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05-23-2009, 07:11 PM   #1
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Pentax SFXn/SF1n

SFXN/SF1N
Year introduced
1989
Mount
KAF
Meter range
1 - 20 EV
Meter pattern
c
ISO range
6 - 6400
DX ISO range
25 - 5000
Exposure modes
P, Av, Tv, M, X, B
Exposure compensation
+/-4 EV
Exposure memory lock
Yes
Shutter speeds (auto)
30 - 1/4000s
Shutter speeds (manual)
1 - 1/4000s
Shutter speeds (mechanical)
None
Self timer
Yes
Mirror lock-up
No
Auto bracketing
Yes
Multiple exposures
No
Winder
Built-in 2.2 fps
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 14
TTL flash
Yes
P-TTL flash
No
Sync speed
1/125s
Flash exposure comp
No
Autofocus
Yes (1 point)
Autofocus sensitivity
2 - 18 EV
Power zoom
No
Viewfinder
0.81x, 92%
Viewfinder type
Pentaprism
Diopter correction
Yes
Exchangeable screen
Yes
Depth of field preview
No
Image size
24 x 36 mm
Panorama format
No
Battery
2CR5
Battery grip/pack
AA battery grip
Size (W x H x D)
154.5 x 99 x 63.5 mm
Weight
665 g
Comment
Program modes: Normal, Action, Depth of field.
Special accessory: Interval data back


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Last edited by Ole; 05-06-2010 at 10:21 PM.
09-30-2009, 06:05 PM   #2
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I've had two of the SF1n bodies since about 1991. Through a number of years neither has needed anything but batteries and film! The performance for an amateur with a good eye was great. I say good eye, because all one need do is compose - not fiddle. I can count on one hand the number of times my selection was better than the camera. I have a K10d & 20d and to my thinking the SF's were the grandparents to these two. They didn't have the most features, Pentax never really seemed to understand the art of advertising, so Canon was the hot shot even then. If you want a great fun film camera - these are hard to beat - like - a Toyota Prius is hard to beat today. As I remember they ran a little less than 300 bucks a copy new.
10-29-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
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An Old Workhorse

Over the years I have been fortunate to be able to use a number of different types and brands of 35mm cameras including Canon, Olympus, Minolta and Pentax. Over the years all of them have gone away except for a few Pentax cameras. I currently use three Pentax cameras on a regular basis, a KX (totally manual), a K200D (totally digital) and this SF1n. I really like all my Pentax cameras, and they all have their uses, but my SF1n is really something special.

First, it is built like a tank and mine has worked perfectly for me since I bought it in 1989. It is an autofocus camera and it was bought specifically for taking pictures of my kids. It has now graduated to become my primary grandkid chasing 35mm camera for all the same reasons. The autofocus works fast, locks on and gets the shot with absolutely no fuss. The pictures I get back are almost always first rate memories, and even turn out to be pretty good photographs much of the time! Although it is a little heavier then some of the digital single lens reflex cameras currently on the market, it balances very well, especially with slightly heavier zoom lenses mounted. In fact, the Pentax FA 28-200mm is almost perfectly balanced with this camera. Because of this balance I can often get blur-free shots with this camera that I have struggled to get with other cameras. In fact, this is why most of the other cameras I've owned have gone away over time. This one just takes better pictures.

Next, it is really simple to use. The controls are simple-to-use switches that can be used without even looking at them once you are used to them. The exposure setting information is displayed in the viewfinder as well as a display screen on top of the camera. It has Program mode with several different types of available programs, aperture priority mode, shutter priority mode as well as full manual. It synchs flash at 125s and has a built-in TTL flash with a GN of 14. I have several flash units that work very well with this camera, the AF280T being my favorite, but it works quite well with the built-in flash.

For a long time after I first bought this camera my only autofocus lens was a 50mm although I did own a couple of old manual focus lenses. I now own several lenses and many of them are manual focus prime lenses which give very nice pictures. Even though this is an autofocus camera, it is a snap to use those manual focus lenses with this camera. This camera beeps at you and shows a green square in the viewfinder when the focus is correct. And the viewfinder is clear as a bell so it is much easier for me to see that I'm properly focused with this camera then it is with my much newer K200D. With all the pictures I've taken with this camera I think my pictures have come back focused on the wrong thing only a handful of times. Same with my KX but then that one is manual focus. I think that the viewfinder in the KX is slightly nicer but this one is still very good. For someone like me who's eyes have changed over the years this viewfinder is a nice plus. Since manual focus lenses are often less expensive then their autofocus brothers this is a great feature.

I finally had to break down and send this camera to Eric the other day to re-attach the rubber grip on the side. While it is there he will also give it a good cleaning. It may sound a bit strange in this day of digital photography, but I have missed it since I sent it off. Although it doesn't get used quite as often as it used to, it still comes out at least once a week and it is not unusual for me to have two or three rolls of film to send off for developing by the end of the week. I find myself grabbing the K200D for those kid-related occasions (school plays, etc.) where the SF1n used to be the mainstay, but it still gets lots of use.

There are obviously many Pentax film cameras available, many of them with more features then the SF1n. If I need mirror lock-up or DOF preview, I grab the KX. When I travel, which I do quite a bit for my work, I take the K200D. Most of my landscape shots are taken with the KX. I am learning to take pictures of birds and I find that the K200D seems to work well for this task. But when the grandkids are in the house, or I just feel like running around town to take some street shots, the SF1n is almost always the camera that goes along for the ride.

Most of us on this forum have very nice Pentax cameras that we are happy with, so this was not intended to change anyone's mind. Overall, I feel that the SF1n is a very good camera and, if you are at all interested in shooting film along with digital but haven't settled on a camera, this one is a great alternative that can frequently be found at a very reasonable price on Ebay or any of the used camera sites on-line. My SF1n has taken uncounted thousands of pictures for me over 30 years of use, and it still gets called on to do the same today. Quality products are hard to find today, but they are still out there if you really know what you are looking for. This camera is a quality product. I like it so much that I went out and bought a spare.
02-05-2010, 01:20 PM   #4
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Posts: 7
I started with an old Spotmatic, to teach myself photography and because it was all I could afford, moved on to a SFXn and now have a K200d.

The SFXn is the camera I've taken the most shots with and it has never missed a beat. Tough, reliable, auto modes that work and enough manual control to be creative. The SFXn is a great film camera, everyone should have one!

;-)

P.S. I still use my Spotmatic as well. It will never die.

P.P.S. Anyone know where I can buy a viewfinder cup for my SFXn?

10-12-2010, 02:49 PM   #5
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Pentax SFXn/SF1n Camera Review

Pros Accurate exposures, fast autofocus. Simple controls.
Cons It died
Rating 5
Price (U.S. Dollars) $300
Years Owned 14

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
I was unlucky. Turned out to be my worst value camera ever. It was my first autofocus camera and I loved using it. It was my first Pentax with a bulging battery grip for the shutter hand - a great feeling of security. I found the flash strong and the red light that enabled night time autofocus was mightily useful. After its failure I was forced to return to my Spotmatic and I was confident that even if the battery died I would still be able to take acceptable pictures.

Camera Review
Like Gruffnutz I moved from Spotmatic the SFXn to K200D. The Spotmatic is unbreakable (years of semi-pro daily beach use, changing film in all weathers etc) and I reverted back to it when the SFX just died. Simply no life in the screen and no functions. ( I did not use the SFX on the beach) I never had it repaired as it was going to cost $90 just to look inside. At the time I was very disappointed: it was a lot of money (for me) and as I had not had it long I felt ripped off. I had bought it SH. My only sad experience with the brand. It is on my knee as I write - can't throw it. Wot to do with a dead electronic camera? Anybody want it?

Last edited by cosmicap; 10-12-2010 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Correct speling mistakes!
12-04-2010, 01:29 PM   #6
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Pentax SFXn/SF1n Camera Review

Pros Solid, reliable, K/KA/KAF lens compatible
Cons Lacks MLU and DOF preview (like many others)
Rating 8
Price (U.S. Dollars) 20
Years Owned 1

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
My camera is actually the SFXn. It provides auto-everything when you want to use it as such : DX code for automatic film ASA detection; autofocus, automatic exposure, automatic film advance and rewind...
Considering the purchase price I find it has fantastic value for the money.
It's size and weight don't put it in the most compact and lightweight category, but still it is very easy to handle and carry.

Camera Review
I bought the camera for the lens it came with, but when I received it I immediately wanted to test it without thinking about the lens anymore. It was my first film AF body actually (I have a strong MF SLR background) and I was delighted with the simplicity and ease of use. Also I liked the multiple exposure modes and multiple program modes it features. Actually these modes are useful when I want to concentrate on composition, subject, action... and not that much about the exposure settings. You can still use one of the program modes but choose between the "sport" or "landscape" programs, depending on the kind of subject you happen to shoot at the moment.

I found that the exposure metering and control were still perfect after such a long time (the camera is old but I bought it second hand quite recently). It gives a feeling of solidity and reliability but is still compact enough to be carried almost everywhere without too much hassle. When I finally unmounted the zoom lens that came with it, and tried some other glass, I liked the fact that I could use all my other Pentax glass regardless of the presence of an "A" on the aperture ring. Full metering is possible in aperture priority (and manual) mode, of course not on the program modes in such case.

There was a battery in the camera when I bought it, it had been partially used already so when it died I replaced it without hesitation, so that I could continue to use the camera (remember my initial plan was to keep the lens and resell the camera). I decided to keep it instead, because of its versatility, excellent lens compatibility, and all the auto/manual combinations that it allows.
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