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05-16-2008, 04:32 PM   #1
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Thinking about getting a ZX-5n...

The Pentax ZX-5n has some very appealing features for an old-fashioned guy like me,
e.g. a real shutter speed dial, manual exposure mode, glass pentaprism, DOF preview, metal lensmount etc.
I'm 47 now, and this camera may be a good choice for me as my vision deteriorates, forcing me to go AF.

Do any of you use a ZX-5n/MZ-5n? If so, any feedback or advice would be appreciated...


05-16-2008, 04:37 PM   #2
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I had a ZX-5n and like most things about it. The two problems I had were that the viewfinder read outs could be hard to read in bright sun and I was never able to see the entire frame and the read outs. Now, I wear fairly large lensed glasses so that was the cause of the latter problem. Using the actual controls was never a problem.
05-16-2008, 06:34 PM   #3
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I've tried out a used ZX-5n in the store and while I found it to be great, the ergonomics of the grip on the right hand left a lot to be desired. Basically it felt like the camera was going to slip out of my hand. But then again, it's just me. I prefer a meaty grip on my camera (like those on the PZ or SF series of cameras).
05-16-2008, 07:48 PM   #4
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I've also been looking for an MZ/ZX film body to replace my *Ist DS.

Ended up favouring the the MZ-6/ZX-L for the higher top shutter speed and the P-TTL compatibility.

Viewfinder is a fraction smaller than the ZX-5n but otherwise looks a good body.

Not sure what other differences there are between them but ordered the ZX-L and battery grip from KeH yesterday. Most looking forward to mounting the 17-28mm fisheye zoom on it.


05-19-2008, 07:23 PM   #5
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I have owned two ZX-Ms. The M is similar to the 5n, and even uses the same battery pack (I believe all the ZX cameras use the same pack). Many will ding the M for its lack of TTL flash, but I like the camera, and, after selling my first, bought another recently. The 5n's viewfinder is better than that of the M, but the M's is not bad. I tend to be against pop-up flashes, and so I opted for the M. Both are compact cameras, and I like the feel of the M.
05-19-2008, 07:28 PM   #6
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My biggest ZX-5n gripe would be no double exposure option. Other than that it's a phenominal camera.
05-20-2008, 03:32 AM   #7
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I have the MZ-5N - same camera but different alpha/numerical designation (not sure why, though) and it is a great little film camera. I like the ergonomics; the feel in my hands and the ease at which one can change settings. I found a battery grip so I could use AA batteries rather than the little, expensive CR2's. I used to own an MZ-7 but this is a lot better camera.

There are still a few that come up on Ebay. I even snagged a spare non-working body for parts, should it need any. I bought a F 35-70mm Macro zoom lens which makes for a great film combination. (I have a roll of Velvia 100 in it now - can't wait to see what that will look like!)

Last edited by J.Scott; 05-20-2008 at 03:37 AM.
05-20-2008, 05:38 AM   #8
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I, too, should have added that I use the battery pack on my ZX-M. The extra weight (especially at the bottom of the camera) makes for better balance. Using AA batteries is also quite convenient, and saves some money. The battery pack for these ZX cameras is the Battery Pack FG.

05-20-2008, 03:02 PM   #9
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Thanks for your input. I bought a nice used one and am waiting to receive it. The battery back sounds like a great addition.

I will eventually buy an AF lens. In the meantime, how's the camera using -A manual focus lenses? Can it use -M lenses?

05-20-2008, 03:31 PM   #10
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I will jump in and say that the MZ-5n (ZX-5n) has no problem with M lenses. In fact it works much better with M lenses than the current digital bodies because it does not have a "crippled" K mount. There is a mechanical connection that tells the camera what the apeture ring is set at.
As for manual focus, you do get a focus indicator in the viewfinder and a beep, if you don't have the beep turned off, that tells you when the camera thinks focus has been obtained, even with the M lenses.
These are great cameras with the only limitation being that you can't do apeture priority with DA, lenses, or any lens without an apeture ring. I tend to like the MZ-7 (ZX-7) for that feature, but the MZ-5n is a better camera overall. The PZ-1p (Z-1p) is still my favorite of the AF film bodies. It seems like the auto focus just works better, plus the extra 2 fps is nice.

05-20-2008, 07:12 PM   #11
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difference between ZX-5 and ZX-5n

I just hopped on the boards to get more info on a ZX-5, and saw this thread, so might as well ask you all....

I recently found in a box the Pentax ZX-5 I got my wife back in Dec 1996 with a date back. Just the camera, remote release and the instruction manual. Curious if there was any demand for this body nowadays. I remember liking it alot, and her not using it. I thought she got rid of it a long time ago, but here it is...
05-21-2008, 01:37 AM   #12
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@augustmoon - as you can very well see, the MZ-5n is a very appreciated camera. The only downside to it is that there is no Av with FA J or DA lenses.
Aside from that, it has the full KAF mount (i.e. not the "Crippled" version), so it works with any K-mount lens ever produced.
05-22-2008, 12:10 PM   #13
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Kinda late to the party, but chalk up another vote for the battery grip. I have the ZX-L and find it a little small- the Battery Pack FG really helps in this regard. The AA's are a definite plus. Get one- you won't regret it.

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