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05-31-2019, 01:05 PM   #1
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Purchase of 35mm camera and lenses

I just recently purchase this:
Pentax PZ-70 Body
Manual Booklet for Pentax PZ-70
AF-500 FTZ Flash
Manual Booklet for AF-500 FTZ Flash
Sigma UC Zoom 28-70mm f/2.8-4 Lens
Nikura MC Auto Zoom 60-300mm 1:3.9 Lens
Cokin Filter Holder
Case Logic Camera Bag

Cost was less than $40 including shipping.
Since getting into Pentax, buying to test. Good buy or not?

05-31-2019, 02:30 PM   #2
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It's a typical mid-90s AF camera. Its only real downside is the expensive battery. It's DX only, so any non-DX film will default to ISO 100.

I don't know much about the lenses, the 60-300 is probably ok even thought it's MF. I would say $40 was a good price for the lot.
05-31-2019, 04:01 PM   #3
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It all depends on the condition, both functionally and cosmetically. If it's in excellent condition, it's a great deal. If it's not working or in need of repairs, it's over priced.
05-31-2019, 04:05 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ErikRuss Quote
Since getting into Pentax, buying to test. Good buy or not?
It seems fair for a kit in working condition.

Now if you really want to test Pentax, you need to test the glass - either M or A 28/2.8 or 50/2 primes would be a really nice test for the system. They can be found cheap too.

05-31-2019, 05:08 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ErikRuss Quote
I just recently purchase this:
Pentax PZ-70 Body
Manual Booklet for Pentax PZ-70
AF-500 FTZ Flash
Manual Booklet for AF-500 FTZ Flash
Sigma UC Zoom 28-70mm f/2.8-4 Lens
Nikura MC Auto Zoom 60-300mm 1:3.9 Lens
Cokin Filter Holder
Case Logic Camera Bag

Cost was less than $40 including shipping.
Since getting into Pentax, buying to test. Good buy or not?
Honestly I would say no, irrespective of price.

If you're getting into Pentax and looking for a set up to get a taste for the system, I don't think you're going to find that with a plastic AF body and a bunch of mediocre third-party zooms. If that was the first film Pentax I picked up, I would have dropped the system and never looked back...

I would look for a K or M series body (K1000, KM, K2, KX, MX, ME, ME Super) in reasonable condition, with some basic Pentax primes (some good affordable options are the M28/f2.8, M50/f1.7 and M135/f3.5). A simple kit like this can be found for not a lot of money.
06-01-2019, 04:11 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
If you're getting into Pentax....I don't think you're going to find that with a plastic AF body and a bunch of mediocre third-party zooms.
Erik, I'm going to counter part of Nick's analysis, but only part of it. I do agree that the Pentax z/pz70 is not a good representation of what Pentax film cameras can do or why they are celebrated. What you get out of what you bought, in terms of value, is going to be partly down to your expectations and experience (and, of course, whether or not what you purchased actually works as it should).

The z70 and pz70 are the epitome of Pentax's era of trying to be like Canon. That said, I have a z70 (not pz) that I love. That's even despite the PIA batteries and the DX-only ASA coding (the latter of which you can easily work around). I typically have to order my batteries online because I can't find them locally and it takes a long time to get them because they aren't shipped by air to Ireland (lithium). But, I tend to get about ten rolls to a battery while using autofocus and a little bit of the on-board flash, so it's not terrible. Most of the film I use is Ilford B&W with DX coding, so it's not a problem. I regularly use my z70 with Pentax film-era AF lenses and also the DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8 and DA 10-17 fisheye (from ~12 mm to 17 mm) with great results and also with PKA primes. I particularly enjoy using the SMC PKA 28 f/2.8 on the beast at f/8 on the street because it works so well pre-focused. My z70's autofocus performance with wide-aperture AF glass is quite impressive, in fact.

I also have a Sigma UC 28-70. Mine is not AF and is in MD mount, but it has served me well for nearly 30 years on both film and digital bodies. I believe your UC 28-70 has the same optics. I still use it today on my 20 MP mirrorless with great results. Optically, it's a fine lens, mechanically...not so much. I can't speak to the quality of the 60-300 you bought. It may be fine or something to avoid.

So, overall, what you bought is not necessarily terrible in terms of value as an experiment with film photography (assuming everything works), but it's not representative of what Pentax's film cameras are really like. For that, you will have to do as Nick suggests and find a K or M series manual focus body and some K or M glass to go with it.

In the meantime, find some batteries, load up some film, and see what happens from there. If you like working with film, the rest will follow naturally.
06-01-2019, 02:08 PM   #7
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Nothing wrong with the PZ70 as first film camera, a K series would have costed much more for the body only.
06-01-2019, 10:37 PM   #8
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No. Get a Konica C35 Automatic or C35 V or something for that much. Minolta AF-2. Chalk it up to life experience and move on.


Last edited by Ranchu; 06-02-2019 at 12:36 AM.
06-02-2019, 08:47 AM - 1 Like   #9
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A working AF500FTZ flash & manual are worth more than $40.00 on their own. The best Pentax TTL flash for film cameras in my books, so you are all set in that area.

I would add a Pentax KX & K55/1.8 to your collection, so you have a good manual kit to go along with your auto-focus/zoom kit.

Phil.
06-02-2019, 09:06 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Glass and film define your image. So I'd say add some Pentax glass when you can.

Last edited by tuco; 06-02-2019 at 09:17 AM.
06-02-2019, 08:28 PM   #11
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I didn't buy the set up for the camera, I bought it more for the lenses (to shoot with on K-5) and the Cokin filter set up. I'm finding Pentax film cameras for sale, with lenses, that cost between $9.95 - 39.95. I've acquired A SMC Pentax-M 1:4 75 -150mm (clean optics and fully functional) and a SMC Pentax-M 1:3.5 135mm (again clean optics and fully functional), along with a Pentax ZX-7 that came with a Pentax FA 80 - 320mm & a FA 28 - 80mm. Total investment under $80. I sold off my Olympus & Nikon digital gear and am experimenting (cheaply) to see what focal lengths work since moving to the Pentax camp. Will also be looking into purchase of K-3 and K-1 along with serious Pentax glass. I'm and old school photographer with more than one working 35mm lying around.
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