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04-21-2008, 09:40 PM   #1
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Best Pentax Film SLR

Hello,

I was intrigue by film so wanted to try it.. What's the best film SLR Pentax have ever made..
Well hope either the old mechanical one or the full automation bodies..

Thanks!

04-22-2008, 01:01 AM   #2
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This a question that wont be answered with certainty.

The classics from the manual focus era are the k1000, MX and LX with the latter being much sought after.... a real Pentax Pro camera. i cant comment on the autofocus era cameras although I used a Z1 right up until 3 years ago when I went digital.

I still use my MX and so have an afinity towards it. it was the smallest SLR of its time, and is a joy to use. The good news is there are lots of them on ebay.

This is the "bible" website for Pentax afficianados Welcome to Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Page
04-22-2008, 02:49 AM   #3
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from a pro stand point the LX, from an advanced amateur standpoint probably the MX for allot of people probably the K1000 (it just has a certain something) but there are plenty of other good cameras. I certainly cant leave out the spotmatics some of which were the most advanced in their class for that era. I for instance adore my superA I had to have it shipped from the UK as they were only available here in the states as the superPROGRAM but I really love it. its the closest you can get to using a modern DSLR but with that old school look and feel (not to mention build quality) of a film SLR. of course im sure plenty of people would feel that some of the MF cameras were the best like the beloved and long running all mechanical masterpiece known as the 67 (6x7). so its really going to be all opinion but strictly speaking the most 'pro' camera pentax ever built would be the LX.
04-22-2008, 03:21 AM   #4
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I think I would put in another vote for the Pentax LX.

It is very solidly made, is capable of manual operation wwithout batteries, and aperture priority AE with batteries. It has OTF, which allows you to take well-exposed photos at even -6.5 ev! Hardly any other cameras are capable of this, and for night photography there simply isn't anything better. Other upshots are a v clever multiexposure system, and it's also the only camera I know which can take correctly exposed photos with the pentaprism off and using the ground glass screen ( great for candid photography). It also has mirror lock up, self timer and depth of field preview, as well as weather sealing all round.

I've used a Pentax MX for 2 months, and I actually enjoyed it more to use than even the LX. Only thing is I also had the LX at the time, and I don't think I would have been so enamoured if I hadn't had the LX when I needed it. It's a joy to use and you can't go wrong with it!

My other favourite was the program-a, the younger brother of the super-a mentioned above. It lacks the Sv mode of the super-a, but to it's advantage, it's easier to switch on. the Super-A gains TTL flash if you need that. Also a very nice camera.

Never quite understood the obsession with the K1000, but I suppose you have to try it.

Always longed for a pz-1p, the hypermanual mode, solid body and spot metering are attractive. Mz-s is meant to be pretty good too.

Maybe that's too much info though!

Duncan.

04-22-2008, 03:48 AM   #5
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I have had or own many Pentax cameras from the S1a through the PZ1p. My first SLR was a Spotmatic and of all of them, it remains my favourite. I still have 2 bodies in excellent and maintained condition that I will pick up and load film into over any other. It is kind of like riding a bike, once you get the hang of it, it becomes natural.

Beyond the Spotmatic, I have a lot of time for the KX. To me, this is where the Spotmatic was heading. A better meter and mirror lockup in a SPII size body. Now, you could see the shutter speed and aperture in the viewfinder and the meter was qicker and more precise.

I love the LX but for me it is an expensive system to maintain. I have piled many serious dollars into maintaining the one I have and, after the last problem of battery drain, I have given up.

Never really liked the ME and the later program models as I like to be more in control and found my metering practices were better that those built in.

SF1n really enjoyed that camera and, in fact, I have 2 bodies that I use from time to time. Cheap to buy but still a very good camera.

PZ1p - purchased one after my original SF1n was stolen on a flight from Australia to the US with a stopover in Fiji. I assume the cleaning staff pinched it. I really liked the hyper modes but found that the base cracked and the flash mechanical mechanism failed after the camera was out of warranty. I had it repaired and sold it after I had a shoot out with my Spotmatic. Manual focus won out and the image quality from the old SMC Takumars was far better than the 28-105mm power zoom.

So, of the some 12 or 13 Pentax bodies I have, it I chose to shoot film, the Spotmatic is the first to come to mind followed by the SF1n where af speed is more important that accuracy of focus

Of course, your mileage will vary.
04-22-2008, 04:10 AM   #6
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Try holding an LX without falling in love with it.

MX is probably the best of the M-generation (and they probably took a lot of inspiration from it when they desigend the LX or if it was wise verse).

ME-super and Super-A (my first pentax) are nice cameras.

Lot of plastic crap was produced in the 90's. Cameras that might very well float if you drop them in the sea. Every new remake of the Super/program-A's got vorse. This was really Pentax walk through the dessert (while the other brands went autofocus). I stuck my head in the sand and kept to my old gear.

Some of the MZ:s are OK (allthough plastic). I was hapy with my MZ-5, but don't use it any longer. The PZ-1's (did I get the name right?) are a versatile camera that many like (my brother still use it). These bodies gave some hope for Pentax

A friend of mine still only shoot with spotmatics and claim nothing can beat that (but I suspect he get most joy out of looking for old m42 lenses).

But then again, LX, just try to hold it without falling in love.
04-22-2008, 04:26 AM   #7
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Since you just want to try and I assume you are used to AF cameras a ZX series caera would be good for you
BEST is a relative term,
Pre-AF for me the best is te LX, followed by the spotmatic; even though I have enjoyed the tiny ME
AF: I have only used the latest MZ series cameras..... not bad at all
Plus the advatage is that the MZ lenses fit the new digital cams
QuoteOriginally posted by DJey Quote
Hello,

I was intrigue by film so wanted to try it.. What's the best film SLR Pentax have ever made..
Well hope either the old mechanical one or the full automation bodies..

Thanks!
04-22-2008, 04:31 AM   #8
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For 35mm, my personal favourites are the ME and the P30t...

However...


I LOVE my Pentax 67!

04-22-2008, 04:37 AM   #9
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I knew a 67 lover would chime in.
04-22-2008, 06:40 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by FireMate Quote

However...


I LOVE my Pentax 67!

I would so much like to have both a 67 and a 645. Recently I saw both go for too low prices at a Swedish equivalent to e-bay...and I really had to restrain myself from bidding, since it would have made my LBA two or three dimensional and certainly got me both divorced and broke!
04-22-2008, 08:11 AM   #11
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Original Poster
Wow! Thanks guys..
I actually like the LX, ME Super and the MZ-30 and MZ-50.

Just want to know if the K-mount of LX and ME Super is the same with the K-mount of
the new digital bodies right now ( DSLR's) .. Just want to know if the lenses they'll use can fit
the new ones..

Thanks!
04-22-2008, 08:48 AM   #12
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i would probably say LX is my favourite with the mz-s a close second
04-22-2008, 08:54 AM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
Just want to know if the K-mount of LX and ME Super is the same with the K-mount of
the new digital bodies right now
yes but without the contacts for auto aperture communication and the likes as well as no auto focus. but the actual mount ie: size, lens compatibility, yes its the same. the K mount hasn't changed in this regard since its debut in 1975.
04-22-2008, 08:57 AM   #14
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ME-Super... since it's the only film SLR I have, and I have had it for years!

And yes, old lenses will work on the newer bodies... (the root of all LBA...)
04-22-2008, 09:05 AM   #15
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The "best" film Pentax SLR? Hmmm....That's a tough call because everyone seems to value different things. I like the LX, with the K2 coming in a close second. But there was a retired doctor in my camera club who could easily afford any camera he liked and he preferred the Super Program. I don't think you can go too far wrong with any Pentax film camera.
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