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03-29-2009, 09:15 PM   #1
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Asahi Pentax KX, any Veterans?

It used to be my dads, but he's given me permission to use it.

I like this old girl, can anyone give me some pointers on this particular Pentax?

I'm into the nature photography, macro, animal photography, a pretty wide range I guess. So I was wondering weather anyone knows which lenses and such I should go a-hunting for? First off I'd like a macro and then a zoom maybe, but if anyone has some pointers, I'd love to here from you!

Cazz.

03-29-2009, 10:37 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lindethiel Quote
It used to be my dads, but he's given me permission to use it.

I like this old girl, can anyone give me some pointers on this particular Pentax?

I'm into the nature photography, macro, animal photography, a pretty wide range I guess. So I was wondering weather anyone knows which lenses and such I should go a-hunting for? First off I'd like a macro and then a zoom maybe, but if anyone has some pointers, I'd love to here from you!

Cazz.
You have one of my favourite previous cameras, one that I foolishly traded off instead of keeping. I now have no (zero) cameras that will work without batteries. Your KX will function perfectly with no battery in it. The only thing that will not work is the black needle in the finder. And lens that has an aperture ring will work just fine - at least I don't know of any DA lenses that have aperture rings. If you did not get an instruction manual for the camera, don't sweat it.
  1. Above the viewfinder is a periscope that shows you the aperture you have set on the lens. This does not work if you have a teleconverter or extension tube, obviously, because the aperture is now out there somewhere.
  2. In the viewfinder is a transparent blue needle that moves when you change the shutter speeds. Unlike the MX, which uses photodiodes to display the shutter speed, the needle works 100% without any battery.
  3. It is heavier (feels solid to me) than the MX.
  4. The KX came fitted with one of two base plates. The one I had did not have the base plate that allowed fitting a winder. There is another model that has the base plate with the connections for a winder.
  5. If you cannot get the meter to work, look up the Sunny 16 rule and/or buy an accessory meter. Or send it for fixing.
  6. You have a fine camera. Love it. I still wish I had kept mine.
03-30-2009, 12:14 AM   #3
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Not sure if I count as a veteran but I will give it a go.

This is still one of my favourites. Surpassed only by the LX because of practicality. It's a total joy to use. Mine has served me well in conditions ranging from Arctic winter to the heat and dust of Egypt. Only problem mine has is that the blue needle stops moving from about -15C and colder, which only means that you have to check the shutter speed by looking at the actual dial.

Anything particular you want to know about it?

Lenses then, well for you (thinking animals) I would recommend the quite highly regarded smc Pentax-A 70-210 F4. It also has a macro function but will of course not go as close as dedicated macro lenses. And it is reasonably cheap. Link to review page.

You didn't say what lens(es) you have for it now? Probably a 50 or 55mm?

But before you start to look for more lenses etc. you should go out and shoot a couple of rolls because it's just so nice to shoot with the KX. Use it, love it.
03-30-2009, 07:47 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jimfear Quote
well for you (thinking animals) I would recommend the quite highly regarded smc Pentax-A 70-210 F4. It also has a macro function but will of course not go as close as dedicated macro lenses. And it is reasonably cheap.
I'll second that choice. Picked one up not long ago for $78 USD. Mint condition, IQ exceeded my expectations.

03-30-2009, 08:23 PM   #5
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I have had a KX since 1977 and with a recent CLA it is still my best camera. Most of the K-series primes are as good as anything newer at a fraction of the cost, as long as you use a hood, so you can assemble a stable of lenses for the cost of one new FA or DA Ltd or * lens, and use them on a digital camera to boot.

One M to try is the M75-150/4 (one available in the marketplace now) that is as good as a prime at any FL in its range - usually $50 - $75.
03-30-2009, 09:17 PM   #6
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Oh, yeah, I've already used a couple of 36 exposure reels in the last week, and the annual show is coming up soon so I've already stocked up with some more film!

Right now I've got a 50mm on it which is great for general use, but I know this camera has much more to offer.

There's a SMC Pentax-A 70-210mm F4 on ebay right now and its up for a good while but looks a little over priced compared to the reviews on the review page, and that's probably in American dollars, and I'm not sure weather I have the cash handy (bugga bugga economic crisis) How often would one of these come along? On ebay or here? SMC PENTAX-A 70-210mm F4 MACRO ZOOM K10D/K20D/K200D @ - eBay, 35mm SLR, Film Cameras, Cameras Photo. (end time 26-Apr-09 10:41:08 AEST)

Thanks so much for all your help guys! I'll be sure to post some pictures I take when they come back from the developers.
03-30-2009, 10:10 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by OregonJim Quote
I'll second that choice. Picked one up not long ago for $78 USD. Mint condition, IQ exceeded my expectations.
I'll third the choice - I bought mine new. It was right beside the F 70-200 and I picked the A because of the f/4 at the long end. It turns out it was a better choice for more reasons than the f/stop.
03-30-2009, 11:27 PM   #8
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Story of a foolish young man

When I was 18 I had the then-popular Canon AE-1. A salesman at Adorama (?) sold my friend a Pentax KX.
I couldn't for the life of me figure out why anyone would want a camera like that.
Twenty years later, long after I had given up the Canons for Nikon, I bought a used KX and learned why.
Soon the Nikon gear was all gone. I have been using Pentax SLRs exclusively ever since.
I even sold that first KX, but I wised up and bought another. This one's a keeper...

Chris

03-31-2009, 02:46 AM   #9
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Though I'm certainly no veteran, being a high school student with about a year and a half of photgraphy experience, I do own, use, and love to death a KX. It's the best camera I've ever used, to be sure. Mechanical Pentaxen are wonderful, and the KX is right up there with the best. Get it CLA'd (cleaned, lubed, and adjusted); it will make the camera work like new and you'll get another 20-30 years of use out of it. I dunno anywhere in Australia that does a good CLA, but I can reccomend Eric (http://www.pentaxs.com). He did mine, and it's like new now. Really amazing work.

Anyway, the KX is one of the best cameras that Pentax ever made, and you're lucky for starting with one. Have fun with it!
04-04-2009, 07:14 AM   #10
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Just hold a Pentax

QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
When I was 18 I had the then-popular Canon AE-1. A salesman at Adorama (?) sold my friend a Pentax KX.
I couldn't for the life of me figure out why anyone would want a camera like that.
Twenty years later, long after I had given up the Canons for Nikon, I bought a used KX and learned why.
Soon the Nikon gear was all gone. I have been using Pentax SLRs exclusively ever since.
I even sold that first KX, but I wised up and bought another. This one's a keeper...

Chris
Ah Hah - now I understand you

They just feel right, don't they?
04-04-2009, 04:52 PM   #11
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The KX is a great camera, I have owned one since 1975.

I would suggest using a lens from the K series as well. Might as well keep things authentic! You can easily find a 50/1.4 or 55/1.8 for a prime and they are not that expensive. It’s a little harder finding a 50/f4 for your macro, but it’s well worth it. You’ll also need a set of the auto extension tubes. Add the #3 to the 50/f4 macro and you have magnification up to 1.0. This combo is light weight, but the distance to your subject will be short.
04-08-2009, 08:55 AM   #12
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The last Pentax I bought was a KX and I can't disagree with any of the above statements, although I love all my Pentaxes/Pentaxen equally. A good father shows no favoritism.

Lindethiel, if you're just getting started with macro a set of closeup lenses might be a good choice to hold you over until you actually locate an affordable 50/4 or 100/4 macro lens, and if you decide you're happy with their performance you'll have less money invested.

Brad
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