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03-11-2015, 07:11 PM   #1
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What AF film camera to buy? Pentax *ist?

Hi Guys,

My ZX-7 died a few days ago and the problem is the common mirror actuating motor. Cannot be replaced, I have to buy another film camera. I read that all ZX has this issue, but what about the *ist? same story? what film camera would you suggest (with AF, under 100$, without mirror motor issue)?

Istvan

03-11-2015, 07:25 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by traxino Quote
Hi Guys,

My ZX-7 died a few days ago and the problem is the common mirror actuating motor. Cannot be replaced, I have to buy another film camera. I read that all ZX has this issue, but what about the *ist? same story? what film camera would you suggest (with AF, under 100$, without mirror motor issue)?

Istvan
The ist is pretty bad IMO (plus it has a crippled mount). I'd go for one of the Z/PZ series bodies.

Adam
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03-11-2015, 07:54 PM   #3
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IMHO, the *ist has some good points about it. I owned one and was very pleased with its compact size and weight. It was also the first SLR I ever owned with a battery grip as an available accessory, and since that experience I've resolved to always include the grip feature as a must-have for my own DSLRs. (Ok, it's not exactly make-or-break, but it's very high on the list.)

I'm not saying the *ist was especially great, although it was far and away better than my ZX-50 in every regard. Better build (still plastic, but the ZX-50 did break), much, much better metering, many more custom settings. My favorite custom setting was having the camera leave the film leader out upon rewinding. This meant I could use half a roll, then switch to a different speed film. When I wanted to finish the first roll I would put it back in the camera and fire off the necessary shots with a lens cap on and the lens stopped down to f/32 or whatever, plus a couple extra frames for safety. What can I say, I was reading Ansel Adams' "The Negative", which meant experimenting with different films.

Anyway, I don't think it's a perfect camera - as Adam says, it has a crippled mount, for example; there are certainly better bodies out there. But for a photographer who was getting by on a body that was beef jerky, the *ist was like moving up to a t-bone.

Last edited by LowVoltage; 03-11-2015 at 07:55 PM. Reason: spelling
03-11-2015, 08:28 PM   #4
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ZX-L. No mirror lockup but it has the rest of the gravy. I only put film in other cameras for testing purposes.

03-11-2015, 09:39 PM   #5
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Pz-1(p)
That's my favorite.
03-11-2015, 09:42 PM   #6
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you can get a replacement motor on ebay. If you are looking for ZX series, ZX-L/MZ6 seems to be safer as it appears to be shipped with motor having metal gears.
03-11-2015, 09:56 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Pz-1(p)
That's my favorite.
Me too.
03-11-2015, 10:23 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by aoeu Quote
ZX-L. No mirror lockup but it has the rest of the gravy. I only put film in other cameras for testing purposes.
After reading through a bunch of forum posts and reviews about the assorted AF film bodies, that's the one I picked.

The MZ-S is probably the *best* AF film body, but it costs about the same as a used K-5 (around $350).

I think I paid about $60 including shipping from France for my ZX-L, including the AA battery grip and the FA 28-70/4 lens (which, looking at bay sold auctions, actually sells reasonably often for nearly what I paid before shipping, but I've not used it because I have the tamron 28-75/2.8).

But I just finished shooting my first roll of film with it (I bought it after buying the 77 and 31 ltd lenses and thinking they deserved to spend some time with their intended medium) and I haven't developed it yet, so I can't really vouch for how well it works. Certainly seemed to do OK, though. I did wish it had a faster shutter speed a couple of times - A few shots were on a bright day in the snow and didn't think to bring an ND filter.


Last edited by narual; 03-11-2015 at 11:31 PM.
03-12-2015, 03:40 AM   #9
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Had a PZ20, ZX5n and *ist. The PZ was not entirely satisfactory, certainly the power-zoom was never anything but a gimmick. The *ist had fastest AF and a few extra features but by far my favorite was the ZX5n. Very compact, all the options I wanted, convenient controls. I actually liked it somewhat better than my LX primarily because it provided auto film handling in a much smaller, lighter package. The LX with winder attached was rather bulky and awkward either to hold or mount on a tripod. Still have the ZX5n body (it has a ding along the top that makes it worth about $10 as a trade-in) and also my wife's MZ-something. They just sit in their plastic bags.
03-12-2015, 04:03 AM   #10
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It really depends on what lenses you are planning to shoot and how many extra features you need.

*ist has the best auto focus and is small, but lacks a lot of other features that other film cameras you can get have. It does seem to be pretty durable. I own one and it does fine.
03-12-2015, 04:20 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
It really depends on what lenses you are planning to shoot and how many extra features you need.

*ist has the best auto focus and is small, but lacks a lot of other features that other film cameras you can get have. It does seem to be pretty durable. I own one and it does fine.
The Z-1p/PZ-1p still has a decent finder--not as big as the earlier MF bodies but OK, while the MZ-L has the smaller pentamirror finder. If you don't mind the extra bulk and lack of elegance the Z-1p/PZ-1p is just great.
03-12-2015, 06:49 AM   #12
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If you do a lot with flash, and particularly if you own modern flashes that support pTTL, I would go for a MZ-S, otherwise the PZ-1/PZ-1p is as close to perfect as you will find in a 20 year old AF film camera. It's a real joy to hold and operate.
03-12-2015, 07:44 AM   #13
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Thanks for the suggestions!

I'm new in the film cameras, I started to try them 3 weeks ago. My plan was to shot B&W portraits with my FA77 / FA50. I'm using flash occasionally.
The main "feature" for me is:
- be reliable. My second ZX died in short time (one of them is used only for 5 shots).
- I play in manual mode sometimes, but usually I'm the lazy guy who likes when don't have to spend too much time with the settings ( just adjust them a bit )

I found MZ-S too expensive for me. I just want to know if I really like this way of photography, but I should take more shots than five to know that Later I may advance to a better camera if I satisfied with my results.
Based on the reviews from the others on the forum I like the ZX-L, pz1(p) and the 5n. Hope I find a good deal on one of them.

Thanks!

---------- Post added 03-12-15 at 09:44 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by yusuf Quote
you can get a replacement motor on ebay. If you are looking for ZX series, ZX-L/MZ6 seems to be safer as it appears to be shipped with motor having metal gears.
I've checked it, but I didn't find any
03-12-2015, 08:37 AM - 1 Like   #14
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In my experience, PZ-1p is the best and ZX-L is second. MZ-S isn't as convenient to use. 5n feels weaker than ZX-L. ZX-L improves many areas on ZX-7.

Do you consider manual focus film cameras? If you do, KX is top of my recommendations.
03-12-2015, 08:50 AM   #15
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Ps-1 with flash is a dream. Contrast control trailing curtain sync with onboard flash and a mounted flash on the camera hotshot gives two flashes without a bracket required for even illumination and great looking shots.
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