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01-23-2013, 10:04 AM   #1
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Which lenses for MX and K1000?

Hi all, my first post and you can probably expect a few more questions from me, I currently have a Pentax MX and K1000 along with a Pentax smc 50mm f/2, Cosina 28mm f/2.8 and Auto Chinon 50mm f/1.7 (which I would like to replace). So I would like to know what lenses you would recommend me buying? I would like to get the best lenses I can even if I replace the ones I already have, but I need lenses that give me a decent range in focal lengths, though unfortunately I can only spend up to around 35 for each lens so I can't buy many at all.

Also although this isn't as important but if I was to buy a new body what should I look for? So far I have been looking for the KX, mainly from reading it's reviews on this forum and there is often one on ebay with a smc 50mm f/1.7 going quite cheap. My MX has a load of dents and scratches which means it doesn't look great, and the focusing screen has a ton of marks like smudges I presume from cleaning it in the past. Or do I just buy a new MX? As I do like it and the small size is useful.

Thanks, James

01-23-2013, 10:09 AM   #2
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I'd suggest stepping the 50 F2 up to a F1.4.

As for bodies, I always recommend the super program because it's just all-around versatile yet still build very well.

Adam
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01-23-2013, 10:30 AM   #3
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Thanks, although I've only ever seen the 1.4 for fairly high prices, and is that the ME super? As I've never really read much about those so don't really know what to think about them

James
01-23-2013, 10:33 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by James_EG Quote
Thanks, although I've only ever seen the 1.4 for fairly high prices, and is that the ME super? As I've never really read much about those so don't really know what to think about them

James
No, the ME super is a different camera (similar but not A-lens support). You can browse all of Pentax's manual focus cameras here:
Pentax Manual Focus Film SLRs - Pentax Pentax Film Cameras - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

Here's the page for the super program:
Pentax Super A/Super Program - Pentax Manual Focus Film SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications


Adam
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01-23-2013, 10:50 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I've found that primes at 50/f1.4, 55/f2, 28/f2.8 and 40/f2.8, and the 35~135/f2.8 zoom about cover what I need. I would like a shift/tilt thingy, but that's completely outside my budget. I also have a 2x telephoto doubler I seldom use (wrecks the light to the tune of almost two stops), and a reverse adapter for the macro work that I'm more comfortable doing with the zoom lens.

Then again, I mostly do landscape, cityscape and street photo. If you like human-face studies, see if a good 80mm prime will help.

Your choice of lenses if really about how you see the world. I find I prefer the 55mm length to the 50mm, light being not an issue -- that may be with a certain amount of tunnel vision on my part. The important thing is to play around until certain focal lengths click for you.

The other thing I would recommend is a filter collection. I have circular polarizers, haze/UV filters, and yellow filters to fit each of my lenses. The last one I always put on when shooting B&W outdoors (works wonders with the Ilford XP2 I use).

If you shoot indoors, you may need red and blue filters as well to cover lighting situations.

For motion-blur photos a neutral-density filter's in order -- that's something I've been thinking of working up to.

As regards the camera -- once an MX, always an MX. Get a second (third?) body, you can stick different lenses and/or films on each and still carry a fairly small kit bag.

Last edited by asaru; 01-23-2013 at 10:58 AM.
01-23-2013, 11:07 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
No, the ME super is a different camera (similar but not A-lens support). You can browse all of Pentax's manual focus cameras here:
Pentax Manual Focus Film SLRs - Pentax Pentax Film Cameras - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

Here's the page for the super program:
Pentax Super A/Super Program - Pentax Manual Focus Film SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications
Oh okay I see, I haven't heard of the super program before, that shows my limited knowledge...I would prefer to buy a full manual camera like the MX as I would like to be made to concentrate fully on the picture without the possible distractions of Auto features, although I will look out for the camera and read some reviews so I may change my mind.

Thanks asaru, I will definately keep an eye out for a cheaper 50mm f/1.4 and a 28mm, also maybe a 40mm and an 80mm or something in that range, what's your opinion on the smc 135mm f/3.5?

James
01-23-2013, 11:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by asaru Quote
The other thing I would recommend is a filter collection. I have circular polarizers, haze/UV filters, and yellow filters to fit each of my lenses. The last one I always put on when shooting B&W outdoors (works wonders with the Ilford XP2 I use).

If you shoot indoors, you may need red and blue filters as well to cover lighting situations.

For motion-blur photos a neutral-density filter's in order -- that's something I've been thinking of working up to.

As regards the camera -- once an MX, always an MX. Get a second (third?) body, you can stick different lenses and/or films on each and still carry a fairly small kit bag.
Thanks again, I have a couple of skylight filters but they don't seem to make a huge difference and I think they were mainly used to protect the lens, I haven't really thought about filters much, I think I wanted to sort out the lens situation before thinking about the more technical stuff like that. But thanks for the advice, I will definitely have to think about those more.
For a body I think I'll probably try and get a new MX, as mentioned the one I have has a lot of damage and the focusing screen is infuriating! Also the bit of foam protecting the mirror when it moves up (not sure of the technical name) has almost completely gone so I'm afraid to use the camera in case the mirror breaks or something. Yeah it is very useful to have a couple of bodies, at the moment I have a black and white film in the K1000 and a colour in the MX to have a bit of variety to my pictures, although I haven't used either cameras much, I only got them just before winter so didn't get much chance to do so.

James
01-23-2013, 12:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by James_EG:
I haven't used either cameras much, I only got them just before winter so didn't get much chance to do so.
QuoteOriginally posted by James_EG:
maybe a 40mm
The 40mm pancake is not all that great optically, or at least the one I have, nor do I find its frame very suitable, but its great advantage is that it makes the MX into a pocketable P&S I can carry with me anywhere and shoot wherever I see, then crop later. It may be a good lens to get you to do more shooting.

QuoteOriginally posted by James_EG:
maybe a 40mm and an 80mm or something in that range, what's your opinion on the smc 135mm f/3.5?
I haven't shot with a telephoto prime, just the SMC-A 35~135mm/f3.5 zoom I mentioned. Which is a super lens optically, and really convenient as a do-it-all, although it does make a pretty big thing out of a small camera.

I would suggest shooting with a zoom until you decide you naturally tend to certain focal lengths, then getting primes at those lengths. I got the 28/f2.8 because I was often setting the zoom at 35mm, and even so had trouble getting everything I wanted into the frame. Your mileage may vary.

QuoteOriginally posted by James_EG:
Also the bit of foam protecting the mirror when it moves up (not sure of the technical name) has almost completely gone so I'm afraid to use the camera in case the mirror breaks or something.
You should have it replaced, and have the camera, including the mirror, cleaned at the same time. I used this man a couple of years ago for a foam replacement/total overhaul and lens-repair order. Total turnaround time was five weeks through customs twice from Canada to Tennessee and back, the cost was something like 100 to 120 dollars, I think. The camera overhaul by itself came to about $70 if I remember it right, and it came back like new. I'm told the five weeks is a LONG time, usually it's a lot shorter. In any case that may make sense before you decide to invest in a new body.

PS. Oh, you're in the UK. If you decide to get the camera professionally overhauled -- it does sound as though you should -- it may make sense to start a separate thread asking where to have it done closer to home.

01-23-2013, 01:01 PM   #9
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I find the 50 f2.0 is better than most people claim. Faster lenses are harder to correct and manufacture. I have the 50 f2.0, f1.7, f1.4, and f1.2 - and I believe the 50 f1.7 is the best of the group, and is considerably cheaper than the f1.4. The f2.0 is a simpler design, because the smaller lens is easier to correct.
Of course, others may value lens characteristics differently than I do - and so prefer a different lens.
01-23-2013, 01:33 PM   #10
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Okay thanks for the replies, I will see if I can find that zoom for a good price, then as you say decide on what primes I should look to buy. And I'll see if I can find anyone who services these cameras in the UK.

QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
I find the 50 f2.0 is better than most people claim. Faster lenses are harder to correct and manufacture. I have the 50 f2.0, f1.7, f1.4, and f1.2 - and I believe the 50 f1.7 is the best of the group, and is considerably cheaper than the f1.4. The f2.0 is a simpler design, because the smaller lens is easier to correct.
Of course, others may value lens characteristics differently than I do - and so prefer a different lens.
Okay so I would probably be better off with the f/1.7 that would help with prices a bit!

James
01-23-2013, 02:31 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by James_EG Quote
Okay thanks for the replies, I will see if I can find that zoom for a good price, then as you say decide on what primes I should look to buy. And I'll see if I can find anyone who services these cameras in the UK.



Okay so I would probably be better off with the f/1.7 that would help with prices a bit!

James
My M50 f/1.7 is my favourite Pentax lens. Optically it is great. I also use a 28mm f/2.8 quite a lot. As for your MX, why don't you just buy a light seal kit off ebay (about 10) and replace the mirror foam yourself along with the other light seals. Its quite easy to do and the contents of the seal kit are already cut to size.

If you do want to send it off for a service, this is the best place in the UK:-Pentax Camera Repair Specialists - Repair Prices - Harrow Technical. Not used them myself but they have a good reputation Cost for an MX service is around 70. I've just added an MX to my own collection and I'm just going to replace the seals/batteries and start using it. If you are after a M50 f/1.7 I can recommend a Ebay seller that I've used a lot for Pentax stuff including my MX. He's got a M50 f/1.7 for sale at the moment SMC Pentax-M 50mm f1.7 Pentax K Fit | eBay. I've met the guy quite a few times when buying stuff and he's a genuine Pentax nut and totally honest with his listings.
01-23-2013, 02:48 PM   #12
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I also had Eric Hendrickson do a CLA on my beat up MX. He did an amazing job. He even replaced the pentaprism, which had a crack in it. He is basically a magician and doesn't charge nearly enough. I think it was around US$100. It is like a new camera, but still looks as beat up as ever from the outside.

As for a lens, stepping up to a 50/1.7 should only set you back about US$40. That's what, 25 or something?
01-24-2013, 01:12 AM   #13
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WhenI go out with my MX my favourite "cheap" equipment is the Vivitar 19/3.8, the M 50/1.7 and the M 100/4.
Why?
The Vivitar does a good job – not a perfect lens – doesn't have the best Image Quality, but it is 19mm!
The M 50/1.7 is just great – small, sharp and fast – a 1.4 isn't really necessary – I even think that the 50/2 also does a good job.
The 100/4 is a perfect tele focal length on the MX, and it's a macrolens, and it's pretty cheap. The 135/3.5 is also a very nice lens and even cheaper.

I wouldn't recommend a Zoom. I had the 35-135 in my hands and it weights twice the camera, is really huge and wasn't a bargain either.

If your MX still works fine – don't buy a new one – clean it, Put in a new mirrordampener (mine has now a piece of mousepad in it – that does the job) and go shooting.
01-24-2013, 10:34 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replies, I think I would prefer to buy a new MX completely rather than have mine serviced as it seems quite expensive and I have found a couple of cameras for a price less than what a service seems to be.

For lenses I have pretty much decided on this set up: SMC 28mm f/3.5 (or 24mm), SMC 50mm f/1.7, and an SMC 135mm f/3.5 or a 120mm f/2.8 if I can find one. I would prefer to not buy many lenses, but have good quality ones that cover that kind of range, and I can always keep an eye out for more like a 150mm or 200mm if I feel I really need it.

Also if I was to remove and clean the focusing screen, what would I have to do to clean it?

Thanks, James
01-25-2013, 01:23 AM   #15
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I like the K-serie lenses very much, due to their buliding quality.
But unfortunally they are quite expensive these days

In my bag are:
K 28mm f3.5 (also have a M 28mm f2.8)
M 50mm f1.4 and 1.7
M 85mm f2.0
K 135mm f2.5
M 200mm f4.0 (use this very rarely)

Body's I've a lot, but use most of the time my (serviced) LX or a one of my K1000
I recently bought a working MX with winder, but didn't put a film in sofar :-)

Henk
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