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04-20-2016, 07:43 AM   #1
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New from Montana. Experimenting with Film

Hello! I've been a Canon DSLR shooter for many years, but recently decided to do something I've wanted to do for a while and try out some film. I'm looking at picking up a Pentax MX or KX to play around with.

This looks like a great forum, and I look forward to learning from the community.

04-20-2016, 07:56 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums.
04-20-2016, 08:02 AM   #3
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Welcome from another Montana Pentax fan! Glad to have you join us!
04-20-2016, 08:02 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ATGC Quote
I'm looking at picking up a Pentax MX or KX to play around with.
Welcome!

Check out the camera reviews here - Pentax KX and Pentax MX.

Consider the relative sizes of these cameras - the KX is significantly bigger in the body, and may suit you better if you have larger hands or you like to hand-hold long prime or some zoom lenses. On the other hand, if it's compactness you want, the MX is pretty much the king of the manual-control hill (the ME is slightly smaller but is aperture-priority only). Ultimately there's no substitute for being able to handle them, so if you've got a nearby pawnshop or second-hand camera dealer, go in and have a play - even if the pawnshop cameras are so terrible you would never buy them, you will get a sense of how they feel in your hands, looking through the viewfinder and working the controls. And that can be important in the long run; I started off in film and have gone back to it with a vengeance (alongside digital), and manual-focus-era film bodies and digital ones are ergonomically very different kettles of fish.

I don't own the KX but I do own the Ricoh XR-1, which is of similar size and has the same match-needle metering system. My feeling is that match-needle is better in bright light, where the LED exposure indicators of my MX can sometimes be difficult to see. On the other hand, in dull or fading light, or indoors, the MX becomes tops. There are also a few things the KX does that the MX doesn't, and vice versa (check out the links). The best thing about both is that they will keep on kicking after the batteries have died - you lose metering, but you can still set shutter speeds and apertures and take pictures, and there are rules of thumb (see "Sunny Sixteen" if you're not familiar with it) to help you go about it. Best of luck in your search.

And of course we have film and film-camera sub-forums (and a forum marketplace where you can buy online from sellers with an established reputation) so we look forward to seeing you there when you've made your decision. Happy snapping!

04-20-2016, 09:19 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! I'll take your advice, pathdoc. I believe there is a camera store here in Bozeman that still handles some film stuff and carries some second hand Pentax film cameras.
04-20-2016, 09:33 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I don't own the KX but I do own the Ricoh XR-1, which is of similar size and has the same match-needle metering system.
I own both a KX and Ricoh XR-2s (same shell as XR-1) and the bodies have almost identical dimensions at all points. Except for weight (the Ricoh is lighter), it is difficult to tell which is which with eyes closed. Your observations regarding handling and viewfinder display are spot on and fully applicable to the KX. That being said, the KX is hardly a large or bulky camera when compared to some of its contemporaries and only seems large when compared to the M-series bodies and similar that came out in the late-70s and early 80s. Both the MX and KX are very good choices.


Steve
04-20-2016, 09:50 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
That being said, the KX is hardly a large or bulky camera when compared to some of its contemporaries
True, and someone with much bigger hands than mine is probably going to find the K series a joy to hold and the M series something approaching awkwardly small. For example, I'm acquainted with someone who used a Samsung Galaxy Note the way I did my Galaxy S3; his mitts were just that huge. I'd never buy a Note to use as a cellphone in a million years, but for him it was just what he needed.

I'd like to see what truly large and bulky is in 35mm terms, but I'm not ordering one blindly off the internet just to find that out, LOL!
04-20-2016, 11:00 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pathdoc Quote
I'd like to see what truly large and bulky is in 35mm terms
Here are a few examples. Keep in mind that the Pentax Spotmatic was considered to be the compact SLR option through most of that product's life.*

Legends of Heft:
  • Topcon Super-D
  • Nikon F Photomic
  • Zeiss Contarex
  • Kiev-10
  • Kiev-15
Also not particularly petite:
  • Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL (I own)
  • Ricoh Singlex TLS (I own)
  • Minolta SRT 101/102 (I own)
  • Miranda Sensorex
  • ....host of others, including most "pro" models from major makers
If we are lucky, perhaps @LesDMess will weigh in with examples from his collection.


Steve

* I know...the SV was a contemporary body and visibly smaller, but I did say "was considered"


Last edited by stevebrot; 04-20-2016 at 11:22 AM.
04-20-2016, 11:43 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
the SV was a contemporary body and visibly smaller,
Only 3mm in width less than the Spottie, according to our database, but the critical dimensional difference (from photos I have seen) seems to be in floor plate-to-top-plate height, excluding the pentaprism.
04-20-2016, 02:11 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forum. It was inevitable. It seems that Pentax is in your DNA.
04-20-2016, 02:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
Welcome to the forum. It was inevitable. It seems that Pentax is in your DNA.
Very nice
04-20-2016, 02:52 PM   #12
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Welcome to the forum! Looking forward to seeing some of your images. :
04-20-2016, 02:57 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ATGC Quote
I'm looking at picking up a Pentax MX or KX to play around with
Welcome to the forum, may I suggest that if you come across an LX... buy it instead as they are just a manual joy to use.
04-20-2016, 04:37 PM   #14
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A lot of people talk about lens buying problems - my problem is the film spilling out of the fridge! It is fun to play with. My K1000 has Portra 400 in it, my Spotmatic Portra 400 set at ISO1600 to push it at processing. Just because. And remember, with film, when in doubt, over expose it!
04-20-2016, 05:12 PM   #15
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Welcome to the Forums. You've already had lots of good advice (choice is a wonderful thing, isn't it?). There are many good options in the Pentax film pantheon, but if it's manual control you want, the older Spotmatic-F (M42 screw mount) is another option that provides full-aperture metering. Alternatively, in K-mount, the K2DMD gives you the option of manual or automated exposure control, along with a host of other features. Why stop at just one, is an obvious question (I've still got my SP-F, ESII, K2DMD and LX).

Whatever you choose, you'll find a host of people here, willing to help with any queries you might have.
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