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11-11-2009, 01:38 AM   #1
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Quiet film SLR - can take DA lenses too?

hi everyone,

I recently acquired a Pentax ZX-7 and it's a great SUPER QUIET camera (even quieter than my k20D!!!) but the viewfinder leaves much to be desired when it comes to manual focussing (Which is what i do).

Can anyone point me to a decent film camera that has the following? I'd love to get a K-7 (that thing is UBER quiet. I make more noise breathing! ) but it's way way way out of my budget.

1) Big viewfinder. The one in my SF1n is fantastic. but the SF1n wakes up the neighbors... 10 blocks down the road

2) Film camera that has aperture priority (Av) mode atleast.

3) This is optional, but I'd like to find one that can take my DA lenses also.

Right now, I'm gunning for a ZX-5n/MZ-5n. but would like to know any other suggestions!

11-11-2009, 03:45 AM   #2
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The viewfinder of the ZX7 and the MZ5 is almost the same.. and both take DA lenses (specially the ZM7 in panorama mode)
I would go for a PZ1p
11-11-2009, 09:25 AM   #3
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I noted the MZ-5n has a pentaprism with slightly better coverage (versus the MZ-7 with a pentamirror) ... hmm... are you saying its still the same viewfinder size as the MZ-7/ZX-7?
11-11-2009, 10:54 AM   #4
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I think so, but wait other experts may chime in....
in best case try one and compare

11-11-2009, 11:53 AM   #5
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Not sure if you already saw this.


https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/44525-hands-co...6-vs-mz-s.html

Swift1
11-11-2009, 12:20 PM   #6
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the MZ-S shutter is louder than the MZ- not S's
but the viewfinder is better as the information display does not cut into the viewing area
11-11-2009, 12:22 PM   #7
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SuperProgram. It's got Program (duh) and shutter priority. It's an MF camera though... but it's a manual wind too. It's your best bet if noise is your priority.
11-11-2009, 02:51 PM   #8
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If noise is a big deal you should get a rangefinder...

11-11-2009, 03:09 PM   #9
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I don't know which Pentax film SLR has the most quiet shutter. The Z-1P has a pronunced slap.
For best VF size and manual focus use, some of the dedicated MF cams are great.

MZ-5n has higher magnification than the ZX-7, this helps regarding manual focus
11-11-2009, 06:11 PM   #10
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P30t - pretty quiet, quieter than my ME Super and takes my DA 18-55mm AL II.
11-12-2009, 01:30 AM   #11
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I found a P30, but it doesn't have AV mode (something i'm looking for)... hmm...

I think an MZ-5n might do the trick.

Hmm... this might change the topic quite a bit, but is there any way to dampen the sound of the shutter and winder?
11-12-2009, 02:19 AM   #12
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MZ-5N or the MZ 3 are great cameras, but not particularly quiet.

However, there's one big problem - they do not have Av priority with DA lenses. Av priority on these two cameras (and the MZ S) is achieved by setting Tv at 'A' (for automatic) and setting the aperture using the aperture ring. The camera will meter for the required shutter speed and set it accordingly.

DA lens = no aperture ring = no Av priority on these cameras.

You need a film camera that can control Av from the camera body, e.g. MZ - 50, MZ - L.
11-12-2009, 10:07 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by knyghtfall Quote
MZ-5N or the MZ 3 are great cameras, but not particularly quiet.

However, there's one big problem - they do not have Av priority with DA lenses. Av priority on these two cameras (and the MZ S) is achieved by setting Tv at 'A' (for automatic) and setting the aperture using the aperture ring. The camera will meter for the required shutter speed and set it accordingly.

DA lens = no aperture ring = no Av priority on these cameras.

You need a film camera that can control Av from the camera body, e.g. MZ - 50, MZ - L.
If you can get used to it, you can also use the dial as a mock av mode... If you set the shutter at a certain speed and then change it half a stop, the aperture would certainly change half a stop as well.

Mz series is in no way silent though...
11-12-2009, 10:32 AM   #14
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You might want to try the MZ-M (especially for your interest in manual focusing.)

Even though it does not provide on-body aperture control for DA and FA-J lenses, it does give you P mode and shutter priority, which allows you to quickly control aperture as well. Combined with the auto-exposure lock, the MZ-M is very usable with DA and FA-J lenses.

For manual focussing, the MZ-M is the best you can do in a modern camera. It has a split-screen focus aid and the screen is brighter because nothing is lost to an autofocus system.

As for sounds -- the MZ-M is similar to your MZ-7. It makes a sort of chick-wheeee! sound. It is a lot quieter than the MZ-S though. I have found that leaving the bottom half of the Fg everyready soft case on the MZ-M or MZ-7 makes the camera a tiny bit quieter. If you need to make them quieter yet, you will need a leaded leather case or blimp. I bet the Pentax LX had a silent shooting blimp in the system...
11-12-2009, 01:20 PM   #15
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Haha… maybe time to look at a rangefinder

I still love the SF1n is a fantastic camera for my all around use. The only issue is that when I take a picture, it goes “CLUCK CHUNK – WHEEEEEEEEE”. Not smooth at all. Good way to get attention. Add a 2.5 foot FA* 500mm lens or something and I’ll be adequately pimped out to scare nature and people alike within a 200 foot radius!

In all seriousness, I took out both the MZ-7 and K20D yesterday. I’d say depending on the lens, the K20D can be a few decibels louder than the MZ-7. Never as quiet.

I now realize that the only way to get a REALLY really quiet camera is to get a rangefinder (maybe an option but so many to choose from… and Leica is out of my income league), or buy a specialized foam-sound-deadening casing (too cumbersome? Would be odd to carry a shoebox with dense foam around church during a sermon). I think I will just have to put up with a bit of sound, but perhaps aim for something more ‘discrete’ than ‘quiet’.

My main complaint with the MZ-7 is the dinky viewfinder that protrudes out of the body. Especially since I wear glasses, my view of the viewfinder is pretty small and difficult to line up properly. But it’s definitely more discrete (in terms of sound and also size) than the K20D.


Top choices at the moment for me:

P3
Super Program
MZ-5N
MZ-M (if I can find one)

But always open to more suggestions.
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