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11-26-2008, 03:09 AM   #1
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Pentax MZ-S??

Saw one for sale the other day and got me salivating....
anyone has used it?
opinions?

Shutterbug said:
QuoteQuote:
The MZ-S is Pentax's recently introduced professional level camera with new styling and some excellent new features. It is the replacement camera for the Pentax PZ-1P, although that camera is still available.

I had the pleasure of using the MZ-S, along with the new lens introduced with the camera, the SMC Pentax FA 24-90mm zoom, during a trip to China, as well as for some time afterward in the US. A most important feature of the camera was readily apparent in these tests: it is designed for outstanding handling. The camera is approximately the same size as Pentax's super compact ZX-5N, and is also very light in weight, about 4 oz heavier than the ZX-5N (and about 4 oz lighter than the PZ-1P). That makes it one of the lightest, most compact professional level cameras available. That is due in part to the titanium main casting of the camera. The shutter is noticeably quieter than that of the previous professional model, the PZ-1P.
Also POP-Photo had a raving review of this camera here

11-26-2008, 08:29 AM   #2
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Looks to be a beautifully sculpted camera, with no cross sensor in the AF system, a plastic back door, and the perogative to use FA or older lenses with an aperture ring. Viewfinder magnification is less than the MZ-3 or 5, but coverage is reported to be the same.

The vertical grip is great, though.... And the mount means you can use K and M lenses in AV & manual mode.

But it seems like an unfinished symphony.
11-26-2008, 04:07 PM   #3
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Interesting, I thought the MZ-S was way bigger than the ZX-5N series.

For sure it is beautiful camera, but also still holds a premium prize
11-26-2008, 04:23 PM   #4
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I've used it - only two rolls were shot through it by the original owner before he went to digital. Got this setup basically new for a mere $499 (with the grip). According to my MZ-S manual, it's a magnesium alloy chassis... I am guessing titanium would be mighty expensive!!

Images:





Also have the TS-110 Timer. It's really a great setup with the grip. The AF is very fast, and as stated, some things might be better, and I've yet to really test mine with faster subjects, since I primarily shoot digital now. I am not sure about the back door being completely plastic, since it has two metal reinforcing bars on the inside, IIRC. It's currently at a local shop to act as the testing body for a lens issue I've got with an older AF Tokina 80-400, so I cannot confirm.

I am considering shooting some of the upcoming Civil War Reenactment with the MZ-S and the FA* 300/2.8 and FA* 80-200/2.8 with Ilford B/W film.

Regards,
Marc

11-26-2008, 08:07 PM   #5
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I found one of these [relatively] cheap and am still trying to make it up to my wife that I am going to keep it rather than trying to resell it. What a great camera! Light but solid, with more features than I will probably ever use. Mine has the grip too, so I can use AA batteries. I've only shot a few rolls with it but I really like it, and the results have been spot on.
11-26-2008, 08:08 PM   #6
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Marc, you got a great deal. New essentially, wow. What lens is on there?
11-26-2008, 08:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
Marc, you got a great deal. New essentially, wow. What lens is on there?
Hi Nick,

That's the 77mm Limited (sold a while back though) - it's a wicked looking combination...

Two more shots:




Of course, I know that my purchase was incredibly good fortune - I saw the BIN on Ebay only an hour into the auction, so I grabbed it. Getting one that's brand new is almost unheard of these days. At the time it was regularly hitting $600+ with the grip used, or $800+ from online stores for a "9" or "9+" condition combo.

What did you end up paying for yours Nick? It's always good to know the going rate out there.

Regards,
Marc
11-26-2008, 08:54 PM   #8
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One more thing for the MZ-S

Oops, forgot to mention I managed to pick up a NIB TS-110 Timer last year too!! A useful accessory...

I think it was the last NIB through the supplier I used... of course, he knew that and charged the MSRP... which is ~$199... most used went for $120-$150. The socket is unique, so I had little choice...



11-26-2008, 10:18 PM   #9
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I have to admit I've been lusting after one of these for some time now.

This thread dosn't help!

11-27-2008, 05:22 AM   #10
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I was salivating before... now I need a pan under my chin
11-27-2008, 08:05 AM   #11
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I have an MZ-S and can't say enough good things about it. With the grip, it is the most comfortable, well-balanced camera I have ever held. I'd love to pick up a second body when I can afford it.

Buffy (who bought Marc's 77mm Ltd.)
11-27-2008, 08:17 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buffy Quote
I have an MZ-S and can't say enough good things about it. With the grip, it is the most comfortable, well-balanced camera I have ever held. I'd love to pick up a second body when I can afford it.

Buffy (who bought Marc's 77mm Ltd.)
I agree about the handling. I am stoked about using it for the CWR with the Ilford film.

Buffy: nice lens!!! Shall this be our new avatars???

Regards,
Marc (who sold his 77mm Ltd. to Buffy)
11-27-2008, 12:41 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
I was salivating before... now I need a pan under my chin
same here..
11-27-2008, 01:48 PM   #14
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The MZ-S is the best camera body that I have ever handled. Period.

I find that it is designed to be the most comfortable way to handle a camera. In other words, it's got the best ergonomics. Simple things, like the slanted top plate (what a great idea), buttons where they should be, large dials which are easy to control and access (especially with gloves in cold weather), the 2 second mirror prefire, wireless shutter release and wireless flash functions, a small body size, a great viewfinder, and a nice accessory grip that accepts AA batteries (an important feature for me). The diminutive size of the camera compared to comparable Nikons and Canons is also a plus.

And, for me, a key thing about the MZ-S is this: not overloading the camera with too many features. When I'm out in the field I don't want to accidentally trigger a setting and not realize it until afterwards. It's easier to do than you'd think.

The only 2 things I wish the MZ-S had are 1) the ability to control aperture via the body instead of the aperture ring and 2) a button that I can push that can instantly spot meter and after a few seconds revert to the default metering method I've set (my MZ-6 can do this).

I like the MZ-S so much I've bought 3 of them, all with the battery grip, acquired over the last few years. I use all 3 of them, too. I keep them loaded with different types of film.

And if I come across a fourth MZ-S I'm going to buy it as well.

EDIT: The data imprinting on the negatives (near the sprocket holes) is a very nice feature, this is what Marc calls analog EXIF. To give a bit more info, this feature shows aperture, shutter speed, metering method (spot, centre, matrix), and roll number (the camera keeps track of how many rolls of film has gone through it).

Last edited by tranq78; 12-05-2008 at 09:25 AM. Reason: grammer
11-27-2008, 04:14 PM   #15
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For me its a missed oppertunity, when I bought the MX-5n I could have afforded the MZ-S (just) but bought the MZ5-n instead. Now I wish I bought the MZ-S....
I have not seen one since as I would love one to accompany my K20D.
I will just have to keep looking.......
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