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03-19-2012, 11:04 AM   #1
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Pentax MZ/ZX recommendation

I got myself some nice lenses lately (31 and 77) and I am thinking about using them on film...
It would be a few rolls at the beginning and if I like it maybe more, means no big investment yet (no I won't buy the MZ-S )

So do you have any recommendation on which body from the MZ/ZX series is the most convenient ?

03-19-2012, 11:17 AM   #2
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The MZ-S would be the best body for those lenses (combination of those lenses on that body, it won't be just a few rolls). But the next best bodies would be MZ-5, MZ-5N and MZ-3
03-19-2012, 11:24 AM   #3
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Here's a good starting point: https://www.pentaxforums.com/camerareviews/pentax-mz-6-mz-l-zx-l.html

I can also recommend the PZ-1.

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03-19-2012, 11:26 AM   #4
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or the Z-20, fine camera, and you can find them pretty cheap

03-19-2012, 11:26 AM   #5
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I have the ZX-10 which is pretty basic, light weight, and inexpensive - and does not have the crippled mount. I've supplemented/replaced it with a ZX-L which is a really nice af camera, not bad at all, with lots of flexibility.
03-19-2012, 12:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for the idea of Z/PZ series but I had for a day my hands on a Z20 and I couldn't get used to the shape... That's why I was thinking more about the MZ...

And thanks Adam for the link to the Camera Reviews. I always think about the lens reviews but never about the camera
The MZ-6 seems to be fine!

Actually is there some page comparing the bodies and there specifications?
03-19-2012, 01:22 PM   #7
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I was going to say zx-l/mz6, it seems like a killer value if you can find a good one (one locally here for $50, but with the so so 28-105 it's 120 which may not be a bad value
03-20-2012, 03:48 AM   #8
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Would anyone have a page where I can find a comparison of the bodies ? Thanks for the help.

03-20-2012, 05:50 AM   #9
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Just for the mount compatibility:
Summary of the K-Mount Evolution, Names, and Features

On principle, I recommend staying away from the "crippled" ones, unless there's a good reason not to
03-20-2012, 08:16 AM   #10
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Autofocus Film SLRs - Pentax Film Cameras - Pentax Camera Database and Reviews

You have a list of features for every Pentax AF camera from film era.
03-20-2012, 11:53 AM   #11
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Pentax Camera Bodies

also a very usefull link to compare bodies
03-20-2012, 06:11 PM   #12
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I have owned MZ-10, ZX-5N, ZX-L and MZ-3 bodies, along with PZ-1P and numerous Pentax manual focus bodies.

With the possible exception of the MZ-S which I have never owned, seen or handled,
IMO nearly any older Pentax body would be preferable to the MZ/ZX series plastic Pentax cameras.

Chris
03-20-2012, 07:44 PM   #13
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Among the MZ/ZX models, the ZX-5n is an easy recommendation - assuming you get one that isn't still using its original plastic mirror motor gear, which will give out and require a fairly complex repair. When it cracks (note: that's when, not if), the camera becomes inoperable. That's true of most of the MZ/ZX line, except for a few that were built with a brass gear instead.

Really I agree with Chris's sentiments above; the older Pentax film body designs tend to be more solid, reliable, and all-around satisfying to shoot with. It's a different aesthetic entirely. If I had an FA31 -- ah, someday maybe -- it would probably spend most of its time on my Super Program or MX, being manually focused. But I'm sure it would be pretty awesome on a ZX-5n too.
05-31-2012, 07:44 PM   #14
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Those lenses deserve a serious body, but if you have a serious DSLR body and you're just wanting to take some film photos for a lark, I can recommend the ZX-7, which I shot with for about 7 years. I actually own two bodies now, though they don't get much activity these days since I got a K20D.

Their autofocus is reliable and intuitive, despite not being able to set the autofocus point, and whatever the light meter said was the proper exposure was always right. Some of my happiest memories were with a ZX-7 around my neck.
05-31-2012, 09:26 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
I have owned MZ-10, ZX-5N, ZX-L and MZ-3 bodies, along with PZ-1P and numerous Pentax manual focus bodies.

With the possible exception of the MZ-S which I have never owned, seen or handled,
IMO nearly any older Pentax body would be preferable to the MZ/ZX series plastic Pentax cameras.

Chris
I'm inclined to agree with Chris. I've owned several bodies in the MZ/ZX series. They are pleasant to use when they work, but you can't count on them lasting very long. I prefer the SF1n, which has somewhat weird controls but a very nice finder. Much more solid than the plastic thingies. It's cheap, too.
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