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10-08-2014, 03:11 PM   #1
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focus confirmation with SLR film camera

Hi, I currently have a digital camera, *ist D. I have only one autofocus lens, the rest are manual focus, some m42 (use an adapter), some k mount. My camera gives me focus confirmation with all my lenses, some I have to use a bit of tinfoil to make them work. I really appreciate this, as without it, my photos are a little soft, or just plain fuzzy.
I would like to know which film AF camera bodies have focus confirmation that works well with manual lenses, especially m42 mounts. I am not against a non Pentax af camera, as long as it is a k mount (or m42 screw mount, if one exists) as I have an original Pentax adapter.
I tried to search this information out, but seem to only find threads referring to digital cameras that have this ability. I was recently given a frozen roll of b&w film and the equipment to load the film and would like to have some film fun! Thanks, Lisa

10-08-2014, 03:15 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Pretty much all of these have AF confirmation:
Pentax Autofocus Film SLRs - Pentax Pentax Film Cameras - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

I would recommend the PZ-1/Z-1 as it's one of the most advanced, less plasticky bodies.

Adam
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10-08-2014, 03:17 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I'm pretty sure the Pentax MEF has this feature.
I've never tried with any of my AF bodies though.
10-08-2014, 03:28 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
I'm pretty sure the Pentax MEF has this feature.
I've never tried with any of my AF bodies though.
Colton, you are remembering correctly.


Steve

10-08-2014, 04:17 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! I have read through the AF SLR camera reviews. The me-f is the only one I found that had a statement about confirmation with manual lenses, or maybe I read it googling, my head is spinning researching this. I figured maybe all Pentax af bodies did confirm, but couldn't find it for sure. I really don't want to pick a camera out and be disappointed. As I said, I only have one AF lens, I love vintage glass! But my eyes don't! Lisa
10-08-2014, 05:27 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by iswmle Quote
Thanks for the replies! I have read through the AF SLR camera reviews. The me-f is the only one I found that had a statement about confirmation with manual lenses, or maybe I read it googling, my head is spinning researching this. I figured maybe all Pentax af bodies did confirm, but couldn't find it for sure. I really don't want to pick a camera out and be disappointed. As I said, I only have one AF lens, I love vintage glass! But my eyes don't! Lisa
Hi Lisa. The MEF is the only AF body that has an AF focus confirmation LED AND the manual focusing aid on the focusing screen, later AF cameras did not offer the manual focus aids, but they all have focus confirmation LEDs (and I think they all can be set to beep when in focus). The MEF & SFX/SF1 cameras also have LED arrows to indicate which direction to turn the focusing ring to attain focus (only works if the focus ring turns the 'Pentax' way - many 3rd party lenses focus the other way).

Also, if you have any K mount lenses without the 'A' setting on the aperture ring, you should ideally be looking for a camera that has a non-crippled mount so it can open-aperture meter. The cheaper cameras often couldn't do this - effectively limiting them to later lenses.

This link shows the MZ/ZX cameras with crippled mounts: MZ/ZX-Series Film Bodies

Suggestions would be: Z-1/PZ-1, MZ-5n/ZX-5n, MZ-3, MZ-S, SFX/SF1

The MEF - although a proper 'old school' camera has a very early AF system, which isn't as responsive as later cameras and is more likely to faulty due to being much older bodies & technology.

John.

Last edited by johnha; 10-08-2014 at 05:30 PM. Reason: Added comment about AF BEEPs
10-08-2014, 07:24 PM   #7
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John, I thank you for the link about crippled mounts, very helpful. One other thought came to mind just now. Will AF cameras be able to use non DX film? I just read a review of the sf10 somewhere which made mention of the cameras inability to work unless using encoded film. I got a whole can of film to load into plain canisters. Ugh another problem to research. Maybe I should focus (haha) on a camera with interchangeable finders, split screens, etc, to help me get sharp photos. I was just playing with my non functional ME super and forgot how helpful the split screen is. I mostly take wide open photos of flowers and stuff as close up as possible. I know, how original... But its what I really find relaxing after a horrible work day.
10-08-2014, 07:35 PM   #8
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The SF10 was intended as a low end camera. The SF1 had an ISO setting as did most of the AF cameras.

Pentax Autofocus Film SLRs - Pentax Pentax Film Cameras - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

For a camera that acts like a DSLR look for the PZ-1 or PZ -1P. For a camera that acts like a classic SLR look for the ZX-5 or ZX-5n.

10-09-2014, 12:50 AM   #9
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Hi Lisa,

the AF Bodies from SF1 onwards do NOT give focus confirmation with a regular M42 Adapter (I don't know whether the foil trick works with them, but a cheap China adapter with overlarge rim does the job for focus trap!!! But you loose infinity focus...), but on SF1 an PZ-1 bodies you could put in a screen for manual focussing (split image screen or the like). I am using the screen of MZ-M.

With manual K mount lenses (K, M, A) you have always focus confirmation on film bodies!

On the K5II I've noticed, I have always focus confirmation, with m42 as well as with other MF lenses, even for lenses with a Compur-Deckel-Adapter!

Hope, this helps.
10-09-2014, 11:54 AM   #10
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The SF1 is a great camera at an affordable price.
10-09-2014, 01:04 PM   #11
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The Pentax ME-F is a very nice camera for manual focus lenses.
It is basically the highly regarded ME-Super with focus confirmation.
It uses four 1.5V button cells instead of two.

Focus confirmation works well with all the K-mount manual focus lenses I have tried.
I have never checked to see if it works with M42 lenses.

AFAIK the ME-F "autofocuses" with only one lens, a 35-70/2.8 zoom designed especially for it.
The optical and mechanical AF mechanisms are built into the special lens, not the ME-F body.

Chris
10-09-2014, 01:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
AFAIK the ME-F "autofocuses" with only one lens, a 35-70/2.8 zoom designed especially for it.
The optical and mechanical AF mechanisms are built into the special lens, not the ME-F body.
I have an MEF with working AF sensor, I also have a working Kf 35-70/2.8 AF lens ('SMCPAFZ2.8/35-70' to give it's proper name). I was amazed to see the MEF focus the lens to the exact point when the split-image/microsprism lined up perfectly. Given enough light/contrast & time, the AF in that camera is as accurate as any other AF film camera I've used. Reliability wise it might be hit & miss (my other MEF has non-working AF) but being a proper metal camera with manual wind-on makes it unique among AF SLRs.

John.
10-10-2014, 08:04 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
I was amazed to see the MEF focus the lens to the exact point when the split-image/microsprism lined up perfectly.
Amazing isn't it. I wish my K-3 would do that

I think that is one reason why split image screens disappeared from AF cameras. Too many warranty returns


Steve

(...and it might if it was calibrated to only work with a single lens!)
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