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02-26-2009, 10:35 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by CSoars Quote
I find it kind of breaks my 'flow' if doing a little shoot or session, I'd rather leave it on C and release when I hear the wind. At 2 fps, I'm not going to be shooting accidental frames.

It is damned noisy, though, negates the lovely cloth shutter I'm so fond of.
I usually prefer to do that, too. S can be handy if you'd like to shoot, then lower the camera somewhere where the sound won't carry, then raise it again, for instance. Or to wait for a moment when other sounds will cover the extra noise. Not really a circumstance that comes up often, but sometimes during events or whatnot.

02-26-2009, 12:11 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by CSoars Quote

Winder is great, battery door sucks, I've had to use a small bolt to hold it in place which necessitates the removal of the top plate to open the compartment; 2 of the tiny bolts are left out this way. Luckily I put in Lithiums and don't use it too often, so it should be a while before having to disassemble it.

The little plastic threaded bolt sheared off after sitting tight for a while; there's quite a bit of tension on the door from the battery springs.
That's a known defect with these winders, as is losing the little tab that locks the door closed.

For a time there were replacement doors available on ebay - they still come up once in a while in the parts section. Try any local camera shops that carried Pentax - they may still have one on a storeroom shelf.

An answer is to release the battery door when the winder is not in use. Drawback to this strategy is every time you turn the locking wheel you risk breaking the shaft or tab.
02-26-2009, 02:56 PM   #33
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I also think the MX needs a grip. I don't want a winder, and that's a lot more grip than I have in mind. I'm considering making something, possibly similar to the wooden grip on the 6x7, but I have to get the CLA done first.

I have to say that I prefer the feel of a P3n over almost anything I've tried. OK, that's because I used one for a long time. It certainly has no outstanding technical features to crow over. It does have really clean lines though. Also the shutter speed dial and film winder crank are well-protected from knocks.
02-26-2009, 03:00 PM   #34
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i think something like an RF grip would be neat
ZEISS IKON SIDE GRIP

02-26-2009, 04:13 PM   #35
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The MX may be slightly shorter than the Super-A/Program-A, but it is the Super-A/Program-A that are the thinnest Pentax bodies ever, see below and the link (same was posted on Pentax Forum as well). But it is small differences. Even the LX is about the same size if you compare the pre-autofocus and pre-digital with the later autofocus and digital bodies. All the bodies discussed in this thread are excellent bodies for their time and I'm still shooting with the KX/LX/MX/Super-A. The ME-super may not be my favorit, but it is OK, I've used it. My mother has one. Each has its own advantages. The KX if you have big hands. The MX if you want a compact camera that are fully manual, the LX if you want pro-features and weather-protection (and a wow feeling), and the Super-A/Program-A if you want to be able to use the A-features of more modern lenses and to set the aperture without using an aperture ring. I'm not sure that the pureley mechanical cameras may on average survive longer than those with digital shutters, but they may be easier to repair once we are out of spare parts (which I think we are for all these models unless you canibalise on another body). The ME-Super/Super-A/Program-A has with their digital shutters probably a more exact exposure than the mechanical shutters (not entirely sure about this), but there is on the other hand the problem that the tiny lcd displays often fail sooner than the rest of the camera with the effect that you don't know how the camera will expose (this is something to ask about when you buy one of these cameras: is the lcd's on the outside and inside of the bodies alive?)

Some comments here on why the MX are held so high by many questions how usefull it is when it is fully manual compared to bodies like ME-super or Super-A that have automatic exposure alternatives. Now, I think that it may be that you have to have grown up with these sort of cameras to understand how you think when you use one if you are realy used to them. Take a spotmatic (I started with similar Praktika bodies in my camera club), it has a needle connected to the light meeter and a ring to aim at. You set a shutter time and then you turn the aperture ring until you get the needel into the ring if you want correct exposure...you keep on doing this as the light change or you move the camera ove the motive (might need to change focus of course)...but...if there is for exampel a big white wall behind the motive, you leave the needle slightly above the ring, or if there is a big dark bush, you leave it slightly below the ring...like you would use exposure compensation on a more advanced body...and when you got used to this, I mean realy used to it, you do it without even thinking about it. You are the integreted circuit with the auto program exposure. It does not matter if the camera has a needle on top of a scale with exposure times like the KX, you can still choose to let the needle rest above or below the set exposure time...for the MX it is instead some colored light on a scale with exposure times, but you can handle it in the same way. This is total manual controle with a built in light meeter. But if you are not used to it and does not spend enough time with it to learn it until you do it without thinking it is of course slow and strange. I'm not sure I would have learned it today, but I had no alternatives when I got started.

LX is clearly my favorit. Besides the specification you need to hold one and use one to understand why. But right now and since a couple of months it is the MX that rides in my winter coat pocket. I enjoy the full manual controle in a compact body. Before that it was for a while the Super-A. It is nice to have alternatives.




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02-26-2009, 04:34 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I have to say that I prefer the feel of a P3n over almost anything I've tried...
It certainly has no outstanding technical features to crow over.
It does have exposure memory lock, a powerful feature the ME, ME Super and even LX cameras do not.
When used with substitute metering, it gives you the equivalent of manual exposure control in AE.

Chris
02-26-2009, 07:57 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
maybe if I owned an LX my view would be different, but out of all the K mount cameras I have used ( I also own a Super A) the MX is by far the best of the best. if I could transplant the meter, AE, MLU, interchangeable finders, weather sealing, and strap lugs all over the the smaller MX it would be the greatest 35mm SLR ever. period. hrmmm. maybe I should get an LX?
heihei, I think you should get an LX


Maybe not. LX is considerably bigger and heavier than MX. You might not like it if you prefer smaller size.

QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
Hey there Frank! Personally, the allure for me is that the MX is the all-mechanical sibling to the LX. While LR44 batteries are plentiful, my main concern with the LX is that replacement parts for its electronic components will be harder to come by as time passes. I don't mind the meter failing, as that's to be expected with any old camera (though in fairness, my 2nd-hand LX is still going strong), but I also don't want to be stuck with only fast shutter speeds available should the electronic part of the hybrid shutter fail, too.

Minus a couple of key features, the MX has the conveniences available to the LX, especially the wealth of accessories for the MX. That, and should the electronics die, the camera is still perfectly usable with all speeds enabled.

That said, I'm growing to appreciate the KX I got here, and I believe it already fulfills what I wanted in the MX. I just need to get used to the match-needle metering.
Thanks Vinzer for your input I kinda worried about the fail of LX too. Obviously its repair cost is more than buying a second hand MX, and there aren't many places where we can have an LX serviced

Maybe you are right about the long time effect of a full mechanical camera. I'll play MX a bit more and see how it goes. The roll of film I put in still got half way to go.
02-26-2009, 08:06 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
it all goes back to what I call the M syndrom. Olympus hired a sexy model, Cheryl Tigs I think, to promote their cameras, which were sold as the smallest SLRs ever. Pentax came out witht he M series at about the same time, and I think, the MX was actually the smallest body ever for 35mm film.

In fact, I found it just too small, so I didn't buy it. I started with a Ricoh XR2s and a KX, both full sized film bodies
I was too little to know all about this sexy model thing when MX came out


Some people (me included) like smaller cameras, some prefer bigger one like the KX. I played K1000 and KX (in a shop), still prefer smaller cameras like ME Super or SuperA

QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
The Pentax MX has all the essential features for 35mm SLR photography, and nothing more.
It was for a time the Pentax top-of-the-line professional model. All in a very slick package.

This is one camera I have tried hard to love; I have bought, sold and re-bought MX bodies several times.
One major annoyance for me is the shutter speed display which intrudes too far into the focusing screen.
But the real dealbreaker is that it's just too small for my big hands to quickly and easily operate.

Chris
Hey Chris, I still miss your black MX. Kinda regret that I didn't take it

Anyway, one more short come I feel about MX is that its limited shutter speed range. 1000 isn't enough if you are gonna use ISO800 film or even ISO400 one. And it's not easy to take night shots w/o using some other addition accessories. LX is by far the most reliable camera (I've used) for long time low light photography

02-26-2009, 08:16 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
I think one reason people like the MXes over ME Supers is really the latter's got the funny little shutter speed buttons, and in general, less-convenient manual metering: it's really an aperture-priority only camera with an override put back in, rather than one designed around manual metering. They're both lovely-small cameras, of course, got an ME Super, myself, mostly to have something that can share lenses with digital on any occasion I want to be carrying light.
Those little shutter speed buttons never bothered me any bit 'cause I never used them, and don't see any reason to use them at all when I have Av mode plus EV compensation available right on top of the camera

QuoteOriginally posted by MRRiley Quote
For those of you who find the MX too small, try the optional winder. It makes a perfect camera even more so.

I had a winder for my SuerProgram, but somehow I still prefer using the camera w/o the winder For me I still feel the winder is something added on, not really mated to the camera as well as latter grips like those for MZ series cameras, or our digital camera's grips.

QuoteOriginally posted by CSoars Quote
It is damned noisy, though, negates the lovely cloth shutter I'm so fond of.
You are absolute right on this one. Kinda scary when I heard the winder winding the first time
02-26-2009, 08:24 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I also think the MX needs a grip. I don't want a winder, and that's a lot more grip than I have in mind. I'm considering making something, possibly similar to the wooden grip on the 6x7, but I have to get the CLA done first.

I have to say that I prefer the feel of a P3n over almost anything I've tried. OK, that's because I used one for a long time. It certainly has no outstanding technical features to crow over. It does have really clean lines though. Also the shutter speed dial and film winder crank are well-protected from knocks.
Sounds like a nice idea. Hope to see your wooden grip for MX soon, maybe we can all order one from you

I once held the a P3n when I was walking around a second hand shop, the camera had a nice and clean A50/1.4 mounted on. Played it for a short while, ended up I walked away w/ the A50/1.4 lens and $200SGD less in my wallet. It did feel to be a very nice little camera, but I kinda prefer the classic look of ME Super or SuperA better

QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
i think something like an RF grip would be neat
ZEISS IKON SIDE GRIP
That's a nice one. I'm sure some would love to have it on their MX cameras
02-26-2009, 08:35 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Douglas_of_Sweden Quote
The MX may be slightly shorter than the Super-A/Program-A, but it is the Super-A/Program-A that are the thinnest Pentax bodies ever, see below and the link (same was posted on Pentax Forum as well). But it is small differences. Even the LX is about the same size if you compare the pre-autofocus and pre-digital with the later autofocus and digital bodies. All the bodies discussed in this thread are excellent bodies for their time and I'm still shooting with the KX/LX/MX/Super-A. The ME-super may not be my favorit, but it is OK, I've used it. My mother has one. Each has its own advantages. The KX if you have big hands. The MX if you want a compact camera that are fully manual, the LX if you want pro-features and weather-protection (and a wow feeling), and the Super-A/Program-A if you want to be able to use the A-features of more modern lenses and to set the aperture without using an aperture ring. I'm not sure that the pureley mechanical cameras may on average survive longer than those with digital shutters, but they may be easier to repair once we are out of spare parts (which I think we are for all these models unless you canibalise on another body). The ME-Super/Super-A/Program-A has with their digital shutters probably a more exact exposure than the mechanical shutters (not entirely sure about this), but there is on the other hand the problem that the tiny lcd displays often fail sooner than the rest of the camera with the effect that you don't know how the camera will expose (this is something to ask about when you buy one of these cameras: is the lcd's on the outside and inside of the bodies alive?)

Some comments here on why the MX are held so high by many questions how usefull it is when it is fully manual compared to bodies like ME-super or Super-A that have automatic exposure alternatives. Now, I think that it may be that you have to have grown up with these sort of cameras to understand how you think when you use one if you are realy used to them. Take a spotmatic (I started with similar Praktika bodies in my camera club), it has a needle connected to the light meeter and a ring to aim at. You set a shutter time and then you turn the aperture ring until you get the needel into the ring if you want correct exposure...you keep on doing this as the light change or you move the camera ove the motive (might need to change focus of course)...but...if there is for exampel a big white wall behind the motive, you leave the needle slightly above the ring, or if there is a big dark bush, you leave it slightly below the ring...like you would use exposure compensation on a more advanced body...and when you got used to this, I mean realy used to it, you do it without even thinking about it. You are the integreted circuit with the auto program exposure. It does not matter if the camera has a needle on top of a scale with exposure times like the KX, you can still choose to let the needle rest above or below the set exposure time...for the MX it is instead some colored light on a scale with exposure times, but you can handle it in the same way. This is total manual controle with a built in light meeter. But if you are not used to it and does not spend enough time with it to learn it until you do it without thinking it is of course slow and strange. I'm not sure I would have learned it today, but I had no alternatives when I got started.

LX is clearly my favorit. Besides the specification you need to hold one and use one to understand why. But right now and since a couple of months it is the MX that rides in my winter coat pocket. I enjoy the full manual controle in a compact body. Before that it was for a while the Super-A. It is nice to have alternatives.




through the viewfinder
Hi Douglas, thanks for the detailed input. I guess I became abit too lazy to set everything manually because I've used digital for too long Yes, I do love manual focus or manual metering even on a digital. But the newer cameras made these a lot easier (focusing confirmation, on body aperture or speed adjustment ...). And SuperProgram was the first manual camera I really used for long, which got exactly what I wanted for a film camera. That's why I became attached to it somehow, I even prefer it over the LX due to its smaller size and lighter weight.

I guess I'll give the MX more time and shoot several rolls of film, maybe I'd love it better
02-28-2009, 12:24 AM   #42
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I have 2 ME Super's and an LX, and find the ME Super an easier camera to use most of the time. The main thing the ME Super lacks is DoF preview - I can live without mirror lockup - though I do find the interchangeable finders on the LX great (I have 2 finders).

As for the MX, I'm attracted to it on the basis that it's manual, simple, small and light, and would round out my collection. But if I see a cheap SuperA out there, I'd be seriously tempted since it's an ME Super with DoF and program mode, grip, etc. as well as having full manual operation. In my mind (and without actually using one), the SuperA just about has everything I would need 99% of the time.
02-28-2009, 11:45 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Sounds like a nice idea. Hope to see your wooden grip for MX soon, maybe we can all order one from you
"Soon" doesn't really apply to any of my projects, but I'll post something here if I actually make something.
02-28-2009, 12:21 PM   #44
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Working on a MX grip with a machined aluminum baseplate and a little wooden 'filler grip' to sit under/adjacent to the DOF lever.
02-28-2009, 10:37 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Hi All,

I've played quite some film cameras since I went back to film last year, including a couple of MX cameras. I know quite some people love MX, but after comparing it against some other manual cameras like ME/ME Super or SuperA/SuperProgram, I feel those cameras are much easier to use. MX does have bigger and brighter viewfinder (not much bigger than ME/ME Super's), but its film forward winding just doesn't feel as well as ME Super or SuperA, not to say LX, and its speed dial isn't easy to reach or turn. It's a full manual camera, most time I'm too busy turning both aperture ring and speed dial to get proper exposure, plus manual focusing, sometimes I just lost the fun of taking photos.

It's a beautiful camera, very solid and well built. But its body seems to be too short to feel comfortable. SuperA/SuperProgram feels much better in this regard. After playing it for a while, I just don't know what's the fuzz about it. I feel ME Super and SuperA/Super Program are better cameras (easier to use, better handling ...)

Care to share your thoughts on this?

Oh btw, I still love the camera, probably would keep it long, for collection purpose mostly I guess.
I'll steer this a bit toward the orginal topic...

I got my first MX on January 11, 1983. The receipt is still in the manual. I still have, and use, the camera along with the M 50/1.4 that came with it. Camera and lens have both been overhauled and repaired several times- they've seen some pretty hard use.

I bought the camera as a replacement for a couple of K-mount bodies that I had used as a newspaper photographer, which were getting pretty tired.

The attraction at the time was that the MX was a superbly built mechanical body with a sophisticated metering system. I was living in northern Canada and needed cold-weather capabilities, so the ability to function without batteries was a key.

In terms of ergonomics, like many I find the body a bit small in the hand. I also find the LED meter display too dim to be really useful in bright light. Match needle displays are better. On the other hand, if the light is bright enough to obscure the LED you don't need a meter anyhow.

Interestingly, from my point of view the camera really comes into its own as a serious tool for fast-moving low-light work (by the standards of its day, of course). If you add the winder, the camera becomes easy to hold quite steady at slow shutter speeds. In dim light the LED becomes very visible; combined with the excellent sensitivity of the meter, working in low light is enormously easier than with match-needle systems. It seems to me that this low-light capability was a major factor in the desigh of the camera, particularly if you think of serious photographers as people who work with existing light in a broad range of conditions.

Over the years I've seen a lot of discussions of the mirror lock-up hack for the MX.
If I remember correctly, one design feature was a mirror damping mechanism that in Pentax's view made MLU unnecessary.

Why the continuing popularity of the MX? It's a little jewel that continues to be capable of making good pictures. It has the essential character of a fine mechanical instrument, which means that there is pleasure in using it. I have mine in a kit with a KX, (another mechanical beauty) and several prime lenses. The MX is loaded with HP5 and used hand-held (with winder). The KX is loaded with FP4 and is used mainly on a tripod, usually with its very convenient MLU.

I get a lot of pleasure from using the old beasts. (Super Programs were my most used cameras for 15 years. They work well, but just don't have the character of the MX.)

Cheers

John
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