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03-03-2016, 04:27 PM   #1
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Information about the Pentax MX

Hi everyone,

So I'm very new on the Pentax scene, with little knowledge but a lot of passion (hence the username 'Pentaxstudent' - though, to be fair, I am also a university student). I've been very fortunate to get my hands on a Japanese made K1000, a black KX and silver K2, all of which I love dearly however, there is such a buzz around the internet on the Pentax MX that I'm wondering about adding it to the team. Now, this isn't a mission to discover what camera is better or what features does it have over the ones I have, but a fact finding mission. So a few questions:

1) Where was the mx actually made?
2) Some of them have the 'asahi co. japan' stamped on the back whilst others do not - is this because some were made in Japan and others were not? (Like the K1000)
3) I'm hankering after a black mx to match the black kx (I'm sad I know...) though I also run off a student budget and I'm based in the UK. What sort of money am I looking at for one? I've seen such a range of prices on the internet I don't know whats faithful.
4) apart from colour, was there any real difference between the two mx models of black and silver?

I hope this works - I've never used a forum before so heres to a new experience!


03-03-2016, 05:32 PM   #2
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Hi, and welcome!

Compared to the K1000 the MX had a much shorter production run and they were all made in Japan.

The black and silver versions are identical as for specifications.

Check the market place here on the forum and the review database for prices that real people paid.
03-03-2016, 05:34 PM   #3
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I can answer question four - to the best of my knowledge, the answer is no.

My advice to you is to get the MX if you want the functions, and not worry too much about the colour.

I paid about $100 CDN for mine last year, secondhand and a little bit beaten up, and so far it's given me a couple of good rolls of film without any issues. That being said, I would start right now to eyeball someone who can do repairs and general maintenance on them, as many of them are in the neighbourhood of forty years old.

I also would not stress over where they were made - unlike the K1000, the MX was (AFAIK) never a camera on which later models had their quality-control corners cut. The K1000 had an absurdly long run for a camera of its specifications; the MX had long since been superceded by other models. (I am not, for example, one of those people who cares about whether his lenses were made in Japan or assembled in Vietnam - mine are the latter and they work just fine, thank you.)

The main strengths of the MX are its small size and its ability to keep on taking pictures when the batteries go dead, the last Pentax camera of which this was completely true (all subsequent models have some restrictions in which shutter speeds they will deliver). Get it for what it delivers and enjoy.
03-03-2016, 06:11 PM - 1 Like   #4
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If these help, here are some videos about the MX that I made:

It's a pretty amazing camera. It's very tough, has a great meter, and a nice viewfinder. I find it a bit small but not everyone does.

03-03-2016, 06:24 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I bought my first SLR late 70's, brand new MX, loved it. I sold it for pawn, and have regretted that for many many years.
As a replacement some years later, I bought a P30t, and it was ok. I ended up selling it for pawn as well.
A few years ago, I had an opportunity to buy an Ebay MX, and it was in pretty good shape, it just needed a CLA, everything worked, it was just gummy on the seals.
I kept procrastinating on the CLA, for about 4 years. I just snagged it back out of a moving box, and the meter does not work. Sigh.
However, I don't need the meter, not really. I have a lot of cameras without any meter so that is no problem.
I just ran a roll of B&W through it and the negs look fine. The MX is, for me, the epitomy of manual 135 film cameras.
I just need to get it in for the repair and cleaning. Sigh.

You should either buy one that is certified by a reputable shop as tested, cleaned, resealed and ready to roll. OR expect to pay for that service and wait until you get that done. Expecting a 40 year old camera, to last as like new is not realistic.
If you pay $25 US for one, you will get one that needs service.
If you pay $150 for one, it should be certified as being ready to shoot.
03-03-2016, 06:44 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Hi: Some on this Forum have commented that Robin at Harrow Technical in North London is an excellent Pentax service provider. Here's a link to a thread at - another good Pentax Forum - discussing his work.

I have a couple MX'es right now. I think they have the best viewfinder of any Pentax camera ever, but they're a bit small for my large hands. For me I can only comfortably use the camera if the MX Winder is attached; that way my right pinky doesn't hang off the bottom.

The black is sexy and looks professional, but you pay around a 50% premium for no photographic value.

I also have KX and K2 cameras - KX is my favorite mechanical Pentax camera, mostly because I like the larger size.

Last edited by monochrome; 03-03-2016 at 06:57 PM.
03-03-2016, 09:26 PM   #7
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I bought mine from UK ebay for 40 GBP with M50mm 1.7. I just had to add 12$ for new lightseals (easy to fix). It's not mint condition, only got some scratches. Just make sure battery compartment is not corroded.
Viewfinder is AMAZING. When I first looked through that after K3II and MZ3 I was shocked how big and bright it is.

03-03-2016, 10:09 PM   #8

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A reference of the size of the MX relative to the KX that you have.

The MX is the smallest full manual 35mm SLR with the largest viewfinder by any brand and model of camera.

03-03-2016, 10:09 PM   #9
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All MX's were made in Japan, and are identical regardless of colour. When the MX came out, my camera was a Yashica Lynx 5000 (I still use it). However, in 1977 I was swept away by the evolution of the MX which used a new chemical in the light meter. The SMC M lenses added to the perfection of the latest manual camera. I have no problem at all with the small size, but that is subjective even if convenient. My MX has never been serviced other than new foam. While I love all the manual Pentax's, my bond to the MX is stronger than even the LX. I find it very difficult to resist an MX on eBay, and have added several more to my collection.
03-03-2016, 10:39 PM   #10
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Thanks for the memories, guys. If it's mechanically sound and you can see apertures and speed set in viewfinder, go for it. I miss mine, but that's life.
03-04-2016, 12:06 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Hi: Some on this Forum have commented that Robin at Harrow Technical in North London is an excellent Pentax service provider. Here's a link to a thread at - another good Pentax Forum - discussing his work.
Few years back, I paid around 90 quids for a black MX, that was a bit expensive. Got it serviced at Harrow Technical (and you want it serviced if it has never been done before) for maybe 80. You have a discount if you mention pentaxuser.
If you are on a student budget, go for a silver one, really.
03-04-2016, 02:24 AM   #12
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This has been amazing! Thank you all so much for the advice and knowledge I shall be keeping an eye out for something in good condition and definitely make the step to the mx.
03-11-2016, 06:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
The black is sexy and looks professional
I personally think the MX is one camera that doesn't suit black at all. I think it's due to its size, being so small and all. On the other hand, my SP and KX cameras really suit the black finish and look very smart when dressed up in their black leather cases.
03-12-2016, 02:52 PM   #14
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I bought one for the first time about 3 years ago (a black one). I then, 6 months later bought a second (a silver one). Then a third, though mostly for the other accessories it came with and discovered the seller had drastically UNDERsold the condition of the camera so... I sold the second one and have no plans to sell either of the two I have left.

The black one is very well used (loved) and silver one is much newer and gorgeous - they're a fair number of years apart in manufacture, but the differences are very slight and purely cosmetic. Both shoot perfectly. The silver is practically mint and I only use it on occasion when I want to shoot a different film than what I've loaded in the black MX - less these days because, simply, I've a lot of cameras. The black one has been around the block but was put into perfect order by Eric H. not long after I received it. It's one of my everyday shooters - being banged up a bit already I'm not afraid to take it anywhere, and being black it stands out even less. It's a go-to camera always.

In the past year or two I've added around 10 other cameras to my rotation, some which I'll eventually sell, and nearly half of those are 35mm Pentax. Even so, there is rarely a time that I don't have a roll loaded in that black MX. It's just an easy camera to get along with for me in every regard.

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