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12-04-2009, 08:52 AM   #1
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What M42 body should I get?

I have a bunch of M42 lenses I've been using with an adapter, but it's a bit cumbersome and there's this tiny bit of wiggle to the adapter when focusing. Now, this is a Pentax forum, so obviously Spotmatics and such are high on the list. I'd love an ES or ES II. But I'd love to have something a bit smaller and lighter. I already have a Spotmatic, actually, but it's in not in optimal condition. What other good M42 bodies are there? I know there's a ton of ones that weigh... a ton, but are there any smaller cameras? Even plastic ones No Zenits, please, unless theres a specific model you've had very good experiences with

12-04-2009, 08:57 AM   #2
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The Fujica ST605 is small for a M42 body, has a nice split screen focus, plus I like the push button meter/stop down better than the Pentax way. The ST605 is built to a price point however. I don't know the relative size of other Fujicas, but they are worth checking out.
12-04-2009, 09:25 AM   #3
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The M42 Pentax bodies were the most compact SLR cameras of the time. For comparison, pick up a Topcon Super-D, Minolta SRT, or Nikon F with Photomic finder if you get a chance. As Nesster notes, Fujica models from the early 70s were also pretty small and were advanced for the time. Another option would be the Bessaflex TM. It is a quality modern camera in M42 mount in the same size range as a Fujica or Spotmatic. Unfortunately, Voigtlander (Cosina) made them in limited quantities and for a limited time (until 2007). As a result, the prices are steep even for used copies and very steep for new old stock.

Steve

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Here is a link to Steve Gandy's Bessaflex page: http://cameraquest.com/voigtFlexTM.htm
12-04-2009, 09:39 AM   #4
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another vote for the Fujica ST605 or ST605N - a very small, light camera with a good split-prism finder. Quirky 1/700 top shutter speed, though. Uses the regular S76 / LR44 1.5v silver cells, and I too liked the stop-down metering button better than the spotties. That said, the build quality is not at the level of the Pentax bodies, but they're as cheap as chips on the 'bay.

12-04-2009, 03:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gabriel_bc Quote
another vote for the Fujica ST605 or ST605N - a very small, light camera with a good split-prism finder. Quirky 1/700 top shutter speed, though. Uses the regular S76 / LR44 1.5v silver cells, and I too liked the stop-down metering button better than the spotties. That said, the build quality is not at the level of the Pentax bodies, but they're as cheap as chips on the 'bay.
IIRC, they also had SPD meters as opposed the CDS...a first!
12-04-2009, 07:00 PM   #6
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If you don't mind a meterless model, you can't go wrong with a Pre-Spotmatic Pentax S or H variety body (H3V, S3V, etc.)..... they're a bit smaller & lighter (& a tad niftier). You can find an add-on prism mounted meter for these, but that would defeat the purpose of looking for a lighter, smaller body.
12-04-2009, 07:19 PM   #7
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Another vote for the Fujica ST605N. It is light and solid.

I can't say anything about the light meter because the one on my copy was shot. But I don't mind a meterless ST605N.

What I like best is the focusing screen. It is bright and has a split prism. I now don't use the ST605N to shoot much, I use it mainly to calibrate M42 lenses.

If small size and light weigh do not matter, I suggest a Chinon CEII Memotron. It has 1/2000 sec shutter speed, aperture priority AE, viewfinder blind, provision for multiple exposures, AE lock, shutter release lock, 1/90 sec sync speed.... The same camera body also wore "Sears" badge (I can't recall the model #). The only drawback is that it's bigger and heavier than most other M42 bodies.

Last edited by SOldBear; 12-04-2009 at 07:27 PM.
12-04-2009, 07:48 PM   #8
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Hey, thanks a bunch folks, I knew I could count on you I would love to have the Bessaflex TM, but I'm just not willing to spend the money. I'll take a look at those Fujicas and the Chinon too (the shutter speed woud indeed be nice).

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