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Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p

Reviews Views Date of last review
15 59,614 Sun February 19, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $228.31 9.82
Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p

Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p
Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p
Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p
Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p
Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p
Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p

Year introduced
Meter range
0 - 21 EV
Meter pattern
m c s
ISO range
6 - 6400
DX ISO range
25 - 5000
Exposure modes
HyP, Av, Tv, HyM, X, B
Exposure compensation
+/-4 EV
Exposure memory lock
Shutter speeds (auto)
30 - 1/8000s
Shutter speeds (manual)
30 - 1/8000s
Shutter speeds (mechanical)
Self timer
Mirror lock-up
Auto bracketing
Multiple exposures
Built-in 4 fps
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 14
TTL flash
P-TTL flash
Sync speed
Flash exposure comp
Yes (1 point)
Autofocus sensitivity
-1 - 18 EV
Power zoom
Yes, extended
0.8x, 92%
Viewfinder type
Diopter correction
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Image size
24 x 36 mm
Panorama format
Yes, 13 x 36 mm
Battery grip/pack
Size (W x H x D)
152 x 95.5 x 74 mm
650 g
Program modes: Normal, Action, Depth of field, MTF.
Extra flash function: Contrast control
Price History:

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Forum Member

Registered: September, 2015
Posts: 50

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 19, 2017 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: great handling, low used price, build quality
Cons: Reading the really comprehensive manual, no split image focus screen available

I am returning to some film shooting (after several years away) and noticed the huge drop in prices for PZ-1p. (It is way less expensive than MZ-S) I have a ZX-5n but this PZ-1p camera is a huge step up in handling. I got a like new camera with data back, strap, and manual for $50+$12 shipping. I have a Promaster FTD 7000m flash which works well on film but is not suitable for digital. I also have some Pentax-A lens and two AF lenses. I found a great place for film processing in Tacoma about 30 minutes away. I am really looking forward to B&W film shooting.

I have a K1000 SE with Lester Dine 105 2.8 macro (dental kit)
The ZX-5n
and this new PZ-1p
also K100d with DA 18-55 (this has Katz-eye split image micro prism focus screen)

The bad part was I just bought an AF prime lens for 3 times the price of the camera.
Sigma 50mm F2.8 EX DG Macro. I did not have a 50mm prime.

There is a lot to learn about this camera the manual has 128 pages.
Uses Lithium 2cv5 batteries.
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2014
Location: Nagoya
Posts: 577
Review Date: January 19, 2016 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Handling, speed, that shutter sound
Cons: That shutter sound

I bought this camera about four months ago in a used camera shop in Japan for the ridiculously good price of 5000 yen (about $50/30) and from the moment I fired off the first shot I was a convert. The way this camera sits in your hands is just right, all the controls are placed just so and using it just feels good, in the same way a well sorted car feels great to drive. The front and rear control wheels also match up very nicely with those on my K-7, meaning that when I'm out shooting film and digital simultaneously the transition feels very natural.

I don't use much flash, but I know that to people who do the 1/250th flash sync is great, and for a fast prime fan such as myself the 1/8000th shutter speed is also lovely. Speaking of the shutter, it makes one hell of a satisfying clunk - every picture you take makes you feel like a pro. With that said, I can see how this could be a disadvantage to the more stealthy shooters out there - but if you wanted to be stealthy you probably wouldn't be carrying around a big beast like this anyway!

Those caveats aside, this truly is a brilliant camera and it has rapidly become my favourite Pentax out of many that I own.

PS: Mine came with the optional grip, which is a bit weird since it doesn't actually add functionality to the camera, having no extra buttons and no extra battery capacity. However, it does balance the camera very nicely and makes it even more ergonomic.
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2014
Posts: 143

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 25, 2014 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Full featured, 250th flash sync
Cons: Doesn't feel as solid in my hand as my k-30

I got the PZ1p specifically for the 250th flash sync! I shoot skateboarding and fast flash sync is essential. The 180th on my k30 isn't cutting it for freezing action in daylight with multiple off camera flashes.

I was suprised everything that this camera can do. There are many custom functions and automatic modes. Exposure and focus lock buttons on back. Any feature you could have on a film slr is present, including an interesting power zoom exposure mode. I do not have the power zoom lens to try this feature but it sounds like fun!

I love this camera so much I am going to buy another fisheye lens to suit the full frame!

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Jerusalem
Posts: 1,940
Review Date: October 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sturdy, Comfortable, balaces well with most lenses, can use compatible DA lenses without aperture ring!
Cons: Heavy, some fragile parts

I got the Z1-p for a bargain price as a little piece next to the battery door was broken (common problem, or so I hear. Does not effect anything) and the pop up flash doesn't pop up (non issue for me).
I got it to replace my deceased ZX-5 and it can do everything the ZX can, and then some. Much more comfortable to hold (even though the ZX-5 is great at that) but much heavier. I used it exclusively for film since I got it and I am very satisfied. If I really want a smaller/lighter setup I'll just pick up any manual camera I have, although it could be nice to have another ZX-5 for backup.
This camera is super customizable for a film camera so be sure to set up everything before you start shooting, otherwise you might get surprised.
And the best part is you can use ANY Pentax lens with it that covers the image circle, even modern DA lenses (my 2.4/35 teams up great with the Z1-p).
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 361

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: February 24, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: $960.78 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid, comfortable
Cons: None

Having this camera since 1996, I've loved the thing! Very comfortable to hold and use, has great weight, this camera was basically the work horse of Pentax, and also owning the K-10D and the K-5 I really see Pentax's lineage shine through on ALL of these cameras, this one however, is to me, the best film camera I've ever owned! Fast all around, great design, great weigh for it's size, and I'd say for overall function it's comparable to top-of-the-line DSLRs.
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2012
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Posts: 36

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 14, 2013 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 


Just got my hands on it. I'm still in the middle of the first roll, but when it is finished, I will update this review. First impressions?
It's a highly customisable and easy to operate semi-pro SLR with some unique functions. Everything on it feels great. But there are some things I noticed that are not that good: Flash is easily broken, same for the plastics around baterry cover, additional grip is just a hollow shell with no space for batteries, viewfinder is not that great and the DoF button is mechanical (silly when combined with in-body aperture control - the aperture is allways fully closed by the DoF button when the aperture ring is set on A), the grip is deep but is for someone with long fingers, but slim hands, otherwise your little finger don't have enaugh space.
But other than that - I'm thrilled!
The review is to be updated soon - after some more playing with this wonderful machine.

Edit 1: Be aware, because these machines are often well-used (read worn). The film chamber door on mine just ceased to stay closed. A duct tape is a solution:-) Another thing that bugs me is using manual lenses. There is no difference in brightness and DoF in the viewfinder up to F2. So be carefull when focussing fast primes - the finder might lie, as well as the focus confirmation. But otherwise I'm still amazed!

Edit 2: Just found replacement doors in my local camera shop:-D
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2008
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Posts: 139

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 12, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: After 20 years in my hands, it is still the right camera
Cons: No battery grip

This was the workhorse of the Pentax line. I have several other bodies including an LX and a K7...Pentax got it right with the PZ-1. It is a big camera and with the additional grip, it fit perfectly in my hands. The output was superb and handling controls were right on. When I got my K10d it reminded me of the PZ-1. Once I got the K7 it was obvious the lineage from the PZ-1. So much so, that I pulled the PZ-1, added battery and film and it is once again a proud and valued equipment in my arsenal.

Wish that whenever the full frame Pentax DSLR becomes a reality, it has some of the styling cues from the PZ-1...
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,352

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 6, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: $140.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Just gets it right
Cons: Not exactly a waif

Colour me impressed.

For some reason, years of digital made me think that film was going to be more difficult than I remembered.

This beaut has countered that, and well. Fantastically intuitive front/rear wheel Av/Tv control, great metering in daylight and with the built-in flash, and tractor beam-like AF.

Also, if you're "only" shooting 100-150 frames a month, buying film, developing and printing (yep, back to actual physical copies of everything that you shoot), the cost for those 1,200-1,800 prints is less than a decent DSLR's annual depreciation.

Also love the fact that film is forcing me to think a little more.

In short, film is great, and this camera makes it doubly so.
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 29
Review Date: June 28, 2011 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Ergonomics, features, can customize, Hyper program, spot metering, flash synch speed
Cons: a litte intimidating for someone with small hands

Good Heavens this is an excellent SLR. Rapidly becomeing my favorite SLR (I also have an LX, Super Program and a KX). Love the information provided in the LCD display and one of the very few SLRs/DSLRs that show the metering mode in the view finder. Flash speed (1/250) along with the very versatile built in flash is a real plus. Auto focusing seems as good if not better than my 1st D. Hyper program is just so intuitive. Shutter button has a detent that makes it very easy to check exposure and focus with manual focus lenses (believe they must at least be SMC-A lenses) to activate the focus confirmation LED without triggering the shutter like it is in other cameras. I will use this camera along with my LX for transparency film while my Super Program and KX are used for negative film. I found this excellent camera back in March on eBay.

Still using film but would go to digital if Pentax came out with a FF DSLR which I am quite certain they will not. I have used Pentax SLRs exclusively since 1983.
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2007
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 1,059

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 3, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fast shutter speed, compatible with film and digital lenses (to a degree), lots of options and settings, dual wheel dials (like the K-7)
Cons: A bit loud on the shutter, no AA battery grip available, loud rewind

Pros Fast shutter speed, compatible with film and digital lenses (to a degree), lots of options and settings, dual wheel dials (like the K-7)
Cons A bit loud on the shutter, no AA battery grip available, loud rewind
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) $100
Years Owned Less than a year

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
A well built tank of a camera that is loaded with features. Feels like a very professional camera.

Camera Review
I actually borrowed this camera a couple of times from numerous pentax friends before going on the hunt to find one myself. All I can say is that: if you're looking for a very capable, sturdy and dependable film camera with a crazy amount of features, pick one of these up for yourself.

Features that have really come in handy for me:
-Hyper Program mode
-DOF preview
-Film rewind options (manual or automatic)
-Maximum shutter speed of 1/8000th!!!
-Ability to use DA lenses on Aperture Priority (Av) mode.
-Dual wheel dials
-Nice large viewfinder.
-Horizontal lines in the viewfinder help me keep my horizons straight!

Who is this camera for:
Those who need a tough son-of-a-gun, flexible, very customizable (programming wise) full frame 35mm film SLR that makes you feel like you're holding Pentax Old School Awesomeness in your hand.

Who this camera is not for:
Those who are looking for a lightweight film SLR or a film SLR with a AA battery grip. Look to the MZ series for that.
Those who are looking for multiple autofocus points - this camera only have central focus point (although I usually focus and recompose).

I ended up finding a great deal on my camera and picked it up as soon as I could. This camera is with me almost all the time as a companion to my Pentax 645 film Medium Format camera.

If you're serious about film photography and you love Pentax lenses and need a camera that will just get the job done (and feel like it will), buy this camera. I dickered around for a bit before splurging on one but am so glad I did.
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 427
Review Date: March 2, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: $499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast AF, operations, handling. Load of pro features. Great viewfinder.
Cons: Noisy rewind motor. Bottom plate crack near battery door is common.

PZ-1p is my first and most favorite Pentax AF camera. I have had it for almost 10 years and it still functions like new. My biggest praise to PZ-1p are fast/professional handling and AF.

Here I list some pros (IMO) on PZ-1p vs. K10D & ZX-L that I also have.
1. AF:
1) AF on PZ-1p is noticeably faster than on K10D.
2) It gives me the feeling that focus is sucked to the object, fast & decisive. On K10D, I just don't have that feeling. It just gives me the similar feel as ZX-L gives (maybe a little faster than ZX-L?).
3) Low light AF speed is better on PZ-1p. However, in some occasion, PZ-1p can't reach focus while K10D can (in auto AF point selection mode).
4) In almost all situations, AF on K10D gives me the feeling that it has more hesitation than PZ-1p, even though may not be much.
2. Handling:
1) Very comfort in hand than K10D or ZX-L. The hand grip is bigger. Shutter button is under front dial wheel rather than above it. So, when holding a PZ-1p, your index finger naturally stays on shutter button. As the result, IMO, pressing shutter button is causing less camera shake.
2) Changing mode is faster.
3) Metering mode is displayed in view finder. (K10D doesn't.)
4) Maybe it just my feeling, PZ-1p feels more responsive. More responsive than K10D even when changing Av or Tv values through dial wheels. K10D's dial wheel aren't just as smooth nor as quick.
3. Lens support:
1) PZ-1p fully supports K & M lens in Av mode. K10D doesn't (changing to M mode & pressing green button are annoying, IMO.)
2) Viewfinder is brighter and more contrasty than K10D. Manual focus is easier.
4. Feeling:
PZ-1p , when used, give me the feeling of quicker, more responsive, and less toy-like. I'm not say K10D is bad in these regards but it just falls short when comparing to PZ-1p. When shooting events, PZ-1p definitely handles faster than K10D (AF, changing mode, etc.). I hope K7 can give me the same feeling.
Cons for PZ-1p:
1. Rewind motor is loud and noisy!
2. Bottom plate crack near battery door is common. But the crack is only isolated there and eventually a small piece falls out (although mine hasn't). On the good side, this doesn't hurt any functions other than just a cosmetic issue.
3. Single AF point but that is enough to me. I mostly only use center AF point on K10D any way.
4. 2CR5 battery for PZ-1p was expensive then. (But now you can get them super cheap on clearance deals.)
5. Not DSLR :-)

All in all, PZ-1p is a great camera with pro grade handling & performance.
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Lisbon
Posts: 143
Review Date: June 4, 2009 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 


Just love this camera. It's the reason I still use film.
Just had a FA 20 and wiiiiiiide angles.
Just wish I had a manual in english. The german is so hard to understand.

Edit: here it is- Try
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 1,972
Review Date: June 2, 2009 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 


IMO, the best Pentax AF SLR. Fits like a glove in your hand, there isn't a better body for handling in their entire history, DSLR's included. No need for a battery grip with the chunky grip already there. Specs are awesome with many things better than the MZ-S (flash sync speed, shutter speed, fps, exp. compensation, built-in flash GN), and also includes things the MZ-S never got, like panorama capability and flash exp. compensation (love this feature). Well built and little problems over years of owning this. An absolute must if you want the best AF Pentax film camera.
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Alta
Posts: 279
Review Date: May 25, 2009 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 


I had the K10D and a few lenses that fit fullframe sensors as well, so it fit well when I wanted a film SLR as well.

This camera has great ergonomics and great specs all around. Definitely a good camera, one that I would gladly recommend to others.
Junior Member

Registered: September, 2007
Location: Norway
Posts: 34
Review Date: May 24, 2009 I can recommend the Pentax Z-1p / PZ-1p: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 


A great SLR indeed! Lots of innovative features for its time and really great ergonomics.

My big question is, why couldn't they fit the PZ-1p's 1/8000s / 1/250s sync shutter into one of the new dSLRS?
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