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12-20-2015, 04:37 PM   #16
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Frankly if I'd started with an SF1 (or any other Pentax AF SLR) I probably would not be using Pentax now.

Fortunately my first Pentax was a KX...

Chris

12-21-2015, 04:56 AM   #17
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Here's something for you, OP: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/24-photographic-equipment-sale/310232-sal...00-m-lens.html
12-21-2015, 11:30 AM - 2 Likes   #18
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KM or KX.
12-21-2015, 12:09 PM   #19
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I'd get whatever you can find for cheap and cheery on the local market. Usually if you hold out for a bit you can find a k1000, etc, for $50.

12-21-2015, 12:47 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
I agree. I have an SF1. It is built like a tank. Has several operation modes, from full manual to fully auto, autofocus, DX film encoding and several metering modes.

On the other hand, the K-1000 is a joy to hold and use. Its simplicity is its strength. It will work without batteries, which the SF1 will not.

I quick search of eBay completed listings show several K-1000's (some with, some without lenses) in the $50-75 range. The SF1 goes for even less than that. One sold for $5,00 with $12.20 shipping. Several were unsold for $20.
The SF series use an expensive battery. The later MZ series use a cheaper battery and for the money you save on buying a SF over a MZ you put more than that into the first set of batteries. I gave away my SF1n but my wife kept her SFXn or is it the other way around and I have the MZ7 and MZ5n.

I think most of the K series models will do the OP find if he wants the full manual experience. The MX would be the only one I would be interested in getting for myself but for first film camera one that works would be the most important aspect.

Good luck and have fun
12-21-2015, 12:56 PM   #21
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Even better, a lot of people over a certain age have a film camera hiding in a drawer. They'd be happy to lend or give you the camera if it'll be used, ask your parents, grandparents, etc! :-)
12-21-2015, 02:58 PM   #22
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Depends on how good your eyesight is, how interested are you in the f stop, depth of field and consequence of shutter speed in selecting what would be the best camera for you. If you are only interested in capturing an image the "smart" camera's with multiple focus points and computer aided decision making and auto focus .... as standard in digital... there are plenty of really fun SLR film cameras for cheap on ebay that can do these things. The only problem is... that when you buy one on ebay you are as likely as not to get one that has at least a problem or two and what you get may not work at all. It's a bit of a crap shoot although there are some real bargains to be had. Camera's with electronic guts tend to die a lot quicker than mechanical cameras. Read up on them before you cast your money upon the water of ebay. The Pentax ZX-50 for instance is one to avoid because of some internal electronically controlled disconnects that generally show up and aren't easily noticed until you load it with film and want to use it.

If you want to explore the old time f stop and shutter speed world you could do a lot worse than the K1000. It's mechanical except for the light meter. And the light meter runs on a battery that is still around and cheap. Mine from something like 30 years ago is still going strong. And lastly.... as has been said.. there is a demand for them now days that keeps the prices up so if you want to sell it after a while... you can do it without being out any noticeable amount of money.

In the world of hobbyist film photography you might want to read up on developing your own film and get a good scanner made for negatives.
12-21-2015, 03:52 PM - 2 Likes   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Niner Alpha Quote
The only problem is...

The other larger problem IMO is that by using an "auto everything" camera
the student will likely never learn the basics of exposure,
the effects of aperture and shutter speed, how to master selective focus etc...

Chris

12-22-2015, 02:31 AM   #24
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My first SLR was an ME Super. Bought it for about $50 with a lens, but nowadays I believe you can get that package for about $40. At least in my country it is one of the most frequently occuring manual focus cameras on the used market.

It's a nice, compact, camera. The only "issue" IMHO is the button shutter speed adjustment, that is a bit fiddly for my liking. That's maybe the reason why I mostly shoot with aperture priority, and rarely (never) use fully manual.
12-22-2015, 05:16 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by deus ursus Quote
The only "issue" IMHO is the button shutter speed adjustment, that is a bit fiddly for my liking.
That's the reason I never fully warmed to the P50. It was in many ways one of the best of the consumer manual-winding, manual-focus Pentax cameras - certainly the most packed with features - but not only where the buttons fiddly sometimes, they put the shutter-speed buttons side by side instead of in tandem and I could never remember which one I was supposed to press to go up or down.

I have the original ME, and I love it. Aperture priority, yes, but you do get two stops of compensation either way (which is as much as most beginners ever need) and you can always get a finer adjustment by cheating with the ASA setting. And for those with small hands, it's beautifully tiny and light. The only issue is the battery dependence to have full function - this is the reason I eventually bought an MX to go with it, to have what basically amounts to K1000 functions in an ME-sized package. Yes, the shutter speed knob can be a bit difficult to nudge around with one finger, but I can live with that, and the LEDs make it easy to see when your exposure is "on" in less-than-bright light or against dark backgrounds.

QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
The other larger problem IMO is that by using an "auto everything" camera
the student will likely never learn the basics of exposure,
the effects of aperture and shutter speed, how to master selective focus etc...
The temptation to fall back on the automatics is strong, true. It's why I can't be bothered collecting the MV series cameras; not only are they too automatic; they offer the student no information. At least the ME tells you what shutter speed it's chosen and lets you change it within two stops each way. Given that this is about equal to the latitude of most print films when processing at box speed, I'd say the designers made a good set of compromises within the basic design goal.

Last edited by pathdoc; 12-22-2015 at 05:17 AM. Reason: clarify meaning
12-22-2015, 12:22 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by redrockcoulee Quote
The SF series use an expensive battery. The later MZ series use a cheaper battery and for the money you save on buying a SF over a MZ you put more than that into the first set of batteries. I gave away my SF1n but my wife kept her SFXn or is it the other way around and I have the MZ7 and MZ5n.

I think most of the K series models will do the OP find if he wants the full manual experience. The MX would be the only one I would be interested in getting for myself but for first film camera one that works would be the most important aspect.

Good luck and have fun
The SF1 uses a 2CR5 battery. Its available for $5.95 at B & H. Target has one for $10.95, but you probably won't be able to find a store that has any in stock.
12-22-2015, 05:12 PM   #27
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Seems the OP disappeared after post numero uno. Anyhow... I would start simplest, cheapest, most reliable so a K1000, KX or MX would be first recommendations.
12-23-2015, 02:24 PM - 1 Like   #28
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Lots of good advice. The MX is a lovely camera but not really that cheap, as is the K1000. If you are on a budget or just hanker for a classic, then perhaps a Spotmatic F or ES. The key for a newbie is open aperture metering rather than stop-down metering. If you want some automation then ones with auto shutter speed like the K2 allow you the option to snap away when you have limited set-up time. If you intend to photograph buildings and landscapes then it doesn't matter a fig. Re. autofocus, again it depends what you want to shoot, I think some can struggle to focus at infinity, and can be slow to adjust to a moving target.
03-22-2016, 05:23 AM   #29
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Hey guys,
I am also looking to step into the film slr world and I'm wondering where to start.

First of all, Im currently shooting a K-5 with mostly DA lenses and live in Germany.
However I do have a few FF lenses: M50/1.7, M135/3.5, M28/3.5, K85/1.8 and FA35-80/4-5.6
Since I only have 1 AF lens among those, i consider it not necessary to buy an AF camera, or would you say otherwise? I would like to keep the cost below a 100€/$

From the advice I have found here it seems the KM or KX are what most would recommend? When it comes to AF, the SF1 has also been mentioned.
What i generally want in such a camera is a good OVF with some sort of Splitscreen-focus assist. I find my K-5 lacking when it comes to manual focus. I often miss, because the last 10% of perfect focus are indistinguishable to me. I would like an OVF that is larger and brighter than that of the K-5 for this reason.
Other than this I really dont know, I guess ease of handling and reasonable set of features would also be nice to have.

Thanks for any advice
03-22-2016, 06:14 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by quh86 Quote
Hey guys,
I am also looking to step into the film slr world and I'm wondering where to start.

First of all, Im currently shooting a K-5 with mostly DA lenses and live in Germany.
However I do have a few FF lenses: M50/1.7, M135/3.5, M28/3.5, K85/1.8 and FA35-80/4-5.6
Since I only have 1 AF lens among those, i consider it not necessary to buy an AF camera, or would you say otherwise? I would like to keep the cost below a 100€/$

From the advice I have found here it seems the KM or KX are what most would recommend? When it comes to AF, the SF1 has also been mentioned.
What i generally want in such a camera is a good OVF with some sort of Splitscreen-focus assist. I find my K-5 lacking when it comes to manual focus. I often miss, because the last 10% of perfect focus are indistinguishable to me. I would like an OVF that is larger and brighter than that of the K-5 for this reason.
Other than this I really dont know, I guess ease of handling and reasonable set of features would also be nice to have.

Thanks for any advice
They're all pretty good. Pick the one that's in good working condition and not being sold over priced. Split screen focusing is going to be more common on manual focus models, which you should consider!

I have a bunch of K mount cameras. The SF1 is nice, but I find flaky. The PZ1 is super not sexy, but a solid performer. The K1000 is dead simple, and just works. Metering is a little sparse, but you can use this to great success. Ultimate Exposure Computer
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