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05-12-2008, 02:45 PM   #1
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Dakota Rz-2000 ??

I ran into this on keh.com. It seems to be a version of the chinon(?) made manual slr that e.g. Vivitar sold also. But it doesn't look like the Vivitar.

Does anyone know anything about this camera. Seems to have been marketed by Quantaray

05-12-2008, 02:57 PM   #2
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This is a Pentax forum!!!

Bill
05-12-2008, 03:19 PM   #3
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Ah but this is a K mount camera. And Not That I'd Want One, I'm just curious
05-12-2008, 03:51 PM   #4
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Looks like the Voigtlander k-mount SLR.

Compare prices on Quantaray Dakota RZ-2000 35mm Film Camera - Epinions.com

Shutterbug: Voigtlnders VSL 43

05-13-2008, 06:15 AM   #5
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Thanks filmamigo, I thought it looked familiar. So there's at least a Vivitar, a Voigtlander and this Quantaray... wonder who else sold this body...
05-13-2008, 04:35 PM   #6
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It's manufactured by Cosina and the Dakota was a house brand for Kits cameras, IIRC. Kits was a west coast Ritz clone that was absorbed by Ritz.

The basic body was also available as a Nikon FM-10 and FE-10, Olymous I don't remember the number and was the basis for the current line of Voidtlander rangefinders.

Regards, Gerry
01-11-2011, 04:42 PM   #7
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I have this camera. A friend of mine bought it brand new for $12 from a Ritz camera right before they went out of business (price on the box was $127) and he traded it to me for a 6-pack of good beer.

After reading a lot of reviews online, I wasn't expecting much... however, I was pleasantly surprised. I haven't run any film through it yet, so take this with that in mind though. The camera itself is considerably lighter than my K1000. Maybe a quarter the weight. It's smaller and it's pleasant to hold. The body is all plastic, and while it feels a little cheap and hollow compared to the K1000, it's actually pretty thick plastic and it feels to me like it's construction is average to above average. It has options that my K1000 doesn't have - a mirror lockup, self-timer, and a safety so the shutter won't release when it's in my camera bag.

The improvements over the K1000 don't end there. The winding throw on the K1000 is long, I have to remember to wind it all the way to the end or I'll have to wind it twice. The Dakota has a relatively short throw and is easier to use IMO. But where the Dakota really shines is all inside the viewfinder. The viewfinder itself is brighter than the K1000 by a fair amount, and it's SO much easier to focus! The K1000 has a focusing screen, which I find very difficult to use accurately. The Dakota also has a focusing screen, but in the center is a circle split horizontally. When focusing on an object, when the top half of the circle aligns with the bottom half, it's perfectly focused. I find it takes me *significantly* less time to focus with the Dakota, and I feel confidant I'm correctly focused. With the K1000 it was a crap shoot sometimes, especially in low light or with a slower lens.

The Dakota's digital metering leaves no guessing, and doesn't appear to be as prone to catching light through the viewfinder, which always caused me to underexpose photos with the K1000. The K1000's wildly needle was... shall we say, guesswork at best. Plus, when the battery is dead.... you don't get any lights with the Dakota. It's OBVIOUS that the battery is dead. With the K1000... the needle is perfectly centered when the battery is dead, indicating perfect exposure. And if the battery is *dying* the needle will still move, but it will not swing very far to the extremes, so it looks like I'm a stop over or under exposed, when really I'm WAY under or over exposed. Finally.... the metering on the Dakota works in poor lighting conditions, where the K1000's meter just craps out entirely. Also, the dakota's light meter only works when the shutter is depressed halfway, so it's a much better design than the pentax, which is on all the time. So long as there is light (even through the viewfinder) the meter is operating and running down the battery.

Now the Dakota isn't all rainbows and butterflies. It has a fair amount of mirror slap, and the lens itself is CHEAP. It's extremely light and all plastic of course. I've hooked it up to my K-x and shot a few impromptu photos, and first impression (without real comparison testing) is that it's pretty soft. But.... dammit if it doesn't just feel really good to use. The focusing and zoom rings have just the right amount of tension, and the focusing ring in particular is not only very wide physically, but the number of turns from minimum distance to infinity is wide as well, making it easy to dial in focus precisely. I like the "feel" of the lens much better than the 50mm f2 that came with the K1000.

So all in all, from now on if a noob asks me for a good manual film camera to learn on (if ever that happens), I'm going to steer him to the Dakota instead of the K1000. It's just an all-around easy to use camera, and for a beginner that's more important than photo quality IMO. I was a beginner not too terribly long ago, and was very frustrated by the old K1000's shortcomings... and need for cleaning, light seals, and the constant eating of those expensive little batteries.

So, I'm impressed, especially for a camera that cost me a 6-pack of beer. Even if I had spent the $127 on it, I'd be pleased though. (perhaps not with the lens, but manual k-mount lenses are cheap)

Charles.
12-27-2011, 11:43 PM   #8
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Further notes on the Dakota, now taht i've run a bunch of film through it. I still like the camera, it produces nice photos... very nice photos if I toss on a better lens (I have a Vivitar 50mm f1.7 on it now). The ONLY gripe I have is if you very quickly wind the film, and while doing so your thumb slips off the winder before it is completely wound to the next frame, the lever will no longer move to finish the winding, and you will double-expose the frame. This only happens when I'm really in a hurry and being clumsy, and does not happen if you wind it at a normal speed. That being said, it's a definite shortcoming. when i realize I've done it, i just put the lens cap on and shoot a blank frame, and wind again. But i don't always realize I've done it. It happens once in every two or three rolls I shoot, so it's not a major issue, but it is there.

Overall, I am still very happy with the camera!

Charles.

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