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12-21-2011, 05:37 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I too have a Program Plus. It is a nice camera, but it has about the same amount of metal in it as other cameras of the time. The top and bottom plate on mine are definitely plastic. So are the film wind and all of the controls. The film door is metal, as is the sheathing on the lens mount, the mount itself, and the chassis. At least I think the chassis is metal. Many (most) cameras of time had a resin chassis with metal mirror box.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Program Plus is one of the best cameras that Pentax made during what is considered to be the high point of 35mm film SLR cameras. It has a decent build and is a nice camera, but all you have to do is pick up the similar-sized MX to realize that the Program Plus is too light to be all metal.


Sorry, I was referring to the Super Program. Haven't handled a Program Plus before but it does look a bit less substantial. The Super Program seems to be about the same weight as my ME.

12-21-2011, 09:08 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by MMBrown Quote

Sorry, I was referring to the Super Program. Haven't handled a Program Plus before but it does look a bit less substantial. The Super Program seems to be about the same weight as my ME.
Ha! Ha! I my mistake! I always get the two models mixed up despite the fact that my camera is the nicer Super Program, not the Program Plus. Despite the name mix-up, my camera is still as I described. It looks like chromed metal, but it isn't.

12-23-2011, 06:15 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by blacknosugar Quote
Problem is, as mentioned in my other thread, the ME Super is being troublesome and needs maintenance so that's a project in itself.

The MX seems like a bit of an indulgence due to the prices they are going for on ebay. What would be the dirt cheap alternative to that or the K1000 as a student camera for use with manual lenses? I'm thinking something a bit 1980's, unglamourous and unloved, without the vintage appeal to push the prices up.
You could find a decent used off-brand camera having a K-mount such as this Ricoh:


Or something similar such as the Vivitar line of cameras. Shoot with it for a few months to see if you like the process and then, if you do, you could find a more expensive camera.
12-24-2011, 12:13 PM   #19
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What you may want are a Super Program or Program Plus. Super Program has Tv mode and a slightly wider range of shutter speeds. You should consider a couple of Ricohs. The Ricoh KR5 Super II is a very small black camera that has manual shutter and aperture settings and goes up to 1/2000 sec, sort of a bargain MX. Ricoh used high quality mirror foam and neither of the two I have had needed light seal replacement or new mirror bumpers. Another Ricoh I like is the XR-10, this camera has aperture preferred metering with both an exposure compensation dial and an exposure lock button. Again, this camera is unlikely to need a new mirror bumper. These cameras have plastic exteriors - not pro level equipment but very serviceable.

12-24-2011, 02:04 PM   #20

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Since you're apparently(?) buying this equipment at least primarily with a class in mind, you might first check for the class requirements before spending money on equipment.

12-24-2011, 02:10 PM   #21

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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hello Blacknosugar, Welcome to the Forum!
Good suggestions so far, if you plan to shoot any black + white film you'll want to get a YG (yellow/Green) filter, the 49mm size will fit both your 50mm and 135mm lenses, plus any (well, most) M lenses you may get in the future. I'd suggest a 28mm M to round out your kit for now. You can get an f2.8 M for well under $100.00 on eBay.
The Y/G filter will provide better skin tones with B + W, as well as popping the sky contrast in scenics.
A 49mm circular polarizer (CPL) is pretty much a standard piece of equipment for daylight shooting and a couple of lens hoods will improve the contrast and cut down on lens flare.
A good, inexpensive flash for film is the Pentax AF 280T, it has tilt + swivel, is very reliable and built like a tank. They go for about $50.00, again on eBay.
If you already have a tripod, a cable release will help with time exposures and longer shutter speeds.
Good Luck!
I've been very happy with my (used) 280T flash, but I'd disagree on the "built like a tank" comment with regards to some parts, like the battery door. Certainly worth the money, and the tilt+swivel is a huge feature, but not quite tank-like.

12-29-2011, 08:28 PM   #22
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Thanks for the camera choice advice. I've picked up an MX on the auction site for what I think is a reasonable price. Will have to wait until it arrives to see what kind of 'bargain' I've ended up with.

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