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01-25-2008, 08:14 AM   #1
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what model Pentax is this?

I'm looking for my first camera for a photography class, and I found this item from a seller on craigslist, but she isn't sure what model it is, and I can't tell by looking. anyone know? If so, is it a good buy? ($25)

thanks! -michael

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01-25-2008, 08:30 AM   #2
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Pentax SV circa 1962. No internal light meter. Wonderful fun camera, but not really for a beginner, if you are new to SLR. If you have a handheld light meter, are already familiar with SLRs, and are sure the camera is in good operating condition (an iffy proposition)....then go for it.

I own one, but I got mine after a recent servicing and replacement of the shutter curtains. The SV has somewhat of a reputation for needing them replaced.

If the seller can't even tell you what model it is, there isn't a great likelihood that she will be able to tell you what sort of operating condition it is in. In addition to the shutter curtains which may need to be replaced, you also need to know if the film advance mechanism is working smoothly, if there is fungus on the lens, if the lens aperture blades are sticky, if the mirror needs replacing, if the pentaprism is clear, if the self-timer is functional, if the flash PC circuitry is alright, if the shutter speeds are adjusted within tolerance, etc etc etc.

You may pay $25 and get a gem. Unless the seller can answer some questions about it....you probably won't. If you can afford $25 on a gamble, by all means pick it up. I love mine (paid under $40 for it, and that was after it had been cleaned, lubed, adjusted, and had the shutter curtains replaced).

It may or may not be the "SV" (which is the designation for models sold in Japan, US models had a different name, the H3V), but it is somewhere around the same era and the sort of concerns I listed above go for almost any vintage camera.
01-25-2008, 08:45 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Pentax SV circa 1962. No internal light meter. Wonderful fun camera, but not really for a beginner, if you are new to SLR. If you have a handheld light meter, are already familiar with SLRs, and are sure the camera is in good operating condition (an iffy proposition)....then go for it.
thanks for the quick reply! I am certainly new to SLR, although I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to forcing myself to learn the hard way... I'll keep in mind your advice on what to ask the seller. though i'll probably try to get a K1000 as I assume it's more novice-friendly.
01-25-2008, 11:24 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
It may or may not be the "SV"
It's definitely an SV. Good call.

woof

01-25-2008, 02:36 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mhoy Quote
thanks for the quick reply! I am certainly new to SLR, although I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to forcing myself to learn the hard way... I'll keep in mind your advice on what to ask the seller. though i'll probably try to get a K1000 as I assume it's more novice-friendly.
The K1000 has a built-in light meter. It is no more user friendly than the SV, but it is a bit newer. Please keep in mind it could be manufactured as long ago as 1976 or as recent as 1997. All the same it is a big, bulky plain-jane light box - nothing more. And for some unexplained reason it has a strange cult-like following. You may be better served by a MX or ME or even an ME Super as they have 'advanced' features the K1000 lacks; like meter readings in the viewfinder and depth of field preview. The K1000 isn't bad, it is just real plain. Once your skills advance you ,may tire quickly of it's limitations.
01-31-2008, 08:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by J.Scott Quote
...You may be better served by a MX or ME or even an ME Super as they have 'advanced' features the K1000 lacks; like meter readings in the viewfinder and depth of field preview....
Thanks for the tip. Silly, novice question: what do you mean by 'meter readings in the viewfinder'? I thought the K1000 had this. -Michael
01-31-2008, 09:01 AM   #7
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If you are looking for a full manual camera, with shutter speed and apature in the view finder, plus DOF preview, flash sync, etc, and you want a real big tank of a camera, look at a KX. they are getting a little old in the tooth, but they are a full sized SLR, not a compact like the M series.

If you want to add motor winder, plus auto exposure, Look at a Ricoh XR-2s, they have a couple of great features, over the KX. They can work in full manual up to 1/2000 (KX is 1/1000) faster shutter gives 1/125 flash sync not 1/60. They have a diagonal split image, not horrizontal, which is really nice for focusing. All other features remain, and what is interesting is that it has IDENTICAL viewfinder to the KX. I actually have both and they made a great tandom/

Also note that there were different focusing screnes for the KX, mine is ground glass, no split image, and I wanted it that way for slow long lenses where the split image darkens.
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