A learning experience – my first roll of film in 20 years

I recently decided to get back into film photography, so I hopped on eBay and picked up a 35mm Pentax K1000 (Asahi Hong Kong model) just like the one I used in Yearbook Class all those years ago in high school. I did my due diligence to make sure I didn’t get a camera that was full of fungus and I really lucked out. From what I can tell, it is in near-mint condition and even included all of the retail packaging, leather case, and all the accessories as it was sold in JC Penney in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

After a thorough cleaning, I loaded my first roll of film. To test the camera I picked up a cheap roll of FUJIFILM Supera X-TRA 400 film at our local Walmart.

I will admit, it took me a minute to pick up the skill again. My main concern was whether or not the internal light meter worked. Not realizing there is now a very handy iOS app for this, I chose to trust the light meter for the first roll and see what happened. According to the light meter, all of my outdoor shots were going to be overexposed, which I figured I could fix with a little post-processing. However, the opposite was actually true. Almost the entire roll was underexposed and, to add to the blow to my ego, a lot of the shots were out of focus, which I can only imagine is because I am not used to the viewfinder. Outside of the center focal area, the rest of the viewfinder is not clear, but just slightly transparent. I assume this is normal for this model, but I haven’t done any research to confirm this.

I am now shooting my second roll, Kentmere Pan 400 Black and White, while using a lightmeter app and paying special attention to the focus. We’ll see if there is a marked improvement. I am especially looking forward to seeing the results of the black-and-white film. Until then, here are the results of roll #1.

The Results

  • Steven Trotter is a graphic designer (UX/UI, web & branding), photographer, and maker living and working on the Oregon Coast.

    https://www.steventrotter.com hey@steventrotter.com Trotter Steven