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04-24-2010, 07:56 AM   #1
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Fully manual cameras (Or, feeding the CBA)

Hello everyone, I come again with a different question. Since the complete success of acquiring a MX and then by chance getting a Spotmatic (that will be a present for my sister), I'm now looking for a basically a fully manual (required) camera that can work (or doesn't have) a meter. I'm looking for this so to have a camera that I can take everywhere. I might be able to pull the Sunny 16, so I'm looking for a camera that is classified as junk (so to buy it REALLY cheap) but still is in working state. I'm planning to take it on hikings, rock climbing, kayaking (is that right?), etc. so I want a camera that if anything happens and it literally breaks i wont suffer too much the loss.

I was looking at some and I barely got out with a KX for less than $20. (It's Japan after all). The K2 (around $40), and MX ($75). All broken.

What I'm looking for now is a manual camera that (if at all possible) has DoF preview and/or MLU. If not, any cheap fully manual camera either k-mount or a screwmount. It doesn't need to have a light meter. As long as it can work without batteries it's okay.

Do you have any preferred camera with this specs that you might recommend? If so, can you state why so? No need to be too specific, I just need some direction and then will try to pull it.

Thanks


Last edited by summonbaka; 04-25-2010 at 02:17 AM. Reason: Trying to change title
04-24-2010, 11:43 AM   #2
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You lucked out! The KX has DOF and mirror lock-up. The button above the self timer lever controls both. Press the button in and it stops down the lens. If you rotate the collar around the button down and then press the button, it will lock the mirror up (and the button sticks in). Rotate the collar up again to drop the mirror (the mirror will stay up, even between shots, till you do.)
04-24-2010, 11:59 AM   #3
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the three cameras you listed (KX, K2, MX) are the only ones that fit your requirements for being mechanical (no need for batteries to operate) and have DOF preview and/or MLU. no other Kmount or screw mount cameras fit this bill. well all spotmatics I believe have DOF preview, but certainly no MLU. if you have a preference for Kmount, you seem to have what you need already. get one of those mechanically in working order and your good to go.
04-24-2010, 12:20 PM   #4
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Well, I did some research afterwards and found out something like that. I was aiming to see for a SV, but found a $10 Spotmatic with lens and case (hope that at least the shutter works). The SV looked promising but all of them were $15 or more. So now I'll have two spotmatics, and neither of them 'works' (battery corrosion) but the one i have does its work. Let's see how it goes.

@séamuis, steveopedia: you always reply in a promptly fashion. Thanks.

04-24-2010, 12:52 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by summonbaka Quote
Well, I did some research afterwards and found out something like that. I was aiming to see for a SV, but found a $10 Spotmatic with lens and case (hope that at least the shutter works). The SV looked promising but all of them were $15 or more. So now I'll have two spotmatics, and neither of them 'works' (battery corrosion) but the one i have does its work. Let's see how it goes.

@séamuis, steveopedia: you always reply in a promptly fashion. Thanks.
I was actually going to suggest an SV and to be honest, I still think that will be a really good choice, but since it actually has neither DOF preview or mirror lock up, I decided against it. but I am biased for the SV, so that wouldn't be fair. in the end, I think a spotmatic is a good choice. you can never really go wrong with a spotmatic, working meter or not.
04-24-2010, 01:06 PM   #6
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What would you say is the thing that you like from the SV? I read something in the Travelling Screwmount, but can't recall right now. That, and for a better understanding for everyone.

If it was me, I would hunt for another MX but they are too expensive here. Next is the KX but havent tried it so i don't know the feel of it (that was the reason I was going to get that one). K2, I don't know anything more than it fits the bill and is 'better'(has Av if not mistaken?) than the KX but speeds below 125 are unusable without batteries.
Next Spotmatics and other screwmounts (not necesarily Pentax): I know naught more than I love the one I got, even without meter. And that the SV has great reviews.

Last edited by summonbaka; 04-24-2010 at 01:07 PM. Reason: forgot about manual k2
04-24-2010, 01:25 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by summonbaka Quote
What would you say is the thing that you like from the SV? I read something in the Travelling Screwmount, but can't recall right now. That, and for a better understanding for everyone.

If it was me, I would hunt for another MX but they are too expensive here. Next is the KX but havent tried it so i don't know the feel of it (that was the reason I was going to get that one). K2, I don't know anything more than it fits the bill and is 'better'(has Av if not mistaken?) than the KX but speeds below 125 are unusable without batteries.
Next Spotmatics and other screwmounts (not necesarily Pentax): I know naught more than I love the one I got, even without meter. And that the SV has great reviews.
mechanically, it really isnt any more special than all of the other pentax screw mount bodies. but its the brilliant simplicity and the lengths Asahi Optical went to make the camera as clean, simple and compact as possible. it also incorporates all of the then new features. it represents, I think a pinnacle of design for Asahi Optical, and is easily the best of the pre-spotmatic bodies. you might not want to choose an SV, because you might fall in love with it and be worried about breaking it. its not hard to love the SV. when you couple that to the simplicity of the completely uncluttered viewing screen, its really just a wonderful camera. if you pursue any body earlier than the SV you will likely find yourself making some sacrifices in some way in regards to everyday use. the K2 does indeed have Av, but if im not mistaken, the only true mechanical shutter sped on the K2 is 1/125 not below 1/125, but only 1/125 (I dont know why I didnt think about that, as that actually disqualifies the K2.) screw or even Kmount bodies by other manufacturers I know nothing about other than, Ricoh made both.
04-25-2010, 01:10 AM   #8
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Of course, the SV doesn't have DoF preview......that feature was built into the lenses. Just stop your aperture down in whatever method appropriate for your particular flavor of Takumar.

OP, since you're in Japan you may wish to avail yourself of the Yahoo Japan auctions. There is a gentleman on there who supplied myself and seamuis with our freshly CLA'ed SV bodies and he is still actively refurbishing cameras and putting them out there for a song. (I got my SV and S2 from him).

04-25-2010, 02:06 AM   #9
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Regarding the K2, there is some differences in the mechanical speeds between sources. For example, the forums state a 1/125 (X speed) as the only one. But bdimitrov's Welcome to Bojidar Dimitrov's Pentax K-Mount Page states that it is 1/1000 and 1/125. I saw in another one that it was from 1/1000 to 1/125. Anyone able to check this? (Will possibly open another thread so to separate the topic)

About fully mechanical Pentax K-mount cameras, the K series with the exception of the K2 (DMD) all work. That means KX, KM, K1000 plus variants. From the M series onwards, only the MX is fully mechanical. From these,the KX, KM and MX are the only ones to include DoF preview and/or MLU.

@séamuis: When you refered about other brands for M42 screwmount and/or k-mount I remembered about the Russian Zenit cameras. Care is to be taken since the earlier screwmount Zenit also came in M39 (Leica mount) versions.

You really seem to like the SV, and the same when i read the Sightseeing Screwmount (I always get that wrong) there seem to be a lot of people that liked the feel of it. If this Spotmatic ever breaks/gets lost or stolen I'll try to get myself a SV.

Last edited by summonbaka; 04-25-2010 at 09:09 AM. Reason: correction/grave omission
04-25-2010, 04:59 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
the three cameras you listed (KX, K2, MX) are the only ones that fit your requirements for being mechanical (no need for batteries to operate) and have DOF preview and/or MLU. no other Kmount or screw mount cameras fit this bill...
What about the KM? All mechanical, and has DOF preview. No MLU, but neither has the MX.
04-25-2010, 09:10 AM   #11
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Thanks for the correction. Just missed it (I wasn't really looking for a KM so basically ignored it). I corrected it in my last post.
04-25-2010, 10:16 AM   #12
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Did my post even show up at all? I think the internet may be broken again.
04-25-2010, 10:20 AM   #13
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Even though it's not mechanical a P30t or a ProgramPlus are great banger cameras
04-25-2010, 11:39 AM   #14
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The SV is a real gem of a 35 mm SLR. They're beautifully built cameras. I was one of the first in line for the Sightseeing Screwmount and had the pleasure of using the camera for two weeks in the winter of 2008-2009, and even in that short time I was absolutely convinced it was the finest camera I've ever held or used (though the Nikon F4 comes close.) I'm still looking for an SV for myself.

More to the point though, what MasterSitsu said is correct. All Super and SMC Takumars have a manual/auto switch. When that's in the manual position the aperture stops down to whatever you set the aperture ring to. Instant DoF preview!

Also, afaik all mechanical Pentaxes have mirror lockup via a maneuver I've heard called the "MX flick." It's hard to describe, but it basically amounts to pressing the shutter button just long enough to make the mirror flip up, but not let the shutter fire. The second press fires the shutter. The best way to describe acutally performing the trick would be brushing it with your finger, with enough force to acutally depress the button. (I'm not good at describing these things!) Anyway, it works with MXes, K1000s, and Spotmatics, so I figure it might work with SVs too, but I don't know for certain.
04-26-2010, 04:44 AM   #15
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I had it in mind to give the OP a heads up on a freshly CLA'ed S3 (with a one-week return period in case of mechanical fault) which is listed for 2,500 yen....just the original purchase cost of the pre-CLA body plus parts, no labor charge...and had no bidders. But I appear to be on his ignore list. Oh well.
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