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09-29-2010, 06:38 PM   #1
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Recommendations For a Pentax K Mount Camera w/ AE Lock

I recently went through some old photos from about 8 years ago just to see how the cameras I was using then compared to the ones I have now. What surprised me was how good the shots from a Pentax K1000 a 50 2.0 lens were! Good stuff.

So I sold my expensive Leica R gear. Mostly because I just need a small walk-around 35mm camera for those times when I don't want to carry a TLR. My first purchase was for another K1000 and 50 2.0 lens, but I quickly saw I was going to have difficulty w/ a focus screen that wasn't a split prism. Next was a Ricoh KR5 that had the right screen, and worked very well for what I paid for it ($20). Unfortunately the shutter is really loud, much more so than the K1000. So next was a ME SE Super. Wow, this is a neat camera. Tiny, light, has a quiet shutter, and I love the viewfinder display. But using the camera in Manual mode is really quirky, and slow for me. The AE works fine, but where's the AE lock? Having to reach up on top of the camera to dial in compensation is not at all convenient, especially to someone that's used to the convenience of simply hitting the AE lock and taking the shot. After some more research I discovered that AE lock isn't on any of the Pentax cameras until you get to the P's. Even the expensive LX doesn't have it. Why Pentax decided this wasn't a feature people would want is beyond me because it makes shooting so much faster and easier.

Does anyone have any recommendations for me? The other alternative is to get a MX and just manually adjust the aperture for compensation. That would work fine, but having been spoiled by the ALMOST perfect ME SE Super I'd still like to have that little AE lock dealie. It wouldn't have to be a Pentax brand, but nothing w/ a loud shutter please. Thanks.

09-29-2010, 07:33 PM   #2
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I'd recommend you start by taking a look at our Pentax Film SLR Database. Don't have time for a full reply right now, but that should prove helpful!

Adam
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Last edited by Ole; 10-17-2010 at 07:25 PM.
09-29-2010, 11:18 PM   #3
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Ricoh XR7 -- Av, M modes with +/-2 stops exposure compensation and AE lock. Full info viewfinder too.


Steve
09-30-2010, 12:44 AM   #4
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I agree, AE lock is a powerful feature unfortunately not included on too many Pentax models.

If you can live with no manual film speed setting (DX only) without reservation I recommend the Pentax P3N or P30T.
These offer aperture preferred auto, program auto and manual exposure modes via a conventional shutter speed dial.
Besides AE lock other nice features include depth of field preview, electronic self timer, easy film loading system and built-in grip.
They are also a terrific bargain. I see many of these in like-new condition for very little money.
Also, being a Pentax, one of these can be repaired at a reasonable rate if necessary.

Chris


Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 09-30-2010 at 05:09 PM.
09-30-2010, 02:53 AM   #5
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Ricoh XR-10 has a AE-L lock. Nice little camera, the shutter sound isn't too obtrusive but almost all of my SLRs are louder than my ME Super.
09-30-2010, 04:28 AM   #6
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Phenix is producing new PK cameras.

Overview:
Phenix, a famous optics manufacturer: cameras, microscopes, telescopes, binoculars...

Example:
Phenix, a famous optics manufacturer: cameras, microscopes, telescopes, binoculars...

Not sure about AE-Lock.
09-30-2010, 06:40 AM   #7
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Wow, I knew about the Vivitar but that's manual. The Phoenix according to a Swedish site etc does have AE-L - and AE-L has an indicator in the view finder.
09-30-2010, 09:54 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
Wow, I knew about the Vivitar but that's manual. The Phoenix according to a Swedish site etc does have AE-L - and AE-L has an indicator in the view finder.
I believe that both the Phenix and Vivitar are Cosina-made along with the Nikon FM10 with somewhat different feature sets depending on model. I was unaware that any of those cameras had AE lock, but if so, that is a good thing.


Steve

09-30-2010, 10:33 AM   #9
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I did some digging and the Phenix/Phoenix is not Cosina, but rather a separate Chinese company. Looks interesting too, they have some nice looking range finders as well... and apparently make much of what LOMO sells.
09-30-2010, 04:34 PM   #10
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What about a Pentax Super A.....a very under rated camera with good auto & manual features.....are you familiar with it?
Cheers, Pickles.
09-30-2010, 05:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pickles Quote
What about a Pentax Super A.....a very under rated camera with good auto & manual features.....are you familiar with it?
Cheers, Pickles.
No AE lock. As noted by the OP, the feature was missing from the line prior to the P-series bodies. Too bad the P bodies are DX only for film speed setting, otherwise the P5 or P3n would be my choice.


Steve
09-30-2010, 05:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
I did some digging and the Phenix/Phoenix is not Cosina, but rather a separate Chinese company. Looks interesting too, they have some nice looking range finders as well... and apparently make much of what LOMO sells.
You probably read these two threads?

The Camera Collector - Phenix

Kenko Introduce Three Film SLRs - PhotoMalaysia Community

Reading the comments, it appears that the Phenix is a pretty close Cosina clone if not from the same factories. Like you, I was interested in the rangefinders, particularly the JG-50 in red leather. It looks like that model may still be available!


Steve
09-30-2010, 08:01 PM   #13
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The K1000 SE has a split screen.
09-30-2010, 08:16 PM   #14
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I can heartily recommend the following models with AE lock. From cheapest to most expensive (usually):
  • P3n
  • MZ-7
  • MZ-M/ZX-M
  • MZ-S

Two of these cameras are AF. That is a drawback if you have MF lenses... as you note, the split finder is really necessary.

I have a feeling that the MZ-M is exactly what you are looking for. It has a very lightweight plasticky feel, but is actually VERY sturdy and well equipped. Probably one of the most advanced manual-focus cameras every produced(!)
09-30-2010, 08:58 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
No AE lock. As noted by the OP, the feature was missing from the line prior to the P-series bodies. Too bad the P bodies are DX only for film speed setting, otherwise the P5 or P3n would be my choice.


Steve
No worries....for a bit of a "newbie" could you please explain what an "AE LOCK" is. I know that the Super A operates in either aperature priority or shutter priority & auto, so I thought it fitted the bill.
Cheers, Pickles.
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