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02-01-2010, 04:35 PM   #1
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compact pentax slr?

Did Pentax ever make a compact SLR along the lines of an OM-1? I am thinking of going back to film for travel, and would like a light weight rangefinder or compact SLR to take the place of my K20D in my travel bag. [As an aside, the Panny GF1 looks great for a DSL(R), but the cost seems too high for me for a travel camera, and it's noise is more than I'm used to.] I had a K1000 a long time ago, and liked it, but it got stolen. Also, I tend to shoot in aperture priority mode, and want something with a built in meter. I don't need a motor drive, but might need a compact flash at times. AF is nice, but not necessary, especially if it adds much weight or bulk. I understand the ME Super gets good reviews, but I'm not sure what is small and high quality in this field. Thoughts? Other ideas I have are for an old Olympus 35 CR (for cheap, but good quality) or a Contax G2 (for pricy, but great quality). Any thoughts on this are appreciated, including good film choices and where to get film developed. (I have been out of film, literally and figuratively, for a very long time.)

02-01-2010, 05:34 PM   #2
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Full manual: Pentax MX

Aperture priority with manual option: Pentax ME Super.

I had an Olympus OM2n and put it back to back with an ME Super and they are nearly identical in size. My 2-cents: Get an ME Super in good shape and send it to Eric for a good overhaul as most will have an issue by now or won't be far from it. Slap an M40 pancake on it and GO! I kept my OM2n for a long time hoping I would luck into a cheap Zuiko pancake 40 -- it never happened. Size and function-wize, the Pentax ME Super/M-40mm pancake combo is the next best thing.
02-01-2010, 05:42 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kpp80202 Quote
Did Pentax ever make a compact SLR along the lines of an OM-1? I am thinking of going back to film for travel, and would like a light weight rangefinder or compact SLR to take the place of my K20D in my travel bag. [As an aside, the Panny GF1 looks great for a DSL(R), but the cost seems too high for me for a travel camera, and it's noise is more than I'm used to.] I had a K1000 a long time ago, and liked it, but it got stolen. Also, I tend to shoot in aperture priority mode, and want something with a built in meter. I don't need a motor drive, but might need a compact flash at times. AF is nice, but not necessary, especially if it adds much weight or bulk. I understand the ME Super gets good reviews, but I'm not sure what is small and high quality in this field. Thoughts? Other ideas I have are for an old Olympus 35 CR (for cheap, but good quality) or a Contax G2 (for pricy, but great quality). Any thoughts on this are appreciated, including good film choices and where to get film developed. (I have been out of film, literally and figuratively, for a very long time.)
The M-series bodies are the small ones. See Pentax M-Series Film Bodies for comparisons and links to details. There are also reviews on this site. The ME Super has a good reputation and is reasonably priced, but is battery dependant. The MX has the advantage of being fully mechanical, but is more money. An M-series body with M 40/2.8 pancake or even a FA 43/1.8 Limited might fit the ticket as a pocket-able combination.

If you are looking at rangefinders, it is pretty hard to beat the Olympus XA for size, weight, and features if you want tiny. Of course, we all would like a Contax G2 or a Leica! You might want to look at Voigtlander as well. They are often available used for fairly reasonable prices.

As for film...there are still a lot of choices out there and life is actually pretty good. I would go to the Web sites for Fuji and Kodak for starters. Be sure to check out both their consumer and professional lines. That should give you a good idea of what is available in the mainstream for color films. For B&W, there are a whole slew of options. Check the online catalogs at B&H, Adorama, Freestyle, and Digitaltruth.

Good luck on your decision and be sure to post when you get your stuff and when you start taking pictures!

Steve
02-01-2010, 05:47 PM   #4
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Pentax did out-small the OM... back in the day, I was an OMian, and actually thought the Program Plus was too small, compared to the OM2s. In retrospect the Pentax was and is a more practical camera.

02-01-2010, 07:12 PM   #5
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The SuperProgram is also small although not quite as small as the MX. The MZ-3 is pretty small for an AF film camera. If you want uber small, the one in my avatar is the smallest slr ever.
02-01-2010, 10:49 PM   #6
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My vote is the ME-Super. It is quite a lovely little camera with a great big, bright viewfinder.
It does aperture preferred automatic and manual exposure, and supports automatic shutter speed setting to X with dedicated auto flash units such as the AF 280T. It is also somewhat smaller than the Super Program/Program Plus chassis.
02-01-2010, 11:07 PM   #7
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I also vote for the ME/ ME Super. If you want AF, the MZ-L/ZX-L is a great camera and isn't much bigger than the ME. Fitted with the DA40 limited it's almost pocketable.

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02-02-2010, 06:44 AM   #8
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Is there any vignetting problem using the DA40 (or any DA) lens on the MZ-L/ZX-L?

02-02-2010, 07:43 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kpp80202 Quote
Is there any vignetting problem using the DA40 (or any DA) lens on the MZ-L/ZX-L?
i never has any problem with vignette while i was using DA 40 on my PENTAX *ist.

.


i believe we have a thread which list DA lens which have capability of Full Frame..
on lens section.

.
02-02-2010, 07:46 AM   #10
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The DA70 works full frame also
02-02-2010, 10:48 AM   #11
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MX

nuff said
02-02-2010, 03:03 PM   #12
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ME/ME Super: Electronic shutter, excellent viewfinder. No DOF preview.

MX: Fully mechanical with built in light meter with aperture display. DOF preview. Excellent viewfinder. No aperture priority mode.

MZ5-n: Electronic auto focus body. Classic button layout like a manual focus body. Very intuitive to use. Also very small and the auto exposure on this camera is fantastic, always spot on. Has DOF preview as well. Only drawback is the shutter time and aperture display in the finder which can be a bit dim in sunny conditions.
02-02-2010, 03:24 PM   #13
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*ist. TINY.
02-02-2010, 11:50 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
The P30/P3n/P30T bodies are about the same weight as the M series.
They are slightly larger but have a handy built-in grip and a very durable finish.
They feature a conventional SLR shutter speed dial and very good viewfinder.

Exposure modes include manual, aperture-preferred and program auto.
AE lock and DOF preview are very useful features often not included on other models.

Though ten years newer than the M-series bodies they often sell for a fraction of the cost.
I have purchased several of these. They are reliable and very pleasant to use Pentax cameras.

Chris
+1

I've owned a P3n for 15 years, runs like a top. Has all four exposure modes, and a good meter. I've changed the batteries once in that time, too.
02-04-2010, 09:44 AM   #15
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I have put more clicks on MX bodies than all other cameras put together. Without a winder, they are tiny. When placed side by side with the K20d, the K20d almost looks like it should be Medium Format. If you like to have different kinds of film handy, you can carry a bag full of these bodies without breaking your shoulder.
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