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Showing all 3 reviews by OrangeKx

Review of: Ricoh WG-20 by OrangeKx on Mon September 8, 2014 | Rating: 9 View more reviews 

Views: 11510
Reviews: 2
Due to the loss of our older P&S (10MP) camera we found ourselves looking for a replacement. After the store hopping, web surfing for reviews and prices it was coming down to this and a Canon. Two and a half things sealed the deal for the WG-20: 1) the shock/water/dust proof feature - 2) the price and 2.5) it's not a Canon or Nikon. My wife wanted a camera that was a little easier in the menu area as our last P&S was a nightmare and the final two cameras were similar in this area (so a wash). The Canon was more expensive ($200) and had more zoom, a few extra features and a 20MP sensor (vs the 14MP here). The extra features were not something my wife and I would use, so it seemed like the extra money wasn't worth it. Regarding the WG-20, I pondered why I'd need a water proof camera and it suddenly occurred to me that it would be perfect for skiing. I rarely take a camera on the slopes for fear of damaging it with melted snow (otherwise known as water). This revelation sealed the deal, so back to Target I went. For me, a big feature of the WG-20 is the shock proof aspect. It's good for a 5 foot drop, and although my wife never dropped our last camera, she's dropped others (and is a bit dropsy in general) so this takes some of the worry out of damaging the camera. Once I got the camera home and could hold it without the theft cable the store attaches, I realized this camera handles very nicely. The longer shape and textured black border make it easier to hold than the slick rectangle exterior of most P&S cameras. I find the buttons on the back to be a bit crowded together but I'm sure I'll get used to it. It's also a bit foreign to have the lens exposed all the time. I suppose one will have to keep a clean shirt tail at the ready to dust it off before using. The screen is a bit smaller than on other cameras in this genre, but the longer/shorter dimensions of the WG-20 are the reason. The screen aspect can be changed to see more image and less menu stuff. The included Operating Manual is massive and very helpful and looks like other Pentax manuals I've seen. The battery charger, USB cable and other included items are of high quality. I don't know that we'll use the carabiner strap, but it's fun to have the option (and it looks cool). According to the manual it takes 120 minutes to fully charge the battery, but the first charge out of the box took less than an hour. The first impression one gets when looking at the WG-20 in the store is that it's fairly basic, but after thumbing through the manual it's got some nice features with some flexibility in the various menu settings. If you're looking seriously at this camera perhaps you could find the manual in PDF form and dive into the inner workings of the menu settings to make sure it does what you want. The video playback was a little confusing when I was playing with it in the store, but after seeing how things work from the manual, it's just a matter of learning how to use the camera. Not difficult. Anything new has a learning curve and this camera doesn't make big demands there. I'm guessing I'll have some curious questions when I use this camera around friends and family as it looks like nothing else on the market... and I like that. The shutter can be activated remotely with the Pentax F Remote. Nice. That's my impressions so far. I will add to this review after I've had a chance to play with the WG-20. I like the looks and feel and believe it's a very good camera for the price. It retails for $179.99 but found it on sale and saved $20. In the end it was nice to support "the mothership" of Pentax versus giving my money to one of the "big two" companies. Obviously Ricoh camera profits find their way to Pentax cameras, so I was happy to find a camera that fits our needs at a price we can live with and still get to support Pentax, even if "Ricoh" is printed on the front and back. UPDATE - Sept. 9, 2014: I've only had the camera for a day and I would give a new WG Owner one piece of advice: put a screen protector on as soon as you can, the screen scratches very easily. I have a small scratch and fortunately it's disappeared after I put a cell phone screen protector on the WG-20. I used a protector cut for the iPhone, but cut it to make it fit. I was in a rush to get the screen covered to avoid scratching it again. UPDATE - Oct. 29, 2014: I've found it's easy to induce a bit of shake when taking pictures due to the shutter button requiring a little more effort likely due to the waterproof nature of the camera. I've found the best way to overcome this is to brace the camera when possible. I got some very nice shots by making use of walls, handrails or other stationary structures. It's not a problem all the time, but it's one of the little things that comes with using the camera. As one gets used to the shutter I think it decreases the event of camera shake. UPDATE: Nov. 2 & 3, 2014: Finally used the WG in water. Started by setting the camera in the street gutter with water draining into the drain. Not even half way up the camera but it was water tight. The next day I went to a nearby lake and submerged the WG-20 to where it was about 1-2 inches (completely) under. The pictures were clear and had good color and it survived about ten full dunkings. I used the 2 second delay so I could push the shutter button but the shake would be gone by the time the shutter fired. Picture at:

Review of: Pentax ME Super by OrangeKx on Thu July 18, 2013 | Rating: 9 View more reviews 

Views: 161903
Reviews: 33
I've owned my ME Super since I bought it new in late 1981 - and love it. It came with the 50mm M 1.7 lens (which I still have). The ME Super is a great camera that teaches you to shoot aperture priority since it's Auto mode works off the aperture ring input/setting. I've used this camera for so long it's hard to criticize it, but I've never loved the tiny white button that must be pressed to allow turning the selector ring from Auto to off (Lock) and a DoF button would be nice. I find the camera is easy to load and think it's best not to rush winding (advancing) the film - but maybe that's just me. My camera eventually succumbed to the years and the shutter froze up. In 2013 I paid to have the camera overhauled with a new shutter assembly, new light seals, clean/lube and the meter calibrated. If you can find a good copy of this camera that has been overhauled properly it should last for a long time. If you have to have this done you could expect to pay around $140 to get it back to new. The ME Super is not as common as the K1000 but they're still easy to find. Back in the day I wanted the Winder but never bought one. I'm over it now as I just enjoy the camera the way it was designed. I love the mechanical sound of the shutter, love the design and the look and find the meter easy to use. UPDATE - June, 2014: I have since inherited my dad's ME Super and some of his accessories. I had his camera overhauled as it needed seals, cleaning and they checked the meter (and found it was good). My dad bought this camera new and used it a lot over the years. I was surprised how good the internals were. The repair/overhaul cost a little under $60. I was happy to get the auto winder my dad bought new (it's in very nice condition). I don't know what I'll do with two ME Supers, but since they both have emotional attachment, I'll keep them. If you're like me and have a leg in the film world and the other in the DSLR world I would recommend putting together a film kit. I have a "film bag (backpack)" with my ME Super and ZX-M along with three lenses: 50mm, 28mm and a 135mm. When I want to shoot film I can just grab and go.

Review of: Pentax MZ-M / ZX-M by OrangeKx on Fri April 19, 2013 | Rating: 9 View more reviews 

Views: 86251
Reviews: 13
I bought my ZX-M new and the $200 I paid seems crazy when you can buy this camera for $40 today. I got the ZX-M to replace my ME Super (which at the time I thought had died). I wanted a basic camera and the ZX-M is certainly that. It is indeed a plastic camera all over but doesn't feel cheap. The only place it feels and sounds plastic is the film door. But let me say this, even though it feels (and is) plastic it still feels like a solid camera. My ZX-M sat in the closet for may years when I took a long break from photography so it's in excellent condition. The plastic lens mount has held up great despite almost always having metal mount lenses attached. I broke out my ZX-M late in 2012 to get back into film (doing B&W and developing it myself). I picked up a very nice AA Battery Pack FG from Amazon for around $20 and the increased height the grip adds to the overall body is a godsend for people with large hands. The battery pack allows the use of 4 AA batteries and will save you money over the more expensive battery the ZX-M was designed to use. Again, the grip makes the camera much easier to handle and adds very little weight. On the topic of weight, this is a very light camera. When I first got it I would always use older manual lenses that were heavy, so I was still toting a (sort of) heavy rig. Last year I bought the Pentax DA 50mm f/1.8 DA L & 35mm f/2.4 AL lenses (to use on my K-x) that have plastic mounts. These are two great lenses and when either of them is mated to the ZX-M it makes the lightest camera/lens combo you'll get your hands on. It's unbelievable how light the combo is. Even when my K-x kit lens is mounted it's light load. If you're interested in picking up this (or any other) camera on the used market I would recommend finding the Manual (in PDF form) online and checking out the features of the camera. The controls on top of the camera are easy to use thanks to the rubber grip on each dial, the power switch and shutter button are where they should be for ease of use, the depth of field preview button is a great feature, and in my opinion the ZX-M is a good looking camera. I've never dropped my ZX-M so I can't attest for how really solid it is, but it feels like a well built camera even after all these years. Nowadays the ZX-M is the perfect B&W film camera. It's cheap to buy, the battery pack will pay for itself (and makes the camera easier to hold), takes great pictures, may make you a better photographer as you have to work a little more and if you ever happen to break the camera you can replace it for next to nothing.

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