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03-11-2012, 12:57 PM   #1
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If you were going to collect Pentax SLR's?

Which would be the essential?

Right now I have the inherited super program that was my first camera (and the only one for many years), I may be buying a ZX-7 with 2 lenses from a friend for $100 (probably overpaying and I'm not sure I want it yet), and I'd like to find an early K1000 with the Asahi logo and "Japan" on it somewhere.
I don't really know anything about pre K mount bodies, and since id like to keep my budget intact I think K only for me would be a good way to limit the collection.

What would you get?

I should admit that I now only use my K20D for practical reasons (I don't own a darkroom and cant afford film processing for as much as I like to shoot.) but I love the old SLR's. Though the only lenses I own are the Pentax A series glass that I started collecting when I got the Super Program with its awesome 50mm 1.4 kit lens still on it, and that's the only series I still use.

03-11-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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MX, KX, Spotmatic F, ES, MZ-S...that's a start. Maybe ME-F and LX.
03-11-2012, 01:20 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Hi: Thanks for joining and supporting the site! Here is the link to the Camera Review section for manual focus SLR's, which is a good starting point. The numerical ratings are a decent indication of the relative opinions of SLR's. A few members are devoted film users and post regularly and will be quite helpful.

Since 1999 part of my hobby has been to buy something I've never had, get Eric to bring it up, try it out and then sell it to someone (in better condition than I bought it) so I can get the next one. I've owned at one time or another virtually every K and M body (and most of the screwmounts) and they all have merits (though the K1000 is my least favorite and the ME my next least). Whatever you decide, plan to spend an additional $65 or so dollars to have Eric CLA it - it will work as new after he's put his special form of magic in for you.

Affordable choices (less than $200 including the CLA). Don't bother paying the premium for black. Accept some brassing but not so much as to suggest the camera was abused.

My ranking:
  1. KX fully manual, large body, balances K lenses great. (con: matte focusing screen - split image option is rare)
    1. [EDIT: per stevebrot later] Center is microprism or split image, balance of screen is very fine Fresnel.
  2. K2DMD (you have to just deal with the ASA ring) split-image and other features!!
  3. MX (very close to MESuper viewfinder - some prefer it)
  4. MESuper (best viewfinder ever)
  5. K2 (you have to just deal with the ASA ring)
  6. KM
  7. K1000SE had a 45 degree split image screen - consider that one if you must have a K1000
  8. SuperProgram all the benefits, plus A contacts!!
Special category:
  1. LX - you could just decide not to wait and go for the Cadillac now. It is high-maintenance when needed, though.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-12-2012 at 11:23 AM.
03-11-2012, 02:25 PM   #4
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I've got to put in a plug for the SV (or H3v or H1a - same series) even though they are M42 screw mount instead of K mount. Pure mechanical-only cameras with all of the convenience features for serious photography. This is the DNA of the entire Pentax line. Learn to use one of these well; get a handheld meter if you don't trust "Sunny-16," and you'll also do fine with any later camera. No electronics to go bad with age!

03-11-2012, 03:45 PM   #5
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I use (nearly) all the Pentax bodies I have bought. The LX stands head and shoulders above the rest, in my opinion, but then it is expensive. The other two exes (MX and KX) are lovely too, and a pleasure to use. My favourite M42 camera is the ES. No logic in that though, I just like it! After the A series things get a bit ugly although I quite like using my SFXn. The ME Super was my first camera and I still have a big soft spot for it.

K.
03-11-2012, 04:45 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Hi: Thanks for joining and supporting the site! Here is the link to the Camera Review section for manual focus SLR's, which is a good starting point. The numerical ratings are a decent indication of the relative opinions of SLR's. A few members are devoted film users and post regularly and will be quite helpful.

Since 1999 part of my hobby has been to buy something I've never had, get Eric to bring it up, try it out and then sell it to someone (in better condition than I bought it) so I can get the next one. I've owned at one time or another virtually every K and M body (and most of the screwmounts) and they all have merits (though the K1000 is my least favorite and the ME my next least). Whatever you decide, plan to spend an additional $65 or so dollars to have Eric CLA it - it will work as new after he's put his special form of magic in for you.

Affordable choices (less than $200 including the CLA). Don't bother paying the premium for black. Accept some brassing but not so much as to suggest the camera was abused.

My ranking:
  1. KX fully manual, large body, balances K lenses great. (con: matte focusing screen - split image option is rare)
  2. K2DMD (you have to just deal with the ASA ring) split-image and other features!!
  3. MX (very close to MESuper viewfinder - some prefer it)
  4. MESuper (best viewfinder ever)
  5. K2 (you have to just deal with the ASA ring)
  6. KM
  7. K1000SE had a 45 degree split image screen - consider that one if you must have a K1000
  8. SuperProgram all the benefits, plus A contacts!!
Special category:
  1. LX - you could just decide not to wait and go for the Cadillac now. It is high-maintenance when needed, though.
Could not have listed the choices any better!

Phil.
03-11-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
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I have the ZX-7. I have never regretted getting it. I also have a k1000 that fits your description. So I would have to defer to the others here
03-11-2012, 06:33 PM   #8
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For K mount, K2 would be my first choice, or a K2DMD

For M-42, I would choose an SV first and then an SP-F.

03-11-2012, 06:37 PM   #9
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Is this question only about Pentax SLRs? Or are we talking Pentax Cameras? Sometimes people say "SLRs" but they mean "Camera".
03-11-2012, 07:21 PM   #10
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Original Poster
I mean 35mm film SLR's specifically K mount to limit the spread and rarity, and despite the angle the thread has taken I have no intention of using any of them, my K20D is for that purpose, I love using my Super program far more than the new digital but its such a spectacular bother to deal with film for the frequency and often experimental nature of the photography I like that I can't see ever getting back into it. As the title of the thread implies I literally mean to "collect" them as in put them on display in a case, not actually use them. I wanted a K1000 simply because it is such a major piece of Pentax history with 50 bazillion made and sent to all corners of the globe. I wonder what others are Pentax history significant or just really interesting milestones to have.

Its kinda funny, i was out shooting today and I haven't used my Super Program in many years, but I found my hand often reaching for the film wind lever since I used to have a bad habit of flipping it back and forth between the closed and partially extended position while looking for shots.

EDITED EDIT: Must have Spotmatic so M42 is ok, preferably an Asashi one not a US import Honeywell, and I need a ME F because its the first production autofocus. I'd also like period correct kit lenses for everything.

Last edited by PPPPPP42; 03-11-2012 at 07:41 PM.
03-11-2012, 07:33 PM   #11
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I do a fair amount of Pentax collecting, and there are plenty of rare bits here and there. I'm glad that I did it sooner. However, I'd love an LX, but it's too expensive.

I just got my MZ-S, and I gotta say, it's amazing to hold.

I think I will try and pick up an *ist, as that and the MZ-S are the last 35 film bodies Pentax made...although I think there is a Japan only 35mm film body somewhere.
03-11-2012, 07:42 PM   #12
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Milestones

Asahi Optical Historical Society website lists what they consider the Pentax Milestones (K1000 isn't on the list). That's as good a place as any to start. Then there's Boz'z K-Mount page discussion of the "Best" K-mount cameras, as surveyed by the old Pentax Discuss Mailing List_Serve in the 90's. .The K1000 makes that list.
03-12-2012, 05:24 AM   #13
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It always seems a shame to me to stick cameras in a glass case when they should be out and about taking superb images. You might as well just buy broken ones if they are just going to be dust collectors.

Best wishes, Kris.
03-12-2012, 09:32 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
KX fully manual, large body, balances K lenses great. (con: matte focusing screen - split image option is rare)
Center is microprism or split image with a wide donut of matte groundglass, balance of screen is very fine Fresnel. Great if you have good vision. Not so great otherwise.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 03-13-2012 at 12:33 AM.
03-12-2012, 10:35 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by womble Quote
It always seems a shame to me to stick cameras in a glass case when they should be out and about taking superb images. You might as well just buy broken ones if they are just going to be dust collectors.

Best wishes, Kris.
I used to think like this, maybe still do. But today, when these beautiful machines / objects / tools cost nothing compared to before, I can't just pass them by, it seems. Until a year ago I was a "one body, one lens" photographer. And, although that may seem strange, a profesional photographer too. Then I switched to Pentax because the other brand gave me too many problems. Got a LX right away, which is a great camera. But then the problem started, finding a KX at next to nothing, a Spotmatic F at even less than next to nothing . . . same for the lenses, I am only interested in the 35mm to the 58mm range, I am nearly ashamed to say I have about eight of those now . . . all Pentax!

We can only use one camera at the same time. Having film in many bodies gets kind of confusing later on, you lose a certain chronology. I do not have a glass case, I don't think I am a collector, but I do think I have too many cameras and lenses. On the other hand: over the past years I have the same problem with the old Leitz enlargers, the Focomats 1C and 2C. In 1980 I worked half a year as an assistant to a b/w printer in Paris and could pay for the 2C that way. Now they're almost given away. My darkroom looks like a Leitz forest.
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