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06-04-2020, 12:27 PM   #1
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Advice on new SLR

Hello everyone,

I have "a few" pentax lenses, and 2 MX cameras to use them.
I have AF lenses (24/2.8, 35/2, 51/1.7)
And I have manual lenses (28/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.2, 135/3.5)


I would like a more automatic camera, that would provide at least auto exposure mode in aperture priority. I don't know if I would like autofocus, mainly because I never used AF on film SLR, and have no idea on its performances (speed, precision, etc.)

I would love (really) a LX or MZ-S, but I am looking for cheaper options.

MS-5n / MZ-3 seems fine, but I had a MZ-M that failed me quickly after I got it (plastic gear failure, causing photo overlap), so I am sceptical...
ME super seems a good option too.

Could you help me, I'm kinda lost in all the options....

06-04-2020, 12:37 PM   #2
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I like the pz-1/z-1 and pz-1p/z1-p, but if autofocus isn't needed what about the super program?

Pentax Super-A - Wikipedia

In my opinion, the pz-1 series would need a different focusing screen to be great with manual focus lenses. This is common on autofocus cameras.

Me super is also a fine option.
06-04-2020, 01:39 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by nass_43 Quote
Hello everyone,

I have "a few" pentax lenses, and 2 MX cameras to use them.
I have AF lenses (24/2.8, 35/2, 51/1.7)
And I have manual lenses (28/2.8, 35/2, 50/1.2, 135/3.5)


I would like a more automatic camera, that would provide at least auto exposure mode in aperture priority. I don't know if I would like autofocus, mainly because I never used AF on film SLR, and have no idea on its performances (speed, precision, etc.)

I would love (really) a LX or MZ-S, but I am looking for cheaper options.

MS-5n / MZ-3 seems fine, but I had a MZ-M that failed me quickly after I got it (plastic gear failure, causing photo overlap), so I am sceptical...
ME super seems a good option too.

Could you help me, I'm kinda lost in all the options....
The MZ-5(n) is a very good and pleasant to use camera. Works well with manual and AF. I have also the SFX and SFXn which are very good camera's and well build. What I love about these two is that the AF works very well. It is very fast and one of the great things about the SF-series is that Pentax made an AF-adapter, which is also a 1.7 converter. I used it a lot because I owned quite some manual Pentax lenses. The SFX's are more of the build like a tank quality, although there is some plastic involved at the back. Same goes for the MZ-5(n). This adapter also works on the MZ's.
After using the Super A with which camera I made lots of pictures of very good IQ I loved the AF of the SFX's. The Super A is a terrific camera, a joy to use with the very good A-lenses like the F3.5 35-105. But it requires the lenses with an A setting to make use of the full capabilities of this camera, like setting the aperture with the camera instead of turning the diaphragm ring. Thus can be fully automatic (program setting) with manual focusing.
The SFX's work with the F-series lenses and are more or less the last sturdy build lenses by Pentax. With MZ-series they produced the FA-series, some of them were made in Japan and are quite good (FA 28-70 F4) but a little plasticky, the Vietnam assembled FA versions can sometimes be very plasticky like the FA 28-105. It keeps them light and they do the job.
06-04-2020, 01:45 PM   #4
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I bought my son an ME Super recently as he wanted a small, simple film camera, and it was the camera that launched my photography adventure - I have to say, it felt great holding one again

06-04-2020, 01:55 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nass_43 Quote
I would love (really) a LX or MZ-S, but I am looking for cheaper options.
As noted above, an ME Super would be a decent choice. I would add Ricoh XR-2s or Ricoh XR7 (my two go-to aperture-priority bodies) to the list.


Steve
06-04-2020, 03:52 PM   #6
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PZ20 is a good choice, too.
Lots of features...

-Eric
06-04-2020, 04:59 PM   #7
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Chinon's are nice to shoot with, the CE-4, CE-4S, and CE-5. CE-5 is the most delicate due to adding an autofocus system that had contacts external to the camera body which made to top deck much less strong.


Ricoh XR2 and XR7 (I haven't shot an XR2, I own and often shoot an XR7) are nice as well and seem more rugged. The XR7 does not require the film wind crank to be out from the body to shoot and is just an all-around nice camera perhaps let down by light meter LCD "needle" display that is invisible in the dark. The Chinon's use LED which give the user a relative idea of what the meter is thinking in the dark (you still can't see the numbers but you can see how high or low the meter considers the scene).


I have an MX in good condition that feels very rugged, like it should still be shooting 30 years from now, but I don't really like shooting with it as I never have gotten the hang of the film take-up spool "magic needles" and the speed knob is way to stiff. I like to use it for long exposures. When I moved across the country at the end of last year I grabbed the XR7 to bring with me (as well as my K-5) if that tells you anything.
06-05-2020, 12:25 AM   #8
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The Super-A is a fine camera and a favourite of mine but the push buttons & LCD displays aren't to everyone's taste. Other options are the P30n/P30T (Av, M & P modes) or the P50 (Av, M and two program modes) both use LEDs but the P50 uses push buttons.

The LX is a great camera but often suffers a sticky mirror (requiring service). The MZ-S is very sought after & expensive, but has the potential plastic gear problem. Of the two, a serviced LX is much better in my opinion and a real joy to use.

06-05-2020, 10:30 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnha Quote
Other options are the P30n/P30T (Av, M & P modes) or the P50 (Av, M and two program modes) both use LEDs but the P50 uses push buttons.
I am a fan of the P-series, but would caution that they default to ASA/ISO 100 unless the film cartridge is DX encoded. Manual override is not provided.


Steve
06-05-2020, 11:00 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Z-1P. The autofocus is 1 point only but OK for static subjects.
06-05-2020, 04:48 PM   #11
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If you are used to the MX, you are really spoiled with its viewfinder. I had the same problem. I really loved (and still love) those MX camera's. In the digital area I owned a K100D, a K200 and a K7 and was always extremely disappointed with there viewfinder. It forced me to only use AF, MF was out of the question.

A short while ago i bought a K1-II and man, what a relief, i finally felt home with my favorite brand and it's superb viewfinder and are finally as happy with my K1-II as i was with my MX camera's .

So, i would suggest to try some camera's and try to make some MF pictures before you buy one to prevent you will be as disappointed as i was. And again, this disappointments was only because i was really really spoiled with by the MX and its superb pentaprism.
06-05-2020, 05:13 PM   #12
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ME-Super.....the K-2 offers AE as well....have yet to run film through either yet but soon !

have the SF-1 with AA adapter and PZ-20 both AF but have yet to run film through them yet...also not familiar with their interface

have been using the ZX-L (2nd one the first the gear went out and have a working 3rd on stand by.....Av mode has been nice and also the HSS capability with appropriate flash (both the 360 & 540) have worked well.....will admit the gear deal looms over every time I use it
06-05-2020, 07:01 PM - 1 Like   #13
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I'd recommend the pz-1p or pz-1 ( or z-1, z-1p). I've got about 5 or 6...bought one last week for $40. They are really well made. I see 2 problem areas with the pz-1...the bottom always cracks near the battery door, and the pop-up flash is a run by a metal spring on a plastic clip, which sometimes breaks. Both are minor issues. The rest of the camera is a tank. I have a ZX-5 and MZ-3 and they're nice, the the Z-1 is a much better built camera imo.

06-05-2020, 08:06 PM   #14
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I used a PZ-1 for a month while evaluating DA lenses for full frame use before the K-1 was released. It was a surprisingly pleasant camera to use, but the build was rather plasticky and it would certainly not win any beauty contests. Mine didn't have a cracked battery door, so maybe I was lucky!

Although I didn't keep mine (because I just don't get around to shooting film any more) the MZ-S is glorious: great ergonomics, functionality, form factor and build. Well worth saving up for IMHO.
06-07-2020, 01:50 AM   #15
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Chinon CE5 is very underrated, a review in its day said its ‘mainly plastic but mostly good’, I had one until recently and was surpised at how good it was. Quite light controls, winder extremely smooth and would give Minolta a run for their money in the smooth stakes. Manual speeds up to 2000th, stepless Seiko vertical metal shutter one of the best positioned DOF meters I have ever used and a VF display that showed cameras choice of speed and the currently selected speed when in manual (all LEDs but easy to read) plus an aperture window.

Weak spots are the plastic top and bottom are quite thin, leatherette can shrink and peel, repairs inside are nigh impossible, motor drive for them is horrid ( sounds like a traction engine ), door seals on the door itself are quite complicated if you need to replace them (much cutting and templating due to the odd shapes), absolulely dont use IPA or any cleaning compound on the plastic because it was mar the finish very easily.

A lovely to shoot with though and easy to live with and mine was always spot on for metering.

A real pity that they made it so plastic, in a metal body it would have been a real winner, the core of it is I am sure metal but its encased in plastic thats cheap and nasty.

I sold mine on after refurbing it as I tend to collect only from the big 5 but I was sorry to part with it for sure.

Last edited by Astro-Baby; 06-07-2020 at 01:55 AM.
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