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02-01-2009, 07:00 PM   #1
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How is the Pentax ZX-L film camera?

It is bad enough that I have LBA, now I think I am starting to develope FBBA(Film Body Buying Addtion). I just recently signed up for a FILM photography class and I am excited about how the class is going. I will be able to develop FILM for the first time.

Anyways, when I signed up for the class I bought the K1000 for the class. After I bought that camera, I bought a Tamron macro lens(manual) from cragslist because I got a good deal on it. That lens also came with another Pentax film body, the P3n.

I've been wanting an AF film body from pentax but don't want to spend too much money on it. Now I see the ZX-L body with a Pentax 28-80mm lens and a Tamron 70-300mm lens for $125. I think that lens alone is worth $125. If the listing was listed locally, I would of bought it without even thinking about it. But the post is listed in a different city and is about a 2 hour drive. So now I am thinking is it worth the drive.

So my question is how is the Pentax ZX-L camera? I don't hear many people talk about this camera.
Also another question that I have is the flash system on this camera. I have the Sigma 530 DG Super flash for my K20D. Will that clash work with the ZX-L camera?

Just wondering, what Pentax film AUTOFOCUS camera is considered the "best"? I know many people rave about the Pentax LX of the pro features that it has.

02-01-2009, 07:43 PM   #2
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ZX-L (or MZ-6) is a pretty good camera, it probably has the most features for an AF body by Pentax. For $125 w/ the two lenses bundled, I think it's a steal even for today's market (much less film shooters). If you think it's not worth it, you can send the whole packge to me, and I'll pay whatever you paid plus the shipping cost
02-01-2009, 08:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperAkuma Quote
. . .
So my question is how is the Pentax ZX-L camera? I don't hear many people talk about this camera.
Also another question that I have is the flash system on this camera. I have the Sigma 530 DG Super flash for my K20D. Will that clash work with the ZX-L camera?

Just wondering, what Pentax film AUTOFOCUS camera is considered the "best"? I know many people rave about the Pentax LX of the pro features that it has.
The ZX-L has been talked about in 2 or 3 threads in the past couple of months. It will easily make anyone's top 4 Pentax autofocus body list. I would rank the MZ-S #1, the ZX-L #2,the Pz1p # 3 and the *ist at #4 but this is highly subjective. When cost vs. features, the ZX-L is hard to beat.
02-01-2009, 09:16 PM   #4
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read what i wrote here
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/44525-hands-co...6-vs-mz-s.html

the knocks basically are
smaller vf
cheap build
no explicit metering modes

other than that it's got everything else you could want

-- if both those lenses are AF, then you should be driving there right now
the zx-l is one of the few pentax bodies that work with all flashes, TTL and P-TTL
the best is the MZ-S, especially in terms of overall usability, the PZ-1p is the most fully featured but it's kinda ugly and heavy. i have an MZ-S and love it very much.

02-01-2009, 09:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
The ZX-L has been talked about in 2 or 3 threads in the past couple of months. It will easily make anyone's top 4 Pentax autofocus body list. I would rank the MZ-S #1, the ZX-L #2,the Pz1p # 3 and the *ist at #4 but this is highly subjective. When cost vs. features, the ZX-L is hard to beat.
I'd put the MZ-3 for the second, but that's just my preference I really think MZ3 is the best combination of MF and AF cameras, that's why Pentax made a manual version for the same body too: MZ-M. The MZ-3 is so easy to use, most users don't even need a manual. And I feel it's slightly better built than the MZ6 as well, although both are plastic bodies.

But feature wise, I don't think you can get any better Pentax AF camera than the MZ6 except the much more pricey MZ-S.
02-01-2009, 09:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
I'd put the MZ-3 for the second, but that's just my preference I really think MZ3 is the best combination of MF and AF cameras, that's why Pentax made a manual version for the same body too: MZ-M. The MZ-3 is so easy to use, most users don't even need a manual. And I feel it's slightly better built than the MZ6 as well, although both are plastic bodies.
love to get an MZ-3 to replace the 5n just for that faster shutter
02-01-2009, 09:49 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input everyone.

K100D,
Yes, both lens are AF. The drive will be about 90 minute drive. I already emailed the seller hoping to pick it up, I hope he hasn't sold it yet.
02-01-2009, 10:50 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
love to get an MZ-3 to replace the 5n just for that faster shutter
For some reason I don't see many used MZ-3 bodies showing up at the usual places.

02-01-2009, 11:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
For some reason I don't see many used MZ-3 bodies showing up at the usual places.
I guess most owners really love this camera, they just don't wanna let it go for some reasons

I really enjoy using mine, actually I like MZ-3 more than MZ-S due to its smaller and more classic-looking body, and much easier to use.
02-01-2009, 11:06 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
love to get an MZ-3 to replace the 5n just for that faster shutter
From Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Page, MZ-3 has an improved mirror box, it might have better AF and consume less energy (thus better battery life) too:

Pentax Auto Focus Systems
02-02-2009, 07:59 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
From Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Page, MZ-3 has an improved mirror box, it might have better AF and consume less energy (thus better battery life) too:

Pentax Auto Focus Systems
I wonder what they dropped the p-ttl from the MZ-3. With ttl, its not that big of a deal though.
02-03-2009, 09:55 PM   #12
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Update:
Well I got the camera. This is not my image, this was his image from CL. But this is everything that I got.


Mint Pentax ZX-L with dead batteries, with brand new batteries that don't fit.
Tamron 70-300mm lens. Not the Di version.
Pentax 28-90mm lens, (stock lens?)
Pentax carrying case
Proview 2x AF teleconvertor
1 roll of fuji 400 film
Sunpak 58mm CP filter
and the manual for the FA 50mm f/1.4. I got very excited when I saw the manual, I thought he had the lens inside the box as well.

I got all that for $125+$15 in gas, + $15 for the batteries. So about $155 total for everything. I think its worth it.

Last edited by SuperAkuma; 02-04-2009 at 09:24 PM.
07-30-2009, 03:35 AM   #13
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Hey SuperAkuma, that was a great deal you got! How are you liking the camera 5+ months on? I found this thread while searching on the ZX-L. I just bought a used MZ-L from KEH - it just arrived yesterday and I've not yet shot a roll of film through it... but so far it seems like a great camera body. I paid $69 + $12 shipping for just the body, so you definitely got a great deal there! I'm looking forward to trying it out today.

Oh, and as for the naming differences, I see the ZX-L and MZ-6 mentioned as the same camera in this thread.... KEH listed this MZ-L as the Japan version of the ZX-L, so I'm guessing the MZ-6 may be the European version, meaning there are 3 name varieties.
07-31-2009, 08:28 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
I'd put the MZ-3 for the second, but that's just my preference I really think MZ3 is the best combination of MF and AF cameras, that's why Pentax made a manual version for the same body too: MZ-M. The MZ-3 is so easy to use, most users don't even need a manual. And I feel it's slightly better built than the MZ6 as well, although both are plastic bodies.

But feature wise, I don't think you can get any better Pentax AF camera than the MZ6 except the much more pricey MZ-S.
Since this thread has been revived, I have revised my list. I put the MZ-3 ahead of the list and got one for my AF body.

My final list was:

MZ-3
PZ-1p
MZ-6
MZ-5n
SF1n

The MZ-S and *Ist were just more than I wanted to spend on an AF film body due to my collection of manual film bodies.
07-31-2009, 09:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Since this thread has been revived, I have revised my list. I put the MZ-3 ahead of the list and got one for my AF body.

My final list was:

MZ-3
PZ-1p
MZ-6
MZ-5n
SF1n

The MZ-S and *Ist were just more than I wanted to spend on an AF film body due to my collection of manual film bodies.
Yes, both are way overpriced compared to the fact you can get a PZ-1P or a ZX-L for under $100. Lots of features the PZ-1P had that the MZ-S never got and some higher specs on the PZ-1P make it a no brainer, if your deciding between their two top of the line AF bodies.
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