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12-15-2011, 10:14 AM   #1
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Starter kit suggestions?

Hi

I've accidentally become hooked on old Pentax film stuff since I picked up an M lens for my new K-X.
Before I start on a photography course after Christmas I'm building up a little starter kit of equipment and wondering what would be good to add to get me on the way?
I've so far got a 50mm 1.7 SMC M, a 135mm 3.5 SMC M and a ME Super body.

I'm thinking maybe an MX body to force me to learn to do things the manual way, and maybe a 28mm lens?

Any advice welcome!

A

12-15-2011, 10:15 AM   #2
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That is an excellent plan.
12-15-2011, 10:40 AM   #3
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Keep your eyes open for old used filters too for those lenses. Back in the day we had to adjust based on lighting source mechanically by having a few filters available for use. 28-50-135 was kinda the standard bag of lenses back then too. Nice start.
12-15-2011, 11:39 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by blacknosugar Quote
Hi

I've accidentally become hooked on old Pentax film stuff since I picked up an M lens for my new K-X.
Before I start on a photography course after Christmas I'm building up a little starter kit of equipment and wondering what would be good to add to get me on the way?
I've so far got a 50mm 1.7 SMC M, a 135mm 3.5 SMC M and a ME Super body.

I'm thinking maybe an MX body to force me to learn to do things the manual way, and maybe a 28mm lens?

Any advice welcome!

A
A KX or MX is a good choice for a manual film body. The KX is bigger so it depends on what size you like best and has mirror lockup.

For lenses the K28/3.5 or K35/3.5 are great choices. The 35mm focal length on film is very handy as a one lens option.

Phil.

12-15-2011, 04:28 PM   #5
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The MX has an "undocumented" mirror lockup mode by "popping" the shutter after it is armed. I could readily do this with three of the MX's that I have. I don't know if this has a detrimental effect on the MX though.
12-16-2011, 09:50 PM   #6
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Film Stock

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!
Ron
12-18-2011, 03:01 PM   #7
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Hmm... mental note - the ME Super does not have a filter option in the menu interface on the back of the camera! Firmware upgrade perhaps...?

It had not even crossed my mind to keep a look out for filters.

Thanks for the tips!
12-20-2011, 05:44 AM   #8
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Yep! Good Plan

12-20-2011, 07:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by blacknosugar Quote
what would be good to add to get me on the way?

I'm thinking maybe an MX body to force me to learn to do things the manual way, and maybe a 28mm lens?
you already have a starter's kit. shoot a couple of rolls and you'll get an idea of what should be the next addition


I hope you know it never ends
12-20-2011, 08:33 AM   #10
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While the MX has no mirror lockup, Pentax made a big deal of its pneumatic damper on the mirror, claiming the vibration occurred after the exposure when the mirror came down. (It was damped in the up direction only.) The MX brochure showed oscilloscope traces of vibration to demonstrate.
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12-20-2011, 02:24 PM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
you already have a starter's kit. shoot a couple of rolls and you'll get an idea of what should be the next addition
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.
12-20-2011, 05:40 PM   #12
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MX prices have jumped since I looked a couple years ago. I think the last I got was $35 with 1.7 lens. (But I had to repair a few things.) Since you have lenses, look at KEH - they have a chrome body ~$80.
12-20-2011, 06:25 PM   #13
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I'm in the UK so shipping would rule that one out (I did have a look, camera $80, shipping $60!).
12-20-2011, 06:50 PM   #14
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The first Pentax I bought was a Super Program (Super-A in Europe). From what I've read (and from my experience with it), they're very highly rated. Build quality of the old models (metal), automatic features of the newer models, with manual control available. An excellent camera, and they seem to be fairly plentiful and cheap, too.
12-20-2011, 09:49 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by MMBrown Quote
...From what I've read (and from my experience with it), they're very highly rated. Build quality of the old models (metal)...

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.


Steve

Edit: Get these two mixed up all the time...my camera is a Super Program, not the Program Plus (pic to prove)...

Last edited by stevebrot; 12-21-2011 at 09:13 PM.
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