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01-13-2011, 10:17 AM   #1
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Was Able to Fondle an MZ-S

What a nice, small, solid feeling camera! So small but heavy in the hands. Film edge data imprinting is very cool. I love the controls which are extremely logical, although they seem to be a little tight to turn. I imagine in cold weather my fingers would lose traction.

The best analogy I can come up with is that the MZ-S feels like F100 build quality applied to the N75 form factor. Which brings up my main complaint: the viewfinder is pretty small; as small as my Nikon N75 (the last of the consumer Nikon SLRs). The small but heavy size leads me to two thoughts: (1) For the first time I wonder if a vertical grip battery pack would make this camera feel better, and (2) I wonder whether the Pentax DSLRs have a similar small, tight, heavy feel. (Size/feel, check. Waterproof, check. If they also have modal knobs, wow, that's three checks!)

I could easily have bought this camera. Price was okay, condition superb. I would jump at the opportunity if I didn't also have to buy a lens set. I have the manual 50mm f1.7 and 135 f3.5 from my Pentax ME, but this camera really seems to deserve quality autofocus lenses, like pro-zooms or limited-primes.

Yeah, selling all my Nikon lenses and buying Pentax limiteds would probably be a net profit, but I'm not sure I could match Nikon glass in the super-tele or pro-zoom categories. So, if I want a modern, film DSLR, maybe I should just look into the F6.


Last edited by MetaD; 01-13-2011 at 10:26 AM.
01-13-2011, 11:23 AM   #2
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The K-7/K-5 feel just as solid as the MZ-S, but easier to hold and better-balanced. Pentax DSLRs are generally compact like all the film SLRs, but ergonomic advancements have certainly been made since the film era.

Pentax does have superb telephoto glass, but it's only available used and isn't any cheaper than Nikon offerings. A few examples: FA* 300m F2.8 FA* 80-200mm F2.8 (check out Sigma/Tamron alternatives as well) FA* 250-600mm F5.6

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01-13-2011, 01:05 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by MetaD Quote
What a nice, small, solid feeling camera! So small but heavy in the hands. Film edge data imprinting is very cool. I love the controls which are extremely logical, although they seem to be a little tight to turn. I imagine in cold weather my fingers would lose traction.


MZ-S is a great camera. My biggest complaints are the rubber seals on the bottom fall out easily, hard to find an mz-s that has the big one; the method for changing auto-focus points is a bit clumsy and slow; shutter speed knob is a bit stiff, as you say; battery door is flimsy and cheap; and the viewfinder has a high crop of 8%. Otherwise it is a damn near perfect camera. Oh... two more complaints, auto-focus motor is kinda noisy, and film advance/rewind is very noisy.

Good news is, it's well built, fast to handle, has a good meter, is small, hardly any mirror slap or shutter vibration, and it's very pretty! It's size and handling are the main two sellers for me. The data imprinting and wireless flash are also very very nice to have. Viewfinder could be bigger(.75x 92%), but it's not all that far off from the F100(.76x 96%), which I was also considering at the time I got mine. My dad has an F100, so I shot it quite a bit before deciding. Having the cameras side by side made it easier for me, the viewfinder differences were so minor I couldn't hardly tell the difference. Size of the MZ-S, Limited lenses, data imprinting, wireless flash, and sudo mirror lockup won me over. Against an f6, not considering price, I might have been swayed to the bigger camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by MetaD Quote
The best analogy I can come up with is that the MZ-S feels like F100 build quality applied to the N75 form factor. Which brings up my main complaint: the viewfinder is pretty small; as small as my Nikon N75 (the last of the consumer Nikon SLRs). The small but heavy size leads me to two thoughts: (1) For the first time I wonder if a vertical grip battery pack would make this camera feel better, and ...
I just recently added it because I wanted to use readily available AA batteries. It feels really great; very well sculpted. 43mm limited and MZ-S without the grip is a very nice and light combo by itself, but it's nice to have the choice(hate built in battery grips) of improved ergonomics if I can stand the weight.
01-13-2011, 03:29 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vertex Ninja Quote
MZ-S is a great camera. ...Viewfinder could be bigger(.75x 92%), but it's not all that far off from the F100(.76x 96%), which I was also considering at the time I got mine. My dad has an F100, so I shot it quite a bit before deciding. Having the cameras side by side made it easier for me, the viewfinder differences were so minor I couldn't hardly tell the difference.
...
43mm limited and MZ-S without the grip is a very nice and light combo by itself....
The F100 comparison is a good measure, and I didn't have them side by side. The N75 is definitely smaller than the F100, so if I can stand that...

What a nice combo of primes: 31, 43 and 77 limiteds ($2400 for the set today at adorama), and they would be great and not too large for the K-5, as well. Then add a 21mm ($510) or wide zoom for the crop factor of the K-5, and shop ebay for a super-tele for wildlife. A two camera kit for film and digital!

With the quality they are getting from the K-5 sensor I don't see Pentax doing a Full Frame (35mm) camera, so I don't figure we'll see new FF lenses. Ah well. To play the long odds, I could buy up a bunch on ebay, and cross my fingers for a surprise FF announcement. I lucked out that way buying my P645N system during the dark year just before they announced the P645D.


Last edited by MetaD; 01-13-2011 at 03:35 PM.
01-14-2011, 04:38 PM   #5
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With the grip, the MZ-S is a joy to hold. I can't think about it too much or I will buy one again.
01-18-2011, 09:29 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
With the grip, the MZ-S is a joy to hold. I can't think about it too much or I will buy one again.


If you like the feel MZ-S in your hands, you'll love the 645D, Pentax doesn't need FF when they have the 645D, just add some modern lenses to it now.
01-19-2011, 04:23 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
With the grip, the MZ-S is a joy to hold. I can't think about it too much or I will buy one again.
It's a great camera. There is one selling on eBay with the FA24-90mm lens now.
01-19-2011, 04:47 AM   #8
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Jeez, MetaD, I hope you at least bought it a drink.

01-19-2011, 08:58 AM   #9
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Pulled the Trigger

QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Jeez, MetaD, I hope you at least bought it a drink.
Hah!

So, I pulled the trigger, as the condition was mint. (Adorama has an MZ-S listed in their used section; I don't think many people peruse Adorama for used cameras). I really love the feel, and the "green button" rocks. Every dial, every ergonomic touch is just perfect.

I'm now ready for a K-5, except that BH has them on back order. I even sold my Nikon D90 in order to get the new D7000, but the Pentax handling and size is so much more appealing, that I'm going to switch out my lenses. Okay, less Pentax glass is available when compared to used Nikon, but with time I'll come out a little ahead on $$.

Yeah, D645 to go with my P645N if I sell my family jewels or something. Seriously, the Pentax handling is so wonderful, the Green Button on their SLRs, and the single-mode knobs on the P645N. I really love the photographic relationship with Pentax cameras.
01-19-2011, 10:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MetaD Quote
Hah!

So, I pulled the trigger, as the condition was mint. (Adorama has an MZ-S listed in their used section; I don't think many people peruse Adorama for used cameras). I really love the feel, and the "green button" rocks. Every dial, every ergonomic touch is just perfect...
Check the shutter curtain! BillM, from here in the forums, had purchased one from them in "Excellent" condition and the rear shutter curtain was all beat up. He returned it. I'm sure you would have seen it, but just making sure Adorama didn't put it back up for sale as soon as they got his return.

Congrats on the camera! It's a work of art IMO; really under-appreciated in the camera world. The ergonomics are top notch!
01-19-2011, 12:04 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MetaD Quote
.......I don't think many people peruse Adorama for used cameras..........
I just double-checked with our used department; we certainly have a lot of gear in stock. Over 25,000 pieces of camera, lighting and video equipment, plus cases accessories etc.

Just in the last year, we spent over $20,000,000 on purchasing used equipment...........

QuoteOriginally posted by Vertex Ninja Quote
....BillM, from here in the forums, had purchased one from them in "Excellent" condition and the rear shutter curtain was all beat up. He returned it.......
If there are any concerns, I hope MetaD will contact me right away.
01-19-2011, 09:13 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Helen Oster Quote

Just in the last year, we spent over $20,000,000 on purchasing used equipment...........
We'll have to help you with that case of LBA, then. That's serious.
01-20-2011, 03:08 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
We'll have to help you with that case of LBA, then. That's serious.
01-20-2011, 10:47 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vertex Ninja Quote
I don't think many people peruse Adorama for used cameras
One fewer,thats for sure,I'll talk about the new stuff in another thread.
Helen(not Bryan), you want to keep those E-mails comin,fine with me. Every nano-second on
me is one less you can pull it on someone else.

Last edited by BillM; 01-21-2011 at 12:15 AM.
01-20-2011, 11:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BillM Quote
One fewer,thats for sure,I'll talk about the new stuff in another thread.
Helen, you want to keep those E-mails comin,fine with me. Every nano-second on
me is one less you can pull it on someone else.
Hey, wait a tick. My name's not Helen!
Just teasin' Bill.
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