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08-30-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
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a couple of pz-1/pz-1p questions

While I'm really liking my zx-7 so far, I can't not help wanting something better for film. With the dual wheels and support for Av mode on lenses with no ring seems like a no brainer. I would love an mz-s, but the forced ring only control would make a lot of modern da FF compatible lenses have no av mode. Its also quite expensive. I could buy a used k-7 for the prices it goes for. The pz-1 seems like a no brainer. I'm not fond of plastic bodies, but even this cheap zx7 feels good in my hands. My big problem is the lack of mirror lockup. I really wish pentax had mlu on more of their film bodies. So what did people do with the pz-1? Ir release? Self timer? The ir release on the zx7, while nice, still doesn't lock the mirror or do anything different other than what the timer would do...is mlu that critical? In didigtal I always use a self timer to lock the mirror. Is the shutter dampening good enough for night shots? This is my biggest concern. You can get one for $100-150 which is a lot better than the near 500 the mz-s is hovering at. How will the meter compare to my zx7 on a pz1? I believe they are both six segment. Also, will I really gain anything other than 2 control wheels? Must oof my shooting is manual with static landscapes and subjects. I feel like the zx7 has a better autofocus. Dof preview would be nice, so would mlu. I dunno...I keep debating. The pz-1 is a nice body, but my needs are chiefly accurate af for mf confirmation (single point is ok), good av mode with all lenses, da included, good viewfinder with a decent meter guage, pentaprism, af confirmation light, multimetering with all lenses......if someone can think of something else that would work well and not cost as much as a new camera that would be great.......

08-30-2012, 02:12 PM   #2
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Sorry for the lack of paragraphs. Its tough on the phone....
08-30-2012, 02:58 PM   #3
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With the PZ-1 you would gain,

a much, much better viewfinder which makes MF easier.

faster shutter speeds, 2 stops faster from the ZX-7 iirc. That allows for use of bigger apertures on sunny days.

Twin dials, makes for quicker/easier M mode.

Faster flash sync, nice if you use flash.

Better ergonomics IMO.

Better build quality, PZ series doesn't seem to suffer from the plastic mirror gear problem.

PZ-1 has interval shooting as well.

Right now, I have a PZ-1, a MZ-S, and a MZ-L. The MZ-L is basically a MZ-6 so it is very similar to the ZX-7. Of the three, the PZ-1 is my favorite to use, followed by the MZ-L, then the MZ-S. The MZ-S is a superb camera though, I just like using the other 2 more.
08-30-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
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How do you do night shooting? Edit: how do you deal with the lack of mlu? Even the mz-l you like doesn't have mlu. Yeah it looks a lot like the zx7...just with a top plate lcd and a shutter dial.

08-30-2012, 03:23 PM   #5
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I could buy a limited for the cost of an mz-s...that's nothing to sneeze at. It seems like its one of the few mlu bodies pentax made though.....sigh....I do a lot of long exposure night shooting fwiw.
08-30-2012, 03:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by zosxavius Quote
How do you do night shooting? Edit: how do you deal with the lack of mlu? Even the mz-l you like doesn't have mlu. Yeah it looks a lot like the zx7...just with a top plate lcd and a shutter dial.
You get a Pentax F remote cable release for the PZ-1 (and others). Like this.

Pentax Cable Switch F remote shutter release New - Free Shipping! | eBay

It has a stop on it to hold the shutter open for long term shooting.
08-30-2012, 03:50 PM   #7
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Yeah, but the mirror still flips and the shutter immediately opens. Unless I'm wrong? I mean I can trigger my zx7 with ir and achieve the same basic result, no?
08-30-2012, 04:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by zosxavius Quote
How do you do night shooting? Edit: how do you deal with the lack of mlu? Even the mz-l you like doesn't have mlu. Yeah it looks a lot like the zx7...just with a top plate lcd and a shutter dial.
I usually just don't think about MLU
From what I've read (and I could be very wrong) MLU is most critical for 1/4s-3s exposures.
Here's a shot I took with my MZ-L an Kodak E100G. This was a 30 second exposure with a 90mm lens. Camera was on a pretty heavy tripod, IIRC I used the remote F or 2s timer.




If you use manual focus, and you really need MLU, why not just get a KX or K2 and some M lenses?

08-30-2012, 04:55 PM   #9
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PZ-1p

I have the PZ-1p, and I have owned and used the MZ-S. Neither camera has any problem with the modern, DA lenses. As long as the lens can cover the 35mm frame size, both cameras can easily operate the electronic aperture controls. I prefer the PZ-1p but others like the slightly smaller form factor of the MZ-S.

Both cameras also use the same type of mirror lock up control that is used with the newer digital SLRs. In other words, set the drive mode to 2 second timer and the mirror will flip up when you press the shutter while the shutter does not actually fire until the 2 second timer runs down.

Although the focus uses a single center point it is actually quite fast. I have used mine for sports action very successfully and it focuses almost as quickly as my C***n does.

Exposure is very nice and works very well. I also love that it has a spotmeter, one of the reasons I bought it in the first place.

If you need a long exposure then using a remote release with bulb is certainly possible. If you want to allow any vibrations caused by the mirror swinging out of the way to settle down then put a card or your hat in front of the lens for a couple seconds and then pull it out of the way. Don't start your exposure count until you pull the card away. Then put the card in place at the end of the long countdown before you allow the shutter to close. That way the vibrations from the mirror swinging up and down have no effect whatsoever on the actual exposure. You can also use this trick with your digital SLRs if you need a very long exposure.

I prefer the PZ-1p because the ergonomics feel better to me. The camera does a terrific job of handling heavy lenses. It is also far easier for me to manually focus with the PZ-1p. I also love the hyper-manual and hyper-program mode that allow you to easily change your exposure settings using the front or back dial. Additionally the PZ-1p has a much better flash synch speed which is actually usable for daylight fill flash, and a much faster frames per second capture rate. On the bad side, it uses an expensive battery and is a battery hog. It is not the best camera if you do a lot of long, late night exposures unless you carry lots of batteries.

I hope that answers some of your questions.
08-30-2012, 07:25 PM   #10
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I just did a little research, and it turns out that the PZ-1p/Z-1p has MU with 2s timer, but the PZ-1/Z-1 does not. The only other AF body with MU, as near as I can tell is the MZ-S.
08-30-2012, 07:31 PM   #11
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Wow. You all answered my concerns. Is 160 too much for a pz1p? Should I wait to find one cheaper?
08-30-2012, 08:37 PM   #12
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I haven't shopped the 1p in a while, but as I recall $160 was right in the middle.

I paid $90 for my pz-1 in '08, but it had some visible wear on the body, and no docs or accessories. Great camera, and very similar ergonomics/controls to the DSLR lineup. I still catch myself trying to check the LCD occasionally.
08-30-2012, 09:01 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by zosxavius Quote
Wow. You all answered my concerns. Is 160 too much for a pz1p? Should I wait to find one cheaper?
If it works well $160 is a fair price, a little bit on the high side, but not too much. If there is no reason to rush you may be able to get one for a bit less.
08-30-2012, 09:32 PM   #14
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No thanks. I thought it was high too. I will set a marketplace watch and see what turns up. That's what bandh is listing at least. I know person to person would be cheaper....its listed as a 9, but I don't know how they grade film slrs, so that might not have a lot of meaning. On that note, anyone have a pz-1p they want to get rid of for cheap?
08-30-2012, 09:37 PM   #15
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Also I must add that while I see the pz-1's heritage in the k10/k20/k7/etc, it is still one fugly looking camera. I mean all that curved plastic. Ugh. Form follows function I always say. I bet that camera gets some odd looks in public.
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