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02-15-2011, 10:56 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I would think that Adorama at 42 West 18th Street would be a good place to start. Don't forget about thrift shops or pawn shops either.
True, true. I might run down to Adorama later this week if I get a chance, see what they have.

Also, what are opinions on the MX versus the KX in terms of build quality?

02-15-2011, 11:49 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
True, true. I might run down to Adorama later this week if I get a chance, see what they have.

Also, what are opinions on the MX versus the KX in terms of build quality?
The KX is bigger and weighs more, so it depends on what you prefer size wise.

Phil.
02-15-2011, 11:57 AM   #18
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If you have transportation, there's a Second Sunday camera show in Wayne NJ on the second sunday of each month (except mother's day).

The KX is very similar in size and feel to a Spotmatic, and it has a great viewfinder display. If you are left eyed, the need to keep the wind lever proud of the back is annoying.

The MX is smaller and seems physically solid, and the view finder display is a hoot - and visible in the dark.

I'll mention the Program Plus / Super Program again as they are very nicely made, and have the program mode to boot, to be more compatible. They seem to be more reliable than the ME era cameras.

Last edited by Nesster; 02-15-2011 at 12:40 PM.
02-15-2011, 11:58 AM   #19
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I loved my Nikon F Photomic back in the day, but I have always had a soft spot for the Exakta Varex II. It had a left hand crank , an internal guillotine and a wonderful long exposure set up. Should have bought one when I was in Las Vegas but I didn't. Oh well.

02-15-2011, 01:10 PM   #20
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The plastic cover in the advance lever and the viewfinder are OK, they do not take anything away from the K-series except the frozen fingers/eyelids when it is below zero.



I would think that Adorama or B&H have some used cameras in stock....

QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

Are the Spotmatics the only ones with that beautiful metal film advance lever? My K1000 has this ugly black plastic (or pastic-covered) one.

I'm saving for a K-5, so I'd love to stay with Pentax. It sounds like a Spotmatic is a pretty good bet for me, or a KX (which has the advantage of using the same lens mount as the K-5). Sadly, the LX is beyond my means at the moment. I'm really attached to having high build and functional quality in my cameras, so if that requires a CLA, so be it.

Is there anywhere in New York City where one can try out old SLRs? I'd love to just feel a Nikon F/F2 and compare it to the feel of my K1000 and memories of my old SPII. I probably shouldn't let myself keep thinking about Leicas, of course.

Last edited by titrisol; 02-15-2011 at 01:15 PM.
02-15-2011, 07:35 PM   #21
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The Nikon F probably wins for sheer mass. I had an FTn Photomic in college
and loved it, but I wouldn't want to lug one around now.

The Pentax LX is much lighter but very sturdy and well-sealed.
It is also a far more modern and capable camera.

That said the KX is still my favorite Pentax body...

Chris
02-15-2011, 07:54 PM   #22
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It does sound like the KX is the way to go. The LX has that amazing light meter as well, but I've a handheld meter for really tough light. Thanks for all the suggestions! Hopefully I can get a KX before long.
02-15-2011, 09:12 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
It does sound like the KX is the way to go. The LX has that amazing light meter as well, but I've a handheld meter for really tough light. Thanks for all the suggestions! Hopefully I can get a KX before long.
I picked up one on Shopgoodwill.com a few months ago for $25. It does need a CLA though (sticky seals).

02-15-2011, 10:39 PM   #24
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In addition to the excellent suggestions above, I would add the Nikon FM/FM2 and FE/FE2. Credit given where credit is due.


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02-16-2011, 11:04 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
It does sound like the KX is the way to go. The LX has that amazing light meter as well, but I've a handheld meter for really tough light. Thanks for all the suggestions! Hopefully I can get a KX before long.
The KX is a very fine camera. I have two. A word of caution, though. The meter seems to be unique to that body, and replacement parts can be very hard to find because the KX was produced in relatively small numbers. I've waited up to 6 months for parts to become available.

In my own experience, KX meters seem to be a bit more fragile than Spotmatic/K1000/KM meters. I've had several failures over the years, while most of my other old Pentaxes just keep going.

I find the MX meter more useful in low light, but the display can be hard to see in bright conditions.

I suggest that you also look at a newer body to act as a backup for the KX and to give you some functional alternatives in terms of auto exposure. ME Supers and Super Programs were made in large numbers, It shouldn't be too hard to find nice examples that will serve for quite a while with no more than a light seal replacement.
02-16-2011, 11:37 AM   #26
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I'd go with the Nikon F-series since I had learned on those and for me the layout of controls and the sturdiness of the thing is quite solid.
The only thing you have to look out for in these like the F3 is that the little wheat lights might not be working anymore or the small LCD readout (when you look inot the viewfinder) which also on mine quit.
Plus with these bodies you can buy the top (viewfinder..if still available) and replace them or replace the body when one of them quits on you, you don't have to buy the whole camera all over again.
I've had the F1, F2 and F3 and had also had my hands on some FA's and the FM series. All rock solid.
..as for Pentax, digital is my first foray on them and I am actually looking for a good film body..the reason why I suddenly turned up in this thread.
I was looking for the Pentax AF series though that are not cripple mounted.
I'm still researching and I might just open up a different thread just for that so that I can use my lenses for my K100D super on that too!
I was planning on getting an Auto 110 but found out that Kodak quit making the film for it.
02-16-2011, 12:17 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
I've had the F1, F2 and F3 and had also had my hands on some FA's and the FM series. All rock solid.
I thought Nikon skipped the F1 as Canon had poached their engineers,which resulted in the Canon F1. At the time, it was regarded as a Nikon F knockoff.
02-16-2011, 12:37 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by pixelsaurus Quote
I thought Nikon skipped the F1 as Canon had poached their engineers,which resulted in the Canon F1. At the time, it was regarded as a Nikon F knockoff.
I don’t know about the canon part with their F1, but yes nikon went from the F to the F2. there was never an ‘F1’ from nikon. maybe he simply meant just a regular F?
02-16-2011, 02:31 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by John Poirier Quote
The KX is a very fine camera. I have two. A word of caution, though. The meter seems to be unique to that body, and replacement parts can be very hard to find because the KX was produced in relatively small numbers. I've waited up to 6 months for parts to become available.

In my own experience, KX meters seem to be a bit more fragile than Spotmatic/K1000/KM meters. I've had several failures over the years, while most of my other old Pentaxes just keep going.

I find the MX meter more useful in low light, but the display can be hard to see in bright conditions.

I suggest that you also look at a newer body to act as a backup for the KX and to give you some functional alternatives in terms of auto exposure. ME Supers and Super Programs were made in large numbers, It shouldn't be too hard to find nice examples that will serve for quite a while with no more than a light seal replacement.
That's very good to know about the KX, and does make me lean more towards an MX. Of course, I could always just have my K1000 renovated, but for some reason I've never liked this camera. I think the leatherette is part of that; it feels cheap. The K1000/KM meter is also less sensitive to low light than the KX and beyond.

I'm going to go down to BH and/or Adorama tomorrow to hold some of these cameras in my hand. I've never used a Nikon before. I do like the idea of sharing lenses between my film and digital bodies (assuming I get a Pentax digital), but it's really not necessary and not quite the same as long as Pentax keeps making crop-sensor bodies.
02-16-2011, 03:37 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
That's very good to know about the KX, and does make me lean more towards an MX. Of course, I could always just have my K1000 renovated, but for some reason I've never liked this camera. I think the leatherette is part of that; it feels cheap. The K1000/KM meter is also less sensitive to low light than the KX and beyond.

The leatherette on the KX and K1K is the same stuff. I agree, it's kind of cheap. The Spotties are a little bit nicer in that respect, but of all the cameras I've ever handled (and I've handled a lot, even though I only own a few) Kuribayashi Petri cameras have absolutely THE BEST leatherette. If they've been well cared for they are an absolute pleasure to hold. They're smoothish but not slippery, kind of somewhere between natural rubber and real leather. Hard to describe, but VERY pleasant. For an M42 camera, an early Petri or a Spotmatic will be hard to beat in terms of fit and finish (thick-as-a-dime chrome on both!).
In K mount, a re-covered KX or KM would be a good option, I think. I'm looking at having my KX re-covered and getting the mirror foam replaced. It was CLA'd before I bought it, but the leatherette was intact and the mirror foam didn't get touched. It's a nice body, but the leatherette feels more like cheap sandpaper than leather!
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