Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-15-2011, 09:31 AM   #16
Veteran Member

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Winnipeg MB
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 346
The "low voltage" argument does not make any sense to me. I installed recently a new mirror motor in 5N. #6 has been very much used and still is going strong. I really don't know why the plastic gear failed in 5N. #6 is made in Japan and has brass gear on the mirror motor shaft from the factory. 5N is assembled in Philippines. The reason that I am still using these cameras is they are small and light. I bring them as a back-up while traveling. They share the lenses of my dslr.

I have a spare MZ-7 for sale. It has a new mirror motor with brass gear recently installed and that would give you peace of mind not to worry about mirror getting stuck.

Last edited by violini; 02-04-2011 at 11:04 AM.
01-15-2011, 10:40 AM   #17
Ratmagiclady's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: GA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 13,476
I generally like my MZ-5: I wouldn't have minded if they'd left out the auto-rewind and left a rewind crank on there, cause I just don't like not being able to be positive the film is feeding, (Of all times to leave out the little wiggly red bars window that I never even notice on the old cameras. )

The AF is OK if you take it on its own terms, no high-tech tracking or anything, here, but it's usually pretty positive, especially with the spot af button pressed. (at least with speedy lenses: I usually use fast primes for film. Most often, it just takes a beat. Especially if I don't forget that 'spot af' button, (particularly for MF confirmation.)

Street photo of walking people might well get ahead of you, in other words, but it's a pretty useful aid. I'm a little behind n my processing to rave about accuracy or anything, but it looks pretty good.

Manual focus isn't too hard, considering, at least with an OME-53 eyepiece on there. (These work and fit great, it led me to wonder if they were originally-designed for this series: it doesn't even vignette on me. Seems you get what the finder itself covers, anyway, so why not. ) It's no ME Super or LX that way, but manageable.
01-15-2011, 01:50 PM   #18
Swift1's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,994
QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Hi all,

I'm seriously considering now to get film camera. I would love MZ-S but they are hard to come by and cost too much for me to get approval from "finance" department.

So, MZ-5 or MZ-5n seem the next choices. Is there anything else in film land to compare to these two? I would like AF, but could live with MF if good camera (I mean LX but again, the price is just bit too much out of the range) but I'd like split screen (or microprism). Nice built would be handy to...

thanks for any advices...
You may want to check out the MZ-7. As far as I know, it is basically a MZ-L with a slower top shutter speed and no DoF preview. I think it doesn't support wireless flash like the MZ-L also. It usually sells for half what the MZ-L and MZ-5 sell for.
01-17-2011, 12:31 AM   #19
Senior Member

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Downunda
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 212
QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
Thanks Chris,

how about MZ-3?
I did have a look at MZ-6 but don't like layout...

and anybody any comments on P30 series?

MZ-3 is very similar to the MZ-5n, but with a 1/4000 top shutter speed rather than the 1/2000 available with the MZ-5n. Nice, but harder to find.

Do you know the Bojidar Dimitrov website? Wonderful resource for the K-mount cameras and lenses. Check this table for a comparison of the MZ cameras. You can click through for more details on particular models.

Pentax MZ/ZX-Series Film Bodies

01-17-2011, 04:11 AM   #20
Veteran Member
tootall's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 422
QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
You may want to check out the MZ-7. As far as I know, it is basically a MZ-L with a slower top shutter speed and no DoF preview. I think it doesn't support wireless flash like the MZ-L also. It usually sells for half what the MZ-L and MZ-5 sell for.
I'll 2nd this, the MZ-7 is a good camera. I've had mine since 2000 without complaints. Its also great to use weight wise when the K20D becomes to heavy Worth while checking out.
01-18-2011, 07:29 PM   #21
Senior Member

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 208
I have had a ZX-5 (MZ-5) since new in 1997. I'll go further than what others have said above about the screen: it's damn near impossible (not just inconvenient) to focus MF lenses on it. I can't speak to interchangeability (some cameras that say they aren't, actually are, "by a technician," which means you could do it yourself if you're adept and have the tools) but even if the ZX-5 screen could be swapped out for (say) a split-image Katz Eye, that's cost prohibitive or throwing good money after bad at this point.

My ZX-5 has a failed spring on the inbuilt Cyclops flash so it will not stay deployed without a finger holding it up. I saw that condition referred to elsewhere as "usual" or "inevitable" or such, so that may be endemic to their construction. You should not use that flash anyway. Either shoot the camera in available light, or get a proper flash.

All that said, the layout is great, and dead simple. I bought the camera for that reason, as I hate the icon-laden (mountain, person-head, flower, etc.) dials that were coming into vogue just then and still plague many digitals. Note that the shutter speed "dial" is faux-analog; you're turning something that works by controlling electronics contacts underneath, so if you want true analog, this isn't quite it; just a reasonable facsimile thereof.

01-22-2011, 07:03 PM   #22
ChrisPlatt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Queens NYC
Posts: 4,859
I prefer manual focus cameras but I will turn 50 this year; I want an AF film body for future use if manual focus becomes too difficult.
I recently bought an MZ-3 and had Eric install a split-image screen (from a ZX-M manual focus body), for "the best of both worlds".
I also once owned and used a ZX-5n. I wouldn't touch most of the other AF bodies due to their lack of conventional controls.

Except for the MZ-S the mostly plastic MZ/ZX cameras have a rather cheap, imprecise feel;
not real satisfying for those of us who also use classic Pentax manual focus film cameras.
Also, these cameras have an Achilles Heel; the motor that operates nearly everything has a plastic gear that breaks easily.
The replacement motor has a metal gear and will last far longer, but the repair will cost you around $100.

If autofocus is not a requirement IMO nearly any Pentax manual focus body would be a better choice.

03-31-2011, 05:37 PM   #23
Senior Member

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Arlington, MA
Posts: 135
I have an MZ-3 with the focusing screen from a ZX-M to make manual focus better. (I lose spot metering.) I find the user interface really natural. The autofocus is early, but not really that bad. It feels really good in the hands, incredibly light. The MZ-5n and ZX-5n are the same camera with a slower shutter, no 1/4000 and lower X-sync speed. The -5n's are incredible value for money. (But you need to do bulk buys of CR2 batteries to get a good price.)

For manual focus, the MX is really worth a look. Really high magnification finder, although at the cost of eye relief. (Probably not a good camera if you wear glasses.) Very nice pure mechanical camera.

The LX has a really remarkable finder, not as high magnification as the MX, but astoundingly bright due to the multi-coated mirror and improved focusing screens. But so pricey.


  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
camera, film, mz-5
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:01 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]