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10-01-2012, 11:06 PM   #1
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Quiet Pentax film camera

Hello, I know this question could sound a bit odd to somebody, but noise is an issue for me. My mx is not that noisy, but its "stonk" could be somehow disturbing every now and then.
I had the occasion to play with a Contax Aria and a Contax rtsII and I remember they were really quiet. Has Pentax ever produced something like these ones?
Thanks

10-01-2012, 11:17 PM   #2
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You could try to cough at the same time you press the shutter. That would produce a then socially acceptable level of noise to cover your mirror slap
10-02-2012, 12:16 AM   #3
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I do not find your question odd at all. Before checking the cameras I have, I already knew which one has the quietest shutter: the ME Super. My other bodies: Spotmatic F, KX and LX. The ME Super I got last, actually it was given to me and I have had it for some months now. Still very surprised with it's so quiet shutter and mirror sound.

Perhaps someone here can compare the MX to the ME Super? If there's no difference, you could consider to get another, quiet, camera. But instead of the Contaxes, I would get something really different, like the Konica Hexar AF (meaning the older one, not the more recent RF). This one you don't hear when you put it in it's stealth mode . . .

Btw, could new mirror shocks lead to a quieter camera?
10-02-2012, 12:38 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hilo Quote
I do not find your question odd at all. Before checking the cameras I have, I already knew which one has the quietest shutter: the ME Super. My other bodies: Spotmatic F, KX and LX. The ME Super I got last, actually it was given to me and I have had it for some months now. Still very surprised with it's so quiet shutter and mirror sound.

Perhaps someone here can compare the MX to the ME Super? If there's no difference, you could consider to get another, quiet, camera. But instead of the Contaxes, I would get something really different, like the Konica Hexar AF (meaning the older one, not the more recent RF). This one you don't hear when you put it in it's stealth mode . . .

Btw, could new mirror shocks lead to a quieter camera?


Odd since I find my SP1000 (which I beleive is the same as the Spotmatic?) is rather quieter than my ME (which is an ME Super without manual shutter speeds)

Granted, the mirror foam in my ME is starting to wear a bit, so perhaps that's why?

10-02-2012, 02:53 AM   #5
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From the Pentax cameras I think the ME super is the most quiet. Makes lot less noise than the MX (I have both) Also the program plus is rather quiet.
But I have to agree with Hilo, if noise is a big issue, get a Hexar AF, you can't get a quieter camera than that in stealth mode. It is just a fixed lens camera. Also the old fixed lens olympus RF cameras are pretty quiet, and you can faind them very cheap.
10-02-2012, 04:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
You could try to cough at the same time you press the shutter. That would produce a then socially acceptable level of noise to cover your mirror slap
I don't think it would be a good idea, all pictures would be blurred Thanks anyway!!

I've noted down Me super should be less noisy than Mx, I will check.

I know rangefinders are usually less noisy than reflex, but I want to use my lenses, so I'll stick with Pentax. This is the reason why I have never thought about Konika Hexar, that should be indeed a very good camera.

Me super is not my favourite camera though, I dont' like buttons and if I would have no option but pick a button-like camera, than it would be a super program.

Ciao
10-02-2012, 10:06 AM   #7
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Not sure the ME Super is quieter than the MX in terms of raw decibels; but subjectively it "sounds softer" to me. If I want something unobtrusive, that's what I use.

Many of the later bodies like the Super Program and the P30n/t have a more metallic/clashing sound that I find more jarring, and after that we get into all the motor driven designs and throw stealth out the window. As far as I know, the M's were the quietest Pentax film bodies, as a group.

I don't have any experience with the Contax models you mention, but generally speaking there are limits to how quiet you can make an SLR.
10-02-2012, 05:10 PM   #8
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indeed. if a big mirror is flippin' around, its going to make noise! Where there any Pentax bodies (or k mount bodies I suppose) without an instant return mirror? They will be your best bet for silence? :P Maybe you could break the instant return function on a film body to do that?

I only mention the "cough" because I used such a technique instead of interrupting a Catholic mass one afternoon.

I was walking around the city and heard this most amazing chats coming from the cathedral, checking it out a mass appeared to be on so I ventured in past the heavy doors inside. The afternoon was gloomy and overcast, but inside the high red yellow windows sprayed the most glorious colours down within the building. It was shockingly beautiful. It was akin to what i image the bottom of the ocean would be like. This filtered light having reached down hung like fog on a high mountain. The light looked so think you wanted to fold it up and keep it in your pocket.

Anyway, I stood up the back stunned by what I was a) hearing and b) now seeing whilst the congregation continued with there mumbled replies. I took the cap of my K10d and aimed from the hip coughing as I hit the exposure to muffle the mechanical clap it made :P

The shots turned out rubbish naturally, but a light cough keep me in good faith with the congregation. might have to go try that technique again one afternoon :P

10-02-2012, 10:30 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tromboads Quote
Where there any Pentax bodies (or k mount bodies I suppose) without an instant return mirror?
Mirror lock-up does the trick. My KX is pretty quiet with the mirror locked up, except for a little metallic clang at the end. Still, though, it is nowhere near as quiet as my Canon P or Kiev 4A or any of my leaf-shutter cameras.

Interestingly, neither of my Spotmatics are a whole lot quieter with the mirror tripped up, but both are quieter than the KX. Go figure.


Steve
10-03-2012, 02:09 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Alternatively, get one of the muffler cases...





K.
10-03-2012, 06:02 PM   #11
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Holy crap how cool is that!
10-04-2012, 05:34 AM   #12
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I like the 1957 "original Pentax" or AP. While it still has the mirror noise, it has no auto diaphragm, and I was amazed at the difference in noise. It's a much "simpler" sound.
10-04-2012, 08:42 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
I like the 1957 "original Pentax" or AP. While it still has the mirror noise, it has no auto diaphragm, and I was amazed at the difference in noise. It's a much "simpler" sound.
That's a good reminder. On a related thought, when you consider the less stealthy cameras that were built after the M's (especially the A and P series), I wonder if the stopping-down part just got noisier, and the difference had little or nothing to do with the shutter or mirror.
10-04-2012, 02:03 PM   #14
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I'm picking up an ME Super tomorrow..
I know the Super Program is loud enough to wake my wife when I'm trying to stealth photograph her passed out on the couch.
10-04-2012, 03:04 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by poppaneedsanap Quote
I'm picking up an ME Super tomorrow..
I know the Super Program is loud enough to wake my wife when I'm trying to stealth photograph her passed out on the couch.
The shutter is very similar. Be prepared for a noise-fest.


Steve
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