spotmatic (or SP).

This makes the SV the last Pentax before the release of the Spotmatic - the future of SLR design that included an exposure metering system built into the camera. Of course that also meant that the Spotmatic required a battery for the meter to function. Since the SV has no in-built meter, it requires no battery (therefore exposure needs to be calculated with an external meter or using the Sunny 16 rule).

Me using the SV. Photo by Joshua Lorimer

After all that research, all that remained was for me to load the camera with some film and take some photos with it!

I'm running pretty low on film stock, but I knew I wanted to put some Black and White through the camera first. Partly because I think that B&W film fits the pedigree of the camera, and also because I wanted to develop the film myself. I decided to use a roll of Fomapan 100 that I have had in the fridge for a while, as well as a roll of Ilford Delta 100.

Because I was going to have to meter manually, I downloaded an exposure meter app for my Samsung - as well as a note-taking app specific to film photography. As can be seen in the photo opposite - taken by my son Josh - I also have an actual light meter (a Polaris hand-held meter - very cheap but very reliable) and decided to take that along as well. I'm very glad I did, because the light meter app on my phone was horrible to use, and I ended up using my trusty hand-held meter exclusively. Wow, using a Pentax SV with a light meter slung around my neck makes me look like a real old-school photographer!

And the results? Well, that would be telling ;-)  And I will - tell all... in the next post.

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