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03-03-2009, 12:36 PM   #76
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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?
The MX bodies where always with me, when shooting and I loved them much more, than my other backup bodies (like the Super Program, which I had for TTL-flash).
I love them for the following reasons:
  • lightweight
  • reliable and robust, with a very good meter (I used slide film exclusively)
  • very broad accessory range: Motor drive, bulk film magazine, screens etc.
  • uses the same battery packs as my LX (motor drive battery packs, that is)
  • same screen size as LX, so for certain application, those are interchangeable
  • when something breaks, it is usually the frame counter - which is not important
  • my spare MX saved me, when my LX stopped working on a tour in Norway on the second day...
  • has a unique sound when used with MD
I will forever keep at least one MX body, even if I would sell on my other film bodies...
Ben

03-03-2009, 12:46 PM   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by John Poirier Quote
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.
John, I scavenge your post, as you mentioned all those nice things, I forgot in my previous post. And being battery independent is surely a big plus for the MX. The then novell LEDs in the viewfinder put a very low drain on the batteries and made the camera a prime choice for cold environments.

QuoteOriginally posted by John Poirier Quote
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.
That was the disadvantage of these early LEDs, just not bright enough. Or maybe Pentax dimmed them, because under low light conditions brighter LEDs would have blinded the photog?

QuoteOriginally posted by John Poirier Quote
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.
That is too true: pleasure and the feel-good factor are a large part of my attachment to the MX, too.

Ben
03-03-2009, 02:33 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote

That was the disadvantage of these early LEDs, just not bright enough. Or maybe Pentax dimmed them, because under low light conditions brighter LEDs would have blinded the photog?

That is too true: pleasure and the feel-good factor are a large part of my attachment to the MX, too.

Ben
It was actually fairly common for the better cameras with lit displays to actually dim their own finder display lights automatically, when it was dark: I don't know about the MX, in that regard? I've noticed my A-1's kind of 'red LED calculator display' sometimes dims a little sooner than I'd like and sometimes isn't as bright as I'd probably appreciate when I'm in brighter light than I usually prefer to be out in.

I do like the MXes, though, ....there's a non-battery-dependent Pentax film body somewhere on my list, and that's always been high up on it.


Also, thanks, Seamuis, on the winder info. Old Canon winders spoiled me by their general uncomplicatedness-of operation, I tend to find.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 03-03-2009 at 02:44 PM.
03-03-2009, 03:39 PM   #79
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
The MX bodies where always with me, when shooting and I loved them much more, than my other backup bodies (like the Super Program, which I had for TTL-flash).
I love them for the following reasons:
  • lightweight
  • reliable and robust, with a very good meter (I used slide film exclusively)
  • very broad accessory range: Motor drive, bulk film magazine, screens etc.
  • uses the same battery packs as my LX (motor drive battery packs, that is)
  • same screen size as LX, so for certain application, those are interchangeable
  • when something breaks, it is usually the frame counter - which is not important
  • my spare MX saved me, when my LX stopped working on a tour in Norway on the second day...
  • has a unique sound when used with MD
I will forever keep at least one MX body, even if I would sell on my other film bodies...
Ben
Another weak link on them is the shutter speed indicator in the viewfinder. It works off of a pulley type system - the string that acts as the linkage tends to break (and as far as I know Pentax no longer carries the replacement part).

I agree with you 100% regarding the sound the the motodrive. Listening to the MX burn through film at 5fps is a beautiful thing . I used to own 2 complete MX motordrive setups - it was a sad day when I sold them. Too bad Pentax never came up with a reasonable battery pack for them (the pistol grip that took the AA batteries was huge and the NiCad batteries had a limited shelf life)

03-03-2009, 03:46 PM   #80
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
It was actually fairly common for the better cameras with lit displays to actually dim their own finder display lights automatically, when it was dark: I don't know about the MX, in that regard? I've noticed my A-1's kind of 'red LED calculator display' sometimes dims a little sooner than I'd like and sometimes isn't as bright as I'd probably appreciate when I'm in brighter light than I usually prefer to be out in.
The "auto-dim" feature of the MX is a persistent setup... It works by keeping the brightness level comfortable for low light environments, but does not boost bringhtness when its bright around you. Instead the LEDs become more or less invisible...

Ben
03-03-2009, 03:49 PM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by DAP Quote
Another weak link on them is the shutter speed indicator in the viewfinder. It works off of a pulley type system - the string that acts as the linkage tends to break (and as far as I know Pentax no longer carries the replacement part).

I agree with you 100% regarding the sound the the motodrive. Listening to the MX burn through film at 5fps is a beautiful thing . I used to own 2 complete MX motordrive setups - it was a sad day when I sold them. Too bad Pentax never came up with a reasonable battery pack for them (the pistol grip that took the AA batteries was huge and the NiCad batteries had a limited shelf life)
Didn't know the shutter speed indicator problem, never had a problem with that. In Germany Pentax exchanged defect MXes against completely new ones until about 10 years ago - I don't know, but they must have had a basement room full of those bodies. But now, that's gone...

The NiCad packs are nice, but indeed short lived. I have soldered new cells into these packs again and again... But at least they are quite powerful and I could rund at least 30 films through it with one charge.

The big battery grip - well, that would be a great accessory for the K20! I just imagine the looks of the Canonikons...

Ben
03-03-2009, 06:41 PM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Didn't know the shutter speed indicator problem, never had a problem with that. In Germany Pentax exchanged defect MXes against completely new ones until about 10 years ago - I don't know, but they must have had a basement room full of those bodies. But now, that's gone...

The NiCad packs are nice, but indeed short lived. I have soldered new cells into these packs again and again... But at least they are quite powerful and I could rund at least 30 films through it with one charge.

The big battery grip - well, that would be a great accessory for the K20! I just imagine the looks of the Canonikons...

Ben
There, are, by the way, some gigantic battery grips for the K20 in the aftermarket.... Who knows how well they work, but you can get them to carry *two* extra batteries or like a dozen AAs.

I didn't realize Pentax ever came out with a fast drive for the MX, though.
03-03-2009, 08:12 PM   #83
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At the last second I bought an ME over the MX in 1977. Decision was based on stepless automatic metering for transparency film. Mistakenly thought at the time that the motordrive was common to both-- big disappointment to find out they weren't. The original 1.5 fps Autowinder ME was a piece of junk, it's replacement was much improved.

I've since had a couple of MX's over the years. I traded the first MX with a winder for a new LX after perhaps a week (IIRC the MX shutter tested slow).

Later I bought another mint one with the Motordrive MX and a NiCad pack and really liked it. The MX actually had a nicer implementation of the 5fps motordrive than the LX, much more robust metal housing versus the fragile LX plastic casing. My original LX body took 12 years of abuse before it required servicing, but I've had to open up a slew of LX motordrives to repair broken and corroded solder connections over the years.

Most often used the LX w/motordrive on a tripod with long lenses. The MX with a motordrive also had vastly superior ergonomics to the LX with motordrive for shorter glass and handholding.

03-03-2009, 10:08 PM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
The MX bodies where always with me, when shooting and I loved them much more, than my other backup bodies (like the Super Program, which I had for TTL-flash).
I love them for the following reasons:
  • lightweight
  • reliable and robust, with a very good meter (I used slide film exclusively)
  • very broad accessory range: Motor drive, bulk film magazine, screens etc.
  • uses the same battery packs as my LX (motor drive battery packs, that is)
  • same screen size as LX, so for certain application, those are interchangeable
  • when something breaks, it is usually the frame counter - which is not important
  • my spare MX saved me, when my LX stopped working on a tour in Norway on the second day...
  • has a unique sound when used with MD
I will forever keep at least one MX body, even if I would sell on my other film bodies...
Ben
Thanks Ben for sharing your experiences

I still haven't finished the first roll yet, but I already started to love the camera. The only complains are the film winder (travels too long) and shutter speed dial (hard to reach).
03-24-2009, 07:00 PM   #85
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[QUOTE=marcdsgn;508822]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.QUOTE]

Hang on: Solid, well built?

At least two posters have commented that the gauge of metal in the prism housing and base plate is too thin and subject to easy denting.

I, myself, have noticed such dents in the prism housing of one on offer for sale last weekend. (I must say that that was a major turn-off)
03-25-2009, 03:07 AM   #86
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[QUOTE=Banjo;535773]
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.QUOTE]

Hang on: Solid, well built?

At least two posters have commented that the gauge of metal in the prism housing and base plate is too thin and subject to easy denting.

I, myself, have noticed such dents in the prism housing of one on offer for sale last weekend. (I must say that that was a major turn-off)
I have dents in the standard prims of my LX, but none on the MXes I had over the years. I also have seen loads of LX prisms with these "typical" dents. Is the LX a flimsy camera therefore? Dents do not concern me, unless the insides of the camera get damaged. The only camera I had (and still have, after repair) was a Mamiya 645, which got a heavy blow to the bottom plate and a severe dent around the battery chamber. This dent blocked something inside, which needed repair. Is the 645 a flimsy camera? It isn't. Most of the cameras I used over time had been at Pentax for repairs and servicing, too. In heavy use, parts wear out and things get damaged. There is no such thing, as an undestroyable camera. I even nearly finished off a Leica R4 one time - but the severe dents, it got from a fall, actually did not stop the camera from working.

Cosmetic flaws don't say much about the camera and more about the user. I would say, dents do testify to the robustness of the camera and that it had to withstand heavy use. Use a MX and then compare it to many other cameras - you will find out yourself, why most people agree, it is a robust and reliable camera.

Ben
08-16-2012, 10:47 PM   #87
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To me the MX is the ultimate camera. You don't need to fumble with settings if you put in some basic settings for a spontaneous snapshot. I would set about f5.6 and 1/125 sec (or more, depends on the day & film of course.) The speed should suffice for most occasions. The focus can be set to about 20 feet, and at 5.6 the depth of field will give acceptable results most times. If you have 5 seconds, all you need do is adjust the aperture to green LED and fine tune the focus. Otherwise, whip the camera out and snap in an instant.
08-18-2012, 11:27 AM   #88
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Wow, a thread brought back to life from 2009. In that case I'll add my opinion to the mix. Frank, do you still feel the same about the MX after all this time?

I love the MX. It's my favorite film body. It's simplicity and durability make it a joy to use. I've never had a problem seeing the LEDs even in bright light and I find the metering to be very responsive and accurate, even after all these years. Owning a pile of film cameras the MX is by far the one I reach for most.

I haven't owned a KX, but I'd like to try one out as it's the only K-body missing from my collection.
08-18-2012, 11:36 AM   #89
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I have owned an MX & LX for over 30 years each has it's own plus points which I have chosen to use for the task in hand. The MX is almost bomb proof and has traveled with me to from the top of the Pyrénées, to the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. The LX is a very technical camera which will produce fantasic results, but recently I bought a ME Super, of Ebay as a cheap camera just to lug about for the just in case shot,

I find the ME Super is very easy to use and it has found big favor with me for automatic easy of use, but it does not sit as well in my hand as the MX and is not as compact as the MX, if using the manual shutter speeds it can be a bit of a fiddle, It cannot fill the boots of the LX in the way I can switch from manual to auto.

I would love Pentax to produce an digital MX not auto fuss, no auto focus, just a good reliable strong camera that takes pictures when you want it to in any conditions.

08-18-2012, 04:31 PM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by co049 Quote

I would love Pentax to produce an digital MX not auto fuss, no auto focus, just a good reliable strong camera that takes pictures when you want it to in any conditions.
I second that. I have a K5, but I would welcome a MX with the same sensor, even if it gave up some of the features of the K5. In my opinion, we are going overboard with extras just because we can. Fifty one years ago, I took this picture with a basic viewfinder camera that had 4 speeds, no light meter and no range finder. It just required a little effort to get get results Taken in Pretoria 1961 Kodak Retinette 1A and Kodachrome 10 ASA | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
So yes, a simple digital MX would be wonderful.
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