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10-07-2008, 10:35 PM   #16
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A few things to consider:
  • DOF preview
  • Split-image and microprism focus aids
  • f/stop and shutter speed in viewfinder
  • flash synch speed
  • modern batteries (the old mercury cells are no longer available)
  • option for full manual exposure
  • option to operate without batteries

I think the MX is the only Pentax camera to satisfy all of the above (KX, LX maybe?). The no battery option is only really an issue if you anticipate operating in extreme cold or for extended periods of time without access to fresh batteries. The number of batteries and battery life is also something to consider. LCD or mechanical meter displays draw less current than LEDs. Ditto for mechanical shutters vs. electronic versions.

I personally shoot with a Ricoh XR7 from the early 1980s. It has all but the last item on the list and has extremely low power consumption. My first choice if I were shopping today would be a Pentax MX. It is not an LX, but is a heck of a camera. Think of it as a K1000 on steroids feature-wise, but at 3/4 the size and weight. I have seen a few at the local camera repair fully CLA'd and with 1 year warranty for less than $250. In a town where used K1000s regularly go for $200, that is a bargain.

Steve

10-07-2008, 11:03 PM   #17
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My first film slr was my dads old k1000, I love it and you can find them on the cheap on ebay and such.
10-07-2008, 11:46 PM   #18
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MX for the full experience.

I'm kind of tempted to locate an ist, but that will be waaaay down the road since I have like 6 film cams now.
10-08-2008, 12:35 AM   #19
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MX is a good choice. But I would put my vote on the KX or K2. The big brothers of the K1000. The K2 is rather rare and expensive so therefore go for the KX. It has everything the MX has and you will probably find it cheaper than the MX. True, the MX has the better viewfinder but otherwise the KX is superior... and weighs about a ton more but if that's not a problem...

I have used KX and MX side by side for a couple of years before getting an LX, MX now sitting on the shelf while the KX is accompanying the LX in my bag.

10-08-2008, 12:39 AM   #20
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If you can find one on the cheap, I also recommend the MX. they tend to go for less than most K1000s simply due to the popularity of the K1000, but there are a lot more of those around than the MX because those who own them dont want to give them up. (I would know)
10-08-2008, 12:43 AM   #21
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A set of (decent - Energizer or Duracell) A76s in my ME Super lasts for a good year or so - though I've yet to actually replace the batteries when they die. I just got paranoid after having them for a year and changed them anyway (it's only four bucks or so to do so) even when they were still giving good exposures.
10-08-2008, 03:07 AM   #22
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I also like to use film body on the side of the dslr. I just came from a weeks vacation in Italy and the statistics were approximately 3 slide films against the 6-7 Gbytes of digital images. The films are yet to be developed so I can't compare which method was better this time, but usually I like the film-colors and the rendering a lot.

And the cameras:

ME Super: Great viewfinder with small size makes it a really great camera. Legacy from my father.

P30n: Not as good viewfinder as in ME Super, but the usability is good. Minuses come from the bigger size, DX-codes and the plastic body.

SuperA: Similar viewfinder to P30n, but has smaller body and more control over the usage. TTL-flash support.

MX: Waits for new seals. A nice mechanical camera, which is pretty similar with ME Super, but more robust and technical to use(no automatic option).

LX: A great camera especially for long exposures. My favorite.

MZ-5n: A small af-body with old school controls, would like to change this body to a PZ-1 though.

Any of the above is a good choice I think
10-08-2008, 08:34 AM   #23
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Thanks again for all the helpful responses.

I guess I can't go wrong with a film body. If I buy it, I'll use it and if it so happens that I don't use it very much, I'll still probably want to keep it...lol.

From all the responses I'll be on the look out for an ME super, MX, and KX. Looking at KEH, the prices I'm seeing roughly:

ME Super - $100-210
MX - $150-250
KX - $110 BIN on eBay.

Do these sound about right?

I'm thinking of giving eBay a shot until maybe something better pops up in the marketplace.

10-08-2008, 09:33 AM   #24
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Shag eBay. Those prices you listed are horrendous. For my two ME Supers, I paid no more than $40AU each.

There's no guarantee of winning eBay auctions. A big city like Houston should have plenty of people flogging them in the classified section of the newspaper, and there may even some sort of trading magazine (down here, we've got Photographic Trader) that deals only with cameras and related gear.

Pawnshops are a good bet. No one cares about Pentax, so the prices are often good (Nikons and Canons go for ridiculous prices).

Remember, there're about a million K-mount cameras out there - Pentax released the mount as, pretty much, open source.

There's Chinon, for starters. I own a Chinon CG-5, and it is very good, I'm using it at the moment (because it goes to ISO 3200). Got DOF preview, electronic timer, AE lock, handgrip and LED display of shutter speed in the viewfinder. I also find the back is much more tightly secured than my ME Super, and the shutter's slightly quieter. Shutter tops out at 1/1000 of a second.

All the Ricoh SLRs (the ones made after the late seventies) were K-mount. And most of those have diagonally-split prism for focussing, a big plus. The KR-5 Super might be compared to an ME Super, though with a 1/1000 top shutter speed, a top ISO setting of 3200, without the simply amazing ME-series viewfinders.

Then there's Cosina, who released a new manual K-mount camera quite recently, and no doubt many others.
10-08-2008, 11:22 AM   #25
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And don't forget that Sears also rebranded some in K mount
10-08-2008, 11:38 AM   #26
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When I shoot film I use a SF-7, which I find a very simple camera, but I get never disappointed when I see the results (:
But I don't dare to use my FA ltds on the body though, because the AF sounds really scary, like a knife carving in metal :P


One thing i've been thinking of is if it is worth to learn to process the pictures myself, because it cost about $17/film around here to get it from a lab.


So my conclusion is that it is really fun to shoot film, but for astudent like me it cost way too much money to do it as much as I shoot digital
10-08-2008, 11:41 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by paolojackson Quote
Thanks again for all the helpful responses.

I guess I can't go wrong with a film body. If I buy it, I'll use it and if it so happens that I don't use it very much, I'll still probably want to keep it...lol.

From all the responses I'll be on the look out for an ME super, MX, and KX. Looking at KEH, the prices I'm seeing roughly:

ME Super - $100-210
MX - $150-250
KX - $110 BIN on eBay.

Do these sound about right?

I'm thinking of giving eBay a shot until maybe something better pops up in the marketplace.
Remember one thing - you DO NOT have to buy it today. When you posted yesterday, I did a quick look on Ebay at Spotmatic and K1000. I did NOT see one camera I would bid on. Took me about three months to get the K1000 I now have. It was for sale by "original owner" had a case and the correct lens cap. This means there is a chance that it has been stored properly. When I received it, I judge that it was EX or better, but I am no expert. Cost $46.00 plus $10.00 shipping.

I've checked KX and MX in the last week and there were just not many available, except at some really ridiculous "BUY IT NOW" price.
10-08-2008, 01:41 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlank Quote
Remember one thing - you DO NOT have to buy it today. When you posted yesterday, I did a quick look on Ebay at Spotmatic and K1000. I did NOT see one camera I would bid on.
Very sound advice. Wait. Watch. Get familiar with what really is reasonable. Make sure that seller offers return policy. Go with a reputable dealer. Consider feedback and look for Buyer protection limits, etc. Don't jump. You'll be happier in the end.

Seaain
10-08-2008, 01:53 PM   #29
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Definitely will heed all of your wise words when searching. I bought a couple lenses this past week so I have plenty of time to just merely window shop
10-08-2008, 02:17 PM   #30
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my film camera came very handy when we were out camping and had to swim for about 300 meters to an island.

i didnt have my waterproof bag with me at the time, so opted to swim with the film camera rather than my brand new K20D, since i didnt know how long i could actualy swim with a monopod and camera in one hand

turns out i could swim 300 meters with one arm above water, but it also turns out that i'm severly out of shape, HAHAHA

none the less, sometimes when your gear is cheap it allows you to do/go places you would otherwise be scared to do.
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