Pointers please on my Praktica B100 (beginner)

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by BADGER.BRAD, Apr 28, 2017.

  1. BADGER.BRAD

    BADGER.BRAD Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Location:
    Dudley in old England
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hello All I'm a complete begineer looking for a bit of advive on setup and use of this camera here are the photos.
    P1010016.JPG
    P1010017.JPG
    O.k looking down on the camera the dial on the lense nearest the camera body reads 16,11,8,5.6,4,2.4 this desplayed at the bottom when you look through the lense what is this called and what is it for ? Next to this is a scale which does not move but is numbered 16,8,4 then 4,8,16 same question ? Next dial is distance/focus. On the front of the camera next to the lense there is the lense reliese lever but on the other side another lever what is this for ? There is dial on the top for the film ASA (is this the same as iso) then a DIN read out is this auto set by the ASA setting ? The dial to the right of the flash mount do I just keep this on auto ? What happens with the other setting other than bat ?

    Thanks all for any help

    Brad
     
  2. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,886
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Location:
    MiltON.ONtario
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2017
  3. baachitraka

    baachitraka Member

    Messages:
    2,856
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  4. baachitraka

    baachitraka Member

    Messages:
    2,856
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Location:
    Bremen, Germany.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  5. tedr1

    tedr1 Member

    Messages:
    813
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Location:
    50 miles from NYC USA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The numbered dial that turns is the aperture ring. ISO is the same as ASA. The number series that repeats is the depth of field scale. All this and more is revealed in the owner instructions :smile:
     
  6. blockend

    blockend Member

    Messages:
    3,497
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Location:
    northern eng
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I think the OP needs the absolute basics, like what is an f-stop. If so, I'd look at YouTube and search film cameras for beginners or similar.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    BADGER.BRAD

    BADGER.BRAD Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Location:
    Dudley in old England
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I have the manual (of line) but as I have very limited film/slr experience a lot of the terms mean nothing to me, some of it I've worked out for myself but have no clue how to use all the setting in combination for different photo types. If the cameras were Digital I would just try them on the same subject and see how they turned out. Unfortunatley with film it could be costly plus by the time the photos came back I would have forgot exactly what I did.I'll have a look at what depth of field is and how to use this setting.I'm guessing on auto everything sets it's self ?
     
  8. wamateur

    wamateur Member

    Messages:
    9
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2016
    Location:
    midatlantic
    Shooter:
    35mm
  9. blockend

    blockend Member

    Messages:
    3,497
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2010
    Location:
    northern eng
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Very briefly, apertures and shutter speeds have a reciprocal relationship - make the hole (aperture) in the lens twice as big, and you can half the shutter speed. Conversely make the aperture smaller and you'll need to double the speed. The same is true for x4, x2, 1/2, 1/4, whatever. This means that a range of speeds and apertures will give you the correct exposure, only the appearance of the image will change, depending on which combination you choose. Small apertures offer a greater depth of field (sharpness in front of and behind the subject), wide apertures have a shallow depth of field (only the subject will be in focus). High shutter speeds freeze fast moving objects. You'll generally prioritise an aperture setting and adjust the shutter accordingly, or need a higher speed and go for the aperture the camera says. For general photography people opt for a shutter speed that avoids camera shake (1/125 upwards, 1/60 for static subjects), and a middling aperture of f5.6 or f8, which gives sufficient depth of focus to render a subject sharply. The rest is experience. Fortunately your Praktica has auto exposure so you're unlikely to go far wrong.

    If this isn't clear keep asking, it generally takes a little time for the idea to sink in. All cameras work on the same principle (even your phone), but automation has taken over so most people never get to think about it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    22,492
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    That is a dial that controls the lens aperture - the "f/stop". Adjusting the aperture changes how bright the light is when it reaches the film. Film (and digital) exposure is a function of how bright the light is when it reaches the film and how long that film is exposed to that light - the shutter speed. Lens apertures and shutter speeds are most commonly actually fractions. So it helps to think of the 8, 11 and 16 as actually 1/8, 1/11 and 1/16. when set to f/8, the opening has twice as much area as f/8, which has twice as much area of 1/16, etc. If you are a "math" type person, you will recognize that if you square the numbers, the progression looks more clear.

    That gives an indication of the outer limits of where a focused image will appear focused - the "depth of field". If your aperture is set to f/16, you read the range of distances between the two "16"s on the focusing scale as a rough indication of what will be in focus. Note that the larger numbers (smaller apertures) give you more in focus.

    Most likely a stop down lever. This will darken the viewfinder, but give you a visual indication of depth of field. Check the manual on this.

    DIN was/is a European near-equivalent to the ASA film sensitivity rating system. ASA is now more commonly seen as ISO. Your camera was sold in many different markets, so this was set up to appeal to users of both systems. It is the same dial, so whatever you use will set the other correctly.

    The "B" is for "Bulb". An old term that has stuck around. You use it with a cable release when you want manually controlled longer exposures, such as 1 second, 4 seconds, 30 seconds or 5 minutes.
    The symbol that looks like a lightning bolt is where you set the camera if you are using it with an electronic flash. That camera will only work with electronic flashes if the shutter speed isn't set to too fast a speed. The lightning bolt setting will ensure proper flash operation. You would then either use manual guide number calculations or automatic exposure systems built into many flashes to control the flash exposure.

    Hope this helps. Use it to help give you context when you read the manual and other resources.
     
  11. Helios 1984

    Helios 1984 Member

    Messages:
    766
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2015
    Location:
    Dominion of Canada
    Shooter:
    35mm
  12. OP
    OP
    BADGER.BRAD

    BADGER.BRAD Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Location:
    Dudley in old England
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks for the great help everyone, it's really appreciated. I now feel I can have a go with some understanding of what I am doing.I will also have a look at the film camera stuff on youtube which I must admit I'd never thought of before (unusal as I use it for other things).
     
  13. G1DRP

    G1DRP Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I think it's great that you are persevering with your camera! All this talk of f-stops, shutter speed and depth of field will suddenly pop into place and you will never forget it.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. klownshed

    klownshed Member

    Messages:
    414
    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Your camera is an Aperture Priotity automatic camera.

    That means that you set the aperture on the lens and the camera chooses the shutter speed itself.

    So here's what you do (very generalised):

    Choose a film. You then set the speed of the film on the dial at the top left. Your dial says ASA which is the same as ISO which will be written on the box.

    A film speed of, say 200 which is standard for colour film will be good in good light outside. You'll need a flash indoors for
    200 ISO film.

    A 400 speed film is good in cloudier conditions outside.

    Bow that you've set the film speed on the dial you can forget about it.

    Next you need to set the aperture. You can set it to about 5.6 which will be ok for most situations.

    You would choose a smaller number (2.4 being the smallest on you lens) when the light isn't as good or for a portrait when you want to blur the background. Smaller number lets in more light.

    If you select f16 on the lens, this will let in mich less light than 2.8 but will result in much more of the scene being in focus. So for a landscape you might choose 11 or 16.

    The shutter speed should be displayed inside the viewfinder. You will want to make sure this is at least 1/60 which will be enough to stop the photo being blurred from camera shake.

    Focus is manual, line up the item that's most important in the middle and check focus with the split screen (top and bottom line up when in focus).

    When in focus you can recompose a little then shoot away.

    That should be enough to get started. From there you can learn about the settings in more detail.

    Hope this helps.
     
  16. OP
    OP
    BADGER.BRAD

    BADGER.BRAD Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Location:
    Dudley in old England
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Thanks Klownshed that sounds an easy to follow basic setup, Once I've run some film through it I'll have a more indepth play with it. By then I should have read all the how to's and watched all the Youtube vids.
     
  17. G1DRP

    G1DRP Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    You'll soon be developing your own B&W film and scanning your negatives.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    BADGER.BRAD

    BADGER.BRAD Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Location:
    Dudley in old England
    Shooter:
    35mm
    G1DRP I take it that a ham radio call sign ?
     
  19. Loren Sattler

    Loren Sattler Subscriber

    Messages:
    279
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Location:
    Toledo, Ohio
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I suggest you visit your neighborhood library and look through the photography section. You will find beginner books with pictures and explanations of how cameras function. After some reading, come back to this forum with questions that you will certainly have after acquiring a basic understanding.
     
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

    Messages:
    26,645
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Groups:
    The OP needs to learn about f/stops, the relationship f/stops and shutter speed, depth of field and reading the depth of field scale [16 11 8 4 4 8 11 16]. How to use Sunny 16 and how to use a light meter.
     
  21. G1DRP

    G1DRP Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    It is indeed. Got my license in 1984, so it's quite an old call sign now.
     
  22. OP
    OP
    BADGER.BRAD

    BADGER.BRAD Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Location:
    Dudley in old England
    Shooter:
    35mm
    To G1DRP I'm G7SKU and gained M0PAB with a morse pass although I haven't used it for a good while.

    Brad
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  23. klownshed

    klownshed Member

    Messages:
    414
    Joined:
    May 3, 2012
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Alternatively the OP 'needs' to have some fun and find interesting things to photograph.

    He can then develop his knowledge and skills as he progresses like we all did when we started (As long as he has a little patience and doesn't expect too much from the first few rolls).
     
  24. OP
    OP
    BADGER.BRAD

    BADGER.BRAD Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2017
    Location:
    Dudley in old England
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hello again all,
    I have a problem now with the camera which I may have already fixed but would appreciate your input. I sent film for two cameras off to photo Express up at HUll (UK) they said the film from the Praktica was completely blank which led me to take it back out of it's box and inspect it , on auto with the back of the camera open I can see the shutter flash open, then I have tried it on the B setting which again opens and closes the shutter controlled by the button. I then had a mess with the camera generally and after applying a little pressure to the lever on the left of the camera lenses (looking from the front) it started it's count down ? Yes it's a timer ! As I had never messed with this I presumed it to be in it's correct position but guess it was stuck. Bearing in mind the shutter still seemed to work while I was looking at it and the film still rolled on/camera cocked o.k would this have caused the film to be blank ? I guess it would ! (I'll bang my head on the wall now )

    Thanks for you input

    Brad
     
  25. G1DRP

    G1DRP Member

    Messages:
    39
    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I don't think it would have made any difference to be honest. Please check that the shutter opens for different time intervals in different lighting conditions. In very low light, it should open for several seconds and in bright light, just a fracton of a second.
    Also, check the battery voltage is correct as it should be 6V.
     
  26. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

    Messages:
    1,541
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Location:
    County Durham, UK
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Everyone has to start somewhere. Once you get a hang of the basics and get out to take photographs it becomes quite adictive. I started in the sixties and am still learning and still using film. I have never quite come to trms with digital - there is no real challenge. If I can make a 12x16 print in the darkroom then I feel I have succeeded.

    Good luck there will be dissapointments but there will be more successes
     
,