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09-19-2010, 07:11 AM   #1
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mz3 question

I came across an mz3 body for sale today for 6600 and considered buying it. But I was surprised to learn that it doesn't seem to support my K-series lenses. I had both (not sure why there were two) switches on the body set to MF. Can someone confirm that the MZ3 will not work (no shutter release) with the K-series lenses, or correct me and point out what I missed?

Thanks, all!


Last edited by uccemebug; 09-19-2010 at 07:12 AM. Reason: fixed a typo
09-19-2010, 07:34 AM   #2
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The specifications mention nothing about restrictions:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-autofocus-film-slr-camera-reviews/...ax-mz-3-a.html

DA lenses which will generally not cover the full 24 x 36 mm frame results in dark corners on the film and shouldn't be used.

These is only one MF (Manual Focus) switch (left side of the lens mount when viewed from the top) - refer the pictures in the above link.

On the right hand side is a switch for setting whether to use single point autofocus or multiple point autofocus.

On the back there is a ML (Memory Lock aka exposule lock) switch.

Last edited by shady; 09-19-2010 at 07:58 AM.
09-19-2010, 07:54 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by shady Quote
The specifications mention nothing about restrictions:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-autofocus-film-slr-camera-reviews/...ax-mz-3-a.html

DA lenses which will generally not cover the full 24 x 36 mm frame results in dark corners on the film and shouldn't be used.
Thanks for that. Again, I'm looking at an older K series lens ("SMC Pentax") rather than a newer lens. My only DA lens is the 21mm and I know it's not compatible with the film bodies.
09-19-2010, 10:17 AM   #4
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You should have no problems with K series lenses. The lenses which have restrictions on which bodies can use them are those series with no aperture ring such as the FA-J.

09-19-2010, 10:47 AM   #5
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The manual may be found here:
http://www.pentax-manuals.com/manuals/af/pentax_mz3_manual_s.pdf

(Password = Pentax)
It appears that the only restriction with your K-series lenses are that only Av and M modes are supported. Try it with the camera in one of those two modes with a fresh battery and power on. If it still does not fire don't buy it. Out of curiosity, does the camera work with A, F, FA lenses? LCD display is on? Battery indicator at full charge?


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09-19-2010, 04:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses, everyone (and shady, for elaborating on your response).

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
It appears that the only restriction with your K-series lenses are that only Av and M modes are supported.
Oh fer pete's sake. I didn't switch the camera to manual mode! m(-_-)m (bakadakara)

The camera wasn't in great shape overall. The flash refused to stay up, for instance. Japan is a country where used gear is generally in great shape but for some reason used and abused models are turning up more frequently recently. It could be that people are selling off stuff they know to be poor condition to raise a few . The economy here has gone from flat to "downward spiral".

I'll check out the manual, thanks for the tip. The camera felt great in hand and the viewfinder was nicely wide and bright.
09-19-2010, 05:50 PM   #7
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The M and K should work fine in the Auto mode since you use the aperture ring to adjust the aperture. Without the A setting on the lens aperture ring, it won't be able to do shutter priority.

Here is another place to get good scans of manual including other brands and many accessories.


Pentax camera instruction manuals, Pentax professional instruction manuals
09-21-2010, 06:27 AM   #8
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Today I popped into another store looking for the K35 f/3.5 and came across a MZ-3 in pretty good condition. This one definitely worked in aperture-priority mode with my K series lens. I guess the first one was just a bad unit.

Lovely viewfinder in that model! And a metal shutter, very nice.

10-21-2010, 08:40 AM   #9
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Yeah, the MZ-3 should work with any K-mount lens to the full capabilities of that lens.

The flash problem isn't user abuse. It's a design defect, there's a small plastic slotted peg constantly stressed by the spring which splits.

Note that the standard focusing screen in the MZ-3 is so-so for manual focus lenses. I bought a kaput ZX-M to get a split-image focusing screen better suited to manual focus. But it's still optimized somewhat for slow kit zooms, so it's not perfect for manual focus either. KatzEye doesn't make screens for Pentax film cameras, unfortunately.

The MZ-3 is a sweet camera. To me, the biggest downside is it's addiction to expensive batteries.
10-21-2010, 09:12 AM   #10
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I use the MZ-3 for AF film. If I want to manual focus, I use either a K2 or one of my other manual focus film bodies.
10-25-2010, 01:49 PM   #11
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I too own a Pentax MZ3 with ZX-M (manual focus) screen installed.
Though not quite as bright as the best Pentax manual focus bodies,
I'm happy to report that it works equally well with AF and MF lenses.
My eye and the focus confirmation indicators always seem to agree.

Chris
10-27-2010, 05:48 AM   #12
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Thanks for all of the insights, folks.
12-26-2010, 04:22 PM   #13
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MZ-3 and 5N share the same body. #3 has a stronger shutter spring to get 1/4000 s speed. They all have the same mirror motor with plastic gear.
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