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02-02-2013, 10:33 AM   #1
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ZX-5 Savvy Sought

So, I just picked up a minty ZX-5 body (for a song!) on that well-known auction site, and thankfully everything seems to work as new. I hope to run my first roll through it this weekend.



Although I've shot Pentax for nearly 30 years, this is my first autofocus film body. I felt like there was a gap in my collection, between manual focus film and digital bodies. Yeah, I was looking for an "N" model, but at the price I couldn't resist this one.

I'm looking for any pointers from experienced users: tips, things to watch for or avoid when shooting this camera. Is the multi-pattern metering trustworthy? I've read about the mirror motor failures and flash spring issues, but so far I'm OK there...

Cheers

02-02-2013, 10:56 AM   #2
Ole
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Congratulations with your find! What's nice about this camera is the classic control layout - that design leaves no room to get confused!

I haven't had any mishaps with mine (the 'N' model). The only negative is that in very bright light (read the strong Arizona sun) it can be hard to impossible to see the viewfinder data display.
02-02-2013, 01:01 PM   #3
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Apart from that I find myself nervous about if the film loading has actually taken up, (since there's no rewind knob to verify this with, nature of the kind of camera,) all I can think of is to point out that the OME-53 eyepiece works great on these: it won't make the finder cover any more film area, but it will give you a view more like the nice old classic finders. Since the finder's small by film camera standards anyway, it doesn't seem to have much chance to vignette.

Oh, also the little AA Battery Pack (FG, isn't it?) is a cheap and useful addition that's easy and good to get hold of.

I don't know about the multipattern metering: I presume it's probably a good deal 'smarter' when relying on automation, but I don't tend to do that since there's the nice handy old-school controls on these. (Actually, let me amend that: I do sometimes use it in shutter-priority, when switching lenses back and forth with the digital body a lot. (Just cause the lenses want to stay on the 'a' setting for that) I've never noticed a problem. )

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 02-02-2013 at 01:48 PM.
02-02-2013, 03:01 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Apart from that I find myself nervous about if the film loading has actually taken up, (since there's no rewind knob to verify this with, nature of the kind of camera,) all I can think of is to point out that the OME-53 eyepiece works great on these: it won't make the finder cover any more film area, but it will give you a view more like the nice old classic finders. Since the finder's small by film camera standards anyway, it doesn't seem to have much chance to vignette.

Oh, also the little AA Battery Pack (FG, isn't it?) is a cheap and useful addition that's easy and good to get hold of.

I don't know about the multipattern metering: I presume it's probably a good deal 'smarter' when relying on automation, but I don't tend to do that since there's the nice handy old-school controls on these. (Actually, let me amend that: I do sometimes use it in shutter-priority, when switching lenses back and forth with the digital body a lot. (Just cause the lenses want to stay on the 'a' setting for that) I've never noticed a problem. )
I didn't know the O-ME53 magnifying eyepiece would fit; the only thing making me hesitate is that it actually costs more than I paid for the used camera body! It sounds good though and I could also use it on my K-7. I'm also considering getting the FG battery pack, but not sure I'll use the camera enough to justify the cost. At this point I've gone mainly digital and film's more of an occasional, nostalgic diversion...

Appreciate the suggestions!

02-02-2013, 07:17 PM   #5
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I too have the AA battery pack however I was gifted more than a dozen CR2 batteries with expiry date of 2017 and can get more so do not use it. Film loading can fail. It is important to look for a number in the LCD screen and if the number appears the film is loaded otherwise it is not. At least that has been my experience. I have been happy with the exposures from any mode and method I have used. Have never used the panoramic mode other than to look to see how it appears.


Enjoy it, it is an easy camera to use and a joy to shoot. When I first started my last job I was using a Nikon D1X and either a 17-55 2.8 or a 70-200 2.8 Nikkor lens. Then I would walk around with the MZ5n and 50 1.7 and had to check if it was still on my shoulder as did not feel any weight.
02-03-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by klaatu3 Quote
I didn't know the O-ME53 magnifying eyepiece would fit; the only thing making me hesitate is that it actually costs more than I paid for the used camera body! It sounds good though and I could also use it on my K-7. I'm also considering getting the FG battery pack, but not sure I'll use the camera enough to justify the cost. At this point I've gone mainly digital and film's more of an occasional, nostalgic diversion...

Appreciate the suggestions!
Heehee. There's the cost of them, of course. (I actually much prefer the KPS eyepiece for my digital, mind you: it was after switching to that that I discovered the Pentax one worked nice on my Mz-5. Actually I'd thought (incorrectly, it turned out) that the Pentax eyepice must have originally been designed for this series of camera. Really does look like it belongs there, nonetheless.

The AA packs turn up incredibly cheap, actually, so no real need to worry about cost there, just a matter of if you want it, I think. (I like the bit of extra size and heft, myself. And, it's a place to put a bit of extra grippy stuff like you can kind of see here: )

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