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05-28-2009, 06:45 AM   #1
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Least favorite film Pentax?

As I said in the Favorite Older film camera thread, perhaps the question to ask is what's the least favorite Pentax film body you've used and why? I find that every camera has something to recommend it, but for some the total just isn't... suited to your style, doesn't make photography more pleasurable, or is plain irritating enough to make you not want to use it much.

For me, of the ones I own or have used, the ZX-10 has to hold this bottom spot in the Pentax pile.

It does have its niceties: petite and light weight, easy to operate, battery lasts, built in flash... and a thoughtful touch: the strap has wee little pockets for the viewfinder blind.

But the negatives - the meter range in the dim end isn't as good as with the Program Plus for example. Where the PP (and K100D) meter with a pinhole lens cap, the ZX-10 gives up.

The view finder's a bit dim and small for a 35mm camera. The auto focus mechanism is a bit rough, and is known to hunt, way hunt, for whatever reason best known to itself.

I won't hold the limited modes against it, after all this is part of the design brief.

But I do hold the kit lens against Pentax, this is one of the worst lenses I've had the displeasure of owning... worse than a point and shoot... which totally removes the supposed IQ advantage of going SLR in the first place. At least you can remove the lens

Finally, the rotary switch for changing shutter speed etc has developed a directional problem - it works in one direction only, though I can coax it in the opposite direction using a bit of down force.

All in all, a less than happy example of price point manufactured product.

(However: for me the redeeming quality is that this camera a) got me into auto focus and b) into Pentax. If I hadn't bought this camera 10 or so years ago, I might not have developed my case of Pentaxitis.)

05-28-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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An interesting question. I have held a lot of them but not used that many for actual photography. I love the split-prism viewfinder, so any camera without it is going to make my least favorite list. That includes the AF camersa but I haven't used anything except the SF and ZX series. My nominees are:
ZX-50 - seen two with the fatal plastic gear failure. Pentamirror VF too. Lots of features that can't be used when the gear breaks.
SF10 - appears to be about 50% too big, though it actually handles well. Other SF cameras have replaceable focus screens and useful features, making the size more liveable. Probably makes a good weapon. Eats expensive batteries
K1000 - Size, weight, focus screen and not even an off switch all put me off. Add a few features (like the KM) and the package gets nicer. The M series proved that its size was unnecessary.

My least favorite winner is the K1000. I am comfortable making that call because I've used several of them a lot. Nope, still don't like them. It does bother me that I don't dislike its fraternal twins as strongly, even cameras without split-prisms. Oh well, it's my choice. Like the OP, it was also the first Pentax I used.
05-28-2009, 01:59 PM   #3
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Of the few pentaxs I've used the viewfinder in this programA is the worst, I find it almost impossible to read the readout at the bottom. And seems to disappear completey if you have the camera at a slight angle.
05-28-2009, 02:06 PM   #4
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Pentax MZ-S



Just trying to drive the prices down....


Seriously, the worst film SLR I've used was the SF-10. It has a very unintuitive interface, which forced me to read the manual every time I used it. It also managed to be the second ugliest camera ever.

The ugliest camera ever? The PZ-1. Ewww. I don't care how many people rave about that camera, it hurts my eyes. That can't be good for your photography.

05-28-2009, 02:56 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by filmamigo Quote
Seriously, the worst film SLR I've used was the SF-10. It has a very unintuitive interface, which forced me to read the manual every time I used it. It also managed to be the second ugliest camera ever.

The ugliest camera ever? The PZ-1. Ewww. I don't care how many people rave about that camera, it hurts my eyes. That can't be good for your photography.
My nominees as well!

Steve
05-28-2009, 03:08 PM   #6
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Any "plastic Pentax" (as Eric calls them) will do...

Chris
05-28-2009, 03:13 PM   #7
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Defective Sample - but

I haven't used enough of the more modern cameras to make this a valid response. I got an MESuper in 1984 and from then until 2003 I only purchased Canon Point and Shoots.

OTOH, almost every Pentax camera I have and have had has had redeeming qualities, except the K1000SE.

KX - 1977
MESuper 1984
ME - 2002
Olympus XA - 2003
K1000SE - 2003
K2 - 2004
MX - 2004
Spotmatic II - 2005
K10D - 2008
SP-F - 2009
K2 DMD - 2009

I still own the cameras in bold.

Of these the loser is the K1000SE due to lack of any features whatsoever. It's universal appeal is that it is merely a cheap, light-tight box that holds film in the correct plane. That is also the weakness.

Second is any M body I have owned. They are just too small for me to enjoy using them - although I keep the MESuper for sentimental reasons and the viewfinder.
05-28-2009, 03:36 PM   #8
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I agree with Chris. Give me a metal camera, nice solid, heavy metal.

05-28-2009, 03:47 PM   #9
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I haven't used one but I am pretty sure it would have to be the MZ-60. It really lets the legacy down. Plastic mount, plastic everything, cheap-looking design, won't work, meter or function in any way with K, M or A series lenses. Autofocus lenses only, in a Nikon-esque flash of artificial feature crippling. Poor metering range, no particular features... I'm pretty sure this is the closest Pentax ever got to making a bad SLR.
05-28-2009, 03:50 PM   #10
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I haven't used a lot of Pentaxes but of the ones I have used, the only one I didn't really like was the K 1000. It just feels clunky and very agricultural to me. But then again that seems to be what appeals to a lot of people, so maybe I'm in a minority of one. And x million sales must say something about the thing

In spite of its cult status, I really can't see the appeal of it. No features to speak of, and just not worthy of the praise that is generraly bestowed on it IMO. In fact I'm using it as a part-trade on some repair work on my OM 1's
05-28-2009, 03:55 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by carlb Quote
I haven't used a lot of Pentaxes but of the ones I have used, the only one I didn't really like was the K 1000. It just feels clunky and very agricultural to me. But then again that seems to be what appeals to a lot of people, so maybe I'm in a minority of one. And x million sales must say something about the thing

In spite of its cult status, I really can't see the appeal of it. No features to speak of, and just not worthy of the praise that is generraly bestowed on it IMO. In fact I'm using it as a part-trade on some repair work on my OM 1's
It sold well because it is very useful as a learning tool. If you have no features but the absolute minimum to work with, you have to work with that bare minimum, and you're forced to understand what you're doing; but as almost everyone "in the know" has realized by now, as an actual tool for photography, almost any other Pentax camera is better suited.
05-28-2009, 07:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Erik Quote
It sold well because it is very useful as a learning tool. If you have no features but the absolute minimum to work with, you have to work with that bare minimum, and you're forced to understand what you're doing; but as almost everyone "in the know" has realized by now, as an actual tool for photography, almost any other Pentax camera is better suited.
Jeez, guys, you are pretty much talking me out of a K1000. I was going to pick one up to try it out. Seems like it is pretty much a Spotmatic F with a K mount. Is that a wrong assumption? No wait, I just got done looking at the K1000 entry in "Japanese 35mm SLR Cameras, A Comprehensive Data Guide," and th eK1000 doesn't appear to have a self-timer or a DOF preview. Wow, that's a really basic camera.
05-28-2009, 08:24 PM   #13
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The K1000 is like the VW bug of the photo world.

People love it or hate it. Few are neutral about it.

If you can get one cheap, then try it out. But they often sell for more then they are worth due to their cult status.

As for my least favorite, it would have to be the Pz-1p. I don't like the build, the thumb wheel is just not in the right place for me, and I do not like the LED display arrangement. Having said that, it is not a bad camera, just for me, there are better.
05-28-2009, 09:32 PM   #14
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Looking on my shelf and pondering what I have, I really don't hate anything I have or I would have got rid of it. But if I had to get rid of one of my SLR's it would have to be my Canon ftb...iT is more of a K1000 fake...Which I agree with KungPow.
People love them or hate them and I fall into the love them group.
05-28-2009, 09:58 PM   #15
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zx-60, plastic and will not work with any manual lenses, I still keep it because its the only k-mount film camera I have after my ks super dies. I did buy a battery grip for 7 dollars at ritz though, at least it does not feel as cheap now.
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