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09-14-2012, 03:06 PM   #16
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Why don't you get them all. Whatever you are going to offer him will be more than he would get at the store, if they would take it at all. Then try them, and sell whichever ones you don't care for.

09-14-2012, 05:44 PM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCADjacket Quote
As I said in a previous thread, a friend of mine who is a pro is switching to all digital all the time. He doesn't see any need in keeping his 35mm SLRs and has offered me first pick of the bunch before he takes them to a local used shop to sell. He's not willing to bother with listing them on E-bay.

The last few days I've been trying a few of them out... but here is the full list of everything he has.

Pentax LX (I've been giving it a trial run)
Pentax ME Super (might need a CLA, seems to have a mirror lock issue)
Pentax K2
Pentax PZ1p
Pentax ZX-5N
Pentax PZ-70

Nikon FE (really like this one, might make him an offer)
Nikon F3

I've got a K-1000 that I bought locally that I'm going to keep for sentimental reasons (The K-1000 was my first SLR and I used it all through college)

So, if you could buy a few cameras off this list, what would you go for?
I used a couple of FEs quite a bit in the 80s. They were nice in some ways, but tended to eat a lot of batteries. The FE2, which I've also used a lot, is a significant improvement. I'm also very familiar with the F3. A very nice camera, although in my view not quite as good as the LX.

In my view one important difference between MF Pentax and NIkon is lenses. NIkon made a broader selection, and Nikon lenses appear to be easier to find used. However, in my experience Pentax lenses are superior. This is mainly due to Super Multi Coating. SMC lenses offer better flare and internal reflection control than MF Nikon lenses, and are generally equivalent in terms of sharpness.

For many years I shot Nikon at work because that was what came with the job. For my personal work I used Pentax because I preferred the lenses.

Nikon began to catch up with Pentax with many of their early AF lenses, which offered better coatings and internal baffling than their MF lenses.

The K2 is equivalent to an FE with K mount, and is a very solid camera. I would choose it over the FE. As others have said, it is quite a different beast from the K1000. I have one and find it pleasant to use.

The ZX5-n is nice, although reliability is a question. I've owned several bodies in the ZX series. Most have crapped out. My ZX5-n is still going, but I'm not counting on it. If you can get it really cheaply, give it a try. By all accounts the PZ1P is a better bet, though.

The LX is the LX. I have two, and they are my main 35mm bodies. I often work in dark forest conditions. The LX meter makes it very easy.

Hope you find this useful.
09-17-2012, 09:43 AM   #18
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I think I'm going to go with Fedya's suggestion and just make him an offer on everything. His wife wants him to clean out the closet, which comes with getting rid of all the film equipment he doesn't use and I know he doesn't want to bother listing it on e-bay. I'll pay more than he'll get from the local used camera shop anyway. The trick is explaining to my wife that I can resell half the stuff in this big box of old camera equipment. :-)

Over this weekend I shot a few rolls in various cameras.

The ZX-5N is a nice little camera, I like the more manual controls but it's really made to use on auto, changing the settings in manual is not as smooth and accessible as on the all manual cameras.

The PZ-1P is a beast. Nice but heavy. It feels so much like a standard modern day DLSR I'm not sure I'd use it. If I wanted that experience I would probably just pick up the DSLR (when I ever get one) I'll have to think about this one a bit.

I'm not a big fan of the PZ-70. Seems like a good sold camera, feels like it falls above the ZX-5N and below the PZ-1P, but it's just not for me.

The K2 is very nice, but I like the LX better and if I had two cameras in my bag right now it would be the LX and FE.

On the NIkon side the F3 matches up with the LX. Also there are two FEs. One is a standard FE the other is a FE2.

I've always been a fan of Pentax but I have to admit I like these Nikon's as well. The big question is do I stick with one ecosystem?

And if I have Pentax and Nikon bodies and lenses sitting around the house how does that effect my decision when I finally break down and get a DSLR. Don't be the guy who goes out and gets a Sony a99!
09-17-2012, 09:54 AM   #19
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I imagine if I keep any of the AF bodies it will be the PZ-1P just due to it has the larger upside.

I can see your point on Nikon. Like you I have a certain love for Pentax but I really like these Nikon FEs. The LX right now is my fav but I'm going to give this F3 a good work out as well.
At that point like I said in my previous post, it's a question of selecting an ecosystem more than a camera.

I have this large selection of Cameras to try out, but very few lenses. For the most part I only have the lens that came with the camera (he sold most of the manual lenses long ago)
For the Nikon's I think there is only 1 lens in the box. And all the Pentax cameras all have the standard 1.2 50mm. So I have to take into consideration the purchase of future lenses with whatever main bodies I select.

I went by Wings, great place, it's the old school camera candy store no doubt. I'm sure I'll be in there often. KEH will definitely be a resource going forward as well, thanks for the tip!

QuoteOriginally posted by grhazelton Quote
I own the LX, ME-Super, and the PZ-1p. Of the three the LX is the winner, by far. Now, if you want autofocus the PZ-1p is a good choice, but for a manual focus SLR the LX is the choice. The PZ-1p has no where near the LX's versatility. The ME-Super doesn't offer depth of field preview, an unfortunate omission.


Even as a long term Pentaxian I must admit that the Nikon system will furnish you with more goodies second-hand. In this I speak from experience; while I have over the years accumulated a good LX kit a comparable kit for the F-3 would have been far easier, and probably cheaper to buy. From all I can tell the F-3 was a worthy competitor for the LX, except in the area of looooooong metered exposures, in which the LX has no real rival, then or now. Had I not had a MX and K1000 and a few lenses, etc, when I bought the LX I might well have gone Nikon.

BTW, since you're in the Atlanta area stop by Wings Camera. The have a good selection of used goodies, and are good folk to deal with. I can also highly recommend KEH for used gear, although they have no showroom.


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