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02-15-2013, 10:03 PM   #1
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Left Eye Dominant with MX?

According to the KX summary here states: "The KX is the only Pentax where the wind lever must be pulled slightly out for the meter to work. This makes the camera unsuitable for left-eyed users. Fortunately Pentax didn't repeat this poor design on their later cameras."
Pentax KX - Pentax Manual Focus Film SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

But as I was reading the MX manual, it seems to be the same way?: "When the rapid-wind lever is pulled out 20° and the shutter button is depressed halfway, the exposure meter is turned ON. Turn the aperture ring to get a proper LED exposure read-out in the viewfinder."
Pentax MX instruction manual, user manual

Can anyone clear this up for me? I nearly bought an MX (didn't win the auction!) and need to make sure I can use it.

Thanks!

Jamey

02-15-2013, 10:48 PM   #2
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It is fortunately not the same. On the MX you do not have to pull out the lever to activate the meter as you must on the KX! Just half-press the shutter button on the MX and the meter turns on.

By pulling out the wind lever on the MX the meter will stay on after you let go of the half-press on the shutter. But who needs that?

So the MX is perfectly usable for left eyed folk like me!
02-15-2013, 11:57 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jamey777 Quote
Fortunately Pentax didn't repeat this poor design on their later cameras.
I guess it is unfortunate, then, that the lever/meter convention is a prominent design feature for many (most?) other cameras made during that era. I own a KX and have no difficulty shooting left-eyed. On the other hand, I also have a fairly prominent nose such that when the left eye is at the viewfinder, the right eye is some distance away from the camera

I don't own an MX, but the manual is pretty explicit that returning the wind lever to the "closed" position turns the meter off, much the same as on my Ricoh XR-2s when shooting in manual exposure mode. The nice thing about the KX is that the meter stays active when the finger is not on the shutter release. The lack of that feature is one of my few complaints about the XR-2s.


Steve
02-16-2013, 06:22 AM   #4
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The Leicaflex SL of 1968 originally required the wind lever to be pull out almost 90 degrees (straight back) to turn on the meter - so it was really unusable for left-eyes. They changed it after a year or so to add a switch position about 5 degrees out, so it would be suitable for left-eye use. Users then complained that they wouldn't notice the lever slightly out and leave the meter on (didn't have to also press the release) killing the battery in storage.
The MX was very well thought out to avoid these issues.
Name:  Leicaflex SL meterON.jpg
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Leicaflex SL 1968 Meter On position - OUCH!


Last edited by TomB_tx; 02-16-2013 at 09:48 AM.
02-16-2013, 07:05 AM   #5
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KR_5 and MX with arms extended
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02-16-2013, 07:26 AM   #6
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My two Nikon film cameras have the "meter on with the wind lever out partially" design. Never had too much trouble with poking myself in my right eye with the wind lever. Truth is I've had more trouble with scratching my eye glasses on the screw-in viewfinder ring things on the older Nikons.

Speaking of being left eye dominant, I learned naturally to shoot portrait shots with my camera turned 90 degrees clockwise with my right hand falling easily on the shutter release from below the camera. I can also view the subject easily with both eyes without my right arm and the camera body in the way if my camera were rotated counter-clockwise (anti-clockwise?).
02-16-2013, 07:56 AM   #7
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The MX meter does activate by half pressing the shutter and immediately shuts off when released without having to extend the film advance as Ole stated. The MX does not rely on the film advance to ensure the meter does not inadvertently turn on as other designs due to the fact that it has a shutter lock that deactivates the meter as well as prevents activation of the shutter. This also applies to the LX.
02-16-2013, 08:29 AM   #8
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I fairly recently had to CHANGE to left eye shooting due to loss of visual acuity in my right eye. I also wear glasses and keep a +2 Correction Lens Adapter on the eyepiece and remove my glasses to shoot. Using the meter on my KX I have owned since 1977 is a bit of a chore left-eye, so I simply meter with my right eye and focus with my left. Sure, I might miss a shot now and then in rapidly changing light, but that is what we have another camera for. That's why I've tried so many Pentax film cameras - and ended up with an LX as a second film camera. Sure, it is an LX. But really it is a superb viewfinder, easier metering and when necessary Automatic metering.

But the KX has a lot of sentimental value. It was a college graduation present. And I just like the feel of the larger body and K-series lenses. The following was awkward at first but becomes easier and more natural over time.

So, right eye using the KX - check aperture, extend wind lever and match the needle, close the wind lever.

Switch to left eye, focus, shoot.

No Biggie. Takes an extra second or two.

02-16-2013, 09:54 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
The MX meter does activate by half pressing the shutter and immediately shuts off when released without having to extend the film advance as Ole stated. The MX does not rely on the film advance to ensure the meter does not inadvertently turn on as other designs due to the fact that it has a shutter lock that deactivates the meter as well as prevents activation of the shutter. This also applies to the LX.
So much for the camera manuals!


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02-16-2013, 12:14 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
That's why I've tried so many Pentax film cameras - and ended up with an LX as a second film camera. Sure, it is an LX. But really it is a superb viewfinder, easier metering and when necessary Automatic metering.
And many to choose from although I am still missing the FA-1W, FA-2, FE-1 and FF-1.




QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
So much for the camera manuals!Steve
But so many users that pitch in the missing bit of info . . .
02-16-2013, 12:25 PM   #11
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LX Viewfinders .....



FA-1 +1.5 on Diopter
FB-1, FC-1, FD-1. I stopped at what I would actually use. The FC-1 is challenging, but I think I will end up there. Eventually I imagine this will be my film camera and the KX will be used just for sentiment.

My wife thinks I am certifiable.
02-16-2013, 12:44 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
But so many users that pitch in the missing bit of info . . .
I should probably head over to Blue Moon Camera to quell my curiosity. They have several MX in their case. Based on the manual and comments here, it sounds like the meter activates with a half push and turns off on release. Based on the manual, it sounds like the meter will also activate with the wind lever stand-off and will remain on until the lever is returned. Sounds like an elegant solution for a compact camera where the wind lever could be a problem for right-eyed shooters as well.


Steve


(...personally dislikes manual exposure cameras that require a finger on the shutter release in order to meter...clumsy...)

(...really likes cameras where the meter turns on with a half-press of the shutter release -or- a press of a button and stays on while the camera is active or until an internal timer shuts it off...)
02-16-2013, 12:47 PM   #13
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Monochrome, The FB-1+FC-1 is actually useful in that it provides an adequately large view enough to focus properly.
02-16-2013, 12:54 PM   #14
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Steve, Not only does the MX activate metering without the film advance extended, but even extended, it doesn't poke my right eye either.

BTW, maybe my MX is not fully functional because it doesn't keep the meter on when in either position.
02-16-2013, 01:14 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
it doesn't poke my right eye either.
Another big-nosed photog like me?
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