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03-01-2009, 07:37 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
"Soon" doesn't really apply to any of my projects, but I'll post something here if I actually make something.
Looking forward to it then

QuoteOriginally posted by CSoars Quote
Working on a MX grip with a machined aluminum baseplate and a little wooden 'filler grip' to sit under/adjacent to the DOF lever.
Sounds a similar project as Dave's Hope to see the actual thing soon.

03-01-2009, 07:42 PM   #62
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QuoteOriginally posted by John Poirier Quote
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
Hi John, thanks for sharing your experiences w/ these cameras. I wish I'd as long history w/ Pentax as you guys had. For now the most effort I put into are the SuperProgram and this MX camera I have, I guess I'll use the SuperProgram a lot more, but keep the MX for fun. It's really dirty cheap nowadays, won't cost over $100 even w/ a normal lens attached.
03-01-2009, 07:47 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxmz Quote
That page is quite outdated. Since this page just barely mentions the MZ-S with the quote, "Many of the disadvantages of this camera have been addressed by the "new" flagship — the MZ-S." Wow, really...ya think?

Clearly the best (by most standards) film camera made by Pentax was the MZ-S. Just take a look at the reviews. Some reviewers even say it was one of the best film cameras made, compared to many other manufacturers (in its price range). In fact, the MZ-S is still so well regarded, that it still commands between $400 - $550 on eBay.

Since, I have owned several Pentax camera bodies (from the good old trusty K1000 up to the MZ-S), I can attest to all the positive features of this camera.

It is also interesting to note that my new Pentax K20D has a slower auto focus compared to my 10 year old MZ-S. Obviously Pentax got a lot right with this beautiful camera.

Just my own "2 cents".
I think most (and I myself included) would consider the MZ-S as the best film 35mm SLR camera ever made by Pentax. But its viewfinder can be a bit bigger though. And one more thing I think it misses is the on-body aperture adjustment feature (which can be found on Z1/Z1p and some later bodies like MZ6/ZX-L and *ist). I know some friends bought the Z1 or even MZ-6 just because of this missing feature.
03-01-2009, 07:50 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
The nylon screw catch for the Winder MX battery compartment is a really poor design - so unlike Pentax!
On mine partially depressing the winder release wouldn't activate the meter, a common problem. Eric fixed that.

The Winder MX does help the handling a bit, but the increased weight kind of defeats the purpose of the miniature camera.
I have thought about attaching the winder without batteries, but the vertical grip just gets in the way of the body release...

Chris
I guess many here felt the same about the winder. That's why some guys even came up w/ the idea of some DIY grips. I still feel SuperA/SuperProgram feels the best for a small camera w/o batter grip attached

03-01-2009, 07:54 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Oh I certainly agree - the PDML survey was completed in 2001. I linked to it because the OP queries about MX cameras and I gave a hypothetical reason that some Pentax users might be so enamored of the MX.

I sometimes contemplate simplifying my hobby by cashing out of my entire gear list and replacing it with a K20D, MZ-S and just the FA Limiteds and DA55~300 (to shoot my son playing Lacrosse). I think it would be about an even money swap.

Then I hesitate about selling a K lens or two and my KX (for a sentimental reason - it was a gift), then another lens or two, and suddenly the money doesn't work any more.
I'd love to have your K135/2.5 if you ever wanna let it go

One thing I feel is that it's lot fun to use a manual film camera than using an auto one. Yes, it's a lot easier to shoot w/ an auto camera, but we got dSLR camera for that. I'd love to shoot some film w/ a manual camera once in a while. Just my feel though.
03-01-2009, 07:59 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by DAP Quote
Well - you can add me to the list of people who are not bowled over by the MX. Don't get me wrong, it is a NICE camera. If you are looking for a small, solid, fully mechanical camera this is one of the better options. I owned a couple of them over the years (along with the associated motor drives, etc) - the MX just didn't do it for me. I found that the controls were a bit rough for my tastes (stiff shutter speed dial, advance lever was not as smooth as other pentax models, really thin/easy to dent top and bottom plates). I much preferred the LX and KX over the MX. As long as you don't get a lemon (and there are quite a number of lemons floating around out there) the LX is pretty hard to beat as far as feel, controls, and support are concerned. I find the KX, while not as physically refined as the MX, to be my favorite Pentax full manual camera (controls are smoother than the MX, build appears to be better, more features, etc.)...but to each their own.
LX is clearly the winner for the best Pentax film camera built quality wise and handling wise. But it's pretty costly to repair or service (sooner or later it'd come to that stage) MX on the other hand is a lot cheaper in this regard. Seems quite some guy prefer KX over MX, I only played it in a shop, probably will be getting one and test it out myself
03-01-2009, 08:14 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
I'd love to have your K135/2.5 if you ever wanna let it go
That's one of the keepers . . . :ugh:
One thing I feel is that it's lot fun to use a manual film camera than using an auto one. Yes, it's a lot easier to shoot w/ an auto camera, but we got dSLR camera for that. I'd love to shoot some film w/ a manual camera once in a while. Just my feel though.
See what I mean? If I keep the K10D, KX, 35/3.5, 135/2.5, Tamron 90/2.5 (vs. 77Ltd.), DA55~300 and get just the 31 and 43 Ltd - then what about the Viv S1 105, 70-210, k28/3.5, any Pentax 50 - it just goes on and the money doesn't work
But you get first crack at the 135 if I do
03-01-2009, 08:45 PM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
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 is] a beautiful camera, very solid and well built. ... 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 ...)
I've never had an MX myself, but I think you said it yourself: Solid, well-built. Also very simple in design, which means less things could go wrong. Remember, it's not a contemporary model, but for its time it would have been a reliable and robust general-use camera.

Being "easier to use" and 'better handling" doesn't always equate with "better camera". It depends on its application. And if the trade-off to a model that had pro features (DOF, etc) is that it was less easy to handle, then that would have been a fair trade in many people's eyes.

03-01-2009, 10:07 PM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
LX is clearly the winner for the best Pentax film camera built quality wise and handling wise. But it's pretty costly to repair or service (sooner or later it'd come to that stage) MX on the other hand is a lot cheaper in this regard. Seems quite some guy prefer KX over MX, I only played it in a shop, probably will be getting one and test it out myself
The KX is one fine camera also. It seems to me that the MX gets more airtime than the KX in general, so prices might be better for the KX (I think). I know that when I got my KX, it's cheaper than an MX, and it's black, to boot!

It really boils down to the little feature differences and system options (lots of customization for the MX compared to KX), as well as handling. Both are wonderful cameras, though.
03-02-2009, 02:04 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
But you get first crack at the 135 if I do
Well, if I haven't found one yet by then ...

QuoteOriginally posted by marcdsgn Quote
I've never had an MX myself, but I think you said it yourself: Solid, well-built. Also very simple in design, which means less things could go wrong. Remember, it's not a contemporary model, but for its time it would have been a reliable and robust general-use camera.

Being "easier to use" and 'better handling" doesn't always equate with "better camera". It depends on its application. And if the trade-off to a model that had pro features (DOF, etc) is that it was less easy to handle, then that would have been a fair trade in many people's eyes.
Well, MX was a very reliable camera when it came out to the market. But nowadays it's not easy to find one in good condition w/o any issue, at least it's my experience. Hopefully the one I have would last for a while

QuoteOriginally posted by vinzer Quote
The KX is one fine camera also. It seems to me that the MX gets more airtime than the KX in general, so prices might be better for the KX (I think). I know that when I got my KX, it's cheaper than an MX, and it's black, to boot!

It really boils down to the little feature differences and system options (lots of customization for the MX compared to KX), as well as handling. Both are wonderful cameras, though.
Actually on eBay both cameras sold for pretty much the same price nowadays. A good condition KX is even harder to come by, especially a CLA'ed one, thus the higher price. There are a lot more MX cameras than the KX on second hand market ...
03-02-2009, 04:14 AM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Actually on eBay both cameras sold for pretty much the same price nowadays. A good condition KX is even harder to come by, especially a CLA'ed one, thus the higher price. There are a lot more MX cameras than the KX on second hand market ...
Oh okay. Goes to show how I haven't been to eBay much.

I got my KX from Adorama early last month, and their price for the black KX was 130 dollars cheaper than the MX I saw at KEH, if I recall correctly. I didn't bother to check eBay then, since I haven't set up my PayPal at that time.
03-02-2009, 04:18 AM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
According to a highly regarded source, Seamuis you are correct!

Originally the Winder MX shutter release could activate the meter even with winder and camera power set to OFF positions.
Reports of battery drain due to inadvertent operation (e.g. stored in a camera bag) later led Pentax to redesign release function.

Chris
interesting indeed. though personally I prefer the older style winders because I like being able to activate the meter.
03-03-2009, 12:33 AM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
interesting indeed. though personally I prefer the older style winders because I like being able to activate the meter.
Does this mean that certain MX winders can't operate the meter under any circumstances? Or, just when the body-shutter is locked?
03-03-2009, 07:02 AM   #74
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i've been watching ebay mx's and they've been going for about $90 USD. i can't convince myself to bite.
03-03-2009, 07:55 AM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Does this mean that certain MX winders can't operate the meter under any circumstances? Or, just when the body-shutter is locked?
no. later winders wont activate the meter when the winder itself is in the 'off' position. earlier ones will activate the meter regardless. the shutter on the body has nothing to do with it. if you have a winder you can activate the meter 3 different ways. by half-depressing and holding the shutter on the body, by doing the same with the shutter button on the winder, or by flipping the film advance lever to the 'ready' position and then half-depressing the shutter on the body. the shutter will then lock in the half-depressed position and the meter active until you flip the advance lever back.
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