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Pentax MZ-S

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17 115,435 Tue August 31, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
94% of reviewers $472.65 9.44
Pentax MZ-S

Pentax MZ-S
Pentax MZ-S
Pentax MZ-S
Pentax MZ-S
Pentax MZ-S

The Pentax MZ-S was introduced in 2001 as Pentax’ top-of-the-line SLR with a study body of magnesium alloy. It reintroduced analog dials and had a slanted top panel as a distinguishing feature. It had high speed flash synchronization up to 1/6000 sec with the internal flash as well as with the AF360FGZ wireless TTL flash unit. The MZ-S also featured imprint of exposure information on the edge of the film.

Program modes: Normal, Action, Depth of field and MTF (Modulation Transfer Function). In the MTF program the camera sets the aperture to the value where the lens performs the best under the given light (only works with F and newer lenses which has the required information encoded in them).

Extra flash functions with an external flash: Wireless, High-Speed, Contrast control.

Read all the details about lens compatibility here!

Year introduced
Meter range
0 - 21 EV
Meter pattern
m c s
ISO range
6 - 6400
DX ISO range
25 - 5000
Exposure modes
P, Av, Tv, M, B
Exposure compensation
+/-3 EV
Exposure lock
Shutter speeds (auto)
30 - 1/6000s
Shutter speeds (manual)
1 - 1/6000s
Shutter speeds (mechanical)
Self timer
Mirror lock-up
Auto bracketing
Multiple exposures
Built-in 2.5 fps
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 12
TTL flash
P-TTL flash
Sync speed
Flash exposure comp
Yes (6 points)
Autofocus sensitivity
-1 - 18 EV
Power zoom
Yes, limited
0.75x, 92%
Viewfinder type
Diopter correction
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Image size
24 x 36 mm
Panorama format
2 x CR2
Battery grip/pack
Grip BG-10, AA batteries
Size (W x H x D)
136.5 x 95 x 64 mm
520 g
Price History:

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Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 129
Review Date: August 31, 2021 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Feels like a k3 or k1
Cons: None other than mirror scare comments

Use rechargeable batteries and you are good to go without the added battery grip.
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 7,545

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 1, 2020 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $418.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Many features, build, 1/6000 shutter speed.
Cons: Plastic mirror motor gear failure. Too many dials, switches & buttons.

The Pentax MZ-S was released in February 2001 and it superseded the Z-1p/PZ-1p as Pentax’s the top of the line AF pro camera. The MZ-S remained in production until 2004, when all of Pentax’s 35mm film cameras were discontinued.

Build & Handling:
The MZ-S’s build is quite good and is the first Pentax body to be made of magnesium alloy. The other MZ/ZX bodies are not of the same quality, though all cameras in this series suffer from the dreaded plastic mirror motor gear failure. There are numerous threads in the forum relating to this topic and the general consensus is that the MZ-S bodies with a s/n number starting with 5xxxxxx have the updated brass gear. So my advice if you are considering getting a MZ-S, is to look for one with a s/n in that range.

The MZ-S is a “middleweight “camera and weighs in at (520 grams). However it’s not the biggest kid on the block, so balancing my bigger lenses on this body is doable but not as good as on my Z-1p or K2DMD. The right-side grip does help and there is also the optional BG-10 battery grip to add more weight/size if you need it.

If you like dials, dials within dials, buttons & switches, then you’ll love the MZ-S! Way too many for my liking and this adds to the overall neutral feeling I have for the MZ-S handling and cluttered look.

The MZ-S is yet another AF camera with a headache inducing 137-page manual, so you’ll probably need to pack it along when using it for the first few weeks. Luckily the MZ-S is so customizable with the 19 available “Pentax Functions”, that once you set it up to your liking you are good to go for most shooting situations.

- Focusing: There are two auto-focusing options (single & continuous) and manual focusing. AF now has six focusing points and is an improvement over the previous generation of cameras, which had only one. I don’t do auto-focusing, so the switch is permanently set to manual focus and I can happily ignore a large section of the manual. When manually focusing you can use either the “focus indicator” green light in the viewfinder or just the matte focusing screen. You can also have the camera beep when your subject is in focus, but I disabled this option (PF 1). Since the MZ-S has six AF points on the focusing screen, this adds to the cumbersome manual focusing experience. I ditched the regular viewfinder eyecup and use the Pentax “O-ME53 Viewfinder Magnifying Eyecup” instead. This and the “Refconverter A” help a lot with manual focusing

- Metering Modes: Along with the superb Multi 6-segment metering, you also have spot and center-weighted metering. Note the multi-segment metering only works with “A” Series (excluding the A50/1.2) or newer lenses. For K/M Series lenses you can only use the other two metering options. I use the Multi 6-segment metering whenever possible, as it’s my preferred choice for when I shoot slide film. The MZ-S also has exposure memory lock.

- Drive Modes/Winder: The MZ-S has a built-in 2.5 frame per-second winder with four drive modes to choose from. The “single-frame” is the one I use 99% of the time. Your other drive mode options are; Consecutive-frame, Multiple-exposure and Self-timer. The Self-timer has two options available, 2 second delay with MLU and 12 second delay. (These are selected via PF 14) There is also an Auto Bracketing mode, but it’s activated with another dial, separate from the others listed above. For rewinding you have numerous options; from end of roll automatic or manual rewind (PF 13), as well as a complete rewind or leaving the film leader out (PF 12). For swapping film mid-roll, there is also a rewind option called “MRC frame advance” in PF 12, that lets you to return to the same frame automatically at a later time. I have the camera configured to automatically rewind the film into the canister when the last shot on the roll is taken.

- Exposure Modes: The MZ-S has five exposure modes available; usage depends if the attached lens is in the “A” setting on the aperture ring. (Programmed AE, Shutter-Priority AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Metered Manual and Bulb) Note the MZ-S cannot control the aperture on a lens with no aperture ring, so these lenses can only be used in Programmed AE or Shutter-Priority AE modes. I use Aperture-Priority almost 100% of the time. Note PF 2 controls the four options of Programmed AE that are available.

- Shutter Speed Range: The MZ-S has a Manual/Auto shutter speed range from 1/6000 to 30 seconds. Not quite as good as the 1/8000 in the Z-1/Z-1p, but still very good for shooting my fast-prime lenses wide open.

- DX Coding/Exposure Compensation: The MZ-S has DX coding or you can set the ISO manually (PF7). The ISO range of 6 to 6400/ DX coded range of 25 to 5000 is also superb. You also have exposure compensation of -3 to +3 EV in ½ EV or 1 EV increments, which can also be used with auto-bracketing.

- Viewfinder Display/LCD Display Panel: The viewfinder on the MZ-S layout is pretty good and all the exposure/focusing info is on the bottom. There is also right-hand side bar graph, which is used in some exposure modes. Everything else, including the exposure info, is on the top LCD panel. The MZ-S diopter adjustment switch is accessed via an opening in the top of the OEM eyecup.

- Flash: The MZ-S has a small built-in retractable TTL flash (RFT) that is occasionally useful for fill-in flash or an indoor portrait. The MZ-S will let you know if a fill-in flash is required if you are in one of the AE exposure modes. (The flash sync speed is 1/180 sec or slower.) The RFT flash is controlled by a separate flash-function button and also has a Red-eye reduction, automatic firing & a Wireless option (with the AF360FGZ).

The RFT flash also drains the cameras batteries pretty quickly, so I would use one of the two dedicated external P-TTL flashes designed for the MZ-S instead. (The Pentax AF540FGZ & AF360FGZ are recommended for use with the MZ-S.) I bought the AF360FGZ and it works nicely with my MZ-S and you can use it alongside the RFT flash, thought it has to be “off “camera. Auto focus lenses (F/FA or newer) work the best with the MZ-S flash system.

- MLU/DOF Preview: The MZ-S does not have an MLU button/switch like the older Pentax MF film bodies, but instead you use the “Self-timer with 2 second delay” drive mode (PF14). The mirror flips up 2 seconds before the shutter is released, so the result is the same. The MZ-S DOF preview is incorporated into the ON/OFF switch on the camera. Not the best place to put it in my books, but at least there is one.

- Cable Switch: The MZ-S uses the “Cable Switch CS-105/CS130” or the “Release Timer Switch TS-110”. These switches are dedicated to the MZ-S/645NII cameras, so they are hard to find and expensive.

- Imprinting Exposure Data/Quartz Date: The MZ-S has a neat option to print exposure data on the top of the film between the sprocket holes. This is great option for me when I’m testing new lenses, so I don’t always have to write down the shutter/aperture I used for each shot. Note the aperture will only be imprinted with F/FA or newer lenses and all imprinting is covered up if you shoot E6 slide film and have them mounted. The MZ-S also has a quartz date/time imprint, which I’ll never use. Thankfully the Panoramic Format was not included on the MZ-S.

- Batteries: The battery compartment is on the bottom of the camera and you need two 3V CR-2 lithium batteries. There is also the BG-10 battery grip option that lets you use “AA” batteries. You can extend the battery life by using manual focus and an external flash instead of the built-in RFT flash.

- Case: The MZ-S uses the soft case “CF-10” and it came in three sizes, S, M & L. Which size you need depends on the lens. I have not been able to track down this case yet, in any size.

The MZ-S is another great camera and has many interesting & useful features. Along with the Z-1p, they would be considered the two best Pentax auto-focus film cameras. They are hard to compare, as they are very different cameras with a different user experience. But if I had to choose my favorite between the two, I would pick the Z-1p. I like the size/handling of the Z-1p better, as well as its faster shutter speed of 1/8000. The fact that the Z-1p can fully control lenses with no aperture ring, may also be a bonus for some.

Never the less I still rate my MZ-S a perfect 10.

Here’s how I rank the MZ-S in my Pentax K-mount film body collection:

1) LX, 2) K2DMD, 3) KX, 4) Z-1p, 5)MZ-S, 6)SUPER A, 7) K2, 8) MX, 9) SF1n, 10) ME F, 11) P50, 12) KM, 13) ME, 14) K1000SE, 15) K1000

I paid AU $597.00 for my MZ-S and it’s in mint condition. It came in the original box, but was missing the manual.
New Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 11

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 13, 2018 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $280.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Ergonomic
Cons: Focus point selection

Wrote an users review of Pentax MZ-S camera together with 43mm, 31mm, 77mm. Think it would suit here.
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,437

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 2, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $123.41 | Rating: 7 

Pros: KAF2 mount, size, weight, interface, high-speed flash sync, feels like a DSLR
Cons: Plastic film door, plastic battery door, rubber grip contact covers degrade, rare grid focusing screen, too light for long or heavy lenses, mirror motor has a plastic gear that can strip

So the MZ-S competed against the Maxxum 7, EOS 3, and F100 when it was released. Of the four, the MZ-S would be my third choice taken independently of other factors, behind the Maxxum 7 and F100. The MZ-S has a lot of good characteristics but it must have sacrificed some things, too.

The MZ-S had, I've read, the same shutter as the F100 and EOS 3 but did not have the same maximum shutter speed. I'm not certain why that would be or whether the shutter story is correct. The MZ-S also has some places where it's flimsy -- the battery door, film back and film back hinge, and of course the mirror motor which has a plastic drive gear that suffers the MZ series stripped gear problem. Otherwise, the camera has robust build quality that's not given away by its very light overall weight.

One thing that the MZ-S can't do, which surprised me, is meter M42 lenses with the M42 to K adapter. I found that the metering with M42 lenses installed was about six stops off -- six stops over.

But the camera is light, the tilted top is great for using the camera easily, the interface is superb, and overall the experience using the MZ-S is wonderful. And it take great photos. Here are some samples.

Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,201
Review Date: April 14, 2015 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $367.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, small and unique
Cons: None

I bought this camera new (Titanium Silver version) in 2008, when I saw it sitting on the display shelf of a local camera shop that I frequent.

When I asked the initial price of the camera, I was quoted S1,174.00 for it. Then the shop assistant said that if I wanted it, he could get the owner to quote and as I am a regular customer of the shop, the owner quoted me a price $367.00, which was a bargain to me.

I liked the way it handled and the only lenses that I used it with was the FA 43 and FA 77 Limited as mine were silver in colour. I bought the grip separately through another friend when he bought together with the body.

I love this camera but alas, the mirror motor failed in 2012 and I am now looking for a replacement camera. I also own the K3 Silver and would love to shoot film again.
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2009
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 684

8 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 17, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: No | Price: None indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Small, Lightweight, Simple, Data Imprinting, Handles Very Well, P-TTL Support
Cons: Aperture Ring Dependence, CR2 cells, Rare and Expensive, Accessories Rare

This is the last great Pentax 35mm SLR. It is small and handles very well, but is very different from other cameras. I personally love the way it handles. Turn the aperture ring and you're in Aperture Priority. Turn the control dial and you're in shutter priority (with the Aperture Ring in the A setting). With both turned, you're in metered manual mode. Very quick and effortless to do anything you want. No removing the camera from your eye to switch from Aperture Priority to full manual. Very easy to turn on bracketing, change metering or drive modes, and adjust the AF point in use. In this way it is very similar to another Pentax great, the Z-1p

In practice, I have found the AF speed to be reminiscent of the K20D. It is not as fast or as confident as the K-5 using my FA 50mm 1.4.

I love the data imprinting feature on the film rebate. I can see the aperture, metering mode, exposure compensation, etc., right under "Kodak Portra 400" or whatever under a loupe. Very useful and very welcome. This is the main reason I use this camera 95% of the time to be honest. No more do I need to record this information separately from the negative sleeve. The camera also has other very thoughtful features, like an illuminated lens mount index.

The camera is very lightweight and small. I find it handles best with prime lenses and lightweight consumer-level zooms (ex: FA 28-80). Fast Zooms like the Tamron 28-75 make the camera a bit too front-heavy, which makes it difficult to hold steady. I find the same problem with smaller DSLRs like the K-5. The BG-10 battery grip would no doubt help, but those are even rarer than the camera bodies. This camera pairs perfectly with small primes (and being Pentaxians we have no shortage of those!).

The Pentax Functions allow you to change the density of data imprinting, rewind the film in a leader-out fashion, turn off the illuminated lens mount index, etc. I find them very useful, but changing them in the field requires you keep a copy of the manual (or the small laminated Pentax Functions reference card) in your camera bag. There are simple graphics that help you figure out what PF-2 does, but they're not that helpful until they're very familiar.

The MZ-S meters perfectly with my small M-series primes as it uses an un-crippled K-AF2 mount. You are limited to center-weighted metering and you get no Aperture readout in the viewfinder, which is a bummer. The power zoom contacts are only for power zoom, no SDM support unfortunately (not a big shocker; SDM was not to be invented for another 5 or so years).

Film winding and rewinding, although quieter than the shrill noise of the LX Winder, is certainly noticeable. The shutter does not have the metallic clang of the LX or MX, but still feels and sounds very good.

The viewfinder is very good. Pentax has always been good about giving us great viewfinders, and I think the one in the MZ-S is on par with ones in the MX, LX, and Z-1p. That is to say, using manual focus lenses is not a big deal and it's easy to see your subject.

The biggest problems with this camera as I see it:

1. Rarity and expense: MZ-S's frequently command prices north of $400. In 2013, this is very expensive for a 35mm SLR. I find it hard to justify the camera given the other downsides. Cameras like the F100 and Z-1p go for a fraction of that in similar condition.

2. CR2 cells. These are smaller and more expensive than CR123. Even buying through Amazon, you're paying $3 a cell for CR2's. The camera uses them heavily. Pentax estimates you'll get 18 24-exposure rolls with flash 50% of the time. Again, the BG-10 will help here (it uses common AA cells), but as it stands you should find a good supply of quality CR2's before considering this camera. I have a stock of 3 sets constantly on backup in my camera bag. Luckily CR2's are lithium and have a long shelf life.

3. Accessories rare: I've touched on the BG-10 being impossible to find. It's also very hard to find the remotes, like the TS-110 or CS-130. When they do appear, they also command exorbitant prices. The MZ-S uses the same remote connection as the 645N, which although older is a similar vintage. To use a wireless controller like the F, you must have the BG-10 first.

4. Aperture ring dependence and no SDM: This will be more important when Pentax introduces a full-frame DSLR. Pentax will introduce new full-frame lenses, which no doubt will lack an aperture ring and will require SDM in the body. This means those lenses will be manual focus only and will only work in Tv mode. As such, they will be of limited use on this camera. I love using lens aperture rings, but technology has rendered them obsolete (for good or bad). This camera is not as future proof as the Z-1p or F100. Film will be available for a long time to come, but you can only choose from perhaps 6 new lenses that are fully compatible with this camera today. Of course, lenses are plentiful used for the most part.

Outside of the rarity, expense, and lack of available accessories, the MZ-S is a fantastic and competent camera. I have owned mine for less than a month, and have shot a few rolls of Tri-X and Portra 400. I have come to appreciate Pentax's design choices. The camera really makes sense.

In short, this camera is really the last great 35mm SLR from Pentax, but I hesitate to recommend it. The drawbacks are significant. I do recommend it to people who are aware of it's limitations and abilities (and are devoted Pentaxians), but I cannot do so whole-heartedly. If the camera breaks, you'll pay a large sum of money to find another. If you want a grip for it, too bad. If you want a remote, too bad. Film is expensive enough, now you have to pay $3 each for batteries.

Although this is a very good 35mm SLR, I find other cameras like the Z-1p or (gasp) the Nikon F100 are overall better choices. Had the MZ-S stayed in production longer or been more popular, accessories would be more available and the price would be lower. As it is today, the MZ-S is a collector's camera and not a daily 35mm SLR in my opinion.

Overall, this camera receives a very heavily debated "not recommended" in 2013. However, it also receives a score of 7; despite the serious misgivings that make me not recommend it, I love the MZ-S.
New Member

Registered: December, 2011
Posts: 22
Review Date: February 25, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $310.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact and great contruction
Cons: might be to small for heavy lenses

I am so pleased that I bought this one.

It is a great match with my leica lenses.(leitax conversion) and I can not wait to get hold of one of the limited lenses.

I was an the fence between a Dynax 9 and the Mz-s. (Mainly because of the ability to use a full frame dslr. In the end I just picked the camera that was the best suited for street photography. I wish that Pentax had better support for full frame lenses. There are currently only 3 limited lenses (FA) in production.

Great camera can only say buy it now....
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Langwarrin Australia
Posts: 382

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 27, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $197.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: ergonomics,intuitive to use
Cons: none

A photographers camera that is a pleasure to use and the way it fits and feels in your hand can't be described it must be experienced. Of all the film cameras I have used this one puts the biggest smile on my face.
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: Johannesburg
Posts: 164

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 25, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Look and feel, operation, ease of use
Cons: Focusing with kit lenses, Looking up the PF table

I managed to find a second-hand MZ-S earler this year after reading many positive reviews of it. I can agree with all the praise over build quality and handling and intuitive operation. The list of features is hard to match!

I have only had correctly exposed shots so far, the information imprinting on the film border is useful. It is a beautiful camera to use. If I ever find a BG-10 grip, it will be complete.

I do have a two gripes. The first is that mine only focuses spot on first time with "good" lenses (Limited/* etc). I often put the focus on manual when using one of the kit FA zooms. Dont bother with the focus point selection, rather go manual. The second is having to dig out the table of PF settings when making changes there.

Two major complaints often raised when comparing the MZ-S to the PZ-1 are the flash exposure compensation and the 6000th vs 8000th maximum shutter speed. Unless you have bright lighting and a very fast (f1.2) lens, you will never be able to use 8000th exposure time. Flash exposure compensation you can usually do by changing flash settings. Not an issue for me.

Overall, the MZ-S is definitely a keeper.
Forum Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Victoria B.C.
Posts: 59

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 2, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $1,399.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: almost everything
Cons: plastic film backing, and CR2 batteries are expensive

I bought this camera in new 2005 from a local camera dealer. I fell in love with it right away because of the sleek design and the superb ergonomic design as well. Out of every film camera I have ever used this one is the absolute best. everything is right where you want it to be (shutter ring etc.) the Pentax Functions are wonderful especially the use of MRC frame advance, as well as Data imprinting. The AF is super, it is maybe even better than my K-5's. it is very easy to switch from MF to AF with the sliding switch, which is easier to use than the rotating one on the K-5 body. The camera is also very quiet to operate so it is a good one to use if you are trying to not attract attention ie quiet moments at weddings etc. My wife loves to use the camera as well fully automatic so it is a camera that anyone can just pick up and use. the back-light LCD is really useful, especially because it is tilted slightly so that you can see it without looking down upon it. over the years I have taken about I am guessing about 1000 rolls of film, enough to fill a large book shelf of negatives. and the camera still performs wonderfully, there is nothing different about it from the day I bought it, it is super reliable, other cameras I have had have all had shutter issues after about 300 or 400 rolls of film and have all needed repair. but this Camera beats them all!
I absolutely Love this camera, the only reason I bought a digital was because of the film costs nowadays.
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Rankin Inlet, Nunavut
Posts: 3,948
Review Date: July 23, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, ergonomics, handling, functions
Cons: See below

OK, I am going to be the first to rate this less than a 10

The MZ-S is a start-from-scratch design according to the backstory behind its development. The camera came out when the best features of camera automation through microchip controls met the old world of film. Yet the MZ-S strove to stay true to its analog heritage and Pentax released a class act design.

I use it with the BG10 grip and this adds a whole new level of functionality to the camera.

The most important thing about the MZ-S is its size. This is a small SLR for being so full featured. The ergonomics excel and the weight is best in class for a film camera of the last generation. The elegant slope of the interface panel works beautifully; I hope to see it in designs of the future. Aesthetically it certainly reduces the bulky/brick effect on gets when one see a Canon or Nikon of the same vintage. The Pentax looks more like a racecar. This is the first camera where to utilize the top LCD one really only has to briefly glance down to see.

The one negative is the required use the lens aperture ring for Av shooting control. Reliance on the lens aperture ring wears down the lens system more than the camera. The non-Limited FA's did not have the best aperture design for grip and perhaps durability. The FA 50/1.4, for example, has an aperture ring slightly too narrow and close to the body for easy turning, and is plasticky clicky in motion. This is an area where the ubiquity of the e-dial is clearly superior as it creates a smaller motion with less effect on the camera, and also allows for the full use the A settings on modern lenses, in particular using the semi-autmoted modes. And, while the dial around the top LCD is clever, it is slightly too large and stiff. If the MZ-S had incorporated 2 dedicated e-dials as well as the option of aperture control through the lens, then the perfect SLR camera of all time would have been made.

Other than that comment this is the best film camera I have ever used. It is a true photographer's camera.

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Hoek van Holland
Posts: 1,379
Review Date: June 5, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: av-manual mode is too easy to use
Cons: ?

It is my favorite AF camera. The ergonomics are just fantastic, going from Av to manual to Tv back to Av is the best ever seen on a camera.
The metering is superb, even though many reveiwes said that it is only 6 segemnt, it never let me down. And don't forget, you can program it to take use the AF point when metering.
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2006
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 229
Review Date: June 5, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: The best of the AF SLRs
Cons: Difficlt to find!

Not much to add to the other reviews. To my mind it is the best of the AF SLRs though if you prefer a more "traditinal" onr the MZ3 may suit better.

Well built rugged and handles almost as well as the LX!
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Ohio, USA/ India
Posts: 477
Review Date: May 14, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Design, Ergonomics, Ease of use, Build,
Cons: Nothing

Everything they say about this camera is true. It is simply a joy to behold. I am not kidding when I say that my hands were trembling with excitement when I first saw this camera in it's box! I took it out and it felt terrific! How compact, rugged and thoughtfully built! The slanted LCD and the EV compensation dials look so stylish. OK. I know I am gushing like a fanboy about its appearance. What about performance? I was simply blown away by the AF speed and accuracy with metering. Every single shot I have taken with this camera has been superb. There is absolutely nothing negative to say about this camera. I almost came up with a serious issue, but then a workaround helped: I was unhappy when I mounted one of my favorite lenses (STakumar 85 1.9) and found no focus confirmation. I shorted out the contacts with aluminium foil (only then does the camera recognize that a lens is mounted) and I was ready to shoot! The MZ S is compatible with modern flashes. I use the Metz 48 on both my K20D and this one. The midroll change is a nice feature if you are an organized person. I now have some partially exposed rolls along with brand new rolls all indistinguishable from each other with the leader out! It is going to be fun sorting them out! If you are considering this camera and have the money just go for it. You will not regret it.

PS: The price I paid include the grip (both camera and grip brand new)
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 103

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 4, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax MZ-S: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, ergonomics, handling, data-edge printing
Cons: focus point setting

Pros Size, ergonomics, handling, data-edge printing
Cons focus point setting
Rating 10
Price (U.S. Dollars) $450
Years Owned 1

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Last of the best full-featured, automatic film cameras. Competes with Nikon F6 in features. Beats the F6 on size and weight. Desirable on used market. Occasional availability locally or on auction sites, but seldom inexpensive.

Camera Review
Handling, size, usage, are all wonderful. I love the quiet little hiss made by the shutter and motor when you trigger the shot. Data imprinting on the roll edge is very nice.

MZ-S makes it very logical and easy to change exposure mode: Tv by moving dial; Av by moving lens aperture ring; Manual by moving both. Hit Green button to reset back to automatic exposure mode. So the MZ-S has a very similar design philosophy to the 645N, even if the buttons look different. You can also see this same design philosophy carried through to the modern Pentax DSLRs like the K-5.

PF Menu [F12]: One useful feature is the ability to "Mid Roll Change" before the end of the roll. You have to set it up in Pentax Function menu setting [F12]:[3] "Leaves out the film leader and enables MRC frame advance". Write down the frame number on your film canister. When you reload: With the back open, press the "green button" (exposure mode) while turning the dial to set the frame number.

PF Menu [F2]: Auto exposure mode can be set to prefer Speed Priority, Aperture Priority or MTF Priority. In other words, hitting the "Green Button" resets exposure to auto, but you can choose whether the automatic exposure prefers Faster Shutter speeds, Wider Apertures for depth-of-field, or Best Lens Resolution.
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