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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-23-2020, 03:18 PM  
Pentax is NOT dead.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 68
Views: 5,720
I should perhaps invest in developing and enlarging gear and several vats of chemicals in case of total breakdown :-)

What a conundrum. In the dystopia I might not be able to buy film, but the digitals will still record pictures and I can charge the batteries as long as I can buy petrol. We need a real survivalist to advise :-)
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-23-2020, 02:48 PM  
Pentax is NOT dead.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 68
Views: 5,720
If Pentax was to 'non-survive' the current crisis, there will still be people using Pentax gear in 50 years time. Apart from the distressing unreliability of the MZ series, most of their cameras border on the indestructible. My MEF is still working having been my only camera from 1984 to 1998 and still trotted out regularly. I have an Electro Spotmatic I bought on a whim that works perfectly. That is a Electro Spotmatic, not an ES. I have an SV which would probably survive an atom bomb strike.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 04-23-2020, 02:06 PM  
The Six-Megapixel Club
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 2,107
Views: 182,113
I'm about to get back into the 6mp club. I had a K100D which my wife bought me - she was embarrassed i was still using my old MEF I think , the pair of working in the computer industry where up-to-date gadgets are to be expected.

But I'd stopped using it and eventually gave it to my grand-daughter. Reason being, I'd bought a K200D wanting the weather resistance.

However , before then I'd bought a K100D Super off eBay as a spare, with a broken flash. In the current UK lockdown conditions I was having a clear out and found the Super. Put freshly charged Eneloops in it and everything seems to be working fine, including the flash. So I've flashed the cash for a 17-70 SDM lens and lets see what the old warrior can do. What I particularly liked about the K100D when I had it was its low light performance, an area where the K200D and the K10D I've more recently acquired are a bit lacking.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 03-18-2019, 12:35 PM  
MZ5n mirror blocked, service manual?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 112
Views: 81,832
I don't want to brutal, but unless you are very good at taking small complex things apart and putting them back together I would go find a different camera. If you are determined I have three of the Polish gears I can send you for just the postage. These cameras particularly hate sitting unused, so a mint one that has been sitting in a drawer for 20 years will get through anything between a couple of frames and half-a- dozen films because it packs up.

I've got a drawer full of the flippin' things.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 03-18-2019, 12:17 PM  
Can't recommend Eric any longer
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 77
Views: 14,824
In the UK I would suggest Newton Ellis & Co. in Liverpool. They are very old fashioned and you may have to visit them in person. However their UK phone number is 0151 236 1391. They did a CLA and meter adjust on my Elecro Spotmatic (yes, the prototype, not an ES or ESII). They did draw the line at cleaning muck out of the prism housing because they couldn't guarantee to get it back together again but I can live with that. In conversation I know they have repair manuals for the ES and ESII and the proprietor used many years ago to use an ES.They also repair modern digital's.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 03-18-2019, 12:08 PM  
Why did pentax give up completly on SLR?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 58
Views: 5,164
Surely any attempt to produce a new film SLR would fail due to the vast amount of quality SLR's available for less than 10% of original cost? OK, with Pentax there is the problem that their later autofocus SLR's have long term survival problems, but I was able to pick up a fully functional z-1 for 20. (It only works when there is film in it - don't know if that is an original feature).
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-17-2018, 06:17 AM  
When buying a Pentax film camera...
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 28
Views: 2,145
I've bought a lot of film cameras off eBay. Had some real bargains, too.

But I'd avoid the MZ/ZX series. Unless the seller can prove they have had the vulnerable gear replaced, if they haven't gone wrong now they soon will. Two of the ones I bought worked at first but failed halfway through the first roll of film.

I do have an MZ-30 that works well, and I quite like it as a pocket camera, but its just possible it has had the gear replaced or is a very late production one with the metal gear fitted. I now have a drawer full of a dozen broken ones to set against that though.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 09-17-2018, 05:54 AM  
Little help picking K-mount SLR?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 66
Views: 5,155
Have you looked at Chinon? You don't want plastic though. However CE-4 and CE-5 can be picked up very cheap, they are knobs and dials, and I've had one since 1981 which still works fine. They have an aperture window too, which I like, and DOF preview.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-05-2018, 03:40 PM  
How many film cameras do you have?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 354
Views: 24,162
Oh my gorsh as Popeye would say.
SV x 2
SP1000 x 2
Electro Spotmatic x 2
MEF x 4

Zenit TTL x 2 (! moscow edition)
Minolta 7000AF
Minolta 5000i
Minolta 7000i
Minolta 8000i
Minolta 5xi
Nikon F60
Nikon F70
Chinon CE4s
Chinon CE5
Chinon CM4s
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 08-05-2018, 01:33 PM  
Some Early Spotmatic Indulgence
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 24
Views: 3,289
No business has a 100% happy customer base - I speak with feeling having run more than one business myself. Sometimes things go wrong and with the best will in the world confusion becomes worse confounded until the customer loses all faith and then there is little that can be done to mend the situation - even abject apology doesn't seem to work.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-30-2018, 02:47 AM  
Best Pentax film SLRs?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 90
Views: 10,031
Surely it must depend on personal issues? The LX is widely agreed to be the best non-AF Pentax, but I could never have afforded one. I had a KX (it was stolen) and liked it but not enough to replace it. I have a PZ-1p and like it but when it breaks it will be junk, not repairable. On the other hand my K1000 and SV will likely be working in 50 years time if anyone still has the knowhow to give them a CLA and you can still buy film. My (quirky) personal favourite is my ME-F, but that has just been declared unrepairable as well.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-20-2018, 04:11 PM  
Hello Stupid! Faux film is here
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 47
Views: 2,850
Their business. Now if someone would invent a digital recording media that could be inserted like a 35mm roll film THAT would be worth while!
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-17-2018, 02:59 PM  
Gear P0rn - post it if you got it.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 7,568
Views: 951,470
ME-F's do seem to develop inaccurate focussing with age. I have two, and a 35-70 lens. I did find the focussing system useful as a focus aid, but really I was only being lazy. In any case, on both mine it only works with brand new batteries now, after a couple of days of use it stops working, though the rest of the camera works fine. I assume it's either a difference in modern batteries or some electrical component that deteriorates with age and needs more current.

The lens is a good lens, but the focussing is really too slow to be useful. I am happy to have one as a curio, though.

I think the focussing system works off the focussing screen? So perhaps the screen (which is removable on the ME-F, though not documented as such) gradually settles on its seals?
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 07-17-2018, 12:53 PM  
SV worth repairing?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 11
Views: 2,130
I was given an SV that had been sitting on a shelf in someone's garage. Covered in filth. I cleaned the outside and it basically works! Shutter fires but sounds a bit dry, only problem is B doesn't work. It does need a lot of TLC however , as the filth had got inside. It felt so good in my hands I lashed out 25 on eBay for a fully working one. It IS fully working , seals in good order except for the mirror bumper, and that someone has used something scratchy to clean the mirror - viewfinder still pretty bright though.

This is a marvellous camera. It may change my whole mind about what film cameras I want to shoot in the future. It does what the Zent B I started my SLR career with did, plus a few extras but nothing that intrudes on making a photograph. And it does everything with elegance that the poor old B did crudely.

I won't do a review until I calm down a bit.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-17-2018, 03:47 AM  
P30T - skipping frames?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 31
Views: 6,022
The P30's have basically the same mechanics that go back to the introduction of the ME. They do not like to sit around for years unused, and if they are they can suffer from failure of the shutter to cock when the film is wound on.

I'm assuming the camera is electrically 'alive' and the meter works. If so, the quick fix - especially applicable to the P30's because the smaller number of seals they have are usually OK, is to take off the bottom cover and apply some silicone lubricant. Use silicone because it is safe with plastic parts. Work it in by repeatedly cycling without film and hey presto, good for another 20 years .

Don't do this with the precious camera you inherited from your grandfather. But since P30's essentially come free with a lens, it will in 9 cases out of 10 get them serviceable again for trivial expense.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 06-06-2018, 04:20 AM  
Looking for the next body
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 66
Views: 3,898
One difference between the PZ-1 and the PZ-1p is that the internal LCD doesn't seem to fade in old age on the 1p as it does on the PZ-1 (and PZ-20). It's a slightly more informative display as well.

If you only have the crack on the baseplate and the small section hasn't yet broken off completely, carefully work some glue under the slightly more flexible part before you catch it on something and it breaks off. I used UHU.

They do feel more like a digital than a film camera.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-18-2018, 12:36 PM  
Possible Mirror, Viewfinder or winding problem
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 6
Views: 1,459
On the other hand an MX is a very good camera. If serviced it will likely last another 40 years or so without further attention.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-15-2018, 02:32 PM  
Petition Pentax
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 30
Views: 2,381
I don't think a film camera could justify its existence. But how about a Digital K1000 (or, better, a KX?) It could become a great student camera. And it could have ASA driven off the dial and just a minimum of buttons on the back to review taken pictures, format a memory card (with a lock!) and not much else..
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 05-15-2018, 02:17 PM  
New to film. What next after Pentax ME?
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 61
Views: 4,228
If you like the ME then I would seriously consider an ME super or ME-F (ME-F's have some slight improvements over an ME Super other than the focus aid that you may or may not find useful) but budget for a CLA. All the M series cameras by now need new seals and professional lubrication of the mechanism unless they have been previously serviced. I'm not convinced that program modes offer anything over aperture priority for a half-competent user and in general I prefer the M series lenses for handling compared to A series that you will need for program mode.

Although to be fair I did have the A series 35-105 and it is an excellent lens. Mine unfortunately succumbed to fungus due to a storage error on my part. But I used it with my ME-F, not an A series camera.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-25-2018, 02:29 AM  
Adaptall Pentax ES Mount
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 8
Views: 1,053
I had one (genuine) Tamron ES adapter where the lug that fits in the slot on the lens had been weakened over time and wouldn't turn with the aperture ring. It seemed to work fine with no lens attached. Some have a solid lug, the kind with the problem had a pressed lug.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-24-2018, 05:09 AM  
Electrical problem with Z-1p (PZ-1p)
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 6
Views: 777
Have a good look in the battery compartment, maybe compare it with the second camera. If you are lucky something has got in there or gotten bent and is shorting the battery rather than the camera itself.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-22-2018, 10:24 AM  
Silly prices.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 41
Views: 3,685
I actually don't find it too difficult to manually focus most AF cameras with MF lenses, which is surprising since I'm somewhat sight impaired. I have seen it suggested that AF cameras don't have split image screens because it can somehow interfere with focus? But it is often difficult to manually focus AF lenses because the focussing ring is difficult to handle and often too rapid in operation.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-19-2018, 12:55 PM  
Silly prices.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 41
Views: 3,685
I think my point was that the Z/PZ series had a good reliability record, and were so dirt cheap you could buy half a dozen for the price of one K1000 :-)
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-19-2018, 12:54 PM  
ME Super wind lever problems
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 7
Views: 2,874
Agreed. fortunately it has only in my experience been necessary to use it under the bottom cover, so well away from any glass.
Forum: Pentax Film SLR Discussion 04-19-2018, 02:41 AM  
Silly prices.
Posted By redbirdpete
Replies: 41
Views: 3,685
I do have a K1000, I was given it for nothing. I don't really see the attraction, for nostalgia and the lovely lenses I prefer the Spotmatics - and they are what I remember gazing at in shop windows from my youth. So I guess age and youthful experiences have a lot to do with it.

Edit - I suppose now having had some dozens of cameras through my hands - all sold as speared repairs or untested except where noted - I could say that durability has a lot to do with it. To summarize:

ZX/MZ I've handled about two dozen of these of which only 3 actually worked. A couple more worked when they arrived but didn't survive a roll of film before the pinion broke - probably had been standing for years.

Z/PZ Had 10, only 1 broken( a Z-1), a couple with dim readouts in the viewfinder

SFX Had 5, 3 working, one broken completely, one with a defunct AF drive.

P30's Had 8 or 9, only 2 working properly, others all needed treatment and a couple were beyond repair (by my methods)

M series. A bit of a conundrum here , all the ME Supers have been a mess, many with damaged shutters and other serious problems, though I have managed to get some with just the sticky winder problem working again. All the other M series I've handled (ME, MV-1, several ME-F's ) have responded to treatment. The relative unreliability of the P30's and the ME Supers may explain the popularity of the K series, as well as the student factor.

Just the one K, the aforementioned K1000, which works though badly in need of a professional CLA. I used to have a KX years ago but it disappeared in a house move.

Spotmatics - 6, 3 SP1000's, two Electro-Spotmatics, and one ES. All work except that the ES and one of the SP1000's (cosmetically the nicest) have dodgy metering. Surprisingly both the Electros work perfectly, although both have some minor silvering problems. All could do with a CLA, of course - I will probably get one of the SP's and the ES done.

I've not had any MX's or A series since I stared fooling about like this. I did have an MX years ago but gave it to a friend's son who was learning photography.

By 'working' I mean I had to do no more than stick a battery in and maybe do some cleaning. They may have cosmetic issues like dents or scratches that don't affect the functionality. I've sold on some of the working ones but I've kept the ones I like :-)

Edit again - because I've bought job lots I've had some other cameras through my hands, so I guess a quick summary - Quite a lot of Minoltas, mostly terminally broke, though I have salvaged a couple by swapping parts around. They don't seem to like sitting with dead batteries. I've actually bough a couple of working ones because they are cheap as chips and I have accumulated quite a number of lenses.

Both the Nikons I've had worked and had noticeably good viewfinders compared to the average AF Pentax., despite being bottom of the range ones. None of the Canons worked (too small a sample to draw any conclusion, should any Canoniste be reading!). Chinon I've had 5, only one was broken and that had clearly been out in the rain. Other makes have only been one-offs but I have a nice Moscow Olympics Zenit-TTL I'm keeping as a reminder of my old Zenit-B
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