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05-07-2009, 02:11 PM   #1
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Guess I'm going to have to ask

I'm considering buying a new/used Pentax film camera. I had a MZ-5n I used for eight years with no problems. (not even the mirror lock problem). Now though I'm considering another model. A MZ-30, however, I have no idea about the features that come with these cameras. Also, on my MZ-5n I could use the battery pack. Looking these up again, I see mention of using them with several other cameras, but nothing on using them with the MZ-30.

I, also, seem to remember a fews years after I bought my 5n, Pentax came out with some models that used fixed focal length lenses. I can tell you I don't want one of those cameras. I'm looking for one similar to the features found on the MZ-5n. I've check other models as well, like the PZ-10, PZ-7 and the SF-1 are not what I'm looking for.

Oh and one other question. I've found MZ-5n with and without the quartz date. Can one turn off the date feature? Mine didn't have the quartz date.

Any help would be great, and thanks in advance.

05-07-2009, 02:17 PM   #2
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i don't know what you mean by models that "used fixed focal length lenses" a k-mount lens should work on a k-mount body (w/ minor exceptions)

yes you can turn the date off on the QD back, i just remove the battery from the back.
05-07-2009, 02:24 PM   #3
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Fixed focal, you couldn't adjust the aperture.

So what does "crippled" K-mount mean? Does not sound good to me. Found the answer on Wikipedia of all places.

And thanks for the "QD" info. I'm also looking at two ZX-5n's, one with QD and one without. The one with is in better shape and is cheaper.

Also thanks for the link to those cameras and the details. I'm still debating on the MZ-30 and the MZ-5n.

Last edited by photolady95; 05-07-2009 at 02:39 PM.
05-07-2009, 02:39 PM   #4
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i think you have the term fixed focal length lens confused. usually that means a lens that doesn't zoom, has nothing to do with aperture.

there's an explanation there of the crippled mount, but basically pentax cheaped out by removing the part that can determine what aperture the lens was set at, making stop down metering the only option.

05-07-2009, 03:17 PM   #5
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I thought about that after I posted this twice about the fixed focal length. I'm going to blame that on old age.

I'm going to ask another stupid question. Does that affect the camera's operation all that much? Would I be unhappy with this camera?

This camera I'm looking at is really cheap. I'm on a fixed income and can't afford to buy a expensive camera now, and even K-1000's are expensive to buy now days. (and to think I had four of these cameras at one time).
05-07-2009, 03:39 PM   #6
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better question, is what lenses do you have now?
with a fixed focal length lens, you work differently, it's like a zoom lens that's stuck in one position.

hope that helps
05-07-2009, 03:41 PM   #7
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It won't affect it IF you use a modern automatic lens, Such as an F, FA or FA-J series lens. Where the crippled mount is a bit of a pain is if you want to use the old fully manual glass. As was said before, you have to do stop down metering with those. You would be ok using an A series lens too, ( if you leave the aperture ring on the "A" setting ) but it would be manual focus.
05-07-2009, 03:54 PM   #8
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Ok thanks, for the info. I usually don't use Autofocus even on autofocus cameras, I used my MZ-5n on auto twice. I prefer manual focus and adjustments, but like the advantage of the other auto features.

And right now, I don't have any lenses. I am trying to get a better camera for use in September. (family reunion time) I used my digitoy last year and it just doesn't do what I want. Besides it not shooting moving objects such as birds, it is limited to how close the subject is also.

05-07-2009, 05:29 PM   #9
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From the description in the link below:

MZ-5n / ZX-5n

more to the point, a K-1000 does not have all those extra features listed. 1/2000th of sec. Higher flash sync. 2 frames a sec. Shutter-Speed Indication LED; Aperture Indication LED.

I should say, I always used auto focus lenses with this camera.

After reading the bit about the MZ-5n and the MZ-30, they seem the same in features, except for the "cripple" part on the MZ-30.
05-07-2009, 07:25 PM   #10
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I don't want a manual camera. I want a autofocus that will have most of the features that were in the MZ-5n I had and the ability to use Manual.

Btw, I finally get the "crippled" thing. So, I'm now looking at a PZ-70. One thing I can't see in these cameras is a diopter. My MZ-5n had a diopter on the viewfinder, I really liked having that feature.

Last edited by photolady95; 05-08-2009 at 06:32 AM.
05-07-2009, 11:10 PM   #11
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*with a wave.*

What I gather, Photolady, is that that MZ/ZX-5n you had was one of the nicest of the breed, save the MZ-S, which is none too cheap, these days.


If it's the automation you want most, it's not difficult to come by something. If you don't want autofocus, I think with the ZX-M you get the smarter automated metering (Anyone know if it's multi-pattern?) and a nice manual focusing screen. They feel kind of plastickey and light, but I'm told they work well.... There's also some classics like a Super Program or a Program Plus, (AKA Super A and Program A, respectively) the latter of which goes fairly cheap and is nice on auto.

For stuff of the vintage of your MZ-5n, it seems there's plenty of options for automated camers: it's the more manual-capable ones that seem to get the money. I did a bit of shopping, recently: I had the thought that while some other film stuff was in for service, I might break down and get an autofocus film body, and decided the ZXor MZ 7 was pretty OK, and those dont run too much.

I bet if you asked on the Wanted part of the Marketplace, someone might be able to put together something for you.
05-08-2009, 06:36 AM   #12
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I've been looking at that MZ-7 and it seems to be what I want, does everything I want and is cheaper than the MZ-5n's I've been eyeing.

Several others, like the PZ-70, are just too bulky. I have small hands and that's another reason I liked the MZ-5n. It fit.

Thanks Ratmagiclady, for the help. I might post in wanted and see what those people can come up with. As I said, I don't have much money to spend now and the cheaper I can get one, the better. But it does have to have 6 segmented metering, and the other features. I guess I'm just too picky. LOL
05-08-2009, 02:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote

Thanks Ratmagiclady, for the help. I might post in wanted and see what those people can come up with. As I said, I don't have much money to spend now and the cheaper I can get one, the better. But it does have to have 6 segmented metering, and the other features. I guess I'm just too picky. LOL
Hee, no problem. If I were to be relying on auto exposure, I'd want it to be a smarter version: never did trust to it in the old days, except where I agreed with the meter over some repetitive changes of setting. ...At least I'd want a nice AE lock button. I did notice the AA grips for those models are stupendously cheap and seemingly- abundant (And not too big: could add some steadiness without giving smaller hands any kind of problem, maybe save a bit on batteries after a couple of sets. But, then again, they kind of took the small-and-lightness a little too far for my taste.
05-08-2009, 04:17 PM   #14
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I ordered the MZ-7 this morning. I also got the battery pack. Now I have to look for lenses.

As for lightness, even the MZ-5n was light, but given my age, lightness is a good thing. It's hard to hold those bulky cameras steady. Most times I use a tripod, but for those times I am trying to capture those spoonbills that show up at my sister's place, a tripod isn't always convenient, especially when they decide to take flight.
05-08-2009, 10:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady Quote
I ordered the MZ-7 this morning. I also got the battery pack. Now I have to look for lenses.

As for lightness, even the MZ-5n was light, but given my age, lightness is a good thing. It's hard to hold those bulky cameras steady. Most times I use a tripod, but for those times I am trying to capture those spoonbills that show up at my sister's place, a tripod isn't always convenient, especially when they decide to take flight.
Understandable. I usually like things in a comfy size for my longish fingers, and well, just toward enough to bear up against, (I tend to like cameras with the old separate winders... as long as they aren't *too* heavy, to where they get to be a strain, it helps my arthritis and such to have a little more to bear up against.

But, it sounds like you'll be wanting to use a fairly long lens, anyway. One thing I like is this 'shooting stick' I've got, they're walking poles that have a 'y' crook you can keep at the right level, brace the lens in, and you're still able to move around. Not quite as steady as a real monopod, but it's a great way to compensate when you're not too strong: they set up instantly, (my issues are more intermittent that way, but it was useful to have a walking pole to negotiate obstacles when the knees and feet were stiff, when I was a hilly and snowy place) that I could just nest the camera in, and it'd help hold up my arms. Also just a nice way to have a walking stick that's completely out of your way when you're shooting, really.

Don't use it much, here: I keep mine by the door here for my occasional attempts to catch some backyard animals. Anyway, cheap ones only cost like twenty dollars on Ebay too.
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