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04-10-2009, 07:16 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Given where you're going and what you need it for, I would say the qualities to look at are:

1. Weight / Size
2. Ease of use
3. Ability to work without batteries, if need be
4. Cheap enough you won't cry over it if it gets ruined

I don't think I'd pick either one of those two cameras.
So Mike, what would you have chosen?

04-10-2009, 07:19 AM   #17
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Jzietman, it sounds like you're going to be in a fairly challenging environment. Lots of heat and humidity would make me shy away from an electronically dependent camera like the ME and lean toward something sturdy and mechanical. It hasn't been mentioned, but a KM would be a good choice as well as a Spotmatic or K1000.

Regardless of what you choose, pack along a batteryless exposure meter as a backup. I have an old GE that's still surprisingly accurate.

And as a bonus, a Spottie or K-camera can be wielded as a tool or weapon more formidably than any M-camera. Never overlook the MacGyver Factor.

Brad
04-10-2009, 07:36 AM   #18
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Also, learn the sunny 16 rule.
04-10-2009, 08:50 AM   #19
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A Vote for the KX

As long as you are considering the K1000, why not look at the KX?

It also is fully mechanical but has more features than a K1000 (MLU, DoF Preview, Aperture window, match-needle metering), shares almost all the K1000 parts and is often less expensive than a K1000 (counter-intuitive but true).

Because it wasn't the student camera of choice you run less risk that it has been abused and you certainly can't get a Hong Kong or China-plastic version by mistake.

Go here K-Mount Bodies for comparison of features and here Best Bodies for a discussion of the "Best" Pentax K-mount camera bodies.

Go here Pentax M42 Screwmount Cameras for some information on Spotmatics.

QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote

I know that, when buying off of ebay, it would probably be a good idea to get the camera serviced upon purchase, things like getting new light seals, etc. Does anyone know of a good place for this in New York City or Eastern Massachusetts?
.
For a few repair technicians many here use and recommend, go Here Pentax Forums.com Camera Repair and Service Links Forum.

Eric Hendrickson of Pentax Camera Service is highly recommended - read the entire website. I have a K2 DMD and a lens at his shop right now, and have had a number of Pentax bodies and lenses CLA'ed over the years. Really nice guy, too.


Last edited by monochrome; 04-10-2009 at 09:40 AM.
04-10-2009, 09:04 AM   #20
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When the buyer goes out shooting some ISO400 film in broad day light, he will regret not choosing the ME Super


QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Hmm, I was wondering why my K1000 got picked while I was selling these four cameras together (for roughly the same price):
04-10-2009, 09:31 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by cousinsane Quote
When the buyer goes out shooting some ISO400 film in broad day light, he will regret not choosing the ME Super
Good point. The ME SUPER with its 1/2000 shutter speed gives more flexibility.
04-10-2009, 01:57 PM   #22
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I forgot how these threads always leave the OP more confused than when he started out.

I agree that the ME Super electrically powered workings probably are a bad idea in case of excessive humidity. That leans me towards the Spotmatic and, now, the K1000 (though, if I can find one cheap enough, the MX looks very nice). I do like the idea of the camera being fully mechanical.

The link that monochrome post says that the MX's center-weight light metering is an issue; what would you say to that? I don't yet understand the different types of metering.

I would like, if possible, to be able to see my aperture and shutter speed settings in the viewfinder. A built-in light meter (preferably a good one) is pretty essential, too; I don't want to have to rely on using an external one (or run the risk of losing it).

If I remember correctly, the Sunny 16 rule is to set aperture to 16 and shutter to 125?

I like the idea of depth-of-field preview, though I never used it in my 2 years of photography in high school. I have never used a flash and don't intend to for the moment. I also have never used an auto-timer and doubt I will.

So, the K1000 sounds good, but no viewfinder info on aperture or shutter speed, though that's not a deal breaker. The MX really sounds ideal, as long as it's solidly built enough.

Now, for the other half of what I'm wondering about: lenses. Is there anything I should absolutely shy away from? Anything I should jump on if at all possible?

Thanks again!
04-10-2009, 02:08 PM   #23
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As far as I know, the Program Plus and Super Program are the only cameras that show shutter speed and aperture in the viewfinder, though maybe the MX does as well? (Never used one myself.)

Check PMs if you haven't yet.

04-10-2009, 02:18 PM   #24
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I still vote KX over K1000

QuoteOriginally posted by deadwolfbones Quote
As far as I know, the Program Plus and Super Program are the only cameras that show shutter speed and aperture in the viewfinder, though maybe the MX does as well? (Never used one myself.)

Check PMs if you haven't yet.
The KX shows aperture in a Judas window at the top of Viewfinder (just below NT of Pentax); shutter speed with a blue needle at the right; and you match the black exposure needle to the shutter speed needle by changing the shutter speed (dial on top of camera) or aperture (on the lens). In that regard the KX is either manual aperture-determined or manual shutter-determined exposure, as you choose, like any manual camera, but without removing your eye from the viewfinder. Way cool for 1975!

The K1000 is just center-the-black-needle, like a Spotmatic.



Use DoF preview (front button) to check you haven't stopped too far, compose and focus, and fire.

All mechanical - the entire camera will operate without the battery, except, or course, you won't have in-camera metering.

FWIW, MX and MESuper, although REALLY nice cameras, were too small for my large hands. I cut use a KX, K2 DMD and Spotmatic F (I really like the large bodies) and I kept the MESuper for sentimental reasons.

Last edited by monochrome; 04-10-2009 at 02:30 PM.
04-10-2009, 03:14 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by jzietman Quote
If I remember correctly, the Sunny 16 rule is to set aperture to 16 and shutter to 125?
Not exactly. Sunny 16 rule is to set the shutter speed to the reciprocal of the film ASA. In other words, 100 ASA = 1/125 sec, 200 ASA = 1/250 sec, 400 ASA = 1/500 sec, etc. Then, in bright sunshine with distinct shadows set your aperture to f/16. Hazy/Slight overcast and soft shadows use f/11. Overcast use f/8. Heavy overcast use f/5.6.

You can use the little chart here to print out a card to keep in your bag if needed. Sunny 16 rule
04-10-2009, 04:29 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
If you like the K1000, consider the KM instead.
Unlike the K1000, the KM has DOF preview, IMO a very useful feature.

I have a nice KM body for sale, just back from CLA by Eric. PM if interested.

Chris
RE: my earlier posts on the KX

+1 for the KM also. This might even be a BETTER chioce than the KX - I'd prefer this over the K1000, anyway.

BTW, the CLA by Eric is the very technician I linked to in my reply.
04-10-2009, 06:27 PM   #27
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Well, I am not an expert at all, but I have both the spotmatic F (original owner) and recently picked up the ME Super. Of course I still love the SP-F, but the ME super is quite a bit more compact and flexible with modern lenses.

At the risk of taking wrath from the crowd, I have a different camera for carrying around in my pocket and tramping through the woods - A Minox GT-S 35mm. It has a 35mm F2.8 (fixed) lens and takes just fantastic pictures. It is shutter priority, and of course you loose the entire SLR aspect but it takes field use just incredibly well. They are not that common, but you do see them around sometimes.

Another alternative for field use would be to consider one of the Pentax water resistant cameras. (point and shoot).

I guess it depends on if you are going to take very close up pics of flowers, or just document your journey. An SLR can seem heavy and delicate real fast on a trip like that.
04-10-2009, 06:59 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by HarryN Quote
At the risk of taking wrath from the crowd, I have a different camera for carrying around in my pocket and tramping through the woods - A Minox GT-S 35mm. It has a 35mm F2.8 (fixed) lens and takes just fantastic pictures. It is shutter priority, and of course you loose the entire SLR aspect but it takes field use just incredibly well. They are not that common, but you do see them around sometimes.
''Tramping''....I love it!
04-11-2009, 08:47 AM   #29
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As for repairs

You are correct to think about the total cost of acquisition as purchase price + some CLA service. For excellence in Pentax repair at a reasonable price, I suggest Eric Hendrickson:
Address:
Pentax Camera Service
272 Shoffner Road
Sharps Chapel, TN 37866
pentax27@aol.com
04-11-2009, 10:34 AM   #30
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So, do all light meters require batteries? I don't know how they work...

I don't really mind needing a battery, to be honest. They're not particularly expensive and, as far as I know, they last quite a while (light meters can't use that much power).

Ok, so I've got offers of a KM body, an ME Super, a Program Plus, and a K1000 from different members here, and I'd prefer to buy from here than from ebay. I can get any of the cameras mentioned in this thread on ebay, though, if need be.

I think I'm going to rule out the ME Super; I would prefer a fully mechanical build, and I prefer shutter speed dials to buttons.

That's leaving me with the K1000 (entirely basic, no DOF preview, etc), the KX, KM, and the MX.

Now to build the fire: many people here have mentioned the Olympus OM. Please, tell em about it and why I'd be better off with pentax
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