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02-16-2011, 03:43 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
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?
Yup, the F-photomic.
I never used it for a long time since I transitioned to the F2 then finally settled longest on the F3..being the reason why, when I count backwards, I refer to the F as F1..and yes, as I recall there was a Canon F-1, but the one I always saw was the Canon AE-1 Program.

02-16-2011, 03:45 PM   #32
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I can recommend the mz-s and super program- they're both very solid and elegant.
02-16-2011, 03:46 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by PGillin Quote
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!
good to see someone else giving credit where credit is due. Kuribayashi Camera Industry, inc. (Petri), who is older than both nikon and Asahi Optical made great cameras! I love the 7s, color 35 and the early Petri-flexes. but weren’t the last of the SLR Petris made by someone else? I think they filed for bankruptcy in ’77, so anything made after that was made by a company who bought the name?
02-16-2011, 05:38 PM   #34
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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.
Yeah the closest metering system to the KX would be the K2. (Other than the “Aperture Preferred” setting, they are basically the same.)

Eric in TN has been able to fix/CLA my KX’s, so he is your best bet.

Phil

02-16-2011, 05:43 PM   #35
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The KX is buttery, though when I use the Nikon FE I feel even butterier, but in reality it's >< this close. The few times I've used a Canon from the period, smooth! As a dead end system, Canon does have its advantages, ones that I've so far avoided.

I would put the KX and the FE at the top of feel amongst my slrs. The MX isn't bad, and has a very nice light show... but for Leica like feel, without the Leica like prices (and limited or no lens interchangeability) I'd look at the Kodak Retina II/III cameras from the mid 50s.

There are other qualities that aren't usually mentioned: the KX vf isn't the largest or brightest, but it snaps into focus... The Nikon FE isn't far behind. I love my Pgm Plus, but that's getting into the electronic/plastic age.

Leica means precision and buttery operation... for Pentax that's the KX and MX (and probably the LX, though I've never handled such)... for Nikon it has to be the FE/ME series as these have the petite precision Leica has.

On the cheap cheap end, surprisingly in action I find the Fuji ST605/n pretty smooth too, surprising because they are price point cheap cameras.
02-16-2011, 07:36 PM   #36
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I'm gonna throw in my vote for the Spotmatic F. For feel, I would say it is the best I have used from Pentax. The leatherette on mine is nicer than all my other cameras IMO. I love the metal wind lever, and it winds very smoothly. The shutter is super smooth, it makes my SV feel rough (and the SV is quite smooth to begin with). The shutter button is also very smooth and the shutter button lock is much nicer than what's on the K2 and MX. I think thee KX and SP-F have the same shutter button locck.
My only issue with the SP-F if that the meter doesn't switch of so you always need to have a lens cap on the keep it from wearing out.

As a second I would vote for the SV. A very nicely put together camera that is a joy to use.
02-16-2011, 08:48 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by PGillin Quote
The leatherette on the KX and K1K is the same stuff. I agree, it's kind of cheap.
Sad, but true. All three of my Ricohs have nicer leatherette. Even the Vulcanite on my FED-2 is nicer. Of the items in my collection, only my Zorki 4K and Yashica rangefinders have a crummier covering (nylon cloth for those cameras). The Zorki is slated to get dark Griptac (no strap lugs...it needs it) and the Yashicas are due to get dark green and red leatherette from cameraleather. I would replace the cover on the KX except that I have a nice case that seldom leaves the camera and which provides a very grip-able surface.


Steve
02-17-2011, 06:43 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
I'm gonna throw in my vote for the Spotmatic F. For feel, I would say it is the best I have used from Pentax. The leatherette on mine is nicer than all my other cameras IMO. I love the metal wind lever, and it winds very smoothly. The shutter is super smooth, it makes my SV feel rough (and the SV is quite smooth to begin with). The shutter button is also very smooth and the shutter button lock is much nicer than what's on the K2 and MX. I think thee KX and SP-F have the same shutter button locck.
My only issue with the SP-F if that the meter doesn't switch of so you always need to have a lens cap on the keep it from wearing out.

As a second I would vote for the SV. A very nicely put together camera that is a joy to use.
this is a great example of why judging such things on used cameras is never a good thing. because one example ends up being the ‘idea’ of that perticular model. I have an SV and it was professionally serviced by a nice old man in Japan, and it has the best and smoothest operation of any camera ive ever used, including my Leica M3. far superior to any Spotmatic vie ever used. but what we are looking at here are used cameras that will in no way reflect what these were like when new. so the speculation, assumptions an opinions could all be way off base.

having said all that, I stand behind the SV as being one of the best constructed, best designed and greatest overall SLR’s ever. yea its mechanical, no it has no meter, or need for batteries, no it doesn’t have the brightest screen or fancy automatic controls. but neither does the Leica M3 and its still regarded as one of the greatest Leica designs.

02-17-2011, 07:20 AM   #39
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One of the most solid and reliable K-mount film bodies I have is a Chinon CP-7m, from around 1988. I'm more confident using it than the similarly-featured but relatively flimsy Pentax ZX-M.

A minor niggle about the Super Program, Program Plus, and P3 series cameras - with time, it gets hard to do a half-press on the shutter button for a meter reading. I have two of them like this; I have to keep tapping the button and sometimes will fire off a frame without meaning to. Probably that indicates the need to clean contacts on a switch, but it's hard to get in there to do it. Otherwise I think they are very well made.

From what I've seen all the K bodies and Spotmatics are well made. Most will keep working almost indefinitely if they get exercised once in a while; and any of those will take physical abuse more gracefully than any of the M bodies. While I love my MX, the M's in general are less robust than what came before and after them in the Pentax line.

Leatherette on a lot of bodies is so simple and inexpensive to replace these days (cameraleather.com), in my view it's not a big deal if the original was cheap or ugly.
02-17-2011, 07:49 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
this is a great example of why judging such things on used cameras is never a good thing. because one example ends up being the ‘idea’ of that perticular model. I have an SV and it was professionally serviced by a nice old man in Japan, and it has the best and smoothest operation of any camera ive ever used, including my Leica M3. far superior to any Spotmatic vie ever used. but what we are looking at here are used cameras that will in no way reflect what these were like when new. so the speculation, assumptions an opinions could all be way off base.

having said all that, I stand behind the SV as being one of the best constructed, best designed and greatest overall SLR’s ever. yea its mechanical, no it has no meter, or need for batteries, no it doesn’t have the brightest screen or fancy automatic controls. but neither does the Leica M3 and its still regarded as one of the greatest Leica designs.
I have to agree. My KX is sturdy and a nice working camera, but my time spent with the "Sightseeing Screwmount" SV totally spoiled me. My Canon P rangefinder is in the same league as the SV...such a pleasure to use.


Steve
02-17-2011, 01:13 PM   #41
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Well, I just went down to B&H to hold some cameras in my hand. Was that a good idea? I'm not so sure.

They had a Leica M6 and an M9, which I loved the feel of, but as I've never used a rangefinder I'd definitely want to rent or borrow one for a few days or a week to see if I liked it.

The Nikon F2 Photomic was very sturdy, no doubt about it, but I didn't like the layout and the shutter was really loud (it had a real kick to it, too!).

Also, on a side note, I held a Mamiya 7 medium format rangefinder, which I've considered before, but that thing is enormous, way larger than it appears online, and I can definitely rule that one out now.

I'll keep mulling the KX and SV for now until I've shot through all my 120 film and can make a decision about whether or not to keep my TLR. Thanks for all the suggestions.
02-17-2011, 02:18 PM   #42
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except that both are kind of ill disposed of right now, I could meet you to let you try out the KX, MX, ES-II, let's see, FE... I really got to get those two pentaxes fixed.
02-17-2011, 06:11 PM   #43
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Those older cameras really do have a smoother feel, especially the film transport.
More hand assembly and adjustment plus the use of brass gears
by the mid-1960's gave way to assembly line unitized construction and use of steel gears.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 02-17-2011 at 06:18 PM.
02-17-2011, 06:26 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
All three of my Ricohs have nicer leatherette.

Steve
Really?
I have a Ricoh 500 with very cheap (and pealing!) leatherette, and it's driving me crazy. It's worse than the KX, and the KX has very poor leatherette indeed!

Although I suppose the Petri I own and the Konica I've handled (it belongs to a good friend, and I've held it many times, even shot a few frames) have completely spoiled me in regards to leatherette.
As far as re-covering, it's usually very cheap but leatherette is such a personal thing that I want to handle it before I buy it or have it applied. The fact that I can't do that has been putting me off. Otherwise the KX would have a nice new skin!
02-17-2011, 10:09 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by PGillin Quote
As far as re-covering, it's usually very cheap but leatherette is such a personal thing that I want to handle it before I buy it or have it applied. The fact that I can't do that has been putting me off. Otherwise the KX would have a nice new skin!
I feel the same way. I have been putting off doing the re-skinning because I would prefer to feel the material first.

Sorry about your Ricoh 500 with the peeling skin. Which 500 do you have? The original 50's version or one of the more modern models. I have always thought that one of the recent ones would be a nice compact rangefinder.


Steve
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