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11-20-2007, 05:34 AM   #1
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Better Pentax AF 35mm SLRs?

I'm looking for an AF SLR.

What would other PF members say were some of the best, for whatever reasons? (I'd love an MZ-S, I would, but I'd love more to have the money for it...)

I get a bit confused with the AF 35mm SLR's, not helped by the fact they had a different name on every continent.

11-20-2007, 06:25 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
I'm looking for an AF SLR.

What would other PF members say were some of the best, for whatever reasons? (I'd love an MZ-S, I would, but I'd love more to have the money for it...)

I get a bit confused with the AF 35mm SLR's, not helped by the fact they had a different name on every continent.
I strongly advice you the PZ1/1-p. They are offensively cheap
11-20-2007, 09:27 AM   #3
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Yeah, if you cant go for an MZ-S, a PZ-1P is a great way to go. I have also had good luck with with the *ist.
11-20-2007, 09:33 AM   #4
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I like the *ist because it's so tiny and almost the same as my K100D in terms of function. From what I've read, the PZ1/1p should feel pretty familiar to K10D owners.

11-21-2007, 06:25 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gruoso Quote
I strongly advice you the PZ1/1-p. They are offensively cheap
Second this choice. Great cameras and great finders.

I tried a MZ-5n once but the finder was to dark for me.

Dave
11-21-2007, 10:04 PM   #6
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Does anyone have some sort of link/info breaking down the MZ series of cameras?

I'm having a hard time, especially on eBay, figuring out what's what. Is, for example, the MZ-6 the same as the MZ-60? MZ-5n same as the MZ-50?

I know there were different names for different regions. Which makes it hard to narrow it down on the secondhand market - I don't doubt a lot of people bought their cameras overseas, brought them to their homecountry.

I'm guessing from what pentkon says, the MZ-5n has a pentamirror finder - thanks, as a bright finder is DEFINITELY on the list. The K100D's is pathetic, compared to an ME.

How's the AF on the PZ-1's? Can you get vertical grips for 'em?
11-21-2007, 11:03 PM   #7
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PENTAX SF1 35 mm SLR Camera Body - (eBay item 130173549838 end time Nov-22-07 13:25:29 PST)
11-22-2007, 04:40 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Does anyone have some sort of link/info breaking down the MZ series of cameras?

I'm having a hard time, especially on eBay, figuring out what's what. Is, for example, the MZ-6 the same as the MZ-60? MZ-5n same as the MZ-50?

I know there were different names for different regions. Which makes it hard to narrow it down on the secondhand market - I don't doubt a lot of people bought their cameras overseas, brought them to their homecountry.

I'm guessing from what pentkon says, the MZ-5n has a pentamirror finder - thanks, as a bright finder is DEFINITELY on the list. The K100D's is pathetic, compared to an ME.

How's the AF on the PZ-1's? Can you get vertical grips for 'em?
Check out this website, it has a ton of information on Pentax K-Mount cameras.

11-22-2007, 09:28 AM   #9
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Ah. How could I forget Boz?
11-22-2007, 09:44 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote
Does anyone have some sort of link/info breaking down the MZ series of cameras?

I'm having a hard time, especially on eBay, figuring out what's what. Is, for example, the MZ-6 the same as the MZ-60? MZ-5n same as the MZ-50?

I know there were different names for different regions. Which makes it hard to narrow it down on the secondhand market - I don't doubt a lot of people bought their cameras overseas, brought them to their homecountry.

I'm guessing from what pentkon says, the MZ-5n has a pentamirror finder - thanks, as a bright finder is DEFINITELY on the list. The K100D's is pathetic, compared to an ME.

How's the AF on the PZ-1's? Can you get vertical grips for 'em?
Check this chart:

The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart

You may want to avoid some of the MZ/ZX models due to incompatibility with older lenses.
12-10-2007, 04:39 PM   #11
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As much as I like the PZ-1/1P's, I would avoid them.

They are sort of complicated, and the AF is dismal in low light. They also take oddball batteries, and I truly dislike the "hotshoe on the side" design, especially when you are trying to get the flash to throw a focus assist light to help the camera focus in low light.

I am pretty fond of the ZX-5N, which has many newer style functions but can be operated just like a traditional 2 dial film camera. I sold mine last year.

I also like the ZX-L, which has a bit better top shutter speed than the 5N, and operates almost exactly like the DS/DL digital bodies and very similar to the K100D. I still have one of these.

I would probably avoid all other MZ series except the MZ-S (I have 2), but the MZ-S is not only more money, it operates in truly different way than most anything else Pentax made recently, which makes it harder to switch from one body to another.

Ray
12-10-2007, 11:39 PM   #12
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I have to disagree with Ray Pulley. The hot shoe on the side is sorely missed on my MZ-S. I can hold the SF-1 in one hand, with an AF500FTZ mounted on it without breaking my wrist. There was even an article when the SF-1 first came out by a fashion photographer who just loved the flash position. She could shoot single handed, and direct with the other. I have never had a problem with the focus assist light with the AF500FTZ. It is broad enough to work well.
12-11-2007, 02:58 AM   #13
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Cheers RP and CR.

I lost a bid for an MZ-5 (note the lack of "n") on eBay yesterday, so I'll have to keep looking.

I would rather not have a camera that takes the 2CR5 battery (they are expensive, and impossible to find in a rechargeable form - which I guess is the point, from the battery maker's view) and, well, when you've paid $15 for the camera, you feel like an idiot paying $19 for the battery for it.

What I like about the MZ's with single digit suffixes (and the S, of course) is the spot metering mode available. I do a lot of stuff in low light, where I could care what the back ground looks like but I need the subject nicely exposed - but not at 1/5 of a second at f1.4 (thing band members on stage).

I could by an MZ-S or maybe a -50 or -60 brand new, but I don't have the cash for them.

Ok, I'm not gonna worry about the 50's or 60's. Far, far too crippled, methinks.

I don't mind learning a new camera - I've switched between my ME, Ricoh KR10m and K100D a lot.
12-11-2007, 07:48 AM   #14
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I have a heavily biased response. Specifically to go for a PZ-1/PZ-1p I guess it is because I own an PZ-1 myself.

People complain about the oddball battery 2CR5 to be specific. I dont see any problem with it and was even able to get one at a shop in the middle of no where when I needed one.

Battery lasts for a LONG time as long as you don't use internal flash.

The camera is a big old brute, but fits the hand well, and the off center shoe was never an issue. (it often supported the AF500FTZ)

The other benefits, aside from the bright view finder were the 1/250 flash sync (1/8000 max shutter speed), good autofocus, regardless of what others say about it, it is really that many of the pentax lenses at the time were quite slow, and that is a problem regardless of who's camera you use.

Flash had AF assist which solved that problem nicely.

Note that this is a camera that can use ANY pentax lens, either with the crippled lens mount or not, and metering and apature priority modes work equally well with K and KA mount lenses asn with KAF and the new KAF without apature coupling. The only thing it lacks is HSM support.

Mine now sits mostly un-used, as a back up for my *istD and K10D. the cameras are so interchangeable, all have dual thumb wheels, green button functions for manual exposure, and program modes, that when I use the PZ-1 I find myseld often looking at the film back expecting the image preview after shooting.
12-11-2007, 12:43 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
I have to disagree with Ray Pulley. The hot shoe on the side is sorely missed on my MZ-S. I can hold the SF-1 in one hand, with an AF500FTZ mounted on it without breaking my wrist. There was even an article when the SF-1 first came out by a fashion photographer who just loved the flash position. She could shoot single handed, and direct with the other. I have never had a problem with the focus assist light with the AF500FTZ. It is broad enough to work well.
We can agree to disagree, but one has to wonder why Pentax never put the hotshoe on the side again?

It may have some small advantage for right-handed shooters holding the camera one-handed in the right hand, but is also a PITA when you have a flash bracket on the camera and a coiled Pentax TTL sync cord/shoe attached to it, and even more of a PITA when using things like the Metz SCA adapters on it.

With a center shoe, any cords or SCA adapters/cords do not block any controls, and the wires can easily be routed to the bracket side up and out of the way leaving the right side/hand uncluttered for making camera adjustments and pressing the shutter button.

It also significantly over-balances the camera to the right with a flash attached (the larger and already more heavy side).

Lastly, how many people really shoot one-handed anyway, and how many fashion photographers really shoot with flash on camera?

Ray
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