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10-13-2017, 06:59 AM   #1
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So I sprung for an SFX body on ebay. SFX fans, any thoughts?

So I sprung for an SFX body on ebay. SFX fans, any thoughts?

Yes, I fell for the old "selling off my dad's old camera" line, but the pics looked very good. I'm not a big fan of auto focus or auto film winding, but the reviews of the great viewfinder here on PF and the focus confirm even using MF lenses sounded good. Also, people say the camera has some heft to it and doesn't feel like one of the later cheapy plastic af/film models whose gears all wear out (I already own two of those I bought for the lenses on them).

It (and the battery I ordered) should arrive within a week.




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10-13-2017, 07:13 AM   #2
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I have another SF series model, the SF-10. It does have some nice heft, a non-crippled mount, decent autofocus, and a screen with the current film frame, so you always know if you have film loaded.

In short, it has a plastic cover, but it doesn't feel cheap, like some of the MZ/ZX series.
10-13-2017, 09:10 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
So I sprung for an SFX body on ebay. SFX fans, any thoughts?
I've though of buying one as well, but never pressed the "Buy it now" button. It's always fun to tryout a new film body that you have never used before, I'm also eyeing a ME F as my next purchase.

Have fun with your new SFX.

Phil.
10-13-2017, 12:51 PM   #4
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I owned the U.S. imported model the SF1 and the SF1n. Both were great cameras, and their auto-focus was ahead of Nikon at the time. The meter was very accurate, and the materials made it much lighter than my earlier SLR's made of metal.

In another thread in this area, is my first photo taken with the SF1.

10-13-2017, 02:55 PM   #5
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Any suggestions for batteries that don't cost 10? I too acquired an SFXn for the lens that was on it ----- a F series 50mm macro ------ and I was highly impressed with the body, but dismayed at the price of batteries!
10-13-2017, 03:09 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lensnut Quote
Any suggestions for batteries that don't cost 10? I too acquired an SFXn for the lens that was on it ----- a F series 50mm macro ------ and I was highly impressed with the body, but dismayed at the price of batteries!

I just ordered a new battery for $6, including shipping, from ebay. Not sure what that works out to today in Pounds.



- - - -

The Pentax-F autofocus lenses were new when the SFX (and close kin) came out. Does anyone know if they work the same with FA lenses? I have an FA 50mm.




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10-13-2017, 05:16 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
The Pentax-F autofocus lenses were new when the SFX (and close kin) came out. Does anyone know if they work the same with FA lenses? I have an FA 50mm.
.
Should work with any Pentax lens that doesn't have a motor.
10-13-2017, 05:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by timw4mail Quote
Should work with any Pentax lens that doesn't have a motor.
It'll be interesting to see with it also works with my Sigma UC 24-50mm. It's a film-era af zoom that works just fine on either a K110D or K10D.

I have an SMC Pentax-F 35-105mm, that would work great with an SFX, except that its autofocus mechanism is worn out and barely functions. I bought it as broken, but it works great as a manual focus lens with the A setting on the aperture ring.

10-13-2017, 08:16 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
It'll be interesting to see with it also works with my Sigma UC 24-50mm. It's a film-era af zoom that works just fine on either a K110D or K10D.

I have an SMC Pentax-F 35-105mm, that would work great with an SFX, except that its autofocus mechanism is worn out and barely functions. I bought it as broken, but it works great as a manual focus lens with the A setting on the aperture ring.
In fact, I used my SFX today on my normal walk at the beach.(October 13th) It is very basic, a bit big and I love it.
Not so great for street photography because of the size and the winder is loud. But it focuses quickly and seems to
have a good light meter.
10-13-2017, 08:22 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bonner04 Quote
In fact, I used my SFX today on my normal walk at the beach.(October 13th) It is very basic, a bit big and I love it.
Not so great for street photography because of the size and the winder is loud. But it focuses quickly and seems to
have a good light meter.
What are some lenses you like to use with it? I believe that an F35-70 was the original kit lens usually sold with it.
10-13-2017, 09:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
What are some lenses you like to use with it? I believe that an F35-70 was the original kit lens usually sold with it.
It came with the SMC PENTAX-F ZOOM 24-50mm f/4 and the SMC PENTAX-F 70-210mm f/4-5.6 from eBay Japan.
Today I was shooting with my Pentax FA 28-70mm f4 as it is a fine zoom lens with IQ good enough for my needs.
10-13-2017, 10:59 PM   #12
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I don't have an SFX but I have three SFXns and I believe the only significant difference is that the n has a top shutter speed of 1/4000s and the older SFX has a top speed of 1/2000s.

I like the camera a lot. It's got the fastest maximum shutter speed of any of my Pentaxes, the body is chunky and feels great in the hand (possibly only if you have large hands) and the viewfinder's very good for an AF camera. There are no optical focusing aids in the but it's big and bright enough that focusing is fairly easy and focus confirmation works well. I rarely use mine with AF lenses as AF is very noisy.

The way around the expensive battery problem is to hunt down one of the rare AA battery grips which screw on in place of the standard lithium grip. This makes the camera bigger and heavier but to be honest, it's not a camera to use when you want small or light anyway. It took me several months to find one of the grips and I don't see any just now on ebay.
10-14-2017, 03:20 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonathan Mac Quote
I don't have an SFX but I have three SFXns and I believe the only significant difference is that the n has a top shutter speed of 1/4000s and the older SFX has a top speed of 1/2000s.

I like the camera a lot. It's got the fastest maximum shutter speed of any of my Pentaxes, the body is chunky and feels great in the hand (possibly only if you have large hands) and the viewfinder's very good for an AF camera. There are no optical focusing aids in the but it's big and bright enough that focusing is fairly easy and focus confirmation works well. I rarely use mine with AF lenses as AF is very noisy.

The way around the expensive battery problem is to hunt down one of the rare AA battery grips which screw on in place of the standard lithium grip. This makes the camera bigger and heavier but to be honest, it's not a camera to use when you want small or light anyway. It took me several months to find one of the grips and I don't see any just now on ebay.
The 1/4000th second speed would be nice to have, though the SFX's 1/2000th is pretty high for a film slr in my experience.

Since I found the battery pretty cheap on line, probably a fraction of what it would cost at a store, I'm not in a big rush to find one of those aa battery grips. The aa grip would add versatility, off course, so I probably will watch for one.

I've read that the SFX shutter and built-in winder are fairly noisy, so I'm not very worried about added noise from af lenses. But since I only have 2 lenses with working AF, I will mostly be using the camera with manual focus lenses.

I don't expect the weight to bother me. I'm sure I have heavier cameras, and the only lens that ever struck me as possibly too heavy, after using it for a while, is an old 400mm f/6.3 Lentar, definitely a tripod-only lens.
10-17-2017, 11:01 AM   #14
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The SFX and the battery have arrived. The camera was extremely clean and showed virtually no signs of use. I had previously read much of the manual, including the basic instructions for film loading and simplest operation modes, so I mounted a lens, installed a battery, and attempted to load film.

I thought I had loaded the film according to the instructions, I closed the rear door, and then I turned the main switch on. The film seemed to be advancing properly, sounding like it was being taken up on the spool, but the film indicator on the screen was flashing when it stopped, and the exposure number indicator only displayed "0." The manual says to reload the film if it doesn't display "1."

I opened the back and did find that the film had wrapped onto the spool. I took the film out. I wound the excess back into the cartridge. I inserted the film back into the camera, arranging is as best I could according to the instructions. I closed the back and turned on the main switch. No winding, only a buzz. The film indicator on the screen flashing again and showing the "0."

I tried resetting the camera by taking out the battery and putting it back in. Same results when I tried loading the film afterward. Maybe some little aged part in the winder mechanism broke or jammed on that first film winding attempt. Despite the camera looking like new, it is old. It was sold as untested. For $12-something, plus shipping, I figured it was worth a shot.

Of course, if any of you with SF-family camera experience who know an easy fix for this kind of camera behavior, please post advice.



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Last edited by goatsNdonkey; 10-17-2017 at 11:13 AM.
10-18-2017, 10:58 AM   #15
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I forgot to mention that the mirror is stuck up now. According to the SFX manual, the shutter is supposed to fire during the film-loading process. Apparently, when the loading cycle failed, the mirror had raised. I don't know if the shutter curtains moved or opened and closed, but the mirror did not return to the position where it can function in the viewfinder system, where it was before I tried to load film. I can lower the mirror with my finger tip, but it springs back up.

Again, any of you with SFX (or SF_ camera family) experience who might know how to deal with this kind of problem, please advise. There is no "Troubleshooting" appendix in the SFX manual.



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