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11-22-2010, 12:32 PM   #31
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As much as I love my MX, I think I would recommend the KX for a starter. I have recently been using the KX and a KM, and have sometimes found the KM will refuse to meter in low light (not all that low in fact!, just indoors). It works better with my 50mm f/1.2 lens attached, but that is hardly a budget item. The KX has a better metering system. Personally I dislike the K1000: no DOF preview, no mirror lock-up, no f/stop indication in the viewfinder, nothing. I agree with using manual for learning basic skills, but there is no need to wear the photographic equivalent of a hair shirt!

I have no experience of the P or MZ series cameras so cannot comment.

Best wishes, Kris.

11-22-2010, 09:41 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Any camera in the ZX or MZ series is a poor recommendation due to high failure rates and expensive batteries.
...
Your bet bet would be to buy a P3n or P30t with the 50mm lens. Both cameras can be had for under $50 with lens, and a backup body can be purchased for under $30.
Steve, the ZX-M/MZ-M doesn't suffer from the same risks. The biggest point of failure on a ZX/MZ series camera is the flash popup... which the MZ-M doesn't have. (Hot shoe only, no integral flash.)

Also, the batteries for the ZX-M (and most of that series) do not have to be expensive. I buy them at the Dollar Store for $1. Sure, I could pay $12.99 at a camera store, but they are widely available for much less money. And yes, I feed my MZ-S with Dollar Store batteries.

Good recommendation on the P3n though. Cheap, tough, classic.
11-23-2010, 05:33 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
Steve, the ZX-M/MZ-M doesn't suffer from the same risks.
All cameras in the series, including the ZX-M and MZ-M, were built incorporating the motor with the plastic gear.
When it inevitably fails film transport, mirror and shutter become nonfunctional.

Chris
11-23-2010, 06:02 PM   #34
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How unfortunate.

Any info about the MZ-S?

11-23-2010, 07:21 PM   #35
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I forgot about the MZ-S.
Since it bears little resemblance to the other models in the series it probably shares few components.

The MZ-S was the final Pentax professional film body.
As such one might assume it is built to a higher standard, which would exclude plastic gears in critical mechanisms.

I have never owned one so cannot confirm this. Perhaps Eric knows?

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 11-23-2010 at 07:28 PM.
11-23-2010, 11:27 PM   #36
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Have K1000, P3n, and ZX-m. My niece's daughter has my K in same general
kind of class. Her mother says she likes it because a few other kids have them.
Wonder if MZ-S might be a little much,not for the kid, the teacher.
Maybe want to consider diopter adjustment.
K1000 had such a long production run, and has so few 'bells,buzzers,and whistles'
its just seems like a natural.
Didnt know that about Z(M) series gear. Out of three mentioned and and ME super(s)
my P3 has held up best, has stayed very clean inside with no gumming etc.
Have an LX too, probably a little pricey for this app, very serviceable and completely
reliable.
11-24-2010, 08:37 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
I forgot about the MZ-S.
Since it bears little resemblance to the other models in the series it probably shares few components.

The MZ-S was the final Pentax professional film body.
As such one might assume it is built to a higher standard, which would exclude plastic gears in critical mechanisms.

I have never owned one so cannot confirm this. Perhaps Eric knows?

Chris
Of course you can buy at least 10 of the plastic gear bodies for the price of an MZ-S,
11-24-2010, 05:15 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Of course you can buy at least 10 of the plastic gear bodies for the price of an MZ-S,
Or numerous Pentax manual focus models that don't have a plastic gear to break.

Chris

11-24-2010, 07:48 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Or numerous Pentax manual focus models that don't have a plastic gear to break.

Chris
Which ones? Even a K1000 is about 3 times the price of a Z model, and that is before the older film body gets a CLA or light seals, and it won't use DA lenses or other lenses without an aperture ring. Look, I prefer the older bodies too, but they aren't that cheap and won't let a user of digital af lenses just drop their lenses in.

Last edited by GeneV; 11-24-2010 at 07:57 PM.
11-24-2010, 08:55 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Which ones?
P3, P3n, P30n, P30t are all very cheap to buy. Earlier this year I purchased a P3n and a P30t for $40 shipped combined. I have seen BIN P3's on eBay go unsold for $4.99.
11-25-2010, 09:46 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
P3, P3n, P30n, P30t are all very cheap to buy. Earlier this year I purchased a P3n and a P30t for $40 shipped combined. I have seen BIN P3's on eBay go unsold for $4.99.
I'll grant that those might fit the bill for a very cheap manual option. I've never used a 90s era Pentax film camera, so I don't know why these are disliked to the point of fetching less money than a disposable.

When we are talking about cameras this cheap, though, I might take a chance on a few more features. The beauty of many of the Z/M series (other than the ZX 30, 50 and 60) is that just about everything from the digital camera works on it.

Last edited by GeneV; 11-30-2010 at 07:19 AM. Reason: correct mistake
11-29-2010, 09:42 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
... The beauty of the Z/M series (if they work) is that just about everything from the digital camera works on it.
Are you referring to lenses? If so, you should be aware of the fact that while DA lenses will be usable on many of the ZX bodies, some of the ZX bodies can't meter with K or M series lenses, and the ZX-60 won't even allow you to trigger the shutter if your lens doesn't have aperture contacts.
11-30-2010, 07:16 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Are you referring to lenses? If so, you should be aware of the fact that while DA lenses will be usable on many of the ZX bodies, some of the ZX bodies can't meter with K or M series lenses, and the ZX-60 won't even allow you to trigger the shutter if your lens doesn't have aperture contacts.
Good catch, Steve. The ZX-L works with everything, including every lens I own. It even works with the wireless flash on my AF540FGZ. The ZX-10 and under have K mounts and should work the same way on the lenses. I see now that the ZX-30, 50 and 60 have crippled K mounts. I have never owned them and I will correct the post.
11-30-2010, 11:20 AM   #44
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Just Picked up 2 ZX-L's and a FA zoom for under $60. For that kind of money
can get pretty nice hockey stuff to protect me from any gears that come
"whizz'n" off of those things.
12-03-2010, 04:24 AM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve Beswick Quote
Any camera in the ZX or MZ series is a poor recommendation due to high failure rates and expensive batteries.



Also a poor recommendation due to high failure rates.

Your bet bet would be to buy a P3n or P30t with the 50mm lens. Both cameras can be had for under $50 with lens, and a backup body can be purchased for under $30. They are very reliable, are very easy to learn, and are so cheap now that if they are lost or stolen it is no big deal.
it could be true for a ZX/MZ to be expensive on battery. the trick is to get the baterry/vertical grip for them. will cost you about another 15 US Dollar. But it willsave pennies because you can use AA.
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