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01-07-2009, 08:44 PM   #1
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Manual Starting Camera

Earlier this year I picked up a SF10 for 5 bucks at a garage sale. The pictures turned out amazing. However, had trouble with pictures not developing. I just can't take the risk of the picture not coming out.
So in a nutshell, I'm looking for a new camera.
I want something woth good picture quality. Autofocus may be nice, but I kinda like the simple basics. So if the camera is all manual, thats more than okay.
I plan to do nature photography and architecture( I went to seattle with my camera and started taking pictures of the city and they came out amazing!). I would like to eventually try black in white. I would like the cost to be lower than $200, lower would be even better. I already have k mount lenses, a 50mm and a 2x converter so I'm good on lenses.
I guess what I'm asking is what is a good manual camera for less than $200 and manual( but if it has autofocus that's okay but manual is good).
Where would I buy it?
Also what should I do about my SF10?
Thanks in advance.

01-07-2009, 10:06 PM   #2
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I can vouch for the MX, though I'm not sure what it's going for. 1-1/1000th of a second mechanical shutter, 2 button cells for the meter, compact and wonderfully built.
01-08-2009, 12:27 AM   #3
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MX!

DoF preview, fully manual, lockable shutter button, not-always-active meter, interchangable screens, winder, brightest viewfinder, everyday batteries, personal protection build...

Mine was $80...very clean, put in new lightseals and SG focus screen...love it
01-08-2009, 12:59 AM   #4
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Check the *ist (non D) or the ZX-6, ZX-L, ZX-7 for AF bodies
For non AF bodies in that price range an MX or a ME Super should do.

01-08-2009, 06:31 AM   #5
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+1 to the MX suggestion. They're definitely available for less than $200. eBay would be your best bet.

I'm not sure about your SF10, though. I'd probably keep it for myself (or give it to a relative to get them to try photography, too), since I'm not sure it'll command a good price if you sell it. No harm in trying, though.
01-08-2009, 07:12 AM   #6
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Any MX, ME Super, Super Program, Program Plus - these to me seem at the sweet spot of manual cameras, well made, small, reliable, and (apart from MX) with exposure automation.

With autofocus, the ZX series are good cameras, though careful with the model, as some have crippled mounts, limiting your lens diet. (I have a ZX-10 which is nice, the glamour camera is the ZX5n)

Apart from eBay, KEH is a good source if you want to eliminate risk.
01-08-2009, 08:09 AM   #7
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You can check the Ricoh SLRs (pre-program series). They are less expensive (often half price as Pentax cameras). Also, there are the Chinon and Cosina made cameras.
01-08-2009, 03:34 PM   #8
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1: Is there any advantage of the MX over the ME?
2: Hows the Canonn ae-1?

01-08-2009, 04:03 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by EagleEye Quote
1: Is there any advantage of the MX over the ME?
2: Hows the Canonn ae-1?
MX is all manual, ME is aperture-priority only. The battery in the MX is only for the light meter, so you can still use the camera if the battery dies. Not so with the ME.

The viewfinder is way better in the MX as well.
01-08-2009, 09:11 PM   #10
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Just as a side question how well would the k100 work for me. I want a camera that will last me awhile, and can take high-quality pictures. I know quality is based largely on the person behind the camera but if the camera is low quality then the pictures I know will suffer. So how is the quality? Compared to the ME and MX?
01-08-2009, 10:16 PM   #11
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Do you mean a K1000 or a K100D? The K1000 is a classic all-manual camera, beloved/revered by photgraphy schools down the ages. A classic. Virtually indestructible, easy to use, low maintenance, take it anywhere, shoot anything. Not as light or compact as an ME, but fewer electronics to go wrong (my ME-F died recently). One button battery for the meter, can still be used if the battery dies. I got mine for $120AUS, with an M40mm f2.8 pancake lens, so should be a lot cheaper for you.

The K100D is kind of like the digital equivalent of a K1000, IMHO. Simple, solid, etc., but you weren't asking about digital cameras...
01-09-2009, 04:10 AM   #12
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Yeah, sorry, I ment the k1000. I may look at the kx, since I believe it's part of the same series, and has field of depth preview, and other such goodies. Is the quality like the k1000?
01-09-2009, 04:11 AM   #13
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The K1000 is a great no frills camera, a truck, a diesel, a marathon runner.

And they are in plentiful supply, as these were bought by the ton for teaching/learning.

The only drawback is that being the KNOWN basic Pentax model, the prices may be higher than for, say, the KX or even MX... I have a KX and yes, it's built very well indeed. I also have a Program Plus, and it too is a solid camera, though with an entirely different feel. I think I prefer the Pgm Plus for everyday use.

What the "better" cameras add are usually "features" which tend to be either photographically insignificant or applicable only on special circumstances. But the market place and the typical male photographer wants these bells & whistles...

The other direction, the "Consumer" cameras of the 80/90's, was to make a SLR s much like a Point &Shoot as possible. These are cameras with program or Av only - ie. no manual settings possible. Not bad cameras, but this would represent a photographically significant "feature" [and why the ME Super is preferable to the ME]

If you want to attempt to stay rational about the camera choice, and there's a special requirement you have, then by all means narrow down to the bodies that have a feature to satisfy the requirement. Otherwise, it really doesn't matter which Pentax body... This is how I ended up with most of mine: the Pgm Plus came with a 28mm SMC-A and I won the auction at a low price. The KX was at the local photo store. Had each been a different model, I'd have happily snatched them up.
01-09-2009, 04:23 AM   #14
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The k1000 is a basic camera, the KX/K2 is the pumped up version of it

In the M-series cameras the MX was the flagship until the LX came over, and the MESuper is probably the next-best even though it was criticized for not having a spee dial but some buttons to change speeds.
The M-series were smaller, lighter and most had electronic shutters. Batteries last for ever in them and the viewfinders are BRIGHT

I do not know if its possible for you to get one on loan from someone else first and see if you like it.


The Canon AE-1 is considered highly, but I never liked it being used to the Spotmatic and the Nikon FE which IMHO are far superior
01-09-2009, 04:58 AM   #15
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I would suggest the MX as its the best of the bunch concerning the M series. but one thing to keep in mind is that its small. smaller than the ME(super). if you can get used to that, great. but if you find it too small for your hands, MX winders (which most MX users will tell you makes the camera feel almost perfect) are a bit hard to come by and usually expensive. (I can sell you one though if thats the route you choose) where as the other M sereis cameras are taller and fit most hands a bit better. if you would like to have some AE and not just fully manual exposure then I think looking at a super program (super A) would be good as well.

concerning the K series... I dont think the K1000 is the best choice. honestly its lacking and was meant that way. it was the late comer of the K series and only made in Japan for two years before having manufacture moved to China. as far as I know all other K sereies were made in Japan and didnt forgoe cost cutting measures during the K series run. you can likely get a KM, or KX cheaper than a good early example K1000 (cant really say on the K2) and having a few extra features (most importantly a shutter lock) is worth it.

for what its worth here are the K mount bodies I suggest:
KX, MX, ME Super, Super Program/A

the KX and MX are actually nearly identical in most respects(not counting size) including the little window in the viewfinder to see the aperture setting. but the KX (along with the K2) has something the MX never had (but should have) MLU mirror lock up. a great feature especially for long lenses and tripod use.

the only reasons I can give for getting a K2 is that it has AE and exposure compensation just like that of the Spotmatic ESII and the only K mount camera to have it until the ME(super). but the wonky dial which is on the lens mount is known to have sticking problems and hard to work when lens is mounted.

sorry rambled a bit there.
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