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11-14-2011, 06:30 PM   #1
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What's the best Pentax film SLR to purchase?

Hi, I'm about to purchase Pentax film SLR because I felt that owning a film camera is better that digital cameras today. And what I'm looking for is a camera that will give me an old school photo (like vintage or retro looking color images). I'm having difficulty in choosing between PENTAX MG, PENTAX PROGRAM A, and PENTAX SPOTMATIC F, and I'm also considering COSINA CT20.

Hope you could help me choose.

Thanks guys for the help.

11-14-2011, 06:55 PM   #2
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If you are looking for a manual-focus film SLR, I would say the super program (not program plus):

Pentax Super A/Super Program - Manual Focus Film SLRs - Pentax Camera Database and Reviews - DSLR, Digital, and Legacy Cameras

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11-14-2011, 07:10 PM   #3
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I'll try to look for that super program. I think its hard to find.

Thanks
11-14-2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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Spotmatics are a bit lower to use imho. This is due to the metering and stop down aperture.

I like my ME and ME Super the most. Big viewfinder, Av mode, very small and cool looking.

11-14-2011, 08:12 PM   #5
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A lot depends on what you want in terms of size, weight, and automation. I own the Super Program. It is a fine camera in a compact and flexible package. That being said, I prefer either of my two K-mount Ricohs or my KX for my style of photography. I prefer the aperture priority mode for shooting and the other cameras provide better support for that way of working.

Have you considered the KM? Consider it to be sort of a K-mount Spotmatic with open-aperture metering. It is usually priced somewhat below the less-well-equiped K1000.


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11-14-2011, 08:25 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ennaihl24 Quote
I'll try to look for that super program. I think its hard to find.

Thanks
The Super Program is very common and they're a dime a dozen. I enjoy my Super Program, but out of my collection the MX and K2 DMD are used most often. I'd highly recommend either of those (or both).
11-14-2011, 09:08 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ennaihl24 Quote
Hi, I'm about to purchase Pentax film SLR because I felt that owning a film camera is better that digital cameras today. And what I'm looking for is a camera that will give me an old school photo (like vintage or retro looking color images). I'm having difficulty in choosing between PENTAX MG, PENTAX PROGRAM A, and PENTAX SPOTMATIC F, and I'm also considering COSINA CT20.

Hope you could help me choose.

Thanks guys for the help.
From your list, I would go with the Spotmatic-F. It's a great camera and with SMC Takumars and S-M-C Takumars you get open aperture metering.
Like Steve said though, a KM is basically a SP-F with a K-mount. It's a better camera than a K1000 and are often cheaper, plus you can often find them with a K55/1.8 attached.
My favorite that I use is the K2, they have everything the KM has, plus an auto shutter speed mode, mirror lock-up, and a better meter.
Of course, you can't go wrong with a Super-A/Super Program.
11-14-2011, 09:40 PM   #8
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I think the choice might be based on whether you are going colour or black and white. I would use my old spotmatic f if I wanted to do B&W film. If I were doing colour film I would use my MZ-5n in preference as I preferred it in almost every way for colour. In any case identify the film you want to use before you decide on the camera. if you can't decide as yet on film type get an old spotmatic as you can pickup some fabulous gear for it.

11-14-2011, 09:46 PM   #9
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I like my K1000 because it has a wonderful meter. It's mostly a full-frame meter, although it's slightly center-weighted, I think mostly for cost-savings rather than as a real feature. But the important thing is: it's a physical needle, which I find much more appealing than the LED-based meter displays, even if the latter are more accurate or have better features.

The viewfinder isn't stellar, but it beats most DSLRs anyway. And it's got shutter speeds down to 1000, which is as fast as I normally need anyway.
11-14-2011, 09:58 PM   #10
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I have been comparing sample photos on the Internet taken with the most expensive MZ-S and FA Limited with the cheapest plasticky MZ-5N and 6 and came to the conclusion that the so-call professional equipment did not necessarily produced better photos than the cheap ones. This conclusion quelled CBA and LBA in me.
11-14-2011, 10:24 PM   #11
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Not surprising considering film cameras really are just a light tight box to hang a lens off and put film in. Still, doesn't stop me wanting a nice film camera like a MZ-S
11-14-2011, 10:36 PM   #12
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If you're talking manual focus, then you couldn't go past the Super A....(Super Program in the States but same camera?)
Cheers, Pickles.
11-15-2011, 01:54 AM   #13
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The program plus is a nice camera. Eventhough I personaly do prefer the P30n, having a lot of fun with it lately. the P30's are mostly cheaper than the program plus, and mostly in better condition (probably not have seen the heavy use that program plus used to)
But yes, The MZ-S is a superb camera, my prefered camera to go on city trips, it just works so good, so intuitive
11-15-2011, 07:03 AM   #14
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One consideration is the age of the camera - the older it is the more likely it is to have some hiccup already or soon to develop. I find many Pentax shutters will need a CLA, for example, especially if used in the winter time. The Super Program / Program Plus are newer so chances are they are also in better shape. However, these are battery dependent, so if you are out in winter for a while these cameras will start to mis behave.

If you want the option of manual exposure, make sure you pick a model that provides it. If size matters (either a larger or a smaller cam) or ease of compatibility with digital camera lenses (i.e. K-A mount is the most compatible) that serves to limit your field. But really, most Pentaxes are going to be wonderful, and I'd buy whichever was in good condition and came either at the price you like or with the lens you want... or both.
11-15-2011, 02:17 PM   #15
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