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06-16-2011, 04:27 PM   #1
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I'm going to buy Pentax mx

I don't know anything, I mean literary anything about film cameras do you think Pentax mx is the best for beginners?

06-16-2011, 06:30 PM   #2
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The MX is fully manual, so you're going to want to know the basics about photography before you start using it.
06-16-2011, 06:38 PM   #3
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If you have Pentax DSLR, I would suggest that you buy late models such as MZ-5N, MZ-6, or MZ-7. You can use your auto focus lenses on these cameras and old manual lenses as well. I use the following lenses on the two film cameras I own: FA43, DFA 100, DA40, DA 18-55, 55-300, Pentax-F 35-70, M50/1.7, A28/2.8.

Last edited by violini; 06-16-2011 at 06:45 PM.
06-16-2011, 07:37 PM   #4
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If you're willing to learn film basics, yes.
If you're willing to shoot methodically, yes.
If you don't mind having no instantaneous satisfaction, yes.
If you don't mind learning how to meter light/ scene, yes.

If any answered no, then get as suggested by V a more modern model.

06-16-2011, 08:09 PM   #5

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And if you do decide to get the MX, then I suggest you get one from a reliable source because there is no accounting for previous owner. Fortunately for the Pentax community, we have Eric to restore our precious -> Home
06-16-2011, 09:19 PM   #6
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The Pentax MX is a great little camera.
It may seem a bit daunting if you don't know much about exposure, but if you do it will be just fine. You may find that it's a lot simpler to use than a modern DSLR. Just focus and compose, select exposure settings and that's it

Manual focus is nothing to be scared of either. I say go for it and don't look back.
I would recommend a 50mm lens too, the Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4 is a good start!
06-16-2011, 09:47 PM   #7
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MX is a great camera: tough, light and tight. Nearly as good as the LX, the coolest camera Pentax ever made.

It's also very old, so be sure that whatever MX you get has new light seals and mirror pads; they can deteriorate into sticky gunk.

Being tiny, the MX is a great match for Pentax M lenses.

Welcome to the world of MMM (metal, manual, mechanical) photography from the 1970s and '80s. Soon you'll be shooting B&W and building a darkroom....
06-16-2011, 10:12 PM   #8
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The MX was my first SLR. I learned by doing everything manual so now with my digital SLRs I still prefer to do everything (except focus) manually. I think it would be a good unit to learn with. I have friends who didn't go digital until their MX's died and couldn't be fixed. They used their MX's heavily for over 20 years.

06-16-2011, 10:42 PM   #9
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As you consider the advice in the comments above, please also consider the fact that virtually all high school and community college photography courses in the U.S. require that the student use a camera capable of fully manual operation. The most commonly suggested model is the Pentax K1000. Its features are:
  • Robust build
  • Fully manual focus
  • Decent viewfinder
  • Internal light meter coupled to both shutter and lens aperture
  • Mechanical shutter
  • Manual film transport
  • Compatible with all K-mount lenses with an aperture ring and almost all M42 screw mount lenses
The MX is all of the above with several other nice features thrown into the mix...such as:
  • Very compact
  • Pro build
  • Full-information viewfinder
  • Self-timer
Bottom line is that it is a very capable fully manual, metal, K-mount body that was originally marketed to professional photographers. Unfortunately, they are a little expensive now days, but then again, so are K1000s. My general advice is to forget both and get a KM or KX. regards to the MX being an "old" camera. Yes, the last MX was made in about 1985, but that hardly makes it an antique. Half my cameras were made before 1970 and those take excellent photos and are merely considered "vintage". What you get with cameras like the MX is a repairable body and build quality that is generally lacking in most of the AF cameras that came later. Spend five minutes with an MX and then pick up a SF1 or any other of the plastic cams and you will see what I mean.

06-16-2011, 10:52 PM   #10
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Manual cameras are a great tool to learn about every aspect of photography
06-17-2011, 12:34 AM   #11
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All important info has been mentioned already. I just concur that MX is fantastic camera provided it is in good condition. Preferably re-conditioned and checked by professional. With all manual camera you will learn to think about exposure and light.

Another option to MX is Pentax KX or K1000. Think of them as more robust MX with match needle metering read out instead of the colored diodes used in MX.

Personally I recommend to find camera with recent CLA, or get fully functional body and invest into the CLA. Such re-conditioned camera will last at least as long as any current DSLR bought today.

Good luck!
06-17-2011, 12:59 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
.in regards to the MX being an "old" camera. Yes, the last MX was made in about 1985, but that hardly makes it an antique.
the MX is about the same age as I am so it is hardly ancient... the Ernemann, Ermanox (they stopped making them in 1924) camera is ancient but the ernostar 85mm f/1.8 lens it had is one of the the fastest ever made for a 120 format camera....but I digress.

the Pentax MX is an excellent camera and as stevebrot outlined above it is a very well made camera.

Last edited by Digitalis; 06-17-2011 at 01:09 AM.
06-17-2011, 06:45 AM   #13
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Photography really can be simple - the MX or similar all-manual camera is easy to use, you just need to follow what the meter tells you. I would not go with any of the auto focus Pentaxes as a first film camera... however, you might want to consider the Super Program / Program Plus as these offer program and other auto exposure modes, and are the 'youngest' 'real' Pentaxes.
06-17-2011, 06:49 AM   #14
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Just be sure your lenses will work with it. Many of the lenses mentioned in Violini's post do not have aperture rings, and will only work on an MX, hence his recommendation of a newer model. Like others here, the MX was my first K-mount camera, and so I have lenses to go with it.
06-17-2011, 07:06 AM   #15
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If it's the one in the "sales sub-froum" it looks in excellent shape buy it and learn it

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