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06-27-2007, 12:58 PM   #1
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Zx-l Vf?

Well, I was just about to buy a ZX-L from a Web based dealer when I stumbled across a couple reviews that described the VF as both "small" and "dim" -- not words one wants to read about a VF especially it it's to be used with MF lenses.

If it's similar to the ZX-M, it'll be OK for me even w/o the split-image RF as long as the focus confirmation can be trusted.

Anyone compared the ZX-L to other Pentax cams? Your thoughts?

TIA!/Scottax1

p.s. I just checked and I did indeed capitalize the 'X' and the 'L' in "ZX-L" on the subject line. Hate it when software thinks it's smarter than me . . .


Last edited by scottax1; 06-27-2007 at 01:04 PM. Reason: add p.s.
06-27-2007, 01:59 PM   #2
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I don't own a ZX-L, but I did a bit of research, and it turns out that it has a tiny viewfinder compared even to the ZX-M (which I have). The ZX-L viewfinder features 0.7x magnification and covers 92% of the actual image field. Compare this to:

ZX-M: 0.77x, 92% (pentamirror)
SuperA: 0.82x, 92%
K1000: 0.88x, 95%
MX: 0.97x, 95%

If you want to use MF lenses, you'd be much better off getting a ZX-5n, which has 0.8x magnification and a few extra features overall!

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06-27-2007, 07:49 PM   #3
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Trade-offs . . .

Adam, thanks for the research and comparisons.

I can see that Bojidar lists that info for each body. What's amusing is his comment that the "viewfinder is a bit small". I've heard so many good things about that VF, but it looks like the comparisons were to other ZX series bodies.

My primary attraction to the ZX-L is its compatibility with LOTS of lenses. The electronic controls allow it to use newer lenses that lack aperture rings. Then again, other than the FA-J series, all of the ringless lenses are/will be digital only -- correct?

OK. I've got a bucket of paint. Where can I find a corner into which I can paint myself?

D'oh!/Scottax1
06-27-2007, 09:25 PM   #4
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The ZX-L is far from being the only Pentax SLR that supports all bayonet lenses except for the DA series; have a look at this chart I made to see what other options there are out there: The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart.


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06-28-2007, 12:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
The ZX-L is far from being the only Pentax SLR that supports all bayonet lenses except for the DA series; have a look at this chart I made to see what other options there are out there: The Pentax Camera Lens Compatibility Chart.
Hey Mo, my DA lenses SEEM to work on my ZX-30. It can autofocus and I can set the aperture through the controls on the body, but I haven't actually tried it on film yet. The 18-55mm kit lens vignettes noticeably at 18mm, but aside from not being full frame, the lenses seem to work fine.

Your chart lists the DA lenses as completely incompatible though. What happens when if I try using my DA lenses on my ZX-30?
06-28-2007, 05:06 AM   #6
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DA lenses are incompatible simply because they don't cover the entire 35mm image circle. Aperture and focus will work normally.

At 18mm, it's more than vignetting you see. Remember that the ZX-30 viewfinder only covers 92% of the image circle, so you're not seeing the corners of the actual image in the viewfinder. Pop a DA lens on an MX and you'll see why the wide-angles are incompatible!

If they're zoomed out to the long end, you can use DA zooms on film bodies and get vignetting-free photos, but you can't use any primes except for the 40mm pancake (which is based on its M-series predecessor).

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06-28-2007, 08:01 PM   #7
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Scott, Although I've already told you in PM, I wanted to share in case others wondered this same question. I just recently purchased the ZX-L. The viewfinder is small and dim but maybe only in comparison to some of the nicer film cameras(that have big pentaprism viewfinders). While it doesn't seem as nice as the K10D, I imagine that it is very comparable to the K100D. I haven't looked through a K100D so I can't substantiate this. The differences between the K10D and ZX-L are there but they are not huge. Didn't the *ist get the TIPA award and it's viewfinder is comparable to the ZX-L? Yes it's small and dim but definitely not a deal breaker(for me anyway).
06-29-2007, 11:25 AM   #8
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Ah, thanks for clarifying Mo. It's good to know that my DA 40 will work on my ZX-30 though. It ends up being a bit bigger than the ME Super + M 40mm combo, but it's lighter and I get auto-focus.

06-29-2007, 05:23 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by igowerf Quote
Ah, thanks for clarifying Mo. It's good to know that my DA 40 will work on my ZX-30 though. It ends up being a bit bigger than the ME Super + M 40mm combo, but it's lighter and I get auto-focus.
Sounds like a great combo! One more thing- the ZX-L has a pentamirror viewfinder, which is generally smaller than the pentaprism viewfinders found in most other Pentax film cameras. The rule proves to be true in this case

Since the K10D and K100D have APS-C sized sensors, however, their viewfinders cannot be compared to those of film cameras. Nevertheless, I wish they were a bit bigger!

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06-29-2007, 06:12 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
Since the K10D and K100D have APS-C sized sensors, however, their viewfinders cannot be compared to those of film cameras. Nevertheless, I wish they were a bit bigger!
Depends on who is doing the comparision. If you have only shot digital before and are now picking up a film camera(as I did), then it is the only thing there is to compare it to. So you could say the ZX-l is small by film standards, but is just peachy by digital standards.

Last edited by Vertex Ninja; 06-29-2007 at 08:48 PM.
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