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06-04-2015, 03:24 AM - 1 Like   #16
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Another +1 for the 5N! The FA Limited lenses are supposedly brilliant but as a poor student I've never even held one, let alone used one. The F35-70 is a great lens if you want something cheaper though, a proper 'stack of primes' that works great with colour and black and white.

I actually tend to use my M and A series prime lenses on the 5N because of its aperture-ring compatibility, since I almost always use Av mode. When using DA35 on it I twiddle the shutter speed dial to get the aperture that I want. I think you'll find the conventional dials on this camera really useful - it's the reason I bought it over the other MZ/ZX models and it just makes everything so much simpler than fiddling with buttons.

One other thing: The AF is fast fast fast. I have a couple of 90s equivalent-level Nikon bodies (F801s and F80) and this blows them into the weeds.

06-04-2015, 04:17 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by edmundrt Quote
Another +1 for the 5N!.
I only got rid of mine several years after getting a GX-10/K10D because it just was not getting any more use. One of the UK forum members bought it (for a pittance of 30 or so!) and I trust he is still enjoying it!

PS: Anyone still want a pristine boxed data back for one of these, which was bought for a specific job but never actually used?
06-05-2015, 04:21 PM - 1 Like   #18
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I have tried various MZ/ZX models as well as a PZ-1P.
All of the AF SLRs I have tried have been a disappointment, some more than others.
None is as simple to use nor feels as good in hand as a classic manual focus SLR.
And of course none is a Spotmatic.

My eyesight isn't getting better as I age. One day I may need focus confirmation.
For this I own an MZ-3 with MZ/ZX-M manual focus screen installed (and upgraded motor).
I also have a fully functional ME-F.

Chris
07-09-2015, 07:45 PM   #19
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Thanks everyone for your comments. I bought a ZX-5N on Ebay for $36 plus shipping, came with a Pentax FA 28-80, a Tamron 80-210 AF zoom, a Vivitar manual flash, couple color filters & lens hoods, and a Pentax holster case. Camera & lenses were clean and seemed to work. I shot a roll of Fujifilm Super HQ 200, waiting for it to come back from Dwaynes Photo. With my old Super Takumar M42 lenses, it seems to meter well but will not actuate the aperture (I have to set the aperture manually with the manual switch on the lens). On my K-mount M lenses, it does actuate the aperture (both the DOF button and when shooting), so it is much more convenient than the screw mount lenses. I don't own any Pentax-A lenses, I suppose they would work like the M lenses. One nice surprise is that the DA 50/1.8 I got for my K-50 seems to work on the ZX-5n without vignetting, we'll see how the photos turn out. Here is a shot of the camera with one of my old M42 lenses, a Super-Takumar 200/F4.

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07-09-2015, 11:27 PM   #20
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If you want a good, cheap AF zoom go for the F35-70 as Edmund suggested. Lovely lens and much, much better than most of the kit lenses.

K.
07-10-2015, 01:08 AM - 1 Like   #21
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I have the MZ-5N and MZ-S, I quite like the MZ-5N as it was very cheap, I don't mind it being knocked about. I love the MZ-S but the price difference was A LOT (~35 vs 200)

The FA 50mm f1.7 is an excellent companion to it if you can not afford the FA43 (my favorite on film), also has the advantage of effectively Av mode over the DA 50mm f1.8 as it has the aperture ring.

I found the additional battery grip helped as the body is quite short and I found my fingers fell off the bottom in use. It also helps using AA Batteries rather than the expensive CR2 batteries.

I liked the MZ-5N (and MZ-S) with older lenses too as they had full metering capability, although without aperture readout in the viewfinder. The K55 and K85 were a joy to use. The MZ-5N/K55 f1.8 is my perfect walkaround B&W camera, just works really well and about 70 all in I don't mind if it gets knocked about. My MZ-5N seems to overexpose a little compared to the MZ-S.


07-10-2015, 06:52 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
I bought a ZX-5N on Ebay for $36 plus shipping, came with a Pentax FA 28-80, a Tamron 80-210 AF zoom, a Vivitar manual flash, couple color filters & lens hoods, and a Pentax holster case.
Sounds like you got a bargain! Hope the camera works out well for you. Would be interested to know how you get on with it.
07-10-2015, 08:00 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by edmundrt Quote
The F35-70 is a great lens if you want something cheaper though, a proper 'stack of primes' that works great with colour and black and white.
QuoteOriginally posted by womble Quote
If you want a good, cheap AF zoom go for the F35-70 as Edmund suggested. Lovely lens and much, much better than most of the kit lenses.
How is the F35-70 for manual focusing?

Phil.

07-10-2015, 09:13 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
Yes the 5n does have spot metering - the metering mode is set via a ring on the top plate, so it's easy to switch between them.

I haven't used an MZ-7. Being able to set apertures for lenses without rings will be useful if you own or plan to use such lenses, but it does have a smaller viewfinder than the 5n (0.7x vs 0.8x), which would put me off personally. I believe you can use lenses without aperture rings on the 5n, but only in modes where the camera controls the aperture (P, Tv).
I got a MZ-7 so I could use my digital lenses on it. Since I now have the FA 20-35 I no longer need to use my DA35 2.4 with it so may go back to using the MZ-5n which I do like better. The biggest problem I had using the MZ-5n was when I was using the K-r afterwards and used the mode ring to change shutter speeds. I am a slow learner. That problem does not exist with using the K5iis.

For a more tradional experience I would recommend the MZ5n but if you also wish to use the DA lenses the MZ-7 is a better choice. I think for the price they cost I am going to keep both of them, especially as most of my film shooting is medium format I think the two will last me forever.

---------- Post added 07-10-15 at 10:27 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Swift1 Quote
I'm pretty sure the ZX-7 has a metal lens mount.

---------- Post added 06-03-2015 at 09:05 PM ----------



FA43 Ltd. FTW!!!

I looked at my MZ-5n and it does not have that lens. Unfortuanely I threw out the box in the late 90s when I got the camera so too late to see if I just missed it in the box or they did not give me it.

I need to take mine out again, I have lots of film and a dozen batteries for it so other than being spoilt with the digital and larger format film cameras why don't I.
07-10-2015, 06:20 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
How is the F35-70 for manual focusing?
Focus ring is reeded (knurled) but only about 1/4" wide and located at very front of lens barrel.
It's only a 90 throw from infinity to 0.7m, and poorly damped.

Chris
07-10-2015, 08:04 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Focus ring is reeded (knurled) but only about 1/4" wide and located at very front of lens barrel.
It's only a 90 throw from infinity to 0.7m, and poorly damped.

Chris
Thanks Chris, sounds like a typical AF zoom. I have the M series version of this zoom and it's pretty good, though on the heavy side.

Phil.
07-11-2015, 04:15 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
How is the F35-70 for manual focusing?
I find the manual focusing on my copy of the F35-70 quite a bit better than most AF lenses I have used actually. The throw between equivalent distance scale points is approximately 3x that on the 16-45 and 18-55 (original), with a decent distance scale. The ring is quite smooth to turn with no jittering and hardly any play as you change directions - certainly better than the other two lenses I have mentioned, and way better than my FA 28-70 F4, which is horrible. The zoom ring on the other hand isn't nice at all - I guess you can't have everything.
07-11-2015, 08:04 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonby Quote
I find the manual focusing on my copy of the F35-70 quite a bit better than most AF lenses I have used actually. The throw between equivalent distance scale points is approximately 3x that on the 16-45 and 18-55 (original), with a decent distance scale. The ring is quite smooth to turn with no jittering and hardly any play as you change directions - certainly better than the other two lenses I have mentioned, and way better than my FA 28-70 F4, which is horrible. The zoom ring on the other hand isn't nice at all - I guess you can't have everything.
Thanks, it seems there is always some sort of compromise with these old zooms. I'll stick with my M35-70/2.8-3.5 which handles pretty well and is a bit faster than the F35-70/3.5-4.5, it's just that it weighs twice as much.

Phil.
07-17-2015, 09:57 PM   #29
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Got test roll back today, all 24 shots look correctly exposed, autofocus worked well too. Tried Super-Takumar 50/F4 M42 mount macro lens, a k-mount 50mm M lens, the kit lens FA 28-80, a Tamron 80-210 that came with it, a M42 200/F4 Super Tak, and even my DA 50/1.8 from the K-50. All seemed to work well. I was impressed that the DA 50/1.8 worked well for full frame, that's great since it is a small and light autofocus 50. Will post more pics later, this is with the kit zoom on Fuji 200:
07-29-2015, 09:01 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by OldChE Quote
Got test roll back today, all 24 shots look correctly exposed, autofocus worked well too. Tried Super-Takumar 50/F4 M42 mount macro lens, a k-mount 50mm M lens, the kit lens FA 28-80, a Tamron 80-210 that came with it, a M42 200/F4 Super Tak, and even my DA 50/1.8 from the K-50. All seemed to work well. I was impressed that the DA 50/1.8 worked well for full frame, that's great since it is a small and light autofocus 50. Will post more pics later, this is with the kit zoom on Fuji 200:
Don't know if anyone will see this, but I also picked up a ZX-L body with the FA 28-90 lens, in addition to the ZX-5N. It was even cheaper than the 5N (it was $29 plus shipping) - "untested, dusty/dirty" but actually just the holster case was dirty, the camera and lens are very clean and everything functions. Haven't done a test roll yet. It has a few more features than the 5N (like P-TTL and 1/4000 sec shutter) and a pentamirror instead of a pentaprism, but does not have the shutter speed dial. Otherwise it seems similar. So I can see which interface I like better in different situations.
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