Happy with a dead Kodak DCS 420

Discuss older Nikon-based Kodak digital SLRs, including DCS 100, DCS 200, NC2000, DCS 400/600/700-series, etc. Ask questions, post general comments, anecdotes, reviews and user tips.
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Bas
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Happy with a dead Kodak DCS 420

Post by Bas » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:50 am

Hi all,

just a message to the world that I have got my Kodak DCS 420 camera today. I was writing an article about the Mamiya ZD for a Dutch photomagazine and did some study to older cameras (the ZD does look a little bit like the E2 I think). Then I was thinking what a great cameras we had in the past, expensive, but with nice techniques. And after finidng Nikonweb and find out that it is still possible to get some nice photos, I decided to get me some old models. The first is the DCS 420 (but I really want a DS-5xx or Nikon E3/E2) and I got it for a good price at ebay. But inforntunally I had not read too carefully, so no charger. So, now I have a great looking camera (totally different than my Canon Eos-1D Mark II N), but still can't work with it.
Do I need to buy an orignal charger? And I am a Mac user, is it posible to format the CF card in a way that the Kodak can read it?

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Re: Happy with a dead Kodak DCS 420

Post by Webmaster » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:14 pm

Congratulations with your new camera. You'll need a ELPAC MI2815 battery charger. These are relatively easy to find on eBay, but prices vary. Shouldn't cost you more than $40, or so.

Don't know anything about Mac formatting of cards, but you could try Kodak professional support. These guys are usually very good: kprodigital@kodak.com

Jarle

Bas
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Post by Bas » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:45 pm

hank you. It was this site that pulled me over the line to buy old digital cameras. And yes, I definitally want to take photos with it, that's what cameras ares built for, aren't they? :)

Good tip on Kodak. I will try to contact a Dutch guy first at Kodak. Had a good contact with him when Kodak was still making the Pro 14 and ProSLR and I was testing them. I will keep you informed.

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Post by Webmaster » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:55 pm

Bas wrote:I definitally want to take photos with it, that's what cameras ares built for, aren't they? :)
Yes, absolutely!

Still, I must admit I don't use my old bodies very often. Even the D100, still a very capable camera, isn't used much these days. Once you've started to shoot with a D2X it's hard to go back. What do you think about the Mamiya ZD, by the way? Looks like a great camera, but I've seen some mixed reviews.

Jarle

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Post by Bas » Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:08 pm

I don't think I will be using the oldie a lot neither (especially since I am using Canon now, but I sill have a F4 and a 24 and 50mm). When I picked up my 1DN, the 10D which I used before started to collect dust. I think the same as with your D100. Well the D2X is a great camera (the fun part about my job: I have tested every DSLR and a lot of compacts).

The ZD is a very fine camera with a superb image quality. I have also worked with ISO 400 and it looked very good. Some photos can be found here: http://roodpetje.nl/index.php?itemid=1960. These were all made with the ZD. What I didn't like is the jpeg out of the camera, that is just crap imho. The RAW files were good. Also the LCD at the back is small, I think it's because when te ZD was first introduced at the Photokina 2004 we didn't have much bigger screens. Time catches up here. Also the quality of the LCD was bad. But you have a great viewfinder, the AF is pretty good for a medium format camera. So nice camera, good quality, but some weak points.

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Post by Camnut » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:51 am

Hi, as a HAPPY owner of a DCS 420 S/N 40XX i can gift you some advise...

1. I got my Elpac for a messly 5$ (and bought it w/out knowing model numbers, i got the first Elpac i seen on ebay, yes, sometimes i am lucky) Maybe the price was good because the no reference of DCS on AD scared other possible bidders...

2. The card, honestly, only can be formatted as FAT (Not FAT 32), well, at least if you want to use it in the camera that's is! Well, simply i can say:

1st, don't corrupt your card.
2nd find a FAT formatter for MAC (at least in late 80' existed one...)
3rd Get for less 200$ a decent intel laptop, it got the needed slots for the cards, can format in FAT. And if you bought one of the DCS era, the bundle can look impressive in the shelf...

Scr*w the 1 hour charge time advise, charge your DCS for 4 hours and both you may be happy... If your battery is busted you can find new replacement for 100$.

I supose your DCS come with no lens (like mine) I recommend you to avoid the ultra-cheap d70 plastic lenses, they can look nice in pic and can work ok, but is like driving a Mercedes with K-mart tyres... STYLE, this is the word, never consider spend less than 600$ for a working DCS system. Crawl up to 900$ for a DCS 460 with case ...

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Post by Bas » Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:57 am

Thanks for your tips Gamnut. Regarding the lens, I will be using the 50 1.4 and de 24 2.8 I already had from Nikon (still have the good old F4 as well). I only want to find a bigger wide-angle, but yes, it has to look good too on the camera :)

Is it possible to formaat the card in another SLR, like the 1DIIN or the 10D? Somewhere I have a Coolpix 995 as well, perhaps that will work?

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Format card in another camera

Post by Webmaster » Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:41 am

Bas wrote:Is it possible to formaat the card in another SLR, like the 1DIIN or the 10D? Somewhere I have a Coolpix 995 as well, perhaps that will work?
Actually, that's a great idea. I haven't tested this myself, but it should work just fine.

Just format the CF card (first try with an old, small one, e.g. 48 or 64 MB) in your Coolpix. If there's nothing wrong with the card/PCMCIA adapter or your 420, I'll bet a cold beer that it will work.

Jarle

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Post by Bas » Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:05 pm

Ok, hopefully you don't have to buy me a beer, but sounds like a nice bet :)

I will keep you posted. Still have to find a charger first.

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Post by Bas » Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:26 am

Small update
Ok, I have won an Epac charger yesterday. Hopefully I will get it here soon, so I can play with the camera!

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Post by Bas » Tue May 02, 2006 10:15 pm

I have promised an update to keep you in touch. Last Thursday the Elpac charger arrived. And it worked ok. Next step was to find a CF-PCMCIA adapter. That one I bought today, brand new. It's one from Sandisk. This evening I ave tried it with some cards. The simple blue Sandisk 128MB cards didn't work. I have formatted it in my Canon Eos 10D. So that is probably the problem. I have to find my CP 995 again. Luckely I have a drawer full of old cards. A 96MB CF with a Nikon sticker worked. So now I have made my very first picture with the camera. I am totally happy. Next step is to get the 128MB cards ready for the DCS420c. I am excited!!

Small edit: I have noticed that when I put the card in my Powerbook, the Nikon CF (which actually is a 99 Sandisk) was also used in a Eos 350D. I am very happy that it all works. To set the date, I have to connect the camera to a PC via SCSI, isn't it? My dad is still using SCSI :)

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Post by Bas » Wed May 03, 2006 10:44 am

One of the first pictures made with de DCS420c is online: http://roodpetje.nl/index.php?itemid=2026

I am still very pleased with the working camera. Now I have to find out the best way to tweak the images.

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Post by Webmaster » Thu May 04, 2006 4:33 pm

Bas wrote:So now I have made my very first picture with the camera. I am totally happy.
Congratulations. Glad you made it work.

As you've probably noticed, the camera will produce photos that are too red/magenta. The first thing you want to do in post-processing is to adjust this.

Jarle

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