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01-10-2009, 09:04 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Bless you. I have a 14 year old son myself and I wish he had any interest at all in photography.

Still the same issue, though. Only with limited funds it will necessarily be longer between each new addition. Fortunately, there are many very nice film cameras out there at relatively cheap prices, since practically everybody is going digital these days.

The most important consideration for you in your situation is that the camera be in good mechanical working order. After all, you don't want to get one and then not be able to use it while you're saving up money to have it repaired. The question of features and M42 mount or K-mount is secondary.

There may even be some big-hearted generous Pentax Forums member who would be willing to gift you a starter camera if they have some extras lying about. I wouldn't be surprised.
I do have one question regarding feaures of the camera.
1: Is field of depth preview worth it??
2: Is mirror lock up really needed?

01-10-2009, 09:12 PM   #32
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You can live without DOF preview, but it is nice to have. On K-mount camera bodies some cameras have DOF preview and some don't. But on M42 bodies they all have it, as it is a function controlled by the lenses and not the camera bodies.

I don't own any cameras with MLU so I really can't say anything other than I have never experienced any problems not having it. Its only purpose it to eliminate any shake introduced by the mirror going up during long exposure shots (typically on a tripod). The only thing I do to reduce shake is to use either a cable release or the self-timer to fire the shutter.
01-10-2009, 10:49 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
You can live without DOF preview, but it is nice to have. On K-mount camera bodies some cameras have DOF preview and some don't. But on M42 bodies they all have it, as it is a function controlled by the lenses and not the camera bodies.

I don't own any cameras with MLU so I really can't say anything other than I have never experienced any problems not having it. Its only purpose it to eliminate any shake introduced by the mirror going up during long exposure shots (typically on a tripod). The only thing I do to reduce shake is to use either a cable release or the self-timer to fire the shutter.
It seems your pulling for the Spotmatic?
01-10-2009, 11:46 PM   #34
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It was my intention to just answer the questions as fully as possible without introducing my own pro-M42 bias. Usually, though, for folks on a budget I do suggest they consider Takumar lenses, as they are of almost universal great quality and are available very inexpensively. Naturally, they would work great with a Spotmatic (and with an adapter work on almost all of the K-mount cameras, with limitations). The entire Spotmatic line has been out of production since 1973, yet there are still a great many people who love them and use them.

I own about 20 film cameras and my two favorite and most used are a Spotmatic ESII (1973) and an SV (1962-1973). They share lenses easily with my modern digital K100D and K20D. After the change from M42 mount to K-mount Pentax came out with the M series of lenses, which will also work just fine on modern digitals, although the older M42 lenses are actually easier to use on digital. The Takumar lenses also enjoy a somewhat better reputation than the M series, at least when speaking in broad general terms.

For quality, ease of use, reputation, and economic considerations I would say you certainly couldn't go wrong with a mechanically sound Spotmatic and two or three Takumar lenses. And I imagine that such a setup can easily be had within your stated budget of $200.

Of course, K-mount film bodies also have their merits and several usability improvements became possible with the switch to K-mount, as is reflected in the range of different features you find available on the various cameras.

With film more so than with digital, perhaps, the absolute most important thing is not the camera....it is the glass. Digitals have their sensors built-in. With a film camera you choose what "sensor" you want every time you put a roll of film in. So that in effect just so long as the camera is working properly as far as shutter speed and activating the aperture goes, it really doesn't make a damned bit of difference what camera body you use. What is going to affect the photo most of all is the quality of the shooter behind the camera and the glass in front of it. For quality and affordability, that spells T-a-k-u-m-a-r to me.

Always keep this small philosophical point in mind: You don't hang a lens on the front of your camera; you hang a camera on the back of your lens.

01-11-2009, 12:01 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
It was my intention to just answer the questions as fully as possible without introducing my own pro-M42 bias. Usually, though, for folks on a budget I do suggest they consider Takumar lenses, as they are of almost universal great quality and are available very inexpensively. Naturally, they would work great with a Spotmatic (and with an adapter work on almost all of the K-mount cameras, with limitations). The entire Spotmatic line has been out of production since 1973, yet there are still a great many people who love them and use them.

I own about 20 film cameras and my two favorite and most used are a Spotmatic ESII (1973) and an SV (1962-1973). They share lenses easily with my modern digital K100D and K20D. After the change from M42 mount to K-mount Pentax came out with the M series of lenses, which will also work just fine on modern digitals, although the older M42 lenses are actually easier to use on digital. The Takumar lenses also enjoy a somewhat better reputation than the M series, at least when speaking in broad general terms.

For quality, ease of use, reputation, and economic considerations I would say you certainly couldn't go wrong with a mechanically sound Spotmatic and two or three Takumar lenses. And I imagine that such a setup can easily be had within your stated budget of $200.

Of course, K-mount film bodies also have their merits and several usability improvements became possible with the switch to K-mount, as is reflected in the range of different features you find available on the various cameras.

With film more so than with digital, perhaps, the absolute most important thing is not the camera....it is the glass. Digitals have their sensors built-in. With a film camera you choose what "sensor" you want every time you put a roll of film in. So that in effect just so long as the camera is working properly as far as shutter speed and activating the aperture goes, it really doesn't make a damned bit of difference what camera body you use. What is going to affect the photo most of all is the quality of the shooter behind the camera and the glass in front of it. For quality and affordability, that spells T-a-k-u-m-a-r to me.

Always keep this small philosophical point in mind: You don't hang a lens on the front of your camera; you hang a camera on the back of your lens.
Dang it, this must be the third time this night I have changed my mind. Thanks for your post and all you help. I can't stress that enough. You have now drawn me to the spotmatics, and might I say, that was a very persuasive post.
01-11-2009, 12:04 AM   #36
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You can always put a Pentax m42 adapter on a k2 or KX or even and use the Taks.
01-11-2009, 12:26 AM   #37
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Blue raises a good point and one that I should have emphasized.
01-11-2009, 04:53 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
You can always put a Pentax m42 adapter on a k2 or KX or even and use the Taks.
You could even use the Taks on another camera system (via adapters also) if you feel that you should go with another brand later on.

01-11-2009, 05:45 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by EagleEye Quote
I will eventually collect. But I am 14 and have a limited flow of money. An investmant like that would be big for me. So I want to get one that will serve a semi beginner well.

Congratulations in that case! And I'm sorry for teasing you. My daughter stole my SP1000 when she was 16. I still don't have a working Spotmatic to replace it (though the ES II is at Eric's right now...)

Just so you understand: my daughter is into photography, she went to photo camp with a Program Plus. In her opinion the SP1000 is the prettiest camera we have, which is why she stole it. She uses it with and without flash - only thing, sometimes she finds the manual metering a pain. She'll probably steal the ES II when she catches on to the automation.

I'm a great fan of the M42 screw mount. You can get all sorts of interesting cheap lenses, each of which can teach you something, but most of which aren't as good as the Takumars. With the plain K mount, the market is about like it is with M42. That is, you can get lots of cheap lenses. With the K-A onwards, things start to get pricey and Pentax lenses become rarer.

In M42, I have a Yashica Electro-X and a Fuji ST605, and can recommend both brands as excellent Spotmatic alternatives. The Spotmatic is better put together than either alternative however. The main benefit of the Yashica and Fuji is that you can get a camera + lens for less than $20, whereas most Spotmatics go for more.

The Electro-X as well as the KX have MLU. I've never used the feature.
DOF preview I've found is marginally useful - the ground glass view finder only approximates what the film will capture.

If you can find a KX in good condition, it's a beautiful camera. If you find the MX in good condition instead, it too is a beautiful camera. And if the camera happens to be a K1000, well, you got a beautiful camera. (I'll include ME Super, Super Program, Program Plus in this list of beauty).

With the automatics, you can use any K mount lens in aperture priority, and all Takumars in 'stop down aperture priority'. Seriously, if you aren't intent on a fully manual only camera, I'd suggest one of the automatics I list. They are newer, thus probably more reliable, and available at good prices.

On the fully manual camera side, I think the posters above have convinced me as well: the Spotmatic is a great place to start.

So you really can't go wrong! (But try to calm down from the hunt high before you spend your money. We all get wrapped up in the buying research... the cave man did so too. But when the herd ran past, he'd catch the one that presented itself as the easiest catch.)
01-11-2009, 06:18 AM   #40
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QuoteQuote:
Always keep this small philosophical point in mind: You don't hang a lens on the front of your camera; you hang a camera on the back of your lens.
very, very wise.
01-11-2009, 07:04 AM   #41
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So what you guys are saying is that the camera I choose isn't really important? And you suggest either a M42 mount camera or a k-mount with an M42 adapter?
Just making sure of what you have said.
01-11-2009, 07:45 AM   #42
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To help us answer that question it would help to know if you already have any other stuff. Do you already have a digital body or any Pentax lenses at all? For example, if you're already set up with K-mount lenses it would be silly of us to suggest an M42 body.

As I said earlier, the most important thing is that the camera is in good operating condition. Whether it is K-mount or M42 mount is really sort of personal preference and neither one would be a mistake.
01-11-2009, 10:28 AM   #43
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Right now I have a SF10, a Sigma 28-70mm zoom lens, and a Imado auto tele converter 2x for pentax k-mount, and a uv filter with some other zoom filters.
01-11-2009, 11:43 AM   #44
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well you aren't too far invested in K mount at the moment (at least not by most standards) so either one I think could be a good choice. I think m42 is still a viable choice because Takumars still go for so cheap compared to their K mount brothers. this could allow you to purchase a camera and several lenses for m42. given what you listed I would say either one is financially viable, its really up to you. I just don't feel you are invested enough in K mount with what you have, to say 'absolutely' go K mount.
01-11-2009, 11:59 AM   #45
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For a daily user, the only bodies that have even close to similar features as the K2 or KX will be the Spot F, ES or ES II. The other bodies are great but I think they are more for collectors and enthusiasts. That's just my opinion based on my experiences. It would be interesting to see Woof's opinion in this thread regarding M42 Pentax. I will add that there is some other fine m42 glass out there as well.
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