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09-21-2007, 09:23 AM   #1
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The value of an MZ-S

Many marquee cameras have been falling precipitously in value -- you can find some amazing deals on a Nikon F3, F4, F5 or a Hassy.

The MZ-S seems to remain high. Much as I would love to have one of these cameras, I fear they have entered the realm of the "collector" -- limited supply + fanatical users = high prices.

Do you think the price of a used MZ-S will ever come down? Or will it be one of those rare items that increases in value over time?

09-22-2007, 12:48 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
Many marquee cameras have been falling precipitously in value -- you can find some amazing deals on a Nikon F3, F4, F5 or a Hassy.

The MZ-S seems to remain high. Much as I would love to have one of these cameras, I fear they have entered the realm of the "collector" -- limited supply + fanatical users = high prices.

Do you think the price of a used MZ-S will ever come down? Or will it be one of those rare items that increases in value over time?
I think the value of MZ-S is not in money terms, but it's actually the best modern film SLR body ever made by Pentax or one of the best film SLRs ever made in this planet.
09-22-2007, 04:31 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
I think the value of MZ-S is not in money terms, but it's actually the best modern film SLR body ever made by Pentax or one of the best film SLRs ever made in this planet.
Why do you think that?
09-22-2007, 09:05 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by sharpshoota Quote
Why do you think that?
Why on Earth people would think buying photo gear as investment in financial terms, strictly speaking?

True investment tools should be stock, foreign currency, real estate or even gold and so on. Cameras? They are invested as consumer products or photographic tools and we should be prepared those values should be depreciated over time.

09-22-2007, 09:08 AM   #5
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Why is it one of the best film slr's on the planet? How does it rate gainst the pz-1p?
09-22-2007, 08:42 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sharpshoota Quote
Why is it one of the best film slr's on the planet? How does it rate gainst the pz-1p?
I had used both and compared both seriously before I finally bought my MZ-S..

The MZ-S is actually better deep inside (or even outside of the body) whilst the Z-1p is stronger on specs and numbers, in general.

Just say:

1. MZ-S has a more accurate and higher performance AF system, focus faster, more sensitive to minimal object details, more sensitive and decisive at low light with less huntings and faster too;

2. MZ-S has soft touch shutter release button which is very responsive to the user's finger action;

3. MZ-S has a well damped but yet fast action mirror which Z-1p lacks;

4. MZ-S is more rigid, with no plays of any kind, and top and bottom plate is made of excellent magnesium alloy metal which makes the Z-1p feels plasticky and filmsy as well (except the back plastic covers which both are the same);

5. MZ-S has a high risen built-in flash which covers 24mm lenses whereas the Z-1p only covers 28mm and more often it is blocked by the lens in use owing to its low raised position. It does have the red spotbeam for AF, though, which the MZ-S lacks;

6. With the vertical grip BG-10, MZ-S's ergonomics is unbeatable, for both holding vertically and horizontally.

All in all, besides the 1/8000th and 1/250th x-sync and the 4 fps frame rate of the Z-1p, I can't see anything else it is better than the MZ-S, which I must say again is one of the most excellent film (AF)SLRs ever made on Earth.
09-22-2007, 09:03 PM   #7
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Actually the 2nd hand prices of the MZ-S mystifies me a bit...it really has held its value better than any other pentax film camera in the digital age. I would be willing to bet that a big part of its high resale value is due to the fact that it was a bit of a dud as far as sales goes. At the time it was released (at the tail end of the "film era") it was kind of a dissappointment for a number of pentax users. It was a relatively expensive camera when available new (around $800-900 depending on where you bought it) and for the price it didn't really match up spec wise to the competing brands (slower film advance, slower top shutter speed, slower flash synch, etc) - truthfully it didn't even match up to the older PZ-1p as far as raw specs were concerned. At the time pentax seemed to be focusing on compact form, good ergonomics, and intuitive handling rather than loading as many impressive features as possible onto the camera. Many people also passed because affordable digital cameras where just on the horizon and they didn't want to drop a bunch of cash on "obsolete" equipment. Long story short the MZ-S was "too little too late" - and I suspect that the sales numbers reflect this. That being said the MZ-S IMHO is the best built and best handling AF camera that Pentax ever made - it may not be the most ambitious camera ever produced but, if you accept its limitations, it is a GREAT camera. I think in retrospect many people have began to realize what a gem it is - unfortunately there aren't a whole lot of them floating around on the 2nd hand market (hence the high price).
09-23-2007, 06:12 PM   #8
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Agreed.

Cameras that I have no intention of parting with are the MZ-S and LX. Unless I'm offered an obscene amount of money, that is.

The MZ-S has great ergonomics, especially if used with the battery grip. The only things I think can be improved are 1) control of aperture via the body and 2) spot meter by just hitting a button. But once I was used to the camera, they weren't a big deal.

09-24-2007, 06:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
Agreed.

Cameras that I have no intention of parting with are the MZ-S and LX. Unless I'm offered an obscene amount of money, that is.
That's exactly what I feared!

I'll keep dreaming of an MZ-S (and that Pentax's new full-frame DSLR will be a revival of the MZ-D body style.)
09-26-2007, 11:14 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
Why on Earth people would think buying photo gear as investment in financial terms, strictly speaking?

True investment tools should be stock, foreign currency, real estate or even gold and so on. Cameras? They are invested as consumer products or photographic tools and we should be prepared those values should be depreciated over time.
Wow, Iíve actually found a post, where I agree with RiceHigh. That has got to be a first.


I choose the Z-1P over the MZ-S, when I did my first SLR purchase. The Z-1P does 4 fps, and can withstand torture. It has survived some brutal handling on my part.
Mattias Klum had 11 bodies with him, when he did his National Geographic assignment in Borneo.

The IR Auto Focus assistance light; works very well on the Z-1P.
Control of aperture via the body, makes it possible for me to use DA lenses on my Z-1P.

Magnesium alloy is nice, but many state that polycarbonate plastic, withstands impact better. At a hiking trip in Norway, a gust of wind caught our tent, with our cameras inside. My friends Nikon F90X suffered, and I had a metal coffee container completely bend in. My Z-1P kept functioning though. Pure luck, or excellent build?!? probably a little of both.

The Z-1P is an ugly motha, but it is a beast; and have yet to let me down.

People seem reluctant to part with the Pentax equipment that they like. And the MZ-S is one of them. Iím gonna get me one at some point though. Prices for a good copy, is 8-900 US though; so it will be some time.
09-27-2007, 01:05 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
Wow, Iíve actually found a post, where I agree with RiceHigh. That has got to be a first.


I choose the Z-1P over the MZ-S, when I did my first SLR purchase. The Z-1P does 4 fps, and can withstand torture. It has survived some brutal handling on my part.
Mattias Klum had 11 bodies with him, when he did his National Geographic assignment in Borneo.

The IR Auto Focus assistance light; works very well on the Z-1P.
Control of aperture via the body, makes it possible for me to use DA lenses on my Z-1P.

Magnesium alloy is nice, but many state that polycarbonate plastic, withstands impact better. At a hiking trip in Norway, a gust of wind caught our tent, with our cameras inside. My friends Nikon F90X suffered, and I had a metal coffee container completely bend in. My Z-1P kept functioning though. Pure luck, or excellent build?!? probably a little of both.

The Z-1P is an ugly motha, but it is a beast; and have yet to let me down.

People seem reluctant to part with the Pentax equipment that they like. And the MZ-S is one of them. Iím gonna get me one at some point though. Prices for a good copy, is 8-900 US though; so it will be some time.
Mine is still available for anyone wishing to give it a nw home! I haven't eekbayed it yet, but I guess I will have to in order to get anything near current prices.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographers-marketplace/10626-fs-collec...g-10-grip.html
09-27-2007, 02:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonson PL Quote
The IR Auto Focus assistance light; works very well on the Z-1P.
Control of aperture via the body, makes it possible for me to use DA lenses on my Z-1P.
Really. I didn't know i could use my DA lenses on my PZ-1P? I would love to use my DA 12-24mm. How do I do it exactly?
09-27-2007, 04:30 AM   #13
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I've watched the last few auctions...

The most recent auction prices for the body + grip have dropped into the $600-$700 USD range:
http://search-completed.ebay.com/Pentax-MZ-S-BG-10_W0QQcatrefZC5QQfbdZ1QQfcl...refinesearchZ1

I'd like one, but not beyond that price. This would be an excellent backup camera on long trips!
09-27-2007, 08:51 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by sharpshoota Quote
Really. I didn't know i could use my DA lenses on my PZ-1P? I would love to use my DA 12-24mm. How do I do it exactly?
The wheels on the Z-1P, makes it possible to stop down lenses that do not have aperture ring.

You can use the DA lenses that have the full image circle of 24x36, (and of course the DFA lenses). Richard made a run-through of the different lenses :
“I have checked all the DA's except the kit lens and they are as follows:

10-17 FE - Usable from 14mm up
DA 12-24 - Usable from 16mm up

DA 16-45 - Usable from 20mm up

DA 50-200 - Not usable, vignettes at varying (small) amounts, never quite clears
DA 14 - Unusable, large image circle visible
DA 21 - slight corner image circle
DA 40 - Usable, no vignetting
DA 70 - Usable, no vignetting“


Jim King wrote :
“I took a test series using the DA40 on my MZ-S and found no vignetting even wide open. I felt that at f2.8 the edges were not quite as crisp as the central part of the image, however. In any event, the DA40 does cover the full 24x36 frame.”


Somebody else, can’t remember who, wrote :
“The ZX-5n will work with lenses that lack aperture rings, with the following limitations:
In Av and M modes, the lens is always "wide open". There's no way to set the aperture to anything narrower than wide open.
In P and Tv modes, everything's fine. Tv becomes your only way of *indirectly* controlling aperture; want a tighter aperture, dial in a longer shutter speed.
Exposure compensation works as it should, but again, you have no direct control over aperture. In M and Av, it's wide open. In Tv and P, the camera selects for you.”


To Rickard : Had I not been a student, I’d love to help you out regarding the MZ-S; (particularly with the handgrip). But LBA takes precedent . Otherwise, I like the idea of buying from people on the forum. Gives you an idea of how it has been taken care of.

Last edited by Jonson PL; 09-27-2007 at 09:09 PM.
09-30-2007, 10:07 AM   #15
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I think I just scored a VERY good deal...

On the MZ-S + BG-10 battery grip - boxes, manuals, etc. for a BIN of $499 US!! Only one roll of film was put through it. This is what I've wanted as a backup camera on long trips.

Link to auction:
Pentax MZ-S 35mm Film Camera - (eBay item 170154386668 end time Sep-30-07 09:23:53 PDT)
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